Clinical and biological features in PIEZO1-hereditary xerocytosis and Gardos channelopathy: a retrospective series of 126 patients.
ABSTRACT: We describe the clinical, hematologic and genetic characteristics of a retrospective series of 126 subjects from 64 families with hereditary xerocytosis. Twelve patients from six families carried a KCNN4 mutation, five had the recurrent p.Arg352His mutation and one had a new deletion at the exon 7-intron 7 junction. Forty-nine families carried a PIEZO1 mutation, which was a known recurrent mutation in only one-third of the cases and private sequence variation in others; 12 new probably pathogenic missense mutations were identified. The two dominant features leading to diagnosis were hemolysis that persisted after splenectomy and hyperferritinemia, with an inconstant correlation with liver iron content assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. PIEZO1-hereditary xerocytosis was characterized by compensated hemolysis in most cases, perinatal edema of heterogeneous severity in more than 20% of families and a major risk of post-splenectomy thrombotic events, including a high frequency of portal thrombosis. In KCNN4-related disease, the main symptoms were more severe anemia, hemolysis and iron overload, with no clear sign of red cell dehydration; therefore, this disorder would be better described as a 'Gardos channelopathy'. These data on the largest series to date indicate that PIEZO1-hereditary xerocytosis and Gardos channelopathy are not the same disease although they share hemolysis, a high rate of iron overload and inefficient splenectomy. They demonstrate the high variability in clinical expression as well as genetic bases of PIEZO1-hereditary xerocytosis. These results will help to improve the diagnosis of hereditary xerocytosis and to provide recommendations on the clinical management in terms of splenectomy, iron overload and pregnancy follow-up.
Project description:Gardos channelopathy (Gardos-HX) or type 2 stomatocytosis/xerocytosis is a hereditary hemolytic anemia due to mutations in the <i>KCNN4</i> gene. It is rarer than inherited type 1 xerocytosis due to <i>PIEZO1</i> mutations (Piezo1-HX) and its diagnosis is difficult given the absence of a specific clinical or biological phenotype. We report here that this diagnosis can be sped up using red blood cell (RBC) indices performed on an ADVIA 2120 (Siemens<sup>®</sup>) analyzer, which measures reticulocyte mean corpuscular volume (rMCV) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (rMCHC). We studied reticulocyte indices in 3 new and 12 described patients (8 families) with Gardos-HX, 11 subjects presented the recurrent p.Arg352His mutation, 4 cases (two families) carried a private <i>KCNN4</i> mutation. They were compared to 79 described patients (49 families) with Piezo1-HX. Surprisingly, in Gardos-HX cases, rMCV revealed to be smaller than MCV and rMCHC higher than MCHC, in contrast with normal or Piezo1-HX RBC. Consequently, ?MCV (rMCV-MCV) was -0.9 ± 5 fL vs. 19.8 ± 3 fL (<i>p</i> < 0.001) in Gardos compared with Piezo1-HX and ?MCHC (rMCHC-MCHC) was 18.7 ± 13 vs. -50 ± 8.7 g/L (<i>p</i> < 0.001). A threshold of 8.6 fL for ?MCV and -5.5 g/L for ?MCHC could discriminate between Gardos and Piezo1-HX with 100% sensitivity and specificity, regardless of age, mutation or splenectomy status. Consequently, we showed that reticulocytes indices are useful to suggest Gardos-HX on blood count results, allowing to rapidly target these patients for gene analysis. In addition, these parameters may prove useful as a 'functional tool' in interpreting new <i>KCNN4</i> variants.
Project description:The Gardos channel is a Ca2+ sensitive, K+ selective channel present in several tissues including RBCs, where it is involved in cell volume regulation. Recently, mutations at two different aminoacid residues in KCNN4 have been reported in patients with hereditary xerocytosis. We identified by whole exome sequencing a new family with two members affected by chronic hemolytic anemia carrying mutation R352H in the KCNN4 gene. No additional mutations in genes encoding for RBCs cytoskeletal, membrane or channel proteins were detected. We performed functional studies on patients' RBCs to evaluate the effects of R352H mutation on the cellular properties and eventually on the clinical phenotype. Gardos channel hyperactivation was demonstrated in circulating erythrocytes and erythroblasts differentiated ex-vivo from peripheral CD34+ cells. Pathological alterations in the function of multiple ion transport systems were observed, suggesting the presence of compensatory effects ultimately preventing cellular dehydration in patient's RBCs; moreover, flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence live-cell imaging showed Ca2+ overload in the RBCs of both patients and hypersensitivity of Ca2+ uptake by RBCs to swelling. Altogether these findings suggest that the 'Gardos channelopathy' is a complex pathology, to some extent different from the common hereditary xerocytosis.
