Allelic variants of complement genes associated with dense deposit disease.
ABSTRACT: The alternative pathway of the complement cascade plays a role in the pathogenesis of dense deposit disease (DDD). Deficiency of complement factor H and mutations in CFH associate with the development of DDD, but it is unknown whether allelic variants in other complement genes also associate with this disease. We studied patients with DDD and identified previously unreported sequence alterations in several genes in addition to allelic variants and haplotypes common to patients with DDD. We found that the likelihood of developing DDD increases with the presence of two or more risk alleles in CFH and C3. To determine the functional consequence of this finding, we measured the activity of the alternative pathway in serum samples from phenotypically normal controls genotyped for variants in CFH and C3. Alternative pathway activity was higher in the presence of variants associated with DDD. Taken together, these data confirm that DDD is a complex genetic disease and may provide targets for the development of disease-specific therapies.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II or dense deposit disease (MPGN II/DDD) causes chronic renal dysfunction that progresses to end stage renal disease in about half of patients within 10 years of diagnosis. Deficiency of and mutations in the complement factor H (CFH) gene are associated with the development of MPGN II/DDD, suggesting that dysregulation of the alternative pathway of the complement cascade is important in disease pathophysiology. SUBJECTS: Patients with MPGN II/DDD were studied to determine whether specific allele variants of CFH and CFHR5 segregate preferentially with the MPGN II/DDD disease phenotype. The control group was compromised of 131 people in whom age related macular degeneration had been excluded. RESULTS: Allele frequencies of four single nucleotide polymorphisms in CFH and three in CFHR5 were significantly different between MPGN II/DDD patients and controls. CONCLUSION: We have identified specific allele variants of CFH and CFHR5 associated with the MPGN II/DDD disease phenotype. While our data can be interpreted to further implicate complement in the pathogenesis of MPGN II/DDD, these associations could also be unrelated to disease pathophysiology. Functional studies are required to resolve this question.
Project description:C3 glomerulopathy refers to those renal lesions characterized histologically by predominant C3 accumulation within the glomerulus, and pathogenetically by aberrant regulation of the alternative pathway of complement. Dense deposit disease is distinguished from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy by its characteristic appearance on electron microscopy. The extent to which dense deposit disease also differs from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy in terms of clinical features, natural history, and outcomes of treatment including renal transplantation is less clear. We discuss the pathophysiology of C3 glomerulopathy, with evidence for alternative pathway dysregulation obtained from affected individuals and complement factor H (Cfh)-deficient animal models. Recent linkage studies in familial C3 glomerulopathy have shown genomic rearrangements in the Cfh-related genes, for which the novel pathophysiologic concept of Cfh deregulation has been proposed.
Project description:Dense deposit disease (DDD) is a rare glomerular disease that typically affects children, young adults, and much less commonly, older patients. The pathophysiologic process underlying DDD is uncontrolled activation of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement cascade, most frequently secondary to an autoantibody to C3 convertase called C3 nephritic factor, although mutations in factor H and autoantibodies to this protein can impair its function and also cause DDD. Since 1995, we have diagnosed DDD in 14 patients aged 49 years or older; 10 of these patients (71.4%) carry a concomitant diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). In 1 of these 10 patients, the index case described here, we evaluated the AP and showed low serum AP protein levels consistent with complement activity, heterozygosity for the H402 allele of factor H, and low levels of factor H autoantibodies, which can affect the ability of factor H to regulate AP activity. In aggregate, these findings suggest that in some adults with MGUS, DDD may develop as a result of autoantibodies to factor H (or other complement proteins) that on a permissive genetic background (the H402 allele of factor H) lead to dysregulation of the AP with subsequent glomerular damage. Thus, DDD in some older patients may be a distinct clinicopathologic entity that represents an uncommon complication of MGUS.
Project description:The development of clinical treatment protocols usually relies on evidence-based guidelines that focus on randomized, controlled trials. For rare renal diseases, such stringent requirements can represent a significant challenge. Dense deposit disease (DDD; also known as membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II) is a prototypical rare disease. It affects only two to three people per million and leads to renal failure within 10 yr in 50% of affected children. On the basis of pathophysiology, this article presents a diagnostic and treatment algorithm for patients with DDD. Diagnostic tests should assess the alternative pathway of complement for abnormalities. Treatment options include aggressive BP control and reduction of proteinuria, and on the basis of pathophysiology, animal data, and human studies, plasma infusion or exchange, rituximab, sulodexide, and eculizumab are additional options. Criteria for treatment success should be prevention of progression as determined by maintenance or improvement in renal function. A secondary criterion should be normalization of activity levels of the alternative complement pathway as measured by C3/C3d ratios and C3NeF levels. Outcomes should be reported to a central repository that is now accessible to all clinicians. As the understanding of DDD increases, novel therapies should be integrated into existing protocols for DDD and evaluated using an open-label Bayesian study design.
