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Blood. 2011 Nov 10;118(19):5108-18. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-05-352716. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Major histocompatibility complex class II expression deficiency caused by a RFXANK founder mutation: a survey of 35 patients.

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Pediatric Hematology-Immunology Unit, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Necker Hospital, France.


Inherited deficiency of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules impairs antigen presentation to CD4(+) T cells and results in combined immunodeficiency (CID). Autosomal-recessive mutations in the RFXANK gene account for two-thirds of all cases of MHC class II deficiency. We describe here the genetic, clinical, and immunologic features of 35 patients from 30 unrelated kindreds from North Africa sharing the same RFXANK founder mutation, a 26-bp deletion called I5E6-25_I5E6 + 1), and date the founder event responsible for this mutation in this population to approximately 2250 years ago (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1750-3025 years). Ten of the 23 patients who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) were cured, with the recovery of almost normal immune functions. Five of the patients from this cohort who did not undergo HSCT had a poor prognosis and eventually died (at ages of 1-17 years). However, 7 patients who did not undergo HSCT (at ages of 6-32 years) are still alive on Ig treatment and antibiotic prophylaxis. RFXANK deficiency is a severe, often fatal CID for which HSCT is the only curative treatment. However, some patients may survive for relatively long periods if multiple prophylactic measures are implemented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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