Antibody deficiency due to a missense mutation in CD19 demonstrates the importance of the conserved tryptophan 41 in immunoglobulin superfamily domain formation
Immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) domains are conserved structures present in many proteins in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. These domains are well-capable of facilitating sequence variation, which is most clearly illustrated by the variable regions in immunoglobulins (Igs) and T cell receptors (TRs). We studied an antibody-deficient patient suffering from recurrent respiratory infections and with impaired antibody responses to vaccinations. Patient's B cells showed impaired Ca2+influx upon stimulation with anti-IgM and lacked detectable CD19 membrane expression. CD19 sequence analysis revealed a homozygous missense mutation resulting in a tryptophan to cystein (W52C) amino acid change. The affected tryptophan is CONSERVED-TRP 41 located on the C-strand of the first extracellular IgSF domain of CD19 and was found to be highly conserved, not only in mammalian CD19 proteins, but in nearly all characterized IgSF domains. Furthermore, the tryptophan is present in all variable domains in Ig and TR and was not mutated in 117 Ig class-switched transcripts of B cells from controls, despite an overall 10% amino acid change frequency. In vitro complementation studies and CD19 western blotting of patient's B cells demonstrated that the mutated protein remained immaturely glycosylated. This first missense mutation resulting in a CD19 deficiency demonstrates the crucial role of a highly conserved tryptophan in proper folding or stability of IgSF domains.