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The role of PHD2 mutations in the pathogenesis of erythrocytosis


Abstract

The transcription of the erythropoietin (EPO) gene is tightly regulated by the hypoxia response pathway to maintain oxygen homeostasis. Elevations in serum EPO level may be reflected in an augmentation in the red cell mass, thereby causing erythrocytosis. Studies on erythrocytosis have provided insights into the function of the oxygen-sensing pathway and the critical proteins involved in the regulation of EPO transcription. The α subunits of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor are hydroxylated by three prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) enzymes, which belong to the iron and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenase superfamily. Sequence analysis of the genes encoding the PHDs in patients with erythrocytosis has revealed heterozygous germline mutations only occurring in Egl nine homolog 1 (EGLN1, also known as PHD2), the gene that encodes PHD2. To date, 24 different EGLN1 mutations comprising missense, frameshift, and nonsense mutations have been described. The phenotypes associated with the patients carrying these mutations are fairly homogeneous and typically limited to erythrocytosis with normal to elevated EPO. However, exceptions exist; for example, there is one case with development of concurrent paraganglioma (PHD2-H374R). Analysis of the erythrocytosis-associated PHD2 missense mutations has shown heterogeneous results. Structural studies reveal that mutations can affect different domains of PHD2. Some are close to the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor α/2-oxoglutarate or the iron binding sites for PHD2. In silico studies demonstrate that the mutations do not always affect fully conserved residues. In vitro and in cellulo studies showed varying effects of the mutations, ranging from mild effects to severe loss of function. The exact mechanism of a potential tumor-suppressor role for PHD2 still needs to be elucidated. A knockin mouse model expressing the first reported PHD2-P317R mutation recapitulates the phenotype observed in humans (erythrocytosis with inappropriately normal serum EPO levels) and demonstrates that haploinsufficiency and partial deregulation of PHD2 is sufficient to cause erythrocytosis.

The transcription of the erythropoietin (EPO) gene is tightly regulated by the hypoxia response pathway to maintain oxygen homeostasis. Elevations in serum EPO level may be reflected in an augmentation in the red cell mass, thereby causing erythrocytosis. Studies on erythrocytosis have provided insights into the function of the oxygen-sensing pathway and the critical proteins involved in the regulation of EPO transcription. The α subunits of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor are hydroxylated by three prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) enzymes, which belong to the iron and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent oxygenase superfamily. Sequence analysis of the genes encoding the PHDs in patients with erythrocytosis has revealed heterozygous germline mutations only occurring in Egl nine homolog 1 (EGLN1, also known as PHD2), the gene that encodes PHD2. To date, 24 different EGLN1 mutations comprising missense, frameshift, and nonsense mutations have been described. The phenotypes associated with the patients carrying these mutations are fairly homogeneous and typically limited to erythrocytosis with normal to elevated EPO. However, exceptions exist; for example, there is one case with development of concurrent paraganglioma (PHD2-H374R). Analysis of the erythrocytosis-associated PHD2 missense mutations has shown heterogeneous results. Structural studies reveal that mutations can affect different domains of PHD2. Some are close to the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor α/2-oxoglutarate or the iron binding sites for PHD2. In silico studies demonstrate that the mutations do not always affect fully conserved residues. In vitro and in cellulo studies showed varying effects of the mutations, ranging from mild effects to severe loss of function. The exact mechanism of a potential tumor-suppressor role for PHD2 still needs to be elucidated. A knockin mouse model expressing the first reported PHD2-P317R mutation recapitulates the phenotype observed in humans (erythrocytosis with inappropriately normal serum EPO levels) and demonstrates that haploinsufficiency and partial deregulation of PHD2 is sufficient to cause erythrocytosis.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:23 Feb 2015 14:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:00
Publisher:DovePress
ISSN:2324-1128
Funders:HypoxiaNet, COST Action TD0901, Mol Diag of Myeloproliferative Neuplasms and MPN-Related Congenital Diseases EuroNet, COST Action BM0902, Nat. contre le Cancer
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2147/HP.S54455
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-107646

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