Warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections, and myelokathexis (WHIM) syndrome immunodeficiency is caused by autosomal dominant gain-of-function mutations in chemokine receptor CXCR4. Patient WHIM-09 was spontaneously cured by chromothriptic deletion of 1 copy of 164 genes, including the CXCR4WHIM allele, presumably in a single hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) that repopulated HSCs and the myeloid lineage. Testing the specific contribution of CXCR4 hemizygosity to her cure, we previously demonstrated enhanced engraftment of Cxcr4+/o HSCs after transplantation in WHIM (Cxcr4+/w) model mice, but the potency was not quantitated. We now report graded-dose competitive transplantation experiments using lethally irradiated Cxcr4+/+ recipients in which mixed BM cells containing approximately 5 Cxcr4+/o HSCs and a 100-fold excess of Cxcr4+/w HSCs achieved durable 50% Cxcr4+/o myeloid and B cell chimerism in blood and approximately 20% Cxcr4+/o HSC chimerism in BM. In Cxcr4+/o/Cxcr4+/w parabiotic mice, we observed 80%–100% Cxcr4+/o myeloid and lymphoid chimerism in the blood and 15% Cxcr4+/o HSC chimerism in BM from the Cxcr4+/w parabiont, which was durable after separation from the Cxcr4+/o parabiont. Thus, CXCR4 haploinsufficiency likely significantly contributed to the selective repopulation of HSCs and the myeloid lineage from a single chromothriptic HSC in WHIM-09. Moreover, the results suggest that WHIM allele silencing of patient HSCs is a viable gene therapy strategy.
Ji-Liang Gao, Albert Owusu-Ansah, Andrea Paun, Kimberly Beacht, Erin Yim, Marie Siwicki, Alexander Yang, Qian Liu, David H. McDermott, Philip M. Murphy