Noncanonical Wnt signaling maintains hematopoietic stem cells in the niche

Ryohichi Sugimura, Xi C. He, Aparna Venkatraman, Fumio Arai, Andrew Box, Craig Semerad, Jeffrey S. Haug, Lai Peng, Xiao Bo Zhong, Toshio Suda, Linheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Wnt signaling is involved in self-renewal and maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs); however, the particular role of noncanonical Wnt signaling in regulating HSCs in vivo is largely unknown. Here, we show Flamingo (Fmi) and Frizzled (Fz) 8, members of noncanonical Wnt signaling, both express in and functionally maintain quiescent long-term HSCs. Fmi regulates Fz8 distribution at the interface between HSCs and N-cadherin+ osteoblasts (N-cad +OBs that enrich osteoprogenitors) in the niche. We further found that N-cad+OBs predominantly express noncanonical Wnt ligands and inhibitors of canonical Wnt signaling under homeostasis. Under stress, noncanonical Wnt signaling is attenuated and canonical Wnt signaling is enhanced in activation of HSCs. Mechanistically, noncanonical Wnt signaling mediated by Fz8 suppresses the Ca2+-NFAT- IFNγ pathway, directly or indirectly through the CDC42-CK1α complex and also antagonizes canonical Wnt signaling in HSCs. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that noncanonical Wnt signaling maintains quiescent long-term HSCs through Fmi and Fz8 interaction in the niche.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-365
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 20 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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