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BACKGROUND: Familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephropathy (FJHN) is a dominantly inherited condition characterized by young-onset hyperuricemia, gout, and renal disease. The etiologic genes are unknown, although a locus on chromosome 16 has been identified in some kindreds. Mutations in the gene encoding hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-1beta have been associated with dominant inheritance of a variety of disorders of renal development, particularly renal cystic disease and early onset diabetes; hyperuricemia has been reported in some kindreds. METHODS: To assess a possible role for the HNF-1beta gene in some FJHN kindreds we sequenced the HNF-1beta gene in subjects from three unrelated FJHN families with atypical features of renal cysts or abnormalities of renal development. We also compared serum urate levels in subjects with HNF-1beta mutations with populations of controls, type 2 diabetic subjects, and subjects with mild chronic renal failure without HNF-1beta mutations. RESULTS: A splice-site mutation in intron 2, designated IVS2+1G>T, showed complete co-segregation with FJHN in one family with diabetes. Serum urate levels were significantly higher in the HNF-1beta subjects compared with the normal control subjects (384 micromol/L vs. 264 micromol/L, P = 0.002) and the type 2 diabetic subjects (397 micromol/L vs. 271 micromol/L, P = 0.01). Comparison of serum urate levels in the HNF-1beta subjects with gender-matched subjects with renal impairment of other causes did not reach significance (402 micromol/L vs. 352 micromol/L, P = 0.2). CONCLUSION: Hyperuricemia and young-onset gout are consistent features of the phenotype associated with HNF-1beta mutations, but the mechanism is uncertain. Families with HNF-1beta mutations may fit diagnostic criteria for FJHN. Identification of HNF-1beta patients by recognizing the features of diabetes and disorders of renal development is important in resolving the genetic heterogeneity in FJHN.

Original publication




Journal article


Kidney Int

Publication Date





1645 - 1651


Adult, Child, DNA-Binding Proteins, Family Health, Female, Gout, Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-beta, Humans, Hyperuricemia, Kidney Diseases, Male, Pedigree, Phenotype, Transcription Factors