July 19, 2019  |  

Utility of DNA, RNA, protein, and functional approaches to solve cryptic immunodeficiencies.

Authors: Cousin, Margot A and Smith, Matthew J and Sigafoos, Ashley N and Jin, Jay J and Murphree, Marine I and Boczek, Nicole J and Blackburn, Patrick R and Oliver, Gavin R and Aleff, Ross A and Clark, Karl J and Wieben, Eric D and Joshi, Avni Y and Pichurin, Pavel N and Abraham, Roshini S and Klee, Eric W

We report a female infant identified by newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiencies (NBS SCID) with T cell lymphopenia (TCL). The patient had persistently elevated alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) with IgA deficiency, and elevated IgM. Gene sequencing for a SCID panel was uninformative. We sought to determine the cause of the immunodeficiency in this infant.We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) on the patient and parents to identify a genetic diagnosis. Based on the WES result, we developed a novel flow cytometric panel for rapid assessment of DNA repair defects using blood samples. We also performed whole transcriptome sequencing (WTS) on fibroblast RNA from the patient and father for abnormal transcript analysis.WES revealed a pathogenic paternally inherited indel in ATM. We used the flow panel to assess several proteins in the DNA repair pathway in lymphocyte subsets. The patient had absent phosphorylation of ATM, resulting in absent or aberrant phosphorylation of downstream proteins, including ?H2AX. However, ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) is an autosomal recessive condition, and the abnormal functional data did not correspond with a single ATM variant. WTS revealed in-frame reciprocal fusion transcripts involving ATM and SLC35F2 indicating a chromosome 11 inversion within 11q22.3, of maternal origin. Inversion breakpoints were identified within ATM intron 16 and SLC35F2 intron 7.We identified a novel ATM-breaking chromosome 11 inversion in trans with a pathogenic indel (compound heterozygote) resulting in non-functional ATM protein, consistent with a diagnosis of AT. Utilization of several molecular and functional assays allowed successful resolution of this case.

Journal: Journal of clinical immunology
DOI: 10.1007/s10875-018-0499-6
Year: 2018

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