Metabolic abnormalities in G6PC3-deficient human neutrophils result in severe functional defects

Blood Adv. 2020 Dec 8;4(23):5888-5901. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002225.


Severe congenital neutropenia type 4 (SCN-4) is an autosomal recessive condition in which mutations in the G6PC3 gene encoding for the catalytic 3 subunit of glucose-6-phosphatase-β result in neutropenia, neutrophil dysfunction, and other syndromic features. We report a child with SCN-4 caused by compound heterozygous mutations in G6PC3, a previously identified missense mutation in exon 6 (c.758G>A[p.R235H]), and a novel missense mutation in exon 2 (c.325G>A[p.G109S]). The patient had recurrent bacterial infections, inflammatory bowel disease, neutropenia, and intermittent thrombocytopenia. Administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) resolved the neutropenia and allowed for detailed evaluation of human neutrophil function. Random and directed migration by the patient's neutrophils was severely diminished. Associated with this were defects in CD11b expression and F-actin assembly. Bactericidal activity at bacteria/neutrophil ratios >1:1 was also diminished and was associated with attenuated ingestion. Superoxide anion generation was <25% of control values, but phox proteins appeared quantitatively normal. Extensive metabolomics analysis at steady state and upon incubation with stable isotope-labeled tracers (U-13C-glucose, 13C,15N-glutamine, and U-13C-fructose) demonstrated dramatic impairments in early glycolysis (hexose phosphate levels), hexosemonophosphate shunt (required for the generation of the NADPH), and the total adenylate pool, which could explain the dramatic cell dysfunction displayed by the patient's neutrophils. Preliminary experiments with fructose supplementation to bypass the enzyme block demonstrated that the metabolic profile could be reversed, but was not sustained long enough for functional improvement. In human deficiency of G6PC3, metabolic defects resulting from the enzyme deficiency account for diverse neutrophil functional defects and present a major risk of infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Congenital Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Humans
  • Neutropenia* / genetics
  • Neutrophils*


  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase
  • G6PC3 protein, human