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To gain insight into the poorly understood pathophysiology of the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs), we have determined the gene expression profiles of the CD34+ cells of 55 patients with MDS by using a comprehensive array platform. These profiles showed many similarities to reported interferon-gamma-induced gene expression in normal CD34+ cells; indeed the 2 most up-regulated genes, IFIT1 and IFITM1, are interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Alterations in the expression of ISGs may play a role in the hematologic features of MDS, such as peripheral blood cytopenias. Up-regulation of IFIT1 is a potential diagnostic marker for MDS. We determined whether distinct gene expression profiles were associated with specific FAB and cytogenetic groups. CD34+ cells from patients with refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (RARS) showed a particular gene expression profile characterized by up-regulation of mitochondrial-related genes and, in particular, of those of heme synthesis (eg, ALAS2). CD34+ cells from patients with the del(5q) had a distinct gene expression profile, characterized by down-regulation of genes assigned to 5q, and up-regulation of the histone HIST1 gene cluster at chromosome 6p21 and of genes related to the actin cytoskeleton. This study provides important and new insights into the pathophysiology of MDS.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





337 - 345


Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Antigens, CD34, Bone Marrow Cells, Gene Expression Profiling, Humans, Interferons, International Cooperation, Karyotyping, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, Phylogeny, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction