Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive kidney disease that is often associated with vision and/or brain defects. To date, 11 genes are known to cause NPHP. The gene products, while structurally unrelated, all localize to cilia or centrosomes. Although mouse models of NPHP are available for 9 of the 11 genes, none has been described for nephronophthisis 4 (Nphp4). Here we report a novel, chemically induced mutant, nmf192, that bears a nonsense mutation in exon 4 of Nphp4. Homozygous mutant Nphp4nmf192/nmf192 mice do not exhibit renal defects, phenotypes observed in human patients bearing mutations in NPHP4, but they do develop severe photoreceptor degeneration and extinguished rod and cone ERG responses by 9 weeks of age. Photoreceptor outer segments (OS) fail to develop properly, and some OS markers mislocalize to the inner segments and outer nuclear layer in the Nphp4nmf192/nmf192 mutant retina. Despite NPHP4 localization to the transition zone in the connecting cilia (CC), the CC appear to be normal in structure and ciliary transport function is partially retained. Likewise, synaptic ribbons develop normally but then rapidly degenerate by P14. Finally, Nphp4nmf192/nmf192 male mutants are sterile and show reduced sperm motility and epididymal sperm counts. Although Nphp4nmf192/nmf192 mice fail to recapitulate the kidney phenotype of NPHP, they will provide a valuable tool to further elucidate how NPHP4 functions in the retina and male reproductive organs.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP), an autosomal recessive cystic kidney disease, leads to chronic renal failure in children. The genes mutated in NPHP1 and NPHP4 have been identified, and a gene locus associated with infantile nephronophthisis (NPHP2) was mapped. The kidney phenotype of NPHP2 combines clinical features of NPHP and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Here, we identify inversin (INVS) as the gene mutated in NPHP2 with and without situs inversus. We show molecular interaction of inversin with nephrocystin, the product of the gene mutated in NPHP1 and interaction of nephrocystin with β-tubulin, a main component of primary cilia. We show that nephrocystin, inversin and β-tubulin colocalize to primary cilia of renal tubular cells. Furthermore, we produce a PKD-like renal cystic phenotype and randomization of heart looping by knockdown of invs expression in zebrafish. The interaction and colocalization in cilia of inversin, nephrocystin and β-tubulin connect pathogenetic aspects of NPHP to PKD, to primary cilia function and to left-right axis determination.
Nephronophthisis is the most common genetic cause of end-stage renal failure during childhood and adolescence. Genetic studies have identified disease-causing mutations in at least 11 different genes (NPHP1–11), but the function of the corresponding nephrocystin proteins remains poorly understood. The two evolutionarily conserved proteins nephrocystin-1 (NPHP1) and nephrocystin-4 (NPHP4) interact and localize to cilia in kidney, retina, and brain characterizing nephronophthisis and associated pathologies as result of a ciliopathy. Here we show that NPHP4, but not truncating patient mutations, negatively regulates tyrosine phosphorylation of NPHP1. NPHP4 counteracts Pyk2-mediated phosphorylation of three defined tyrosine residues of NPHP1 thereby controlling binding of NPHP1 to the trans-Golgi sorting protein PACS-1. Knockdown of NPHP4 resulted in an accumulation of NPHP1 in trans-Golgi vesicles of ciliated retinal epithelial cells. These data strongly suggest that NPHP4 acts upstream of NPHP1 in a common pathway and support the concept of a role for nephrocystin proteins in intracellular vesicular transport.
Centrosome; Epithelium; Golgi; Protein-tyrosine Kinase (Tyrosine Kinase); Vesicles; Pyk2; Cilium; Cystic Kidney Disease; Nephrocystin
Nephronophthisis (NPHP), a recessive cystic kidney disease, is the most frequent genetic cause of end-stage kidney disease in children and young adults. Positional cloning of nine genes (NPHP1-9) and functional characterization of their encoded proteins (nephrocystins) has contributed to a unifying theory that defines cystic kidney diseases as “ciliopathies”. The theory is based on the finding that all proteins mutated in cystic kidney diseases of humans or animal models are expressed in primary cilia or centrosomes of renal epithelial cells. Primary cilia are sensory organelles that connect mechanosensory, visual, and other stimuli to mechanisms of epithelial cell polarity and cell cycle control. Mutations in NPHP genes cause defects in signaling mechanisms that involve the non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway and the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway, resulting in defects of planar cell polarity and tissue maintenance. The ciliary theory explains the multiple organ involvement in NPHP, which includes retinal degeneration, cerebellar hypoplasia, liver fibrosis, situs inversus, and mental retardation. Positional cloning of dozens of unknown genes that cause NPHP will elucidate further signaling mechanisms involved. Nephrocystins are highly conserved in evolution, thus allowing the use of animal models to develop future therapeutic approaches.
nephronophthisis; cystic kidney disease; planar cell polarity; wnt signaling; hedgehog signaling; ciliopathies
Nephronophthisis-related ciliopathies (NPHP-RC) are degenerative recessive diseases that affect kidney, retina and brain. Genetic defects in NPHP gene products that localize to cilia and centrosomes defined them as ‘ciliopathies’. However, disease mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we identify by whole exome resequencing, mutations of MRE11, ZNF423, and CEP164 as causing NPHP-RC. All three genes function within the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, hitherto not implicated in ciliopathies. We demonstrate that, upon induced DNA damage, the NPHP-RC proteins ZNF423, CEP164 and NPHP10 colocalize to nuclear foci positive for TIP60, known to activate ATM at sites of DNA damage. We show that knockdown of CEP164 or ZNF423 causes sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, and that cep164 knockdown in zebrafish results in dysregulated DDR and an NPHP-RC phenotype. We identify TTBK2, CCDC92, NPHP3 and DVL3 as novel CEP164 interaction partners. Our findings link degenerative diseases of kidney and retina, disorders of increasing prevalence, to mechanisms of DDR.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive cystic kidney disease that constitutes the most common genetic cause of renal failure in the first three decades of life. Using positional cloning, six genes (NPHP1‐6) have been identified as mutated in NPHP. In Joubert syndrome (JBTS), NPHP may be associated with cerebellar vermis aplasia/hypoplasia, retinal degeneration and mental retardation. In Senior–Løken syndrome (SLSN), NPHP is associated with retinal degeneration. Recently, mutations in NPHP6/CEP290 were identified as a new cause of JBTS.
Mutational analysis was performed on a worldwide cohort of 75 families with SLSN, 99 families with JBTS and 21 families with isolated nephronophthisis.
Six novel and six known truncating mutations, one known missense mutation and one novel 3 bp pair in‐frame deletion were identified in a total of seven families with JBTS, two families with SLSN and one family with isolated NPHP.
; Joubert syndrome; Senior–Løken syndrome; nephronophthisis; mutational analysis
Nephronophthisis is an autosomal recessive cystic kidney disease, caused by mutations of at least nine different genes. Several extrarenal manifestations characterize this disorder, including cerebellar defects, situs inversus, and retinitis pigmentosa. While the clinical manifestations vary significantly in nephronophthisis, mutations of NPHP5 and NPHP6 are always associated with progressive blindness. This clinical finding suggests that the gene products, nephrocystin-5 and nephrocystin-6, participate in overlapping signaling pathways to maintain photoreceptor homeostasis. To analyze the genetic interaction between these two proteins in more detail, we studied zebrafish embryos after depletion of NPHP5 and NPHP6. Knockdown of zebrafish zNPHP5 and zNPHP6 produced similar phenotypes, and synergistic effects were observed after the combined knockdown of zNPHP5 and zNPHP6. The N-terminal domain of nephrocystin-6 bound nephrocystin-5, and mapping studies delineated the interacting site to amino acid 696 to 896 of NPHP6. In Xenopus laevis, knockdown of NPHP5 caused substantial neural tube closure defects. This phenotype was copied by expression of the nephrocystin-5-binding fragment of nephrocystin-6, and rescued by co-expression of nephrocystin-5, supporting a physical interaction between both gene products in vivo. Since the N- and C-terminal fragments of nephrocystin-6 engage in the formation of homo- and heteromeric protein complexes, conformational changes seem to regulate the interaction of nephrocystin-6 with its binding partners.
