Independent mutations of the human CD3-epsilon gene resulting in a T cell receptor/CD3 complex immunodeficiency.
The T-cell receptor (TCR) is composed of two glycoproteins (alpha and beta or gamma and delta) associated with four invariant polypeptides (CD3-gamma, delta, epsilon and zeta). The majority of TCR/CD3 complexes contain six polypeptide chains, and although there is some flexibility in the complex subunit stoichiometry the CD3-epsilon chain is central to CD3 core assembly and full complex formation. We have described previously defective expression of the TCR/CD3 complex in an immunodeficient child. We now report that two independent CD3-epsilon gene mutations present in the parents have segregated in the patient, leading to defective CD3-epsilon chain synthesis and preventing normal association and membrane expression of the TCR/CD3 complex.