The increasing use of high throughput sequencing and genomic analysis has facilitated the discovery of new causes of inherited platelet disorders. Studies of these disorders and their respective mouse models have been central to understanding their biology, and also in revealing new aspects of platelet function and production. This review covers recent contributions to the identification of genes, proteins and variants associated with inherited platelet defects, and highlights how these studies have provided insights into platelet development and function.
Novel genes recently implicated in human platelet dysfunction include the galactose metabolism enzyme UDP-galactose-4-epimerase in macrothrombocytopenia, and erythropoietin-producing hepatoma-amplified sequence receptor transmembrane tyrosine kinase EPHB2 in a severe bleeding disorder with deficiencies in platelet agonist response and granule secretion. Recent studies of disease-associated variants established or clarified roles in platelet function and/or production for the membrane receptor G6b-B, the FYN-binding protein FYB1/ADAP, the RAS guanyl-releasing protein RASGRP2/CalDAG-GEFI and the receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPRJ/CD148. Studies of genes associated with platelet disorders advanced understanding of the cellular roles of neurobeachin-like 2, as well as several genes influenced by the transcription regulator RUNT-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1), including NOTCH4.
The molecular bases of many hereditary platelet disorders have been elucidated by the application of recent advances in cell imaging and manipulation, genomics and protein function analysis. These techniques have also aided the detection of new disorders, and enabled studies of disease-associated genes and variants to enhance understanding of platelet development and function.
aCell Biology Program, Research Institute
bDivision of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children
cDepartment of Paediatrics
dDepartment of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Correspondence to Walter H.A. Kahr, MD, PhD, Cell Biology Program, Research Institute; Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, PGCRL, 686 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 0A4. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org