Familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis is a rare tubulopathy leading to renal calcification and progressive renal failure.
We report a consanguineous Arab family (of Qatari origin) with 7 affected siblings with variable phenotypes including hypomagnesaemia, hypercalciuria, nephrocalcinosis and renal stones. Presenting features included haematuria and recurrent urinary tract infections. As the biochemical and clinical phenotypes of this family resembled familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis, we performed genetic investigation in order to provide a precise molecular diagnosis. We screened all coding regions of the CLDN16 gene and identified a novel mutation (c.G647A, p.R216H) which was found homozygously in the six severely affected cases, who manifested significant nephrocalcinosis, often nephrolithiasis and sometimes reduced GFR. Parents were both heterozygous for the mutation and, together with children carrying the mutation in its heterozygous state, exhibited mild or no biochemical phenotypes.
Mutations in CLDN16 underlie familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis but remain a rare cause of nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis. Management includes reduction of hypercalciuria with thiazide diuretics, correction of serum magnesium and close monitoring of renal function given the significant risk of end stage renal failure with this inherited form of nephrocalcinosis.
CLDN16; Claudin-16; Hypercalciuria; Hypocalcaemia; Hypomagnesaemia; Nephrocalcinosis; End stage renal disease
MKS3, encoding the transmembrane receptor meckelin, is mutated in Meckel–Gruber syndrome (MKS), an autosomal-recessive ciliopathy. Meckelin localizes to the primary cilium, basal body and elsewhere within the cell. Here, we found that the cytoplasmic domain of meckelin directly interacts with the actin-binding protein filamin A, potentially at the apical cell surface associated with the basal body. Mutations in FLNA, the gene for filamin A, cause periventricular heterotopias. We identified a single consanguineous patient with an MKS-like ciliopathy that presented with both MKS and cerebellar heterotopia, caused by an unusual in-frame deletion mutation in the meckelin C-terminus at the region of interaction with filamin A. We modelled this mutation and found it to abrogate the meckelin–filamin A interaction. Furthermore, we found that loss of filamin A by siRNA knockdown, in patient cells, and in tissues from FlnaDilp2 null mouse embryos results in cellular phenotypes identical to those caused by meckelin loss, namely basal body positioning and ciliogenesis defects. In addition, morpholino knockdown of flna in zebrafish embryos significantly increases the frequency of dysmorphology and severity of ciliopathy developmental defects caused by mks3 knockdown. Our results suggest that meckelin forms a functional complex with filamin A that is disrupted in MKS and causes defects in neuronal migration and Wnt signalling. Furthermore, filamin A has a crucial role in the normal processes of ciliogenesis and basal body positioning. Concurrent with these processes, the meckelin–filamin A signalling axis may be a key regulator in maintaining correct, normal levels of Wnt signalling.
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.
Homozygous or compound heterozygous Renin (REN) mutations cause renal tubular dysgenesis (RTD), which is characterized by death in utero due to renal failure and pulmonary hypoplasia. The phenotype resembles the fetopathy caused by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker intake during pregnancy. Recently, heterozygous REN mutations were shown to result in early-onset hyperuricemia, anemia and chronic renal failure. So far, only three different heterozygous REN mutations were reported.
We performed mutation analysis of the REN gene in 39 kindreds with hyperuricemia and chronic kidney disease (CKD) previously tested negative for mutations in the UMOD and HNF1β genes. We identified one kindred with a novel c.28T>C (p.W10R) REN mutation in the signal sequence, concluding that REN mutations are rare events in CKD patients. Affected individuals over four generations were identified carrying the novel REN mutation and were characterized by significant anemia, hyperuricemia and CKD. Anemia was severe and disproportional to the degree of renal impairment. Moreover all heterozygous REN mutations are localized in the signal sequence. Therefore, screening of the REN gene for CKD patients with hyperuricemia and anemia may be focusing on exon 1 sequencing, which encodes the signal peptide.
