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1.  G-CSFR Ubiquitination Critically Regulates Myeloid Cell Survival and Proliferation 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(10):e3422.
The granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) is a critical regulator of granulopoiesis. Mutations in the G-CSFR in patients with severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) transforming to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) have been shown to induce hypersensitivity and enhanced growth responses to G-CSF. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of the ubiquitin/proteasome system in the initiation of negative signaling by the G-CSFR. To further investigate the role of ubiquitination in regulating G-CSFR signaling, we generated a mutant form of the G-CSFR (K762R/G-CSFR) which abrogates the attachment of ubiquitin to the lysine residue at position 762 of the G-CSFR that is deleted in the Δ716 G-CSFR form isolated from patients with SCN/AML. In response to G-CSF, mono-/polyubiquitination of the G-CSFR was impaired in cells expressing the mutant K762R/G-CSFR compared to cells transfected with the WT G-CSFR. Cells stably transfected with the K762R/G-CSFR displayed a higher proliferation rate, increased sensitivity to G-CSF, and enhanced survival following cytokine depletion, similar to previously published data with the Δ716 G-CSFR mutant. Activation of the signaling molecules Stat5 and Akt were also increased in K762R/G-CSFR transfected cells in response to G-CSF, and their activation remained prolonged after G-CSF withdrawal. These results indicate that ubiquitination is required for regulation of G-CSFR-mediated proliferation and cell survival. Mutations that disrupt G-CSFR ubiquitination at lysine 762 induce aberrant receptor signaling and hyperproliferative responses to G-CSF, which may contribute to leukemic transformation.
PMCID: PMC2561048  PMID: 18923646
2.  Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor expression on human transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(10):1489-1496.
Receptors for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSFRs) have been confirmed on the cell surfaces of several non-haematopoietic cell types, including bladder cancer cells. This observation has naturally led to the hypothesis that the expression of G-CSFR on these cells may enhance their growth by G-CSF. In this study, the expression of G-CSFR was determined in both established human bladder cancer cell lines and primary bladder cancers. We studied five different human bladder cancer cell lines (KU-1, KU-7, T-24, NBT-2 and KK) and 26 newly diagnosed bladder tumours. G-CSFR mRNA expressions on cultured cell lines were determined using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method. Furthermore, the G-CSFR binding experiments on the cultured cell lines were conducted using the Na(125)I-labelled G-CSF ligand-binding assay method. Moreover, the G-CSFR mRNA expressions on primary bladder tumour specimens were assessed using the in situ RT-PCR method. Three out of the five cultured cell lines (KU-1, NBT-2 and KK) exhibited G-CSFR mRNA signals when the RT-PCR method was used. The G-CSFR binding experiments showed an equilibrium dissociation constant (K[d]) of 490 pM for KU-1, 340 pM for NBT-2 and 103 pM for KK cells. With in situ RT-PCR, the tumour cells of 6 out of 26 primary bladder tumour specimens (23.1%) presented positive G-CSFR mRNA signals. Thus, in this study, G-CSFR expression was frequently observed on bladder cancer cells. Therefore, the clinical use of G-CSF for patients with bladder cancer should be selected with great care.
PMCID: PMC2223497  PMID: 9166942
3.  G-CSF does not influence C2C12 myogenesis despite receptor expression in healthy and dystrophic skeletal muscle 
Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) increases recovery of rodent skeletal muscles after injury, and increases muscle function in rodent models of neuromuscular disease. However, the mechanisms by which G-CSF mediates these effects are poorly understood. G-CSF acts by binding to the membrane spanning G-CSFR and activating multiple intracellular signaling pathways. Expression of the G-CSFR within the haematopoietic system is well known, but more recently it has been demonstrated to be expressed in other tissues. However, comprehensive characterization of G-CSFR expression in healthy and diseased skeletal muscle, imperative before implementing G-CSF as a therapeutic agent for skeletal muscle conditions, has been lacking. Here we show that the G-CSFR is expressed in proliferating C2C12 myoblasts, differentiated C2C12 myotubes, human primary skeletal muscle cell cultures and in mouse and human skeletal muscle. In mdx mice, a model of human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), G-CSF mRNA and protein was down-regulated in limb and diaphragm muscle, but circulating G-CSF ligand levels were elevated. G-CSFR mRNA in the muscles of mdx mice was up-regulated however steady-state levels of the protein were down-regulated. We show that G-CSF does not influence C2C12 myoblast proliferation, differentiation or phosphorylation of Akt, STAT3, and Erk1/2. Media change alone was sufficient to elicit increases in Akt, STAT3, and Erk1/2 phosphorylation in C2C12 muscle cells and suggest previous observations showing a G-CSF increase in phosphoprotein signaling be viewed with caution. These results suggest that the actions of G-CSF may require the interaction with other cytokines and growth factors in vivo, however these data provides preliminary evidence supporting the investigation of G-CSF for the management of muscular dystrophy.
