Nicosia, Cyprus
Nicosia, Cyprus

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Papagregoriou G.,University of Cyprus | Erguler K.,University of Cyprus | Dweep H.,University of Heidelberg | Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Heparin binding epidermal growth factor (HBEGF) is expressed in podocytes and was shown to play a role in glomerular physiology. MicroRNA binding sites on the 3′UTR of HBEGF were predicted using miRWalk algorithm and followed by DNA sequencing in 103 patients diagnosed with mild or severe glomerulopathy. A single nucleotide polymorphism, miRSNP C1936T (rs13385), was identified at the 3′UTR of HBEGF that corresponds to the second base of the hsa-miR-1207-5p seed region. When AB8/13 undifferentiated podocytes were transfected with miRNA mimics of hsa-miR-1207-5p, the HBEGF protein levels were reduced by about 50%. A DNA fragment containing the miRSNP allele-1936C was cloned into the pMIR-Report Luciferase vector and co-transfected with miRNA mimics of hsa-miR-1207-5p into AB8/13 podocytes. In agreement with western blot data, this resulted in reduced luciferase expression demonstrating the ability of hsa-miR-1207-5p to directly regulate HBEGF expression. On the contrary, in the presence of the miRSNP 1936T allele, this regulation was abolished. Collectively, these results demonstrate that variant 1936T of this miRSNP prevents hsa-miR-1207-5p from down-regulating HBEGF in podocytes. We hypothesized that this variant has a functional role as a genetic modifier. To this end, we showed that in a cohort of 78 patients diagnosed with CFHR5 nephropathy (also known as C3-glomerulopathy), inheritance of miRSNP 1936T allele was significantly increased in the group demonstrating progression to chronic renal failure on long follow-up. No similar association was detected in a cohort of patients with thin basement membrane nephropathy. This is the first report associating a miRSNP as genetic modifier to a monogenic renal disorder. © 2012 Papagregoriou et al.


Deltas C.,University of Cyprus | Pierides A.,Hippocrateon Hospital | Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus
Pediatric Nephrology | Year: 2012

Familial microscopic hematuria (MH) of glomer-ular origin represents a heterogeneous group of monogenic conditions involving several genes, some of which remain unknown. Recent advances have increased our understanding and our ability to use molecular genetics for diagnosing such patients, enabling us to study their clinical characteristics over time. Three collagen IV genes, COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 explain the autosomal and X-linked forms of Alport syndrome (AS), and a subset of thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN). A number of X-linked AS patients follow a milder course reminiscent of that of patients with heterozygous COL4A3/COL4A4 mutations and TBMN, while at the same time a significant subset of patients with TBMN and familial MH progress to chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). A mutation in CFHR5, a member of the complement factor H family of genes that regulate complement activation, was recently shown to cause isolated C3 glomerulopathy, presenting with MH in childhood and demonstrating a significant risk for CKD/ ESKD after 40 years old. Through these results molecular genetics emerges as a powerful tool for a definite diagnosis when all the above conditions enter the differential diagnosis, while in many at-risk related family members, a molecular diagnosis may obviate the need for another renal biopsy. © 2011 IPNA.


Athanasiou Y.,Nicosia General Hospital | Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus | Gale D.P.,Imperial College London | Damianou L.,Limassol General Hospital | And 10 more authors.
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology | Year: 2011

Background and objectives Complement factor H and related proteins (CFHR) are key regulators of the alternative complement pathway, where loss of function mutations lead to a glomerulopathy with isolated mesangial C3 deposits without immunoglobulins. Gale et al. (12) reported on 26 patients with the first familial, hematuric glomerulopathy caused by a founder mutation in the CFHR5 gene in patients of Cypriot descent living in the United Kingdom. CFHR5 nephropathy is clinically characterized by continuous microscopic hematuria whereas some patients present with additional episodes of synpharyngitic macrohematuria, associated with infection and pyrexia. A subgroup of patients, particularly men, develop additional proteinuria, hypertension, and chronic renal disease or ESRD. Design, setting, participants, & measurements We herewith expand significantly on the study by Gale et al., reporting on histologic, molecular, and clinical findings in 91 patients from 16 families with the same founder mutation. Results Eighty-two patients (90%) exhibited microscopic hematuria; 51 (62%), exhibited only microscopic hematuria, whereas the remaining 31 additionally had proteinuria (38%); 28 proteinuric patients developed chronic renal failure (CRF). Among carriers of CFHR5 mutation aged >50 years, 80% of the men and 21% of the women developed CRF; 18 developed ESRD (14 men [78%], 4 women [22%]). Conclusions The diagnosis of CFHR5-related, isolated C3 glomerulopathy was established in 2009 using newly described mutation analysis after decades of follow-up with unclear diagnoses, occasionally confused with IgA nephropathy. This larger patient cohort establishes the clinical course, significant variable expressivity, and marked gender difference regarding the development of CRF and ESRD. © 2011 by the American Society of Nephrology.


Gale D.P.,University College London | Gale D.P.,Imperial College London | De Jorge E.G.,Imperial College London | Cook H.T.,Imperial College London | And 15 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2010

Summary Background Complement is a key component of the innate immune system, and variation in genes that regulate its activation is associated with renal and other disease. We aimed to establish the genetic basis for a familial disorder of complement regulation associated with persistent microscopic haematuria, recurrent macroscopic haematuria, glomerulonephritis, and progressive renal failure. Methods We sought patients from the West London Renal and Transplant Centre (London, UK) with unusual renal disease and affected family members as a method of identification of new genetic causes of kidney disease. Two families of Cypriot origin were identified in which renal disease was consistent with autosomal dominant transmission and renal biopsy of at least one individual showed C3 glomerulonephritis. A mutation was identified via a genome-wide linkage study and candidate gene analysis. A PCR-based diagnostic test was then developed and used to screen for the mutation in population-based samples and in individuals and families with renal disease. Findings Occurrence of familial renal disease cosegregated with the same mutation in the complement factor H-related protein 5 gene Interpretation (CFHR5). In a cohort of 84 Cypriots with unexplained renal disease, four had mutation in CFHR5. Overall, we identified 26 individuals with the mutation and evidence of renal disease from 11 ostensibly unrelated kindreds, including the original two families. A mutant CFHR5 protein present in patient serum had reduced affinity for surface-bound complement. We term this renal disease CFHR5 nephropathy. CFHR5 nephropathy accounts for a substantial burden of renal disease in patients of Cypriot origin and can be diagnosed with a specific molecular test. The high risk of progressive renal disease in carriers of the CFHR5 mutation implies that isolated microscopic haematuria or recurrent macroscopic haematuria should not be regarded as a benign finding in individuals of Cypriot descent. Funding UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Pierides A.,Hippocrateon Hospital | Pierides A.,University of Cyprus | Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus | Kkolou M.,Larnaca General Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Hippokratia | Year: 2013

Alport syndrome (ATS) results from X-linked, COL4A5 mutations (85%) or from autosomal recessive homozygous or compound heterozygous COL4A3/A4 mutations (15%), associated with alternate thinning and thickening as well as splitting and lamellation of the glomerular basement membranes. In contrast, familial microhematuria with thin basement membranes is thought to result from heterozygous COL4A3/A4 mutations. This absolute separation may not always be true. Renal biopsies and molecular genetics were used to study microhematuric families in the Hellenic population we serve. The COL4A5 gene was studied by PCR and direct re-sequencing for new mutations, while PCR-RFLP was used to identify more carriers of known COL4A5 and COL4A3/A4 mutations. Molecular genetics in two undiagnosed microhematuric Cypriot families, revealed COL4A5 mutation P628L indicating X-linked ATS. Of nine males, seven developed end stage kidney disease (ESKD) between 31 and 56, while two are well at 51 and 57, exhibiting microhematuria and thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN). COL4A5 mutation G624D was also identified in six Greek families. Seventy five members had DNA tests and 37 proved positive. Four positive males developed ESKD at 61, 51, 50 and 39 years, while the remaining and all females showed only microhematuria. A literature search revealed eight papers with six similar hypomorphic COL4A5 mutations presenting as phenocopies of TBMN. In conclusion, X-linked COL4A5 ATS mutations produce a phenotypic spectrum with a) classical ATS with early onset ESKD, neurosensory deafness and ocular defects b) males with only ESKD and late deafness and c) males due to missense mutations, such as G624D and P628L that may only exhibit microhematuria, TBMN, mild chronic renal failure (CRF) or late onset ESKD. Consequently when investigating "benign familial hematuria" these and other similar X-linked COL4A5 mutations should also be searched for.


