Detection of Sp110 by Flow Cytometry and Application to Screening Patients for Veno-occlusive Disease with Immunodeficiency

J Clin Immunol. 2017 Oct;37(7):707-714. doi: 10.1007/s10875-017-0431-5. Epub 2017 Aug 21.


Mutations in Sp110 are the underlying cause of veno-occlusive disease with immunodeficiency (VODI), a combined immunodeficiency that is difficult to treat and often fatal. Because early treatment is critically important for patients with VODI, broadly usable diagnostic tools are needed to detect Sp110 protein deficiency. Several factors make establishing the diagnosis of VODI challenging: (1) Current screening strategies to identify severe combined immunodeficiency are based on measuring T cell receptor excision circles (TREC). This approach will fail to identify VODI patients because the disease is not associated with severe T cell lymphopenia at birth; (2) the SP110 gene contains 17 exons, making it a challenge for Sanger sequencing. The recently developed next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms that can rapidly determine the sequence of all 17 exons are available in only a few laboratories; (3) there is no standard functional assay to test for the effects of novel mutations in Sp110; and (4) it has been difficult to use flow cytometry to identify patients who lack Sp110 because of the low level of Sp110 protein in peripheral blood lymphocytes. We report here a novel flow cytometric assay that is easily performed in diagnostic laboratories and might thus become a standard assay for the evaluation of patients who may have VODI. In addition, the assay will facilitate investigations directed at understanding the function of Sp110.

Keywords: Combined immunodeficiency; Flow cytometry; Newborn screening; Pneumocystis; Primary immunodeficiency; Sp110; VODI; Veno-occlusive disease with immunodeficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease / diagnosis*
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Male
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / genetics
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Sp110 protein, human