Variable phenotypic expression of mutations in genes of the immune system

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Discovery of mutated genes that cause various types of primary immunodeficiencies has significantly advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases and of the functions of normal gene products. However, it is becoming abundantly clear that the phenotypic presentation of mutations in a given gene can be quite different, depending upon the location and type of mutation but also probably upon other genetic factors and environmental influences. In this issue of the JCI, de Villartay et al. describe a third phenotype for mutations in recombination activating gene 1 (RAG1), in addition to the already known phenotypes of SCID and Omenn syndrome.

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