Incidence of CSF3R mutations in severe congenital neutropenia and relevance for leukemogenesis: results of a long-term survey

Manuela Germeshausen, Matthias Ballmaier and Karl Welte


Point mutations in the gene for the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) receptor CSF3R have been implicated in the progression of severe congenital neutropenia (CN) to leukemia. In this study we present data on a total of 218 patients with chronic neutropenia, including 148 patients with CN (23/148 with secondary malignancies). We detected CSF3R nonsense mutations at 17 different nucleotide positions (thereof 10 new mutations) which lead to a loss of 1 to all 4 tyrosine residues in the intracellular domain of the receptor. Of 23 patients with CN with signs of malignant transformation, 18 (78%) were shown to harbor a CSF3R mutation, indicating that these mutations, although not a necessary condition, are highly predictive for malignant transformation even if detected in a low percentage of transcripts. In serial analyses of 50 patients with CSF3R mutations we were able to follow the clonal dynamics of mutated cells. We could demonstrate that even a highly clonal hematopoiesis did not inevitably show a rapid progression to leukemia. Our results strongly suggest that acquisition of a CSF3R mutation is an early event in leukemogenesis that has to be accompanied by cooperating molecular events, which remain to be defined.

  • Submitted February 17, 2006.
  • Accepted August 9, 2006.
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