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The emergence of multiomic single-cell technologies over the last decade has led to improved insights into both normal hematopoiesis and its perturbation in a variety of hematological disorders. Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) syndrome is one such disorder where single-cell assays have helped to delineate the cellular and molecular defects underlying the disease. DBA is caused by heterozygous loss-of-function germline variants in genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs). Despite the widespread role of ribosomes in hematopoiesis, the most frequent and severe cytopenia in DBA is anemia. In this review we discussed how single-cell studies, including clonogenic cell culture assays, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), have led to insights into the pathogenesis of DBA. The main therapies are regular blood transfusions, glucocorticoids, or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) but all are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We will therefore outline how single-cell studies can inform new therapies for DBA. Furthermore, we discussed how DBA serves as a useful model for understanding normal erythropoiesis in terms of its cellular hierarchy, molecular regulation during homeostasis, and response to "stress."

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Hematol

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