Clinical presentation, genetic origin, pathogenesis, novel findings and remaining uncertainties
During recent years a number of primary immunodeficiencies resulting from impaired function of JAK-STAT molecules have been described. One of these is the Hyper-IgE syndrome (HIES) characterized by elevated IgE levels, eczema, recurrent staphylococcal skin and pulmonary infections and pleiotropic somatic manifestations. In 2007 the genetic basis of HIES was revealed by identification of dominant negative STAT3 mutations in HIES patients. Subsequently impaired function of Tyk2 and DOCK8 have been implicated in milder forms of HIES. Since STAT3 acts as a central transcription factor downstream of multiple cytokine and growth factor receptors and thus regulates antimicrobial responses and cell survival, impaired STAT3 function results in immunodeficiency and in some cases tumorigenesis. However, as the immunological and molecular basis of HIES is being unraveled, important biological and immunological insight into JAK-STAT signaling is emerging that may have implications for our understanding of the pathogenesis and clinical management of patients with HIES.