RUNX1/AML1 is among the most commonly mutated genes in human leukemia. Haploinsufficiency of RUNX1 causes familial platelet disorder with predisposition to myeloid malignancies (FPD/MM). However, the molecular mechanism of FPD/MM remains unknown. Here we show that murine Runx1+/- hematopoietic cells are hypersensitive to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), leading to enhanced expansion and mobilization of stem/progenitor cells and myeloid differentiation block. Upon G-CSF stimulation, Runx1+/- cells exhibited a more pronounced phosphorylation of STAT3 as compared with Runx1+/+ cells, which may be due to reduced expression of Pias3, a key negative regulator of STAT3 signaling, and reduced physical sequestration of STAT3 by RUNX1. Most importantly, blood cells from a FPD patient with RUNX1 mutation exhibited similar G-CSF hypersensitivity. Taken together, Runx1 haploinsufficiency appears to predispose FPD patients to MM by expanding the pool of stem/progenitor cells and blocking myeloid differentiation in response to G-CSF.
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