The incidence of nephrolithiasis continues to rise. Previously, we showed that a monogenic cause could be detected in 11.4% of individuals with adult-onset nephrolithiasis or nephrocalcinosis and in 16.7-20.8% of individuals with onset before 18 years of age, using gene panel sequencing of 30 genes known to cause nephrolithiasis/nephrocalcinosis. To overcome the limitations of panel sequencing, we utilized whole exome sequencing in 51 families, who presented before age 25 years with at least one renal stone or with a renal ultrasound finding of nephrocalcinosis to identify the underlying molecular genetic cause of disease. In 15 of 51 families, we detected a monogenic causative mutation by whole exome sequencing. A mutation in seven recessive genes (AGXT, ATP6V1B1, CLDN16, CLDN19, GRHPR, SLC3A1, SLC12A1), in one dominant gene (SLC9A3R1), and in one gene (SLC34A1) with both recessive and dominant inheritance was detected. Seven of the 19 different mutations were not previously described as disease-causing. In one family, a causative mutation in one of 117 genes that may represent phenocopies of nephrolithiasis-causing genes was detected. In nine of 15 families, the genetic diagnosis may have specific implications for stone management and prevention. Several factors that correlated with the higher detection rate in our cohort were younger age at onset of nephrolithiasis/nephrocalcinosis, presence of multiple affected members in a family, and presence of consanguinity. Thus, we established whole exome sequencing as an efficient approach toward a molecular genetic diagnosis in individuals with nephrolithiasis/nephrocalcinosis who manifest before age 25 years.
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We thank the physicians and the participating families for their contributions. We thank Leslie Speanas, Brittany Fisher, and Kassaundra Amann for recruitment of study participants. FH is the William E. Harmon Professor of Pediatrics. This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health DK1069274, DK1068306, and DK064614 to FH and 5U54HG006504 to RPL. HYG was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Fund of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education. Tilman Jobst Schwan is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Jo 1324/1-1). WES performed at Yale Center for Mendelian Genomics.
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