Project description:Mutations in the complement factor H gene (CFH) region associate with renal-limited mesangial proliferative forms of glomerulonephritis including IgA nephropathy (IgAN), dense deposit disease (DDD) and C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN). Lack of kidney biopsies could lead to under diagnosis of CFH-associated end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in African Americans (AAs), with incorrect attribution to other causes. A prior genome-wide association study in AAs with non-diabetic ESKD implicated an intronic CFH single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).Thirteen CFH SNPs (8 exonic, 2 synonymous, 2 3'UTR, and the previously associated intronic variant rs379489) were tested for association with common forms of non-diabetic and type 2 diabetes-associated (T2D) ESKD in 3770 AAs (1705 with non-diabetic ESKD, 1305 with T2D-ESKD, 760 controls). Most cases lacked kidney biopsies; those with known IgAN, DDD or C3GN were excluded.Adjusting for age, gender, ancestry and apolipoprotein L1 gene risk variants, single SNP analyses detected 6 CFH SNPs (5 exonic and the intronic variant) as significantly associated with non-diabetic ESKD (P = 0.002-0.01), three of these SNPs were also associated with T2D-ESKD. Weighted CFH locus-wide Sequence Kernel Association Testing (SKAT) in non-diabetic ESKD (P = 0.00053) and T2D-ESKD (P = 0.047) confirmed significant evidence of association.CFH was associated with commonly reported etiologies of ESKD in the AA population. These results suggest that a subset of cases with ESKD clinically ascribed to the effects of hypertension or glomerulosclerosis actually have CFH-related forms of mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis. Genetic testing may prove useful to identify the causes of renal-limited kidney disease in patients with ESKD who lack renal biopsies.
Project description:The renal disorder C3 glomerulopathy with dense deposit disease (C3G-DDD) pattern results from complement dysfunction and primarily affects children and young adults. There is no effective treatment, and patients often progress to end-stage renal failure. A small fraction of C3G-DDD cases linked to factor H or C3 gene mutations as well as autoantibodies have been reported. Here, we examined an index family with 2 patients with C3G-DDD and identified a chromosomal deletion in the complement factor H-related (CFHR) gene cluster. This deletion resulted in expression of a hybrid CFHR2-CFHR5 plasma protein. The recombinant hybrid protein stabilized the C3 convertase and reduced factor H-mediated convertase decay. One patient was refractory to plasma replacement and exchange therapy, as evidenced by the hybrid protein quickly returning to pretreatment plasma levels. Subsequently, complement inhibitors were tested on serum from the patient for their ability to block activity of CFHR2-CFHR5. Soluble CR1 restored defective C3 convertase regulation; however, neither eculizumab nor tagged compstatin had any effect. Our findings provide insight into the importance of CFHR proteins for C3 convertase regulation and identify a genetic variation in the CFHR gene cluster that promotes C3G-DDD. Monitoring copy number and sequence variations in the CFHR gene cluster in C3G-DDD and kidney patients with C3G-DDD variations will help guide treatment strategies.
Project description:Dense deposit disease (DDD) is a severe renal disease characterized by accumulation of electron-dense material in the mesangium and glomerular basement membrane. Previously, DDD has been associated with deficiency of factor H (fH), a plasma regulator of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement activation, and studies in animal models have linked pathogenesis to the massive complement factor 3 (C3) activation caused by this deficiency. Here, we identified a unique DDD pedigree that associates disease with a mutation in the C3 gene. Mutant C(3923?DG), which lacks 2 amino acids, could not be cleaved to C3b by the AP C3-convertase and was therefore the predominant circulating C3 protein in the patients. However, upon activation to C3b by proteases, or to C3(H?O) by spontaneous thioester hydrolysis, C(3923?DG) generated an active AP C3-convertase that was regulated normally by decay accelerating factor (DAF) but was resistant to decay by fH. Moreover, activated C(3b923?DG) and C3(H?O)(923?DG) were resistant to proteolysis by factor I (fI) in the presence of fH, but were efficiently inactivated in the presence of membrane cofactor protein (MCP). These characteristics cause a fluid phase-restricted AP dysregulation in the patients that continuously activated and consumed C3 produced by the normal C3 allele. These findings expose structural requirements in C3 that are critical for recognition of the substrate C3 by the AP C3-convertase and for the regulatory activities of fH, DAF, and MCP, all of which have implications for therapeutic developments.
