Molecular analysis of the pre-BCR complex in a large cohort of patients affected by autosomal-recessive agammaglobulinemia

S. Ferrari, R. Zuntini, V. Lougaris, A. Soresina, V. Šourková, M. Fiorini, S. Martino, P. Rossi, M. C. Pietrogrande, B. Martire, G. Spadaro, F. Cardinale, F. Cossu, P. Pierani, I. Quinti, C. Rossi, A. Plebani

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Autosomal-recessive agammaglobulinemia is a rare and heterogeneous disorder, characterized by early-onset infections, profound hypogammaglobulinemia of all immunoglobulin isotypes and absence of circulating B lymphocytes. To investigate the molecular basis of the disease, 23 patients with early-onset disease and no mutations in Bruton tyrosine kinase, the gene responsible for X-linked agammaglobulinemia, were selected and analyzed by direct sequencing of candidate genes. Two novel mutations in the μ heavy chain (μHC) gene (IGHM) were identified in three patients belonging to two unrelated families. A fourth patient carries a previously described G>A nucleotide substitution at the -1 position of an alternative splice site in IGHM; here, we demonstrate that this mutation is indeed responsible for aberrant splicing. Comparison of bone marrow cytofluorimetric profiles in two patients carrying different mutations in the IGHM gene suggests a genotype-phenotype correlation with the stage at which B-cell development is blocked. Several new single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) both in the μHC and in the λ5-like/VpreB-coding genes were identified. Two unrelated patients carry compound heterozygous variations in the VpreB1 gene that may be involved in disease ethiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalGenes and Immunity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Immunology
  • Genetics


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