Nephronophthisis-related ciliopathies (NPHP-RC) are recessive disorders featuring dysplasia or degeneration preferentially in kidney, retina, and cerebellum. Here we combine homozygosity mapping with candidate gene analysis by performing “ciliopathy candidate exome capture” followed by massively-parallel sequencing. We detect 12 different truncating mutations of SDCCAG8 in 10 NPHP-RC families. We demonstrate that SDCCAG8 is localized at both centrioles and directly interacts with NPHP-RC-associated OFD1. Depletion of sdccag8 causes kidney cysts and a body axis defect in zebrafish and induces cell polarity defects in 3D renal cell cultures. This work identifies SDCCAG8 loss of function as a novel cause of a retinal-renal ciliopathy and validates exome capture analysis for broadly heterogeneous single-gene disorders.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is the most common genetic cause of end-stage renal disease in children and young adults. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Caenorhabditis elegans, and mammals, the NPHP1 and NPHP4 gene products nephrocystin-1 and nephrocystin-4 localize to basal bodies or ciliary transition zones (TZs), but their function in this location remains unknown. We show here that loss of C. elegans NPHP-1 and NPHP-4 from TZs is tolerated in developing cilia but causes changes in localization of specific ciliary components and a broad range of subtle axonemal ultrastructural defects. In amphid channel cilia, nphp-4 mutations cause B tubule defects that further disrupt intraflagellar transport (IFT). We propose that NPHP-1 and NPHP-4 act globally at the TZ to regulate ciliary access of the IFT machinery, axonemal structural components, and signaling molecules, and that perturbing this balance results in cell type–specific phenotypes.
Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and nephronophthisis (NPH) are hereditary autosomal recessive disorders, encoded by two families of diverse genes. BBS and NPH display several overlapping phenotypes including cystic kidney disease, retinitis pigmentosa, liver fibrosis, situs inversus and cerebellar defects. Since most of the BBS and NPH proteins localize to cilia and/or their appendages, BBS and NPH are considered ciliopathies. In this study, we characterized the function of the transcription factor Nphp7 in zebrafish, and addressed the molecular connection between BBS and NPH. The knockdown of zebrafish bbs1 and nphp7.2 caused similar phenotypic changes including convergent extension defects, curvature of the body axis, hydrocephalus, abnormal heart looping and cystic pronephros, all consistent with an altered ciliary function. Immunoprecipitation assays revealed a physical interaction between BBS1 and NPHP7, and the simultaneous knockdown of zbbs1 and znphp7.2 enhanced the cystic pronephros phenotype synergistically, suggesting a genetic interaction between zbbs1 and znphp7.2 in vivo. Deletion of zBbs1 or zNphp7.2 did not compromise cilia formation, but disrupted cilia motility. Although NPHP7 has been shown to act as transcriptional repressor, our studies suggest a crosstalk between BBS1 and NPHP7 in regulating normal function of the cilium.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive cystic kidney disease and a leading genetic cause of established renal failure (ERF) in children and young adults. Early presenting symptoms in children with NPHP include polyuria, nocturia, or secondary enuresis, pointing to a urinary concentrating defect. Renal ultrasound typically shows normal kidney size with increased echogenicity and corticomedullary cysts. Importantly, NPHP is associated with extra renal manifestations in 10–15% of patients. The most frequent extrarenal association is retinal degeneration, leading to blindness. Increasingly, molecular genetic testing is being utilised to diagnose NPHP and avoid the need for a renal biopsy. In this paper, we discuss the latest understanding in the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of NPHP. We suggest an appropriate clinical management plan and screening programme for individuals with NPHP and their families.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP), Joubert (JBTS) and Meckel-Gruber (MKS) syndromes are autosomal-recessive ciliopathies presenting with cystic kidneys, retinal degeneration, and cerebellar/neural tube malformation. Whether defects in kidney, retinal, or neural disease primarily involve ciliary, Hedgehog, or cell polarity pathways remains unclear. Using high-confidence proteomics, we identified 850 interactors copurifying with nine NPHP/JBTS/MKS proteins, and discovered three connected modules: “NPHP1-4-8” functioning at the apical surface; “NPHP5-6” at centrosomes; and “MKS” linked to Hedgehog signaling. Assays for ciliogenesis and epithelial morphogenesis in 3D renal cultures link renal cystic disease to apical organization defects, whereas ciliary and Hedgehog pathway defects lead to retinal or neural deficits. Using 38 interactors as candidates, linkage and sequencing analysis of 250 patients identified ATXN10 and TCTN2 as new NPHP-JBTS genes and our Tctn2 mouse knockout shows neural tube and Hedgehog signaling defects. Our study further illustrates the power of linking proteomic networks and human genetics to uncover critical disease pathways.