PMCID: PMC4013466  PMID: 24822049
G-CSF; cytokine receptor; skeletal muscle; duchenne muscular dystrophy; mdx; C2C12; proliferation; differentiation
4.  Enforced Granulocyte/Macrophage Colony-stimulating Factor Signals Do Not Support Lymphopoiesis, but Instruct Lymphoid to Myelomonocytic Lineage Conversion 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2003;197(10):1311-1322.
We evaluated the effects of ectopic granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) signals on hematopoietic commitment and differentiation. Lineage-restricted progenitors purified from mice with the ubiquitous transgenic human GM-CSF receptor (hGM-CSFR) were used for the analysis. In cultures with hGM-CSF alone, hGM-CSFR–expressing (hGM-CSFR+) granulocyte/monocyte progenitors (GMPs) and megakaryocyte/erythrocyte progenitors (MEPs) exclusively gave rise to granulocyte/monocyte (GM) and megakaryocyte/erythroid (MegE) colonies, respectively, providing formal proof that GM-CSF signals support the GM and MegE lineage differentiation without affecting the physiological myeloid fate. hGM-CSFR transgenic mice were crossed with mice deficient in interleukin (IL)-7, an essential cytokine for T and B cell development. Administration of hGM-CSF in these mice could not restore T or B lymphopoiesis, indicating that enforced GM-CSF signals cannot substitute for IL-7 to promote lymphopoiesis. Strikingly, >50% hGM-CSFR+ common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs) and >20% hGM-CSFR+ pro-T cells gave rise to granulocyte, monocyte, and/or myeloid dendritic cells, but not MegE lineage cells in the presence of hGM-CSF. Injection of hGM-CSF into mice transplanted with hGM-CSFR+ CLPs blocked their lymphoid differentiation, but induced development of GM cells in vivo. Thus, hGM-CSF transduces permissive signals for myeloerythroid differentiation, whereas it transmits potent instructive signals for the GM differentiation to CLPs and early T cell progenitors. These data suggest that a majority of CLPs and a fraction of pro-T cells possess plasticity for myelomonocytic differentiation that can be activated by ectopic GM-CSF signals, supporting the hypothesis that the down-regulation of GM-CSFR is a critical event in producing cells with a lymphoid-restricted lineage potential.
PMCID: PMC2193786  PMID: 12756267
commitment; lineage conversion; cytokine; plasticity
5.  Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor signalling via Janus kinase 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in ovarian cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;110(1):133-145.
Ovarian cancer remains a major cause of cancer mortality in women, with only limited understanding of disease aetiology at the molecular level. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a key regulator of both normal and emergency haematopoiesis, and is used clinically to aid haematopoietic recovery following ablative therapies for a variety of solid tumours including ovarian cancer.
The expression of G-CSF and its receptor, G-CSFR, was examined in primary ovarian cancer samples and a panel of ovarian cancer cell lines, and the effects of G-CSF treatment on proliferation, migration and survival were determined.
G-CSFR was predominantly expressed in high-grade serous ovarian epithelial tumour samples and a subset of ovarian cancer cell lines. Stimulation of G-CSFR-expressing ovarian epithelial cancer cells with G-CSF led to increased migration and survival, including against chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. The effects of G-CSF were mediated by signalling via the downstream JAK2/STAT3 pathway.
This study suggests that G-CSF has the potential to impact on ovarian cancer pathogenesis, and that G-CSFR expression status should be considered in determining appropriate therapy.
PMCID: PMC3887286  PMID: 24220695
ovarian cancer; cytokine; cytokine receptor; JAK/STAT; G-CSF; G-CSFR; STAT3
6.  Loss of GM-CSF signalling in non-haematopoietic cells increases NSAID ileal injury 
Gut  2010;59(8):1066-1078.
Administration of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) relieves symptoms in Crohn's disease (CD). It has been reported that reduced GM-CSF bioactivity is associated with more aggressive ileal behaviour and that GM-CSF-null mice exhibit ileal barrier dysfunction and develop a transmural ileitis following exposure to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). STAT5 signalling is central to GM-CSF action. It was therefore hypothesised that GM-CSF signalling in non-haematopoietic cells is required for ileal homeostasis.
Bone marrow (BM) chimeras were generated by reconstituting irradiated GM-CSF receptor (gm-csfr) β chain or GM-CSF (gm-csf) deficient mice with wild type BM (WTBM→GMRKO and WTBM→GMKO). Intestinal barrier function and the response to NSAID-induced ileal injury were examined. Expression of gm-csf, gm-csfr or stat5 in Caco-2 and HT-29 intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lines was knocked down and the effect of GM-CSF signalling on IEC survival and proliferation was determined.
Elevated levels of GM-CSF autoantibodies in ileal CD were found to be associated with dysregulation of IEC survival and proliferation. GM-CSF receptor-deficient mice and WTBM→GMRKO chimeras exhibited ileal hyperpermeability. NSAID exposure induced a transmural ileitis in GM-CSF receptor-deficient mice and WTBM→GMRKO chimeras. Transplantation of wild type BM into GM-CSF-deficient mice prevented NSAID ileal injury and restored ileal barrier function. Ileal crypt IEC proliferation was reduced in WTBM→GMRKO chimeras, while STAT5 activation in ileal IEC following NSAID exposure was abrogated in WTBM→GMRKO chimeras. Following knock down of gm-csf, gm-csfr α or β chain or stat5a/b expression in Caco-2 cells, basal proliferation was suppressed. GM-CSF normalised proliferation of Caco-2 cells exposed to NSAID, which was blocked by stat5a/b RNA interference.
