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A human case of GIMAP6 deficiency: a novel primary immune deficiency


The GTPase of immunity-associated proteins (GIMAPs) are a family of genes believed to contribute to lymphocyte development, signaling, and apoptosis, thus playing an important role in immune system homeostasis. While models of gene derangement have been described in both mice and immortalized cell lines, human examples of these diseases remain exceptionally rare. In this manuscript we describe the first documented human cases of a homozygous deleterious GIMAP6 variant in the GIMAP6 gene and their subsequent clinical and immunological phenotype. In order to interrogate the patients' immune defect, we performed whole-exome sequencing, western blot, flow cytometry analysis, lymphocyte activation and proliferation studies, cytokine release assays, and apoptosis studies. We found two siblings with a predicted deleterious homozygous variant in the GIMAP6 gene with no expression of GIMAP6 protein on western blot. Patients demonstrated accelerated apoptosis, but largely normal lymphocyte subpopulations, activation and proliferation and cytokine release. There appears to be a spectrum of clinical features associated with deficiency of GIMAP6 protein, with one patient suffering lymphopenia and recurrent sinopulmonary infections, and the other clinically asymptomatic. Biallelic variants in the GIMAP6 gene have now been shown to demonstrate disease in humans. The absence of GIMAP6 protein is associated with a spectrum of clinical manifestations and much remains to be learnt about the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this disease. We suggest that biallelic variants in the gene for GIMAP6 should be considered in children with lymphopenia and recurrent sinopulmonary infections.

Type Journal
ISBN 1476-5438 (Electronic) 1018-4813 (Linking)
Authors Shadur, B.; Asherie, N.; Kfir-Erenfeld, S.; Dubnikov, T.; NaserEddin, A.; Schejter, Y. D.; Elpeleg, O.; Mor-Shaked, H.; Stepensky, P.
Published Date 2021-04-30
Published Volume 29
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 657-662
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1038/s41431-020-00773-x
URL link to publisher's version