Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED), a congenital disorder of teeth, hair, and eccrine sweat glands, is usually inherited as an X-linked recessive trait, although rarer autosomal dominant and recessive forms exist. We have studied males from four families with HED and immunodeficiency (HED-ID), in which the disorder segregates as an X-linked recessive trait. Affected males manifest dysgammaglobulinemia and, despite therapy, have significant morbidity and mortality from recurrent infections. Recently, mutations in IKK-gamma (NEMO) have been shown to cause familial incontinentia pigmenti (IP). Unlike HED-ID, IP affects females and, with few exceptions, causes male prenatal lethality. IKK-gamma is required for the activation of the transcription factor known as 'nuclear factor kappa B' and plays an important role in T and B cell function. We hypothesize that 'milder' mutations at this locus may cause HED-ID. In all four families, sequence analysis reveals exon 10 mutations affecting the carboxy-terminal end of the IKK-gamma protein, a domain believed to connect the IKK signalsome complex to upstream activators. The findings define a new X-linked recessive immunodeficiency syndrome, distinct from other types of HED and immunodeficiency syndromes. The data provide further evidence that the development of ectodermal appendages is mediated through a tumor necrosis factor/tumor necrosis factor receptor-like signaling pathway, with the IKK signalsome complex playing a significant role.
ASJC Scopus subject areas