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1.  Evaluation of Genetic Association and Expression Reduction of TRPC1 in the Development of Diabetic Nephropathy 
American journal of nephrology  2008;29(3):244-251.
The TRPC1 gene on chromosome 3q22–24 resides within the linkage region for diabetic nephropa-thy (DN) in type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). A recent study has demonstrated that TRPC1 expression is reduced in the kidney of diabetic ZDF- and STZ-treated rats. The present study aimed to evaluate the genetic and functional role of TRPC1 in the development of DN.
Genetic association study was performed with two independent cohorts, including 1,177 T1D European Americans with or without DN from GoKinD population and 850 African-American subjects with T2D-associated end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or with hypertensive (non-diabetic) ESRD, and nondiabetic controls. Seven tag SNP markers derived from HapMap data (phase II) were genotyped. TRPC1 gene expression was examined using real time RT-PCR.
No significant association of TRPC1 DNA polymorphisms with DN or ERSD was found in GoKinD and African-American populations. TRPC1 gene mRNA expression in kidney was found to be trendily reduced in 12-week and significantly in 26-week-old db/db mice.
TRPC1 genetic polymorphism may not fundamentally contribute to the development of DN, while reduction of the gene expression in kidney may be a late phenomenon of DN as seen in diabetic animal models.
PMCID: PMC2698220  PMID: 18802326
TRPC1 gene; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Diabetic nephropathy; End-stage renal disease; Diabetes types 1 and 2
2.  Association of TRPC1 Gene Polymorphisms with Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetic Nephropathy in Han Chinese Population 
Endocrine Research  2013;38(2):59-68.
The recent genome-wide association studies reveal that chromosome 3q resides within the linkage region for diabetic nephropathy (DN) in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1D and T2D). The TRPC1 gene is on chromosome 3q22-24, and it has been demonstrated that TRPC1 expression is reduced in the kidney of diabetic animal models. Genetic association of TRPC1 polymorphism with T1D and DN has been reported in European Americans. However, there are no studies reporting the association of TRPC1 genetic polymorphism with T2D with and without DN in Chinese population. This study aimed to demonstrate the genetic role of TRPC1 in the development of T2D with and without DN in Chinese Han population. A genetic association study of TRPC1 was performed in T2D cases and in nondiabetic controls from Han population located in Northern Chinese areas. Six tag single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers derived from HapMap data were genotyped. Among the six SNPs, only rs7638459 was suspected as risk factor of T2D without DN, fitting the log-additive model. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for the CC genotyping was 2.39 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.00–5.68), compared with the TT genotyping. In addition, rs953239 was found to be a protective factor of getting DN in T2D, also fitting the log-additive model. When compared with the AA genotyping for SNP rs953239, the adjusted OR for CC genotyping was 0.63 (95% CI = 0.44–0.99). To summarize, this study shows that TRPC1 genetic polymorphisms are associated with T2D and DN in T2D in the Han Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3619450  PMID: 23544998
TRPC1; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Diabetic nephropathy
3.  Trpc2 Depletion Protects RBC from Oxidative Stress-Induced Hemolysis 
Experimental hematology  2011;40(1):71-83.
Transient receptor potential channels Trpc2 and Trpc3 are expressed on normal murine erythroid precursors, and erythropoietin stimulates an increase in intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) through TRPC2 and TRPC3. Because modulation of [Ca2+]i is an important signaling pathway in erythroid proliferation and differentiation, Trpc2, Trpc3, and Trpc2/Trpc3 double knockout mice were utilized to explore the roles of these channels in erythropoiesis. Trpc2, Trpc3, and Trpc2/Trpc3 double knockout mice were not anemic, and had similar red blood cell counts, hemoglobins, and reticulocyte counts as wild type littermate controls. Although the erythropoietin induced increase in [Ca2+]i was reduced, these knockout mice showed no defects in red cell production. The major phenotypic difference at steady state was that the mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, and hematocrit of red cells were significantly greater in Trpc2 and Trpc2/Trpc3 double knockout mice, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration was significantly reduced. All hematological parameters in Trpc3 knockout mice were similar to controls. When exposed to phenyhydrazine, unlike the Trpc3 knockouts, Trpc2 and Trpc2/Trpc3 double knockout mice showed significant resistance to hemolysis. This was associated with significant reduction in hydrogen peroxide-induced calcium influx in erythroblasts. While erythropoietin induced calcium influx through TRPC2 or TRPC3 is not critical for erythroid production, these data demonstrate that TRPC2 plays an important role in oxidative stress-induced hemolysis which may be related to reduced calcium entry in red cells in the presence of Trpc2 depletion.
PMCID: PMC3237850  PMID: 21924222
TRP Channels; Trpc2; Trpc3; erythropoietin; oxidative stress
4.  An intergenic region on chromosome 13q33.3 is associated with the susceptibility to kidney disease in type 1 and 2 diabetes 
Kidney international  2011;80(1):105-111.
