Heterozygous kit mutants with little or no apparent anemia exhibit large defects in overall hematopoietic stem cell function.

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Animals, Blood-Platelets, Bone-Marrow-Cells, Cell-Differentiation, Cell-Lineage, Colony-Forming-Units-Assay, Hematopoietic-Stem-Cells, Heterozygote, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Mutant-Strains, Mutation, Myeloid-Progenitor-Cells, Proto-Oncogene-Proteins-c-kit

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Exp Hematol 2007 Feb; 35(2):214-220.


OBJECTIVE: The evolutionarily conserved Kit receptor is vital for function of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Kit(W-41) (W-41) and Kit(W-42) (W-42) are single residue changes in the KIT intracellular phosphotransferase domain, while Kit(W-v) (W-v) is a single residue change in the ATP binding domain. This study tests how each mutation affects HSC function. METHODS: Cells in mutant and C57BL/6J(+/+) blood and marrow were compared. Overall HSC function was measured by competitive repopulation. Functions of specific progenitor populations were tested with stage-specific competitive repopulation and standard colony-forming unit assays. RESULTS: Bone marrow cells from these Kit mutants are severely defective at reconstituting peripheral blood lineages and bone marrow of irradiated recipients, when compared to +/+ control marrow. These defects increased with time. Marrow from W-41/+ and W-v/+ functions similarly but better than marrow from W-41/W-41 and W-42/+, to repopulate the erythroid and lymphoid lineages. Long-term (LT) and short-term (ST) HSC from W-v/+, W-41/W-41, and W-42/+ are more defective at reconstituting bone marrow than LT- and ST-HSC from W-41/+ and +/+. Common myeloid progenitor (CMP) cells from W-42/+ and W-41/W-41 are more defective at producing spleen colonies than CMP from W-v/+ and W-41/+. CONCLUSION: Heterozygous Kit mutants with little or no apparent anemia exhibit surprisingly large defects in overall HSC function. Multiplying the fractional defects in LT-HSC, ST-HSC, and CMP can account for overall effects of W-v/+, but does not completely account for the defects observed with W-41/+, W-42/+, and W-41/W-41.