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1.  Mapping of a new locus for congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract on chromosome 8q24 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2009;25(5):1496-1501.
Background. Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) account for the majority of end-stage renal disease in children (50%). Previous studies have mapped autosomal dominant loci for CAKUT. We here report a genome-wide search for linkage in a large pedigree of Somalian descent containing eight affected individuals with a non-syndromic form of CAKUT.
Methods. Clinical data and blood samples were obtained from a Somalian family with eight individuals with CAKUT including high-grade vesicoureteral reflux and unilateral renal agenesis. Total genome search for linkage was performed using a 50K SNP Affymetric DNA microarray. As neither parent is affected, the results of the SNP array were analysed under recessive models of inheritance, with and without the assumption of consanguinity.
Results. Using the non-consanguineous recessive model, a new gene locus (CAKUT1) for CAKUT was mapped to chromosome 8q24 with a significant maximum parametric Logarithm of the ODDs (LOD) score (LODmax) of 4.2. Recombinations were observed in two patients defining a critical genetic interval of 2.5 Mb physical distance flanked by markers SNP_A-1740062 and SNP_A-1653225.
Conclusion. We have thus identified a new non-syndromic recessive gene locus for CAKUT (CAKUT1) on chromosome 8q24. The identification of the disease-causing gene will provide further insights into the pathogenesis of urinary tract malformations and mechanisms of renal development.
doi:10.1093/ndt/gfp650
PMCID: PMC2910330  PMID: 20007758
congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT); kidney development; total genome search for linkage; ureteropelvic junction obstruction; vesicoureteral reflux
3.  Individuals with mutations in XPNPEP3, which encodes a mitochondrial protein, develop a nephronophthisis-like nephropathy  
The autosomal recessive kidney disease nephronophthisis (NPHP) constitutes the most frequent genetic cause of terminal renal failure in the first 3 decades of life. Ten causative genes (NPHP1–NPHP9 and NPHP11), whose products localize to the primary cilia-centrosome complex, support the unifying concept that cystic kidney diseases are “ciliopathies”. Using genome-wide homozygosity mapping, we report here what we believe to be a new locus (NPHP-like 1 [NPHPL1]) for an NPHP-like nephropathy. In 2 families with an NPHP-like phenotype, we detected homozygous frameshift and splice-site mutations, respectively, in the X-prolyl aminopeptidase 3 (XPNPEP3) gene. In contrast to all known NPHP proteins, XPNPEP3 localizes to mitochondria of renal cells. However, in vivo analyses also revealed a likely cilia-related function; suppression of zebrafish xpnpep3 phenocopied the developmental phenotypes of ciliopathy morphants, and this effect was rescued by human XPNPEP3 that was devoid of a mitochondrial localization signal. Consistent with a role for XPNPEP3 in ciliary function, several ciliary cystogenic proteins were found to be XPNPEP3 substrates, for which resistance to N-terminal proline cleavage resulted in attenuated protein function in vivo in zebrafish. Our data highlight an emerging link between mitochondria and ciliary dysfunction, and suggest that further understanding the enzymatic activity and substrates of XPNPEP3 will illuminate novel cystogenic pathways.
doi:10.1172/JCI40076
PMCID: PMC2827951  PMID: 20179356
4.  A Systematic Approach to Mapping Recessive Disease Genes in Individuals from Outbred Populations 
PLoS Genetics  2009;5(1):e1000353.
The identification of recessive disease-causing genes by homozygosity mapping is often restricted by lack of suitable consanguineous families. To overcome these limitations, we apply homozygosity mapping to single affected individuals from outbred populations. In 72 individuals of 54 kindred ascertained worldwide with known homozygous mutations in 13 different recessive disease genes, we performed total genome homozygosity mapping using 250,000 SNP arrays. Likelihood ratio Z-scores (ZLR) were plotted across the genome to detect ZLR peaks that reflect segments of homozygosity by descent, which may harbor the mutated gene. In 93% of cases, the causative gene was positioned within a consistent ZLR peak of homozygosity. The number of peaks reflected the degree of inbreeding. We demonstrate that disease-causing homozygous mutations can be detected in single cases from outbred populations within a single ZLR peak of homozygosity as short as 2 Mb, containing an average of only 16 candidate genes. As many specialty clinics have access to cohorts of individuals from outbred populations, and as our approach will result in smaller genetic candidate regions, the new strategy of homozygosity mapping in single outbred individuals will strongly accelerate the discovery of novel recessive disease genes.
Author Summary
Many childhood diseases are caused by single-gene mutations of recessive genes, in which a child has inherited one mutated gene copy from each parent causing disease in the child, but not in the parents who are healthy heterozygous carriers. As the two mutations represent the disease cause, gene mapping helped understand disease mechanisms. “Homozygosity mapping” has been particularly useful. It assumes that the parents are related and that a disease-causing mutation together with a chromosomal segment of identical markers (i.e., homozygous markers) is transmitted to the affected child through the paternal and the maternal line from an ancestor common to both parents. Homozygosity mapping seeks out those homozygous regions to map the disease-causing gene. Homozygosity mapping requires families, in which the parents are knowingly related, and have multiple affected children. To overcome these limitations, we applied homozygosity mapping to single affected individuals from outbred populations. In 72 individuals with known homozygous mutations in 13 different recessive disease genes, we performed homozygosity mapping. In 93% we detected the causative gene in a segment of homozygosity. We demonstrate that disease-causing homozygous mutations can be detected in single cases from outbred populations. This will strongly accelerate the discovery of novel recessive disease genes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000353
PMCID: PMC2621355  PMID: 19165332
5.  Profiling and Verification of Gene Expression Patterns in Normal and Malignant Human Prostate Tissues by cDNA Microarray Analysis1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2001;3(1):43-52.
Abstract
cDNA microarray technology allows the “profiling” of gene expression patterns for virtually any cellular material. In this study, we applied cDNA microarray technology to profile changes in gene expression associated with human prostate tumorigenesis. RNA prepared from normal and malignant prostate tissue was examined for the expression levels of 588 human genes. Four different methods for data normalization were utilized. Of these, normalization to ACTB expression proved to be the most rigorous technique with the least probability of producing spurious results. After normalization to ACTB expression, 15 of 588 (2.6%) genes examined by array analysis were differentially expressed by a factor of 2x or more in malignant compared to normal prostate tissues. The expression patterns for 8 of 15 genes have been reported previously in prostate tissues (TGFβ3, TGFBR3, IGFII, IGFBP2, VEGF, FGF7, ERBB3, MYC), but those of seven genes are reported here for the first time (MLH1, CYP1B1, RFC4, EPHB3, MGST1, BTEB2, MLP). These genes describe at least four metabolic and signaling pathways likely disrupted in human prostate tumorigenesis. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot analyses quantitated with reference to ACTB expression levels verified the trends in gene expression levels observed by array analysis for 14/15 and 8/8 genes, respectively. However, RT-PCR and Northern blot analyses accurately verified the “fold” differences in expression levels for only 6/15 (40%) and 7/8 (88%) of genes examined, respectively, demonstrating the need to better validate quantitative differences in gene expression revealed by array-based techniques.
PMCID: PMC1505021  PMID: 11326315
microarray; prostate; expression; RNA; cancer

Results 1-5 (5)