Biallelic loss-of-function variants in
NCF1lead to reactive oxygen species deficiency and chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). Heterozygosity for the p.Arg90His variant in NCF1has 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
NCF1through exome sequencing. Her unaffected parents and three other siblings were carriers for the mutant allele. Because the presence of two NCF1pseudogenes, this variant was confirmed by independent genotyping methods. Her intracellular neutrophil oxidative burst and NCF1expression 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
NCF1should 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 NCF1poses 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.