Ncor2 is required for hematopoietic stem cell emergence by inhibiting Fos signaling in zebrafish.

PMID 25006126


Nuclear receptor corepressors (Ncors) are important for developmental and homeostatic processes in vertebrates, which exert transcriptional repression by coordinating with histone deacetylases. However, little is known about their roles in definitive hematopoiesis. In this study, we show that in zebrafish, ncor2 is required for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) development by repressing fos-vegfd signaling. ncor2 is specifically expressed in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region in zebrafish embryos. ncor2 deficiency reduced the population of HSCs in both the AGM region and T cells in the thymus. Mechanistically, ncor2 knockdown upregulated fos transcription by modulating the acetylation level in the fos promoter region, which then enhanced Vegfd signaling. Consequently, the augmented Vegfd signaling induced Notch signaling to promote the arterial endothelial fate, therefore, possibly repressing the hemogenic endothelial specification, which is a prerequisite for HSC emergence. Thus, our findings identify a novel regulatory mechanism for Ncor2 through Fos-Vegfd-Notch signaling cascade during HSC development in zebrafish embryos.