Isolation of a novel gene mutated in Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked recessive immunodeficiency characterized by eczema, thrombocytopenia, and recurrent infections. Linkage studies have placed the gene at Xp11.22-p11.23. We have isolated from this interval a novel gene, WASP, which is expressed in lymphocytes, spleen, and thymus. The gene is not expressed in two unrelated WAS patients, one of whom has a single base deletion that produces a frame shift and premature termination of translation. Two additional patients have been identified with point mutations that change the same arginine residue to either a histidine or a leucine. WASP encodes a 501 amino acid proline-rich protein that is likely to be a key regulator of lymphocyte and platelet function.