There are more than 7000 described rare diseases, most lacking specific treatment. Autosomal-dominant hyper-IgE syndrome (AD-HIES, also known as Job’s syndrome) is caused by mutations in STAT3. These patients present with immunodeficiency accompanied by severe nonimmunological features, including skeletal, connective tissue, and vascular abnormalities, poor postinfection lung healing, and subsequent pulmonary failure. No specific therapies are available for these abnormalities. Here, we investigated underlying mechanisms in order to identify therapeutic targets. Histological analysis of skin wounds demonstrated delayed granulation tissue formation and vascularization during skin-wound healing in AD-HIES patients. Global gene expression analysis in AD-HIES patient skin fibroblasts identified deficiencies in a STAT3-controlled transcriptional network regulating extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and angiogenesis, with hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) being a major contributor. Consistent with this, histological analysis of skin wounds and coronary arteries from AD-HIES patients showed decreased HIF-1α expression and revealed abnormal organization of the ECM and altered formation of the coronary vasa vasorum. Disease modeling using cell culture and mouse models of angiogenesis and wound healing confirmed these predicted deficiencies and demonstrated therapeutic benefit of HIF-1α–stabilizing drugs. The study provides mechanistic insights into AD-HIES pathophysiology and suggests potential treatment options for this rare disease.
Natalia I. Dmitrieva, Avram D. Walts, Dai Phuong Nguyen, Alex Grubb, Xue Zhang, Xujing Wang, Xianfeng Ping, Hui Jin, Zhen Yu, Zu-Xi Yu, Dan Yang, Robin Schwartzbeck, Clifton L. Dalgard, Beth A. Kozel, Mark D. Levin, Russell H. Knutsen, Delong Liu, Joshua D. Milner, Diego B. López, Michael P. O’Connell, Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, Ian A. Myles, Amy P. Hsu, Alexandra F. Freeman, Steven M. Holland, Guibin Chen, Manfred Boehm