Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1beta gene deletions--a common cause of renal disease

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2008 Feb;23(2):627-35. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfm603. Epub 2007 Oct 30.


Background: Hepatocyte nuclear factor-1beta (HNF-1beta) is a critical transcription factor in pancreatic and renal development. Our previous report identified HNF-1beta mutations in 23/160 patients with unexplained renal disease. The most common phenotype is renal cysts, which is frequently associated with early-onset diabetes in the renal cysts and diabetes (RCAD) syndrome. HNF-1beta gene deletions have recently been shown to cause renal malformations and early-onset diabetes.

Methods: We developed a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay for HNF-1beta gene dosage analysis and tested patients with unexplained renal disease in whom mutations had not been found by sequencing.

Results: Whole HNF-1beta gene deletions were detected in 15/133 probands. Renal cysts were present in 13/15, including three with glomerulocystic kidney disease and one with cystic renal dysplasia. Renal function ranged from normal to transplantation aged 3 years. Ten probands had diabetes (nine having RCAD). In addition, four had abnormal liver function tests, two showed pancreatic atrophy and 3/10 female probands had uterine malformations. Whole HNF-1beta gene deletions are a common cause of developmental renal disease, particularly renal cystic disease with or without diabetes.

Conclusions: The phenotype associated with deletions or coding region/splicing mutations is very similar suggesting that haploinsufficiency is the underlying mechanism. Patients with features suggestive of the HNF-1beta clinical phenotype should be tested for mutations both by sequence and dosage analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree


  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta