This is an application for an extension of MERIT award R37HL056182, beyond the original 5 year funding period. Here we present a progress report regarding the first four years of the project. The overall goal of this project is to understand how the BMP signaling pathway regulates hematopoiesis. We made significant progress toward this goal, resulting so far in 15 peer-reviewed original research articles. The original Aims of the proposal were to 1) Define the spatio-temporal requirements of Smad signaling for hemato-vascular development; 2) Delineate the specificity of Smadi and Smad5 for hematopoiesis; and 3) Determine the molecular mechanisms by which Smad function regulates hematopoiesis. We request funding for an additional 5 years of support, to continue this project pursuing these same Aims. Our studies have revealed considerable complexity in the specificity of BMP signaling, and indicate that much more remains to be discovered regarding downstream components, interacting pathways, and molecular mechanisms. There has been substantial technology development that allows new experimental strategies, primarily based on chemical biology, deep-sequencing, and proteomics. Therefore, our objectives remain the same, while experimental strategies have evolved. Specifically, we propose to 1) Use our zebrafish transgenic models and known or newly discovered small molecule compounds to modulate BMP signaling, and define stage-specific functions. Network analysis of altered pathway components will be used to identify new components that will be tested for function in the pathway, and for hematopoiesis; 2) Use our novel murine ESC models to develop a comprehensive description, at the whole genome level, of alterations in transcript profiles and epigenetic patterns controlled by Smadi at either an early stage (expanding progenitors) or a later stage (restricting progenitors). Key targets will be defined by network analysis and tested for function by forced expression or knockdown; and 3) Generate a comprehensive description for gene regulation mediated by BMP signaling that functions at the post-transcriptional level. This has the potential to identify entirely novel regulatory mechanisms.

Public Health Relevance

We propose to understand the function of a key signaling pathway that impacts hematopoiesis. Our results will be significant, because they will inform us of molecular mechanisms that expand or restrict hematopoietic progenitor cells, which would be useful for devising strategies targeting proliferative disorders, including anemia or leukemia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
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Qasba, Pankaj
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Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
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Feng, Lingling; Cook, Brandoch; Tsai, Su-Yi et al. (2016) Discovery of a Small-Molecule BMP Sensitizer for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation. Cell Rep 15:2063-75
Sundaravel, Sriram; Duggan, Ryan; Bhagat, Tushar et al. (2015) Reduced DOCK4 expression leads to erythroid dysplasia in myelodysplastic syndromes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:E6359-68
Gordillo, Miriam; Evans, Todd; Gouon-Evans, Valerie (2015) Orchestrating liver development. Development 142:2094-108
Mendelson, Karen; Lan, Yahui; Hla, Timothy et al. (2015) Maternal or zygotic sphingosine kinase is required to regulate zebrafish cardiogenesis. Dev Dyn 244:948-54
Li, Cheng; Lan, Yahui; Schwartz-Orbach, Lianna et al. (2015) Overlapping Requirements for Tet2 and Tet3 in Normal Development and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Emergence. Cell Rep 12:1133-43
Li, Xi; Lu, Yi-Chien; Dai, Kezhi et al. (2014) Elavl1a regulates zebrafish erythropoiesis via posttranscriptional control of gata1. Blood 123:1384-92
Das, Bhaskar C; Thapa, Pritam; Karki, Radha et al. (2014) Retinoic acid signaling pathways in development and diseases. Bioorg Med Chem 22:673-83
Cook, Brandoch D; Evans, Todd (2014) BMP signaling balances murine myeloid potential through SMAD-independent p38MAPK and NOTCH pathways. Blood 124:393-402
Chang, Sung-Hee; Lu, Yi-Chien; Li, Xi et al. (2013) Antagonistic function of the RNA-binding protein HuR and miR-200b in post-transcriptional regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-A expression and angiogenesis. J Biol Chem 288:4908-21
Mendelson, Karen; Zygmunt, Tomasz; Torres-Vázquez, Jesús et al. (2013) Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor signaling regulates proper embryonic vascular patterning. J Biol Chem 288:2143-56

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