Issue 7, Volume 128

Cover Figure: New in vitro assay for megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors. See the article by Sanada et al.

WASHINGTON, August 18, 2016 – Welcome to “This Week in Blood,” a weekly snapshot of the hottest studies from each week’s issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), hand-picked by Blood Editor-in-Chief Bob Löwenberg, MD, PhD, and Deputy Editor Nancy Berliner, MD.

Time-dependent changes in mortality and transformation risk in MDS
The natural course of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) differs among subgroups, and stratification of patients with MDS is essential for decision making. Pfeilstöcker et al show that our current major scoring systems for patients with MDS predict outcome much better at diagnosis than at later times of follow-up, an important point to be taken into account in clinical management.

EZH2 phosphorylation by JAK3 mediates a switch to noncanonical function in natural killer/T-cell lymphoma
Yan and colleagues report a new function of EZH2. They demonstrate that in natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, EZH2, when it is phosphorylated by JAK3, can act as a transcriptional activator independently of its known histone methyltransferase activity. The interplay between JAK3 and EZH2 mediates a switch to activation of target genes that offers the prospect of new treatment options for neoplasms involving EZH2.

Integration of genetic and clinical risk factors improves prognostication in relapsed childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia
This study of a sizable cohort of patients presents the genetic landscape of childhood relapsed B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In a comprehensive clinical analysis, it reveals the key genetic abnormalities that predict treatment outcome after relapse.

DOT1L as a therapeutic target for the treatment of DNMT3A-mutant acute myeloid leukemia
Rau et al demonstrate a key functional role for DOT1L in DNMT3A-mutant acute myeloid leukemia. DOT1L inhibition results in growth arrest, apoptosis, and differentiation.

Allele-specific DNA methylation reinforces PEAR1 enhancer activity
Izzi et al pair a platelet function–associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with allele-specific methylation at a CpG island and regulation of PEAR1 RNA expression in megakaryopoiesis, describing one of the first epigenetic SNP links to platelet biology.

Adult human megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitors are in the CD34+CD38mid fraction
Sanada and colleagues report a modified in vitro colony assay and purification strategy for identification of primary functional human megakaryocyte-erythroid progenitor cells which allows exploration of the mechanisms of commitment and differentiation of human hematopoietic stem cells along specific lineage pathways.

Vascular thiol isomerases
Flaumenhaft and Furie review the contribution of vascular thiol isomerases to hemostasis and thrombosis. They discuss the mechanisms by which thiol isomerases control vascular function, as well as the diagnostic relevance and therapeutic utility of targeting them in thrombotic disorders.

This week's complete table of contents

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Blood (, the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field of hematology, is available weekly in print and online. Blood is the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) (, the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders.

ASH’s mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

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