Thyroid hormone receptor beta and NCOA4 regulate terminal erythrocyte differentiation [Cell Biology]
An effect of thyroid hormone (TH) on erythropoiesis has been known for more than a century but the molecular mechanism(s) by which TH affects red cell formation is still elusive. Here we demonstrate an essential role of TH during terminal human erythroid cell differentiation; specific depletion of TH from the culture medium completely blocked terminal erythroid differentiation and enucleation. Treatment with TRβ agonists stimulated premature erythroblast differentiation in vivo and alleviated anemic symptoms in a chronic anemia mouse model by regulating erythroid gene expression. To identify factors that cooperate with TRβ during human erythroid terminal differentiation, we conducted RNA-seq in human reticulocytes and identified nuclear receptor coactivator 4 (NCOA4) as a critical regulator of terminal differentiation. Furthermore, Ncoa4−/− mice are anemic in perinatal periods and fail to respond to TH by enhanced erythropoiesis. Genome-wide analysis suggests that TH promotes NCOA4 recruitment to chromatin regions that are in proximity to Pol II and are highly associated with transcripts abundant during terminal differentiation. Collectively, our results reveal the molecular mechanism by which TH functions during red blood cell formation, results that are potentially useful to treat certain anemias.
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