My PhD research is the identification and characterization of genes for inherited bone marrow failure and myelodysplastic syndromes (BMF/MDS). Since my previous F30 submission, I have identified two candidate genes for these conditions by genomic analysis of severely affected families.
The aims of this new proposal are to test each gene as the possible cause of inherited BMF/MDS in its host family, then to evaluate the possible role of each gene in hematopoiesis.
In Aim 1, I will test whether a missense mutation in GALE (UDP-galactose-4-epimerase) may be responsible for severe thrombocytopenia, febrile neutropenia, and anemia in a large consanguineous kindred.
In Aim 1 a, I will screen for other mutations in GALE by fully sequencing the gene in DNA from unrelated patients from the BMF/MDS repositories.
In Aim 1 b, I will compare enzymatic activities of wildtype and mutant GALE by HPLC. I will also compare the crystal structures of wildtype and mutant GALE in complex with NADH and nucleotide sugars.
In Aim 1 c, I will suppress GALE in primary human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells and measure cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. I will also explore ER stress and other effects that may be mechanisms by which loss of GALE impairs hematopoietic development.
In Aim 2, I will test whether a missense mutation in transcription factor TFDP2 (E2F Dimerization Partner-2) may be responsible for severe thrombocytopenia, anemia, and craniosynostosis in affected siblings in a consanguineous family.
In Aim 2 a, I will screen for other mutations in TFDP2 in DNA from patients from the BMF/MDS repositories and, independently, in patients with craniosynostosis.
In Aim 2 b, I will compare mutant and wildtype TFDP2 with respect to binding affinity to E2F partners and will compare effects of wildtype and mutant E2F/TFDP2 complexes on transcription activity of target genes.
In Aim 2 c, I will test the effects of suppression of TFDP2 on CD34+ cells, and test for defects in cell cycle transition and in DNA replication by comparing endoreduplication levels and BrdU incorporation. Elucidating roles for GALE and TFDP2 in hematopoiesis will add important knowledge to the field. Studying the role of GALE can help explain how changes in glycosylation affect hematopoietic proliferation and differentiation. E2F pathways are well-known in cell cycle regulation, but less so in development. Studying mutation in TFDP2 will improve our understanding of the role of E2F/TFDP transcription factor complexes in hematopoiesis and human development.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to identify and characterize genes crucial for blood cell development by studying patients with a strong family history of impaired bone marrow function of unknown etiology. The project will use cutting-edge genomic technologies to identify novel causative genes in conjunction with cellular and molecular biology tools to determine the effects of novel genes on blood cell development. Characterization of new genes involved in human blood cell development will aid in the accurate diagnosis of patients, guide effective medical management, and promote the development of rationally designed and targeted therapies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Individual Predoctoral NRSA for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships (ADAMHA) (F30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1)
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Roy, Cindy
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University of Washington
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Seo, Aaron; Steinberg-Shemer, Orna; Unal, Sule et al. (2018) Mechanism for survival of homozygous nonsense mutations in the tumor suppressor gene BRCA1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:5241-5246
Seo, Aaron; Ben-Harosh, Miri; Sirin, Mehtap et al. (2017) Bone marrow failure unresponsive to bone marrow transplant is caused by mutations in thrombopoietin. Blood 130:875-880