Hematopoiesis integrates cytokine signaling, metabolism, and epigenetic modifications to regulate blood cell generation. These processes are linked, as metabolites provide essential substrates for epigenetic marks. In this study, we demonstrate that ATP citrate lyase (Acly), which metabolizes citrate to generate cytosolic acetyl-CoA and is of clinical interest, can regulate chromatin accessibility to limit myeloid differentiation. Acly was tested for a role in murine hematopoiesis by small-molecule inhibition or genetic deletion in lineage-depleted, c-Kit-enriched hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from Mus musculus. Treatments increased the abundance of cell populations that expressed the myeloid integrin CD11b and other markers of myeloid differentiation. When single-cell RNA sequencing was performed, we found that Acly inhibitor-treated hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells exhibited greater gene expression signatures for macrophages and enrichment of these populations. Similarly, the single-cell assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing showed increased chromatin accessibility at genes associated with myeloid differentiation, including CD11b, CD11c, and IRF8. Mechanistically, Acly deficiency altered chromatin accessibility and expression of multiple C/EBP family transcription factors known to regulate myeloid differentiation and cell metabolism, with increased Cebpe and decreased Cebpa and Cebpb. This effect of Acly deficiency was accompanied by altered mitochondrial metabolism with decreased mitochondrial polarization but increased mitochondrial content and production of reactive oxygen species. The bias to myeloid differentiation appeared due to insufficient generation of acetyl-CoA, as exogenous acetate to support alternate compensatory pathways to produce acetyl-CoA reversed this phenotype. Acly inhibition thus can promote myelopoiesis through deprivation of acetyl-CoA and altered histone acetylome to regulate C/EBP transcription factor family activity for myeloid differentiation.
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