A novel PKD1 variant demonstrates a disease-modifying role in trans with a truncating PKD1 mutation in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

BMC Nephrol. 2015 Mar 1;16:26. doi: 10.1186/s12882-015-0015-7.


Background: Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD) is the most common form of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and occurs at a frequency of 1/800 to 1/1000 affecting all ethnic groups worldwide. ADPKD shows significant intrafamilial phenotypic variability in the rate of disease progression and extra-renal manifestations, which suggests the involvement of heritable modifier genes. Here we show that the PKD1 gene can act as a disease causing and a disease modifier gene in ADPKD patients.

Methods: Clinical evaluation of a family with ADPKD was performed to diagnose and assess disease progression in each individual. PKD1 was genotyped in each individual by targeted sequencing.

Results: Targeted screening analysis showed that the patients with ADPKD in the family had the PKD1: p.Q2243X nonsense mutation. A more severe disease phenotype, in terms of estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) and total kidney volume, was observed in two patients where in addition to the mutation, they carried a novel PKD1 variant (p.H1769Y). Other patients from the same family carrying only the (p.Q2243X) mutation showed milder disease manifestations.

Conclusion: ADPKD shows significant intrafamilial phenotypic variability that is generally attributed to other modifier genes. In this rare case, we have shown that a variant at PKD1, in trans with the PKD1 mutation, can also act as a modifier gene in ADPKD patients. Understanding the molecular mechanism through which the gene exerts its disease modifying role may aid our understanding of the pathogenesis of ADPKD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / diagnosis*
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / epidemiology
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / genetics*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • TRPP Cation Channels / genetics*


  • TRPP Cation Channels
  • polycystic kidney disease 1 protein