Nephronophthisis (NPH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by renal fibrosis, tubular basement membrane disruption and corticomedullary cyst formation leading to end-stage renal failure. The disease is caused by mutations in NPHP1-9 genes, which encode the nephrocystins, proteins localized to cell–cell junctions and centrosome/primary cilia. Here, we show that nephrocystin mRNA expression is dramatically increased during cell polarization, and shRNA-mediated knockdown of either NPHP1 or NPHP4 in MDCK cells resulted in delayed tight junction (TJ) formation, abnormal cilia formation and disorganized multi-lumen structures when grown in a three-dimensional collagen matrix. Some of these phenotypes are similar to those reported for cells depleted of the TJ proteins PALS1 or Par3, and interestingly, we demonstrate a physical interaction between these nephrocystins and PALS1 as well as their partners PATJ and Par6 and show their partial co-localization in human renal tubules. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the nephrocystins play an essential role in epithelial cell organization, suggesting a plausible mechanism by which the in vivo histopathologic features of NPH might develop.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive kidney disease characterized by tubular basement membrane disruption, interstitial infiltration, and tubular cysts. NPHP leads to end-stage renal failure in the first two decades of life and is the most frequent genetic cause of chronic renal failure in children and young adults. Mutations in eleven genes (NPHP1-11) have been identified. Extrarenal manifestations are known, such as retinitis pigmentosa (Senior-Løken syndrome, SLS), brainstem and cerebellar anomalies (Joubert syndrome), liver fibrosis, and ocular motor apraxia type Cogan.
We report on a Turkish family with clinical signs of nephronophthisis. The phenotype occurred in two generations and therefore seemed to be inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. Nevertheless, a deletion analysis of the NPHP1 gene on chromosome 2 was performed and showed a homozygous deletion. Analysis of the family pedigree indicated no obvious consanguinity in the last three generations. However, haplotype analysis demonstrated homozygosity on chromosome 2 indicating a common ancestor to the parents of all affected individuals. NPHP1 deletion analysis should always be considered in patients with apparently dominant nephronophthisis, especially from likely consanguineous families.
Nephronophthisis; NPHP1; cystic kidney disease
Polo-like kinase (Plk1) plays a central role in regulating the cell cycle. Plk1-mediated phosphorylation is essential for centrosome maturation, and for numerous mitotic events. Although Plk1 localizes to multiple subcellular sites, a major site of action is the centrosomes, which supports mitotic functions in control of bipolar spindle formation. In G0 or G1 untransformed cells, the centriolar core of the centrosome differentiates into the basal body of the primary cilium. Primary cilia are antenna-like sensory organelles dynamically regulated during the cell cycle. Whether Plk1 has a role in ciliary biology has never been studied. Nephrocystin-1 (NPHP1) is a ciliary protein; loss of NPHP1 in humans causes nephronophthisis (NPH), an autosomal-recessive cystic kidney disease. We here demonstrate that Plk1 colocalizes with nephrocystin-1 to the transition zone of primary cilia in epithelial cells. Plk1 co-immunoprecipitates with NPHP1, suggesting it is part of the nephrocystin protein complex. We identified a candidate Plk1 phosphorylation motif (D/E-X-S/T-φ-X-D/E) in nephrocystin-1, and demonstrated in vitro that Plk1 phosphorylates the nephrocystin N-terminus, which includes the specific PLK1 phosphorylation motif. Further, induced disassembly of primary cilia rapidly evoked Plk1 kinase activity, while small molecule inhibition of Plk1 activity or RNAi-mediated downregulation of Plk1 limited the first and second phase of ciliary disassembly. These data identify Plk1 as a novel transition zone signaling protein, suggest a function of Plk1 in cilia dynamics, and link Plk1 to the pathogenesis of NPH and potentially other cystic kidney diseases.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) as a cause of cystic kidney disease is the most common genetic cause of progressive renal failure in children and young adults. NPHP is characterized by abnormal and/or loss of function of proteins associated with primary cilia. Previously, we characterized an autosomal recessive phenotype of cystic kidney disease in the Lewis Polycystic Kidney (LPK) rat.
In this study, quantitative trait locus analysis was used to define a ~1.6Mbp region on rat chromosome 10q25 harbouring the lpk mutation. Targeted genome capture and next-generation sequencing of this region identified a non-synonymous mutation R650C in the NIMA (never in mitosis gene a)- related kinase 8 ( Nek8) gene. This is a novel Nek8 mutation that occurs within the regulator of chromosome condensation 1 (RCC1)-like region of the protein. Specifically, the R650C substitution is located within a G[QRC]LG repeat motif of the predicted seven bladed beta-propeller structure of the RCC1 domain. The rat Nek8 gene is located in a region syntenic to portions of human chromosome 17 and mouse 11. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed abnormally long cilia on LPK kidney epithelial cells, and fluorescence immunohistochemistry for Nek8 protein revealed altered cilia localisation.
When assessed relative to other Nek8 NPHP mutations, our results indicate the whole propeller structure of the RCC1 domain is important, as the different mutations cause comparable phenotypes. This study establishes the LPK rat as a novel model system for NPHP and further consolidates the link between cystic kidney disease and cilia proteins.
Cilia; Directed next generation sequencing; Electron microscopy; Genome capture; Immunohistochemistry; Nek8; NPHP; Polycystic kidney disease
A spectrum of complex oligogenic disorders called the ciliopathies have been connected to dysfunction of cilia. Among the ciliopathies are Nephronophthisis (NPHP), characterized by cystic kidney disease and retinal degeneration, and Meckel–Gruber syndrome (MKS), a gestational lethal condition with skeletal abnormalities, cystic kidneys and CNS malformation. Mutations in multiple genes have been identified in NPHP and MKS patients, and an unexpected finding has been that mutations within the same gene can cause either disorder. Further, there is minimal genotype–phenotype correlation and despite recessive inheritance, numerous patients were identified as having a single heterozygous mutation. This has made it difficult to determine the significance of these mutations on disease pathogenesis and led to the hypothesis that clinical presentation in an individual will be determined by genetic interactions between mutations in multiple cilia-related genes. Here we utilize Caenorhabditis elegans and cilia-associated behavioral and morphologic assays to evaluate the pathogenic potential of eight previously reported human NPHP4 missense mutations. We assess the impact of these mutations on C. elegans NPHP-4 function, localization and evaluate potential interactions with mutations in MKS complex genes, mksr-2 and mksr-1. Six out of eight nphp-4 mutations analyzed alter ciliary function, and three of these modify the severity of the phenotypes caused by disruption of mksr-2 and mksr-1. Collectively, our studies demonstrate the utility of C. elegans as a tool to assess the pathogenicity of mutations in ciliopathy genes and provide insights into the complex genetic interactions contributing to the diversity of phenotypes associated with cilia disorders.
Mutations in the human NPHP5 gene cause retinal and renal disease but the precise mechanisms by which NPHP5 functions are not understood. We report that NPHP5 is a centriolar protein whose depletion inhibits an early step of ciliogenesis, a phenotype reminiscent of Cep290 loss and contrary to IFT88 loss. Functional dissection of NPHP5 interactions with Cep290 and CaM reveals a requirement of the former for ciliogenesis, while the latter prevents NPHP5 self-aggregation. Disease-causing mutations lead to truncated products unable to bind Cep290 and localize to centrosomes, thereby compromising cilia formation. In contrast, a modifier mutation cripples CaM-binding but has no overt effect on ciliogenesis. Drugs that antagonize negative regulators of the ciliogenic pathway can rescue ciliogenesis in cells depleted of NPHP5, with response profiles similar to those of Cep290- but not IFT88-depleted cells. Our results uncover the underlying molecular basis of disease and provide novel insights into mitigating NPHP5 deficiency.
PMID: 23446637 CAMSID: cams3098
Mutations in PKD1, the gene encoding for the receptor Polycystin-1 (PC-1), cause autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The cytoplasmic C-terminus of PC-1 contains a coiled-coil domain that mediates an interaction with the PKD2 gene product, Polycystin-2 (PC-2). Here we identify a novel domain in the PC-1 C-terminal tail, a polyproline motif mediating an interaction with Src homology domain 3 (SH3). A screen for interactions using the PC-1 C-terminal tail identified the SH3 domain of nephrocystin-1 (NPHP1) as a potential binding partner of PC-1. NPHP1 is the product of a gene that is mutated in a different form of renal cystic disease, nephronophthisis (NPHP). We show that in vitro pull-down assays and NMR structural studies confirmed the interaction between the PC-1 polyproline motif and the NPHP1 SH3 domain. Furthermore, the two full-length proteins interact through these domains; using a recently generated model system allowing us to track endogenous PC-1, we confirm the interaction between the endogenous proteins. Finally, we show that NPHP1 trafficking to cilia does not require PC-1 and that PC-1 may require NPHP1 to regulate resistance to apoptosis, but not to regulate cell cycle progression. In line with this, we find high levels of apoptosis in renal specimens of NPHP patients. Our data uncover a link between two different ciliopathies, ADPKD and NPHP, supporting the notion that common pathogenetic defects, possibly involving de-regulated apoptosis, underlie renal cyst formation.
Mutations in the never-in-mitosis A-related kinase, Nek8, are associated with cystic kidney disease in both humans and mice, with Nek8 being the NPHP9 gene in the human juvenile cystic kidney disease, nephronophthisis. Human Nek8/NPHP9 localizes to centrosomes and the proximal region of cilia in dividing and ciliated cells, respectively. However, the regulation of Nek8 kinase activity, as well as its role in ciliogenesis, remains to be defined. Here, by establishing Nek8 kinase assays, we first demonstrate that the localization of Nek8 to centrosomes and cilia is dependent on both kinase activity and the C-terminal non-catalytic RCC1 domain. The kinase domain alone is active, but does not localize correctly, while the RCC1 domain localizes correctly and can be phosphorylated by Nek8. We propose that centrosome recruitment is mediated by the RCC1 domain, but requires a conformational change in the full-length protein that is promoted by autophosphorylation. Interestingly, three human NPHP9-associated mutants retain full kinase activity. However, only two of these, L330F and A497P, localize correctly, suggesting that the third mutant, H425Y, disrupts a centrosome targeting sequence in the RCC1 domain. Importantly, we find that induction of ciliogenesis upon cell cycle exit is accompanied by both activation and proteasomal degradation of Nek8, and that activation is dependent upon phosphorylation within the catalytic domain. Taken together, these findings reveal important insights into the mechanisms through which Nek8 activity and localization are regulated during ciliogenesis.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP), which affects multiple organs, is a hereditary cystic kidney disease (CKD), characterized by interstitial fibrosis and numerous fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. It is caused by mutations in NPHP genes, which encode for ciliary proteins known as nephrocystins. The disorder affects many people across the world and leads to end-stage renal disease. The aim of this study was to determine if the genetic background of the nonmutant female Piebald-Virol-Glaxo (PVG/Seac–/–) rat influences phenotypic inheritance of NPHP from mutant male Lewis polycystic kidney rats.
