Transcription factor RUNX1 is a master regulator of hematopoiesis and megakaryopoiesis. RUNX1 haplodeficiency (RHD) is associated with thrombocytopenia and platelet granule deficiencies and dysfunction. Platelet profiling of our study patient with RHD showed decreased expression of RAB31, a small GTPase whose cell biology in megakaryocytes (MKs)/platelets is unknown. Platelet RAB31 messenger RNA was decreased in the index patient and in 2 additional patients with RHD. Promoter-reporter studies using phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-treated megakaryocytic human erythroleukemia cells revealed that RUNX1 regulates RAB31 via binding to its promoter. We investigated RUNX1 and RAB31 roles in endosomal dynamics using immunofluorescence staining for markers of early endosomes (EEs; early endosomal autoantigen 1) and late endosomes (CD63)/multivesicular bodies. Downregulation of RUNX1 or RAB31 (by small interfering RNA or CRISPR/Cas9) showed a striking enlargement of EEs, partially reversed by RAB31 reconstitution. This EE defect was observed in MKs differentiated from a patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell line (RHD-iMKs). Studies using immunofluorescence staining showed that trafficking of 3 proteins with distinct roles (von Willebrand factor [VWF], a protein trafficked to α-granules; epidermal growth factor receptor; and mannose-6-phosphate) was impaired at the level of EE on downregulation of RAB31 or RUNX1. There was loss of plasma membrane VWF in RUNX1- and RAB31-deficient megakaryocytic human erythroleukemia cells and RHD-iMKs. These studies provide evidence that RAB31 is downregulated in RHD and regulates megakaryocytic vesicle trafficking of 3 major proteins with diverse biological roles. EE defect and impaired vesicle trafficking is a potential mechanism for the α-granule defects observed in RUNX1 deficiency.
Jalagadugula, Gauthami; Mao, Guangfen; Goldfinger, Lawrence E; Wurtzel, Jeremy; Del Carpio-Cano, Fabiola; Lambert, Michele P; Estevez, Brian; French, Deborah L; Poncz, Mortimer; and Rao, A Koneti, "Defective RAB31-mediated Megakaryocytic Early Endosomal Trafficking of VWF, EGFR, and M6PR in RUNX1 Deficiency" (2022). Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research. Paper 71.
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