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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Mar;58(3):410-4. doi: 10.1002/pbc.23216. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Screening the PRF1, UNC13D, STX11, SH2D1A, XIAP, and ITK gene mutations in Chinese children with Epstein-Barr virus-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

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  • 1Department of Virology Laboratory, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of mutations in the PRF1, UNC13D, STX11, SH2D1A, XIAP, and ITK in Chinese pediatric patients with EBV-HLH.


Sixty-seven pediatric patients diagnosed with EBV-HLH in Beijing Children's Hospital were recruited. Nucleotide sequences of all exons and their flanking intronic sequences of PRF1, UNC13D, STX11, SH2D1A, XIAP, and ITK were amplified by PCR followed by direct sequencing.


Eight patients were identified with heterozygous, compound heterozygous, or homozygous mutations in PFR1, UNC13D, and XIAP. Three missense mutations (c.83G>A, c.503G>A, c.632C>T) were found in PRF1 of two males and two females. Compound heterozygous c.93C>G and c.1066C>T were found in PRF1 of a 2.5-year-old female. Four different mutations were found in UNC13D of two patients: compound nonsense heterozygous mutations c.766C>T and c.1215C>G were found in one male and two splicing mutations c.1596+1G>C and c.2709+1G>A were found in another male. A heterozygous mutation c.1099+2T>C in XIAP was found in a 4-year-old male. No detrimental mutations were identified in STX11, SH2D1A, or ITK. NK cell activity did not differ between the eight FHL patients and the remaining patients. There was no statistical difference in clinical features and laboratory data for these two subgroups with biallelic and heterozygous mutations.


Seven novel mutations in PRF1, UNC13D, and XIAP were identified in EBV-HLH patients. Only a fraction of the Chinese children with EBV-HLH have genetic defects in PRF1, UNC13D, and XIAP. There were no gene mutations of PRF1/UNC13D/STX11/SH2D1A/XIAP/ITK in the majority of Chinese child patients with EBV-HLH.

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