Biallelic ZNFX1 variants are associated with a spectrum of immuno-hematological abnormalities

Alawbathani S., Westenberger A., Ordonez-Herrera N., Al-Hilali M., Al Hebby H., Al Abbas F., ...More

CLINICAL GENETICS, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/cge.14081
  • Title of Journal : CLINICAL GENETICS
  • Keywords: hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, hepatosplenomegaly, immunodeficiency, monocytosis, ZNFX1


Biallelic changes in the ZNFX1 gene have been recently reported to cause severe familial immunodeficiency. Through a search of our bio/databank with information from genetic testing of >55 000 individuals, we identified nine additional patients from seven families with six novel homozygous ZNFX1 variants. Consistent with the previously described phenotype, our patients suffered from monocytosis, thrombocytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly, recurrent infections, and lymphadenopathy. The two most severely affected probands also had renal involvement and clinical presentations compatible with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. The disease was less lethal among our patients than previously reported. We identified two missense changes, two variants predicted to result in complete protein loss through nonsense-mediated decay, and two frameshift changes that likely introduce a truncation. Our findings (i) independently confirm the role of ZNFX1 in primary genetic immunodeficiency, (ii) expand the genetic and clinical spectrum of ZNFX1-related disease, and (iii) illustrate the utility of large, well-curated, and continually updated genotype-phenotype databases in resolving molecular diagnoses of patients with initially negative genetic testing findings.