In a family with mild dominant spherocytosis, affected members showed partial band 3 deficiency. The index patient showed more severe clinical symptoms than his relatives, and his red blood cells displayed concomitant low pyruvate kinase activity. We investigated the contribution of partial PK deficiency to the phenotypic expression of mutant band 3 in this family. Pyruvate kinase deficiency and band 3 deficiency were characterized by DNA analysis. Results of red cell osmotic fragility testing, the results of cell deformability obtained by the Automated Rheoscope and Cell Analyser and the results obtained by Osmotic Gradient Ektacytometry, which is a combination of these tests, were related to the red cell ATP content. Spherocytosis in this family was due to a novel heterozygous mutation in SLC4A1, the gene for band 3. Reduced PK activity of the index patient was attributed to a novel mutation in PKLR inherited from his mother, who was without clinical symptoms. Partial PK deficiency was associated with decreased red cell ATP content and markedly increased osmotic fragility. This suggests an aggravating effect of low ATP levels on the phenotypic expression of band 3 deficiency.
Mutations affecting the ribosome lead to several diseases known as ribosomopathies, with phenotypes that include growth defects, cytopenia, and bone marrow failure. Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), for example, is a pure red cell aplasia linked to the mutation of ribosomal protein (RP) genes. Here we show the knock-down of the DBA-linked RPS19 gene induces the cellular self-digestion process of autophagy, a pathway critical for proper hematopoiesis. We also observe an increase of autophagy in cells derived from DBA patients, in CD34+ erythrocyte progenitor cells with RPS19 knock down, in the red blood cells of zebrafish embryos with RP-deficiency, and in cells from patients with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS). The loss of RPs in all these models results in a marked increase in S6 kinase phosphorylation that we find is triggered by an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS). We show that this increase in S6 kinase phosphorylation inhibits the insulin pathway and AKT phosphorylation activity through a mechanism reminiscent of insulin resistance. While stimulating RP-deficient cells with insulin reduces autophagy, antioxidant treatment reduces S6 kinase phosphorylation, autophagy, and stabilization of the p53 tumor suppressor. Our data suggest that RP loss promotes the aberrant activation of both S6 kinase and p53 by increasing intracellular ROS levels. The deregulation of these signaling pathways is likely playing a major role in the pathophysiology of ribosomopathies.
The conventional clinical formulation of paclitaxel (PTX), Taxol®, consists of Cremophor® EL (CrEL) and ethanol. CrEL-formulated PTX is associated with acute hypersensitivity reactions, anemia and cardiovascular events. In this study, the authors investigated the effects of CrEL-PTX on red blood cells (RBCs) and compared these with the effects observed after exposure to the novel nanoparticle albumin-bound PTX, marketed as Abraxane®.
Pyruvate kinase (PK) deficiency is a rare disease but an important cause of hereditary nonspherocytic hemolytic anemia. The disease is caused by mutations in the PKLR gene and shows a marked variability in clinical expression. We report on the molecular characterization of 38 PK-deficient patients from 35 unrelated families. Twenty-nine different PKLR mutations were detected, of which 15 are reported here for the first time. Two novel deletions are reported: c.142_159del18 is the largest in-frame deletion described thus far and predicts the loss of six consecutive amino acids (p.Thr48_Thr53del) in the N-terminal domain of red blood cell PK. The other deletion removes nearly 1.5 kb of genomic DNA sequence (c.1618+37_2064del1477) and is one of a few large deletional mutants in PKLR. In addition, 13 novel point mutations were identified: one nonsense mutant, p.Arg488X, and 12 missense mutations, predicting the substitution of a single amino acid: p.Arg40Trp, p.Leu73Pro, p.Ile90Asn, p.Gly111Arg, p.Ala154Thr, p.Arg163Leu, p.Gly165Val, p.Leu272Val, p.Ile310Asn, p.Val320Leu, p.Gly358Glu, and p.Leu374Pro. We used the three-dimensional (3D) structure of recombinant human tetrameric PK to evaluate the protein structural context of the affected residues. In addition, in selected patients red blood cell PK antigen levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Collectively, the results provided us with a rationale for the observed enzyme deficiency and contribute to both a better understanding of the genotype-to-phenotype correlation in PK deficiency as well as the enzymes structure and function.
Red blood cell pyruvate kinase (PK-R) is a key regulatory enzyme of red cell metabolism. Hereditary deficiency of PK-R is caused by mutations in the PKLR gene, leading to chronic nonspherocytic hemolytic anemia. In contrast to PK deficiency, inherited PK hyperactivity has also been described. This very rare abnormality of RBC metabolism has been documented in only two families and appears to be without clinical consequences. Thus far, it has been attributed to either a gain of function mutation in PKLR or to persistent expression of the fetal PK isozyme PK-M2 in mature red blood cells. We here report on a novel type of inherited PK hyperactivity that is characterized by solely increased expression of a kinetically normal PK-R. In line with the latter, no mutations were detected in PKLR. Mutations in regulatory regions as well as variations in PKLR copy number were also absent. In addition, linkage analysis suggested that PK hyperactivity segregated independently from the PKLR locus. We therefore postulate that the causative mutation resides in a novel yet-unidentified locus, and upregulates PKLR gene expression. Other mutations of the same locus may be involved in those cases of PK deficiency that fail to reveal mutations in PKLR.
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