Objective: Hereditary spherocytosis (HS) is a heterogeneous group of spontaneously arising and inherited red blood cell disorders ranging from very mild subclinical cases to severe and life-threatening cases, with symptoms linked directly to the severity of the mutation at the molecular level. We investigated a novel mouse model in which the heterozygotes present with the diagnostic hallmarks of mild HS and surviving homozygotes phenocopy severe hemolytic HS.
Materials and methods: We used N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis to generate random point mutations in the mouse genome and a dominant screen to identify mouse models of human hematopoietic disease. Gene mapping of the HS strain revealed a unique in-frame nonsense mutation arising from a single base transversion in exon 27 of Ank1 (strain designation: Ank1(E924X)). Employing conventional hematopoietic, pathological, biochemical, and cell biology assays, we characterized heterozygous and homozygous Ank1(E924X) mice at the biochemical, cellular, and pathophysiological levels.
Results: Although Ank1(E924X/E924X) red blood cell ghosts lack abundant full-length ankyrin-1 isoforms, N-terminal epitope ankyrin-1 antibodies reveal a band consistent with the theoretical size of a truncated mutant ankyrin-1. Using domain-specific antibodies, we further show that this protein lacks both a spectrin-binding domain and a C-terminal regulatory domain. Finally, using antisera that detect C-terminal residues of the products of alternative Ank1 transcripts, we find unique immunoreactive bands not observed in red blood cell ghosts from wild-type or Ank1(E924X) heterozygous mice, including a band similar in size to full-length ankyrin-1.
Conclusions: The Ank1(E924X) strain provides a novel tool to study Ank1 and model HS.
Copyright © 2011 ISEH - Society for Hematology and Stem Cells. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.