A novel mutation in exon 9 of Cullin 3 gene contributes to aberrant splicing in pseudohypoaldosteronism type II

FEBS Open Bio. 2018 Feb 10;8(3):461-469. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12389. eCollection 2018 Mar.


Pseudohypoaldosteronism type II (PHAII) is a rare renal tubular disease that is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Mutations in four genes (WNK1,WNK4,CUL3, and KLHL3) have been identified to be responsible for this disease. Cullin 3 (CUL3) and KLHL3 are subunits of Cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes, and the serine-threonine kinases WNK1 and WNK4 are substrates of this ubiquitin ligase. For CUL3, all mutations associated with PHAII exclusively lead to exon 9 skipping. In this study, we identified a Chinese PHAII kindred caused by a novel synonymous mutation (c.1221A > G p.Glu407Glu) in CUL3, and explored its effects on exon 9 abnormal splicing through an in vitro splicing assay and study of the patients' RNA. We obtained evidence that this synonymous mutation leads to complete exon 9 skipping, and in silico bioinformatics analysis demonstrated that the CUL3 c.1221A > G mutation might decrease the ratio of exonic splicing enhancers and silencers. This is the first report of PHAII in Chinese patients with a novel CUL3 mutation. Our findings add a novel pathogenic splicing variant to the CUL3 mutational spectrum and provide reference for further research on mechanisms of splicing modulation and development of potential therapeutic reagents for PHAII.

Keywords: CUL3; exonic splicing enhancers; exonic splicing silencers; pseudohypoaldosteronism type II; splicing modulation.