DOI: 10.1098/rsob.230407 ISSN: 2046-2441

A critical threshold of MCM10 is required to maintain genome stability during differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into natural killer cells

Megan M. Schmit, Ryan M. Baxley, Liangjun Wang, Peter Hinderlie, Marissa Kaufman, Emily Simon, Anjali Raju, Jeffrey S. Miller, Anja-Katrin Bielinsky
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Immunology
  • General Neuroscience

Natural killer (NK) cell deficiency (NKD) is a rare disease in which NK cell function is reduced, leaving affected individuals susceptible to repeated viral infections and cancer. Recently, a patient with NKD was identified carrying compound heterozygous variants of MCM10 ( minichromosome maintenance protein 10 ), an essential gene required for DNA replication, that caused a significant decrease in the amount of functional MCM10. NKD in this patient presented as loss of functionally mature late-stage NK cells. To understand how MCM10 deficiency affects NK cell development, we generated MCM10 heterozygous ( MCM10 +/− ) induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines. Analyses of these cell lines demonstrated that MCM10 was haploinsufficient, similar to results in other human cell lines. Reduced levels of MCM10 in mutant iPSCs was associated with impaired clonogenic survival and increased genomic instability, including micronuclei formation and telomere erosion. The severity of these phenotypes correlated with the extent of MCM10 depletion. Significantly, MCM10 +/− iPSCs displayed defects in NK cell differentiation, exhibiting reduced yields of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Although MCM10 +/− HSCs were able to give rise to lymphoid progenitors, these did not generate mature NK cells. The lack of mature NK cells coincided with telomere erosion, suggesting that NKD caused by these MCM10 variants arose from the accumulation of genomic instability including degradation of chromosome ends.

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