Comparative Genomics and Transcriptome Profiling in Primary Aldosteronism.
ABSTRACT: Primary aldosteronism is the most common form of endocrine hypertension with a prevalence of 6% in the general population with hypertension. The genetic basis of the four familial forms of primary aldosteronism (familial hyperaldosteronism FH types I-IV) and the majority of sporadic unilateral aldosterone-producing adenomas has now been resolved. Familial forms of hyperaldosteronism are, however, rare. The sporadic forms of the disease prevail and these are usually caused by either a unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma or bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. Aldosterone-producing adenomas frequently carry a causative somatic mutation in either of a number of genes with the KCNJ5 gene, encoding an inwardly rectifying potassium channel, a recurrent target harboring mutations at a prevalence of more than 40% worldwide. Other than genetic variations, gene expression profiling of aldosterone-producing adenomas has shed light on the genes and intracellular signalling pathways that may play a role in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of these tumors.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism is a heterogeneous disease that includes both sporadic and familial forms. A point mutation in the KCNJ5 gene is responsible for familial hyperaldosteronism type III. Somatic mutations in KCNJ5 also occur in sporadic aldosterone producing adenomas (APA).The objective of the study was to define the effect of the KCNJ5 mutations on gene expression and aldosterone production using APA tissue and human adrenocortical cells.A microarray analysis was used to compare the transcriptome profiles of female-derived APA samples with and without KCNJ5 mutations and HAC15 adrenal cells overexpressing either mutated or wild-type KCNJ5. Real-time PCR validated a set of differentially expressed genes. Immunohistochemical staining localized the KCNJ5 expression in normal adrenals and APA.We report a 38% (18 of 47) prevalence of KCNJ5 mutations in APA. KCNJ5 immunostaining was highest in the zona glomerulosa of NA and heterogeneous in APA tissue, and KCNJ5 mRNA was 4-fold higher in APA compared with normal adrenals (P < 0.05). APA with and without KCNJ5 mutations displayed slightly different gene expression patterns, notably the aldosterone synthase gene (CYP11B2) was more highly expressed in APA with KCNJ5 mutations. Overexpression of KCNJ5 mutations in HAC15 increased aldosterone production and altered expression of 36 genes by greater than 2.5-fold (P < 0.05). Real-time PCR confirmed increases in CYP11B2 and its transcriptional regulator, NR4A2.KCNJ5 mutations are prevalent in APA, and our data suggest that these mutations increase expression of CYP11B2 and NR4A2, thus increasing aldosterone production.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism affects ?5% to 10% of hypertensive patients and has unilateral and bilateral forms. Most unilateral primary aldosteronism is caused by computed tomography-detectable aldosterone-producing adenomas, which express CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) and frequently harbor somatic mutations in aldosterone-regulating genes. The cause of the most common bilateral form of primary aldosteronism, idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA), is believed to be diffuse hyperplasia of aldosterone-producing cells within the adrenal cortex. Herein, a multi-institution cohort of 15 IHA adrenals was examined with CYP11B2 immunohistochemistry and next-generation sequencing. CYP11B2 immunoreactivity in adrenal glomerulosa harboring non-nodular hyperplasia was only observed in 4/15 IHA adrenals suggesting that hyperplasia of CYP11B2-expressing cells may not be the major cause of IHA. However, the adrenal cortex of all IHA adrenals harbored at least 1 CYP11B2-positive aldosterone-producing cell cluster (APCC) or micro-aldosterone-producing adenomas. The number of APCCs per case (and individual APCC area) in IHA adrenals was significantly larger than in normotensive controls. Next-generation sequencing of DNA from 99 IHA APCCs demonstrated somatic mutations in genes encoding the L-type calcium voltage-gated channel subunit ? 1-D ( CACNA1D, n=57; 58%) and potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily J-5 ( KCNJ5, n=1; 1%). These data suggest that IHA may result from not only hyperplasia but also the accumulation or enlargement of computed tomography-undetectable APCC harboring somatic aldosterone-driver gene mutations. The high prevalence of mutations in the CACNA1D L-type calcium channel provides a potential actionable therapeutic target that could complement mineralocorticoid blockade and inhibit aldosterone overproduction in some IHA patients.
