Quiescence maintenance is an important property of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), whereas the regulatory factors and underlying mechanisms involved in HSC quiescence maintenance are not fully uncovered. Here, we show that steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3) is highly expressed in HSCs, and SRC-3–deficient HSCs are less quiescent and more proliferative, resulting in increased sensitivity to chemotherapy and irradiation. Moreover, the long-term reconstituting ability of HSCs is markedly impaired in the absence of SRC-3, and SRC-3 knockout (SRC-3 –/– ) mice exhibit a significant disruption of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell homeostasis. Further investigations show that SRC-3 deficiency leads to enhanced mitochondrial metabolism, accompanied by overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in HSCs. Notably, the downstream target genes of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor-coactivators 1α (PGC-1α) involved in the regulation of mitochondrial metabolism are significantly upregulated in SRC-3–deficient HSCs. Meanwhile, a significant decrease in the expression of histone acetyltransferase GCN5 accompanied by downregulation of PGC-1α acetylation is observed in SRC-3–null HSCs. Conversely, overexpression of GCN5 can inhibit SRC-3 deficiency-induced mitochondrial metabolism enhancement and ROS overproduction, thereby evidently rescuing the impairment of HSCs in SRC-3 –/– mice. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that SRC-3 plays an important role in HSC quiescence maintenance by regulating mitochondrial metabolism.
Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells