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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2020 Jan-Feb;31(1):144-149. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.279934.

NPHS2 gene mutations in azerbaijani children with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology Division, Azerbaijan State Medical University, Baku, Azerbaijan.
Department of Pediatric Molecular Medicine Laboratory, Ege University Medical Faculty, Izmir, Turkey.


Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is characterized by proteinuria in children. Steroid- resistant NS (SRNS) is defined by resistance to standard steroid therapy, and it continues to be one of the most common causes of chronic renal failure. Molecular studies have revealed specialized molecules in different regions of the podocytes that play a role in proteinuria. Mutations in NPHS2 that encode for podocin constitute a frequent cause of SRNS worldwide. This study aimed to screen for podocin mutations in Azerbaijani patients with SRNS. Our study included 21 pediatric patients with SRNS aged between 0 and 18 years and the same number of healthy control groups. Mutational analysis of the NPHS2 gene was performed using direct sequencing methods. Disease-causing mutations in the NPHS2 gene were detected in eight patients (38%). Thirteen patients (62%) had NPHS2 mutations without causing the disease. Two patients had p.Val290Met homozygous mutation; two had p.Arg229Gln homozygous mutations; and one each had p.Pro20Leu homozygote, p.Leu169Pro homozygote, p.Arg138Gln homozygote, and p.Arg168His homozygous mutations. When we correlated the NPHS2 mutation status with disease progression, there was a statistically significant increase in serum creatinine, proteinuria, and serum albumin values in patients with NPHS2 gene mutations compared to the group without mutation (P <0.05). Our study concludes that mutations of the NPHS2 gene (38%) are heterogeneous in Azerbaijani SRNS patients. Based on our results, we support a model in which ethnicity plays an important role in certain NPHS2 mutations. NPHS2 mutation analysis may help to better predict the course of the disease, remove unnecessary long-term immunosuppressive therapy, and develop specific treatment.

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