Analysis of genes encoding laminin beta 2 and related proteins in patients with Galloway-Mowat syndrome
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Galloway-Mowat syndrome (GMS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by early onset nephrotic syndrome and microcephaly with various anomalies of the central nervous system. GMS likely represents a heterogeneous group of disorders with hitherto unknown genetic etiology. The clinical phenotype to some extent overlaps that of Pierson syndrome (PS), which comprises congenital nephrotic syndrome and distinct ocular abnormalities but which may also include neurodevelopmental deficits and microcephaly. PS is caused by mutations of LAMB2, the gene encoding laminin beta 2. We hypothesized that GMS might be allelic to PS or be caused by defects in proteins that interact with laminin beta 2. In a cohort of 18 patients with GMS or a GMS-like phenotype we therefore analyzed the genes encoding laminin beta 2 (LAMB2), laminin alpha 5 (LAMA5), alpha 3-integrin (ITGA3), beta 1-integrin (ITGB1) and alpha-actinin-4 (ACTN4), but we failed to find causative mutations in these genes. We inferred that LAMA5, ITGA3, ITGB1, and ACTN4 are not directly involved in the pathogenesis of GMS. We excluded LAMB2 as a candidate gene for GMS. Further studies are required, including linkage analysis in families with GMS to identify genes underlying this disease.