Deltas C.,University of Cyprus | Pierides A.,University of Cyprus | Pierides A.,Hippocrateon Hospital | Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation | Year: 2013

The familial hematuric diseases are a genetically heterogeneous group of monogenic conditions, caused by mutations in one of several genes. The major genes involved are the following: (i) the collagen IV genes COL4A3/A4/A5 that are expressed in the glomerular basement membranes (GBM) and are responsible for the most frequent forms of microscopic hematuria, namely Alport syndrome (X-linked or autosomal recessive) and thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN). (ii) The FN1 gene, expressed in the glomerulus and responsible for a rare form of glomerulopathy with fibronectin deposits (GFND). (iii) CFHR5 gene, a recently recognized regulator of the complement alternative pathway and mutated in a recently revisited form of inherited C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN), characterized by isolated C3 deposits in the absence of immune complexes. A hallmark feature of all conditions is the age-dependent penetrance and a broad phenotypic heterogeneity in the sense that subsets of patients progress to added proteinuria or proteinuria and chronic renal failure that may or may not lead to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) anywhere between the second and seventh decade of life. In addition to other excellent laboratory tools that assist the clinician in reaching the correct diagnosis, the molecular analysis emerges as the gold standard in establishing the diagnosis in many cases of doubt due to equivocal findings that complicate the differential diagnosis. Recent work led to the description of candidate genetic modifiers which confer a variable risk for progressing to chronic renal failure when co-inherited on the background of a primary glomerulopathy. Finally, more families are still waiting to be studied and more genes to be mapped and cloned that are responsible for other forms of heritable hematuric diseases. The study of such genes and their protein products will likely shed more light on the structure and function of the glomerular filtration barrier and other important glomerular components. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.


Demosthenous P.,University of Cyprus | Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus | Stylianou K.,University of Crete | Hadjigavriel M.,Larnaca General Hospital | And 8 more authors.
Clinical Genetics | Year: 2012

The X-linked Alport syndrome (ATS) is caused by mutations in COL4A5 and exhibits a widely variable expression. Usually ATS is heralded with continuous microhematuria which rapidly progresses to proteinuria, hypertension and chronic or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) by adolescence, frequently accompanied by sensorineural deafness and ocular complications. Milder forms of ATS also exist. We studied 42 patients (19M, 23F) of nine Hellenic families suspected clinically of X-linked ATS who presented with marked phenotypic heterogeneity. We identified mutations in COL4A5 in six families. Two males with nonsense mutation E228X reached ESRD by ages 14 and 18. Frameshift mutation 2946delT followed the same course with early onset renal involvement and deafness. However, two males with the milder missense mutation G624D, reached ESRD after 39 years and one patient showed thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN). Another 5/8 affected males with missense mutation P628L also developed ESRD between 30 and 57 years, while three exhibit only mild chronic renal failure (CRF). The data support previous findings that certain mutations are associated with milder phenotypes and confirm that mutation G624D may be expressed as TBMN with familial hematuria. Similar conclusions apply for missense mutation P628L. Interestingly, mutations G624D and P628L are near the 12th natural interruption of COL4A5 triple helical domain, which may explain the milder phenotype. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Voskarides K.,University of Cyprus | Arsali M.,Limassol General Hospital | Athanasiou Y.,Nicosia General Hospital | Elia A.,Archbishop Makarios III Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Pediatric Nephrology | Year: 2012

