Article

Expression of the TEL-Syk Fusion Protein in Hematopoietic Stem Cells Leads to Rapidly Fatal Myelofibrosis in Mice

Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 10/2013; 8(10):e77542. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077542
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The TEL-Syk fusion protein was isolated from a patient with myelodysplasia with megakaryocyte blasts. Expression of TEL-Syk transforms interleukin-3 (IL-3)-dependent Ba/F3 cells in vitro by deregulating STAT5-mediated signal transduction pathways. In vivo, TEL-Syk expression in pre-B cells blocks B cell differentiation, leading to lymphoid leukemia. Here, we demonstrate that TEL-Syk introduced into fetal liver hematopoietic cells, which are then adoptively transferred into lethally irradiated recipients, leads to an aggressive myelodysplasia with myelofibrosis that is lethal in mice by 60-75 days. Expression of TEL-Syk induces a short-lived myeloexpansion that is rapidly followed by bone marrow failure and extreme splenic/hepatic fibrosis accompanied by extensive apoptosis. The disease is dependent on Syk kinase activity. Analysis of serum from TEL-Syk mice reveals an inflammatory cytokine signature reminiscent of that found in the sera from patients and mouse models of myeloproliferative neoplasms. TEL-Syk expressing cells showed constitutive STAT5 phosphorylation, which was resistant to JAK inhibition, consistent with deregulated cytokine signaling. These data indicate that expression of TEL-Syk in fetal liver hematopoietic cells results in JAK-independent STAT5 phosphorylation ultimately leading to a uniquely aggressive and lethal form of myelofibrosis.

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