Roles of HNF-1beta in kidney development and congenital cystic diseases

Kidney Int. 2005 Nov;68(5):1944-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1755.2005.00625.x.


Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1beta (HNF-1beta) is a Pit-1/Oct-1/Unc-86 (POU)/homeodomain-containing transcription factor that regulates tissue-specific gene expression in the kidney, liver, pancreas, and other epithelial organs. Mutations of HNF-1beta produce maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 5 (MODY5) and are associated with congenital cystic abnormalities of the kidney. Transgenic mice expressing mutant HNF-1beta under the control of a kidney-specific promoter develop kidney cysts and renal failure, which is similar to the phenotype of humans with MODY5. Similarly, kidney-specific deletion of HNF-1beta using Cre/loxP recombination results in renal cyst formation. HNF-1beta directly regulates the Pkhd1 promoter. HNF-1beta mutant mice show decreased expression of Pkhd1, the gene that is mutated in humans with autosomal-recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). These studies demonstrate that HNF-1beta is required for the development of the mammalian kidney. They establish a previously unrecognized link between two renal cystic diseases, MODY5 and ARPKD, and suggest that the mechanism of cyst formation in humans with mutations of HNF-1beta involves down-regulation of PKHD1 gene transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / abnormalities*
  • Kidney Diseases, Cystic / congenital
  • Kidney Diseases, Cystic / physiopathology*


  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta