Stathmin 1 (STMN1) is a cytosolic phosphoprotein that was discovered as a result of its high level of expression in leukemic cells. It plays an important role in the regulation of mitosis by promoting depolymerization of the microtubules that make up the mitotic spindle and, aging has been shown to impair STMN1 levels and change microtubule stability. We have previously demonstrated that a high level of STMN1 expression during early megakaryopoiesis is necessary for proliferation of megakaryocyte progenitors and that down-regulation of STMN1 expression during late megakaryopoiesis is important for megakaryocyte maturation and platelet production. In this report, we examined the effects of STMN1 deficiency on erythroid and megakaryocytic lineages in the mouse. Our studies show that STMN1 deficiency results in mild thrombocytopenia in young animals which converts into profound thrombocythemia as the mice age. STMN1 deficiency also lead to macrocytic changes in both erythrocytes and megakaryocytes that persisted throughout the life of STMN1 knock-out mice. Furthermore, STMN1 knock-out mice displayed a lower number of erythroid and megakaryocytic progenitor cells and had delayed recovery of their blood counts after chemotherapy. These studies show an important role for STMN1 in normal erythro-megakaryopoietic development and suggests potential implications for disorders affecting these hematopoietic lineages.
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