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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2002 Dec;24(9):784-6.

Mutant elastase in pathogenesis of cyclic and severe congenital neutropenia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195-6422, USA. apri@u.washington.edu


Severe neutropenia is characterized by maturation arrest of myeloid cells at the promyelocyte stage of hematopoiesis. We reported that accelerated apoptosis of bone marrow myeloid progenitor cells was observed in both cyclic (CN) and severe congenital neutropenia (SCN). Short and long-term cultures of bone marrow CD34+ cells revealed reduced production of multipotent progenitors in SCN. In contrast, production of these cells was slightly elevated in CN compared with CD34+ cells from healthy volunteers. Production of myeloid-committed progenitor cells was significantly reduced in both CN and SCN. FACS analysis of CD34+ cells revealed G /G cell cycle arrest in SCN but not in CN.(0) (1) All CN patients and more than 90% of SCN patients have mutation in the neutrophil elastase (NE) gene. Molecular modeling of NE tertiary structure indicates that mutations observed in SCN are primarily located around the glycosylation sites, whereas CN mutations affect predominantly the active site. Transient expression of CN- or SCN-specific mutant NE cDNA results in impaired survival of human myeloid progenitor cells compared with control cells transfected with intact NE cDNA. We hypothesize that abnormal processing and subcellular localization of mutant NE might predetermine the etiology of cyclic or severe congenital neutropenia.

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