Genetic variants of chronic granulomatous disease: prevalence of deficiencies of two cytosolic components of the NADPH oxidase system

N Engl J Med. 1989 Sep 7;321(10):647-52. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198909073211005.


Chronic granulomatous disease, a syndrome of recurrent infections and failure of oxidative microbicidal activity in phagocytes, results from defects in the gene for one of several components of an oxidase system that can undergo activation. To determine the relative prevalence of certain of the genetic variants of this disorder, we used immunoblotting to detect two specific neutrophil cytosolic proteins of 47 and 67 kd recently shown to be required for oxidase activation. Chronic granulomatous disease is usually an X-linked disorder associated with the absence of membrane cytochrome b558. Of our 94 patients with chronic granulomatous disease, however, 36 had a phenotype characterized by autosomal inheritance, normal membrane oxidase components (including cytochrome b558), and functionally defective cytosolic activity in a cell-free oxidase system. We studied 25 of these 36 patients and found that 22 lacked the 47-kd cytosolic protein, and the remaining 3 were missing the 67-kd component. Patients with chronic granulomatous disease whose functional defect was localized to the neutrophil membrane (classic X-linked cytochrome b-negative type and two other rare variants) had normal amounts of both cytosolic components. We estimate that approximately 33 percent of all patients with chronic granulomatous disease are missing the 47-kd cytosolic oxidase component and about 5 percent of patients are missing the 67-kd component. Chronic granulomatous disease caused by a defect in any cytosolic factors other than the 47-kd and 67-kd proteins, if it exists, is apparently rare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytochrome b Group / deficiency
  • Cytosol / enzymology*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / enzymology*
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases / deficiency*
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase / deficiency*
  • NADPH Oxidases*
  • Neutrophils / enzymology*


  • Cytochrome b Group
  • cytochrome b558
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase