Identification of Novel Adenosine Deaminase 2 Gene Variants and Varied Clinical Phenotype in Pediatric Vasculitis

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 Oct;71(10):1747-1755. doi: 10.1002/art.40913. Epub 2019 Aug 26.


Objective: Individuals with deficiency of adenosine deaminase 2 (DADA2), a recently recognized autosomal recessive disease, present with various systemic vascular and inflammatory manifestations, often with young age at disease onset or with early onset of recurrent strokes. Their clinical features and histologic findings overlap with those of childhood-onset polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), a primary "idiopathic" systemic vasculitis. Despite similar clinical presentation, individuals with DADA2 may respond better to biologic therapy than to traditional immunosuppression. The aim of this study was to screen an international registry of children with systemic primary vasculitis for variants in ADA2.

Methods: The coding exons of ADA2 were sequenced in 60 children and adolescents with a diagnosis of PAN, cutaneous PAN, or unclassifiable vasculitis (UCV), any chronic vasculitis with onset at age 5 years or younger, or history of stroke. The functional consequences of the identified variants were assessed by ADA2 enzyme assay and immunoblotting.

Results: Nine children with DADA2 (5 with PAN, 3 with UCV, and 1 with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis) were identified. Among them, 1 patient had no rare variants in the coding region of ADA2 and 8 had biallelic, rare variants (minor allele frequency <0.01) with a known association with DADA2 (p.Gly47Arg and p.Gly47Ala) or a novel association (p.Arg9Trp, p.Leu351Gln, and p.Ala357Thr). The clinical phenotype varied widely.

Conclusion: These findings support previous observations indicating that DADA2 has extensive genotypic and phenotypic variability. Thus, screening ADA2 among children with vasculitic rash, UCV, PAN, or unexplained, early-onset central nervous system disease with systemic inflammation may enable an earlier diagnosis of DADA2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Deaminase / deficiency
  • Adenosine Deaminase / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / deficiency
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Polyarteritis Nodosa / genetics*
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / genetics
  • Systemic Vasculitis / genetics


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • ADA2 protein, human
  • Adenosine Deaminase