Molecular basis of a multiple lymphokine deficiency in a patient with severe combined immunodeficiency

E. Castigli, R. Pahwa, R. A. Good, R. S. Geha, T. A. Chatila

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34 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that the T lymphocytes of a child with severe combined immunodeficiency are defective in the transcription of several lymphokine genes that include IL2, IL3, IL4, and IL5, which encode interleukins 2, 3, 4, and 5 (IL-2, -3, -4, and -5). To determine whether the defect in the patient's T lymphocytes involved a trans-acting factor common to the affected lymphokine genes, we examined the ability of nuclear factors from the patient's T lymphocytes to bind response elements present in the regulatory region of IL2. Nuclear factor NF-kB, activation protein 1 (AP-1), OCT-1, and NF-IL-2B binding activity were normal. In contrast, the binding of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT) to its response element in the IL2 enhancer and to an NF-AT-like response element present in the IL4 enhancer was abnormal. To ascertain whether the abnormal NF-AT binding activity was related to an impaired function, we transfected patient and control T lymphocytes with constructs containing the reporter gene encoding chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) under the control of the entire IL2 regulatory region or of multimers of individual enhancer sequences. CAT expression directed by the IL2 regulatory region or by a multimer of the NF- AT-binding site was markedly lower in the patient relative to controls. In contrast, CAT gene expression directed by a multimer of the OCT-1 proximal (OCT-1p)-binding site was equivalent in patient and controls. These results indicate that an abnormality of/or influencing NF-AT may underlie the multiple lymphokine deficiency in this patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4728-4732
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1993

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