3 years ago

Basal p53 expression is indispensable for mesenchymal stem cell integrity

Basal p53 expression is indispensable for mesenchymal stem cell integrity
Donald G. Phinney, Veena Krishnappa, Siddaraju V. Boregowda, Jacqueline Strivelli, Cori N. Booker, Christopher L. Haga
Marrow-resident mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) serve as a functional component of the perivascular niche that regulates hematopoiesis. They also represent the main source of bone formed in adult bone marrow, and their bifurcation to osteoblast and adipocyte lineages plays a key role in skeletal homeostasis and aging. Although the tumor suppressor p53 also functions in bone organogenesis, homeostasis, and neoplasia, its role in MSCs remains poorly described. Herein, we examined the normal physiological role of p53 in primary MSCs cultured under physiologic oxygen levels. Using knockout mice and gene silencing we show that p53 inactivation downregulates expression of TWIST2, which normally restrains cellular differentiation to maintain wild-type MSCs in a multipotent state, depletes mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and suppresses ROS generation and PPARG gene and protein induction in response to adipogenic stimuli. Mechanistically, this loss of adipogenic potential skews MSCs toward an osteogenic fate, which is further potentiated by TWIST2 downregulation, resulting in highly augmented osteogenic differentiation. We also show that p53/ MSCs are defective in supporting hematopoiesis as measured in standard colony assays because of decreased secretion of various cytokines including CXCL12 and CSF1. Lastly, we show that transient exposure of wild-type MSCs to 21% oxygen upregulates p53 protein expression, resulting in increased mitochondrial ROS production and enhanced adipogenic differentiation at the expense of osteogenesis, and that treatment of cells with FGF2 mitigates these effects by inducing TWIST2. Together, these findings indicate that basal p53 levels are necessary to maintain MSC bi-potency, and oxygen-induced increases in p53 expression modulate cell fate and survival decisions. Because of the critical function of basal p53 in MSCs, our findings question the use of p53 null cell lines as MSC surrogates, and also implicate dysfunctional MSC responses in the pathophysiology of p53-related skeletal disorders.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41418-017-0004-4

DOI: 10.1038/s41418-017-0004-4

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