Issue 5, Volume 127

Cover Figure: Structural basis for collagen recognition by the immune receptor OSCAR. Zhou et al.

WASHINGTON, February 4, 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.

Structural basis for collagen recognition by the immune receptor OSCAR
In a pioneering contribution, Zhou et al present a wealth of information about the biologically important collagen-activated osteoclast-associated receptor (OSCAR) and its interaction with collagen. They report the crystal structure of a collagen model peptide with a leukocyte receptor complex-encoded collagen receptor. Their findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of OSCAR-collagen interactions and create a foundation for potential therapies for a variety of diseases.

Variegated RHOA mutations in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
RHOA (Ras homolog gene family, member A) has recently been recognized as a genomic driver in cancer. In their study published in this week's Blood, Nagata et al identify and functionally characterize different RHOA hot spot gene mutations in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL), with gain-of-function and loss-of-function biochemical activities coexisting in the same disease category and linked to different T-cell phenotypes.

Genetic risk factors for the development of osteonecrosis in children under age 10 treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia
In this issue of Blood, Karol and colleagues report the first study that addresses the molecular predisposition to osteonecrosis, one of the most debilitating therapy-related medical complications in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Essential control of early B-cell development by Mef2 transcription factors
In this week's Blood, Herglotz et al demonstrate the redundant, essential role for the transcription factors Mef2c and Mef2d in early B-cell development. Their observations are of considerable importance to the fields of immunology, hematopoiesis, and hemato-oncology in light of the involvement of Mef2c in deletions and translocations associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Unbalanced recovery of regulatory and effector T cells after allogeneic stem cell transplantation contributes to chronic GVHD
The paper by Alho et al in the current issue of Blood reports a unique analysis of T-cell subset phenotypes and dynamics associated with the development of chronic graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in humans.

Signaling-mediated cooperativity between glycoprotein Ib-IX and protease-activated receptors in thrombin-induced platelet activation
Thrombin is a central player in hemostasis and thrombosis, and, as the major platelet agonist, it induces platelet activation and thrombus formation. In this week's Blood, Estevez et al propose a model of platelet activation induced by low levels of thrombin and requiring two different platelet receptors that demonstrate a mutually dependent cooperativity.

Natural heterogeneity of α2-antiplasmin: functional and clinical consequences
Human α2-antiplasmin (α2AP, α2-plasmin inhibitor) is the key physiological inhibitor of the fibrinolytic enzyme plasmin. The review by Abdul et al in this issue of Blood discusses recent findings of the main aspects of the natural heterogeneity of α2AP and its functional and clinical significance.

Diagnostic value of immunoassays for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis
In this week's Blood, Nagler et al present a systematic review and meta-analysis of the diagnostic accuracy of immunoassays for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). Their data, when combined with the 4T score, provide an easy-to-use, evidence-based framework for estimating the diagnostic probability of HIT.

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.

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