A genome-wide association (GWA) scan of the Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) collections identified four novel susceptibility loci, located on chromosomes 7p14.3, 9q21.32, 11p15.4, and 13q33.3 that were associated with nephropathy in type 1 diabetes. The recent examination of these loci in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes further supported associations at the chromosome 13q33.3 locus. To follow up these findings, we focused on these same four loci and examined whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at these susceptibility loci were associated with diabetic nephropathy in the Joslin Study of Genetics of Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetes collection. A total of six SNPs across these loci were genotyped in 646 normoalbuminuric controls and 743 nephropathy cases of European ancestry. A significant association was identified at the 13q33.3 locus (rs9521445: OR=1.25, P=4.4×10−3). At this same locus, rs1411766 was also associated with type 2 diabetic nephropathy in this collection (OR=1.19, P=0.03). A meta-analysis combining this data with that from the Japanese and GoKinD collections significantly improved the strength of this association (OR=1.29 P=9.7×10−9). Additionally, we also observed an association at the 11p15.4 locus (rs451041: OR=1.21, P=0.02). Our analysis increases support that associations identified in the GoKinD collections on chromosomes 11p15.4 (near the CARS gene) and 13q33.3 (within an intergenic region between MYO16 and IRS2) are true diabetic nephropathy susceptibility loci common to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3774030  PMID: 21412220
5.  Association of polymorphisms in the klotho gene with severity of non-diabetic ESRD in African Americans 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2010;25(10):3348-3355.
Background. Non-diabetic forms of nephropathy commonly lead to end-stage renal disease (non-DM ESRD). Previous studies have demonstrated that African Americans are more susceptible to non-DM ESRD compared to other ethnic groups, and this risk has a strong genetic component. A genome-wide scan for ESRD in African American families enriched for non-DM ESRD showed evidence for linkage in chromosome 13q33.3, and a candidate gene in this region, klotho, was selected for a detailed analysis in a follow-up case-control association study.
Methods. Thirty-four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the klotho gene were genotyped in 317 unrelated African American non-DM ESRD cases and 354 non-nephropathy controls, including 12 SNPs identified by re-sequencing a region around exon 4.
Results. Two SNPs demonstrated modest admixture-adjusted evidence of association with non-DM ESRD, rs650439 (P = 0.013, recessive model) and rs643780 (P = 0.017, recessive model), while rs17643698 approached significance (P = 0.0953, two degrees of freedom test). Eight of the most significant SNPs were tested for replication in a second case-control collection (557 African American non-DM ESRD cases and 187 controls), and there was no evidence of association in replicate cases and controls; nor when the samples were combined for a total of 874 non-DM cases and 541 controls. Cox proportional hazards models were computed to test for association between polymorphisms in klotho and age at onset of ESRD. A three-SNP haplotype, rs526906, rs525014 and rs571118 (T/T/A), was associated with age of onset of ESRD [P = 0.007, recessive model; hazard ratio (HR) = 0.70]. Subjects homozygous for this haplotype had a mean 4 years later onset of ESRD, suggesting a slower disease progression. HapMap subjects homozygous for this haplotype had increased expression of klotho, further supporting a protective role of this variant in ESRD.
Conclusion. We conclude that three SNPs in intron 1 of the klotho gene are associated with delayed age at onset of non-DM ESRD in African Americans.
PMCID: PMC2948839  PMID: 20466664
genetics; klotho; non-diabetic ESRD
6.  Confirmation of Genetic Associations at ELMO1 in the GoKinD Collection Supports Its Role as a Susceptibility Gene in Diabetic Nephropathy 
Diabetes  2009;58(11):2698-2702.
To examine the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the engulfment and cell motility 1 (ELMO1) gene, a locus previously shown to be associated with diabetic nephropathy in two ethnically distinct type 2 diabetic populations, and the risk of nephropathy in type 1 diabetes.
Genotypic data from a genome-wide association scan (GWAS) of the Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) study collection were analyzed for associations across the ELMO1 locus. In total, genetic associations were assessed using 118 SNPs and 1,705 individuals of European ancestry with type 1 diabetes (885 normoalbuminuric control subjects and 820 advanced diabetic nephropathy case subjects).
The strongest associations in ELMO1 occurred at rs11769038 (odds ratio [OR] 1.24; P = 1.7 × 10−3) and rs1882080 (OR 1.23; P = 3.2 × 10−3) located in intron 16. Two additional SNPs, located in introns 18 and 20, respectively, were also associated with diabetic nephropathy. No evidence of association for variants previously reported in type 2 diabetes was observed in our collection.
Using GWAS data from the GoKinD collection, we comprehensively examined evidence of association across the ELMO1 locus. Our investigation marks the third report of associations in ELMO1 with diabetic nephropathy, further establishing its role in the susceptibility of this disease. There is evidence of allelic heterogeneity, contributed by the diverse genetic backgrounds of the different ethnic groups examined. Further investigation of SNPs at this locus is necessary to fully understand the commonality of these associations and the mechanism(s) underlying their role in diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC2768169  PMID: 19651817
7.  Abnormal expression, localization and interaction of canonical transient receptor potential ion channels in human breast cancer cell lines and tissues: a potential target for breast cancer diagnosis and therapy 
Ca2+ is known to be involved in a number of metastatic processes including motility and proliferation which can result in store-depletion of Ca2+. Up regulation of genes which contribute to store operated channel (SOC) activity may plausibly be necessary for these processes to take place efficiently. TRPC proteins constitute a family of conserved Ca2+-permeable channels that have been shown to contribute to SOC activity.
