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PLoS One. 2009 Sep 21;4(9):e7102. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007102.

Loss of RhoB expression enhances the myelodysplastic phenotype of mammalian diaphanous-related Formin mDia1 knockout mice.

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Laboratory of Cell Structure and Signal Integration, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States of America.


Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and hyperplastic bone marrow. Complete loss or interstitial deletions of the long arm of chromosome 5 occur frequently in MDS. One candidate tumor suppressor on 5q is the mammalian Diaphanous (mDia)-related formin mDia1, encoded by DIAPH1 (5q31.3). mDia-family formins act as effectors for Rho-family small GTP-binding proteins including RhoB, which has also been shown to possess tumor suppressor activity. Mice lacking the Drf1 gene that encodes mDia1 develop age-dependent myelodysplastic features. We crossed mDia1 and RhoB knockout mice to test whether the additional loss of RhoB expression would compound the myelodysplastic phenotype. Drf1(-/-)RhoB(-/-) mice are fertile and develop normally. Relative to age-matched Drf1(-/-)RhoB(+/-) mice, the age of myelodysplasia onset was earlier in Drf1(-/-)RhoB(-/-) animals--including abnormally shaped erythrocytes, splenomegaly, and extramedullary hematopoiesis. In addition, we observed a statistically significant increase in the number of activated monocytes/macrophages in both the spleen and bone marrow of Drf1(-/-)RhoB(-/-) mice relative to Drf1(-/-)RhoB(+/-) mice. These data suggest a role for RhoB-regulated mDia1 in the regulation of hematopoietic progenitor cells.

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