Loss of GM-CSF signalling in non-haematopoietic cells increases NSAID ileal injury; furthermore, GM-CSF signalling in non-haematopoietic cells regulates ileal epithelial homeostasis via the STAT5 pathway. The therapeutic use of GM-CSF may therefore be beneficial in chronic ileitis associated with CD.
PMCID: PMC4296557  PMID: 20584783
7.  Expression of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor in rectal cancer 
AIM: To evaluate whether granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) expression before preoperative irradiation can predict the radiosensitivity of rectal cancer.
METHODS: The expression of G-CSFR was examined, using immunohistochemistry, in biopsy specimens from 126 patients with locally advanced rectal adenocarcinoma before preoperative irradiation. Radiosensitivity was then evaluated according to the Rectal Cancer Regression Grading. Endoscopic inspection was used to detect the tumor area in each patient. General patient information, such as age, gender, lymph node status, tumor size and degree of differentiation was recorded. A statistical analysis was then performed to evaluate the correlation between clinical or pathological parameters and G-CSFR expression in tumors.
RESULTS: According to endoscopic inspection, the tumor area ranged from 4 to 48 cm2 (median, 15 cm2). Positive G-CSFR immunoreactions (G-CSFR+) were observed in 85 specimens, and negative (G-CSFR-) in 41. No significant differences were found in age, gender, tumor invasion, lymph node status and tumor size between G-CSFR+ and G-CSFR- patients. G-CSFR expression was positively correlated with poor radiotherapy response (58.8% vs 75.6%, P = 0.014, r = 0.219). The proportion of well-differentiated tumors in G-CSFR+ and G-CSFR- patients was 24.7% and 36.6%, respectively. Sphincter preservation was observed in 57.6% of G-CSFR+ patients and 78.5% of G-CSFR- patients. Significant correlations were found between G-CSFR expression and tumor differentiation (24.7% vs 36.6%, P = 0.019, r = 0.210), as well as sphincter preservation (57.6% vs 78.5%, P = 0.044, r = 0.180).
CONCLUSION: The expression of G-CSFR before preoperative irradiation may predict the radiosensitivity of rectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3921532  PMID: 24574781
Radiotherapy; Rectal cancer; Radiosensitivity; Predictive factor; Tumor
8.  Expression of granulocyte colony stimulating factor receptor in human colorectal cancer 
Yang, X | Liu, F | Xu, Z | Chen, C | Wu, X | Li, G | Li, J
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2005;81(955):333-337.
Aims: To discover if human colorectal cancer expresses granulocyte colony stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) and if granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) plays an important part in the development and progression of human colorectal cancer.
Methods: Forty two specimens of colorectal cancer and normal colorectal mucosa were investigated, taken from the colon or rectum in group of colorectal cancer patients. Immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique were used to show G-CSFR expression. The relation between expression of G-CSFR and clinical or pathological factors was analysed.
Results: Immucohistochemical analyses showed that G-CSFR was expressed in the human colorectal cancer (25 of 42, 59.52%) and seemed to be up-regulated compared with the normal mucosa (14 of 42, 33.33%, p<0.001). In pronounced contrast with mostly strongly positive tumours, corresponding normal colorectal mucosa was negative or weakly positive. A significant correlation was found between G-CSFR expression and tumour stage (p = 0.001), tumour differentiation (p<0.001), but there was no significant relation between the expression of G-CSFR and the age, sex, and tumour size (p = 0.346, p = 0.686, p = 0.459). In RT-PCR, 21 of all 42 tumours had G-CSFR mRNA expression, while only 11 of 42 normal colorectal mucosa had such expression.
Conclusions: These data show that G-CSFR is commonly expressed in human colorectal cancers, thus supporting a possible role for G-CSF in colorectal cancer physiology.
PMCID: PMC1743273  PMID: 15879049
9.  Reconstituted human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor transduces growth-promoting signals in mouse NIH 3T3 cells: comparison with signalling in BA/F3 pro-B cells. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1993;13(3):1440-1448.
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) plays a critical role in growth and differentiation of myeloid cells. We previously reconstituted high-affinity human GM-CSF receptor (hGM-CSFR) in a pro-B cell line, BA/F3, by cotransfecting alpha- and beta-chain cDNA clones and showed that the reconstituted receptor could transduce growth-promoting signals. The high-affinity hGM-CSFR was also reconstituted in mouse NIH 3T3 cells, but its ability to transduce signals in fibroblasts remained undetermined. In the present study, we further characterized signal transduction by the reconstituted hGM-CSFR in both NIH 3T3 cells and BA/F3 cells. We found that the reconstituted hGM-CSFR transduces signals in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts and BA/F3 cells in response to hGM-CSF to activate transcription of the c-fos, c-jun, and c-myc proto-oncogenes. hGM-CSF also induces protein tyrosine phosphorylation and DNA synthesis in both cell types. These results indicated that hGM-CSFR is functional in fibroblasts, that signal transduction via hGM-CSFR in fibroblasts involves tyrosine kinase(s), and that association of hGM-CSFR with a factor(s) specific to hematopoietic cell lineage is not essential to transduce growth-promoting signals.
