Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from a transplanted, asymptomatic patient with Fanconi anemia exhibit an aging-like phenotype and dysregulated expression of genes implicated in hematopoiesis and myelodysplasia,

Published:December 05, 2022DOI:


      Background aims

      Fanconi anemia (FA) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by defects in the repair of DNA inter-strand crosslinks and manifests as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. FA also causes defects in mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) function, but how different FA gene mutations alter function remains understudied.


      We compared the growth, differentiation and transcript profile of a single MSC isolate from an asymptomatic patient with FA with a FANCG nonsense mutation who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 10 years prior to that from a representative healthy donor (HD).


      We show that FANCG−/− MSCs exhibit rapid onset of growth cessation, skewed bi-lineage differentiation in favor of adipogenesis and increased cellular oxidate stress consistent with an aging-like phenotype. Transcript profiling identified pathways related to cell growth, senescence, cellular stress responses and DNA replication/repair as over-represented in FANCG−/− MSC, and real-time polymerase chain reaction confirmed these MSCs expressed reduced levels of transcripts implicated in cell growth (TWIST1, FGFR2v7-8) and osteogenesis (TWIST1, RUNX2) and increased levels of transcripts regulating adipogenesis (GPR116) and insulin signaling. They also expressed reduced levels of mRNAs implicated in HSC self-maintenance and homing (KITLG, HGF, GDNF, PGF, CFB, IL-1B and CSF1) and elevated levels of those implicated in myelodysplasia (IL-6, GDF15).


      Together, these findings demonstrate how inactivation of FANCG impacts MSC behavior, which parallels observed defects in osteogenesis, HSC depletion and leukemic blast formation seen in patients with FA.

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