Mutations affecting mRNA splicing define distinct clinical phenotypes and correlate with patient outcome in myelodysplastic syndromes

Frederik Damm, Olivier Kosmider, Véronique Gelsi-Boyer, Aline Renneville, Nadine Carbuccia, Claire Hidalgo-Curtis, Véronique Della Valle, Lucile Couronné, Laurianne Scourzic, Virginie Chesnais, Agnes Guerci-Bresler, Bohrane Slama, Odile Beyne-Rauzy, Aline Schmidt-Tanguy, Aspasia Stamatoullas-Bastard, François Dreyfus, Thomas Prébet, Stéphane de Botton, Norbert Vey, Michael A. Morgan, Nicholas C. P. Cross, Claude Preudhomme, Daniel Birnbaum, Olivier A. Bernard and Michaela Fontenay and on behalf of the Groupe Francophone des Myélodysplasies


A cohort of MDS patients was examined for mutations affecting 4 splice genes (SF3B1, SRSF2, ZRSR2, and U2AF35) and evaluated in the context of clinical and molecular markers. Splice gene mutations were detected in 95 of 221 patients. These mutations were mutually exclusive and less likely to occur in patients with complex cytogenetics or TP53 mutations. SF3B1mut patients presented with lower hemoglobin levels, increased WBC and platelet counts, and were more likely to have DNMT3A mutations. SRSF2mut patients clustered in RAEB-1 and RAEB-2 subtypes and exhibited pronounced thrombocytopenias. ZRSR2mut patients clustered in International Prognostic Scoring System intermediate-1 and intermediate-2 risk groups, had higher percentages of bone marrow blasts, and more often displayed isolated neutropenias. SRSF2 and ZRSR2 mutations were more common in TET2mut patients. U2AF35mut patients had an increased prevalence of chromosome 20 deletions and ASXL1 mutations. Multivariate analysis revealed an inferior overall survival and a higher AML transformation rate for the genotype ZRSR2mut/TET2wt (overall survival: hazard ratio = 3.3; 95% CI, 1.4-7.7; P = .006; AML transformation: hazard ratio = 3.6; 95% CI, 2-4.2; P = .026). Our results demonstrate that splice gene mutations are among the most frequent molecular aberrations in myelodysplastic syndrome, define distinct clinical phenotypes, and show preferential associations with mutations targeting transcriptional regulation.

  • Submitted December 28, 2011.
  • Accepted February 13, 2012.
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