Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Cyclin D3 is essential for megakaryocytopoiesis

  1. Z Wang,
  2. Y Zhang,
  3. D Kamen,
  4. E Lees, and
  5. K Ravid
  1. Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118, USA.

Abstract

A normal cell cycle in most eukaryotic cells consists of a tightly regulated sequence of phases including DNA synthesis (S) followed by a gap (G2), mitosis (M), and a gap (G1). In the megakaryocytic lineage, the cells undergo endomitosis, which involves DNA synthesis in the absence of mitosis, thus giving rise to polyploid cells. We aimed at defining whether the megakaryocytic cell cycle consists of a continuous S phase or of G1/S phases and at determining which cyclins are involved in this process. Studies were performed in primary cultures of mouse bone marrow cells. DNA synthesis in megakaryocytes was followed by determining incorporation of a DNA precursor, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), into the cells by in situ staining for BrdU. These experiments showed that no more than 15% of the recognizable megakaryocytes in normal bone marrow are in the process of endomitosis, including S phases interrupted by short gaps. Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that mature megakaryocytes express the G1 phase cyclin and cyclin D3, but not the mitotic cyclin, cyclin B1. Under culture conditions that selectively promote megakaryocytopoiesis, antisense oligonucleotides designed to suppress cyclin D3 expression, but not sense oligonucleotides or antisense oligonucleotides to cyclin B1, dramatically suppress endomitosis and abrogate megakaryocyte development. Our results indicate that endoreduplication in megakaryocytes is associated with low levels of or the absence of cyclin B1, whereas progression through this process depends on the G1 phase for which cyclin D3 is crucial.