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2729 Loss of EFL1 Which Causes a Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Reduces Cell Proliferation and Alters Transcriptional Profiling during Neutrophil Differentiation

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 509. Bone Marrow Failure and Cancer Predisposition Syndromes: Congenital: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes, Inherited Marrow Failure Syndromes, Diseases
Sunday, December 10, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Nozomu Kawashima, MD1*, Usua Oyarbide, PhD2 and Seth J Corey, MD2

1Lerner Research Institute/Department of Cancer Biology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
2Departments of Pediatrics and Cancer Biology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Introduction. Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by neutropenia, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and skeletal abnormalities. Patients with SDS are predisposed to develop myeloid malignancy. Almost all individuals with SDS harbor biallelic mutations in SBDS. The partner of SBDS is EFL1, a ribosomal protein with GTPase activity. More than a dozen patients have been found with SDS due to biallelic mutations in EFL1. EFL1 serves to release EIF6, facilitating the assembly of the 80S ribosome from 60S and 40S ribosome subunits. Our lab has generated both sbds and efl1 null zebrafish, which phenocopy much of the human syndrome. We recently reported that Sbds and Efl1 depletion leads to upregulation of tp53 and cdkn1a (p21) and accumulation of Eif6 in SDS zebrafish models, which is hypothesized to cause bone marrow failure. However, the mechanism(s) of EFL1’s loss-of-function leading to neutropenia is not known.

Methods. We used CRISPR/Cas9 editing to generate mutations in exon 17 of Efl1 of 32Dcl3, an IL-3-dependent murine myeloid cell line that can be differentiated to mature neutrophils. We analyzed the effects of Efl1 mutations on cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation with G-CSF. Immunoblotting and qPCR-based gene expression analysis were performed to identify affected mechanistic pathways.

Results. Two clones were isolated and were sequenced to verify biallelic deleterious mutations. A clone with compound heterozygous inframe deletion and frameshift mutations showed trace expression of EFL1 (EFL1-KD) and the other with compound heterozygous frameshift mutations showed no expression (EFL1-KO). They presented a myeloblast-like morphology indistinguishable from parental cells. They proliferated significantly less than parental cells, although there was no increased apoptosis. Both EFL1-KD and KO cells showed significantly increased protein expression of EIF6 and transcriptional expression of Trp53 and Cdkn1a. EFL1 was downregulated during differentiation of parental 32Dcl3 cells to neutrophils, whereas EIF6 levels did not change. Withdrawal and replenishment of IL-3 from culturing media did not alter EFL1 protein expression. When EFL1-KD and KO were cultured in differentiating media, they did not proliferate and underwent greater apoptosis, particularly after 3 days of differentiation compared to parental 32Dcl3. The surviving EFL1-KD and KO matured into neutrophils after 7 days. Gene profiling for neutrophil differentiation identified equivalent expression of key transcriptional factors (Cebpa, Cebpe, and Spi1) of EFL1-KD and KO in the maintenance media, except for Gfi1 which was two-fold and three-fold high in EFL1-KD and KO compared to parental cells, respectively. G-CSF induced significantly higher expression of Cebpa and lower expression of Cebpe in EFL1-KO from those in parental cells, respectively. Based on the observation that somatic genetic rescue by EIF6 mutations occurs in human SDS patients and animal models, we transfected 32Dcl3 cells with siRNA against Eif6. In parental 32Dcl3 cells, reduction of EIF6 caused slow cell growth; however, transfection of siRNA to Eif6 partially rescued proliferation of EFL1-KD and KO in both maintenance and differentiating media.

Conclusions. Our results suggested that imbalance of late maturing factors of ribosome associated with SDS may cause decreased proliferation in myeloid-committed cells, thereby leading to neutropenia in SDS. Newly established Efl1-deficient cells recapitulated key observation from SDS patients, with an increased proapoptotic profile in hematopoietic cells. Because EFL1 has only been recognized recently as a rare cause of SDS, we do not know if EFL1 deficiency serves as a leukemia predisposition syndrome. We speculate that the aberrant normal neutrophil differentiation may form the foundation for myeloid neoplasia in SDS.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH