Nat Commun 2015 Sep 21;6:8329. Epub 2015 Sep 21.
ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, USA.
Piezo1 ion channels are mediators of mechanotransduction in several cell types including the vascular endothelium, renal tubular cells and erythrocytes. Gain-of-function mutations in PIEZO1 cause an autosomal dominant haemolytic anaemia in humans called dehydrated hereditary stomatocytosis. However, the phenotypic consequence of PIEZO1 loss of function in humans has not previously been documented. Here we discover a novel role of this channel in the lymphatic system. Through whole-exome sequencing, we identify biallelic mutations in PIEZO1 (a splicing variant leading to early truncation and a non-synonymous missense variant) in a pair of siblings affected with persistent lymphoedema caused by congenital lymphatic dysplasia. Analysis of patients' erythrocytes as well as studies in a heterologous system reveal greatly attenuated PIEZO1 function in affected alleles. Our results delineate a novel clinical category of PIEZO1-associated hereditary lymphoedema.