A Genome-Wide Association Study into the Aetiology of Congenital Solitary Functioning Kidney
Congenital solitary functioning kidney (CSFK) is a birth defect that occurs in 1:1500 children and predisposes them to kidney injury. Its aetiology is likely multifactorial. In addition to known monogenic causes and environmental risk factors, common genetic variation may contribute to susceptibility to CSFK. We performed a genome-wide association study among 452 patients with CSFK and two control groups of 669 healthy children and 5363 unaffected adults. Variants in two loci reached the genome-wide significance threshold of 5 × 10 −8 , and variants in 30 loci reached the suggestive significance threshold of 1 × 10 −5 . Of these, an identified locus with lead single nucleotide variant (SNV) rs140804918 (odds ratio 3.1, p -value = 1.4 × 10 −8 ) on chromosome 7 was most promising due to its close proximity to HGF , a gene known to be involved in kidney development. Based on their known molecular functions, both KCTD20 and STK38 could explain the suggestive significant association with lead SNV rs148413365 on chromosome 6. Our findings need replication in an independent cohort of CSFK patients before they can be established definitively. However, our analysis suggests that common variants play a role in CSFK aetiology. Future research could enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved.