Immunoglobulin A nephropathy influenced by a single gene

The identification of a gene associated with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) has, for the first time, raised the possibility that the kidney disease may be an inherited disorder. It is hoped that the study, reported in November Nature Genetics, could open the way for new treatments to prevent kidney failure.Dr Richard P Lifton and colleagues from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute analysed 30 families in Italy and the US. They found a strong association between IgAN and a gene on chromosome

October 31, 2000

The identification of a gene associated with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) has, for the first time, raised the possibility that the kidney disease may be an inherited disorder. It is hoped that the study, reported in November Nature Genetics, could open the way for new treatments to prevent kidney failure.

Dr Richard P Lifton and colleagues from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute analysed 30 families in Italy and the US. They found a strong association between IgAN and a gene on chromosome 6 in 60% of the families. "Our analyses indicate an odds ratio of 400,000 to one in favour of a linkage of this locus with the disease in the affected families," Dr Lifton said. He believes that the gene might provide clues to whether environmental influences trigger the disease, which would explain why the disease follows an upper respiratory infection or cold. "It would also explain why not everyone who inherits the gene ends up getting the disease," he said. A possible explanation could be that the culprit gene influences IgA metabolism, resulting in the IgA deposits characteristic of the disease that cause the kidneys to become scarred.

The researchers are now trying to identify the gene involved, and are recruiting patients from different ethnic groups in order to determine whether the wide variation in disease occurrence is due to different frequencies of the mutant gene in different populations.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular Now

  1. The Mycobiome
    Features The Mycobiome

    The largely overlooked resident fungal community plays a critical role in human health and disease.

  2. Antibody Alternatives
    Features Antibody Alternatives

    Nucleic acid aptamers and protein scaffolds could change the way researchers study biological processes and treat disease.

  3. Holding Their Ground
    Features Holding Their Ground

    To protect the global food supply, scientists want to understand—and enhance—plants’ natural resistance to pathogens.

  4. Circadian Clock and Aging
    Daily News Circadian Clock and Aging

    Whether a critical circadian clock gene is deleted before or after birth impacts the observed aging-related effects in mice.

Advertisement
Bertin Technologies
Bertin Technologies
Advertisement
Life Technologies