Key Points

  • Biallelic EFL1 mutations cause Shwachman-Diamond syndrome.

  • EFL1 deficiency impairs eIF6 eviction from nascent 60S ribosomal subunits, reducing subunit joining and attenuating protein synthesis.


Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is a recessive disorder typified by bone marrow failure and predisposition to hematological malignancies. SDS is predominantly caused by deficiency of the allosteric regulator Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome that cooperates with elongation factor-like GTPase 1 (EFL1) to catalyze release of the ribosome antiassociation factor eIF6 and activate translation. Here, we report biallelic mutations in EFL1 in 3 unrelated individuals with clinical features of SDS. Cellular defects in these individuals include impaired ribosomal subunit joining and attenuated global protein translation as a consequence of defective eIF6 eviction. In mice, Efl1 deficiency recapitulates key aspects of the SDS phenotype. By identifying biallelic EFL1 mutations in SDS, we define this leukemia predisposition disorder as a ribosomopathy that is caused by corruption of a fundamental, conserved mechanism, which licenses entry of the large ribosomal subunit into translation.

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