Mating experiments were performed between mutant Lewis polycystic kidney male rats with CKD and nonmutant PVG and Wistar Kyoto female rats without cystic kidney disease to raise second filial and backcross 1 progeny, respectively. Rats that developed cystic kidneys were identified. Systolic blood pressure was determined in each rat at 12 weeks of age using the tail and cuff method. After euthanasia, blood samples were collected and chemistry was determined. Histological examination of the kidneys, pancreas, and liver of rats with and without cystic kidney disease was performed.
It was established that the genetic background of nonmutant female PVG rats did not influence the phenotypic inheritance of the CKD from mutant male Lewis polycystic kidney rats. The disease arose as a result of a recessive mutation in a single gene (second filial generation, CKD = 13, non-CKD = 39, χ2 = 0.00, P ≥ 0.97; backcross 1 generation, CKD = 67, non-CKD = 72, χ2 = 0.18, P > 0.05) and inherited as NPHP. The rats with CKD developed larger fluid-filled cystic kidneys, higher systolic blood pressure, and anemia, but there were no extrarenal cysts and disease did not lead to early pup mortality.
The genetic background of the nonmutant PVG rats does not influence the genetic and phenotypic inheritance of CKD from mutant Lewis polycystic kidney rats. A single recessive mutation incapacitated the gene, which relaxed its functional constraints, and led to formation of multiple cysts in the kidneys of the homozygous mutant rats.
recessive mutation; cystic kidney disease; nephronophthisis; systolic blood pressure; anemia
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive kidney disorder characterized by chronic tubulointerstitial nephritis and leading to end-stage renal failure. NPHP as a renal entity is often part of a multisystem disorder and has been associated with many syndromes including Joubert syndrome (and related disorders) and Senior–Loken syndrome. Recent molecular genetic advances have allowed identification of several genes underlying NPHP. Most of these genes express their protein products, named nephrocystins, in primary cilial/basal body structures. Some nephrocystins are part of adherens junction and focal adhesion kinase protein complexes. This shared localization suggests that common pathogenic mechanisms within the kidney underlie this disease. Functional studies implicate nephrocystins in planar cell polarity pathways, which may be crucial for renal development and maintenance of tubular architecture.
primary cilia; collecting duct; planar-cell polarity; urine concentrating defect; tubulointerstitial nephritis
In addition to their role in motility, eukaryotic cilia serve as a distinct compartment for signal transduction and regulatory sequestration of biomolecules. Recent genetic and biochemical studies have revealed an extraordinary diversity of protein complexes involved in the biogenesis of cilia during each cell cycle. Mutations in components of these complexes are at the heart of human ciliopathies such as Nephronophthisis (NPHP), Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS), Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and Joubert syndrome (JBTS). Despite intense studies, proteins in some of these complexes, such as the NPHP1-4-8 and the MKS, remain poorly understood. Using a combination of computational analyses we studied these complexes to identify novel domains in them which might throw new light on their functions and evolutionary origins. First, we identified both catalytically active and inactive versions of transglutaminase-like (TGL) peptidase domains in key ciliary/centrosomal proteins CC2D2A/MKS6, CC2D2B, CEP76 and CCDC135. These ciliary TGL domains appear to have originated from prokaryotic TGL domains that act as peptidases, either in a prokaryotic protein degradation system with the MoxR AAA+ ATPase, the precursor of eukaryotic dyneins and midasins, or in a peptide-ligase system with an ATP-grasp enzyme comparable to tubulin-modifying TTL proteins. We suggest that active ciliary TGL proteins are part of a cilia-specific peptidase system that might remove tubulin modifications or cleave cilia- localized proteins, while the inactive versions are likely to bind peptides and mediate key interactions during ciliogenesis. Second, we observe a vast radiation of C2 domains, which are key membrane-localization modules, in multiple ciliary proteins, including those from the NPHP1-4-8 and the MKS complexes, such as CC2D2A/MKS6, RPGRIP1, RPGRIP1L, NPHP1, NPHP4, C2CD3, AHI1/Jouberin and CEP76, most of which can be traced back to the last eukaryotic ancestor. Identification of these TGL and C2 domains aid in the proper reconstruction of the Y-shaped linkers, which are key structures in the transitional zone of cilia, by allowing precise prediction of the multiple membrane-contacting and protein-protein interaction sites in these structures. These findings help decipher key events in the evolutionary separation of the ciliary and nuclear compartments in course of the emergence of the eukaryotic cell.
