COL4A4 gene study of a European population: description of new mutations causing autosomal dominant Alport syndrome.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Autosomal forms of Alport syndrome represent 20% of all patients (15% recessive and 5% dominant). They are caused by mutations in the COL4A3 and COL4A4 genes, which encode a-3 and a-4 collagen IV chains of the glomerular basement membrane, cochlea and eye. Thin basement membrane nephropathy may affect up to 1% of the population. The pattern of inheritance in the 40% of cases is the same as autosomal dominant Alport syndrome: heterozygous mutations in these genes. The aim of this study is to detect new pathogenic mutations in the COL4A4 gene in the patients previously diagnosed with autosomal Alport syndrome and thin basement membrane nephropathy in our hospital. METHODS: We conducted a clinical and genetic study in eleven patients belonging to six unrelated families with aforementioned clinical symptoms and a negative study of COL4A3 gene. The molecular study was made by conformation of sensitive gel electrophoresis (CSGE) and direct sequencing of the fragments that show an altered electrophoretic migration pattern. RESULTS: We found two pathogenic mutations, not yet described: IVS3 + 1G > C is a replacement of Guanine to Cytosine in position +1 of intron 3, in the splicing region, which leads to a pathogenic mutation. c.4267C > T; p.P1423S is a missense mutation, also considered pathogenic. We also found seven new polymorphisms. CONCLUSIONS: We describe two new pathogenic mutations, responsible for autosomal dominant Alport syndrome. The other families of the study were undiagnosed owing to problems in the method employed and the possibility of mutations in other genes, giving rise to other diseases with similar symptoms.
Project description:Alport syndrome is an inherited nephropathy associated with mutations in genes encoding type IV collagen chains present in the glomerular basement membrane. COL4A5 mutations are associated with the major X-linked form of the disease, and COL4A3 and COL4A4 mutations are associated with autosomal recessive and dominant forms (thought to be involved in 15% and 1%-5% of the families, respectively) and benign familial hematuria. Mutation screening of these three large genes is time-consuming and expensive. Here, we carried out a combination of multiplex PCR, amplicon quantification, and next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis of three genes in 101 unrelated patients. We identified 88 mutations and 6 variations of unknown significance on 116 alleles in 83 patients. Two additional indel mutations were found only by secondary Sanger sequencing, but they were easily identified retrospectively with the web-based sequence visualization tool Integrative Genomics Viewer. Altogether, 75 mutations were novel. Sequencing the three genes simultaneously was particularly advantageous as the mode of inheritance could not be determined with certainty in many instances. The proportion of mutations in COL4A3 and COL4A4 was notably high, and the autosomal dominant forms of Alport syndrome appear more frequently than reported previously. Finally, this approach allowed the identification of large COL4A3 and COL4A4 rearrangements not described previously. We conclude that NGS is efficient, reduces screening time and cost, and facilitates the provision of appropriate genetic counseling in Alport syndrome.
Project description:Alport syndrome is an inherited renal disorder characterized by glomerular basement membrane lesions with hematuria, proteinuria and frequent hearing defects and ocular abnormalities. The disease is associated with mutations in genes encoding ?3, ?4, or ?5 chains of type IV collagen, namely COL4A3 and COL4A4 in chromosome 2 and COL4A5 in chromosome X. In contrast to the well-known X-linked and autosomal recessive phenotypes, there is very little information about the autosomal dominant. In view of the wide spectrum of phenotypes, an exact diagnosis is sometimes difficult to achieve.We investigated a Spanish family with variable phenotype of autosomal dominant Alport syndrome using clinical, histological, and genetic analysis.Mutational analysis of COL4A3 and COL4A4 genes showed a novel heterozygous mutation (c. 998G > A; p.G333E) in exon 18 of the COL4A3 gene. Among relatives carrying the novel mutation, the clinical phenotype was variable. Two additional COL4A3 mutations were found, a Pro-Leu substitution in exon 48 (p.P1461L) and a Ser-Cys substitution in exon 49 (p.S1492C), non-pathogenics alone.Carriers of p.G333E and p.P1461L or p.S1492C mutations in COL4A3 gene appear to be more severely affected than carriers of only p.G333E mutation, and the clinical findings has an earlier onset. In this way, we could speculate on a synergistic effect of compound heterozygosity that could explain the different phenotype observed in this family.
