Novel signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) mutations, reduced T(H)17 cell numbers, and variably defective STAT3 phosphorylation in hyper-IgE syndrome

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Jul;122(1):181-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.04.037.


Background: Hyper-IgE syndrome (HIES) is a rare, autosomal-dominant immunodeficiency characterized by eczema, Staphylococcus aureus skin abscesses, pneumonia with pneumatocele formation, Candida infections, and skeletal/connective tissue abnormalities. Recently it was shown that heterozygous signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) mutations cause autosomal-dominant HIES.

Objective: To determine the spectrum and functional consequences of heterozygous STAT3 mutations in a cohort of patients with HIES.

Methods: We sequenced the STAT3 gene in 38 patients with HIES (National Institutes of Health score >40 points) from 35 families, quantified T(H)17 cells in peripheral blood, and evaluated tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3.

Results: Most STAT3 mutations in our cohort were in the DNA-binding domain (DBD; 22/35 families) or Src homology 2 (SH2) domain (10/35) and were missense mutations. We identified 2 intronic mutations resulting in exon skipping and in-frame deletions within the DBD. In addition, we identified 2 mutations located in the transactivation domain downstream of the SH2 domain: a 10-amino acid deletion and an amino acid substitution. In 1 patient, we were unable to identify a STAT3 mutation. T(H)17 cells were absent or low in the peripheral blood of all patients who were evaluated (n = 17). IL-6-induced STAT3-phosphorylation was consistently reduced in patients with SH2 domain mutations but comparable to normal controls in patients with mutations in the DBD.

Conclusion: Heterozygous STAT3 mutations were identified in 34 of 35 unrelated HIES families. Patients had impaired T(H)17 cell development, and those with SH2 domain mutations had reduced STAT3 phosphorylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism
  • Job Syndrome / genetics*
  • Job Syndrome / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Phosphorylation
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism


  • Interleukin-17
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor