Interferon-gamma improves splicing efficiency of CYBB gene transcripts in an interferon-responsive variant of chronic granulomatous disease due to a splice site consensus region mutation

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Department of Pediatrics

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*Alternative Splicing; B-Lymphocytes; Cell Line, Transformed; Cells, Cultured; Exons; Granulomatous Disease, Chronic; Herpesvirus 4, Human; Humans; Interferon-gamma, Recombinant; Membrane Glycoproteins; Monocytes; NADPH Oxidase; Point Mutation; RNA, Messenger; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction; Transcription, Genetic


Hematology | Oncology | Pediatrics


X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) derives from defects in the CYBB gene, which encodes the gp91-phox component of NADPH oxidase. We studied the molecular basis of the disease in a kindred with variant CGD, due to a single base substitution at the sixth position of CYBB first intron. The patients' phagocytes have been shown previously to greatly increase superoxide release in response to interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in vitro and in vivo. We examined CYBB gene expression in an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed B-cell line from 1 patient in this kindred. These cells showed markedly decreased levels of CYBB transcripts in total RNA (5% of normal) and nuclear RNA (1.4% of normal), despite equal CYBB transcription rates in the CGD and control cells. Incubation with IFN-gamma produced a 3-fold increase in CYBB total messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the patient's cells, and decreased nuclear transcripts to undetectable levels. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of RNA splicing revealed a preponderance of unspliced CYBB transcripts in the patient's nuclear RNA. In vitro incubation with IFN-gamma increased by 40% the ratio of spliced relative to unspliced CYBB mRNA in nuclei from the CGD B-cell line. Total RNA harvested from the same patient's monocytes, on and off therapy with IFN-gamma, showed a similar improvement in splicing. We conclude that IFN-gamma partially corrects a nuclear processing defect due to the intronic mutation in the CYBB gene in this kindred, most likely by augmentation of nuclear export of normal transcripts, and improvement in the fidelity of splicing at the first intron.


Blood. 2000 Jun 1;95(11):3548-54.

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