Publications by authors named "Ronen Schneider"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Recessive Mutations in as a Candidate of Monogenic Nephrotic Syndrome.

Kidney Int Rep 2021 Feb 10;6(2):472-483. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Most of the approximately 60 genes that if mutated cause steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) are highly expressed in the glomerular podocyte, rendering SRNS a "podocytopathy."

Methods: We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 1200 nephrotic syndrome (NS) patients.

Results: We discovered homozygous truncating and homozygous missense mutation in (synaptopodin-2) (p.Lys1124∗ and p.Ala1134Thr) in 2 patients with childhood-onset NS. We found SYNPO2 expression in both podocytes and mesangial cells; however, notably, immunofluorescence staining of adult human and rat kidney cryosections indicated that SYNPO2 is localized mainly in mesangial cells. Subcellular localization studies reveal that in these cells SYNPO2 partially co-localizes with α-actinin and filamin A-containing F-actin filaments. Upon transfection in mesangial cells or podocytes, EGFP-SYNPO2 co-localized with α-actinin-4, which gene is mutated in autosomal dominant SRNS in humans. SYNPO2 overexpression increases mesangial cell migration rate (MMR), whereas shRNA knockdown reduces MMR. Decreased MMR was rescued by transfection of wild-type mouse cDNA but only partially by cDNA representing mutations from the NS patients. The increased mesangial cell migration rate (MMR) by SYNPO2 overexpression was inhibited by ARP complex inhibitor CK666. shRNA knockdown in podocytes decreased active Rac1, which was rescued by transfection of wild-type cDNA but not by cDNA representing any of the 2 mutant variants.

Conclusion: We show that SYNPO2 variants may lead to Rac1-ARP3 dysregulation, and may play a role in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2020.10.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879128PMC
February 2021

Generation of Monogenic Candidate Genes for Human Nephrotic Syndrome Using 3 Independent Approaches.

Kidney Int Rep 2021 Feb 3;6(2):460-471. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is the second most common cause of chronic kidney disease during childhood. Identification of 63 monogenic human genes has delineated 12 distinct pathogenic pathways.

Methods: Here, we generated 2 independent sets of nephrotic syndrome (NS) candidate genes to augment the discovery of additional monogenic causes based on whole-exome sequencing (WES) data from 1382 families with NS.

Results: We first identified 63 known monogenic causes of NS in mice from public databases and scientific publications, and 12 of these genes overlapped with the 63 known human monogenic SRNS genes. Second, we used a set of 64 genes that are regulated by the transcription factor Wilms tumor 1 (WT1), which causes SRNS if mutated. Thirteen of these WT1-regulated genes overlapped with human or murine NS genes. Finally, we overlapped these lists of murine and WT1 candidate genes with our list of 120 candidate genes generated from WES in 1382 NS families, to identify novel candidate genes for monogenic human SRNS. Using this approach, we identified 7 overlapping genes, of which 3 genes were shared by all datasets, including . We show that loss-of-function of leads to decreased CDC42 activity and reduced podocyte migration rate, both of which are rescued by overexpression of wild-type complementary DNA (cDNA), but not by cDNA representing the patient mutation.

Conclusion: Thus, we identified 3 novel candidate genes for human SRNS using 3 independent, nonoverlapping hypotheses, and generated functional evidence for as a novel potential monogenic cause of NS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2020.11.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879125PMC
February 2021

Mutations in Are a Novel Cause of Galloway-Mowat Syndrome.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Mar 16;32(3):580-596. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Background: Galloway-Mowat syndrome (GAMOS) is characterized by neurodevelopmental defects and a progressive nephropathy, which typically manifests as steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. The prognosis of GAMOS is poor, and the majority of children progress to renal failure. The discovery of monogenic causes of GAMOS has uncovered molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of disease.

Methods: Homozygosity mapping, whole-exome sequencing, and linkage analysis were used to identify mutations in four families with a GAMOS-like phenotype, and high-throughput PCR technology was applied to 91 individuals with GAMOS and 816 individuals with isolated nephrotic syndrome. and studies determined the functional significance of the mutations identified.

Results: Three biallelic variants of the transcriptional regulator were detected in six families with proteinuric kidney disease. Four families with a variant in the protein's zinc-finger (ZNF) domain have additional GAMOS-like features, including brain anomalies, cardiac defects, and skeletal defects. All variants destabilize the PRDM15 protein, and the ZNF variant additionally interferes with transcriptional activation. Morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of Prdm15 in embryos disrupted pronephric development. Human wild-type RNA rescued the disruption, but the three variants did not. Finally, CRISPR-mediated knockout of in human podocytes led to dysregulation of several renal developmental genes.

Conclusions: Variants in can cause either isolated nephrotic syndrome or a GAMOS-type syndrome on an allelic basis. PRDM15 regulates multiple developmental kidney genes, and is likely to play an essential role in renal development in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020040490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7920168PMC
March 2021

Recessive variants impair actin remodeling and cause glomerulopathy in humans and mice.

Sci Adv 2021 Jan 1;7(1). Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. We found recessive variants in two families with early-onset NS by exome sequencing. Overexpression of wild-type (WT) , but not cDNA constructs bearing patient variants, increased active CDC42 and promoted filopodia and podosome formation. Pharmacologic inhibition of CDC42 or its effectors, formin proteins, reduced NOS1AP-induced filopodia formation. knockdown reduced podocyte migration rate (PMR), which was rescued by overexpression of WT but not by constructs bearing patient variants. PMR in knockdown podocytes was also rescued by constitutively active or the formin Modeling a patient variant in knock-in human kidney organoids revealed malformed glomeruli with increased apoptosis. mice recapitulated the human phenotype, exhibiting proteinuria, foot process effacement, and glomerulosclerosis. These findings demonstrate that recessive variants impair CDC42/DIAPH-dependent actin remodeling, cause aberrant organoid glomerulogenesis, and lead to a glomerulopathy in humans and mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe1386DOI Listing
January 2021

