Abstract. Alport syndrome (AS) is a type IV collagen hereditary disease characterized by progressive hematuric nephritis, hearing loss, and ocular changes. Mutations in the COL4A5 collagen gene are responsible for the more common X-linked dominant form of the disease characterized by much less severe disease in girls and women. A "European Community Alport Syndrome Concerted Action" (ECASCA) group was established to delineate the Alport syndrome phenotype in each gender and to determine genotype-phenotype correlations in a large number of families. Data concerning 329 families, 250 of them with an X-linked transmission, were collected. Characteristics of heterozygous girls and women belonging to the 195 families with proven COL4A5 mutation are compared with those of hemizygous boys and men. Hematuria was observed in 95% of carriers and consistently absent in the others. Proteinuria, hearing loss, and ocular defects developed in 75%, 28%, and 15%, respectively. The probability of developing end-stage renal disease or deafness before the age of 40 yr was 12% and 10%, respectively, in girls and women versus 90 and 80%, respectively, in boys and men. The risk of progression to end-stage renal disease appears to increase after the age of 60 yr in women. Because of the absence of genotype-phenotype correlation and the large intrafamilial phenotypic heterogeneity, early prognosis of the disease in X-linked Alport syndrome carriers remains moot. Risk factors for developing renal failure have been identified: the occurrence and progressive increase in proteinuria, and the development of a hearing defect.
Our data demonstrate that barrier leakiness in asthmatic patients is induced by T2 cells, IL-4, and IL-13 and HDAC activity. The inhibition of endogenous HDAC activity reconstitutes defective barrier by increasing TJ expression.
Aspirin-intolerant asthma (AIA), a distinct clinical syndrome affecting about 10% of adult asthmatics, appears to be unusually dependent on cysteine leukotriene (cys-LT) overproduction by pulmonary eosinophils. The gene coding for leukotriene (LT) C(4) synthase (LTC(4)S), the enzyme controlling cys-LT biosynthesis, exists as two common alleles distinguished by an A to C transversion at a site 444 nucleotides upstream of the translation start. We tested the hypothesis that this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) affects binding of transcription factors and influences the transcription rate, predisposing to AIA. Gel shift assay studies revealed that the (-444)C allele, conferring an activator protein-2 binding sequence, is an additional target for a transcription factor of histone H4 consensus. Introduction of the H4TF-2 decoy oligonucleotide into LTC(4)S-positive, differentiated HL-60 cells decreased accumulation of LTC(4) to 68%. Transfection of COS-7 with promoter construct increased expression of beta-galactosidase reporter for the (-444)C variant. The (-444)C allelic frequency was significantly higher in AIA patients (n = 76) as compared with matched aspirin-tolerant asthmatics (n = 110) and healthy controls (n = 75). Patients with AIA had also upregulated LTC(4)S messenger RNA expression in peripheral blood eosinophils. An inhaled provocation test with lysine-aspirin led to an increase in urinary output of LTE(4), which reached statistical significance only in carriers of the (-444)C allele. Our results suggest that a transcription factor, present in dividing and bone marrow resident progenitors of eosinophils, triggers LTC(4)S transcription in carriers of a common (-444)C allele due to binding with the histone H4 promoter element of the gene. Genetic predisposition to cys-LT pathway upregulation, a hallmark of AIA, can be related to overactive expression of the LTC(4)S (-444)C allele.
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