PRPF8defects cause missplicing in myeloid malignancies

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Mutations of spliceosome components are common in myeloid neoplasms. One of the affected genes, PRPF8, encodes the most evolutionarily conserved spliceosomal protein. We identified either recurrent somatic PRPF8 mutations or hemizygous deletions in 15/447 and 24/450 cases, respectively. Fifty percent of PRPF8 mutant and del(17p) cases were found in AML and conveyed poor prognosis. PRPF8 defects correlated with increased myeloblasts and ring sideroblasts in cases without SF3B1 mutations. Knockdown of PRPF8 in K562 and CD34+ primary bone marrow cells increased proliferative capacity. Whole-RNA deep sequencing of primary cells from patients with PRPF8 abnormalities demonstrated consistent missplicing defects. In yeast models, homologous mutations introduced into Prp8 abrogated a block experimentally produced in the second step of the RNA splicing process, suggesting that the mutants have defects in proof-reading functions. In sum, the exploration of clinical and functional consequences suggests that PRPF8 is a novel leukemogenic gene in myeloid neoplasms with a distinct phenotype likely manifested through aberrant splicing.

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