Nur77 variants solely comprising the amino-terminal domain activate hypoxia-inducible factor-1 α and affect bone marrow homeostasis in mice and humans

Duco S. Koenis, Lejla Medzikovic, Mariska Vos, Thijs J. Beldman, Pieter B. van Loenen, Claudia M. van Tiel, Anouk A. J. Hamers, Iker Otermin Rubio, Vivian de Waard, Carlie J. M. de Vries

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Gene targeting via homologous recombination can occasionally result in incomplete disruption of the targeted gene. Here, we show that a widely used Nur77-deficient transgenic mouse model expresses a truncated protein encoding for part of the N-terminal domain of nuclear receptor Nur77. This truncated Nur77 protein is absent in a newly developed Nur77-deficient mouse strain generated using Cre-Lox recombination. Comparison of these two mouse strains using immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and colony-forming assays shows that homologous recombination-derived Nur77-deficient mice, but not WTor Cre-Lox-derived Nur77-deficient mice, suffer from liver immune cell infiltrates, loss of splenic architecture, and increased numbers of bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells and splenic colony-forming cells with age. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the truncated Nur77 N-terminal domain protein maintains the stability and activity of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1, a transcription factor known to regulate bone marrow homeostasis. Additionally, a previously discovered, but uncharacterized, human Nur77 transcript variant that encodes solely for its N-terminal domain, designated TR3β, can also stabilize and activate HIF-1α. Meta-analysis of publicly available microarray data sets shows that TR3β is highly expressed in human bone marrow cells and acute myeloid leukemia samples. In conclusion, our study provides evidence that a transgenic mouse model commonly used to study the biological function of Nur77 has several major drawbacks, while simultaneously identifying the importance of nongenomic Nur77 activity in the regulation of bone marrow homeostasis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15070-15083
JournalJournal of biological chemistry
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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