What is the role of purine metabolites in the pathophysiology of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)?

Updated: Aug 11, 2020
  • Author: Francisco J Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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ADA is an enzyme of the purine salvage pathway that is responsible for adenosine deamination to inosine and deoxyadenosine deamination to deoxyinosine. The deficiency of this enzyme leads to the accumulation of deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP) and 2'-deoxyadenosine. An increase in the intracellular levels of dATP is toxic to lymphocytes because it inhibits the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase, leading to suppression of DNA synthesis, whereas 2'-deoxyadenosine inhibits the enzyme S- adenosyl-L-homocysteine (SAH) hydrolase, which results in accumulation of SAH, a potent inhibitor of all cellular methylation reactions. Both B and T cells are affected, leading to SCID.

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