Background: The B-cell receptor transmembrane activator and calcium modulator ligand interactor (TACI) is important for T-independent antibody responses. One in 200 blood donors are heterozygous for the TACI A181E mutation. Objective: We sought to investigate the effect on B-cell function of TACI A181E heterozygosity in reportedly healthy subjects and of the corresponding TACI A144E mutation in mice. Methods: Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) activation was measured by using the luciferase assay in 293T cells cotransfected with wild-type and mutant TACI. TACI-driven proliferation, isotype switching, and antibody responses were measured in B cells from heterozygous TACI A144E knock-in mice. Mouse mortality was monitored after intranasal pneumococcal challenge. Results: Levels of natural antibodies to the pneumococcal polysaccharide component phosphocholine were significantly lower in A181E-heterozygous than TACI-sufficient Swedish blood donors never immunized with pneumococcal antigens. Although overexpressed hTACI A181E and mTACI A144E acted as dominant-negative mutations in transfectants, homozygosity for A144E in mice resulted in absent TACI expression in B cells, indicating that the mutant protein is unstable when naturally expressed. A144E heterozygous mice, such as TACI+/- mice, expressed half the normal level of TACI on their B cells and exhibited similar defects in a proliferation-inducing ligand-driven B-cell activation, antibody responses to TNP-Ficoll, production of natural antibodies to phosphocholine, and survival after intranasal pneumococcal challenge. Conclusion: These results suggest that TACI A181E heterozygosity results in TACI haploinsufficiency with increased susceptibility to pneumococcal infection. This has important implications for asymptomatic TACI A181E carriers.
- B cells
- Common variable immunodeficiency
- Natural antibodies
- Pneumococcal susceptibility
- Transmembrane activator and calcium modulator ligand interactor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy