Volker Blank has completed his Doctorate in Immunology at the Institut Pasteur/ University of Paris VI. He is now a Senior Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and an Associate Professor at McGill University. His research program focuses on hematopoiesis and cancer


Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) is involved in various cellular processes including redox control, metabolism, differentiation, growth and apoptosis. With respect to hematopoiesis, TXNIP has been shown to play roles in natural killer cells, dendritic cells and hematopoietic stem cells. Our study investigates the role of TXNIP in erythropoiesis. We observed a rapid and significant increase of TXNIP transcript and protein levels in mouse erythroleukemia (MEL) cells treated with DMSO or HMBA, inducers of erythroid differentiation. The upregulation of TXNIP was not abrogated by addition of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. The increase of TXNIP expression was confirmed in another model of erythroid differentiation, G1E-ER cells, which undergo differentiation upon activation of the GATA1 transcription factor. In addition, we showed that TXNIP levels are induced following inhibition of p38 or JNK MAPKs. We also observed an increase in iron uptake and a decrease in transferrin receptor protein upon TXNIP overexpression, suggesting a role in iron homeostasis. In vivo, flow cytometry analysis of cells from TXNIP-/- mice revealed a new phenotype of impaired terminal erythropoiesis in the spleen, characterized by a partial block between basophilic and late basophilic/polychromatic erythroblasts. Based on our data, TXNIP emerges as a novel regulator of terminal erythroid differentiation.

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