X-inactivation modifies disease severity in female carriers of murine X-linked Alport syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Female carriers of X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) demonstrate variability in clinical phenotype that, unlike males, cannot be correlated with genotype. X-inactivation, the method by which females (XX) silence transcription from one X chromosome in order to achieve gene dosage parity with males (XY), likely modifies the carrier phenotype, but this hypothesis has not been tested directly.Using a genetically defined mouse model of XLAS, we generated two groups of Alport female (Col4a5(+/-)) carriers that differed only in the X-controlling element (Xce) allele regulating X-inactivation. We followed the groups as far as 6 months of age comparing survival and surrogate outcome measures of urine protein and plasma urea nitrogen.Preferential inactivation of the mutant Col4a5 gene improved survival and surrogate outcome measures of urine protein and plasma urea nitrogen. In studies of surviving mice, we found that X-inactivation in kidney, measured by allele-specific mRNA expression assays, correlated with surrogate outcomes.Our findings establish X-inactivation as a major modifier of the carrier phenotype in X-linked Alport syndrome. Thus, X-inactivation patterns may offer prognostic information and point to possible treatment strategies for symptomatic carriers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alport syndrome is an inherited renal disease caused by mutations in COL4A3, COL4A4, or COL4A5 genes. Coexisting mutations in either two of the three genes in Alport patients have been reported recently. However, the effect of heterozygous mutations in COL4A3 or COL4A4 genes in X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) patients is unclear. METHODS:Using targeted next-generation sequencing, six unrelated Chinese children were identified to have a combination of a pathogenic variant in COL4A5 and a heterozygous mutation in COL4A3 or COL4A4. They were three males and three females. Another three XLAS males each with only one pathogenic variant in COL4A5 were included. The clinical data were analyzed and compared between the males in two groups (group 1, males with a pathogenic variant in COL4A5 and a heterozygous pathogenic variant in COL4A3 or COL4A4; group 2, males with only one pathogenic variant in COL4A5). RESULTS:Patients with XLAS who also had heterozygous pathogenic COL4A3 or COL4A4 variants accounted for 1% of Alport syndrome. In this study, three children showed coexisting pathogenic variants in COL4A5 and COL4A3. Two children showed pathogenic variants in COL4A5 and COL4A4. One child had pathogenic variants in the three COL4A3-5 genes, in which the pathogenic variant in COL4A5 was de novo and the pathogenic variants in COL4A4 and COL4A3 were inherited independently (in trans). The site and type of mutations in COL4A5 were similar between the two groups. It was revealed that males in group 1 presented more severe proteinuria than males in group 2 (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION:The present study provides further evidence for complicated genotype in Alport syndrome. For the first time, we reported a case with three pathogenic variants in COL4A5, COL4A3, and COL4A4 genes. Moreover, we found that heterozygous pathogenic COL4A3 or COL4A4 variants are likely to make XLAS disease more serious.
Project description:X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) is an inherited renal disease caused by mutations in COL4A5 gene. The c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) in COL4A5 gene (rs78972735) has been considered pathogenic previously. However, there are conflicting interpretations of its pathogenicity recently. Here we presented 19 Chinese families, out of which 36 individuals (18 probands and 18 family members) carried the c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) in COL4A5 gene. The clinical manifestations and genetic findings of them were analyzed. We found there were no clinical features of Alport syndrome not only in six probands with c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) in COL4A5 plus pathogenic variants in other genes (e.g., WT1, ADCK4, NPHP1, TRPC6, COL4A4, and PAX2) but also in another six probands with only the c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) variant. The other six probands with a combination of c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) and another pathogenic variant in COL4A5 had XLAS. Eleven family members (11/18, nine females and two males) who had only the c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) variant were asymptomatic. These two males (at age of 42 and 35 years) had normal result of urine analysis and no more clinical traits of Alport syndrome. We conclude c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) in COL4A5 gene is not a pathogenic variant for XLAS. Individuals should not be diagnosed as XLAS only based on the detection of c.2858G>T(p.(G953V)) in COL4A5 gene.
Project description:<b>Objectives:</b> X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) females are at risk of developing proteinuria and chronic kidney damage (CKD). The aim of this study is to evaluate the genotype-phenotype correlation in this rare population. <b>Materials and Methods:</b> This is a prospective, observational study of XLAS females, confirmed by a pathogenic mutation in <i>COL4A5</i> and renal ultrastructural evaluation. Proteinuria, renal function and extrarenal involvement were monitored during follow-up. Patients were divided in 2 groups, according to mutations in <i>COL4A5</i>: missense (Group 1) and non-missense variants (Group 2). <b>Results:</b> Twenty-four XLAS females, aged 10.6 ± 10.4 years at clinical onset (mean follow-up: 13.1 ± 12.6 years) were recruited between 2000 and 2017 at a single center. In group 1 there were 10 patients and in group 2, 14 (mean age at the end of follow-up: 24.9 ± 13.6 and 23.2 ± 13.8 years, respectively). One patient in Group 1 and 9 in Group 2 (<i>p</i> = 0.013) developed proteinuria during follow-up. Mean eGFR at last follow-up was lower in Group 2 (<i>p</i> = 0.027), where two patients developed CKD. No differences in hearing loss were documented among the two groups. Two patients in Group 2 carried one mutation in both <i>COL4A5</i> and <i>COL4A3</i> (digenic inheritance) and were proteinuric. In one family, the mother presented only hematuria while the daughter was proteinuric and presented a greater inactivation of the X chromosome carrying the wild-type allele. <b>Conclusions:</b> The appearance of proteinuria and CKD is more frequent in patients with severe variants. Carrying digenic inheritance and skewed XCI seem to be additional risk factors for proteinuria in XLAS females.
Project description:Alport syndrome is a hereditary progressive chronic kidney disease caused by mutations in type IV collagen genes COL4A3/4/5. X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) is caused by mutations in the COL4A5 gene and is the most common form of Alport syndrome. A strong correlation between the type of COL4A5 mutation and the age developing end-stage renal disease in male patients has been found. Mutation to the ? (IV) chain causes retention of the protein to the endoplasmic reticulum lumen, which causes endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and subsequent exertion of deleterious intracellular effects through the activation of ERS. The exact time point that mutant type IV collagen ? chain exerts its deleterious effects remains elusive. In this study, we explored the relationship between the COL4A5 genotype and cell type in ERS activation. We obtained skin fibroblasts from Alport syndrome patients with different COL4A5 mutation categories [i.e., a missense mutation (c.4298G > T, p.Gly1433Val) in exon 47, a splicing mutation (c.1949-1G > A) in intron 25 and an insertion (c.573_c.574insG, p. Pro193Alafs*23) in exon 10], and then reprogrammed these fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Interestingly, no significant dysregulation of ERS pathway markers was observed for the three COL4A5 mutant iPSCs; however, significant activation of ERS in COL4A5 mutant fibroblasts was observed. In addition, we found that the activation levels of some ERS markers in fibroblasts varied among the three COL4A5 mutation types. Mutant COL4A5 proteins were demonstrated to have different effects on cells at different stages of ontogenesis, providing a theoretical basis for choosing the timing of intervention. The observed differences in activation of ERS by the COL4A5 mutant fibroblasts may contribute to the intracellular molecular mechanisms that describe the correlation between genotype and clinical features in XLAS.
Project description:X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) is a progressive, hereditary nephropathy. Although men with XLAS usually develop end-stage renal disease before 30 years of age, some men show a milder phenotype and develop end-stage renal disease later in life. However, the molecular mechanisms associated with this milder phenotype have not been fully identified. We genetically diagnosed 186 patients with suspected XLAS between January 2006 and August 2014. Genetic examination involved: (1) extraction and analysis of genomic DNA using PCR and direct sequencing using Sanger's method and (2) next-generation sequencing to detect variant allele frequencies. We identified somatic mosaic variants in the type VI collagen, ?5 gene (COL4A5) in four patients. Interestingly, two of these four patients with variant frequencies in kidney biopsies or urinary sediment cells of ?50% showed hematuria and moderate proteinuria, whereas the other two with variant frequencies of <50% were asymptomatic or only had hematuria. De novo variants can occur even in asymptomatic male cases of XLAS resulting in mosaicism, with important implications for genetic counseling. This is the first study to show a tendency between the variant allele frequency and disease severity in male XLAS patients with somatic mosaic variants in COL4A5. Although this is a very rare status of somatic mosaicism, further analysis is needed to show this correlation in a larger population.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) is a progressive hereditary nephropathy caused by mutations in the <i>COL4A5</i> gene. Genotype-phenotype correlation in male XLAS is relatively well established; relative to truncating mutations, nontruncating mutations exhibit milder phenotypes. However, transcript comparison between XLAS cases with splicing abnormalities that result in a premature stop codon and those with nontruncating splicing abnormalities has not been reported, mainly because transcript analysis is not routinely conducted in patients with XLAS.<h4>Methods</h4>We examined transcript expression for all patients with suspected splicing abnormalities who were treated at one hospital between January of 2006 and July of 2017. Additionally, we recruited 46 males from 29 families with splicing abnormalities to examine genotype-phenotype correlation in patients with truncating (<i>n</i>=21, from 14 families) and nontruncating (<i>n</i>=25, from 15 families) mutations at the transcript level.<h4>Results</h4>We detected 41 XLAS families with abnormal splicing patterns and described novel XLAS atypical splicing patterns (<i>n</i>=14) other than exon skipping caused by point mutations in the splice consensus sequence. The median age for developing ESRD was 20 years (95% confidence interval, 14 to 23 years) among patients with truncating mutations and 29 years (95% confidence interval, 25 to 40 years) among patients with nontruncating mutations (<i>P</i>=0.001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>We report unpredictable atypical splicing in the <i>COL4A5</i> gene in male patients with XLAS and reveal that renal prognosis differs significantly for patients with truncating versus nontruncating splicing abnormalities. Our results suggest that splicing modulation should be explored as a therapy for XLAS with truncating mutations.
Project description:Optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings of temporal macular thinning are important in the diagnosis and prognosis of X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS).To report OCT findings and severity of temporal macular thinning in a cohort with XLAS and to correlate these and other ocular findings with mutation genotype.Patients with XLAS underwent genotyping for COL4A5 mutations and complete eye examinations with retinal imaging using spectral domain OCT and fundus photography. Temporal macular thinning was calculated from OCT measurements by comparing the ratio of the retinal thickness of the temporal to the nasal subfields with a published normative database.University departments of ophthalmology and nephrology.Thirty-two patients from 24 families.Temporal thinning index calculated from spectral domain OCT scans.All study patients had a mutation associated with the X-linked COL4A5 gene. Eleven different mutations were identified. Eleven of 32 patients (34%) expressed the L1649R mutation. Of a total of 63 eyes with available OCT scans, 44 (70%) had severe pathological temporal macular thinning. The L1649R mutation was associated with the least amount of severe temporal macular thinning and later onset of renal failure.Temporal macular thinning is a prominent sign associated with XLAS, suggesting that OCT measurements are essential in the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. The L1649R mutation in the COL4A5 gene causes a relatively mild form of XLAS characterized by late-onset renal failure and less frequent, severe temporal macular thinning relative to other COL4A5 mutations. The pathological basis for the retinal abnormalities of XLAS remains to be established.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS), caused by mutations in the type IV collagen COL4A5 gene, accounts for approximately 80% of human Alport syndrome. Dogs with XLAS have a similar clinical progression. Prior studies in autosomal recessive Alport mice demonstrated early mesangial cell invasion as the source of laminin 211 in the glomerular basement membrane (GBM), leading to proinflammatory signaling. The objective of this study was to verify this process in XLAS dogs.<h4>Methods</h4>XLAS dogs and WT littermates were monitored with serial clinicopathologic data and kidney biopsies. Biopsies were obtained at set milestones defined by the onset of microalbuminuria (MA), overt proteinuria, onset of azotemia, moderate azotemia, and euthanasia. Kidney biopsies were analyzed by histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy.<h4>Results</h4>XLAS dogs showed progressive decrease in renal function and progressive increase in interstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis (based on light microscopy and immunostaining for fibronectin). The only identifiable structural abnormality at the time of microalbuminuria was ultrastructural evidence of mild segmental GBM multilamination, which was more extensive when overt proteinuria developed. Co-localization studies showed that mesangial laminin 211 and integrin ?8?1 accumulated in the GBM at the onset of overt proteinuria and coincided with ultrastructural evidence of mild cellular interpositioning, consistent with invasion of the capillary loops by mesangial cell processes.<h4>Conclusion</h4>In a large animal model, the induction of mesangial filopodial invasion of the glomerular capillary loop leading to the irregular deposition of laminin 211 is an early initiating event in Alport glomerular pathology.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Chronic kidney disease caused by X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS) is relatively rare. However, due to the nonspecific pathologic and clinical manifestations of this disease, it is easily misdiagnosed. Genetic testing is crucial in identifying suspected cases. In addition, the results of genetic testing are an important indicator of patient prognosis. This study demonstrated a novel pathogenic COL4A5 splicing site variant in a Chinese family with XLAS. <h4>Methods</h4> Targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) was performed to identify the gene variant in the family members, and the gene mutation site was confirmed by Sanger sequencing. We then further analyzed the consequences of this gene mutation on the translated protein of this variant using in silico and in vitro approaches. <h4>Results</h4> A novel splice region variant, c.1033-2(IVS 18) A>G, in COL4A5 intron 18 was identified in the affected family members. Sanger sequencing confirmed that this variant is segregated with disease. In silico analysis, this variant led to frame-shift and premature termination on the translation of the nucleic acid, and this result was verified by RNA splicing analysis in a cell model. Unexpectedly, we still observed positive immunohistology staining of collagen IV α5 in the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) of the index patient, which implied that another potential transcription or translation mechanism skipping the mutated site might exist. <h4>Conclusions</h4> Our present finding expands the mutational spectrum for the COL4A5 gene associated with XLAS and highlights the genotype-phenotype correlations in this disease.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4><i>COL4A5</i> is a causative gene of X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS). Male patients with XLAS with nonsense variants have the most severe phenotypes of early onset end-stage kidney disease (ESKD); those with splicing variants have middle phenotypes and those with missense variants have the mildest phenotypes. Therefore, genotyping for male patients with XLAS can be used to predict kidney prognosis. Single-base substitutions at the last nucleotide position in each exon are known to affect splicing patterns and could be splicing variants. Nevertheless, in XLAS, these variants are generally considered to be missense variants, without conducting a transcript analysis, which underestimates some patients as having mild phenotypes. This study aimed to investigate whether single-base substitutions at the last nucleotide position of <i>COL4A5</i> exons cause aberrant splicing.<h4>Methods</h4>In total, 20 variants were found in the Human Gene Mutation Database (<i>n</i> = 14) and our cohort (<i>n</i> = 6). We performed functional splicing assays using a hybrid minigene analysis and <i>in vivo</i> transcript analyses of patients' samples when available. Then, we investigated genotype-phenotype correlations for patients with splicing variants detected in this study by comparing data from our previous studies.<h4>Results</h4>Among the 20 variants, 17 (85%) caused aberrant splicing. Male patients with splicing variants had more severe phenotypes when compared with those with missense variants. Findings from the <i>in vivo</i> analyses for 3 variants were identical to those from the minigene assay.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our study revealed that most single-base substitutions at the last nucleotide position of <i>COL4A5</i> exons result in splicing variants, rather than missense variants, thereby leading to more severe phenotypes.