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Multifaceted pathomolecular mechanism of a VWF large deletion involved in the pathogenesis of severe VWD.

Blood advances

Authors: Hamideh Yadegari, Muhammad Ahmer Jamil, Jens Müller, Natascha Marquardt, Orla Rawley, Ulrich Budde, Osman El-Maarri, David Lillicrap, Johannes Oldenburg

An in-frame heterozygous large deletion of exons 4 through 34 of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) gene was identified in a type 3 von Willebrand disease (VWD) index patient (IP), as the only VWF variant. The IP exhibited severe bleeding episodes despite prophylaxis treatment, with a short VWF half-life after infusion of VWF/factor VIII concentrates. Transcript analysis confirmed transcription of normal VWF messenger RNA besides an aberrant deleted transcript. The IP endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) exhibited a defect in the VWF multimers and Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) biogenesis, although demonstrating normal VWF secretion compared with healthy cells. Immunostaining of IP-ECFCs revealed subcellular mislocalization of WPBs pro-inflammatory cargos angiopoietin-2 (Ang2, nuclear accumulation) and P-selectin. Besides, the RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis showed upregulation of pro-inflammatory and proangiogenic genes, P-selectin, interleukin 8 (IL-8), IL-6, and GROα, copackaged with VWF into WPBs. Further, whole-transcriptome RNA-seq and subsequent gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis indicated the most enriched GO-biological process terms among the differentially expressed genes in IP-ECFCs were regulation of cell differentiation, cell adhesion, leukocyte adhesion to vascular endothelial, blood vessel morphogenesis, and angiogenesis, which resemble downstream signaling pathways associated with inflammatory stimuli and Ang2 priming. Accordingly, our functional experiments exhibited an increased endothelial cell adhesiveness and interruption in endothelial cell-cell junctions of the IP-ECFCs. In conclusion, the deleted VWF has a dominant-negative impact on multimer assembly and the biogenesis of WPBs, leading to altered trafficking of their pro-inflammatory cargos uniquely, which, in turn, causes changes in cellular signaling pathways, phenotype, and function of the endothelial cells.

© 2022 by The American Society of Hematology. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), permitting only noncommercial, nonderivative use with attribution. All other rights reserved.

PMID: 34861678

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