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Mol Med Rep. 2018 Jan;17(1):1513-1526. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2017.8023. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

Genetic mutational testing of Chinese children with familial hematuria with biopsy‑proven FSGS.

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Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Children's Medical Center of The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, P.R. China.


Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a pathological lesion rather than a disease, with a diverse etiology. FSGS may result from genetic and non‑genetic factors. FSGS is considered a podocyte disease due to the fact that in the majority of patients with proven‑FSGS, the lesion results from defects in the podocyte structure or function. However, FSGS does not result exclusively from podocyte‑associated genes, however also from other genes including collagen IV‑associated genes. Patients who carry the collagen type IVA3 chain (COL4A3) or COL4A4 mutations usually exhibit Alport Syndrome (AS), thin basement membrane neuropathy or familial hematuria (FH). Previous studies revealed that long‑time persistent microscopic hematuria may lead to FSGS. A case of a family is presented here where affected individuals exhibited FH with FSGS‑proven, or chronic kidney disease. Renal biopsies were unhelpful and failed to demonstrate glomerular or basement membrane defects consistent with an inherited glomerulopathy, and therefore a possible underlying genetic cause for a unifying diagnosis was pursued. Genomic DNA of the siblings affected by FH with biopsy‑proven FSGS was analyzed, and their father was screened for 18 gene mutations associated with FSGS [nephrin, podocin, CD2 associated protein, phospholipase C ε, actinin α 4, transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily C member 6, inverted formin, FH2 and WH2 domain containing, Wilms tumor 1, LIM homeobox transcription factor 1 β, laminin subunit β 2, laminin subunit β 3, galactosida α, integrin subunit β 4, scavenger receptor class B member 2, coenzyme Q2, decaprenyl diphosphate synthase subunit 2, mitochondrially encoded tRNA leucine 1 (UUA/G; TRNL1) and SWI/SNF related, matrix associated, actin dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily a like 1] using matrix‑assisted laser desorption/ionization time‑of‑flight mass spectrometry technology. Then whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed in the two probands to ascertain whether there were other known or unknown gene mutations that segregated with the disease. Using mass array technology, a TRNL1 missense homozygous mutation (m. 3290T>C) was identified in the probands diagnosed with FH and manifested as FSGS on biopsy. In addition, a COL4A4 missense mutation c. 4195A>T (p. M1399L) in heterozygous pattern was identified using WES. None of these variants were detected in their father. In the present study, a mutation in TRNL1 (m. 3290T>C) was identified, which was the first reported variant associated with FSGS. The COL4A4 (c. 4195A>T) may co‑segregate with FSGS. Screening for COL4A mutations in familial FSGS patients is suggested in the present study. Genetic investigations of families with similar clinical phenotypes should be a priority for nephrologists. The combination of mass array technology and WES may improve the detection rate of genetic mutation with a high level of accuracy.

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