In breast cancer biopsy tissues, TRPC3 and TRPC6 were the predominant TRPC genes expressed with TRPC3 and TRPC6 being significantly up regulated compared to normal breast tissue. In the lowly metastatic breast cancer cell line MCF-7, TRPC6 was the chief TRPC gene expressed while in the highly metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 both TRPC3 and TRPC6 were the predominant TRPC genes expressed. Western blotting, immunoconfocal analysis and immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed that the MDA-MB-231 cell line expressed both TRPC3 and TRPC6 protein with the majority of protein being intracellular. TRPC3 and TRPC6 were found to be in an immunoprecipitatble complex and co-localize within the cell. To demonstrate the potential of targeting TRP channels in breast cancer, hyperforin reportably a specific activator of TRPC6 significantly reduced the growth and viability of the breast cancer cell lines but had no effect on the non-cancerous breast cell line. Silencing of TRPC6 in MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in a significant reduction in cell growth but not viability.
TRPC channels may be potential future targets for breast cancer diagnosis and therapy and deserve further investigation to evaluate their role in cancer cell physiology.
PMCID: PMC2737535  PMID: 19689790
8.  Differential Effects of MYH9 and APOL1 Risk Variants on FRMD3 Association with Diabetic ESRD in African Americans 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(6):e1002150.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MYH9 and APOL1 on chromosome 22 (c22) are powerfully associated with non-diabetic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in African Americans (AAs). Many AAs diagnosed with type 2 diabetic nephropathy (T2DN) have non-diabetic kidney disease, potentially masking detection of DN genes. Therefore, genome-wide association analyses were performed using the Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 in 966 AA with T2DN and 1,032 non-diabetic, non-nephropathy (NDNN) controls, with and without adjustment for c22 nephropathy risk variants. No associations were seen between FRMD3 SNPs and T2DN before adjusting for c22 variants. However, logistic regression analysis revealed seven FRMD3 SNPs significantly interacting with MYH9—a finding replicated in 640 additional AA T2DN cases and 683 NDNN controls. Contrasting all 1,592 T2DN cases with all 1,671 NDNN controls, FRMD3 SNPs appeared to interact with the MYH9 E1 haplotype (e.g., rs942280 interaction p-value = 9.3E−7 additive; odds ratio [OR] 0.67). FRMD3 alleles were associated with increased risk of T2DN only in subjects lacking two MYH9 E1 risk haplotypes (rs942280 OR = 1.28), not in MYH9 E1 risk allele homozygotes (rs942280 OR = 0.80; homogeneity p-value = 4.3E−4). Effects were weaker stratifying on APOL1. FRMD3 SNPS were associated with T2DN, not type 2 diabetes per se, comparing AAs with T2DN to those with diabetes lacking nephropathy. T2DN-associated FRMD3 SNPs were detectable in AAs only after accounting for MYH9, with differential effects for APOL1. These analyses reveal a role for FRMD3 in AA T2DN susceptibility and accounting for c22 nephropathy risk variants can assist in detecting DN susceptibility genes.
Author Summary
African Americans have high rates of kidney disease attributed to type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, approximately 25% of patients are misclassified and have non-diabetic kidney disease on renal biopsy. The APOL1-MYH9 gene region on chromosome 22 is powerfully associated with non-diabetic kidney diseases in African Americans. Therefore, we tested for interactions between single nucleotide polymorphisms across the genome with APOL1 and MYH9 non-diabetic nephropathy risk variants in African Americans with presumed diabetic nephropathy. Markers in FRMD3, a gene associated with type 1 diabetic nephropathy in Caucasians, appeared to interact with MYH9; however, increased nephropathy risk was seen in diabetic cases lacking two MYH9 risk haplotypes, and protective effects were seen in those with two MYH9 risk haplotypes. Stratified analyses based on the chromosome 22 nephropathy risk haplotypes demonstrated that FRMD3 variants were associated with diabetic nephropathy risk in cases without two MYH9 (or APOL1) risk haplotypes. It appears that African Americans with diabetes and kidney disease who are not chromosome 22 nephropathy risk variant homozygotes are enriched for the presence of diabetic nephropathy and FRMD3 risk alleles. This genetic dissection ultimately allowed for detection of the FRMD3 diabetic nephropathy gene association in a subset of cases enriched for this disorder.
PMCID: PMC3116917  PMID: 21698141
9.  Evaluation of Candidate Nephropathy Susceptibility Genes in a Genome-Wide Association Study of African American Diabetic Kidney Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88273.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D)-associated end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is a complex disorder resulting from the combined influence of genetic and environmental factors. This study contains a comprehensive genetic analysis of putative nephropathy loci in 965 African American (AA) cases with T2D-ESKD and 1029 AA population-based controls extending prior findings. Analysis was based on 4,341 directly genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 22 nephropathy candidate genes. After admixture adjustment and correction for multiple comparisons, 37 SNPs across eight loci were significantly associated (1.6E-05
PMCID: PMC3923777  PMID: 24551085
Seminars in nephrology  2010;30(2):126-140.
The Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) study was initiated to facilitate research aimed at identifying genes involved in diabetic nephropathy (DN) in type 1 diabetes (T1D). In this review, we present on overview of this study and the various reports that have utilized its collection. At the forefront of these efforts is the recent genome-wide association (GWA) scan implemented on the GoKinD collection. We highlight the results from our analysis of these data and describe compelling evidence from animal models that further support the potential role of associated loci in the susceptibility of DN. To enhance our analysis of genetic associations in GoKinD, using genome-wide imputation (GWI), we expanded our analysis of this collection to include genotype data from more than 2.4 million common SNPs. We illustrate the added utility of this enhanced dataset through the comprehensive fine-mapping of candidate genomic regions previously linked with DN and the targeted investigation of genes involved in candidate pathway implicated in its pathogenesis. Collectively, GWA and GWI data from the GoKinD collection will serve as a springboard for future investigations into the genetic basis of DN in T1D.
PMCID: PMC2847588  PMID: 20347642
genome-wide association; diabetic nephropathy; type 1 diabetes; imputation
Diabetes  2011;60(11):3073-3080.
Hyperglycemia plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of vascular complications, which are the major sources of morbidity and mortality in diabetes. Furthermore, these vascular complications often persist and progress despite improved glucose control, possibly as a result of prior episodes of hyperglycemia. Epigenetic modifications mediated by histone methyltransferases are associated with gene-activating events that promote enhanced expression of key proinflammatory molecules implicated in vascular injury. In this study, we investigated genetic polymorphisms of the SETD7, SUV39H1, and SUV39H2 methyltransferases as predictors of risk for micro- and macrovascular complications in type 1 diabetes.
In the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study (FinnDiane) cohort, 37 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 2,991 individuals with type 1 diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease. Seven SNPs were genotyped in the replication cohorts from the Steno Diabetes Center and All Ireland/Warren 3/Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) U.K. study.
In a meta-analysis, the minor T allele of the exonic SNP rs17353856 in the SUV39H2 was associated with diabetic retinopathy (genotypic odds ratio 0.75, P = 1.2 × 10−4). The same SNP showed a trend toward an association with diabetic nephropathy as well as cardiovascular disease in the FinnDiane cohort.
Our findings propose that a genetic variation in a gene coding for a histone methyltransferase is protective for a diabetic microvascular complication. The pathophysiological implications of this polymorphism or other genetic variation nearby for the vascular complications of type 1 diabetes remain to be investigated.
PMCID: PMC3198095  PMID: 21896933
Diabetes  2007;57(2):518-522.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether known genetic risk factors for type 1 diabetes (HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 and insulin locus) play a role in the etiology of diabetic nephropathy.
Genetic analysis of HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, -DQB1 and the insulin gene (INS) was performed in the Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) collection of DNA (European ancestry subset), which includes case patients with type 1 diabetes and nephropathy (n = 829) and control patients with type 1 diabetes but not nephropathy (n = 904). The availability of phenotypic and genotypic data on GoKinD participants allowed a detailed analysis of the association of these genes with diabetic nephropathy.
Diabetic probands who were homozygous for HLA-DRB1*04 were 50% less likely to have nephropathy than probands without any DRB1*04 alleles. In heterozygous carriers, a protective effect of this allele was not as clearly evident; the mode of inheritance therefore remains unclear. This association was seen in probands with both short (<28 years, P = 0.02) and long (≥28 years, P = 0.0001) duration of diabetes. A1C, a marker of sustained hyperglycemia, was increased in control probands with normoalbuminuira, despite long-duration diabetes, from 7.2 to 7.3 to 7.7% with 0, 1, and 2 copies of the DRB1*04 allele, respectively. This result is consistent with a protective effect of DRB1*04 that may allow individuals to tolerate higher levels of hyperglycemia, as measured by A1C, without developing nephropathy.
These data suggest that carriers of DRB1*04 are protected from some of the injurious hyperglycemic effects related to nephropathy. Interestingly, DRB1*04 appears to be both a risk allele for type 1 diabetes and a protective allele for nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC2679388  PMID: 18039812
PLoS ONE  2007;2(6):e573.
The canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channels are a family of non-selective cation channels that are activated by increases in intracellular Ca2+ and Gq/phospholipase C-coupled receptors. We used quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, immunoblots and patch-clamp recording from several brain regions to examine the expression of the predominant TRPC channels in the rodent brain. Quantitative real-time PCR of the seven TRPC channels in the rodent brain revealed that TRPC4 and TRPC5 channels were the predominant TRPC subtypes in the adult rat brain. In situ hybridization histochemistry and immunoblotting further resolved a dense corticolimbic expression of the TRPC4 and TRPC5 channels. Total protein expression of HIP TRPC4 and 5 proteins increased throughout development and peaked late in adulthood (6–9 weeks). In adults, TRPC4 expression was high throughout the frontal cortex, lateral septum (LS), pyramidal cell layer of the hippocampus (HIP), dentate gyrus (DG), and ventral subiculum (vSUB). TRPC5 was highly expressed in the frontal cortex, pyramidal cell layer of the HIP, DG, and hypothalamus. Detailed examination of frontal cortical layer mRNA expression indicated TRPC4 mRNA is distributed throughout layers 2–6 of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), motor cortex (MCx), and somatosensory cortex (SCx). TRPC5 mRNA expression was concentrated specifically in the deep layers 5/6 and superficial layers 2/3 of the PFC and anterior cingulate. Patch-clamp recording indicated a strong metabotropic glutamate-activated cation current-mediated depolarization that was dependent on intracellular Ca2+and inhibited by protein kinase C in brain regions associated with dense TRPC4 or 5 expression and absent in regions lacking TRPC4 and 5 expression. Overall, the dense corticolimbic expression pattern suggests that these Gq/PLC coupled nonselective cation channels may be involved in learning, memory, and goal-directed behaviors.
