Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2023 Aug 30;104:102796. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2023.102796. Online ahead of print
Thrombopoiesis is the production of platelets from megakaryocytes in the bone marrow of mammals. In fish, thrombopoiesis involves the formation of thrombocytes without megakaryocyte-like precursors but derived from erythrocyte thrombocyte bi-functional precursor cells. One unique feature of thrombocyte differentiation involves the maturation of young thrombocytes in circulation. In this study, we investigated the role of hox genes in zebrafish thrombopoiesis to model platelet production. We selected hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, hoxd3a, and hoxc11b from thrombocyte RNA expression data, and checked whether they are expressed in young or mature thrombocytes. We found hoxa10b, hoxb2a, hoxc5a, and hoxd3a were expressed in both young and mature thrombocytes and hoxc11b was expressed in only young thrombocytes. We then performed knockdowns of these 5 hox genes and found hoxc11b knockdown resulted in thrombocytosis and the rest showed thrombocytopenia. To identify hox genes that could have been missed by the above datasets, we performed knockdowns 47 hox genes in the zebrafish genome and found hoxa9a, and hoxb1a knockdowns resulted in thrombocytopenia and they were expressed in both young and mature thrombocytes. In conclusion, our comprehensive knockdown study identified Hoxa10b, Hoxb2a, Hoxc5a, Hoxd3a, Hoxa9a, and Hoxb1a, as positive regulators and Hoxc11b, as a negative regulator for thrombocyte development.
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