NBEAL2 mutations and bleeding in patients with gray platelet syndrome

Fred G. Pluthero, Jorge Di Paola, Manuel D. Carcao, Walter H.A. Kahr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Homozygosity/compound heterozygosity for loss of function mutations in neurobeachin-like 2 (NBEAL2) is causative for Gray platelet syndrome (GPS; MIM #139090), characterized by thrombocytopenia and large platelets lacking α-granules and cargo. Most GPS-associated NBEAL2 mutations generate nonsense codons; frameshifts causing premature translation termination and/or changes in mRNA splicing have also been observed. Data regarding NBEAL2 protein expression in GPS patients is limited. We observed absence of NBEAL2 in platelets from GPS patients with 3 different genotypes, and reduced/truncated platelet NBEAL2 has been reported for others. GPS is commonly associated with mild bleeding, but lifethreatening bleeding has been reported in some cases. A common long-term complication in GPS patients is myelofibrosis; splenomegaly is less common but sometimes of sufficient severity to merit splenectomy. Like GPS patients, mice lacking NBEAL2 expression exhibit macrothrombocytopenia, deficiency of platelet α-granules, splenomegaly, myelofibrosis, impaired platelet function and abnormalities in megakaryocyte development. Animal studies have also reported impaired platelet function in vivo using laser injury and thrombo-inflammation models. NBEAL2 is a large gene with 54 exons, and several putative functional domains have been identified in NBEAL2, including PH (pleckstrin homology) and BEACH (beige and Chediak-Higashi) domains shared with other members of a protein family that includes LYST and LRBA, also expressed by hematopoietic cells. Potential NBEAL2-interacting proteins have recently been identified, and it is expected that current and future efforts will reveal the cellular mechanisms by which NBEAL2 facilitates platelet development and supports hemostatic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-635
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2018


  • Gray platelet syndrome
  • NBEAL2
  • megakaryocyte
  • platelet
  • α-granule


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