Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Macrothrombocytopenia is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by increased platelet size and a decreased number of circulating platelets. The membrane skeleton and the link between actin filaments of the skeleton and microtubules, which consist of alpha and beta tubulin [including the tubulin beta-1 chain (TUBB1)] heterodimers, are important for normal platelet morphology, and defects in these systems are associated with macrothrombocytopenia. Materials and methods: In this study, we sequenced the exons of the TUBB1 gene using DNA isolated from the peripheral blood samples of healthy controls (n = 47) and patients with macrothrombocytopenia (n = 37) from Turkey. The TUBB1 expression levels in fractioned blood samples from patients and healthy controls were analyzed by RT-qPCR and Western blot. Microtubule organization of the platelets in the peripheral blood smears of patients, and in mutant TUBB1-transfected HeLa cells, were analyzed by immunofluorescence staining. Results: A new TUBB1 c.803G>T (p.T178T) variant was detected in all of the control and patient samples. Importantly, we found 3 new heterozygous TUBB1 variants predicting amino acid substitutions: G146R (in 1 patient), E123Q (in 1 patient), and T274M (in 4 patients); the latter variant was associated with milder thrombocytopenia in cancer patients treated with paclitaxel. Ectopic expression of TUBB1 T274M/R307H variant in HeLa cells resulted in irregular microtubule organization. Conclusion: Further clinical and functional studies of the newly identified TUBB1 variants may offer important insights into their pathogenicity in macrothrombocytopenia.


TUBB1, macrothrombocytopenia, MYH9, platelets

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