PMCID: PMC1892805  PMID: 17593972
Molecular pharmacology  2008;75(3):466-477.
Large-conductance (BKCa-type) Ca2+-activated K+ channels encoded by the Slo1 gene and various TRPC channels are co-expressed in many cell types, including podocytes (visceral epithelial cells) of the renal glomerulus. In this study, we show by co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays that BKCa channels can associate with endogenous TRPC3 and TRPC6 channels in differentiated cells of a podocyte cell line. Both types of TRPC channels co-localize with Slo1 in podocytes, as well as in HEK293T cells transiently co-expressing the TRPC channels with Slo1. In HEK293T cells, co-expression of TRPC6 increased surface expression of a Slo1 subunit splice variant (Slo1VEDEC) that is typically retained in intracellular compartments, as assessed by cell-surface biotinylation assays and confocal microscopy. Corresponding currents through BKCa channels were also increased with TRPC6 co-expression, as assessed by whole-cell and excised inside-out patch recordings. By contrast, co-expression of TRPC3 had no effect on the surface expression of BKCa channels in HEK293T cells or on the amplitudes of currents in whole cells or excised patches. In podocytes, siRNA knockdown of endogenous TRPC6 reduced steady-state surface expression of endogenous Slo1 channels, but knockdown of TRPC3 had no effect. TRPC6, but not TRPC3 knockdown also reduced voltage-evoked outward current through podocyte BKCa channels. These data indicate that TRPC6 and TRPC3 channels can bind to Slo1, and this co-localization may allow them to serve as a source of Ca2+ for activation of BKCa channels. TRPC6 channels also play a role in regulation of surface expression of a subset of podocyte BKCa channels.
PMCID: PMC2645922  PMID: 19052171
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2011;22(11):1824-1835.
The surface expression and channel activation of transient receptor potential canonical 6 (TRPC6) were regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation and resultant binding with stimulatory PLC-γ1 and inhibitory nephrin. Disease-causing mutations made the TRPC6s insensitive to nephrin suppression, suggesting that the cell-type–specific regulation of TRPC6 might be involved in the pathogenesis.
Transient receptor potential canonicals (TRPCs) play important roles in the regulation of intracellular calcium concentration. Mutations in the TRPC6 gene are found in patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a proteinuric disease characterized by dysregulated function of renal glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes). There is as yet no clear picture for the activation mechanism of TRPC6 at the molecular basis, however, and the association between its channel activity and pathogenesis remains unclear. We demonstrate here that tyrosine phosphorylation of TRPC6 induces a complex formation with phospholipase C (PLC)-γ1, which is prerequisite for TRPC6 surface expression. Furthermore, nephrin, an adhesion protein between the foot processes of podocytes, binds to phosphorylated TRPC6 via its cytoplasmic domain, competitively inhibiting TRPC6–PLC-γ1 complex formation, TRPC6 surface localization, and TRPC6 activation. Importantly, FSGS-associated mutations render the mutated TRPC6s insensitive to nephrin suppression, thereby promoting their surface expression and channel activation. These results delineate the mechanism of TRPC6 activation regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation, and imply the cell type–specific regulation, which correlates the FSGS mutations with deregulated TRPC6 channel activity.
PMCID: PMC3103399  PMID: 21471003
The Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) study is an initiative that aims to identify genes that are involved in diabetic nephropathy. A large number of individuals with type 1 diabetes were screened to identify two subsets, one with clear-cut kidney disease and another with normal renal status despite long-term diabetes. Those who met additional entry criteria and consented to participate were enrolled. When possible, both parents also were enrolled to form family trios. As of November 2005, GoKinD included 3075 participants who comprise 671 case singletons, 623 control singletons, 272 case trios, and 323 control trios. Interested investigators may request the DNA collection and corresponding clinical data for GoKinD participants using the instructions and application form that are available at Participating scientists will have access to three data sets, each with distinct advantages. The set of 1294 singletons has adequate power to detect a wide range of genetic effects, even those of modest size. The set of case trios, which has adequate power to detect effects of moderate size, is not susceptible to false-positive results because of population substructure. The set of control trios is critical for excluding certain false-positive results that can occur in case trios and may be particularly useful for testing gene—environment interactions. Integration of the evidence from these three components into a single, unified analysis presents a challenge. This overview of the GoKinD study examines in detail the power of each study component and discusses analytic challenges that investigators will face in using this resource.
PMCID: PMC2770870  PMID: 16775037
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102065.