Project description:Aldosterone producing lesions are a common cause of hypertension, but genetic alterations for tumorigenesis have been unclear. Recently, either of two recurrent somatic missense mutations (G151R or L168R) was found in the potassium channel KCNJ5 gene in aldosterone producing adenomas. These mutations alter the channel selectivity filter and result in Na(+) conductance and cell depolarization, stimulating aldosterone production and cell proliferation. Because a similar mutation occurs in a mendelian form of primary aldosteronism, these mutations appear to be sufficient for cell proliferation and aldosterone production. The prevalence and spectrum of KCNJ5 mutations in different entities of adrenocortical lesions remain to be defined.The coding region and flanking intronic segments of KCNJ5 were subjected to Sanger DNA sequencing in 351 aldosterone producing lesions, from patients with primary aldosteronism and 130 other adrenocortical lesions. The specimens had been collected from 10 different worldwide referral centers.G151R or L168R somatic mutations were identified in 47% of aldosterone producing adenomas, each with similar frequency. A previously unreported somatic mutation near the selectivity filter, E145Q, was observed twice. Somatic G151R or L168R mutations were also found in 40% of aldosterone producing adenomas associated with marked hyperplasia, but not in specimens with merely unilateral hyperplasia. Mutations were absent in 130 non-aldosterone secreting lesions. KCNJ5 mutations were overrepresented in aldosterone producing adenomas from female compared to male patients (63 vs. 24%). Males with KCNJ5 mutations were significantly younger than those without (45 vs. 54, respectively; p<0.005) and their APAs with KCNJ5 mutations were larger than those without (27.1 mm vs. 17.1 mm; p<0.005).Either of two somatic KCNJ5 mutations are highly prevalent and specific for aldosterone producing lesions. These findings provide new insight into the pathogenesis of primary aldosteronism.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common endocrine form of secondary hypertension, and one of the most common subtypes of sporadic PA is aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). Recently, two somatic mutations of the KCNJ5 gene were implicated in APA, and two germline mutations were associated with familial hyperaldosteronism III.<h4>Objectives</h4>This case-control study was designed to investigate the relationship between genetic variations in the KCNJ5 gene and sporadic PA patients in Xinjiang, China.<h4>Methods</h4>Five common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the KCNJ5 gene (rs6590357, rs4937391, rs3740835, rs2604204, and rs11221497) were detected in patients with sporadic PA (n?=?235) and essential hypertension (EH; n=913) by the TaqMan polymerase chain reaction method.<h4>Results</h4>The EH group and the PA group showed significant differences in the distributions of genotypes and alleles of rs4937391 and rs2604204 in total and male subjects (P<0.05), as well as rs3740835 in male subjects (P<0.05). However, only the association between the rs2604204 genotype and male sporadic PA remained significant after Bonferroni's correction (P<0.01). Furthermore, logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the CC genotype of rs2604204 was a risk factor for male patients with sporadic PA, after adjusting for age and body mass index (odds ratio=2.228, 95% CI: 1.300-3.819, P=0.004).<h4>Conclusion</h4>The genetic variant rs2604204 of KCNJ5 is associated with sporadic PA in Chinese males, suggesting that KCNJ5 may be involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic PA in these particular patients.
