Ubiquitin E3 ligase FBXO21 regulates cytokine-mediated signaling pathways, but is dispensable for steady-state hematopoiesis

Karli J. Wittorf, Kasidy K. Weber, Samantha A. Swenson, Shannon M. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hematopoietic cell fate decisions such as self-renewal and differentiation are highly regulated through multiple molecular pathways. One pathway, the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), controls protein levels by tagging them with polyubiquitin chains and promoting their degradation through the proteasome. Ubiquitin E3 ligases serve as the substrate-recognition component of the UPS. By investigating the FBOX family of E3 ligases, we discovered that Fbxo21 was highly expressed in the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) population, and exhibited low to no expression in mature myeloid populations. To determine the role of FBXO21 on HSPC maintenance, self-renewal, and differentiation, we generated shRNAs against FBXO21 and a hematopoiesis-specific Fbxo21 conditional knockout (cKO) mouse model. We found that silencing FBXO21 in HSPCs led to a loss in colony formation and an increase in cell differentiation in vitro. Additionally, stressing the HSPC populations in our Fbxo21 cKO mouse with 5-fluorouracil injections resulted in a decrease in survival, despite these populations exhibiting minimal alterations during steady-state hematopoiesis. Although FBXO21 has previously been proposed to regulate cytokine signaling via ASK and p38, our results indicate that depletion of FBXO21 led to altered ERK signaling in vitro. Together, these findings suggest ubiquitin E3 ligase FBXO21 regulates HSPCs through cytokine-mediated pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42.e3
JournalExperimental Hematology
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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