Activating mutations in the Transient Receptor Potential channel C6 (TRPC6) cause autosomal dominant focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS). TRPC6 expression is upregulated in renal biopsies of patients with idiopathic membranous glomerulopathy (iMN) and animal models thereof. In iMN, disease progression is characterized by glomerulosclerosis. In addition, a context-dependent TRPC6 overexpression was recently suggested in complement-mediated podocyte injury in e.g. iMN. Hence, we hypothesized that genetic variants in TRPC6 might affect susceptibility to development or progression of iMN.
Methods & Results
Genomic DNA was isolated from blood samples of 101 iMN patients and 292 controls. By direct sequencing of the entire TRPC6 gene, 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the iMN cohort, two of which were causing an amino acid substitution (rs3802829; Pro15Ser and rs36111323, Ala404Val). No statistically significant differences in genotypes or allele frequencies between patients and controls were observed. Clinical outcome in patients was determined (remission n = 26, renal failure n = 46, persistent proteinuria n = 29, follow-up median 80 months {range 51–166}). The 13 identified SNPs showed no association with remission or renal failure. There were no differences in genotypes or allele frequencies between patients in remission and progressors.
Our data suggest that TRPC6 polymorphisms do not affect susceptibility to iMN, or clinical outcome in iMN.
PMCID: PMC4096511  PMID: 25019165
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e60301.
A genome-wide association scan of type 1 diabetic patients from the GoKinD collections previously identified four novel diabetic nephropathy susceptibility loci that have subsequently been shown to be associated with diabetic nephropathy in unrelated patients with type 2 diabetes. To expand these findings, we examined whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at these susceptibility loci were associated with diabetic nephropathy in patients from the Joslin Study of Genetics of Nephropathy in Type 2 Diabetes Family Collection. Six SNPs across the four loci identified in the GoKinD collections and 7 haplotype tagging SNPs, were genotyped in 66 extended families of European ancestry. Pedigrees from this collection contained an average of 18.5 members, including 2 to 14 members with type 2 diabetes. Among diabetic family members, the 9q21.32 locus approached statistical significance with advanced diabetic nephropathy (P = 0.037 [adjusted P = 0.222]). When we expanded our definition of diabetic nephropathy to include individuals with high microalbuminuria, the strength of this association improved significantly (P = 1.42×10−3 [adjusted P = 0.009]). This same locus also trended toward statistical significance with variation in urinary albumin excretion in family members with type 2 diabetes (P = 0.032 [adjusted P = 0.192]) and in analyses expanded to include all relatives (P = 0.019 [adjusted P = 0.114]). These data increase support that SNPs identified in the GoKinD collections on chromosome 9q21.32 are true diabetic nephropathy susceptibility loci.
PMCID: PMC3612041  PMID: 23555951
Kidney international  2010;79(5):563-572.
A genome-wide association study was performed using the Affymetrix 6.0 chip to identify genes associated with diabetic nephropathy in African Americans. Association analysis was performed adjusting for admixture in 965 type 2 diabetic African American patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and in 1029 African Americans without type 2 diabetes or kidney disease as controls. The top 724 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with evidence of association to diabetic nephropathy were then genotyped in a replication sample of an additional 709 type 2 diabetes-ESRD patients and 690 controls. SNPs with evidence of association in both the original and replication studies were tested in additional African American cohorts consisting of 1246 patients with type 2 diabetes without kidney disease and 1216 with non-diabetic ESRD to differentiate candidate loci for type 2 diabetes-ESRD, type 2 diabetes, and/or all-cause ESRD. Twenty-five SNPs were significantly associated with type 2 diabetes-ESRD in the genome-wide association and initial replication. Although genome-wide significance with type 2 diabetes was not found for any of these 25 SNPs, several genes, including RPS12, LIMK2, and SFI1 are strong candidates for diabetic nephropathy. A combined analysis of all 2890 patients with ESRD showed significant association SNPs in LIMK2 and SFI1 suggesting that they also contribute to all-cause ESRD. Thus, our results suggest that multiple loci underlie susceptibility to kidney disease in African Americans with type 2 diabetes and some may also contribute to all-cause ESRD.
PMCID: PMC3056271  PMID: 21150874
American Journal of Nephrology  2008;28(6):914-920.
Genome scans in African-Americans with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) identified linkage on chromosome 13q33 in the region containing the ephrin-B2 ligand (EFNB2) genes. Interactions between the ephrin-B2 receptor and ephrin-B2 ligand play essential roles in renal angiogenesis, blood vessel maturation, and kidney disease.
The EFNB2 gene was evaluated as a positional candidate for non-diabetic and diabetic ESRD susceptibility in 1,071 unrelated African-American subjects; 316 with non-diabetic etiologies of ESRD, 394 with type 2 diabetes-associated ESRD and 361 healthy controls. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was performed on the Sequenom Mass Array System. Statistical analyses were computed using Dandelion version 1.26, Snpaddmix version 1.4 and Haploview version 3.32.
