Severe hematopoietic stem cell inflammation compromises chronic granulomatous disease gene therapy

Cell Rep Med. 2023 Feb 21;4(2):100919. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.100919. Epub 2023 Jan 26.


X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is associated with defective phagocytosis, life-threatening infections, and inflammatory complications. We performed a clinical trial of lentivirus-based gene therapy in four patients (NCT02757911). Two patients show stable engraftment and clinical benefits, whereas the other two have progressively lost gene-corrected cells. Single-cell transcriptomic analysis reveals a significantly lower frequency of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in CGD patients, especially in the two patients with defective engraftment. These two present a profound change in HSC status, a high interferon score, and elevated myeloid progenitor frequency. We use elastic-net logistic regression to identify a set of 51 interferon genes and transcription factors that predict the failure of HSC engraftment. In one patient, an aberrant HSC state with elevated CEBPβ expression drives HSC exhaustion, as demonstrated by low repopulation in a xenotransplantation model. Targeted treatments to protect HSCs, coupled to targeted gene expression screening, might improve clinical outcomes in CGD.

Keywords: chronic granulomatous disease; chronic inflammation; exhaustion; gene therapy; hematopoietic stem cells; inborn errors of immunity; machine learning; single-cell RNA-seq.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic* / diagnosis
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic* / genetics
  • Granulomatous Disease, Chronic* / therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interferons / metabolism


  • Interferons