Project description:Somatic and germline mutations in the inward-rectifying K(+) channel (KCNJ5) are a common cause of primary aldosteronism (PA) in aldosterone-producing adenoma and familial hyperaldosteronism type III, respectively. Dysregulation of adrenal cell calcium signaling represents one mechanism for mutated KCNJ5 stimulation of aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) expression and aldosterone production. However, the mechanisms stimulating acute and chronic production of aldosterone by mutant KCNJ5 have not been fully characterized. Herein, we defined the effects of the T158A KCNJ5 mutation (KCNJ5(T158A)) on acute and chronic regulation of aldosterone production using an adrenal cell line with a doxycycline-inducible KCNJ5(T158A) gene (HAC15-TRE-KCNJ5(T158A)). Doxycycline incubation caused a time-dependent increase in KCNJ5(T158A) and CYP11B2 mRNA and protein levels. Electrophysiological analyses confirm the loss of inward rectification and increased Na(+) permeability in KCNJ5(T158A)-expressing cells. KCNJ5(T158A) expression also led to the activation of CYP11B2 transcriptional regulators, NURR1 and ATF2. Acutely, KCNJ5(T158A) stimulated the expression of total and phosphorylated steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR). KCNJ5(T158A) expression increased the synthesis of aldosterone and the hybrid steroids 18-hydroxycortisol and 18-oxocortisol, measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). All of these stimulatory effects of KCNJ5(T158A) were inhibited by the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker, verapamil. Overall, KCNJ5(T158A)increases CYP11B2 expression and production of aldosterone, corticosterone and hybrid steroids by upregulating both acute and chronic regulatory events in aldosterone production, and verapamil blocks KCNJ5(T158A)-mediated pathways leading to aldosterone production.
Project description:Aldosterone-producing adenomas with somatic mutations in the KCNJ5 G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channel are a cause of primary aldosteronism. These mutations drive aldosterone excess, but their role in cell growth is undefined. Our objective was to determine the role of KCNJ5 mutations in adrenal cell proliferation and apoptosis. The Ki67 proliferative index was positively correlated with adenoma diameter in aldosterone-producing adenomas with a KCNJ5 mutation (r=0.435, P=0.007), a negative correlation was noted in adenomas with no mutation detected (r=-0.548, P=0.023). Human adrenocortical cell lines were established with stable expression of cumate-inducible wild-type or mutated KCNJ5. Increased cell proliferation was induced by low-level induction of KCNJ5-T158A expression compared with control cells (P=0.009), but increased induction ablated this difference. KCNJ5-G151R displayed no apparent proliferative effect, but KCNJ5-G151E and L168R mutations each resulted in decreased cell proliferation (difference P<0.0001 from control cells, both comparisons). Under conditions tested, T158A had no effect on apoptosis, but apoptosis increased with expression of G151R (P<0.0001), G151E (P=0.008), and L168R (P<0.0001). We generated a specific KCNJ5 monoclonal antibody which was used in immunohistochemistry to demonstrate strong KCNJ5 expression in adenomas without a KCNJ5 mutation and in the zona glomerulosa adjacent to adenomas irrespective of genotype as well as in aldosterone-producing cell clusters. Double immunofluorescence staining for KCNJ5 and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) showed markedly decreased KCNJ5 immunostaining in CYP11B2-positive cells compared with CYP11B2-negative cells in aldosterone-producing adenomas with a KCNJ5 mutation. Together, these findings support the concept that cell growth effects of KCNJ5 mutations are determined by the expression level of the mutated channel.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism is present in ?10% of hypertensives. We previously performed a microarray assay on aldosterone-producing adenomas and their paired zona glomerulosa and fasciculata. Confirmation of top genes validated the study design and functional experiments of zona glomerulosa selective genes established the role of the encoded proteins in aldosterone regulation. In this study, we further analyzed our microarray data using AmiGO 2 for gene ontology enrichment and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis to identify potential biological processes and canonical pathways involved in pathological and physiological aldosterone regulation. Genes differentially regulated in aldosterone-producing adenoma and zona glomerulosa were associated with steroid metabolic processes gene ontology terms. Terms related to the Wnt signaling pathway were enriched in zona glomerulosa only. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis showed "NRF2-mediated oxidative stress response pathway" and "LPS (lipopolysaccharide)/IL-1 (interleukin-1)-mediated inhibition of RXR (retinoid X receptor) function" were affected in both aldosterone-producing adenoma and zona glomerulosa with associated genes having up to 21- and 8-fold differences, respectively. Comparing KCNJ5-mutant aldosterone-producing adenoma, zona glomerulosa, and zona fasciculata samples with wild-type samples, 138, 56, and 59 genes were differentially expressed, respectively (fold-change >2; P<0.05). ACSS3, encoding the enzyme that synthesizes acetyl-CoA, was the top gene upregulated in KCNJ5-mutant aldosterone-producing adenoma compared with wild-type. NEFM, a gene highly upregulated in zona glomerulosa, was upregulated in KCNJ5 wild-type aldosterone-producing adenomas. NR4A2, the transcription factor for aldosterone synthase, was highly expressed in zona fasciculata adjacent to a KCNJ5-mutant aldosterone-producing adenoma. Further interrogation of these genes and pathways could potentially provide further insights into the pathology of primary aldosteronism.