Twenty-eight HapMap tag SNPs were genotyped spanning the 39 kilobases (kb) of the EFNB2 coding region, with average spacing of 1.43 kb. Analysis of 710 ESRD patient samples and 361 controls provided no evidence of single SNP associations in either diabetic or non-diabetic ESRD; although nominal evidence of association with all-cause ESRD was observed with a two SNP (p = 0.022) and three SNP (p = 0.023) haplotype, both containing SNPs rs7490924 and rs2391335 in intron 1.
Although an attractive positional candidate gene, polymorphisms in the EFNB2 gene do not appear to contribute in a substantial way to non-diabetic, diabetic or all-cause ESRD susceptibility in African-Americans. Additional genes within the chromosome 13q33 linkage interval are likely contributors to African-American non-diabetic ESRD.
PMCID: PMC2786015  PMID: 18580054
African-Americans; End-stage renal disease; Ephrin; Genetics; Hypertensive nephrosclerosis
Gene expression patterns : GEP  2008;8(5):291-296.
Transient receptor potential (TRP) genes encode subunits that form cation-selective ion channels in a variety of organisms and cell types. TRP channels serve diverse functions ranging from thermal, tactile, taste, and osmolar sensing to fluid flow sensing. TRPC1 and TRPC6 belong to the TRPC subfamily, members of which are thought to contribute to several cellular events such as regulated migration of neuronal dendrites, contractile responses of smooth muscle cells and maintenance of the structural integrity of kidney podocytes. Pathogenic roles have been suggested for TRPC1 in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and TRPC6 dysfunction was recently linked to proteinuric kidney disease. To explore the potential roles for TRPC channels in zebrafish organ function, we cloned zebrafish trpC1 and trpC6 cDNAs, and investigated their expression during zebrafish development. We detected trpC1 expression in the head, in cells surrounding the outflow tract of the heart, and in the ganglion cells as well as the inner nuclear layer of the eye. trpC6 expression was detected in the head, pectoral fins, aortic endothelial cells, and gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells. Our results point to roles of TRPC channels in several tissues during zebrafish development, and suggest that the zebrafish may be a suitable model system to study the pathophysiology of TRPC1 and TRPC6 in specific cell types.
PMCID: PMC2431112  PMID: 18378501
Transient receptor potential; ion channel; smooth muscle; in situ hybridization
BMC Cancer  2013;13:116.
Cytogenetic and gene expression analyses in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) have allowed identification of genomic aberrations that may contribute to cancer pathophysiology. Nevertheless, the molecular consequences of numerous genetic alterations still remain unclear.
To identify novel genes implicated in HNSCC pathogenesis, we analyzed the genomic alterations present in five HNSCC-derived cell lines by array CGH, and compared high level focal gene amplifications with gene expression levels to identify genes whose expression is directly impacted by these genetic events. Next, we knocked down TRPC6, one of the most highly amplified and over-expressed genes, to characterize the biological roles of TRPC6 in carcinogenesis. Finally, real time PCR was performed to determine TRPC6 gene dosage and mRNA levels in normal mucosa and human HNSCC tissues.
The data showed that the HNSCC-derived cell lines carry most of the recurrent genomic abnormalities previously described in primary tumors. High-level genomic amplifications were found at four chromosomal sites (11q21-q22.2, 18p11.31-p11.21, 19p13.2-p13.13, and 21q11) with associated gene expression changes in selective candidate genes suggesting that they may play an important role in the malignant behavior of HNSCC. One of the most dramatic alterations of gene transcription involved the TRPC6 gene (located at 11q21-q22.2) which has been recently implicated in tumour invasiveness. siRNA-induced knockdown of TRPC6 expression in HNSCC-derived cells dramatically inhibited HNSCC-cell invasion but did not significantly alter cell proliferation. Importantly, amplification and concomitant overexpression of TRPC6 was also found in HNSCC tumour samples.
Altogether, these data show that TRPC6 is likely to be a target for 11q21–22.2 amplification that confers enhanced invasive behavior to HNSCC cells. Therefore, TRPC6 may be a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of HNSCC.
PMCID: PMC3606258  PMID: 23497198
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; TRPC6; Invasion; Gene amplification
Biomarker Insights  2010;5:29-32.
The fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene has an important genetic effect on body mass index (BMI) and risk of obesity, and obesity contributes to the progression of renal diseases, including diabetic nephropathy. We thus conducted a genetic association study to evaluate whether the FTO gene confers the risk susceptibility to the development of diabetic nephropathy. Genotyping experiments of the common FTO polymorphism, rs9939609, in 1170 type 1 diabetes patients with (n = 597) or without diabetic nephropathy (n = 573) were performed with TaqMan allelic discrimination. All subjects are of European descent and selected from the Genetics of Kidney Diseases in Diabetes (GoKinD) study. The frequency of T allele of this polymorphism was 0.414 in the studied population. There was no allelic association of this polymorphism with diabetic nephropathy. But, the risk susceptibility of A allele conferring to the increased BMI among type 1 diabetes patients was observed. The subjects carrying with AA genotype had higher BMI compared to the carriers with TA and/or TT genotype(s) (P ≤ 0.019). The present study provides evidence that the common FTO genetic polymorphism, rs9939609, is associated with increased BMI in type 1 diabetes but not with diabetic nephropathy.
