Genotype-phenotype correlation in X-linked Alport syndrome

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 May;21(5):876-83. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2009070784. Epub 2010 Apr 8.


Mutations in the COL4A5 gene cause X-linked Alport syndrome (XLAS). Understanding the correlation between clinical manifestations and the underlying mutations adds prognostic value to genetic testing, which is increasingly available. Our aim was to determine the association between genotype and phenotype in 681 affected male participants with XLAS from 175 US families. Hearing loss and ocular changes were present in 67 and 30% of participants, respectively. Average age of participants at onset of ESRD was 37 years for those with missense mutations, 28 years for those with splice-site mutations, and 25 years for those with truncating mutations (P < 0.0001). We demonstrated a strong relationship between mutation position and age at onset of ESRD, with younger age at onset of ESRD associated with mutations at the 5' end of the gene (hazard ratio 0.766 [95% confidence interval 0.694 to 0.846] per 1000 bp toward the 3' end; P < 0.0001). Affected participants with splice mutations or truncating mutations each had two-fold greater odds of developing eye problems than those with missense mutations; development of hearing impairment showed a similar trend. Hearing loss and ocular changes associated with mutations located closer to the 5; end of the gene. These strong genotype-phenotype correlations could potentially help in the evaluation and counseling of US families with XLAS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Collagen Type IV / genetics*
  • Eye Diseases, Hereditary / genetics
  • Genotype*
  • Glycine / genetics
  • Hearing Loss / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Nephritis, Hereditary / complications
  • Nephritis, Hereditary / epidemiology
  • Nephritis, Hereditary / genetics*
  • Phenotype*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • COL4A5 protein, human
  • Collagen Type IV
  • Glycine