Monoallelic pathogenic IFT140 variants are a common cause of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease-spectrum phenotype

Clin Kidney J. 2024 Feb 15;17(2):sfae026. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfae026. eCollection 2024 Feb.


Background: Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited kidney disorder, characterized by development and enlargement of kidney cysts, eventually leading to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Pathogenic variants in the PKD1 and PKD2 genes are the major cause of ADPKD; additional rare variants in the GANAB, DNAJB11, ALG5 and ALG9 genes have been found in a minority of ADPKD patients. More recently, a significant number of ADPKD families have been linked to monoallelic variants in the IFT140 gene.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we tested the prevalence of the known causative genes of ADPKD-spectrum phenotype, including the PKD1, PKD2, GANAB, DNAJB11, ALG5, ALG and IFT140 genes, in a cohort of 129 ADPKD patients who consecutively underwent genetic testing in a single centre in Italy. Genetic testing utilized a combination of targeted next-generation sequencing, long-range polymerase chain reaction, Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Clinical evaluation was conducted through renal function testing and imaging features, including ultrasonography, computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: Of the 129 enrolled patients, 86 (66.7%) had pathogenic variants in PKD1 and 28 (21.7%) in PKD2, loss of function pathogenic variants in the IFT140 gene were found in 3 unrelated patients (2.3%), no pathogenic variants were found in other ADPKD genes and 12 patients (9.3%) remained genetically unresolved (ADPKD-GUR). Familial clinical and genetic screening of the index patients with ADPKD due to an IFT140 pathogenic variant (ADPKD-IFT140) allowed identification of eight additional affected relatives. In the 11 ADPKD-IFT140 patients, the renal phenotype was characterized by mild and late-onset PKD, with large renal cysts and limited kidney insufficiency. Extrarenal manifestations, including liver cysts, were rarely seen.

Conclusion: Our data suggest the monoallelic pathogenic IFT140 variants are the third most common cause of the ADPKD-spectrum phenotype in Italy, usually associated with a mild and atypical renal cystic disease.

Keywords: ADPKD; IFT140; genetic kidney disease; kidney cysts; polycystic kidney disease.