CD55-deficiency in Jews of Bukharan descent is caused by the Cromer blood type Dr(a−) variant

Alina Kurolap, David Hagin, Tal Freund, Sigal Fishman, Noa Zunz Henig, Eli Brazowski, Josepha Yeshaya, Tova Naiman, Elon Pras, Jacob N. Ablin, Hagit Baris Feldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complement system regulator CD55 was initially found to carry the Cromer blood group system antigens, and its complete loss of function was subsequently revealed to cause a severe monogenic gastrointestinal syndrome characterized by protein-losing enteropathy and susceptibility to venous thrombosis. Here we present homozygosity to the CD55 c.596C>T; p.Ser199Leu variant, which was previously described as the Cromer Dr(a−) genotype, in two Bukharan Jewish CD55-deficiency patients with variable disease severity. We confirm that this missense variant causes aberrant splicing and deletion of 44 bp in exon 5, leading to premature termination and low expression of the CD55 protein. Furthermore, Patient 1 exhibited a mildly abnormal B cell immunophenotyping profile. By population screening we established that this variant is highly prevalent in the Bukharan Jewish population, with a carrier frequency of 1:17, suggesting that many similar patients are un- or mis-diagnosed. The phenotypic variability, ranging from abdominal pain when eating a high-fat diet to the full CD55-deficiency phenotype, is likely related to modifiers affecting the proportion of the variant that is able to escape aberrant splicing. Establishing the diagnosis of CD55-deficiency in a timely manner, even in patients with milder symptoms, may have a critical effect on their management and quality-of-life since treatment with the complement inhibitor eculizumab is highly effective in ameliorating disease manifestations. Awareness of founder mutations within certain populations can further guide genetic testing and prevent a diagnostic odyssey, by placing this CD55 variant high on the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-690
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


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