Homozygous variant p. Arg90His in NCF1 is associated with early-onset Interferonopathy: a case report Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Abstract Background Biallelic loss-of-function variants in NCF1 lead to reactive oxygen species deficiency and chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). Heterozygosity for the p.Arg90His variant in NCF1 has been associated with susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome in adult patients. This study demonstrates the association of the homozygous p.Arg90His variant with interferonopathy with features of autoinflammation and autoimmunity in a pediatric patient. Case presentation A 5-year old female of Indian ancestry with early-onset recurrent fever and headache, and persistently elevated antinuclear, anti-Ro, and anti-La antibodies was found to carry the homozygous p.Arg90His variant in NCF1 through exome sequencing. Her unaffected parents and three other siblings were carriers for the mutant allele. Because the presence of two NCF1 pseudogenes, this variant was confirmed by independent genotyping methods. Her intracellular neutrophil oxidative burst and NCF1 expression levels were normal, and no clinical features of CGD were apparent. Gene expression analysis in peripheral blood detected an interferon gene expression signature, which was further supported by cytokine analyses of supernatants of cultured patient’s cells. These findings suggested that her inflammatory disease is at least in part mediated by type I interferons. While her fever episodes responded well to systemic steroids, treatment with the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib resulted in decreased serum ferritin levels and reduced frequency of fevers. Conclusion Homozygosity for p.Arg90His in NCF1 should be considered contributory in young patients with an atypical systemic inflammatory antecedent phenotype that may evolve into autoimmunity later in life. The complex genomic organization of NCF1 poses a difficulty for high-throughput genotyping techniques and variants in this gene should be carefully evaluated when using the next generation and Sanger sequencing technologies. The p.Arg90His variant is found at a variable allele frequency in different populations, and is higher in people of South East Asian ancestry. In complex genetic diseases such as SLE, other rare and common susceptibility alleles might be necessary for the full disease expressivity.


  • Schnappauf, Oskar
  • Heale, Liane
  • Dissanayake, Dilan
  • Tsai, Wanxia L
  • Gadina, Massimo
  • Leto, Thomas L
  • Kastner, Daniel L
  • Malech, Harry L
  • Kuhns, Douglas B
  • Aksentijevich, Ivona
  • Laxer, Ronald M

publication date

  • December 2021