Project description:Dense deposit disease (DDD), a subtype of C3 glomerulopathy, is a rare disease affecting mostly children. Treatment options are limited. Debate exists whether eculizumab, a monoclonal antibody against complement factor C5, is effective in DDD. Reported data are scarce, especially in children.The authors analyzed clinical and histologic data of five pediatric patients with a native kidney biopsy diagnosis of DDD. Patients received eculizumab as therapy of last resort for severe nephritic or nephrotic syndrome with alternative pathway complement activation; this therapy was given only when the patients had not or only marginally responded to immunosuppressive therapy. Outcome measures were kidney function, proteinuria, and urine analysis.In all, seven disease episodes were treated with eculizumab (six episodes of severe nephritic syndrome [two of which required dialysis] and one nephrotic syndrome episode). Median age at treatment start was 8.4 (range, 5.9-13) years. For three treatment episodes, eculizumab was the sole immunosuppressive treatment. In all patients, both proteinuria and renal function improved significantly within 12 weeks of treatment (median urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio of 8.5 [range, 2.2-17] versus 1.1 [range, 0.2-2.0] g/g, P<0.005, and eGFR of 58 [range, 17-114] versus 77 [range, 50-129] ml/min per 1.73 m(2), P<0.01). A striking finding was the disappearance of leukocyturia within 1 week after the first eculizumab dose in all five episodes with leukocyturia at treatment initiation.In this case series of pediatric patients with DDD, eculizumab treatment was associated with reduction in proteinuria and increase in eGFR. Leukocyturia resolved within 1 week of initiation of eculizumab treatment. These results underscore the need for a randomized trial of eculizumab in DDD.
Project description:Gene variants in the alternative pathway of the complement system strongly associate with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), presumably by predisposing to increased complement activation within the kidney. Complement factor H (CFH) is the major regulator of complement activation through the alternative pathway. Factor H-deficient mice transgenically expressing a mutant CFH protein (Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20) that functionally mimics the CFH mutations reported in aHUS patients spontaneously develop thrombotic microangiopathy. To investigate the role of complement C5 activation in this aHUS model, we generated C5-deficient Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20 mice. Both C5-sufficient and C5-deficient Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20 mice had abnormal C3 deposition within the kidney, but spontaneous aHUS did not develop in any of the C5-deficient mice. Furthermore, although Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20 animals demonstrated marked hypersensitivity to experimentally triggered renal injury, animals with concomitant C5 deficiency did not. These data demonstrate a critical role for C5 activation in both spontaneous aHUS and experimentally triggered renal injury in animals with defective complement factor H function. This study provides a rationale to investigate therapeutic inhibition of C5 in human aHUS.
Project description:The principle defect in dense deposit disease and C3 glomerulonephritis is hyperactivity of the alternative complement pathway. Eculizumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds to C5 to prevent formation of the membrane attack complex, may prove beneficial.In this open-label, proof of concept efficacy and safety study, six subjects with dense deposit disease or C3 glomerulonephritis were treated with eculizumab every other week for 1 year. All had proteinuria >1 g/d and/or AKI at enrollment. Subjects underwent biopsy before enrollment and repeat biopsy at the 1-year mark.The subjects included three patients with dense deposit disease (including one patient with recurrent dense deposit disease in allograft) and three patients with C3 glomerulonephritis (including two patients with recurrent C3 glomerulonephritis in allograft). Genetic and complement function testing revealed a mutation in CFH and MCP in one subject each, C3 nephritic factor in three subjects, and elevated levels of serum membrane attack complex in three subjects. After 12 months, two subjects showed significantly reduced serum creatinine, one subject achieved marked reduction in proteinuria, and one subject had stable laboratory parameters but histopathologic improvements. Elevated serum membrane attack complex levels normalized on therapy and paralleled improvements in creatinine and proteinuria.Clinical and histopathologic data suggest a response to eculizumab in some but not all subjects with dense deposit disease and C3 glomerulonephritis. Elevation of serum membrane attack complex before treatment may predict response. Additional research is needed to define the subgroup of dense deposit disease/C3 glomerulonephritis patients in whom eculizumab therapy can be considered.