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    ABSTRACT: Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) account for approximately half of children with chronic kidney disease. CAKUT can be caused by monogenic mutations; however, data are lacking on their frequency. Genetic diagnosis has been hampered by genetic heterogeneity and lack of genotype-phenotype correlation. To determine the percentage of cases with CAKUT that can be explained by mutations in known CAKUT genes, we analyzed the coding exons of the 17 known dominant CAKUT-causing genes in a cohort of 749 individuals from 650 families with CAKUT. The most common phenotypes in this CAKUT cohort were vesicoureteral reflux in 288 patients, renal hypodysplasia in 120 patients, and unilateral renal agenesis in 90 patients. We identified 37 different heterozygous mutations (33 novel) in 12 of the 17 known genes in 47 patients from 41 of the 650 families (6.3%). These mutations include (number of families): BMP7 (1), CDC5L (1), CHD1L (5), EYA1 (3), GATA3 (2), HNF1B (6), PAX2 (5), RET (3), ROBO2 (4), SALL1 (9), SIX2 (1), and SIX5 (1). Furthermore, several mutations previously reported to be disease-causing are most likely benign variants. Thus, in a large cohort over 6% of families with isolated CAKUT are caused by a mutation in 12 of 17 dominant CAKUT genes. Our report represents one of the most in-depth diagnostic studies of monogenic causes of isolated CAKUT in children.Kidney International advance online publication, 15 January 2014; doi:10.1038/ki.2013.508.
    Kidney International 01/2014; · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis and its complications are characterized by lipid-laden foam cell formation. Recently, an obvious up-regulation of BMP4 was observed in atherosclerotic plaque, however, its function and the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In our study, BMP4 pretreatment induced macrophage foam cell formation. Furthermore, a dramatic increase in the ratio of cholesteryl ester (CE) to total cholesterol (TC) was observed in BMP4-treated macrophages, accompanied by the reduction of cholesterol outflow. Importantly, BMP4 stimulation inhibited the expression levels of the two most important cellular cholesterol transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1, indicating that BMP4 may induce formation of foam cells by attenuating transporters expression. Further mechanism analysis showed that BMPR-2, one of the BMP4 receptors, was significantly increased in BMP4 treated macrophage foam cells. That blocking its expression using specific siRNA significantly increased ABCA1 and ABCG1 levels. Additionally, BMP4 treatment triggered the activation of Smad1/5/8 pathway by BMPR-2 signaling. After blocking the Smad1/5/8 with its inhibitor, ABCA1 and ABCG1 expression levels were up-regulated significantly, suggesting that BMP4 inhibited the expression of ABCA1 and ABCG1 through the BMPR-2/Smad1/2/8 signaling pathway. Therefore, our results will provide a new insight about how BMP4 accelerate the progressio of atherosclerosis, and it may become a potential target against atherosclerosis and its complications.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(4):5536-52. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary vesicoureteric reflux (VUR), the retrograde flow of urine from the bladder toward the kidneys, results from a developmental anomaly of the vesicoureteric valve mechanism, and is often associated with other urinary tract anomalies. It is the most common urological problem in children, with an estimated prevalence of 1-2%, and is a major cause of hypertension in childhood and of renal failure in childhood or adult life. We present the results of a genetic linkage and association scan using 900,000 markers. Our linkage results show a large number of suggestive linkage peaks, with different results in two groups of families, suggesting that VUR is even more genetically heterogeneous than previously imagined. The only marker achieving P < 0.02 for linkage in both groups of families is 270 kb from EMX2. In three sibships, we found recessive linkage to KHDRBS3, previously reported in a Somali family. In another family we discovered sex-reversal associated with VUR, implicating PRKX, for which there was weak support for dominant linkage in the overall data set. Several other candidate genes are suggested by our linkage or association results, and four of our linkage peaks are within copy-number variants recently found to be associated with renal hypodysplasia. Undoubtedly there are many genes related to VUR. Our study gives support to some loci suggested by earlier studies as well as suggesting new ones, and provides numerous indications for further investigations.
    Molecular genetics & genomic medicine. 01/2014; 2(1):7-29.