Loss of the 9p21-syntenic locus in mice causes MDS/MPN–like disease with BM fibrosis and/or ossification.
The disease is driven by the aberrant BM niche producing less CXCL12 and more CXCL13 and osteopontin.
The chromosome 9p21 locus comprises several tumor suppressor genes including MTAP, CDKN2A, and CDKN2B, and its homo- or heterozygous deletion is associated with reduced survival in multiple cancer types. We report that mice with germ line monoallelic deletion or induced biallelic deletion of the 9p21-syntenic locus (9p21s) developed a fatal myelodysplastic syndrome/myeloproliferative neoplasm (MDS/MPN)-like disease associated with aberrant trabecular bone formation and/or fibrosis in the bone marrow (BM). Reciprocal BM transfers and conditional targeting of 9p21s suggested that the disease originates in the BM stroma. Single-cell analysis of 9p21s-deficient BM stroma revealed the expansion of chondrocyte and osteogenic precursors, reflected in increased osteogenic differentiation in vitro. It also showed reduced expression of factors maintaining hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, including Cxcl12. Accordingly, 9p21s-deficient mice showed reduced levels of circulating Cxcl12 and concomitant upregulation of the profibrotic chemokine Cxcl13 and the osteogenesis- and fibrosis-related multifunctional glycoprotein osteopontin/Spp1. Our study highlights the potential of mutations in the BM microenvironment to drive MDS/MPN–like disease.