Ligand independence of the T618I mutation in the colony-stimulating factor 3 receptor (CSF3R) protein results from loss of O-linked glycosylation and increased receptor dimerization

Julia E. Maxson, Samuel B. Luty, Jason D. MacManiman, Melissa L. Abel, Brian J. Druker, Jeffrey W. Tyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Mutations in the CSF3 granulocyte colony-stimulating factor receptor CSF3R have recently been found in a large percentage of patients with chronic neutrophilic leukemia and, more rarely, in other types of leukemia. These CSF3R mutations fall into two distinct categories: membrane-proximal mutations and truncation mutations. Although both classes of mutation have exhibited the capacity for cellular transformation, several aspects of this transformation, including the kinetics, the requirement for ligand, and the dysregulation of downstream signaling pathways, have all been shown to be discrepant between the mutation types, suggesting distinct mechanisms of activation. CSF3R truncation mutations induce overexpression and ligand hypersensitivity of the receptor, likely because of the removal of motifs necessary for endocytosis and degradation. In contrast, little is known about the mechanism of activation of membrane-proximal mutations, which are much more commonly observed in chronic neutrophilic leukemia. In contrast with CSF3R truncation mutations, membrane-proximal mutations do not exhibit overexpression and are capable of signaling in the absence of ligand. We show that the Thr-615 and Thr-618 sites of membrane-proximal mutations are part of an O-linked glycosylation cluster. Mutation at these sites prevents O-glycosylation of CSF3R and increases receptor dimerization. This increased dimerization explains the ligand-independent activation of CSF3R membrane-proximal mutations. Cytokine receptor activation through loss of O-glycosylation represents a novel avenue of aberrant signaling. Finally, the combination of the CSF3R membrane proximal and truncation mutations, as has been reported in some patients, leads to enhanced cellular transformation when compared with either mutation alone, underscoring their distinct mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5820-5827
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 28 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this