Molecular genetic studies on cystinuria

Detta är en avhandling från Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin

Sammanfattning: Cystinuria is defined as an inherited disorder characterized by increased urinary excretion of cystine and the dibasic amino acids arginine, lysine and ornithine. The only clinical manifestation of cystinuria is renal cystine stone formation due to the low solubility of cystine in the urine. Cystinuria can be attributed to mutations in the SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 genes in the majority of all cases and it has been a common expectation that molecular genetic studies of cystinuria would aid in understanding of the varying clinical outcome seen in the disease. Besides human, the disease has been most extensively studied in the domestic dog.The present study was undertaken to investigate the molecular genetic basis of cystinuria in patients from Sweden and to correlate genetic findings with phenotypes produced regarding cystine and dibasic amino acid excretion. Further, attempts were made to elucidate the molecular genetics of cystinuria in the dog.The entire coding sequences of the SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 genes were analysed by means of SSCA and DNA sequencing in 53 cystinuria patients and genetic findings were related to urinary excretion of cystine and dibasic amino acids in a subset of the patient group. We detected a total number of 22 different mutations in the SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 genes, 18 of which were described for the first time. We have found a probable genetic cause of cystinuria in approximately 74 % of our patients and a possible contribution to the disease in another 19 %. Mutations in the SLC3A1 gene is the major cause of cystinuria in our group, with only a minor contribution of SLC7A9 mutations. The group of patients presenting SLC3A1 mutations in a heterozygous state or lacking mutations in both genes had higher values of total urinary cystine and dibasic amino acids compared to patients homozygous for SLC3A1 mutations. The reason for this discrepancy remains unclear, but the possible impact of medical treatment with sulfhydryl compounds on total cystine values was ruled out.Sequencing of the full-length canine SLC7A9 cDNA was accomplished using the RACE technology and results from mutation analyses of SLC7A9 and SLC3A1 in cystinuric dogs showed that only two out of 13 dogs have mutations with possible impact on protein function in these genes. DNA sequencing was used for all exons of both genes in the dog, and in human cystinuria patients, all samples lacking mutations or showing heterozygosity after SSCA screening were sequenced in both genes as well. This implies that all point mutations present have been detected, but the possibility of mutations escaping PCR based methods as well as mutations in regulatory parts of the SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 genes remains in cases lacking a full molecular genetic explanation of the disease.Finally, clinical and genetic data from our study of cystinuria both in man and dog exemplifies that manifestation and clinical severity of cystinuria is not determined by genetic alterations in the SLC3A1 and SLC7A9 alone. Environmental factors, congenital malformations and modulating genetic factors are all possible contributors to the clinical outcome of cystinuria.