Publication — IRIC
SCL/TAL1 in Hematopoiesis and Cellular Reprogramming.
SCL, a transcription factor of the basic helix-loop-helix family, is a master regulator of hematopoiesis. Scl specifies lateral plate mesoderm to a hematopoietic fate and establishes boundaries by inhibiting the cardiac lineage. A combinatorial interaction between Scl and Vegfa/Flk1 sets in motion the first wave of primitive hematopoiesis. Subsequently, definitive hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) emerge from the embryo proper via an endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition controlled by Runx1, acting with Scl and Gata2. Past this stage, Scl in steady state HSCs is redundant with Lyl1, a highly homologous factor. However, Scl is haploinsufficient in stress response, when a rare subpopulation of HSCs with very long term repopulating capacity is called into action. SCL activates transcription by recruiting a core complex on DNA that necessarily includes E2A/HEB, GATA1-3, LIM-only proteins LMO1/2, LDB1, and an extended complex comprising ETO2, RUNX1, ERG, or FLI1. These interactions confer multifunctionality to a complex that can control cell proliferation in erythroid progenitors or commitment to terminal differentiation through variations in single component. Ectopic SCL and LMO1/2 expression in immature thymocytes activates of a stem cell gene network and reprogram cells with a finite lifespan into self-renewing preleukemic stem cells (pre-LSCs), an initiating event in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias. Interestingly, fate conversion of fibroblasts to hematoendothelial cells requires not only Scl and Lmo2 but also Gata2, Runx1, and Erg, indicating a necessary collaboration between these transcription factors for hematopoietic reprogramming. Nonetheless, full reprogramming into self-renewing multipotent HSCs may require additional factors and most likely, a permissive microenvironment.