Hypomorphic mutations in the zinc finger domain of NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO) cause X-linked hyper-IgM syndrome with ectodermal dysplasia (XHM-ED). Here we report that patient B cells are characterized by an absence of Ig somatic hypermutation (SHM) and defective class switch recombination (CSR) despite normal induction of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and Iε-Cε transcripts. This indicates that AID expression alone is insufficient to support neutralizing antibody responses. Furthermore, we show that patient B cells stimulated with CD40 ligand are impaired in both p65 and c-Rel activation, and whereas addition of IL-4 can enhance p65 activity, c-Rel activity remains deficient. This suggests that these NF-κB components have different activation requirements and that IL-4 can augment some but not all NEMO-dependent NF-κB signaling. Finally, using microarray analysis of patient B cells we identified downstream effects of impaired NF-κB activation and candidate factors that may be necessary for CSR and SHM in B cells.
Ashish Jain, Chi A. Ma, Eduardo Lopez-Granados, Gary Means, William Brady, Jordan S. Orange, Shuying Liu, Steven Holland, Jonathan M.J. Derry