Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17407100
Eur J Immunol 2007 May; 37(5): 1377-85
Deficiencies in terminal complement components, including the component C7, are uncommon and associated with an increased risk of recurrent systemic neisserial infection. A total of 22 molecular defects have been reported in the C7 gene with both complete (C7Q0) and subtotal (C7SD) C7 deficiencies. In this study we report the molecular basis of nine new cases of C7 deficiencies that were characterized by exon-specific sequence analysis. Seven different C7 gene mutations were identified corresponding to small deletions (n=2), splice site changes (n=1) and single base pair substitutions leading to nonsense (n=1) or missense (n=3) mutations. Altogether, three changes of the C7 gene (G357R, R499S and 5′ splice donor site of intron 16) account for half of the molecular defects which emphasize that a restricted number of molecular abnormalities are involved in this deficiency. We identified two patients with combined C7Q0/C7SD(R499S) and established the C7SD(R499S) frequency at about 1% in normal Caucasian population. We demonstrated that C7(R499S) mutant protein is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum whereas the wild-type C7 is located in the Golgi apparatus. Our results provide evidence that R499S represents a loss-of-function polymorphism of C7 due to a defective folding of the protein.