Heterozygous mutations of the HNF1B gene are the commonest known monogenic cause of developmental kidney disease. Half of patients have a deletion (approximately 1.3 Mb) of chromosome 17q12, encompassing HNF1B plus 14 additional genes. This 17q12 deletion has been linked with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism. Here we compared the neurodevelopmental phenotype of 38 patients with HNF1B-associated renal disease due to an intragenic mutation in 18 patients or due to 17q12 deletion in 20 patients to determine whether haploinsufficiency of HNF1B is responsible for the neurodevelopmental phenotype. Significantly, brief behavioral screening in children with the deletion showed high levels of psychopathology and its impact. Eight individuals (40%) with a deletion had a clinical diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental disorder compared to none with an intragenic mutation. The 17q12 deletions were also associated with more autistic traits. Two independent clinical geneticists were able to predict the presence of a deletion with a sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 79% when assessing facial dysmorphic features as a whole. Thus, the 17q12 deletions but not HNF1B intragenic mutations are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Hence, the HNF1B gene is not involved in the neurodevelopmental phenotype of these patients. Nephrologists need to be aware of this association to ensure appropriate referral to psychiatric services.
Keywords: 17q12 deletion; HNF1B; cystic kidneys; developmental kidney disease; neurodevelopmental disorders.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.