Key Points

  • This Rpl5Skax23-Jusmouse model accurately recapitulates the variable anemia phenotype in DBA

Ribosome dysfunction is implicated in multiple abnormal developmental and disease states in humans. Heterozygous germline mutations in genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs) are found in the majority of individuals with Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA) while somatic mutations have been implicated in a variety of cancers and other disorders. Ribosomal protein-deficient animal models show variable phenotypes and penetrance, similar to human DBA patients. Here we characterized a novel ENU mouse mutant (Skax23m1Jus) with growth and skeletal defects, cardiac malformations and increased mortality. Following genetic mapping and whole exome sequencing, we identified an intronic Rpl5 mutation, which segregated with all affected mice. This mutation was associated with decreased ribosome generation, consistent with Rpl5 haploinsufficiency. Rpl5Skax23-Jus/+ mutant animals had a profound delay in erythroid maturation and increased mortality at embryonic day E12.5, which improved by E14.5. Surviving mutant animals had a macrocytic anemia at birth as well as evidence of ventricular septal defect (VSD). Surviving adult and aged mice exhibited no hematopoietic defect or VSD. We propose that this novel Rpl5Skax23-Jus mutant mouse will be useful to study the factors influencing the variable penetrance that is observed in DBA.

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