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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Nov;130(5):1144-1152.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.07.029. Epub 2012 Sep 15.

Primary T-cell immunodeficiency with immunodysregulation caused by autosomal recessive LCK deficiency.

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INSERM 768, Laboratoire du Développement Normal et Pathologique du Système Immunitaire, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.



Signals emanating from the antigen T-cell receptor (TCR) are required for T-cell development and function. The T lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) is a key component of the TCR signaling machinery. On the basis of its function, we considered LCK a candidate gene in patients with combined immunodeficiency.


We identify and describe a child with a T-cell immunodeficiency caused by a homozygous missense mutation of the LCK gene (c.1022T>C) resulting from uniparental disomy.


Genetic, molecular, and functional analyses were performed to characterize the Lck deficiency, and the associated clinical and immunologic phenotypes are reported.


The mutant LCK protein (p.L341P) was weakly expressed with no kinase activity and failed to reconstitute TCR signaling in LCK-deficient T cells. The patient presented with recurrent respiratory tract infections together with predominant early-onset inflammatory and autoimmune manifestations. The patient displayed CD4(+) T-cell lymphopenia and low levels of CD4 and CD8 expression on the T-cell surface. The residual T lymphocytes had an oligoclonal T-cell repertoire and exhibited a profound TCR signaling defect, with only weak tyrosine phosphorylation signals and no Ca(2+) mobilization in response to TCR stimulation.


We report a new form of T-cell immunodeficiency caused by a LCK gene defect, highlighting the essential role of Lck in human T-cell development and responses. Our results also point out that defects in the TCR signaling cascade often result in abnormal T-cell differentiation and functions, leading to an important risk factor for inflammation and autoimmunity.

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