• Platelet endocytosis of a-granule proteins, albumin, fibrinogen and IgG, were decreased in 2 patients with germline RUNX1 haplodeficiency

  • In RUNX1-deficient HEL cells and MK endocytosis was enhanced with defective trafficking leading to decreased protein levels

Platelet α-granules have numerous proteins, some synthesized by megakaryocytes (MK) and others not synthesized but incorporated by endocytosis, an incompletely understood process in platelets/MK. Germline RUNX1 haplodeficiency, referred to as familial platelet defect with predisposition to myeloid malignancies (FPDMM), is associated with thrombocytopenia, platelet dysfunction and granule deficiencies. In previous studies, we found that platelet albumin, fibrinogen and IgG were decreased in a FPDMM patient. We now show that platelet endocytosis of fluorescent-labeled albumin, fibrinogen and IgG is decreased in the patient and his daughter with FPDMM. In megakaryocytic human erythroleukemia (HEL) cells, siRNA RUNX1 knockdown (KD) increased uptake of these proteins over 24 hours compared to control cells, with increases in caveolin-1 and flotillin-1 (two independent regulators of clathrin-independent endocytosis), LAMP2 (a lysosomal marker), RAB11 (a marker of recycling endosomes) and IFITM3. Caveolin-1 downregulation in RUNX1-deficient HEL cells abrogated the increased uptake of albumin, but not fibrinogen. Albumin, but not fibrinogen, partially colocalized with caveolin-1. RUNX1 knockdown increased colocalization of albumin with flotillin and of fibrinogen with RAB11 suggesting altered trafficking of both. The increased uptake of albumin and fibrinogen and levels of caveolin-1, flotillin-1, LAMP2 and IFITM3 were recapitulated by shRNA RUNX1 knockdown in CD34+-derived MK. These studies provide first evidence that platelet endocytosis of albumin and fibrinogen is impaired in some patients with RUNX1-haplodeficiency and that megakaryocytes have enhanced endocytosis with defective trafficking leading to loss of these proteins by distinct mechanisms. They provide new insights into mechanisms governing endocytosis and α-granule deficiencies in RUNX1-haplodeficiency.

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