Phospho-proteomic discovery of novel signal transducers including thioredoxin-interacting protein as mediators of erythropoietin-dependent human erythropoiesis.

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Center for Molecular Medicine, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

Experimental hematology

MeSH Headings

Erythropoiesis, Erythropoietin, Humans, Phosphoproteins, Proteomics


Erythroid cell formation critically depends on signals transduced via erythropoietin (EPO)/EPO receptor (EPOR)/JAK2 complexes. This includes not only core response modules (e.g., JAK2/STAT5, RAS/MEK/ERK), but also specialized effectors (e.g., erythroferrone, ASCT2 glutamine transport, Spi2A). By using phospho-proteomics and a human erythroblastic cell model, we identify 121 new EPO target proteins, together with their EPO-modulated domains and phosphosites. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment for "Molecular Function" identified adaptor proteins as one top EPO target category. This includes a novel EPOR/JAK2-coupled network of actin assemblage modifiers, with adaptors DLG-1, DLG-3, WAS, WASL, and CD2AP as prime components. "Cellular Component" GO analysis further identified 19 new EPO-modulated cytoskeletal targets including the erythroid cytoskeletal targets spectrin A, spectrin B, adducin 2, and glycophorin C. In each, EPO-induced phosphorylation occurred at pY sites and subdomains, which suggests coordinated regulation by EPO of the erythroid cytoskeleton. GO analysis of "Biological Processes" further revealed metabolic regulators as a likewise unexpected EPO target set. Targets included aldolase A, pyruvate dehydrogenase α1, and thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), with EPO-modulated p-Y sites in each occurring within functional subdomains. In TXNIP, EPO-induced phosphorylation occurred at novel p-T349 and p-S358 sites, and was paralleled by rapid increases in TXNIP levels. In UT7epo-E and primary human stem cell (HSC)-derived erythroid progenitor cells, lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA knockdown studies revealed novel pro-erythropoietic roles for TXNIP. Specifically, TXNIP's knockdown sharply inhibited c-KIT expression; compromised EPO dose-dependent erythroblast proliferation and survival; and delayed late-stage erythroblast formation. Overall, new insight is provided into EPO's diverse action mechanisms and TXNIP's contributions to EPO-dependent human erythropoiesis.



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