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Blood. 2008 Apr 15;111(8):4209-19. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-05-092429. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Altered intracellular and extracellular signaling leads to impaired T-cell functions in ADA-SCID patients.

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San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Milan, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Blood. 2014 Jun 5;123(23):3682.


Mutations in the adenosine deaminase (ADA) gene are responsible for a form of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) caused by the lymphotoxic accumulation of ADA substrates, adenosine and 2'-deoxy-adenosine. The molecular mechanisms underlying T-cell dysfunction in humans remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that CD4(+) T cells from ADA-SCID patients have severely compromised TCR/CD28-driven proliferation and cytokine production, both at the transcriptional and protein levels. Such an impairment is associated with an intrinsically reduced ZAP-70 phosphorylation, Ca(2+) flux, and ERK1/2 signaling and to defective transcriptional events linked to CREB and NF-kappaB. Moreover, exposure to 2'-deoxy-adenosine results in a stronger inhibition of T-cell activation, mediated by the aberrant A(2A) adenosine receptor signaling engagement and PKA hyperactivation, or in a direct apoptotic effect at higher doses. Conversely, in T cells isolated from patients after gene therapy with retrovirally transduced hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, the biochemical events after TCR triggering occur properly, leading to restored effector functions and normal sensitivity to apoptosis. Overall, our findings provide a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the immune defects associated with an altered purine metabolism and confirm that ADA gene transfer is an efficacious treatment for ADA-SCID. The trials in this study are enrolled at as #NCT00598481 and #NCT0059978.

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