Prdm16 is a critical regulator of adult long-term hematopoietic stem cell quiescence

Kristbjorn O. Gudmundsson, Nhu Nguyen, Kevin Oakley, Yufen Han, Bjorg Gudmundsdottir, Pentao Liu, Lino Tessarollo, Nancy A. Jenkins, Neal G. Copeland, Yang Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Regulation of quiescence is critical for the maintenance of adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Disruption of transcription factor gene Prdm16 during mouse embryonic development has been shown to cause a severe loss of fetal liver HSCs; however, the underlying mechanisms and the function of Prdm16 in adult HSCs remain unclear. To investigate the role of Prdm16 in adult HSCs, we generated a novel conditional knockout mouse model and deleted Prdm16 in adult mouse hematopoietic system using the IFN-inducible Mx1-Cre. Our results show that Prdm16 deletion in the adult mouse hematopoietic system has a less severe effect on HSCs, causing a gradual decline of adult HSC numbers and a concomitant increase in the multipotent progenitor (MPP) compartment. Prdm16 deletion in the hematopoietic system following transplantation produced the same phenotype, indicating that the defect is intrinsic to adult HSCs. This HSC loss was also exacerbated by stress induced by 5-fluorouracil injections. Annexin V staining showed no difference in apoptosis between wild-type and knockout adult HSCs. In contrast, Bromodeoxyuridine analysis revealed that loss of Prdm16 significantly increased cycling of long-term HSCs (LT-HSCs) with the majority of the cells found in the S to G2/M phase. Consistently, RNA sequencing analysis of mouse LT-HSCs with and without Prdm16 deletion showed that Prdm16 loss induced a significant decrease in the expression of several known cell cycle regulators of HSCs, among which Cdkn1a and Egr1 were identified as direct targets of Prdm16. Our results suggest that Prdm16 preserves the function of adult LT-HSCs by promoting their quiescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31945-31953
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020


  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Prdm16
  • Quiescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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