ciliogenesis; transglutaminase-like; membrane; tubulin-tyrosine ligase; C2; transition zone; Y-shaped linkers; evolution; origin of eukaryotes; ciliopathy
Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe autosomal recessive childhood blindness, is caused by mutations in at least 15 genes. The most common molecular form is a ciliopathy due to NPHP6 (CEP290) mutations and subjects have profound loss of vision. A similarly severe phenotype occurs in the related ciliopathy NPHP5 (IQCB1)-LCA. Recent success of retinal gene therapy in one form of LCA prompted the question whether we know enough about human NPHP5 and NPHP6 disease to plan such treatment. We determined that there was early-onset rapid degeneration of rod photoreceptors in young subjects with these ciliopathies. Rod outer segment (OS) lamination, when detectable, was disorganized. Retinal pigment epithelium lipofuscin accumulation indicated that rods had existed in the past in most subjects. In contrast to early rod losses, the all-cone human fovea in NPHP5- and NPHP6-LCA of all ages retained cone nuclei, albeit with abnormal inner segments and OS. The rd16 mouse, carrying a hypomorphic Nphp6 allele, was a good model of the rod-dominant human extra-foveal retina. Rd16 mice showed normal genesis of photoreceptors, including the formation of cilia, followed by abnormal elaboration of OS and rapid degeneration. To produce a model of the all-cone human fovea in NPHP6-LCA, we generated rd16;Nrl−/− double-mutant mice. They showed substantially retained cone photoreceptors with disproportionate cone function loss, such as in the human disease. NPHP5- and NPHP6-LCA across a wide age spectrum are thus excellent candidates for cone-directed gene augmentation therapy, and the rd16;Nrl−/− mouse is an appropriate model for pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies.
The ciliopathies are an expanding group of disorders caused by mutations in genes implicated in the biogenesis and function of primary cilia. Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a model ciliopathy characterized by progressive retinal degeneration, obesity, polydactyly, cognitive impairment, kidney anomalies and hypogonadism. Mutations in SDCCAG8(NPHP10) were described recently in patients with nephronophthisis and retinal degeneration (Senior-Loken syndrome; SLS). Given the phenotypic and genetic overlap between known ciliopathy genes, we hypothesized that mutations in SDCCAG8 might also contribute alleles to more severe, multisystemic ciliopathies. We performed genetic and phenotypic analyses of 2 independent BBS cohorts. Subsequent to mutation screening, we made a detailed phenotypic analysis of 5 families mutated for SDCCAG8 (3 homozygous and 2 compound heterozygous mutations) and conducted statistical analyses across both cohorts to examine possible phenotype-genotype correlations with mutations at this locus. All patients with mutations in SDCCAG8 fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for BBS (retinal degeneration, obesity, cognitive defects, renal failure, hypogonadism). Interestingly, none of the patients with primary SDCCAG8 mutations had polydactyly, a frequent but not obligatory BBS feature. In contrast, the same patients displayed early-onset renal failure, obesity, as well as recurrent pulmonary and ENT infections. Comparison of the phenotypes of these families with our entire BBS cohort indicated that renal impairment and absent polydactyly correlated significantly with causal SDCCAG8 mutations. Thus, SDCCAG8 mutations are sufficient to cause BBS in 1–2% of our combined cohorts, and define this gene as the sixteenth BBS locus (BBS16). The absence of polydactyly and the concomitant, apparently fully penetrant association with early kidney failure represents the first significant genotype-phenotype correlation in BBS that potentially represents an indicator for phenotype-driven priority screening and informs specific patient management.
Bardet-Biedl; Ciliopathy; Nephronophthisis; Polydactyly; SDCCAG8