KDM6B overexpression activates innate immune signaling and impairs hematopoiesis in mice

Yue Wei, Hong Zheng, Naran Bao, Shan Jiang, Carlos E. Bueso-Ramos, Joseph Khoury, Caleb Class, Yue Lu, Kevin Lin, Hui Yang, Irene Ganan-Gomez, Daniel T. Starczynowski, Kim Anh Do, Simona Colla, Guillermo Garcia-Manero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


KDM6B is an epigenetic regulator that mediates transcriptional activation during differentiation, including in bone marrow (BM) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Overexpression of KDM6B has been reported in BM HSPCs of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). Whether the overexpression of KDM6B contributes to the pathogenesis of these diseases remains to be elucidated. To study this, we generated a Vav-KDM6B mouse model, which overexpresses KDM6B in the hematopoietic compartment. KDM6B overexpression alone led to mild hematopoietic phenotype, and chronic innate immune stimulation of Vav-KDM6B mice with the Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS) resulted in significant hematopoietic defects. These defects recapitulated features of MDS and CMML, including leukopenia, dysplasia, and compromised repopulating function of BM HSPCs. Transcriptome studies indicated that KDM6B overexpression alone could lead to activation of disease-relevant genes such as S100a9 in BM HSPCs, and when combined with innate immune stimulation, KDM6B overexpression resulted in more profound overexpression of innate immune and disease-relevant genes, indicating that KDM6B was involved in the activation of innate immune signaling in BM HSPCs. Finally, pharmacologic inhibition of KDM6B with the small molecule inhibitor GSK-J4 ameliorated the ineffective hematopoiesis observed in Vav-KDM6B mice. This effect was also observed when GSK-J4 was applied to the primary BM HSPCs of patients with MDS by improving their repopulating function. These results indicate that overexpression of KDM6B mediates activation of innate immune signals and has a role in MDS and CMML pathogenesis, and that KDM6B targeting has therapeutic potential in these myeloid disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2491-2504
Number of pages14
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 9 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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