PMCID: PMC359454  PMID: 8441389
10.  Regulation of the differentiation of WEHI-3B D+ leukemia cells by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1993;120(6):1481-1489.
To investigate the role of the G-CSF receptor (G-CSFR) in mediating the action of G-CSF, WEHI-3B D+ murine myelomonocytic leukemia cells were transfected with a plasmid containing the murine G-CSFR gene. Overexpression of G-CSFR in transfected clones was demonstrated by northern blotting, binding of [125I]rhG-CSF and cross-linking experiments. A high level of expression of the G-CSFR did not promote or suppress cellular proliferation or initiate differentiation; however, exposure of transfected cells to G-CSF in suspension culture caused a large percentage of the population to enter a differentiation pathway, as determined by two markers of the mature state, the ability of cells to reduce nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) and to express the differentiation antigen Mac-1 (CD11b) on the cell surface. Thus, upon treatment with 10 ng/ml of G-CSF, 60% or more of transfected cells exhibited NBT positivity; whereas, in contrast, nontransfected cells exhibited only 6% NBT positivity in response to G-CSF. An eightfold increase in Mac-1 expression over that of the parental line was also observed in transfected cells exposed to G-CSF. The growth rate of the transfected clones was decreased by exposure to G-CSF, presumably due to terminal differentiation. The findings suggest that the predominant function of G-CSF and its receptor in WEHI-3B D+ cells is to mediate differentiation and that the level of the G-CSFR portion of the signal transduction mechanism in this malignant cell line is important for a response to the maturation inducing function of the cytokine.
PMCID: PMC2119760  PMID: 7680656
11.  Functional Relationship between Tumor-Associated Macrophages and Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor as Contributors to Cancer Progression 
The current review article describes the functional relationship between tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) as key cellular contributors to cancer malignancy on the one hand and macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF or CSF-1) as an important molecular contributor on the other. We recapitulate the available data on expression of M-CSF and the M-CSF receptor (M-CSFR) in human tumor tissue as constituents of a stromal macrophage signature and on the limits of the predictive and prognostic value of plasma M-CSF levels. After providing an update on current insights into the nature of TAM heterogeneity at the level of M1/M2 phenotype and TAM subsets, we give an overview of experimental evidence, based on genetic, antibody-mediated, and pharmacological disruption of M-CSF/M-CSFR signaling, for the extent to which M-CSFR signaling can not only determine the TAM quantity, but can also contribute to shaping the phenotype and heterogeneity of TAM and other related tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells (TIM). Finally, we review the accumulating information on the – sometimes conflicting – effects blocking M-CSFR signaling may have on various aspects of cancer progression such as tumor growth, invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis, and resistance to therapy and we thereby discuss in how far these different effects actually reflect a contribution of TAM.
PMCID: PMC4188035  PMID: 25339957
M-CSF; CSF-1; M-CSFR; CSF-1R; tumor-associated macrophages; M1; M2; cancer progression
12.  Neutrophil elastase downmodulates native G-CSFR expression and granulocyte-macrophage colony formation 
The granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) plays a critical role in maintaining homeostatic levels of circulating neutrophils (PMN). The mechanisms modulating G-CSFR surface expression to prevent chronic neutrophilia are poorly understood. Here, we report that neutrophil elastase (NE) proteolytically cleaves the G-CSFR on human PMN and blocks G-CSFR-mediated granulopoiesis in vitro.
Human peripheral blood PMN isolated from healthy donors were incubated with NE. Expression of the G-CSFR was analyzed by flow cytometry and western blot analyses. Detection of G-CSFR cleavage products from the culture supernatants was also performed. Human bone marrow mononuclear cells were also cultured in the presence or absence of NE to determine its effects on the proliferation of granulocyte-macrophage colony forming units (CFU-GM).
Treatment of PMN with NE induced a time-dependent decrease in G-CSFR expression that correlated with its degradation and the appearance of proteolytic cleavage fragments in conditioned media. Immunoblot analysis confirmed the G-CSFR was cleaved at its amino-terminus. Treatment of progenitor cells with NE prior to culture inhibited the growth of granulocyte-macrophage colony forming units.
These findings indicate that in addition to transcriptional controls and ligand-induced internalization, direct proteolytic cleavage of the G-CSFR by NE also downregulates G-CSFR expression and inhibits G-CSFR-mediated granulopoiesis in vitro. Our results suggest that NE negatively regulates granulopoiesis through a novel negative feedback loop.
PMCID: PMC2824667  PMID: 20205821
13.  Cytokine signals through STAT3 promote expression of granulocyte secondary granule proteins in 32D cells 
Experimental hematology  2005;33(3):308-317.
