Unique ethnic features of DDX41 mutations in patients with idiopathic cytopenia of undetermined significance, myelodysplastic syndrome, or acute myeloid leukemia.

DDX41 mutations are associated with hematologic malignancies including myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but the incidence in idiopathic cytopenia of undetermined significance (ICUS) is unknown. We investigated the incidence, genetic characteristics, and clinical features of DDX41 mutations in Korean patients with ICUS, MDS, or AML. We performed targeted deep sequencing of 61 genes including DDX41 in 457 patients with ICUS (n=75), MDS (n=210), or AML (n=172). The germline DDX41 mutations with causality were identified in 28 (6.1%) patients, of whom 27 (96.4%) had somatic mutations in the other position of DDX41. Germline origins of the DDX41 mutations were confirmed in all of the 11 patients who performed germline-based testing. Of the germline DDX41 mutations, p.V152G (n=10) was most common, followed by p.Y259C (n=8), p.A500fs (n=6), and p.E7* (n=3). Compared with non-mutated patients, DDX41-mutated patients showed male predominance, old age, normal karyotype, low leukocyte count, and hypocellular marrow at diagnosis. Three of the 4 ICUS patients with germline DDX41 mutations progressed to MDS. DDX41 mutations in Korean patients showed a high incidence and distinct mutation patterns, in that p.V152G was a unique germline variant. ICUS harboring germline DDX41 mutations may be regarded as a hereditary myeloid neoplasm. Germline DDX41 mutations are not uncommon and should be explored when treating the patients with myeloid malignancies.

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Authors: Eun-Ji Choi, Young-Uk Cho, Eun-Hye Hur, Seongsoo Jang, Nayoung Kim, Han-Seung Park, Jung-Hee Lee, Kyoo-Hyung Lee, Si-Hwan Kim, Sang-Hyun Hwang, Eul-Ju Seo, Chan-Jeoung Park, Je-Hwan Lee