Deregulated Notch and Wnt signaling activates early-stage myeloid regeneration pathways in leukemia

J Exp Med. 2020 Mar 2;217(3):jem.20190787. doi: 10.1084/jem.20190787.


Targeting commonly altered mechanisms in leukemia can provide additional treatment options. Here, we show that an inducible pathway of myeloid regeneration involving the remodeling of the multipotent progenitor (MPP) compartment downstream of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is commonly hijacked in myeloid malignancies. We establish that differential regulation of Notch and Wnt signaling transiently triggers myeloid regeneration from HSCs in response to stress, and that constitutive low Notch and high Wnt activity in leukemic stem cells (LSCs) maintains this pathway activated in malignancies. We also identify compensatory crosstalk mechanisms between Notch and Wnt signaling that prevent damaging HSC function, MPP production, and blood output in conditions of high Notch and low Wnt activity. Finally, we demonstrate that restoring Notch and Wnt deregulated activity in LSCs attenuates disease progression. Our results uncover a mechanism that controls myeloid regeneration and early lineage decisions in HSCs and could be targeted in LSCs to normalize leukemic myeloid cell production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Leukemia / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Stem Cell Niche / physiology
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*


  • Receptors, Notch