Project description:Primary aldosteronism (PA) encompasses a broad, heterogeneous group of disorders including both sporadic and familial forms (familial hyperaldosteronism type I, II and III). PA is the most common form of secondary hypertension and associated with a higher rate of cardiovascular complications, compared with essential hypertension. Despite significant progress in the diagnosis and management of PA, until recently the molecular mechanisms leading to inappropriate aldosterone production were largely unknown. The introduction of next-generation sequencing has had a profound impact on the field of human genetics and has given new insight in the molecular determinants that lead to both sporadic and familial forms of PA. Here we review the recent progress toward understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms leading to autonomous aldosterone production in PA.
Project description:We recently implicated two recurrent somatic mutations in an adrenal potassium channel, KCNJ5, as a cause of aldosterone-producing adrenal adenomas (APAs) and one inherited KCNJ5 mutation in a Mendelian form of early severe hypertension with massive adrenal hyperplasia. The mutations identified all altered the channel selectivity filter, producing increased Na(+) conductance and membrane depolarization, the signal for aldosterone production and proliferation of adrenal glomerulosa cells. We report herein members of four kindreds with early onset primary aldosteronism of unknown cause. Sequencing of KCNJ5 revealed that affected members of two kindreds had KCNJ5(G151R) mutations, identical to one of the prevalent recurrent mutations in APAs. These individuals had severe progressive aldosteronism and hyperplasia requiring bilateral adrenalectomy in childhood for blood pressure control. Affected members of the other two kindreds had KCNJ5(G151E) mutations, which are not seen in APAs. These subjects had easily controlled hypertension and no evidence of hyperplasia. Surprisingly, electrophysiology of channels expressed in 293T cells demonstrated that KCNJ5(G151E) was the more extreme mutation, producing a much larger Na(+) conductance than KCNJ5(G151R), resulting in rapid Na(+)-dependent cell lethality. We infer that this increased lethality limits adrenocortical cell mass and the severity of aldosteronism in vivo, accounting for the milder phenotype among these patients. These findings demonstrate striking variations in phenotypes and clinical outcome resulting from different mutations of the same amino acid in KCNJ5 and have implications for the diagnosis and pathogenesis of primary aldosteronism with and without adrenal hyperplasia.
Project description:Adrenal glands removed for unilateral primary aldosteronism (PA) display marked histological heterogeneity. Recently reported somatic mutations in KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3 and CACNA1D can partially account for these differences. In this study we aimed at combining phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, integrating genetic and immunohistochemistry correlates in sporadic PA. Seventy-one adrenal glands have been included in the study and analyzed for mutations in KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3 and CACNA1D. Histological examination and immunohistochemical staining for CYP11B1 (11?-hydroxylase) and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) were performed on aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) and adjacent adrenal cortex. In our cohort, the final histopathological diagnosis was multinodular hyperplasia in 22.5% of the patients and single nodule in 77.5%. Forty-five percent of the removed adrenals displayed extra-APA CYP11B2-positive cell nests (B2-CN). Among adrenal vein sampling parameters the suppression of contralateral adrenal was more frequent and the lateralization index was higher in the subgroup of patients without extra-APA B2-CN compared to the subgroup with extra-APA B2-CN. KCNJ5-mutated APAs were composed mainly of zona fasciculata-like cells with high expression of CYP11B1, while ATP1A1, ATP2B3 and CACNA1D-mutated APAs presented more frequently a zona-glomerulosa-like phenotype with high expression of CYP11B2. We observed a significant inverse correlation between CYP11B2 expression and the size of the nodules and, if CYP11B2 expression was corrected for tumor volume, a significant correlation with plasma aldosterone and aldosterone to renin ratio. Our findings indicate that combination of genotyping and immunohistochemistry improves the final histopathological diagnosis between single nodule and multinodular hyperplasia of the assessed adrenals.