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J Exp Med. 2003 Aug 18;198(4):521-31.

Distinct mutations in IRAK-4 confer hyporesponsiveness to lipopolysaccharide and interleukin-1 in a patient with recurrent bacterial infections.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 20101, USA.


We identified previously a patient with recurrent bacterial infections who failed to respond to gram-negative LPS in vivo, and whose leukocytes were profoundly hyporesponsive to LPS and IL-1 in vitro. We now demonstrate that this patient also exhibits deficient responses in a skin blister model of aseptic inflammation. A lack of IL-18 responsiveness, coupled with diminished LPS and/or IL-1-induced nuclear factor-kappaB and activator protein-1 translocation, p38 phosphorylation, gene expression, and dysregulated IL-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)-1 activity in vitro support the hypothesis that the defect lies within the signaling pathway common to toll-like receptor 4, IL-1R, and IL-18R. This patient expresses a "compound heterozygous" genotype, with a point mutation (C877T in cDNA) and a two-nucleotide, AC deletion (620-621del in cDNA) encoded by distinct alleles of the IRAK-4 gene (GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession nos. AF445802 and AY186092). Both mutations encode proteins with an intact death domain, but a truncated kinase domain, thereby precluding expression of full-length IRAK-4 (i.e., a recessive phenotype). When overexpressed in HEK293T cells, neither truncated form augmented endogenous IRAK-1 kinase activity, and both inhibited endogenous IRAK-1 activity modestly. Thus, IRAK-4 is pivotal in the development of a normal inflammatory response initiated by bacterial or nonbacterial insults.

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