Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) transduces signals from hematopoietic cytokines, and a gain-of-function mutation (Jak2617V>F) is associated with myeloproliferative diseases, particularly polycythemia vera. In this study, we examined the role of jak2a in zebrafish embryos in knock-down and overexpression studies using morpholinos (MOs) targeting the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) (jak2aUTR-MO) and splicesite junction (jak2aSS-MO) of jak2a, a Jak inhibitor AG490 and a constitutive-active form of jak2a (jak2aca). At 18 and 24 hours after fertilization (hpf), jak2a is expressed predominantly in the intermediate cell mass (ICM; site of primitive hematopoiesis) of wild-type and chordin morphant embryos (characterized by expansion of ICM). Both jak2a MOs and AG490 reduced gata1+ (erythroid) cells in Tg(gata1:GFP) embryos, signal transducer and activation of transcription 5 (stat5) phosphorylation, and gene expression associated with early progenitors (scl and lmo2) and erythroid (gata1, αhe1 and βhe1) and myeloid (spi1 [early] and mpo [late]) lineages. The chordin morphant is associated with increased stat5 phosphorylation, and both jak2a MOs and treatment with AG490 significantly ameliorated ICM expansion and hematopoietic gene upregulation in these embryos. Injection of plasmid encoding jak2a ca significantly increased erythropoiesis and expression of gata1, αhe1 and βhe1, spi1, mpo, and l-plastin. In conclusion, zebrafish jak2a is involved in primitive hematopoiesis under normal and deregulated conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology