Here, we report on a heterozygous interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) missense variant identified in three patients from a multigeneration family with hypogammaglobulinemia. Patients’ low blood plasmablast/plasma cell and naïve CD4 and CD8 T cell counts contrasted with high terminal effector CD4 and CD8 T cell counts. Expression of the mutant IRF4 protein in control lymphoblastoid B cell lines reduced the expression of BLIMP-1 and XBP1 (key transcription factors in plasma cell differentiation). In B cell lines, the mutant IRF4 protein as wildtype was found to bind to known IRF4 binding motifs. The mutant IRF4 failed to efficiently regulate the transcriptional activity of interferon-stimulated response elements (ISREs). Rapid immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry of endogenous proteins indicated that the mutant and wildtype IRF4 proteins differed with regard to their respective sets of binding partners. Our findings highlight a novel mechanism for autosomal-dominant primary immunodeficiency through altered protein binding by mutant IRF4 at ISRE, leading to defective plasma cell differentiation.

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