In a previous study, we showed that activation of a transfected human erythropoietin receptor (EPOR) in the murine myeloid cell line 32D resulted in the development of morphologic features of granulocytic differentiation and expression of the neutrophil primary granule protein myeloperoxidase. We now studied if EPOR signaling could also mediate secondary granule protein gene expression and investigated the signal transduction requirements for induction of secondary granule gene expression in 32D cells.
Materials and Methods
Wild-type and variant 32D cells expressing normal or chimeric EPORs or receptors for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSFRs) were stimulated with EPO or G-CSF and the expression of granulocyte-specific genes was analyzed by Northern blot analysis. To determine the signaling mechanisms required for secondary granule protein gene induction, the activation of STAT pathways following growth factor stimulation was studied by Western blot analysis.
We found that EPO treatment of 32D cells engineered to express EPOR did not result in induction of the secondary granule protein genes encoding lactoferrin and 24p3 lipocalin, the mouse homolog of human N-Gal, or the myeloid transcription factor C/EBPε. Replacement of the intracellular domain of EPOR with the intracellular domain of G-CSFR in a chimeric receptor was associated with EPO-mediated induction of lactoferrin, 24p3 lipocalin, and C/EBPε genes. We found that STAT3 phosphorylation was mediated by the intracellular domain of G-CSFR, but not EPOR. Replacement of one or two of the STAT5 binding sites in the intracytoplasmic domain of the EPOR with STAT3 binding sites resulted in EPO-mediated STAT3 activation and a marked increase in the expression of the 24p3 lipocalin gene. Knockdown of STAT3 protein levels with siRNA caused significant decrease in 24p3 lipocalin gene induction.
These results indicate that EPOR signaling cannot substitute for G-CSFR signaling to stimulate secondary granule protein gene expression in 32D cells. In addition, STAT3 is a critical mediator of 24p3 lipocalin gene expression in these cells.
PMCID: PMC2388245  PMID: 15730854
14.  G-CSF influences mouse skeletal muscle development and regeneration by stimulating myoblast proliferation 
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and its receptor are needed for skeletal muscle development and injury-induced regeneration in mice.
After skeletal muscle injury, neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages infiltrate the damaged area; this is followed by rapid proliferation of myoblasts derived from muscle stem cells (also called satellite cells). Although it is known that inflammation triggers skeletal muscle regeneration, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. In this study, we show that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) receptor (G-CSFR) is expressed in developing somites. G-CSFR and G-CSF were expressed in myoblasts of mouse embryos during the midgestational stage but not in mature myocytes. Furthermore, G-CSFR was specifically but transiently expressed in regenerating myocytes present in injured adult mouse skeletal muscle. Neutralization of endogenous G-CSF with a blocking antibody impaired the regeneration process, whereas exogenous G-CSF supported muscle regeneration by promoting the proliferation of regenerating myoblasts. Furthermore, muscle regeneration was markedly impaired in G-CSFR–knockout mice. These findings indicate that G-CSF is crucial for skeletal myocyte development and regeneration and demonstrate the importance of inflammation-mediated induction of muscle regeneration.
PMCID: PMC3135344  PMID: 21422169
15.  Stoichiometric Structure-Function Analysis of the Prolactin Receptor Signaling Domain by Receptor Chimeras 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(2):896-905.
The intracellular domain of the prolactin (PRL) receptor (PRLr) is required for PRL-induced signaling and proliferation. To identify and test the functional stoichiometry of those PRLr motifs required for transduction and growth, chimeras consisting of the extracellular domain of either the α or β subunit of human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptor (GM-CSFr) and the intracellular domain of the rat PRLr were synthesized. Because the high-affinity binding of GM-CSF results from the specific pairing of one α- and one β-GM-CSFr, use of GM-CSFr/PRLr chimera enabled targeted dimerization of the PRLr intracellular domain. To that end, the extracellular domains of the α- and β-GM-CSFr were conjugated to one of the following mutations: (i) PRLr C-terminal truncations, termed α278, α294, α300, α322, or β322; (ii) PRLr tyrosine replacements, termed Y309F, Y382F, or Y309+382F; or, (iii) PRLr wild-type short, intermediate, or long isoforms. These chimeras were cotransfected into the cytokine-responsive Ba/F3 line, and their expression was confirmed by ligand binding and Northern and Western blot analyses. Data from these studies revealed that heterodimeric complexes of the wild type with C-terminal truncation mutants of the PRLr intracellular domain were incapable of ligand-induced signaling or proliferation. Replacement of any single tyrosine residue (Y309F or Y382F) in the dimerized PRLr complex resulted in a moderate reduction of receptor-associated Jak2 activation and proliferation. In contrast, trans replacement of these residues (i.e., αY309F and βY382F) markedly reduced ligand-driven Jak2 activation and proliferation, while cis replacement of both tyrosine residues in a single intracellular domain (i.e., αY309+382F) produced an inactive signaling complex. Analysis of these GM-CSFr–PRLr complexes revealed equivalent levels of Jak2 in association with the mutant receptor chains, suggesting that the tyrosine residues at 309 and 382 do not contribute to Jak association, but instead to its activation. Heterodimeric pairings of the intracellular domains from the known PRLr receptor isoforms (short-intermediate, short-long, and intermediate-long) also yielded inactive receptor complexes. These data demonstrate that the tyrosine residues at 309 and 382, as well as additional residues within the C terminus of the dimerized PRLr complex, contribute to PRL-driven signaling and proliferation. Furthermore, these findings indicate a functional requirement for the pairing of Y309 and Y382 in trans within the dimerized receptor complex.
