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Keywords:

  • immunology;
  • immunogenetics;
  • X-linked agammaglobulinemia;
  • BTK;
  • mutation database;
  • genotype–phenotype correlations;
  • XLA;
  • immunodeficiency;
  • immune deficiency

Abstract

X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is a hereditary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the gene encoding Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK). XLA patients have a decreased number of mature B cells and a lack of all immunoglobulin isotypes, resulting in susceptibility to severe bacterial infections. XLA-causing mutations are collected in a mutation database (BTKbase), which is available at http://bioinf.uta.fi/BTKbase. For each patient the following information is given (when available): the identification of the entry, a plain English description of the mutation followed by a reference, formal characterization of the mutation, and the various parameters from the patient. BTKbase is implemented with the MUTbase program suite, which provides an easy, interactive, and quality controlled submission of information to mutation databases. BTKbase version 8 lists mutation entries of 1,111 patients from 973 unrelated families showing 602 unique molecular events. The localization of the mutations on the gene and protein for BTK can be analyzed by clicking sequences on the web pages. The distribution of the mutations in the five structural domains is approximately proportional to the length of the domains, except for the Tec homology (TH) domain. The most frequently affected sites are CpG dinucleotides. The majority of the missense mutations are structural—disturbing Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) folding or decreasing stability. Many of the mutations affect functionally significant, conserved residues. The structural consequences of the mutations in all the domains have been studied based on crystallographic and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures as well as computer-aided molecular modeling. Hum Mutat 27(12), 1209–1217, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.