Autophagy regulated by the HIF/REDD1/mTORC1 signaling is progressively increased during erythroid differentiation under hypoxia

Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 Aug 24:10:896893. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2022.896893. eCollection 2022.


For hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), hypoxia is a specific microenvironment known as the hypoxic niche. How hypoxia regulates erythroid differentiation of HSPCs remains unclear. In this study, we show that hypoxia evidently accelerates erythroid differentiation, and autophagy plays a pivotal role in this process. We further determine that mTORC1 signaling is suppressed by hypoxia to relieve its inhibition of autophagy, and with the process of erythroid differentiation, mTORC1 activity gradually decreases and autophagy activity increases accordingly. Moreover, we provide evidence that the HIF-1 target gene REDD1 is upregulated to suppress mTORC1 signaling and enhance autophagy, thereby promoting erythroid differentiation under hypoxia. Together, our study identifies that the enhanced autophagy by hypoxia favors erythroid maturation and elucidates a new regulatory pattern whereby autophagy is progressively increased during erythroid differentiation, which is driven by the HIF-1/REDD1/mTORC1 signaling in a hypoxic niche.

Keywords: HIF-1; HSPCs; K562; REDD1; autophagy; erythroid differentiation; hypoxia.