Hemopoietic-specific Sf3b1-K700E knock-in mice display the splicing defect seen in human MDS but develop anemia without ring sideroblasts

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Abstract

Heterozygous somatic mutations affecting the spliceosome gene SF3B1 drive age-related clonal hematopoiesis, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and other neoplasms. To study their role in such disorders, we generated knock-in mice with hematopoietic-specific expression of Sf3b1-K700E, the commonest type of SF3B1 mutation in MDS. Sf3b1K700E/+ animals had impaired erythropoiesis and progressive anemia without ringed sideroblasts, as well as reduced hematopoietic stem cell numbers and host-repopulating fitness. To understand the molecular basis of these observations, we analyzed global RNA splicing in Sf3b1K700E/+ hematopoietic cells. Aberrant splicing was associated with the usage of cryptic 3′ splice and branchpoint sites, as described for human SF3B1 mutants. However, we found a little overlap between aberrantly spliced mRNAs in mouse versus human, suggesting that anemia may be a consequence of globally disrupted splicing. Furthermore, the murine orthologues of genes associated with ring sideroblasts in human MDS, including Abcb7 and Tmem14c, were not aberrantly spliced in Sf3b1K700E/+ mice. Our findings demonstrate that, despite significant differences in affected transcripts, there is overlap in the phenotypes associated with SF3B1-K700E between human and mouse. Future studies should focus on understanding the basis of these similarities and differences as a means of deciphering the consequences of spliceosome gene mutations in MDS.

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