The formation of clathrin-coated vesicles is essential for intracellular membrane trafficking between subcellular compartments and is triggered by the ARF family of small GTPases. We previously identified SMAP1 as an ARF6 GTPase-activating protein that functions in clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Because abnormalities in clathrin-dependent trafficking are often associated with oncogenesis, we targeted Smap1 in mice to examine its physiological and pathological significance. Smap1-deficent mice exhibited healthy growth, but their erythroblasts showed enhanced transferrin endocytosis. In mast cells cultured in SCF, Smap1 deficiency did not affect the internalization of c-KIT but impaired the sorting of internalized c-KIT from multivesicular bodies to lysosomes, resulting in intracellular accumulation of undegraded c-KIT that was accompanied by enhanced activation of ERK and increased cell growth. Interestingly, approximately 50% of aged Smap1-deficient mice developed anemia associated with morphologically dysplastic cells of erythroid-myeloid lineage, which are hematological abnormalities similar to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in humans. Furthermore, some Smap1-deficient mice developed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) of various subtypes. Collectively, to our knowledge these results provide the first evidence in a mouse model that the deregulation of clathrin-dependent membrane trafficking may be involved in the development of MDS and subsequent AML.


Shunsuke Kon, Naoko Minegishi, Kenji Tanabe, Toshio Watanabe, Tomo Funaki, Won Fen Wong, Daisuke Sakamoto, Yudai Higuchi, Hiroshi Kiyonari, Katsutoshi Asano, Yoichiro Iwakura, Manabu Fukumoto, Motomi Osato, Masashi Sanada, Seishi Ogawa, Takuro Nakamura, Masanobu Satake


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