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:Alport syndrome (AS) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous, progressive nephropathy caused by mutations in COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5, which encode type IV collagen. The large sizes of these genes and the absence of mutation hot spots have complicated mutational analysis by routine polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based approaches. Here, in order to design a rapid and effective method for the genetic diagnosis of AS, we developed a strategy by utilizing targeted capture associated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyze COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 simultaneously in 20 AS patients. All the coding exons and flanking sequences of COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 from the probands were captured followed by HiSeq 2500 sequencing. Candidate mutations were validated by classic Sanger sequencing and quantitative (q)PCR. Sixteen patients (16/20, 75%) showed X-linked inheritance, and four patients (4/20, 20%) showed autosomal recessive inheritance. None of the individuals had autosomal-dominant AS. Fifteen novel mutations, 6 known mutations, and 2 novel fragment deletions were detected by targeted capture and NGS. Of these novel mutations, 12, 3, and 2 mutations were detected in COL4A5, COL4A4, and COL4A3, respectively. A comparison of the clinical manifestations caused by different types of mutations in COL4A5 suggested that nonsense mutations and glycine substitution by an acidic amino acid are more severe than the other missense mutations. Pathogenic mutations were detected in 20 patients. These novel mutations can expand the genotypic spectrum of AS. Our results demonstrated that targeted capture and NGS technology are effective in the genetic diagnosis of AS.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Collagen IV-related nephropathies, including thin basement membrane nephropathy and Alport Syndrome (AS), are caused by defects in the genes COL4A3, COL4A4 and COL4A5. Diagnosis of these conditions can be hindered by variable penetrance and the presence of non-specific clinical or pathological features.<h4>Methods</h4>Three families with unexplained inherited kidney disease were recruited from Shanghai, China. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed in the index case from each family and co-segregation of candidate pathogenic mutations was tested by Sanger sequencing.<h4>Results</h4>We identified COL4A4 missense variants [c.G2636A (p.Gly879Glu) and c.C4715T (p.Pro1572Leu)] in the 21-year-old male proband from family 1, who had been diagnosed with mesangial proliferative nephropathy at age 14. COL4A4 c.G2636A, a novel variant, co-segregated with renal disease among maternal relatives. COL4A4 c.C4715T has previously been associated with autosomal recessive AS and was inherited from his clinically unaffected father. In family 2, a novel COL4A3 missense mutation c.G2290A (p.Gly997Glu) was identified in a 45-year-old male diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and was present in all his affected family members, who exhibited disease ranging from isolated microscopic hematuria to end stage renal disease (ESRD). In family 3, ESRD occurred in both male and females who were found to harbor a known AS-causing COL4A5 donor splice site mutation (c.687+1G>A). None of these variants were detected among 100 healthy Chinese individuals.<h4>Conclusion</h4>WES identified 2 novel and 2 known pathogenic COL4A3/COL4A4/COL4A5 mutations in 3 families with previously unexplained inherited kidney disease. These findings highlight the clinical range of collagen IV-related nephropathies and resolved diagnostic confusion arising from atypical or incomplete clinical/histological findings, allowing appropriate counselling and treatment advice to be given.
Project description:Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a histological lesion with many causes, including inherited genetic defects, with significant proteinuria being the predominant clinical finding at presentation. Mutations in COL4A3 and COL4A4 are known to cause Alport syndrome (AS), thin basement membrane nephropathy, and to result in pathognomonic glomerular basement membrane (GBM) findings. Secondary FSGS is known to develop in classic AS at later stages of the disease. Here, we present seven families with rare or novel variants in COL4A3 or COL4A4 (six with single and one with two heterozygous variants) from a cohort of 70 families with a diagnosis of hereditary FSGS. The predominant clinical finding at diagnosis was proteinuria associated with hematuria. In all seven families, there were individuals with nephrotic-range proteinuria with histologic features of FSGS by light microscopy. In one family, electron microscopy showed thin GBM, but four other families had variable findings inconsistent with classical Alport nephritis. There was no recurrence of disease after kidney transplantation. Families with COL4A3 and COL4A4 variants that segregated with disease represent 10% of our cohort. Thus, COL4A3 and COL4A4 variants should be considered in the interpretation of next-generation sequencing data from such patients. Furthermore, this study illustrates the power of molecular genetic diagnostics in the clarification of renal phenotypes.
Project description:Alport syndrome affects up to 60,000 people in the United States. The proposed reclassification of thin basement membrane nephropathy and some cases of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis as Alport syndrome could substantially increase the affected population. The reclassification scheme categorizes Alport syndrome as 3 distinct diseases of type IV collagen ?3/4/5 based on a genetic evaluation: X-linked, autosomal, and digenic. This approach has the advantage of identifying patients at risk for progressive loss of kidney function. Furthermore, the shared molecular cause of Alport syndrome and thin basement membrane nephropathy arises from mutations in the COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 genes, which contribute to downstream pathophysiologic consequences, including chronic kidney inflammation. Recent evidence indicates that chronic inflammation and its regulation through anti-inflammatory nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and proinflammatory nuclear factor ?-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-?B) transcription factors plays a central role in renal tubular and glomerular cell responses to injury. Crosstalk between the Nrf2 and NF-?B pathways is important in the regulation of inflammation in patients with chronic kidney disease; moreover, there is evidence that an insufficient Nrf2 response to inflammation contributes to disease progression. Given the association between type IV collagen abnormalities and chronic inflammation, there is renewed interest in targeted anti-inflammatory therapies in Alport syndrome and other forms of progressive chronic kidney disease.
