Mutations in epigenetic modifiers and signaling factors often co-occur in myeloid malignancies, including TET2 and NRAS mutations. Concurrent Tet2 loss and NrasG12D expression in hematopoietic cells induced myeloid transformation, with a fully penetrant, lethal chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), which was serially transplantable. Tet2 loss and Nras mutation cooperatively led to decrease in negative regulators of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation, including Spry2, thereby causing synergistic activation of MAPK signaling by epigenetic silencing. Tet2/Nras double-mutant leukemia showed preferential sensitivity to MAPK kinase (MEK) inhibition in both mouse model and patient samples. These data provide insights into how epigenetic and signaling mutations cooperate in myeloid transformation and provide a rationale for mechanism-based therapy in CMML patients with these high-risk genetic lesions.
Myeloid-biased hematopoietic stem cells (MB-HSCs) play critical roles in recovery from injury, but little is known about how they are regulated within the bone marrow niche. Here we describe an auto-/paracrine physiologic circuit that controls quiescence of MB-HSCs and hematopoietic progenitors marked by histidine decarboxylase (Hdc). Committed Hdc+ myeloid cells lie in close anatomical proximity to MB-HSCs and produce histamine, which activates the H2 receptor on MB-HSCs to promote their quiescence and self-renewal. Depleting histamine-producing cells enforces cell cycle entry, induces loss of serial transplant capacity, and sensitizes animals to chemotherapeutic injury. Increasing demand for myeloid cells via lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment specifically recruits MB-HSCs and progenitors into the cell cycle; cycling MB-HSCs fail to revert into quiescence in the absence of histamine feedback, leading to their depletion, while an H2 agonist protects MB-HSCs from depletion after sepsis. Thus, histamine couples lineage-specific physiological demands to intrinsically primed MB-HSCs to enforce homeostasis.