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PLoS One. 2008;3(10):e3422. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003422. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

G-CSFR ubiquitination critically regulates myeloid cell survival and proliferation.

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  • 1Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.


The granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR) is a critical regulator of granulopoiesis. Mutations in the G-CSFR in patients with severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) transforming to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) have been shown to induce hypersensitivity and enhanced growth responses to G-CSF. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of the ubiquitin/proteasome system in the initiation of negative signaling by the G-CSFR. To further investigate the role of ubiquitination in regulating G-CSFR signaling, we generated a mutant form of the G-CSFR (K762R/G-CSFR) which abrogates the attachment of ubiquitin to the lysine residue at position 762 of the G-CSFR that is deleted in the Delta716 G-CSFR form isolated from patients with SCN/AML. In response to G-CSF, mono-/polyubiquitination of the G-CSFR was impaired in cells expressing the mutant K762R/G-CSFR compared to cells transfected with the WT G-CSFR. Cells stably transfected with the K762R/G-CSFR displayed a higher proliferation rate, increased sensitivity to G-CSF, and enhanced survival following cytokine depletion, similar to previously published data with the Delta716 G-CSFR mutant. Activation of the signaling molecules Stat5 and Akt were also increased in K762R/G-CSFR transfected cells in response to G-CSF, and their activation remained prolonged after G-CSF withdrawal. These results indicate that ubiquitination is required for regulation of G-CSFR-mediated proliferation and cell survival. Mutations that disrupt G-CSFR ubiquitination at lysine 762 induce aberrant receptor signaling and hyperproliferative responses to G-CSF, which may contribute to leukemic transformation.

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