PMCID: PMC2867633  PMID: 20467478
diabetic nephropathy; fat mass and obesity associated; genetic association; single nucleotide polymorphism
PLoS Biology  2011;9(3):e1001025.
Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) has been associated with two types of channels: CRAC channels that require Orai1 and STIM1 and SOC channels that involve TRPC1, Orai1, and STIM1. While TRPC1 significantly contributes to SOCE and SOC channel activity, abrogation of Orai1 function eliminates SOCE and activation of TRPC1. The critical role of Orai1 in activation of TRPC1-SOC channels following Ca2+ store depletion has not yet been established. Herein we report that TRPC1 and Orai1 are components of distinct channels. We show that TRPC1/Orai1/STIM1-dependent ISOC, activated in response to Ca2+ store depletion, is composed of TRPC1/STIM1-mediated non-selective cation current and Orai1/STIM1-mediated ICRAC; the latter is detected when TRPC1 function is suppressed by expression of shTRPC1 or a STIM1 mutant that lacks TRPC1 gating, STIM1(684EE685). In addition to gating TRPC1 and Orai1, STIM1 mediates the recruitment and association of the channels within ER/PM junctional domains, a critical step in TRPC1 activation. Importantly, we show that Ca2+ entry via Orai1 triggers plasma membrane insertion of TRPC1, which is prevented by blocking SOCE with 1 µM Gd3+, removal of extracellular Ca2+, knockdown of Orai1, or expression of dominant negative mutant Orai1 lacking a functional pore, Orai1-E106Q. In cells expressing another pore mutant of Orai1, Orai1-E106D, TRPC1 trafficking is supported in Ca2+-containing, but not Ca2+-free, medium. Consistent with this, ICRAC is activated in cells pretreated with thapsigargin in Ca2+-free medium while ISOC is activated in cells pretreated in Ca2+-containing medium. Significantly, TRPC1 function is required for sustained KCa activity and contributes to NFκB activation while Orai1 is sufficient for NFAT activation. Together, these findings reveal an as-yet unidentified function for Orai1 that explains the critical requirement of the channel in the activation of TRPC1 following Ca2+ store depletion. We suggest that coordinated regulation of the surface expression of TRPC1 by Orai1 and gating by STIM1 provides a mechanism for rapidly modulating and maintaining SOCE-generated Ca2+ signals. By recruiting ion channels and other signaling pathways, Orai1 and STIM1 concertedly impact a variety of critical cell functions that are initiated by SOCE.
Author Summary
Store-operated Ca2+ entry is present in all cell types and determines sustained cytosolic [Ca2+] increases that are critical for regulating a wide variety of physiological functions. This Ca2+ entry mechanism is activated in response to depletion of Ca2+ in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). When ER [Ca2+] is decreased, the Ca2+-sensor protein STIM1 aggregates in the ER membrane and moves to regions in the periphery of the cells where it interacts with and activates two major types of channels that contribute to store-operated Ca2+ entry: CRAC and SOC. While gating of Orai1 by STIM1 is sufficient for CRAC channel activity, both Orai1 and transient receptor potential channel 1 (TRPC1) contribute to SOC channel function. The molecular composition of SOC channels and the critical role of Orai1 in activation of TRPC1 have not yet been established. In this study, we demonstrate that TRPC1 and Orai1 are components of distinct channels, both of which are regulated by STIM1. Importantly, we show that Orai1-mediated Ca2+ entry triggers plasma membrane insertion of TRPC1 which is then gated by STIM1. Ca2+ entry via functional TRPC1-STIM1 channels provides additional increase in cytosolic [Ca2+] that is required for regulation of specific cell functions such as KCa activation. Together, our findings elucidate the critical role of Orai1 in TRPC1 channel function. We suggest that the regulation of TRPC1 trafficking provides a mechanism for rapidly modulating cytosolic [Ca2+] following Ca2+ store depletion.
PMCID: PMC3050638  PMID: 21408196
Diabetes  2012;61(8):2187-2194.
We formed the GEnetics of Nephropathy–an International Effort (GENIE) consortium to examine previously reported genetic associations with diabetic nephropathy (DN) in type 1 diabetes. GENIE consists of 6,366 similarly ascertained participants of European ancestry with type 1 diabetes, with and without DN, from the All Ireland-Warren 3-Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes U.K. and Republic of Ireland (U.K.-R.O.I.) collection and the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study (FinnDiane), combined with reanalyzed data from the Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes U.S. Study (U.S. GoKinD). We found little evidence for the association of the EPO promoter polymorphism, rs161740, with the combined phenotype of proliferative retinopathy and end-stage renal disease in U.K.-R.O.I. (odds ratio [OR] 1.14, P = 0.19) or FinnDiane (OR 1.06, P = 0.60). However, a fixed-effects meta-analysis that included the previously reported cohorts retained a genome-wide significant association with that phenotype (OR 1.31, P = 2 × 10−9). An expanded investigation of the ELMO1 locus and genetic regions reported to be associated with DN in the U.S. GoKinD yielded only nominal statistical significance for these loci. Finally, top candidates identified in a recent meta-analysis failed to reach genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we were unable to replicate most of the previously reported genetic associations for DN, and significance for the EPO promoter association was attenuated.
PMCID: PMC3402313  PMID: 22721967

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