De novo TRIM8 variants impair its protein localization to nuclear bodies and cause developmental delay, epilepsy, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 02 27;108(2):357-367. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Division of Nephrology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA. Electronic address:

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is the main pathology underlying steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) and a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. Monogenic forms of pediatric SRNS are predominantly caused by recessive mutations, while the contribution of de novo variants (DNVs) to this trait is poorly understood. Using exome sequencing (ES) in a proband with FSGS/SRNS, developmental delay, and epilepsy, we discovered a nonsense DNV in TRIM8, which encodes the E3 ubiquitin ligase tripartite motif containing 8. To establish whether TRIM8 variants represent a cause of FSGS, we aggregated exome/genome-sequencing data for 2,501 pediatric FSGS/SRNS-affected individuals and 48,556 control subjects, detecting eight heterozygous TRIM8 truncating variants in affected subjects but none in control subjects (p = 3.28 × 10). In all six cases with available parental DNA, we demonstrated de novo inheritance (p = 2.21 × 10). Reverse phenotyping revealed neurodevelopmental disease in all eight families. We next analyzed ES from 9,067 individuals with epilepsy, yielding three additional families with truncating TRIM8 variants. Clinical review revealed FSGS in all. All TRIM8 variants cause protein truncation clustering within the last exon between residues 390 and 487 of the 551 amino acid protein, indicating a correlation between this syndrome and loss of the TRIM8 C-terminal region. Wild-type TRIM8 overexpressed in immortalized human podocytes and neuronal cells localized to nuclear bodies, while constructs harboring patient-specific variants mislocalized diffusely to the nucleoplasm. Co-localization studies demonstrated that Gemini and Cajal bodies frequently abut a TRIM8 nuclear body. Truncating TRIM8 DNVs cause a neuro-renal syndrome via aberrant TRIM8 localization, implicating nuclear bodies in FSGS and developmental brain disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895901PMC
February 2021

DAAM2 Variants Cause Nephrotic Syndrome via Actin Dysregulation.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 12 23;107(6):1113-1128. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

The discovery of >60 monogenic causes of nephrotic syndrome (NS) has revealed a central role for the actin regulators RhoA/Rac1/Cdc42 and their effectors, including the formin INF2. By whole-exome sequencing (WES), we here discovered bi-allelic variants in the formin DAAM2 in four unrelated families with steroid-resistant NS. We show that DAAM2 localizes to the cytoplasm in podocytes and in kidney sections. Further, the variants impair DAAM2-dependent actin remodeling processes: wild-type DAAM2 cDNA, but not cDNA representing missense variants found in individuals with NS, rescued reduced podocyte migration rate (PMR) and restored reduced filopodia formation in shRNA-induced DAAM2-knockdown podocytes. Filopodia restoration was also induced by the formin-activating molecule IMM-01. DAAM2 also co-localizes and co-immunoprecipitates with INF2, which is intriguing since variants in both formins cause NS. Using in vitro bulk and TIRF microscopy assays, we find that DAAM2 variants alter actin assembly activities of the formin. In a Xenopus daam2-CRISPR knockout model, we demonstrate actin dysregulation in vivo and glomerular maldevelopment that is rescued by WT-DAAM2 mRNA. We conclude that DAAM2 variants are a likely cause of monogenic human SRNS due to actin dysregulation in podocytes. Further, we provide evidence that DAAM2-associated SRNS may be amenable to treatment using actin regulating compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.11.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820625PMC
December 2020

Mutations of the Transcriptional Corepressor ZMYM2 Cause Syndromic Urinary Tract Malformations.

Authors:
Dervla M Connaughton Rufeng Dai Danielle J Owen Jonathan Marquez Nina Mann Adda L Graham-Paquin Makiko Nakayama Etienne Coyaud Estelle M N Laurent Jonathan R St-Germain Lot Snijders Blok Arianna Vino Verena Klämbt Konstantin Deutsch Chen-Han Wilfred Wu Caroline M Kolvenbach Franziska Kause Isabel Ottlewski Ronen Schneider Thomas M Kitzler Amar J Majmundar Florian Buerger Ana C Onuchic-Whitford Mao Youying Amy Kolb Daanya Salmanullah Evan Chen Amelie T van der Ven Jia Rao Hadas Ityel Steve Seltzsam Johanna M Rieke Jing Chen Asaf Vivante Daw-Yang Hwang Stefan Kohl Gabriel C Dworschak Tobias Hermle Mariëlle Alders Tobias Bartolomaeus Stuart B Bauer Michelle A Baum Eva H Brilstra Thomas D Challman Jacob Zyskind Carrie E Costin Katrina M Dipple Floor A Duijkers Marcia Ferguson David R Fitzpatrick Roger Fick Ian A Glass Peter J Hulick Antonie D Kline Ilona Krey Selvin Kumar Weining Lu Elysa J Marco Ingrid M Wentzensen Heather C Mefford Konrad Platzer Inna S Povolotskaya Juliann M Savatt Natalia V Shcherbakova Prabha Senguttuvan Audrey E Squire Deborah R Stein Isabelle Thiffault Victoria Y Voinova Michael J G Somers Michael A Ferguson Avram Z Traum Ghaleb H Daouk Ankana Daga Nancy M Rodig Paulien A Terhal Ellen van Binsbergen Loai A Eid Velibor Tasic Hila Milo Rasouly Tze Y Lim Dina F Ahram Ali G Gharavi Heiko M Reutter Heidi L Rehm Daniel G MacArthur Monkol Lek Kristen M Laricchia Richard P Lifton Hong Xu Shrikant M Mane Simone Sanna-Cherchi Andrew D Sharrocks Brian Raught Simon E Fisher Maxime Bouchard Mustafa K Khokha Shirlee Shril Friedhelm Hildebrandt

Am J Hum Genet 2020 10 4;107(4):727-742. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) constitute one of the most frequent birth defects and represent the most common cause of chronic kidney disease in the first three decades of life. Despite the discovery of dozens of monogenic causes of CAKUT, most pathogenic pathways remain elusive. We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 551 individuals with CAKUT and identified a heterozygous de novo stop-gain variant in ZMYM2 in two different families with CAKUT. Through collaboration, we identified in total 14 different heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in ZMYM2 in 15 unrelated families. Most mutations occurred de novo, indicating possible interference with reproductive function. Human disease features are replicated in X. tropicalis larvae with morpholino knockdowns, in which expression of truncated ZMYM2 proteins, based on individual mutations, failed to rescue renal and craniofacial defects. Moreover, heterozygous Zmym2-deficient mice recapitulated features of CAKUT with high penetrance. The ZMYM2 protein is a component of a transcriptional corepressor complex recently linked to the silencing of developmentally regulated endogenous retrovirus elements. Using protein-protein interaction assays, we show that ZMYM2 interacts with additional epigenetic silencing complexes, as well as confirming that it binds to FOXP1, a transcription factor that has also been linked to CAKUT. In summary, our findings establish that loss-of-function mutations of ZMYM2, and potentially that of other proteins in its interactome, as causes of human CAKUT, offering new routes for studying the pathogenesis of the disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.08.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536580PMC
October 2020

Donor-derived hypouricemia in irrelevant recipients caused by kidney transplantation.

Ann Transl Med 2020 Mar;8(6):330

Department of the Kidney Disease Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, China.

Background: Hereditary renal hypouricemia (HRH) is a genetically heterogenetic disease. Patients with HRH are almost asymptomatic; but some may experience exercise-induced acute kidney injury (EAKI) and nephrolithiasis which may bring concerns regarding the risk-benefit ratio as marginal kidney donors. This study examined the pathogenic mutations of hypouricemia in two recipients after receiving kidney transplantation, providing preliminary evidence for the mechanism of hypouricemia.

Methods: Two participants underwent detailed biochemical examinations. DNA and RNA were extracted from transplant specimens for sequencing. The whole-genome sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification were performed to confirm the pathogenic genes. Functional effects of mutant proteins were verified by bioinformatics analysis. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) was used to study the transcriptome of hypouricemia.

Results: Both of the recipients had the low serum uric acid (UA) (45-65 µmol/l), high fraction excretion of UA (44% and 75%) and an increase in the UA clearance (35.9 and 73.3 mL/min) with a functioning graft. The sequencing analyses revealed 7 kinds of potential mutational genes in this case, two novel mutations p.R89H and p.L181V in SLC22A12 gene which were revealed by bioinformatics could be pathogenic in nature.

Conclusions: Two novel mutations of SLC22A12 were identified. Preliminary functional analysis revealed a potential deleterious effect of these mutations in the grafts derived from the donor and sequencing analysis expand the molecular mechanisms of renal hypouricemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm.2020.02.140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7186701PMC
March 2020

Mutations Implicate RAB11-Dependent Vesicular Trafficking in the Pathogenesis of Nephrotic Syndrome.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2019 12 15;30(12):2338-2353. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany;

Background: Mutations in about 50 genes have been identified as monogenic causes of nephrotic syndrome, a frequent cause of CKD. These genes delineated the pathogenetic pathways and rendered significant insight into podocyte biology.

Methods: We used whole-exome sequencing to identify novel monogenic causes of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS). We analyzed the functional significance of an SRNS-associated gene and in podocyte-like nephrocytes.

Results: We identified hemizygous missense mutations in the gene in five families with nephrotic syndrome. Coimmunoprecipitation assays indicated interactions between TBC1D8B and active forms of RAB11. Silencing in HEK293T cells increased basal autophagy and exocytosis, two cellular functions that are independently regulated by RAB11. This suggests that TBC1D8B plays a regulatory role by inhibiting endogenous RAB11. Coimmunoprecipitation assays showed TBC1D8B also interacts with the slit diaphragm protein nephrin, and colocalizes with it in immortalized cell lines. Overexpressed murine with patient-derived mutations had lower affinity for endogenous RAB11 and nephrin compared with wild-type Tbc1d8b protein. Knockdown of in impaired function of the podocyte-like nephrocytes, and caused mistrafficking of Sns, the ortholog of nephrin. Expression of RNAi in nephrocytes entailed defective delivery of slit diaphragm protein to the membrane, whereas overexpression revealed a partial phenotypic overlap to loss of function.

Conclusions: Novel mutations in are monogenic causes of SRNS. This gene inhibits RAB11. Our findings suggest that RAB11-dependent vesicular nephrin trafficking plays a role in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2019040414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6900796PMC
December 2019

COL4A1 mutations as a potential novel cause of autosomal dominant CAKUT in humans.

Hum Genet 2019 Oct 22;138(10):1105-1115. Epub 2019 Jun 22.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Enders 561, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are the most common cause of chronic kidney disease (~ 45%) that manifests before 30 years of age. The genetic locus containing COL4A1 (13q33-34) has been implicated in vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), but mutations in COL4A1 have not been reported in CAKUT. We hypothesized that COL4A1 mutations cause CAKUT in humans. We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) in 550 families with CAKUT. As negative control cohorts we used WES sequencing data from patients with nephronophthisis (NPHP) with no genetic cause identified (n = 257) and with nephrotic syndrome (NS) due to monogenic causes (n = 100). We identified a not previously reported heterozygous missense variant in COL4A1 in three siblings with isolated VUR. When examining 549 families with CAKUT, we identified nine additional different heterozygous missense mutations in COL4A1 in 11 individuals from 11 unrelated families with CAKUT, while no COL4A1 mutations were identified in a control cohort with NPHP and only one in the cohort with NS. Most individuals (12/14) had isolated CAKUT with no extrarenal features. The predominant phenotype was VUR (9/14). There were no clinical features of the COL4A1-related disorders (e.g., HANAC syndrome, porencephaly, tortuosity of retinal arteries). Whereas COL4A1-related disorders are typically caused by glycine substitutions in the collagenous domain (84.4% of variants), only one variant in our cohort is a glycine substitution within the collagenous domain (1/10). We identified heterozygous COL4A1 mutations as a potential novel autosomal dominant cause of CAKUT that is allelic to the established COL4A1-related disorders and predominantly caused by non-glycine substitutions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-019-02042-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6745245PMC
October 2019

Rare Variants in BNC2 Are Implicated in Autosomal-Dominant Congenital Lower Urinary-Tract Obstruction.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 05;104(5):994-1006

Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, University Hospital Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany; Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany. Electronic address:

Congenital lower urinary-tract obstruction (LUTO) is caused by anatomical blockage of the bladder outflow tract or by functional impairment of urinary voiding. About three out of 10,000 pregnancies are affected. Although several monogenic causes of functional obstruction have been defined, it is unknown whether congenital LUTO caused by anatomical blockage has a monogenic cause. Exome sequencing in a family with four affected individuals with anatomical blockage of the urethra identified a rare nonsense variant (c.2557C>T [p.Arg853]) in BNC2, encoding basonuclin 2, tracking with LUTO over three generations. Re-sequencing BNC2 in 697 individuals with LUTO revealed three further independent missense variants in three unrelated families. In human and mouse embryogenesis, basonuclin 2 was detected in lower urinary-tract rudiments. In zebrafish embryos, bnc2 was expressed in the pronephric duct and cloaca, analogs of the mammalian lower urinary tract. Experimental knockdown of Bnc2 in zebrafish caused pronephric-outlet obstruction and cloacal dilatation, phenocopying human congenital LUTO. Collectively, these results support the conclusion that variants in BNC2 are strongly implicated in LUTO etiology as a result of anatomical blockage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.03.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6506863PMC
May 2019

Corticosteroid treatment exacerbates nephrotic syndrome in a zebrafish model of magi2a knockout.

Kidney Int 2019 05 5;95(5):1079-1090. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address:

Recently, recessive mutations of MAGI2 were identified as a cause of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) in humans and mice. To further delineate the pathogenesis of MAGI2 loss of function, we generated stable knockout lines for the two zebrafish orthologues magi2a and magi2b by CRISPR/Cas9. We also developed a novel assay for the direct detection of proteinuria in zebrafish independent of transgenic background. Whereas knockout of magi2b did not yield a nephrotic syndrome phenotype, magi2a larvae developed ascites, periorbital edema, and proteinuria, as indicated by increased excretion of low molecular weight protein. Electron microscopy demonstrated extensive podocyte foot process effacement. As in human SRNS, we observed genotype/phenotype correlation, with edema onset occurring earlier in zebrafish with truncating alleles (5-6 days post fertilization) versus hypomorphic alleles (19-20 days post fertilization). Paradoxically, corticosteroid treatment exacerbated the phenotype, with earlier onset of edema. In contrast, treatment with cyclosporine A or tacrolimus had no significant effect. Although RhoA signaling has been implicated as a downstream mediator of MAGI2 activity, targeting of the RhoA pathway did not modify the nephrotic syndrome phenotype. In the first CRISPR/Cas9 zebrafish knockout model of SRNS, we found that corticosteroids may have a paradoxical effect in the setting of specific genetic mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2018.12.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481319PMC
May 2019

Homozygous frameshift mutations in FAT1 cause a syndrome characterized by colobomatous-microphthalmia, ptosis, nephropathy and syndactyly.

Nat Commun 2019 03 12;10(1):1180. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Centre de Recherche en Génomique des Pathologies Humaines (GENOPATH), Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Mohammed V University of Rabat, 10100, Rabat, Morocco.

A failure in optic fissure fusion during development can lead to blinding malformations of the eye. Here, we report a syndrome characterized by facial dysmorphism, colobomatous microphthalmia, ptosis and syndactyly with or without nephropathy, associated with homozygous frameshift mutations in FAT1. We show that Fat1 knockout mice and zebrafish embryos homozygous for truncating fat1a mutations exhibit completely penetrant coloboma, recapitulating the most consistent developmental defect observed in affected individuals. In human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, the primary site for the fusion of optic fissure margins, FAT1 is localized at earliest cell-cell junctions, consistent with a role in facilitating optic fissure fusion during vertebrate eye development. Our findings establish FAT1 as a gene with pleiotropic effects in human, in that frameshift mutations cause a severe multi-system disorder whereas recessive missense mutations had been previously associated with isolated glomerulotubular nephropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08547-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6414540PMC
March 2019

Monogenic causes of chronic kidney disease in adults.

Kidney Int 2019 04 14;95(4):914-928. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address:

Approximately 500 monogenic causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD) have been identified, mainly in pediatric populations. The frequency of monogenic causes among adults with CKD has been less extensively studied. To determine the likelihood of detecting monogenic causes of CKD in adults presenting to nephrology services in Ireland, we conducted whole exome sequencing (WES) in a multi-centre cohort of 114 families including 138 affected individuals with CKD. Affected adults were recruited from 78 families with a positive family history, 16 families with extra-renal features, and 20 families with neither a family history nor extra-renal features. We detected a pathogenic mutation in a known CKD gene in 42 of 114 families (37%). A monogenic cause was identified in 36% of affected families with a positive family history of CKD, 69% of those with extra-renal features, and only 15% of those without a family history or extra-renal features. There was no difference in the rate of genetic diagnosis in individuals with childhood versus adult onset CKD. Among the 42 families in whom a monogenic cause was identified, WES confirmed the clinical diagnosis in 17 (40%), corrected the clinical diagnosis in 9 (22%), and established a diagnosis for the first time in 16 families referred with CKD of unknown etiology (38%). In this multi-centre study of adults with CKD, a molecular genetic diagnosis was established in over one-third of families. In the evolving era of precision medicine, WES may be an important tool to identify the cause of CKD in adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2018.10.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6431580PMC
April 2019

Treatment with 2,4-Dihydroxybenzoic Acid Prevents FSGS Progression and Renal Fibrosis in Podocyte-Specific Knockout Mice.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2019 Feb 8. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Division of Nephrology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts;

Background: Although studies have identified >55 genes as causing steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) and localized its pathogenesis to glomerular podocytes, the disease mechanisms of SRNS remain largely enigmatic. We recently reported that individuals with mutations in COQ6, a coenzyme Q (also called CoQ, CoQ, or ubiquinone) biosynthesis pathway enzyme, develop SRNS with sensorineural deafness, and demonstrated the beneficial effect of CoQ for maintenace of kidney function.

Methods: To study function in podocytes, we generated a podocyte-specific knockout mouse ( ) model and a transient siRNA-based knockdown in a human podocyte cell line. Mice were monitored for development of proteinuria and assessed for development of glomerular sclerosis. Using a podocyte migration assay, we compared motility in knockdown podocytes and control podocytes. We also randomly assigned 5-month-old mice and controls to receive no treatment or 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,4-diHB), an analog of a CoQ precursor molecule that is classified as a food additive by health authorities in Europe and the United States.

Results: Abrogation of in mouse podocytes caused FSGS and proteinuria (>46-fold increases in albuminuria). studies revealed an impaired podocyte migration rate in knockdown human podocytes. Treating mice or cells with 2,4-diHB prevented renal dysfunction and reversed podocyte migration rate impairment. Survival of mice given 2,4diHB was comparable to that of control mice and significantly higher than that of untreated mice, half of which died by 10 months of age.

Conclusions: These findings reveal a potential novel treatment strategy for those cases of human nephrotic syndrome that are caused by a primary dysfunction in the CoQ biosynthesis pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2018060625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405149PMC
February 2019

Whole-Exome Sequencing Enables a Precision Medicine Approach for Kidney Transplant Recipients.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2019 02 17;30(2):201-215. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Division of Nephrology,

Background: Whole-exome sequencing (WES) finds a CKD-related mutation in approximately 20% of patients presenting with CKD before 25 years of age. Although provision of a molecular diagnosis could have important implications for clinical management, evidence is lacking on the diagnostic yield and clinical utility of WES for pediatric renal transplant recipients.

Methods: To determine the diagnostic yield of WES in pediatric kidney transplant recipients, we recruited 104 patients who had received a transplant at Boston Children's Hospital from 2007 through 2017, performed WES, and analyzed results for likely deleterious variants in approximately 400 genes known to cause CKD.

Results: By WES, we identified a genetic cause of CKD in 34 out of 104 (32.7%) transplant recipients. The likelihood of detecting a molecular genetic diagnosis was highest for patients with urinary stone disease (three out of three individuals), followed by renal cystic ciliopathies (seven out of nine individuals), steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (nine out of 21 individuals), congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (ten out of 55 individuals), and chronic glomerulonephritis (one out of seven individuals). WES also yielded a molecular diagnosis for four out of nine individuals with ESRD of unknown etiology. The WES-related molecular genetic diagnosis had implications for clinical care for five patients.

Conclusions: Nearly one third of pediatric renal transplant recipients had a genetic cause of their kidney disease identified by WES. Knowledge of this genetic information can help guide management of both transplant patients and potential living related donors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2018060575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362619PMC
February 2019

Panel sequencing distinguishes monogenic forms of nephritis from nephrosis in children.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019 03;34(3):474-485

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Alport syndrome (AS) and atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome (aHUS) are rare forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that can lead to a severe decline of renal function. Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is more common than AS and aHUS and causes 10% of childhood-onset CKD. In recent years, multiple monogenic causes of AS, aHUS and SRNS have been identified, but their relative prevalence has yet to be studied together in a typical pediatric cohort of children with proteinuria and hematuria. We hypothesized that identification of causative mutations by whole exome sequencing (WES) in known monogenic nephritis and nephrosis genes would allow distinguishing nephritis from nephrosis in a typical pediatric group of patients with both proteinuria and hematuria at any level.

Methods: We therefore conducted an exon sequencing (WES) analysis for 11 AS, aHUS and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-causing genes in an international cohort of 371 patients from 362 families presenting with both proteinuria and hematuria before age 25 years. In parallel, we conducted either WES or high-throughput exon sequencing for 23 SRNS-causing genes in all patients.

Results: We detected pathogenic mutations in 18 of the 34 genes analyzed, leading to a molecular diagnosis in 14.1% of families (51 of 362). Disease-causing mutations were detected in 3 AS-causing genes (4.7%), 3 aHUS-causing genes (1.4%) and 12 NS-causing genes (8.0%). We observed a much higher mutation detection rate for monogenic forms of CKD in consanguineous families (35.7% versus 10.1%).

Conclusions: We present the first estimate of relative frequency of inherited AS, aHUS and NS in a typical pediatric cohort with proteinuria and hematuria. Important therapeutic and preventative measures may result from mutational analysis in individuals with proteinuria and hematuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfy050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6399484PMC
March 2019

Mutations in multiple components of the nuclear pore complex cause nephrotic syndrome.

J Clin Invest 2018 10 4;128(10):4313-4328. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) almost invariably progresses to end-stage renal disease. Although more than 50 monogenic causes of SRNS have been described, a large proportion of SRNS remains unexplained. Recently, it was discovered that mutations of NUP93 and NUP205, encoding 2 proteins of the inner ring subunit of the nuclear pore complex (NPC), cause SRNS. Here, we describe mutations in genes encoding 4 components of the outer rings of the NPC, namely NUP107, NUP85, NUP133, and NUP160, in 13 families with SRNS. Using coimmunoprecipitation experiments, we showed that certain pathogenic alleles weakened the interaction between neighboring NPC subunits. We demonstrated that morpholino knockdown of nup107, nup85, or nup133 in Xenopus disrupted glomerulogenesis. Re-expression of WT mRNA, but not of mRNA reflecting mutations from SRNS patients, mitigated this phenotype. We furthermore found that CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of NUP107, NUP85, or NUP133 in podocytes activated Cdc42, an important effector of SRNS pathogenesis. CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of nup107 or nup85 in zebrafish caused developmental anomalies and early lethality. In contrast, an in-frame mutation of nup107 did not affect survival, thus mimicking the allelic effects seen in humans. In conclusion, we discovered here that mutations in 4 genes encoding components of the outer ring subunits of the NPC cause SRNS and thereby provide further evidence that specific hypomorphic mutations in these essential genes cause a distinct, organ-specific phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI98688DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6159964PMC
October 2018

Whole-Exome Sequencing Identifies Causative Mutations in Families with Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and Urinary Tract.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 09 24;29(9):2348-2361. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts;

Background: Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are the most prevalent cause of kidney disease in the first three decades of life. Previous gene panel studies showed monogenic causation in up to 12% of patients with CAKUT.

