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Br J Haematol. 2001 Jun;113(4):861-5.

Protein assays for diagnosis of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and X-linked thrombocytopenia.

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Molecular Immunology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK.


Mutations in the gene encoding the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) give rise to Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), a condition that exhibits a wide spectrum of clinical severity. Patients may develop mild thrombocytopenia or suffer from a wide range of associated disorders including eczema, immune dysfunction, autoimmune disease and malignancy. The clinical diagnosis of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) can be difficult and is usually supported by the detection of WASp gene mutations using genetic analysis. Recently, protein-based assays have been used to demonstrate the absence of WASp in patients known to have WASp gene mutations. We have now reversed this approach and report on the use of immunoblot assays to rapidly diagnose WAS in 13 patients. There was a complete absence of WASp in 10 out of 13 patients and an abnormal protein form was detected in the remaining three patients. In all cases, subsequent genetic analysis confirmed the presence of a WASp gene mutation. We believe that protein-based assays should be employed as the first line of investigation in the diagnosis of WAS spectrum disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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