Constitutive Expression of Inducible Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate Early Repressor (ICER) in Cycling Quiescent Hematopoietic Cells: Implications for Aging Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Steven J. Greco, Ghassan Yehia, Julius A. Potian, Carlos A. Molina, Pranela Rameshwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite extensive insights on the interaction between hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and the supporting bone marrow (BM) stroma in hematopoietic homeostasis there remains unanswered questions on HSC regulation. We report on the mechanism by which HSCs attain cycling quiescence by addressing a role for inducible cyclic AMP early repressor (ICER). ICER negatively transcriptional regulators of cAMP activators such as CREM and CREB. These activators can be induced by hematopoietic stimulators such as cytokines. We isolated subsets of hematopoietic cells from ten healthy donors: CD34+CD38/c-kit+ (primitive progenitor), CD34+CD38+/c-kitlow (mature progenitor) and CD34CD38+/−/c-kitlow/− (differentiated lineage-). The relative maturity of the progenitors were verified in long-term culture initiating assay. Immunoprecipitation indicated the highest level of ICER in the nuclear extracts of CD34+/CD38 cells. Phospho (p)-CREM was also present suggesting a balance between ICER and p-CREM in HSC. ICER seems to be responsible for decrease in G1 transition, based on reduced Cdk4 protein, decreased proliferation and functional studies with propidium iodide. There were no marked changes in the cycling inhibitors, p15 and p-Rb, suggesting that ICER may act independently of other cycling inhibitors. The major effects of ICER were validated with BM mononuclear cells (BMNCs) in which ICER was ectopically expressed, and with BMNCs resistant to 5-fluorouracil- or cyclophosphamide. In total, this study ascribes a novel role for ICER in G1 checkpoint regulation in HSCs. These findings are relevant to gene therapy that require engineering of HSCs, age-related disorders that are associated with hematopoietic dysfunction and other hematological disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-126
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cell Reviews and Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017



  • Bone marrow
  • Cell cycle
  • Cytokines
  • Hematopoietic stem cell
  • Inducible cAMP early repressor
  • Transcription factors

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