Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia (CAMT) is a recessive disorder characterized by severe reduction of megakaryocytes and platelets at birth, which evolves toward bone marrow aplasia in childhood. CAMT is mostly caused by mutations in MPL (CAMT-MPL), the gene encoding the receptor of thrombopoietin (THPO), a crucial cytokine regulating hematopoiesis. CAMT can be also due to mutations affecting the THPO coding region (CAMT-THPO).
In a child with CAMT clinical picture, we identified the homozygous c.-323C>T substitution, affecting a potential regulatory region of THPO. Though mechanisms controlling the THPO transcription are not characterized, bioinformatics and in vitro analysis showed that c.-323C>T prevents the binding of transcription factors ETS1 and STAT4 to the putative THPO promoter, impairing THPO expression. Accordingly, in the proband the serum THPO concentration indicates defective THPO production. Based on these findings, the patient was treated with the THPOmimetic agent eltrombopag, inducing a significant increase in platelet count and stable remission of bleeding symptoms. Herein, we report a novel pathogenic variant responsible for CAMT and provide new insights into the mechanisms regulating the transcription of the THPO gene.
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