Here, we report a genetic study of an extended family of Chinese ancestry with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), with one of the affected members also concurrently diagnosed with IgA nephropathy (IgAN). By genome-wide linkage analysis and subsequent sequencing, we identified an S85W mutation in the inverted formin 2 (INF2) gene that perfectly cosegregated with the kidney disease phenotype. The entire INF2 coding region was sequenced in 200 healthy controls, 55 families with FSGS, and 34 families with IgAN. This analysis identified a novel insertion, S129-Q130insVRQLS, in another FSGS pedigree. In vitro studies found that α-actinin 4 expression was decreased and INF2 showed perinuclear localization in S85W-transfected podocytes. Phosphorylation of serum response factor, and that its nuclear translation was decreased in S85W podocytes, indicated decreased activation in mutants. Abnormal actin organization was also found in S85W podocytes, while no change of microtubule structure was observed. Co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence found decreased interaction between INF2 and Cdc42 in S85W podocytes. However, all these changes were not found in S129-Q130insVRQLS podocytes. The overall frequency of INF2 mutations was ∼3.6% among Chinese familial FSGS, which was considerably lower than that from studies of European FSGS families. Thus, S85W but not the S129-Q130insVRQLS variant leads to podocyte cytoskeletal abnormalities, probably by impaired serum response factor phosphorylation.
- focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
- glomerular disease