Project description:Alport syndrome (ATS) is a hereditary nephropathy often associated with sensorineural hypoacusis and ocular abnormalities. Mutations in the COL4A5 gene cause X-linked ATS. Mutations in COL4A4 and COL4A3 genes have been reported in both autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant ATS. The conventional mutation screening, performed by DHPLC and/or Sanger sequencing, is time-consuming and has relatively high costs because of the absence of hot spots and to the high number of exons per gene: 51 (COL4A5), 48 (COL4A4) and 52 (COL4A3). Several months are usually necessary to complete the diagnosis, especially in cases with less informative pedigrees. To overcome these limitations, we designed a next-generation sequencing (NGS) protocol enabling simultaneous detection of all possible variants in the three genes. We used a method coupling selective amplification to the 454 Roche DNA sequencing platform (Genome Sequencer junior). The application of this technology allowed us to identify the second mutation in two ATS patients (p.Ser1147Phe in COL4A3 and p.Arg1682Trp in COL4A4) and to reconsider the diagnosis of ATS in a third patient. This study, therefore, illustrates the successful application of NGS to mutation screening of Mendelian disorders with locus heterogeneity.
Project description:Collagen IV is a major structural component of basement membranes. In the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) of the kidney, the alpha3, alpha4, and alpha5(IV) collagen chains form a distinct network that is essential for the long-term stability of the glomerular filtration barrier, and is absent in most patients affected with Alport syndrome, a progressive inherited nephropathy associated with mutation in COL4A3, COL4A4, or COL4A5 genes. To investigate, in vivo, the regulation of the expression, assembly, and function of the alpha3alpha4alpha5(IV) protomer, we have generated a yeast artificial chromosome transgenic line of mice carrying the human COL4A3-COL4A4 locus. Transgenic mice expressed the human alpha3 and alpha4(IV) chains in a tissue-specific manner. In the kidney, when expressed onto a Col4a3(-/-) background, the human alpha3(IV) chain restored the expression of and co-assembled with the mouse alpha4 and alpha5(IV) chains specifically at sites where the human alpha3(IV) was expressed, demonstrating that the expression of all three chains is required for network assembly. The co-assembly of the human and mouse chains into a hybrid network in the GBM restores a functional GBM and rescues the Alport phenotype, providing further evidence that defective assembly of the alpha3-alpha4-alpha5(IV) protomer, caused by mutations in any of the three chains, is the pathogenic mechanism responsible for the disease. This line of mice, humanized for the alpha3(IV) collagen chain, will also provide a valuable model for studying the pathogenesis of Goodpasture syndrome, an autoimmune disease caused by antibodies against this chain.
Project description:Alport syndrome is an inherited disease characterized by hematuria, progressive renal failure, hearing loss, and ocular abnormalities. Autosomal recessive Alport syndrome is suspected in consanguineous families and when female patients develop renal failure. Fifteen percent of patients with Alport syndrome have autosomal recessive inheritance caused by two pathogenic mutations in either COL4A3 or COL4A4. Here, we describe the mutations and clinical features in 40 individuals including 9 children and 21 female individuals (53%) with autosomal recessive inheritance indicated by the detection of two mutations. The median age was 31 years (range, 6-54 years). The median age at end stage renal failure was 22.5 years (range, 10-38 years), but renal function was normal in nine adults (29%). Hearing loss and ocular abnormalities were common (23 of 35 patients [66%] and 10 of 18 patients [56%], respectively). Twenty mutation pairs (50%) affected COL4A3 and 20 pairs affected COL4A4. Of the 68 variants identified, 39 were novel, 12 were homozygous changes, and 9 were present in multiple individuals, including c.2906C>G (p.(Ser969*)) in COL4A4, which was found in 23% of the patients. Thirty-six variants (53%) resulted directly or indirectly in a stop codon, and all 17 individuals with early onset renal failure had at least one such mutation, whereas these mutations were less common in patients with normal renal function or late-onset renal failure. In conclusion, patient phenotypes may vary depending on the underlying mutations, and genetic testing should be considered for the routine diagnosis of autosomal recessive Alport syndrome.