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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2008 Sep;8(5):404-8.

Autosomal recessive agammaglobulinemia: novel insights from mutations in Ig-beta.

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Clinica Pediatrica, Università di Brescia, P.le Spedali Civili 1, 25127, Brescia, Italy.


Agammaglobulinemia is a rare primary immuno-deficiency characterized by an early block of B-cell development in the bone marrow resulting in the absence of peripheral B cells and low/absent immunoglobulin serum levels. Mutations in the Bruton tyrosine kinase and in components of the pre-B-cell receptor (pre-BCR), such as mu heavy chain, surrogate light chain, and Igalpha have been found in 85% to 90% of patients affected by this disease. Here we review the recent advances in the characterization of molecular defects underlying an early block in B-cell development, focusing on the novel finding of the first two patients with agammaglobulinemia caused by mutations in Igbeta, the transmembrane protein that associates with Igalpha as part of the pre-BCR complex. Characterization of novel genetic defects involving components of the pre-BCR is crucial for a better understanding of the biology of early B-cell development and may have therapeutic and prognostic implications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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