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1.  Common Charge-Shift Mutation Glu65Lys in K+ Channel β1-Subunit KCNMB1: Pleiotropic Consequences for Glomerular Filtration Rate and Progressive Renal Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;32(5):414-424.
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a heritable trait, and hyperfiltration (GFR increment in remnant nephrons) may accelerate renal functional decline in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Mesangial and vascular smooth myocytes control GFR by contraction, dependent on voltage-gated Ca2+ influx, which is controlled by the regulatory β1-subunit (KCNMB1) of large-conductance heteromeric K+ (‘BK’) channels. KCNMB1 gain-of-function variant Glu65Lys results in generalized vasorelaxation and thus protection against systemic hypertension. Here we asked whether the Glu65Lys variant influences GFR, in the basal state or during progressive renal decline.
We explored Glu65Lys effects on GFR in three populations spanning two ethnicities and two diseases (hypertension and nephrosclerosis). GFR was either estimated (eGFR from serum creatinine) or directly measured (iothalamate clearance).
The 65Lys variant was relatively common, occurring on ∼5−10% of chromosomes in different biogeographic ancestry groups, and 65Lys carriers exhibited higher eGFR in two primary care populations: extreme BP values in Kaiser clinics (p = 0.029, accounting for ∼0.2% of trait variance), or treated hypertensives in VA clinics (p = 0.017, accounting for ∼0.9% of trait variance). In blacks with progressive renal disease (NIDDK AASK), 65Lys carriers displayed a steeper slope in GFR chronic decline (p = 0.030, accounting for ∼0.4% of trait variance), and Glu65Lys genotype also predicted time of onset of renal failure (log rank p = 0.019).
Common KCNMB1 gain-of-function variant Glu65Lys influences GFR, and 65Lys carriers exhibit not only elevated baseline GFR, but also more rapid GFR decline (and consequent development of renal failure) in CKD. The results suggest that profiling patients at Glu65Lys can assist in gauging renal prognosis as well as selection of rational therapy in hypertension with progressive renal disease.
PMCID: PMC2975731  PMID: 20861615
Glomerular filtration rate; KCNMB1; Hypertensive nephrosclerosis; African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension
2.  Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease: Adrenergic Genetic Influence on Glomerular Filtration Rate Decline in Hypertensive Nephrosclerosis 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;32(1):23-30.
African-Americans are likely to develop hypertension and hypertensive nephrosclerosis. This grave prognosis, coupled with familial aggregation of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in Blacks, prompts a search for genetic risk factors for ESRD. Recent evidence implicates a crucial role for the sympathetic nervous system in progressive renal disease.
We used the African-American Study of Kidney Disease to probe whether β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) predicts glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline rate. A total of 580 participants were included. Baseline GFR was 51.2 ± 0.5 ml/min/1.73 m2. Subjects were randomized in a 2 × 3 block design: to intensively lowered (MAP ≤92 mm Hg) versus ‘usual’ (MAP = 102–107 mm Hg) blood pressure goal groups, and also divided by three randomized antihypertensive drugs (ramipril, metoprolol, or amlodipine). We scored 4 SNPs at the ADRB2 locus.
Haplotypes at ADRB2 predicted chronic GFR decline rate, GFR declined more slowely in individuals with haplotype-1 (−804G→173T→16Gly→27GIn), and faster in those who carried haplotype-3 (−804G→173T→16Arg→27Gln). ADRB2 genotype interacted with antihypertensive drug class to influence GFR slope (p = 0.001–0.037). We extended our findings to an independent case/control sample of Black hypertensive ESRD, in which we found that variant Gly16Arg that tagged the GFR slope-determining ADRB2 haplotype also conferred risk for the ESRD trait in Blacks.
The GFR decline/progression rate in hypertensive renal disease is controlled in part by genetic variation within the adrenergic pathway.
PMCID: PMC2914391  PMID: 20484896
Adrenergic genetic influence; African-American Study of Kidney Disease; Chronic kidney disease; End-stage renal disease; Glomerular filtration rate; Hypertensive nephrosclerosis

Results 1-2 (2)