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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

COL4A4 mutation in thin basement membrane disease previously described in Alport syndrome.

BACKGROUND: Carriers of autosomal-recessive and X-linked Alport syndrome often have a thinned glomerular basement membrane (GBM) and have mutations in the COL4A3/COL4A4 and COL4A5 genes respectively. Recently, we have shown that many individuals with thin basement membrane disease (TBMD) are also from families where hematuria segregates with the COL4A3/COL4A4 locus. This study describes the first COL4A4 mutation in an individual with biopsy-proven TBMD who did not have a family member with autosomal-recessive or X-linked Alport syndrome, inherited renal failure, or deafness. METHODS: The index case and all available family members were examined for dysmorphic hematuria> 50,000/mL using phase contrast microscopy and for segregation of hematuria with the COL4A3/COL4A4 and COL4A5 loci using DNA satellite markers. COL4A4 exons from the index case were then studied using the enzyme mismatch cleavage method, and exons that demonstrated abnormal cleavage products were sequenced. RESULTS: Hematuria in this family segregated with a haplotype at the COL4A3/COL4A4 locus (P = 0.031) but not with haplotypes at the COL4A5 locus. A mutation in COL4A4 that changed C to T resulting in an arginine residue being replaced by a stop codon (R1377X) was demonstrated in exon 44, which encodes part of the alpha 4(IV) collagen sequence close to the junction with the noncollagenous domain. This mutation was present in all five family members with hematuria, but not in the four unaffected family members, 33 unrelated individuals with TBMD, or 22 nonhematuric normals. CONCLUSIONS: R1377X has been described previously in a compound heterozygous form of autosomal-recessive Alport syndrome. Our observation is evidence that TBMD can represent a carrier state for autosomal-recessive Alport syndrome in at least some individuals.[1]


  1. COL4A4 mutation in thin basement membrane disease previously described in Alport syndrome. Buzza, M., Wang, Y.Y., Dagher, H., Babon, J.J., Cotton, R.G., Powell, H., Dowling, J., Savige, J. Kidney Int. (2001) [Pubmed]
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