Neutrophil specific granule deficiency (SGD) is a congenital disorder associated with an impaired inflammatory response and a deficiency of several granule proteins. The underlying abnormality causing the deficiencies is unknown. We examined mRNA transcription and protein synthesis of two neutrophil granule proteins, lactoferrin and myeloperoxidase in SGD. Metabolically labeled SGD nucleated marrow cells produced normal amounts of myeloperoxidase, but there was no detectable synthesis of lactoferrin. Transcripts of the expected size for lactoferrin were detectable in the nucleated marrow cells of two SGD patients, but were markedly diminished in abundance when compared with normal nucleated marrow cell RNA. Because lactoferrin is secreted by the glandular epithelia of several tissues, we also assessed lactoferrin in the nasal secretions of one SGD patient by ELISA and immunoblotting. Nasal secretory lactoferrin was the same molecular weight as neutrophil lactoferrin and was secreted in normal amounts. From these data, we conclude that lactoferrin deficiency in SGD neutrophils is tissue specific and is secondary to an abnormality of RNA production. We speculate that the deficiency of several granule proteins is due to a common defect in regulation of transcription that is responsible for the abnormal myeloid differentiation seen in SGD patients.
K J Lomax, J I Gallin, D Rotrosen, G D Raphael, M A Kaliner, E J Benz Jr, L A Boxer, H L Malech