Germline heterozygous mutations in Nxf1 perturb RNA metabolism and trigger thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia in mice

Stéphane Chappaz, Charity W. Law, Mark R. Dowling, Kirstyn T. Carey, Rachael M. Lane, Linh H. Ngo, Vihandha O. Wickramasinghe, Gordon K. Smyth, Matthew E. Ritchie, Benjamin T. Kile

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In eukaryotic cells, messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where they are translated. The highly conserved protein nuclear RNA export factor1 (Nxf1) is an important mediator of this process. Although studies in yeast and in human cell lines have shed light on the biochemical mechanisms of Nxf1 function, its contribution to mammalian physiology is less clear. Several groups have identified recurrent NXF1 mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), placing it alongside several RNA-metabolism factors (including SF3B1, XPO, RPS15) whose dysregulation is thought to contribute to CLL pathogenesis. We report here an allelic series of germline point mutations in murine Nxf1. Mice heterozygous for these loss-of-function Nxf1 mutations exhibit thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia, together with milder hematological defects. This is primarily caused by cell-intrinsic defects in the survival of platelets and peripheral lymphocytes, which are sensitized to intrinsic apoptosis. In contrast, Nxf1 mutations have almost no effect on red blood cell homeostasis. Comparative transcriptome analysis of platelets, lymphocytes, and erythrocytes from Nxf1-mutant mice shows that, in response to impaired Nxf1 function, the cytoplasmic representation of transcripts encoding regulators of RNA metabolism is altered in a unique, lineage-specific way. Thus, blood cell lineages exhibit differential requirements for Nxf1-mediated global mRNA export.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1270-1283
Number of pages14
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020

Cite this

Chappaz, S., Law, C. W., Dowling, M. R., Carey, K. T., Lane, R. M., Ngo, L. H., Wickramasinghe, V. O., Smyth, G. K., Ritchie, M. E., & Kile, B. T. (2020). Germline heterozygous mutations in Nxf1 perturb RNA metabolism and trigger thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia in mice. Blood Advances, 4(7), 1270-1283.