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. 2016 Oct 7;11(1):137.
doi: 10.1186/s13023-016-0520-1.

DNA Ligase IV Syndrome; A Review

Free PMC article

DNA Ligase IV Syndrome; A Review

Thomas Altmann et al. Orphanet J Rare Dis. .
Free PMC article


DNA ligase IV deficiency is a rare primary immunodeficiency, LIG4 syndrome, often associated with other systemic features. DNA ligase IV is part of the non-homologous end joining mechanism, required to repair DNA double stranded breaks. Ubiquitously expressed, it is required to prevent mutagenesis and apoptosis, which can result from DNA double strand breakage caused by intracellular events such as DNA replication and meiosis or extracellular events including damage by reactive oxygen species and ionising radiation.Within developing lymphocytes, DNA ligase IV is required to repair programmed DNA double stranded breaks induced during lymphocyte receptor development.Patients with hypomorphic mutations in LIG4 present with a range of phenotypes, from normal to severe combined immunodeficiency. All, however, manifest sensitivity to ionising radiation. Commonly associated features include primordial growth failure with severe microcephaly and a spectrum of learning difficulties, marrow hypoplasia and a predisposition to lymphoid malignancy. Diagnostic investigations include immunophenotyping, and testing for radiosensitivity. Some patients present with microcephaly as a predominant feature, but seemingly normal immunity. Treatment is mainly supportive, although haematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been used in a few cases.

Keywords: DNA Ligase 4; Lymphoid malignancy; Primordial dwarfism; Radiosensitive; Severe combined immunodeficiency.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The structure of DNA LIG4 with the localisation of mutations found in patients with DNA LIG4 Syndrome. Blue colour denotes mutations that are associated with CID. Red denotes mutations that are associated with SCID. Boxes around mutations denote mutations that are associated with developing malignancies

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