Project description:Hereditary xerocytosis (HX; MIM 194380) is an autosomal-dominant hemolytic anemia characterized by primary erythrocyte dehydration. In many patients, heterozygous mutations associated with delayed channel inactivation have been identified in PIEZO1. This report describes patients from 2 well-phenotyped HX kindreds, including from one of the first HX kindreds described, who lack predicted heterozygous PIEZO1-linked variants. Whole-exome sequencing identified novel, heterozygous mutations affecting the Gardos channel, encoded by the KCNN4 gene, in both kindreds. Segregation analyses confirmed transmission of the Gardos channel mutations with disease phenotype in affected individuals. The KCNN4 variants were different mutations in the same residue, which is highly conserved across species and within members of the small-intermediate family of calcium-activated potassium channel proteins. Both mutations were predicted to be deleterious by mutation effect algorithms. In sickle erythrocytes, the Gardos channel is activated under deoxy conditions, leading to cellular dehydration due to salt and water loss. The identification of KCNN4 mutations in HX patients supports recent studies that indicate it plays a critical role in normal erythrocyte deformation in the microcirculation and participates in maintenance of erythrocyte volume homeostasis.
Project description:Hereditary xerocytosis (HX) is a rare disorder caused by defects of RBC permeability, associated with haemolytic anaemia of variable degree and iron overload. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as hereditary spherocytosis or other congenital haemolytic anaemia. Splenectomy is contraindicated due to increased risk of thromboembolic complications. We report the clinical, haematological, and molecular characteristics of four patients from two unrelated Italian families affected by HX, associated with beta-thalassemia trait and heterozygous pyruvate kinase deficiency, respectively. Two patients had been splenectomised and displayed thrombotic episodes. All patients had iron overload in the absence of transfusion, two of them requiring iron chelation. The diagnosis of HX was confirmed by LoRRca Osmoscan analysis showing a left-shifted curve. PIEZO1 gene sequencing revealed the presence of mutation p.E2496ELE, showing that this is one of the most frequent mutations in this disease. The concomitant defects did not aggravate the clinical phenotype; however, in one patient, the initial diagnosis of pyruvate kinase deficiency delayed the correct diagnosis of HX for many years and resulted in splenectomy followed by thrombotic complications. The study underlines the importance of a precise diagnosis in HX, particularly in view of splenectomy, and the need of a molecular confirmation of suspected RBC enzymopathy.
Project description:After the first proposed model of the red blood cell membrane skeleton 36 years ago, several additional proteins have been discovered during the intervening years, and their relationship with the pathogenesis of the related disorders have been somewhat defined. The knowledge of erythrocyte membrane structure is important because it represents the model for spectrin-based membrane skeletons in all cells and because defects in its structure underlie multiple hemolytic anemias. This review summarizes the main features of erythrocyte membrane disorders, dividing them into structural and altered permeability defects, focusing particularly on the most recent advances. New proteins involved in alterations of the red blood cell membrane permeability were recently described. The mechanoreceptor PIEZO1 is the largest ion channel identified to date, the fundamental regulator of erythrocyte volume homeostasis. Missense, gain-of-function mutations in the PIEZO1 gene have been identified in several families as causative of dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis or xerocytosis. Similarly, the KCNN4 gene, codifying the so called Gardos channel, has been recently identified as a second causative gene of hereditary xerocytosis. Finally, ABCB6 missense mutations were identified in different pedigrees of familial pseudohyperkalemia. New genomic technologies have improved the quality and reduced the time of diagnosis of these diseases. Moreover, they are essential for the identification of the new causative genes. However, many questions remain to solve, and are currently objects of intensive studies.
Project description:Hereditary xerocytosis is thought to be a rare genetic condition characterized by red blood cell (RBC) dehydration with mild hemolysis. RBC dehydration is linked to reduced Plasmodium infection in vitro; however, the role of RBC dehydration in protection against malaria in vivo is unknown. Most cases of hereditary xerocytosis are associated with gain-of-function mutations in PIEZO1, a mechanically activated ion channel. We engineered a mouse model of hereditary xerocytosis and show that Plasmodium infection fails to cause experimental cerebral malaria in these mice due to the action of Piezo1 in RBCs and in T cells. Remarkably, we identified a novel human gain-of-function PIEZO1 allele, E756del, present in a third of the African population. RBCs from individuals carrying this allele are dehydrated and display reduced Plasmodium infection in vitro. The existence of a gain-of-function PIEZO1 at such high frequencies is surprising and suggests an association with malaria resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (DHS) or hereditary xerocytosis is a rare, autosomal dominant hemolytic anemia characterized by macrocytosis, presence of stomatocytes and dehydration of red blood cells (RBCs). The dehydration is caused by a defect in cellular cation content. The most frequent expression of the pathology is hemolytic well-compensated anemia with high reticulocyte count, a tendency to macrocytosis, increased mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and mild jaundice. We here describe a new mutation of PIEZO1 gene, the most frequent mutated gene in DHS, in a family affected by hereditary hemolytic anemia. CASE PRESENTATION:We describe the case of a 12-years-old girl with well-compensated chronic hemolysis, increased MCHC and a father who had the same hematological characteristics. After excluding secondary causes of chronic hemolysis and enzymatic defects of the RBCs, microscopic observation of the peripheral blood smear, tests of RBC lysis, ektacytometry, SDS-PAGE and in last instance genetic analysis has been performed. This complex diagnostic workup identified a new variant in the PIEZO1 gene, never described in literature, causative of DHS. This pathogenetic variant was also detected in the father. CONCLUSIONS:This case report highlights the importance of a correct and exhaustive diagnostic-workup in patients with clinical suspicious for hemolytic anemia in order to make a differential diagnosis. This is relevant for the management of these patients because splenectomy is contraindicated in DHS due to high thrombotic risk.
Project description:A 17-year-old male presented with acute hemolysis with stomatocytosis, elevated mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), and osmotic gradient ektacytometry consistent with marked erythrocyte dehydration. Erythrocytes from both parents also demonstrated evidence of dehydration with elevated MCHC and abnormal ektacytometry, but neither to the degree of the patient. Genetic studies revealed the patient had hereditary xerocytosis (HX) due to a novel PIEZO1 mutation inherited from his mother and hemoglobin C (HbC) trait inherited from his father. HbC trait accentuated the erythrocyte dehydration of HX. Coinheritance of interrelated disorders and/or modifier alleles should be considered whenever severe erythrocyte dehydration is observed.
Project description:Mutations in PIEZO1 are the primary cause of hereditary xerocytosis, a clinically heterogeneous, dominantly inherited disorder of erythrocyte dehydration. We used next-generation sequencing-based techniques to identify <i>PIEZO1</i> mutations in individuals from 9 kindreds referred with suspected hereditary xerocytosis (HX) and/or undiagnosed congenital hemolytic anemia. Mutations were primarily found in the highly conserved, COOH-terminal pore-region domain. Several mutations were novel and demonstrated ethnic specificity. We characterized these mutations using genomic-, bioinformatic-, cell biology-, and physiology-based functional assays. For these studies, we created a novel, cell-based in vivo system for study of wild-type and variant PIEZO1 membrane protein expression, trafficking, and electrophysiology in a rigorous manner. Previous reports have indicated HX-associated PIEZO1 variants exhibit a partial gain-of-function phenotype with generation of mechanically activated currents that inactivate more slowly than wild type, indicating that increased cation permeability may lead to dehydration of PIEZO1-mutant HX erythrocytes. In addition to delayed channel inactivation, we found additional alterations in mutant PIEZO1 channel kinetics, differences in response to osmotic stress, and altered membrane protein trafficking, predicting variant alleles that worsen or ameliorate erythrocyte hydration. These results extend the genetic heterogeneity observed in HX and indicate that various pathophysiologic mechanisms contribute to the HX phenotype.
Project description:The non-selective mechanosensitive ion channel PIEZO1 controls erythrocyte volume homeostasis. Different missense gain-of-function mutations in PIEZO1 gene have been identified that cause Hereditary Xerocytosis (HX), a rare autosomal dominant haemolytic anemia. PIEZO1 expression is not limited to erythrocytes and expression levels are significantly higher in erythroid precursors, hinting to a role in erythropoiesis. During erythropoiesis, interactions between erythroblasts, central macrophages, and extracellular matrix within erythroblastic islands are important. Integrin ?4?1 and ?5?1 present on erythroblasts facilitate such interactions in erythroblastic islands. Here we found that chemical activation of PIEZO1 using Yoda1 leads to increased adhesion to VCAM1 and fibronectin in flowing conditions. Integrin ?4, ?5, and ?1 blocking antibodies prevented this PIEZO1-induced adhesion suggesting inside-out activation of integrin on erythroblasts. Blocking the Ca2+ dependent Calpain and PKC pathways by using specific inhibitors also blocked increased erythroid adhesion to VCAM1 and fibronectins. Cleavage of Talin was observed as a result of Calpain and PKC activity. In conclusion, PIEZO1 activation results in inside-out integrin activation, facilitated by calcium-dependent activation of PKC and Calpain. The data introduces novel concepts in Ca2+ signaling during erythropoiesis with ramification on erythroblastic island homeostasis in health and disease like Hereditary Xerocytosis.