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.