Familial glomerulocystic kidney disease (GCKD) is a dominantly inherited condition characterized by glomerular cysts and variable renal size and function; the molecular genetic etiology is unknown. Mutations in the gene encoding hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-1β have been associated with early-onset diabetes and nondiabetic renal disease - particularly renal cystic disease. We investigated a possible role for the HNF-1β gene in four unrelated GCKD families and identified mutations in two families: a nonsense mutation in exon 1 (E101X) and a frameshift mutation in exon 2 (P159fsdelT). The family members with HNF-1β gene mutations had hypoplastic GCKD and early-onset diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. We conclude that there is genetic heterogeneity in familial GCKD and that the hypoplastic subtype is a part of the clinical spectrum of the renal cysts and diabetes syndrome that is associated with HNF-1β mutations.
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