Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are acquired bone marrow malignant disorders characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis, resulting from a complex interaction between genetic and epigenetic mutations, alterations of the marrow microenvironment, and the immune system. In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a classification that integrates morphologic and genetic information, considering the MDS with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS) as a distinct entity. Considering the strong association between MDS-RS and SF3B1 mutation and its importance in the development of MDS, the last WHO classification replaced the prior entity of MDS-RS with MDS with SF3B1 mutation. Several studies were performed to explore this genotype-phenotype correlation. Mutant SF3B1 protein deregulates the expression of genes implicated in developing hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Of paramount importance are PPOX and ABCB7 involved in iron metabolism. Another essential role in hemopoiesis is played by the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) receptor. This gene exerts its effects on SMAD pathways, regulating hematopoiesis through effects on balancing proliferation and apoptosis cell inactivity, differentiation, and migration. Luspatercept (ACE-536) is a soluble fusion protein that inhibits molecules in the TGF-β superfamily. Since its structure resembles the TGF-β family receptor, it catches TGF-β superfamily ligands before binding to the receptor, resulting in reduced activation of SMAD signaling, thus enabling erythroid maturation. Luspatercept was investigated in the phase III trial MEDALIST, showing promising efficacy in treating anemia compared to placebo. Nowadays, further studies are needed to explore the real potential of luspatercept, investigating the biological features likely associated with treatment response, the potential use in combination treatments, and its role in the treatment of naïve MDS.
Keywords: MDS-RS; SF3B1; luspatercept; myelodysplastic syndromes; ring sideroblasts.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)