Methods: We applied whole-exome sequencing to analyze the genotypes of individuals from 232 families with CAKUT, evaluating for mutations in single genes known to cause human CAKUT and genes known to cause CAKUT in mice. In consanguineous or multiplex families, we additionally performed a search for novel monogenic causes of CAKUT.

Results: In 29 families (13%), we detected a causative mutation in a known gene for isolated or syndromic CAKUT that sufficiently explained the patient's CAKUT phenotype. In three families (1%), we detected a mutation in a gene reported to cause a phenocopy of CAKUT. In 15 of 155 families with isolated CAKUT, we detected deleterious mutations in syndromic CAKUT genes. Our additional search for novel monogenic causes of CAKUT in consanguineous and multiplex families revealed a potential single, novel monogenic CAKUT gene in 19 of 232 families (8%).

Conclusions: We identified monogenic mutations in a known human CAKUT gene or CAKUT phenocopy gene as the cause of disease in 14% of the CAKUT families in this study. Whole-exome sequencing provides an etiologic diagnosis in a high fraction of patients with CAKUT and will provide a new basis for the mechanistic understanding of CAKUT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2017121265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115658PMC
September 2018

Mutations in WDR4 as a new cause of Galloway-Mowat syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 11 6;176(11):2460-2465. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Galloway-Mowat syndrome (GAMOS) is a phenotypically heterogeneous disorder characterized by neurodevelopmental defects combined with renal-glomerular disease, manifesting with proteinuria. To identify additional monogenic disease causes, we here performed whole exome sequencing (WES), linkage analysis, and homozygosity mapping in three affected siblings of an Indian family with GAMOS. Applying established criteria for variant filtering, we identify a novel homozygous splice site mutation in the gene WDR4 as the likely disease-causing mutation in this family. In line with previous reports, we observe growth deficiency, microcephaly, developmental delay, and intellectual disability as phenotypic features resulting from WDR4 mutations. However, the newly identified allele additionally gives rise to proteinuria and nephrotic syndrome, a phenotype that was never reported in patients with WDR4 mutations. Our data thus expand the phenotypic spectrum of WDR4 mutations by demonstrating that, depending on the specific mutated allele, a renal phenotype may be present. This finding suggests that GAMOS may occupy a phenotypic spectrum with other microcephalic diseases. Furthermore, WDR4 is an additional example of a gene that encodes a tRNA modifying enzyme and gives rise to GAMOS, if mutated. Our findings thereby support the recent observation that, like neurons, podocytes of the renal glomerulus are particularly vulnerable to cellular defects resulting from altered tRNA modifications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.40489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6289609PMC
November 2018

and Mutations Implicate RAB5 Regulation in Nephrotic Syndrome.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 08 29;29(8):2123-2138. Epub 2018 Jun 29.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts;

Background: Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is a frequent cause of CKD. The discovery of monogenic causes of SRNS has revealed specific pathogenetic pathways, but these monogenic causes do not explain all cases of SRNS.

Methods: To identify novel monogenic causes of SRNS, we screened 665 patients by whole-exome sequencing. We then evaluated the functional significance of two genes and the mutations therein that we discovered through this sequencing and conducted complementary studies in podocyte-like nephrocytes.

Results: We identified conserved, homozygous missense mutations of in two families with early-onset NS and a homozygous missense mutation of in two siblings with SRNS. GAPVD1 and ANKFY1 interact with the endosomal regulator RAB5. Coimmunoprecipitation assays indicated interaction between GAPVD1 and ANKFY1 proteins, which also colocalized when expressed in HEK293T cells. Silencing either protein diminished the podocyte migration rate. Compared with wild-type GAPVD1 and ANKFY1, the mutated proteins produced upon ectopic expression of or bearing the patient-derived mutations exhibited altered binding affinity for active RAB5 and reduced ability to rescue the knockout-induced defect in podocyte migration. Coimmunoprecipitation assays further demonstrated a physical interaction between nephrin and GAPVD1, and immunofluorescence revealed partial colocalization of these proteins in rat glomeruli. The patient-derived mutations reduced nephrin-GAPVD1 binding affinity. In , silencing impaired endocytosis and caused mistrafficking of the nephrin ortholog.

Conclusions: Mutations in and probably in are novel monogenic causes of NS. The discovery of these genes implicates RAB5 regulation in the pathogenesis of human NS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2017121312DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065084PMC
August 2018

Genetic variants in the LAMA5 gene in pediatric nephrotic syndrome.

Nephrol Dial Transplant 2019 03;34(3):485-493

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Nephrotic syndrome (NS), a chronic kidney disease, is characterized by significant loss of protein in the urine causing hypoalbuminemia and edema. In general, ∼15% of childhood-onset cases do not respond to steroid therapy and are classified as steroid-resistant NS (SRNS). In ∼30% of cases with SRNS, a causative mutation can be detected in one of 44 monogenic SRNS genes. The gene LAMA5 encodes laminin-α5, an essential component of the glomerular basement membrane. Mice with a hypomorphic mutation in the orthologous gene Lama5 develop proteinuria and hematuria.

Methods: To identify additional monogenic causes of NS, we performed whole exome sequencing in 300 families with pediatric NS. In consanguineous families we applied homozygosity mapping to identify genomic candidate loci for the underlying recessive mutation.

