Mutation in the TCRα subunit constant gene (TRAC) leads to a human immunodeficiency disorder characterized by a lack of TCRαβ+ T cells.

Wellchild Paediatric Research Centre, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, University of Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The Journal of clinical investigation (Impact Factor: 13.77). 02/2011; 121(2):695-702. DOI: 10.1172/JCI41931
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Inherited immunodeficiency disorders can be caused by mutations in any one of a large number of genes involved in the function of immune cells. Here, we describe two families with an autosomal recessive inherited immunodeficiency disorder characterized by increased susceptibility to infection and autoimmunity. Genetic linkage studies mapped the disorder to chromosomal region 14q11.2, and a homozygous guanine-to-adenine substitution was identified at the last base of exon 3 immediately following the translational termination codon in the TCRα subunit constant gene (TRAC). RT-PCR analysis in the two affected individuals revealed impaired splicing of the mRNA, as exon 3 was lost from the TRAC transcript. The mutant TCRα chain protein was predicted to lack part of the connecting peptide domain and all of the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, which have a critical role in the regulation of the assembly and/or intracellular transport of TCR complexes. We found that T cells from affected individuals were profoundly impaired for surface expression of the TCRαβ complex. We believe this to be the first report of a disease-causing human TRAC mutation. Although the absence of TCRαβ+ T cells in the affected individuals was associated with immune dysregulation and autoimmunity, they had a surprising level of protection against infection.

Download full-text


Available from: Andrew J Cant, Jul 25, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Invasive candidiasis and aspergillosis are major complications in surgical and onco-hematological patients, and still associated with an important morbidity and mortality. A large number of studies highlighted the potential role of host genetic polymorphisms that may influence susceptibility to fungal pathogens, but many were limited by insufficient statistical power, problematic design, and/or lack of replication. However, some relevant polymorphisms are now emerging from well-conducted studies whose associations have been replicated and/or are supported by strong biological evidence. Such polymorphisms together with other biomarkers may play a role in the prediction, diagnosis, and management of severe fungal infections in high-risk patients in the coming years.
    Seminars in Immunopathology 11/2014; 37(2). DOI:10.1007/s00281-014-0468-y · 6.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a leading infectious cause of morbidity in immune-compromised patients. γδ T cells have been involved in the response to CMV but their role in protection has not been firmly established and their dependency on other lymphocytes has not been addressed. Using C57BL/6 αβ and/or γδ T cell-deficient mice, we here show that γδ T cells are as competent as αβ T cells to protect mice from CMV-induced death. γδ T cell-mediated protection involved control of viral load and prevented organ damage. γδ T cell recovery by bone marrow transplant or adoptive transfer experiments rescued CD3ε-/- mice from CMV-induced death confirming the protective antiviral role of γδ T cells. As observed in humans, different γδ T cell subsets were induced upon CMV challenge, which differentiated into effector memory cells. This response was observed in the liver and lungs and implicated both CD27+ and CD27- γδ T cells. NK cells were the largely preponderant producers of IFNγ and cytotoxic granules throughout the infection, suggesting that the protective role of γδ T cells did not principally rely on either of these two functions. Finally, γδ T cells were strikingly sufficient to fully protect Rag-/-γc-/- mice from death, demonstrating that they can act in the absence of B and NK cells. Altogether our results uncover an autonomous protective antiviral function of γδ T cells, and open new perspectives for the characterization of a non classical mode of action which should foster the design of new γδ T cell based therapies, especially useful in αβ T cell compromised patients.
    PLoS Pathogens 02/2015; 11(3):e1004702. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004702 · 8.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    10/2014; DOI:10.14785/lpsn-2014-0012