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Short report
Homozygous variant in TKFC abolishing triokinase activities is associated with isolated immunodeficiency


Background Triokinase and FMN cyclase (TKFC) is a bifunctional enzyme involved in fructose metabolism. Triokinase catalyses the phosphorylation of fructose-derived glyceraldehyde (GA) and exogenous dihydroxyacetone (DHA), while FMN cyclase generates cyclic FMN. TKFC regulates the antiviral immune response by interacting with IFIH1 (MDA5). Previously reported pathogenic variants in TKFC are associated with either a multisystemic disease or isolated hypotrichosis with loose anagen hairs.

Methods Whole-exome sequencing identified a homozygous novel variant in TKFC (c.1624G>A; p.Gly542Arg) in an individual with a complex primary immunodeficiency disorder. The variant was characterised using enzymatic assays and yeast studies of mutant recombinant proteins.

Results The individual presented with chronic active Epstein-Barr virus disease and multiple bacterial and viral infections. Clinical investigations revealed hypogammaglobulinaemia, near absent natural killer cells and decreased memory B cells. Enzymatic assays showed that this variant displayed defective DHA and GA kinase activity while maintaining FMN cyclase activity. An allogenic bone marrow transplantation corrected the patient’s immunodeficiency.

Conclusion Our report suggests that TKFC may have a role in the immunological system. The pathological features associated with this variant are possibly linked with DHA/GA kinase inactivation through a yet an unknown mechanism. This report thus adds a possible new pathway of immunometabolism to explore further.

  • immunogenetics
  • exome sequencing
  • virus diseases
  • infections

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