MYBL2 supports DNA double strand break repair in haematopoietic stem cells

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by blood cytopenias that occur as a result of somatic mutations in hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). MDS leads to ineffective haematopoiesis, and as many as 30% of patients progress to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The mechanisms by which mutations accumulate in HSC during aging remain poorly understood. Here we identify a novel role for MYBL2 in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair in HSC. In MDS patients, low MYBL2 levels associated with and preceded transcriptional deregulation of DNA repair genes. Stem/progenitor cells from these patients display dysfunctional DSB repair kinetics after exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). Haploinsufficiency of Mybl2 in mice also led to a defect in the repair of DSB induced by IR in HSC and was characterized by unsustained phosphorylation of the ATM substrate Kap1 and telomere fragility. Our study identifies MYBL2 as a crucial regulator of DSB repair and identifies MYBL2 expression levels as a potential biomarker to predict cellular response to genotoxic treatments in MDS and identify patients with defects in DNA repair. Such patients with worse prognosis may require a different therapeutic regimen to prevent progression to AML.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5767-5779
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Research
Issue number20
Early online date6 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018