Primary vesicoureteric reflux (PVUR), or non-syndromic VUR, is the most common type of congenital anomaly of the kidney and the urinary tract (CAKUT). PVUR is the single most important risk factor for pyelonephritis and renal parenchymal scarring in the pediatric age group. Renal parenchymal scarring due to PVUR is referred to as reflux nephropathy and is a major cause of end stage kidney disease requiring dialysis and kidney transplantation in children. PVUR shows familial aggregation;however, the specific genetic cause(s) of PVUR is unknown despite a number of linkage studies. Reasons for this include: variable expression of the disease, difficulty with case ascertainment, genetic heterogeneity and lack of large pedigrees that can facilitate locus identification. We have ascertained a large 97 member PVUR kindred spanning five generations. We performed a genome-wide linkage study (GWLS) on this family and obtained a significant genome-wide LOD score of 3.3 on chromosome 6p. We performed exome sequencing on affected individuals in the family and identified mutations in tenascin XB (TNXB) as a cause of familial VUR. The proposed studies have the following specific objectives: a) to define the role of tenascin genes in the etiology of PVUR and b) to identify new PVUR causative genes.
Our specific aims are (1) To perform mutation analysis in TNXB and other tenascins in a cohort of 200 individuals with familial and sporadic PVUR and define genotype/phenotype correlations. (2) To perform sequential genome wide linkage studies (GWLS) and whole exome/targeted sequencing in families with PVUR. Impact on public health: Identification of PVUR genes may provide a novel non-invasive diagnostic tool for a subset of children with PVUR. Furthermore, this research will provide insights into the pathogenesis of PVUR and further elucidate the pathways involved in the development of the kidney and genitourinary tract. Future studies will define the role of the genes in the etiology of other malformations of the kidney and urinary tract and also seek to unravel the mechanisms by which the identified gene causes PVUR and other malformations of the kidney and the urinary tract.

Public Health Relevance

Identification of PVUR gene has the potential to provide a non-invasive diagnostic tool for PVUR and also provide insights into the pathways involved in the development of PVUR and other more severe malformations of the kidney and the urinary tract.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-DKUS-L (80))
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Rasooly, Rebekah S
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Duke University
Schools of Medicine
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