[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) comprises a heterogeneous group of primary immunodeficiencies, a proportion of which are due to mutations in either of the 2 recombination activating genes (RAG)-1 and -2, which mediate the process of V(D)J recombination leading to the assembly of antigen receptor genes. It is reported here that the clinical and immunologic phenotypes of patients bearing mutations in RAGs are more diverse than previously thought and that this variability is related, in part, to the specific type of RAG mutation. By analyzing 44 such patients from 41 families, the following conclusions were reached: (1) null mutations on both alleles lead to the T-B-SCID phenotype; (2) patients manifesting classic Omenn syndrome (OS) have missense mutations on at least one allele and maintain partial V(D)J recombination activity, which accounts for the generation of residual, oligoclonal T-lymphocytes; (3) in a third group of patients, findings were only partially compatible with OS, and these patients, who also carried at least one missense mutation, may be considered to have atypical SCID/OS; (4) patients with engraftment of maternal T cells as a complication of a transplacental transfusion represented a fourth group, and these patients, who often presented with a clinical phenotype mimicking OS, may be observed regardless of the type of RAG gene mutation. Analysis of the RAG genes by direct sequencing is an effective way to provide accurate diagnosis of RAG-deficient as opposed to RAG-independent V(D)J recombination defects, a distinction that cannot be made based on clinical and immunologic phenotype alone.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X−linked thrombocytopenia (XLT) is a rare recessive hereditary disorder characterized by isolated thrombocytopenia with small−sized platelets. The XLT locus has been located to chromosome Xp11 by linkage analysis, which is also where the recently cloned Wiskott−Aldrich syndrome (WAS) gene, maps. The relationship between XLT and WAS has long been debated; they might be due to different mutations of the same gene or to mutations in different genes. We now show that mutations in the WAS gene, different from those found in WAS patients, are present in three unrelated male patients with isolated thrombocytopenia and small−sized platelets. Our results demonstrate that XLT and WAS are allelic forms of the same disease, but the causes of the differences need to be further investigated.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-linked immunodeficiency with hyper-IgM (HIGM1) is a rare disorder, characterized by recurrent infections associated with very low or absent IgG and IgA, and normal to increased IgM serum levels. The disease has been earlier mapped to the q26-27 region of the X-chromosome. We have identified a novel molecule expressed on the surface of activated T cells, which was designated TRAP (Tumor necrosis factor Related Activation Protein), and could demonstrate that TRAP is a ligand for the CD40 receptor expressed on B cells. Our mapping of the TRAP gene to the Xq26.3-27.1 region suggested a causal relationship to HIGM1. Further work revealed that various mutations of the TRAP/CD40 ligand (CD40L) gene may lead to a defective expression of the TRAP/CD40L molecule on the T-cell surface in HIGM1 patients. A combination of structural and functional analyses finally demonstrated that the failure of TRAP/CD40L on T cells to interact with CD40 on B cells is responsible for the inefficient T-cell help for B cells observed in HIGM1. The observations made in HIGM1 allowed us to conclude that TRAP/CD40L is not required for IgM synthesis. In contrast, functional expression of TRAP is a prerequisite for effective immunoglobulin isotype switching and subsequent production of IgG, IgA and IgE by B cells in vivo. The interaction of TRAP/CD40L with CD40 thus provides a very critical link between the cellular and the humoral part of the immune system. The knowledge of TRAP/CD40L cDNA sequence, the availability of various reagents for the testing of expression and function of TRAP/CD40L, and our recent elucidation of the exon-intron structure of the TRAP/CD40L gene now provide all necessary tools for early diagnosis of affected patients and the detection of female carriers of HIGM1. The available information will also provide a basis for future attempts at gene therapy in this disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole-blood cells of obligate carriers of the X-linked Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) exhibit nonrandom inactivation of the X-chromosomes. However, because of the limited polymorphism of the probes available, the X-methylation pattern can only be determined in a restricted proportion of females. We thus analysed a large set of normal females and members of WAS families, using the recently described marker M27 beta, which detects the hyperpolymorphic locus DXS255. The probe was used to detect differences in methylation between the active and inactive X-chromosome, and the findings were compared with the pattern obtained using the well-documented probes from the 5' end of the PGK and HPRT genes. All the normal females were found to use either X-chromosome randomly, and there was complete correlation between the three probes in the populations studied. Segregation analysis performed with M27 beta and other related markers in the WAS families was fully in accordance with the X-inactivation data. The use of M27 beta, for both X-inactivation and segregation analysis of WAS kindreds, provides a basis for genetic counselling in the majority of families, including those with no surviving males.
Human Genetics 06/1992; 89(2):223-8. · 4.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Segregation analysis was performed in three families affected in X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) with five polymorphic DNA probes linked to the disease locus. In agreement with previous studies, no recombination was observed with either pXG12 (DXS94) or S21 (DXS17). Segregation analysis was also performed with a marker, p212 (DXS178), which has been shown to be closely linked to pXG12 in normal families. No cross-over with XLA was observed in these three families and in five additional families previously analyzed with DXS17 and DXS94 (z = 5.92 at theta = 0). These data provide evidence against genetic heterogeneity in XLA and indicate the value of probe p212 for carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis of XLA. We were able to estimate the carrier status of six females (out of six) in the three previously unreported families.
Human Genetics 01/1990; 84(1):19-21. · 4.63 Impact Factor