PMCID: PMC108801  PMID: 9447986
16.  Alcohol Suppresses the Granulopoietic Response to Pulmonary S. Pneumoniae Infection with Enhancement of STAT3 Signaling1 
Enhanced granulopoietic activity is crucial for host defense against bacterial pneumonia. Alcohol impairs this response. The underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) produced by infected lung tissue plays a key role in stimulating bone marrow granulopoiesis. This study investigated the effects of alcohol on G-CSF signaling in the regulation of marrow myeloid progenitor cell proliferation in mice with Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia. Chronic alcohol consumption plus acute alcohol intoxication suppressed the increase in blood granulocyte counts following intrapulmonary challenge with S. pneumoniae. This suppression was associated with a significant decrease in bone marrow granulopoietic progenitor cell proliferation. Alcohol treatment significantly enhanced STAT3 phosphorylation in bone marrow cells of animals challenged with S. pneumoniae. In vitro experiments showed that G-CSF-induced activation of STAT3-p27Kip1 pathway in murine myeloid progenitor cell line 32D-G-CSFR cells was markedly enhanced by alcohol exposure. Alcohol dose-dependently inhibited G-CSF-stimulated 32D-G-CSFR cell proliferation. This impairment of myeloid progenitor cell proliferation was not attenuated by inhibition of alcohol metabolism through either the alcohol dehydrogenase pathway or the CYP450 system. These data suggest that alcohol enhances G-CSF-associated STAT3-p27Kip1 signaling, which impairs granulopoietic progenitor cell proliferation by inducing cell cycling arrest and facilitating their terminal differentiation during the granulopoietic response to pulmonary infection.
PMCID: PMC3319982  PMID: 21357267
rodent; bacterial; cell activation; hematopoiesis; signal transduction
Cytokine  2008;43(2):114-123.
The granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) is a critical regulator of granulopoiesis, but the mechanisms controlling its surface expression are poorly understood. Recent studies using transfected cell lines have suggested the activated G-CSFR is routed to the lysosome and not the proteasome. Here, we examined the role of the ubiquitin/proteasome system in regulating G-CSFR surface expression in both ts20 cells that have a temperature-sensitive E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme and in primary human neutrophils. We show that the G-CSFR is constitutively ubiquitinated, which increases following ligand binding. In the absence of a functional E1 enzyme, ligand-induced internalization of the receptor is inhibited. Pre-treatment of ts20 transfectants with either chloroquine or MG132 inhibited ligand-induced G-CSFR degradation, suggesting a role for both lysosomes and proteasomes in regulating G-CSFR surface expression in this cell line. In neutrophils, inhibition of the proteasome but not the lysosome was found to inhibit internalization/degradation of the activated G-CSFR. Collectively, these data demonstrate the requirement for a functional ubiquitin/proteasome system in G-CSFR internalization and degradation. Our results suggest a prominent role for the proteasome in physiologic modulation of the G-CSFR, and provide further evidence for the importance of the ubiquitin/proteasome system in the initiation of negative signaling by cytokine receptors.
PMCID: PMC2556513  PMID: 18554923
G-CSFR; ubiquitination; proteasome; internalization; neutrophil
18.  Expression of the G-CSF receptor in monocytic cells is sufficient to mediate hematopoietic progenitor mobilization by G-CSF in mice 
Expression of the G-CSF receptor on bone marrow monocytes is sufficient to trigger HSC mobilization in response to G-CSF, in part via effects on osteoblast lineage cells.
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), the prototypical mobilizing cytokine, induces hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) mobilization from the bone marrow in a cell-nonautonomous fashion. This process is mediated, in part, through suppression of osteoblasts and disruption of CXCR4/CXCL12 signaling. The cellular targets of G-CSF that initiate the mobilization cascade have not been identified. We use mixed G-CSF receptor (G-CSFR)–deficient bone marrow chimeras to show that G-CSF–induced mobilization of HSPCs correlates poorly with the number of wild-type neutrophils. We generated transgenic mice in which expression of the G-CSFR is restricted to cells of the monocytic lineage. G-CSF–induced HSPC mobilization, osteoblast suppression, and inhibition of CXCL12 expression in the bone marrow of these transgenic mice are intact, demonstrating that G-CSFR signals in monocytic cells are sufficient to induce HSPC mobilization. Moreover, G-CSF treatment of wild-type mice is associated with marked loss of monocytic cells in the bone marrow. Finally, we show that bone marrow macrophages produce factors that support the growth and/or survival of osteoblasts in vitro. Together, these data suggest a model in which G-CSFR signals in bone marrow monocytic cells inhibit the production of trophic factors required for osteoblast lineage cell maintenance, ultimately leading to HSPC mobilization.
PMCID: PMC3039862  PMID: 21282380
19.  Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor Related Pathways Tested on an Endometrial Ex-Vivo Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e102286.
