Exosome complex orchestrates developmental signaling to balance proliferation and differentiation during erythropoiesis

Elife. 2016 Aug 20:5:e17877. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17877.


Since the highly conserved exosome complex mediates the degradation and processing of multiple classes of RNAs, it almost certainly controls diverse biological processes. How this post-transcriptional RNA-regulatory machine impacts cell fate decisions and differentiation is poorly understood. Previously, we demonstrated that exosome complex subunits confer an erythroid maturation barricade, and the erythroid transcription factor GATA-1 dismantles the barricade by transcriptionally repressing the cognate genes. While dissecting requirements for the maturation barricade in Mus musculus, we discovered that the exosome complex is a vital determinant of a developmental signaling transition that dictates proliferation/amplification versus differentiation. Exosome complex integrity in erythroid precursor cells ensures Kit receptor tyrosine kinase expression and stem cell factor/Kit signaling, while preventing responsiveness to erythropoietin-instigated signals that promote differentiation. Functioning as a gatekeeper of this developmental signaling transition, the exosome complex controls the massive production of erythroid cells that ensures organismal survival in homeostatic and stress contexts.

Keywords: cell biology; erythroid; mouse; progenitor; signaling; transcription.