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Homozygous DNA ligase IV R278H mutation in mice leads to leaky SCID and represents a model for human LIG4 syndrome.

Authors:
Rucci F, Notarangelo LD, Fazeli A, Patrizi L, Hickernell T, Paganini T, Coakley KM, Detre C, Keszei M, Walter JE, Feldman L, Cheng HL, Poliani PL, Wang JH, Balter BB, Recher M, Andersson EM, Zha S, Giliani S, Terhorst C, Alt FW, Yan CT
Affiliation:
Journal:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Abstract

DNA ligase IV (LIG4) is an essential component of the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair pathway and plays a key role in V(D)J recombination. Hypomorphic LIG4 mutations in humans are associated with increased cellular radiosensitivity, microcephaly, facial dysmorphisms, growth retardation, developmental delay, and a variable degree of immunodeficiency. We have generated a knock-in mouse model with a homozygous Lig4 R278H mutation that corresponds to the first LIG4 mutation reported in humans. The phenotype of homozygous mutant mice Lig4(R278H/R278H) (Lig4(R/R)) includes growth retardation, a decreased life span, a severe cellular sensitivity to ionizing radiation, and a very severe, but incomplete block in T and B cell development. Peripheral T lymphocytes show an activated and anergic phenotype, reduced viability, and a restricted repertoire, reminiscent of human leaky SCID. Genomic instability is associated with a high rate of thymic tumor development. Finally, Lig4(R/R) mice spontaneously produce low-affinity antibodies that include autoreactive specificities, but are unable to mount high-affinity antibody responses. These findings highlight the importance of LIG4 in lymphocyte development and function, and in genomic stability maintenance, and provide a model for the complex phenotype of LIG4 syndrome in humans.

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