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J Clin Invest. 2004 Dec;114(11):1593-602.

Specific NEMO mutations impair CD40-mediated c-Rel activation and B cell terminal differentiation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Host Defense, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Hypomorphic mutations in the zinc finger domain of NF-kappaB essential modulator (NEMO) cause X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome with ectodermal dysplasia (XHM-ED). Here we report that patient B cells are characterized by an absence of Ig somatic hypermutation (SHM) and defective class switch recombination (CSR) despite normal induction of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and Iepsilon-Cepsilon transcripts. This indicates that AID expression alone is insufficient to support neutralizing antibody responses. Furthermore, we show that patient B cells stimulated with CD40 ligand are impaired in both p65 and c-Rel activation, and whereas addition of IL-4 can enhance p65 activity, c-Rel activity remains deficient. This suggests that these NF-kappaB components have different activation requirements and that IL-4 can augment some but not all NEMO-dependent NF-kappaB signaling. Finally, using microarray analysis of patient B cells we identified downstream effects of impaired NF-kappaB activation and candidate factors that may be necessary for CSR and SHM in B cells.

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