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A novel mutation in a critical region for the methyl donor binding in DNMT3B causes immunodeficiency, centromeric instability, and facial anomalies syndrome (ICF).

Rechavi E., Lev A., Eyal E., Barel O., Kol N., Barhom S.F., Pode-Shakked B., Anikster Y., Somech R., Simon A.J.

Immunodeficiency, centromeric instability, and facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome is an extremely rare autosomal recessive disease. The immune phenotype is characterized by hypogammaglobulinemia in the presence of B cells. T cell lymphopenia also develops in some patients. We sought to further investigate the immune defect in an ICF patient with a novel missense mutation in DNMT3B and a severe phenotype.Patient lymphocytes were examined for subset counts, immunoglobulin levels, T and B cell de novo production (via excision circles) and receptor repertoire diversity. Mutated DNMT3B protein structure was modeled to assess the effect of a mutation located outside of the catalytic region on protein function.A novel homozygous missense mutation, Ala585Thr, was found in DNMT3B. The patient had decreased B cell counts with hypogammaglobulinemia, and normal T cell counts. CD4+ T cells decreased over time, leading to an inversion of the CD4+ to CD8+ ratio. Excision circle copy numbers were normal, signifying normal de novo lymphocyte production, but the ratio between naïve and total B cells was low, indicating decreased in vivo B cell replication. T and B cell receptor repertoires displayed normal diversity. Computerized modeling of the mutated Ala585 residue suggested reduced thermostability, possibly affecting the enzyme kinetics.Our results highlight the existence of a T cell defect that develops over time in ICF patient, in addition to the known B cell dysfunction. With intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment ameliorating the B cell defect, the extent of CD4+ lymphopenia may determine the severity of ICF immunodeficiency.

J. Clin. Immunol. 36:801-809(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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