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2641 Complex CSF3R Protein Isoform Interactions Dictate Cytokine Responsiveness

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 201. Granulocytes, Monocytes, and Macrophages: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Biological Processes, hematopoiesis, molecular interactions, signal transduction
Monday, December 7, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Sara L. Seegers, M.S.*, Amanda Lance, MS*, Lawrence J Druhan, PhD and Belinda R Avalos, MD

Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders, Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC

CSF3R, the receptors for granulocyte colony stimulating factor, is a critical regulator of neutrophil production. Multiple CSF3R mRNA transcripts have been identified and are annotated in Genbank. The expression and function of the different CSF3R proteins have not been fully elucidated. We generated antibodies specific for two of the identified and annotated isoforms, V3 and V4. CSF3R-V4 is a truncated variant of V1 with a unique C-terminal 34 amino acids and this variant confers enhanced growth signals. Changes in the ratio of V1:V4 isoforms have been implicated in chemotherapy resistance and relapse of AML. CSF3R-V3 is a variant of V1 with a 27 amino acid insertion between two conserved domains in the cytoplasmic portion of the receptor involved in JAK/STAT activation, termed the box 1 and box 2. CSF3R-V3 produces reduced proliferative signaling in response to G-CSF. When V3 is co-expressed with V1, proliferative signaling is reduced in a concentration dependent manner.

In order to generate custom rabbit polyclonal antibodies specific for CSF3R-V3 and CSF3R-V4 we used either a peptide that corresponds to a unique amino acid sequence present only in CSF3R-V3 or a peptide specific for a portion of the C-terminal amino acid sequence unique to the CSF3R-V4 isoform conjugated to an immunogenic carrier protein. These immunogens both produced robust immune responses, and the polyclonal antibodies were subsequently purified from bulk sera. Immunoblot analysis of lysates from Ba/F3 cells expressing CSF3R-V1 (V1), CSF3R-V3 (V3), or CSF3R-V4 (V4) demonstrated that both the custom generated anti-CSF3R-V3 and anti-CSF3R-V4 antibodies were very specific, recognizing only the appropriate CSF3R receptor isoform. All three CSF3R splice variants are recognized by commercially available anti-CSF3R (clone LMM741 to CD114), while the anti-CSF3R-V4 custom antibody and the custom anti-CSF3R-V3 antibody recognizes only the CSF3R-V4 and CSF3R-V3 isoforms, respectively. We next sought to detect the CSF3R receptor isoforms in primary human cells. Using our custom antibodies, we detected for the first time, both the CSF3R-V3 and CSF3R-V4 receptor forms in primary neutrophils isolated from healthy donors.

Each of the CSF3R isoforms produce unique signaling, and we hypothesized that the observed differences in G-CSF-dependent signaling is produced by the expression level of each receptor isoform via both homodimerization and by heterodimerization of the receptor splice variant proteins. To investigate the potential for heterodimerization of the CSF3R-V1 with the V3 and V4 isoforms, we generated a CSF3R-V1 with a c-terminal epitope tag and co-expressed this construct with both CSF3R-V3 or CSF3R-V4. Immunoprecipitation with an antibody to the epitope tag (recognizing the V1 variant) followed by immunoblotting with the custom anti-V3 or anti-V4 antibodies demonstrated that both CSF3R-V3 and CSF3R-V4 co-immunoprecipitated with CSF3R-V1, in agreement with our hypothesis that the splice variants form receptor heterodimers. Of note, the CSF3R receptor heterodimers are detected even in the absence of G-CSF, thus demonstrating that CSF3R exist as a preformed receptor dimer in an inactive state.

In conclusion, we have generated antibodies that specifically detect the CSF3R-V3 and the CSF3R-V4 receptor proteins. These are the first studies to demonstrate the expression of the CSF3R splice variants at the protein level, in both cell lines and primary human cells. In addition, these are the first studies to demonstrate the formation of heterodimers of the CSF3R splice variants, providing a mechanism for the observed alteration in ligand-dependent signaling produced under conditions of altered splice variant expression.

Disclosures: Avalos: Juno: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Best Practice-Br Med J: Patents & Royalties: receives royalties from a coauthored article on evaluation of neutropenia.

*signifies non-member of ASH