Background Familial hematuria (FH) is associated with at least two pathological entities: Thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN), caused by heterozygous COL4A3/ COL4A4 mutations, and C3 nephropathy caused by CFHR5 mutations. It is now known that TBMN patients develop proteinuria and changes of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis when biopsied. End-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is observed in 20% of carriers, at ages 50-70. A similar progression is observed in CFHR5 nephropathy. Recent evidence suggests that NPHS2-R229Q, a podocin polymorphism, may contribute to proteinuria in TBMN and to micro-albuminuria in the general population. Case-Diagnosis/Treatment NPHS2-R229Q was screened in a Cypriot FH cohort. 102 TBMN patients with three known COL4 mutations and 45 CFHR5 male patients with a single mutation were categorized as "Mild" or "Severe", based on the presence of microhematuria only, or proteinuria and chronic kidney disease. Nine R229Q carriers were found in the "Severe" category and none in the "Mild" (p00.010 for genotypic association; p00.043 for allelic association, adjusted for patients' relatedness), thus supporting the possible contribution of 229Q allele in disease progress. Conclusions Our results offer more evidence that in patients with FH, NPHS2-R229Q predisposes to proteinuria and ESKD. R229Q may be a good prognostic marker for young hematuric patients © IPNA 2011.


Vernon K.A.,Imperial College London | Gale D.P.,Imperial College London | De Jorge E.G.,Imperial College London | McLean A.G.,Imperial College London | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Transplantation | Year: 2011

Complement factor H-related protein 5 (CFHR5) nephropathy is a familial renal disease endemic in Cyprus. It is characterized by persistent microscopic hematuria, synpharyngitic macroscopic hematuria and progressive renal impairment. Isolated glomerular accumulation of complement component 3 (C3) is typical with variable degrees of glomerular inflammation. Affected individuals have a heterozygous internal duplication in the CFHR5 gene, although the mechanism through which this mutation results in renal disease is not understood. Notably, the risk of progressive renal failure in this condition is higher in males than females. We report the first documented case of recurrence of CFHR5 nephropathy in a renal transplant in a 53-year-old Cypriot male. Strikingly, histological changes of CFHR5 nephropathy were evident in the donor kidney 46 days post-transplantation. This unique case demonstrates that renal-derived CFHR5 protein cannot prevent the development of CFHR5 nephropathy. The authors report the first case of graft recurrence of CFHR5 nephropathy 46 days after transplantation. © 2010 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.


Bonnel D.H.,Center dImagerie Tourville | Fingerhut A.L.,Hippocrateon Hospital
American Journal of Surgery | Year: 2012

Background: Percutaneous transhepatic balloon dilatation is an alternative to surgery when benign bilioenteric strictures (BBES) are inaccessible to endoscopic treatment. Our primary objective was to report long-term patency of balloon-dilated BBES. Methods: A total of 110 consecutive patients with 155 BBES had percutaneous transhepatic complete drainage of all biliary territories, balloon dilatation, and catheter stenting. Intracorporeal electrohydraulic lithotripsy treated associated biliary stones. Biliary drains were removed when no residual balloon waists were observed on at least 2 consecutive sessions, 6 weeks apart. Results: A total of 109 of 110 patients had complete drainage. Forty-five patients had successfully treated associated stones. Eleven patients had short-term complications. No patients died. The median follow-up period was 59 months (range,.5-278 mo). Twenty-three patients were lost to follow-up evaluation. Thirteen patients had recurrent biliary obstruction (15%). Life-table analysis showed 90.9% bilioenteric patency after 2,697 days. Conclusions: Percutaneous balloon dilatation and calibration of BBES provides acceptable morbidity and low long-term stricture recurrence. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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