Colony-stimulating factor 3 receptor (CSF3R) encodes the receptor for granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), a cytokine vital for granulocyte proliferation and differentiation. Acquired activating heterozygous variants in CSF3R are the main cause of chronic neutrophilic leukemia, a hyperproliferative disorder. In contrast, biallelic germ line hypomorphic variants in CSF3R are a rare cause of severe congenital neutropenia, a hypoproliferative condition. The impact of heterozygous germ line CSF3R variants, however, is unknown. We identified CSF3R as a new germ line hematologic malignancy predisposition gene through analysis of 832 next-generation sequencing tests conducted in 632 patients with hematologic malignancies. Among germ line CSF3R variants, 3 were abnormal in functional testing, indicating their deleterious nature. p.Trp547* was identified in 2 unrelated men with myelodysplastic syndromes diagnosed at 76 and 33 years of age, respectively. p.Trp547* is a loss-of-function nonsense variant in the extracellular domain that results in decreased CSF3R messenger RNA expression and abrogation of CSF3R surface expression and proliferative responses to G-CSF. p.Ala119Thr is a missense variant found in 2 patients with multiple myeloma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, respectively. This variant is located between the extracellular immunoglobulin-like and cytokine receptor homology domains and results in decreased G-CSF sensitivity. p.Pro784Thr was identified in a 67-year-old man with multiple myeloma. p.Pro784Thr is a missense variant in the cytoplasmic domain that inhibits CSF3R internalization, producing a gain-of-function phenotype and G-CSF hypersensitivity. Our findings identify germ line heterozygous CSF3R variants as risk factors for development of myeloid and lymphoid malignancies.
© 2020 by The American Society of Hematology.