Recombinant human Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor (rhG-CSF) supplementation seems to be a promising innovative therapy in reproductive medicine, used in case of recurrent miscarriage, embryo implantation failure or thin endometrium, although its mechanisms of action remain unknown. Our aim was to identify possible endometrial pathways influenced by rhG-CSF.
Materials and Methods
Hypothetical molecular interactions regulated by G-CSF were designed through a previous large scale endometrial microarray study. The variation of endometrial expression of selected target genes was confirmed in control and infertile patients. G-CSF supplementation influence on these targets was tested on an endometrial ex-vivo culture. Middle luteal phase endometrial biopsies were cultured on collagen sponge with or without rhG-CSF supplementation during 3 consecutive days. Variations of endometrial mRNA expression for the selected targets were studied by RT-PCR.
At the highest dose of rhG-CSF stimulation, the mRNA expression of these selected target genes was significantly increased if compared with their expression without addition of rhG-CSF. The selected targets were G-CSF Receptor (G-CSFR), Integrin alpha-V/beta-3 (ITGB3) implicated in cell migration and embryo implantation, Plasminogen Activator Urokinase Receptor (PLAUR) described as interacting with integrins and implicated in cell migration, Thymidine Phosphorylase (TYMP) implicated in local angiogenesis, CD40 and its ligand CD40L involved in cell proliferation control.
RhG-CSF seems able to influence endometrial expressions crucial for implantation process involving endometrial vascular remodelling, local immune modulation and cellular adhesion pathways. These variations observed in an ex-vivo model should be tested in-vivo. The strict indications or counter indication of rhG-CSF supplementation in reproductive field are not yet established, while the safety of its administration in early pregnancy on early embryogenesis still needs to be demonstrated. Nevertheless, rhG-CSF appears as a promising therapy in some difficult and unsolved cases of reproductive failure. Indications of pre-conceptual rhG-CSF supplementation may derive from a diagnosed lack of endometrial expression of some target genes.
PMCID: PMC4183482  PMID: 25275446
20.  Selection of lineage-restricted cell lines immortalized at different stages of hematopoietic differentiation from the murine cell line 32D 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1989;109(2):833-841.
Erythropoietin (Epo), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor- (G-CSF) dependent cell lines have been derived from the murine hematopoietic cell line 32D with a selection strategy involving the culture of the cells in FBS- deprived medium supplemented only with pure recombinant Epo, GM-CSF, or G-CSF. The cells retain the diploid karyotype of the original 32D clone, do not grow in the absence of exogenous growth factor, and do not induce tumors when injected into syngeneic recipients. The morphology of the Epo-dependent cell lines (32D Epo1, -2, and -3) was heterogeneous and evolved with passage. The percent of differentiated cells also was a function of the cell line investigated. Benzidine- positive cells ranged from 1-2% (32D Epo3) to 50-60% (32D Epo1). These erythroid cells expressed carbonic anhydrase I and/or globin mRNA but not carbonic anhydrase II. The GM-CSF- and G-CSF-dependent cell lines had predominantly the morphology of undifferentiated myeloblasts or metamyelocytes, respectively. The GM-CSF-dependent cell lines were sensitive to either GM-CSF or interleukin-3 (IL-3) but did not respond to G-CSF. The G-CSF-dependent cell lines grew to a limited extent in IL- 3 but did not respond to GM-CSF. These results indicate that the cell line 32D, originally described as predominantly a basophil/mast cell line, has retained the capacity to give rise to cells which proliferate and differentiate in response to Epo, GM-CSF, and/or G-CSF. These cells represent the first nontransformed cell lines which can be maintained in growth factors other than IL-3 and which differentiate in the presence of physiologic signals. As such, they may represent a model to study the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of hematopoietic differentiation, as well as sensitive targets for bioassays of specific growth factors.
PMCID: PMC2115740  PMID: 2668305
21.  Recombinant hybrid protein, Shiga toxin and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor effectively induce apoptosis of colon cancer cells 
AIM: To investigate the selective cytotoxic effect of constructed hybrid protein on cells expressing granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptor.
METHODS: HepG2 (human hepatoma) and LS174T (colon carcinoma) were used in this study. The fused gene was induced with 0.02 % of arabinose for 4 h and the expressed protein was detected by Western blotting. The chimeric protein expressed in E.coli was checked for its cytotoxic activity on these cells and apoptosis was measured by comet assay and nuclear staining.
RESULTS: The chimeric protein was found to be cytotoxic to the colon cancer cell line expressing GM-CSFRs, but not to HepG2 lacking these receptors. Maximum activity was observed at the concentration of 40 ng/mL after 24 h incubation. The IC50 was 20  ±  3.5 ng/mL.
CONCLUSION: Selective cytotoxic effect of the hybrid protein on the colon cancer cell line expressing GM-CSF receptors (GM-CSFRs) receptor and apoptosis can be observed in this cell line. The hybrid protein can be considered as a therapeutic agent.
