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Cytokine. 2000 Jul;12(7):835-44.

Cloning and functional characterization of a novel c-mpl variant expressed in human CD34 cells and platelets.

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Hematology/Oncology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


The thrombopoietin receptor, c-mpl, is a crucial element not only in thrombopoietin (TPO)-initiated signaling pathways but also in the regulation of the circulating amount of TPO. We have identified a new c-mpl isoform, called c-mpl-del, that lacks 72 bp (24 amino acids) in the extracellular region of c-mpl and arises as a consequence of alternative RNA splicing between exons 8 and 9. c-mpl-del is expressed along with c-mpl-wt in blood mononuclear cells, CD34(+)cells, megakaryocytes, and platelets prepared from either normal donors or ET patients, although its relative expression appears to increase with megakaryocyte differentiation. The c-mpl-del-transfected cells expressed greater amounts of c-mpl-del RNA and protein than the comparable c-mpl-wt-transfected cells, however flow cytometry analysis could not detect any c-mpl receptor on the surface of the c-mpl-del-transfected cells. Further evidence for the absence of surface c-mpl-del was that in contrast to cells transfected with c-mpl-wt, those transfected with c-mpl-del did not grow in response to TPO, failed to undergo tyrosine phosphorylation of TPO-specific signal molecules, and did not bind(125)I-rHuTPO. Taken together, these results demonstrate that c-mpl-del, a naturally occurring variant of c-mpl, fails to be incorporated into the cell membrane but might serve as a mechanism to decrease the overall expression of functional c-mpl late in megakaryocyte differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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