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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2006 Oct;17(10):2864-70. Epub 2006 Sep 13.

Prevalence of mutations in renal developmental genes in children with renal hypodysplasia: results of the ESCAPE study.

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Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Université René Descartes, 147 Rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France.


Renal hypodysplasia (RHD) is characterized by a reduced nephron number, small kidney size, and disorganized renal tissue. A hereditary basis has been established for a subset of affected patients, suggesting a major role of developmental genes that are involved in early kidney organogenesis. Gene mutations that have dominant inheritance and cause RHD, urinary tract anomalies, and defined extrarenal symptoms have been identified in TCF2 (renal cysts and diabetes syndrome), PAX2 (renal-coloboma syndrome), EYA1 and SIX1 (branchio-oto-renal syndrome), and SALL1 (Townes-Brocks syndrome). For estimation of the prevalence of these events, an unselected cohort of 99 unrelated patients with RHD that was associated with chronic renal insufficiency were screened for mutations in TCF2, PAX2, EYA1, SIX1, and SALL1. Mutations or variants in the genes of interest were detected in 17 (17%) unrelated families: One mutation, two variants, and four deletions of TCF2 in eight unrelated patients; four different PAX2 mutations in six families; one EYA1 mutation and one deletion in two patients with branchio-oto-renal syndrome; and one SALL1 mutation in a patient with isolated RHD. Of a total of 27 patients with renal cysts, six (22%) carried a mutation in TCF2. It is interesting that a SIX1 sequence variant was identified in two siblings with renal-coloboma syndrome as a result of a PAX2 mutation, suggesting an oligogenic inheritance. Careful clinical reevaluation that focused on discrete extrarenal symptoms and thorough family analysis revealed syndrome-specific features in nine of the 17 patients. In conclusion, 15% of patients with RHD show mutations in TCF2 or PAX2, whereas abnormalities in EYA1, SALL1, and SIX1 are less frequent.

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