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A high proportion of patients with myelodysplasia show characteristic karyotypic abnormalities in bone marrow cells. The most distinctive of the myelodysplastic syndromes is the 5q- syndrome characterized by refractory anemia, poorly lobulated megakaryocytes, and an interstitial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 5 (5q deletion) as the sole karyotypic abnormality. Recently, several genes encoding hemopoietic growth factors and receptors, comprising the interleukins 3, 4, and 5, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating factor, and the receptor for macrophage-colony-stimulating factor [the CSF1R (formerly FMS) gene product], have been localized to the long arm of chromosome 5, and there has been much speculation that deletion of one or more of these genes may be critical to the pathogenesis of the associated myeloid disorders. One candidate gene is CSF1R, which is required for normal proliferation and differentiation of hemopoietic cells of the myeloid lineage. We have carried out a molecular examination of the CSF1R, both on the 5q- chromosome and on the apparently normal homologous chromosome 5, in 10 patients with myelodysplasia and a 5q deletion. We have found, using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and gene dosage experiments, that all 10 patients showed deletion of CSF1R; 6 of 10 were hemizygous and 4 of 10 homozygous for CSF1R loss. The homozygous CSF1R loss has been confirmed in 2 patients by an in situ hybridization technique comparing the signal in affected cells to that in control sex-mismatched cells on the same slides. In those patients considered to have homozygous CSF1R loss by DNA experiments the gene was deleted from the 5q chromosome in all cells and from the apparently normal chromosome 5 in a subset of cells. This loss of one CSF1R allele, together with loss in some cells of the remaining allele on the homologous chromosome 5, in patients with myelodysplasia indicates that this is a region of critical gene loss on 5q. The loss of the hemopoietic growth factor receptor gene CSF1R may be important in the pathogenesis of human myeloid leukemia.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





6176 - 6180


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alleles, Bone Marrow, Chromosome Banding, Chromosome Deletion, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 5, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Receptor, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Reference Values