PMCID: PMC4088067  PMID: 16688822
Shiga toxin; hGM-CSF; Apoptosis; Colon cancer; Cell lines
22.  Induced Expression and Association of the Mona/Gads Adapter and Gab3 Scaffolding Protein during Monocyte/Macrophage Differentiation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(11):3744-3756.
Mona/Gads is a Grb2-related, Src homology 3 (SH3) and SH2 domain-containing adapter protein whose expression is restricted to cells of hematopoietic lineage (i.e., monocytes and T lymphocytes). During monocyte/macrophage differentiation, Mona is induced and interacts with the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor, M-CSFR (also called Fms), suggesting that Mona could be involved in developmental signaling downstream of the M-CSFR by recruiting additional signaling proteins to the activated receptor. Our present results identify Mona as a specific partner protein for the DOS/Gab family member Gab3 in monocytic/macrophage development. Mona does not interact with Gab2; however, Gab3 also forms a complex with the Mona-related adapter Grb2. Glutathione S-transferase pull-down experiments demonstrate that the Mona and Gab3 interaction utilizes the carboxy-terminal SH3 domain of Mona and the atypical proline-rich domain of Gab3. Mona is known to interact with the phosphorylated Y697 site of the M-CSFR. The M-CSFR mutation Y697F exhibited qualitative and quantitative abnormalities in receptor and Gab3 tyrosine phosphorylation, and Mona induction was greatly reduced. The Y807F M-CSFR mutation is defective in differentiation signaling, but not growth signaling, and also fails to induce Mona protein expression. During M-CSF-stimulated macrophage differentiation of mouse bone marrow cells, Mona and Gab3 expression is coinduced, these proteins interact, and Mona engages in multimolecular complexes. These data suggest that association of Mona and Gab3 plays a specific role in mediating the M-CSFR differentiation signal.
PMCID: PMC133813  PMID: 11997510
23.  Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor Receptor Mutations in Myeloid Malignancy 
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is a cytokine able to stimulate both myelopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell mobilization, which has seen it used extensively in the clinic to aid hematopoietic recovery. It acts specifically via the homodimeric granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR), which is principally expressed on the surface of myeloid and hematopoietic progenitor cells. A number of pathogenic mutations have now been identified in CSF3R, the gene encoding G-CSFR. These fall into distinct classes, each of which is associated with a particular spectrum of myeloid disorders, including malignancy. This review details the various CSF3R mutations, their mechanisms of action, and contribution to disease, as well as discussing the clinical implications of such mutations.
PMCID: PMC4013473  PMID: 24822171
24.  Increased granulocyte colony-stimulating factor responsiveness but normal resting granulopoiesis in mice carrying a targeted granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor mutation derived from a patient with severe congenital neutropenia. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1998;102(3):483-492.
The role of mutations of the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) in the pathogenesis of severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) and the subsequent development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is controversial. Mice carrying a targeted mutation of their G-CSFR that reproduces the mutation found in a patient with SCN and AML have been generated. The mutant G-CSFR allele is expressed in a myeloid-specific fashion at levels comparable to the wild-type allele. Mice heterozygous or homozygous for this mutation have normal levels of circulating neutrophils and no evidence for a block in myeloid maturation, indicating that resting granulopoiesis is normal. However, in response to G-CSF treatment, these mice demonstrate a significantly greater fold increase in the level of circulating neutrophils. This effect appears to be due to increased neutrophil production as the absolute number of G-CSF-responsive progenitors in the bone marrow and their proliferation in response to G-CSF is increased. Furthermore, the in vitro survival and G-CSF-dependent suppression of apoptosis of mutant neutrophils are normal. Despite this evidence for a hyperproliferative response to G-CSF, no cases of AML have been detected to date. These data demonstrate that the G-CSFR mutation found in patients with SCN is not sufficient to induce an SCN phenotype or AML in mice.
PMCID: PMC508908  PMID: 9691084
25.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection Inhibits Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor-Induced Activation of STAT5A in Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(23):12630-12638.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infects cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. While infection of macrophages by HIV-1 is generally not cytopathic, it does impair macrophage function. In this study, we examined the effect of HIV-1 infection on intracellular signaling in human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) stimulated with the growth factor granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). GM-CSF is an important growth factor for cells of both the macrophage and granulocyte lineages and enhances effector functions of these cells via the heterodimeric GM-CSF receptor (GM-CSFR). A major pathway which mediates the effects of GM-CSF on macrophages involves activation of the latent transcription factor STAT5A via a Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)-dependent pathway. We demonstrate that GM-CSF-induced activation of STAT5A is inhibited in MDM after infection in vitro with the laboratory-adapted R5 strain of HIV-1, HIV-1Ba-L, but not after infection with adenovirus. HIV-1 infection of MDM did not decrease the STAT5A or JAK2 mRNA level or STAT5A protein level or result in increased constitutive activation of STAT5A. Surface expression of either the α-chain or common βc-chain of GM-CSFR was also unaffected. We conclude that HIV-1 inhibits GM-CSF activation of STAT5A without affecting expression of the known components of the signaling pathway. These data provide further evidence of disruption of cellular signaling pathways after HIV-1 infection, which may contribute to immune dysfunction and HIV-1 pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC262552  PMID: 14610185

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