Article

Two novel activating mutations in the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein result in congenital neutropenia

Department of Haematology, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, WC1N 3JH, United Kingdom.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 11/2006; 108(7):2182-9. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2006-01-010249
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) is characterized by neutropenia, recurrent bacterial infections, and maturation arrest in the bone marrow. Although many cases have mutations in the ELA2 gene encoding neutrophil elastase, a significant proportion remain undefined at a molecular level. A mutation (Leu270Pro) in the gene encoding the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) resulting in an X-linked SCN kindred has been reported. We therefore screened the WAS gene in 14 young SCN males with wild-type ELA2 and identified 2 with novel mutations, one who presented with myelodysplasia (Ile294Thr) and the other with classic SCN (Ser270Pro). Both patients had defects of immunologic function including a generalized reduction of lymphoid and natural killer cell numbers, reduced lymphocyte proliferation, and abrogated phagocyte activity. In vitro culture of bone marrow progenitors demonstrated a profound reduction in neutrophil production and increased levels of apoptosis, consistent with an intrinsic disturbance of normal myeloid differentiation as the cause of the neutropenia. Both mutations resulted in increased WASp activity and produced marked abnormalities of cytoskeletal structure and dynamics. Furthermore, these results also suggest a novel cause of myelodysplasia and that male children with myelodysplasia and disturbance of immunologic function should be screened for such mutations.

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    ABSTRACT: Thesis submitted in requirements for the degree of Doctor in Biomedical Sciences (PhD). Mentors (at the ULg): Prof. Yves Beguin and Dr. Frédéric Baron.
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decades, research dedicated to the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying primary immunodeficiencies (PID) has helped to understand the etiology of many of these diseases and to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Beyond these aspects, PID are also studied because they offer invaluable natural genetic tools to dissect the human immune system. In this review, we highlight the research that has focused over the last 20 years on T lymphocytes from Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) patients. WAS T lymphocytes are defective for the WAS protein (WASP), a regulator of actin cytoskeleton remodeling. Therefore, study of WAS T lymphocytes has helped to grasp that many steps of T lymphocyte activation and function depend on the crosstalk between membrane receptors and the actin cytoskeleton. These steps include motility, immunological synapse assembly, and signaling, as well as the implementation of helper, regulatory, or cytotoxic effector functions. The recent concept that WASP also works as a regulator of transcription within the nucleus is an illustration of the complexity of signal integration in T lymphocytes. Finally, this review will discuss how further study of WAS may contribute to solve novel challenges of T lymphocyte biology.
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