eLife (Dec 2021)

Biallelic mutations in calcium release activated channel regulator 2A (CRACR2A) cause a primary immunodeficiency disorder

  • Beibei Wu,
  • Laura Rice,
  • Jennifer Shrimpton,
  • Dylan Lawless,
  • Kieran Walker,
  • Clive Carter,
  • Lynn McKeown,
  • Rashida Anwar,
  • Gina M Doody,
  • Sonal Srikanth,
  • Yousang Gwack,
  • Sinisa Savic

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10


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CRAC channel regulator 2 A (CRACR2A) is a large Rab GTPase that is expressed abundantly in T cells and acts as a signal transmitter between T cell receptor stimulation and activation of the Ca2+-NFAT and JNK-AP1 pathways. CRACR2A has been linked to human diseases in numerous genome-wide association studies, however, to date no patient with damaging variants in CRACR2A has been identified. In this study, we describe a patient harboring biallelic variants in CRACR2A [paternal allele c.834 gaG> gaT (p.E278D) and maternal alelle c.430 Aga > Gga (p.R144G) c.898 Gag> Tag (p.E300*)], the gene encoding CRACR2A. The 33-year-old patient of East-Asian origin exhibited late onset combined immunodeficiency characterised by recurrent chest infections, panhypogammaglobulinemia and CD4+ T cell lymphopenia. In vitro exposure of patient B cells to a T-dependent stimulus resulted in normal generation of antibody-secreting cells, however the patient’s T cells showed pronounced reduction in CRACR2A protein levels and reduced proximal TCR signaling, including dampened SOCE and reduced JNK phosphorylation, that contributed to a defect in proliferation and cytokine production. Expression of individual allelic mutants in CRACR2A-deleted T cells showed that the CRACR2AE278D mutant did not affect JNK phosphorylation, but impaired SOCE which resulted in reduced cytokine production. The truncated double mutant CRACR2AR144G/E300* showed a pronounced defect in JNK phosphorylation as well as SOCE and strong impairment in cytokine production. Thus, we have identified variants in CRACR2A that led to late-stage combined immunodeficiency characterized by loss of function in T cells.