Joubert syndrome and related diseases (JSRD) are developmental cerebello-oculo-renal syndromes with phenotypes including cerebellar hypoplasia, retinal dystrophy and nephronophthisis (a cystic kidney disease). We have utilised the MRC-Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR), to perform in-situ hybridisation studies on embryonic tissues, revealing an early onset neuronal, retinal and renal expression pattern for AHI1. An almost identical pattern of expression is seen with CEP290 in human embryonic and fetal tissue. A novel finding is that both AHI1 and CEP290 demonstrate strong expression within the developing choroid plexus, a ciliated structure important for central nervous system development. To test if AHI1 and CEP290 may have co-evolved, we carried out a genomic survey of a large group of organisms across eukaryotic evolution. We found that, in animals, ahi1 and cep290 are almost always found together; however in other organisms either one may be found independent of the other. Finally, we tested in murine epithelial cells if Ahi1 was required for recruitment of Cep290 to the centrosome. We found no obvious differences in Cep290 localisation in the presence or absence of Ahi1, suggesting that, while Ahi1 and Cep290 may function together in the whole organism, they are not interdependent for localisation within a single cell. Taken together these data support a role for AHI1 and CEP290 in multiple organs throughout development and we suggest that this accounts for the wide phenotypic spectrum of AHI1 and CEP290 mutations in man.
Idiopathic renal hypouricaemia is an inherited form of hypouricaemia, associated with abnormal renal handling of uric acid. There is excessive urinary wasting of uric acid resulting in hypouricaemia. Patients may be asymptomatic, but the persistent urinary abnormalities may manifest as renal stone disease, and hypouricaemia may manifest as exercise induced acute kidney injury. Here we have identified Macedonian and British patients with hypouricaemia, who presented with a variety of renal symptoms and signs including renal stone disease, hematuria, pyelonephritis and nephrocalcinosis. We have identified heterozygous missense mutations in SLC22A12 encoding the urate transporter protein URAT1 and correlate these genetic findings with functional characterization. Urate handling was determined using uptake experiments in HEK293 cells. This data highlights the importance of the URAT1 renal urate transporter in determining serum urate concentrations and the clinical phenotypes, including nephrolithiasis, that should prompt the clinician to suspect an inherited form of renal hypouricaemia.
Uromodulin (UMOD) mutations are responsible for three autosomal dominant tubulo-interstitial nephropathies including medullary cystic kidney disease type 2 (MCKD2), familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephropathy and glomerulocystic kidney disease. Symptoms include renal salt wasting, hyperuricemia, gout, hypertension and end-stage renal disease. MCKD is part of the ‘nephronophthisis–MCKD complex’, a group of cystic kidney diseases. Both disorders have an indistinguishable histology and renal cysts are observed in either. For most genes mutated in cystic kidney disease, their proteins are expressed in the primary cilia/basal body complex. We identified seven novel UMOD mutations and were interested if UMOD protein was expressed in the primary renal cilia of human renal biopsies and if mutant UMOD would show a different expression pattern compared with that seen in control individuals. We demonstrate that UMOD is expressed in the primary cilia of renal tubules, using immunofluorescent studies in human kidney biopsy samples. The number of UMOD-positive primary cilia in UMOD patients is significantly decreased when compared with control samples. Additional immunofluorescence studies confirm ciliary expression of UMOD in cell culture. Ciliary expression of UMOD is also confirmed by electron microscopy. UMOD localization at the mitotic spindle poles and colocalization with other ciliary proteins such as nephrocystin-1 and kinesin family member 3A is demonstrated. Our data add UMOD to the group of proteins expressed in primary cilia, where mutations of the gene lead to cystic kidney disease.
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) 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 (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
Centrosome- and cilia-associated proteins play crucial roles in establishing polarity and regulating intracellular transport in post-mitotic cells. Using genetic mapping and positional candidate strategy, we have identified an in-frame deletion in a novel centrosomal protein CEP290 (also called NPHP6), leading to early-onset retinal degeneration in a newly identified mouse mutant, rd16. We demonstrate that CEP290 localizes primarily to centrosomes of dividing cells and to the connecting cilium of retinal photoreceptors. We show that, in the retina, CEP290 associates with several microtubule-based transport proteins including RPGR, which is mutated in ~15% of patients with retinitis pigmentosa. A truncated CEP290 protein (ΔCEP290) is detected in the rd16 retina, but in considerably reduced amounts; however, the mutant protein exhibits stronger association with specific RPGR isoform(s). Immunogold labeling studies demonstrate the redistribution of RPGR and of phototransduction proteins in the photoreceptors of rd16 retina. Our findings suggest a critical function for CEP290 in ciliary transport and provide insights into the mechanism of early-onset photoreceptor degeneration.