The mechanisms of hereditary deficiency of R binder, which originates in neutrophils and exocrine gland epithelium, are unknown and may be multiple. This led us to examine if defective R binder synthesis also involves proteins that colocalize with it in neutrophil-specific granules and exocrine epithelial cells and may be under common regulatory control. Stored plasma and saliva samples from five unrelated R binder-deficient patients and control subjects were assayed for R binder, lactoferrin, cationic antimicrobial protein-18, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, gelatinase, lysozyme, and myeloperoxidase. One patient, patient A, had lactoferrin levels below the limits of detection in both plasma and saliva in addition to his R binder deficiency. Although his deficiency involved lactoferrin as well, he had no history of predisposition to infection. PCR amplification of his R binder gene promoter region and the beginning of the first exon revealed no DNA abnormalities. His son and the son of his equally deficient brother, both presumptive heterozygotes, had mild deficiency of both R binder and lactoferrin. The results show that R binder deficiency exists in at least two forms. One, presumably the less common of the two forms, is the new hereditary entity described here, which is characterized by deficiency of more than one specific granule protein in both plasma and saliva. Despite this more widely distributed absence of the proteins than is found in congenital specific granule deficiency, infection posed no clinical problem in the affected patient.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.