A number of heritable immune dysregulatory diseases result from defects affecting regulatory T (Treg) cell development, function, or both. They include immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) syndrome, which is caused by mutations in forkhead box P3(FOXP3), and IPEX-like disorders caused by mutations in IL-2 receptor α(IL2RA), signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b(STAT5b), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 1(STAT1). However, the genetic defects underlying many cases of IPEX-like disorders remain unknown.Objective:
We sought to identify the genetic abnormalities in patients with idiopathic IPEX-like disorders.Methods:
We performed whole-exome and targeted gene sequencing and phenotypic and functional analyses of Treg cells.Results:
A child who presented with an IPEX-like syndrome and severe Treg cell deficiency was found to harbor a nonsense mutation in the gene encoding LPS-responsive beige-like anchor (LRBA), which was previously implicated as a cause of common variable immunodeficiency with autoimmunity. Analysis of subjects with LRBA deficiency revealed marked Treg cell depletion; profoundly decreased expression of canonical Treg cell markers, including FOXP3, CD25, Helios, and cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated antigen 4; and impaired Treg cell–mediated suppression. There was skewing in favor of memory T cells and intense autoantibody production, with marked expansion of T follicular helper and contraction of T follicular regulatory cells. Whereas the frequency of recent thymic emigrants and the differentiation of induced Treg cells were normal, LRBA-deficient T cells exhibited increased apoptosis and reduced activities of the metabolic sensors mammalian target of rapamycin complexes 1 and 2.Conclusion:
LRBA deficiency is a novel cause of IPEX-like syndrome and Treg cell deficiency associated with metabolic dysfunction and increased apoptosis of Treg cells.