Results: In three families, in whom mutations in known NS genes were excluded, but in whom a recessive, monogenic cause of NS was strongly suspected based on pedigree information, we identified homozygous variants of unknown significance (VUS) in the gene LAMA5. While all affected individuals had nonsyndromic NS with an early onset of disease, their clinical outcome and response to immunosuppressive therapy differed notably.

Conclusion: We here identify recessive VUS in the gene LAMA5 in patients with partially treatment-responsive NS. More data will be needed to determine the impact of these VUS in disease management. However, familial occurrence of disease, data from genetic mapping and a mouse model that recapitulates the NS phenotypes suggest that these genetic variants may be inherited factors that contribute to the development of NS in pediatric patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfy028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6399483PMC
March 2019

Acute multi-sgRNA knockdown of KEOPS complex genes reproduces the microcephaly phenotype of the stable knockout zebrafish model.

PLoS One 2018 18;13(1):e0191503. Epub 2018 Jan 18.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Until recently, morpholino oligonucleotides have been widely employed in zebrafish as an acute and efficient loss-of-function assay. However, off-target effects and reproducibility issues when compared to stable knockout lines have compromised their further use. Here we employed an acute CRISPR/Cas approach using multiple single guide RNAs targeting simultaneously different positions in two exemplar genes (osgep or tprkb) to increase the likelihood of generating mutations on both alleles in the injected F0 generation and to achieve a similar effect as morpholinos but with the reproducibility of stable lines. This multi single guide RNA approach resulted in median likelihoods for at least one mutation on each allele of >99% and sgRNA specific insertion/deletion profiles as revealed by deep-sequencing. Immunoblot showed a significant reduction for Osgep and Tprkb proteins. For both genes, the acute multi-sgRNA knockout recapitulated the microcephaly phenotype and reduction in survival that we observed previously in stable knockout lines, though milder in the acute multi-sgRNA knockout. Finally, we quantify the degree of mutagenesis by deep sequencing, and provide a mathematical model to quantitate the chance for a biallelic loss-of-function mutation. Our findings can be generalized to acute and stable CRISPR/Cas targeting for any zebrafish gene of interest.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0191503PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5773193PMC
February 2018

Whole Exome Sequencing of Patients with Steroid-Resistant Nephrotic Syndrome.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 01 10;13(1):53-62. Epub 2017 Nov 10.

Due to the number of contributing authors, the affiliations are provided in the Supplemental Material.

Background And Objectives: Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome overwhelmingly progresses to ESRD. More than 30 monogenic genes have been identified to cause steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. We previously detected causative mutations using targeted panel sequencing in 30% of patients with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. Panel sequencing has a number of limitations when compared with whole exome sequencing. We employed whole exome sequencing to detect monogenic causes of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome in an international cohort of 300 families.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: Three hundred thirty-five individuals with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome from 300 families were recruited from April of 1998 to June of 2016. Age of onset was restricted to <25 years of age. Exome data were evaluated for 33 known monogenic steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome genes.

Results: In 74 of 300 families (25%), we identified a causative mutation in one of 20 genes known to cause steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. In 11 families (3.7%), we detected a mutation in a gene that causes a phenocopy of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. This is consistent with our previously published identification of mutations using a panel approach. We detected a causative mutation in a known steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome gene in 38% of consanguineous families and in 13% of nonconsanguineous families, and 48% of children with congenital nephrotic syndrome. A total of 68 different mutations were detected in 20 of 33 steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome genes. Fifteen of these mutations were novel. , , , and were the most common genes in which we detected a mutation. In another 28% of families, we detected mutations in one or more candidate genes for steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

Conclusions: Whole exome sequencing is a sensitive approach toward diagnosis of monogenic causes of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. A molecular genetic diagnosis of steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome may have important consequences for the management of treatment and kidney transplantation in steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.04120417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5753307PMC
January 2018

Advillin acts upstream of phospholipase C ϵ1 in steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome.

J Clin Invest 2017 12 23;127(12):4257-4269. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is a frequent cause of chronic kidney disease. Here, we identified recessive mutations in the gene encoding the actin-binding protein advillin (AVIL) in 3 unrelated families with SRNS. While all AVIL mutations resulted in a marked loss of its actin-bundling ability, truncation of AVIL also disrupted colocalization with F-actin, thereby leading to impaired actin binding and severing. Additionally, AVIL colocalized and interacted with the phospholipase enzyme PLCE1 and with the ARP2/3 actin-modulating complex. Knockdown of AVIL in human podocytes reduced actin stress fibers at the cell periphery, prevented recruitment of PLCE1 to the ARP3-rich lamellipodia, blocked EGF-induced generation of diacylglycerol (DAG) by PLCE1, and attenuated the podocyte migration rate (PMR). These effects were reversed by overexpression of WT AVIL but not by overexpression of any of the 3 patient-derived AVIL mutants. The PMR was increased by overexpression of WT Avil or PLCE1, or by EGF stimulation; however, this increased PMR was ameliorated by inhibition of the ARP2/3 complex, indicating that ARP-dependent lamellipodia formation occurs downstream of AVIL and PLCE1 function. Together, these results delineate a comprehensive pathogenic axis of SRNS that integrates loss of AVIL function with alterations in the action of PLCE1, an established SRNS protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI94138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707164PMC
December 2017

Inflammation-Induced Expression and Secretion of MicroRNA 122 Leads to Reduced Blood Levels of Kidney-Derived Erythropoietin and Anemia.

Gastroenterology 2016 11 29;151(5):999-1010.e3. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

The Goldyne Savad Institute of Gene and Cell Therapy, Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital, Ein Karem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Background & Aims: Anemia is associated commonly with acute and chronic inflammation, but the mechanisms of their interaction are not clear. We investigated whether microRNA 122 (MIR122), which is generated in the liver and is secreted into the blood, is involved in the development of anemia associated with inflammation.

