Gene mutations in children with chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatology. 2001;1(5):432-8. doi: 10.1159/000055843.


In the last few years, several genes have been identified as being associated with hereditary and idiopathic chronic pancreatitis (CP), i.e. PRSS1, CFTR and SPINK1. In this study, we investigated 164 unrelated children and adolescents with CP for mutations in disease-associated genes by direct DNA sequencing, SSCP, RFLP and melting curve analysis. In 15 patients, we detected a PRSS1 mutation (8 with A16V, 5 with R122H, 2 with N29I), and in 34 patients, a SPINK1 mutation (30 with N34S, 4 with others). SPINK1 mutations were predominantly found in patients without a family history (29/121). Ten patients were homozygous for N34S, SPINK1 mutations were most common in 'idiopathic' CP, whereas patients with 'hereditary' CP predominantly showed a PRSS1 mutation (R122H, N29I). In patients without a family history, the most common PRSS1 mutation was A16V (7/121). In conclusion, our data suggest that CP may be inherited in a dominant, recessive or multigenetic manner as a result of mutations in the above-mentioned or as yet unidentified genes. This challenges the concept of idiopathic CP as a nongenetic disorder and the differentiation between hereditary and idiopathic CP. Therefore, we propose to classify CP as either 'primary CP' (with or without a family history) or 'secondary CP' caused by toxic, metabolic or other factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Pancreatitis / genetics*
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / genetics
  • Trypsin*
  • Trypsinogen / genetics
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / genetics


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • Trypsinogen
  • PRSS1 protein, human
  • Trypsin