Methods: We characterized the primary transcript of the human liver-specific MIR122 using Northern blot, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and 3' and 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends analyses. We studied regulation of MIR122 in human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines (Huh7 and HepG2) as well as in C57BL/6 and mice with disruption of the tumor necrosis factor (Tnf) gene. Liver tissues were collected and analyzed by bioluminescence imaging or immunofluorescence. Inflammation in mice was induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or by cerulein injections. Mice were given 4 successive injections of LPS, leading to inflammation-induced anemia. Steatohepatitis was induced with a choline-deficient, high-fat diet. Hemolytic anemia was stimulated by phenylhydrazine injection. MIR122 was inhibited in mice by tail-vein injection of an oligonucleotide antagonist of MIR122. MicroRNA and messenger RNA levels were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: The primary transcript of MIR122 spanned 5 kb, comprising 3 exons; the third encodes MIR122. Within the MIR122 promoter region we identified a nuclear factor-κB binding site and showed that RELA (NF-κB p65 subunit), as well as activators of NF-κB (TNF and LPS), increased promoter activity of MIR122. Administration of LPS to mice induced secretion of MIR122 into blood, which required TNF. Secreted MIR122 reached the kidney and reduced expression of erythropoietin (Epo), which we identified as a MIR122 target gene. Injection of mice with an oligonucleotide antagonist of MIR122 increased blood levels of EPO, reticulocytes, and hemoglobin. We found an inverse relationship between blood levels of MIR122 and EPO in mice with acute pancreatitis or steatohepatitis, and also in patients with acute inflammation.

Conclusion: In mice, we found that LPS-induced inflammation increases blood levels of MIR122, which reduces expression of Epo in the kidney; this is a mechanism of inflammation-induced anemia. Strategies to block MIR122 in patients with inflammation could reduce the development or progression of anemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2016.07.031DOI Listing
November 2016

Chylous Ascites: A Rare Adverse Effect of Methimazole Treatment for Grave's Disease-A Case Report and Review of the Literature.

Case Rep Endocrinol 2015 23;2015:649303. Epub 2015 Aug 23.

Department of Nephrology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, P.O. Box 12000, IL-91120 Jerusalem, Israel.

A 40-year-old woman was admitted due to an urticarial rash that was attributed to recent onset of methimazole treatment for a diagnosis of Grave's disease. The patient had no prior significant medical history and used no medications, including over-the-counter or herbal medications. Her sister had Grave's disease. On admission, the patient received corticosteroids with improvement in her rash. On the second day of the hospitalization, the patient complained of abdominal discomfort. Abdominal ultrasound revealed a large amount of new onset ascites. Peritoneal tap yielded a milky fluid with high triglyceride level (12.2 mmol/L or 1080 mg/dL), consistent with chylous ascites. After discontinuation of the methimazole, the ascites disappeared. The patient later underwent therapeutic thyroidectomy, after which all features of thyrotoxicosis had improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/649303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561093PMC
September 2015

A heart breaking case of rapidly developing severe hemophagocytic syndrome secondary to chronic active EBV infection; a case report and review of the literature.

J Clin Virol 2015 Jun 24;67:14-6. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Department of Nephrology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, P.O.B. 12000, Jerusalem IL-91120, Israel. Electronic address:

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, HHV-4) is a gamma Herpesvirus with a 90% >seroprevalence in adults. Reactivations in non-immuno compromised individuals usually cause mild or no symptoms at all. Rarely, host immunity-virus balance is interrupted, resulting in a chronic active EBV infection. The following case illustrates the rapid development of severe hemophagocytic syndrome during chronic active EBV infection in a 73 year old woman who presented with lower extremity pain and edema, splenomegaly and abnormal liver enzymes. A diagnosis of chronic active EBV infection was made following an extensive investigation and the patient died secondary to rapidly progressive hemophagocytic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2015.03.017DOI Listing
June 2015

The effect of medical students' gender, ethnicity and attitude towards poetry-reading on the evaluation of a required, clinically-integrated poetry-based educational intervention.

BMC Med Educ 2014 Sep 15;14:188. Epub 2014 Sep 15.

The Department of Medicine, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.

Background: Art-based interventions are widely used in medical education. However, data on the potential effects of art-based interventions on medical students have been limited to small qualitative studies on students' evaluation of elective programs, and thus their findings may be difficult to generalize. The goal of this study is to examine, in an unselected students' population, the effect of students' gender, ethnicity and attitude towards poetry on their evaluation of a clinically-integrated poetry-based educational intervention.

Methods: A required Clinically- Oriented Poetry-reading Experience (COPE) is integrated into the 4th year internal medicine clerkship. We constructed a questionnaire regarding the program's effects on students. Students completed the questionnaire at the end of the clerkship. We performed a Confirmatory Factor Analysis, and examined the relationship between students' evaluation of the program and students' ethnicity, gender, attitude towards poetry-reading, and the timing of the program (early/late) during the fourth year.

Results: 144 students participated in the program, of which 112 completed the questionnaires. We identified two effect factors: "student-patient" and "self and colleagues". The average score for "student-patient" factor was significantly higher as compared to the "self and colleagues" factor.Evaluation the "student- patient" effect factor was higher among Arab and Druze as compared to Jewish students. Students' attitude towards poetry-reading did not correlate with the "student-patient" effect, but correlated with the "self and colleagues" effect. The evaluation of the "self and colleagues" effect was higher among students who participated in the program during their second as compared with the first clerkship. Students' gender was not associated with any of the effects identified. Students favored obligatory participation in COPE as compared with elective course format.

Conclusions: According to students' evaluation, a format of integrated, obligatory poetry-based intervention may be suitable for enhancing "student-patient" aims in heterogeneous student populations. The higher evaluation of the "patient-student" effect among Arab and Druze as compared to Jewish students may be related to cultural differences in the perception of this component of medical professionalism. Further research can provide insight into the effect of cultural and ethnic differences on actual empathy of medical students in patient encounters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6920-14-188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4176599PMC
September 2014

Spinal ischemic stroke following dialysis: clinical and radiologic findings.

Neurology 2013 Feb 30;80(9):865-6. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Departments of Neurology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182840758DOI Listing
February 2013