Exploring the relevance of NUP93 variants in steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome using next generation sequencing and a fly kidney model.
Bierzynska A., Bull K., Miellet S., Dean P., Neal C., Colby E., McCarthy HJ., Hegde S., Sinha MD., Bugarin Diz C., Stirrups K., Megy K., Mapeta R., Penkett C., Marsh S., Forrester N., Afzal M., Stark H., BioResource N., Williams M., Welsh GI., Koziell AB., Hartley PS., Saleem MA.
BackgroundVariants in genes encoding nuclear pore complex (NPC) proteins are a newly identified cause of paediatric steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS). Recent reports describing NUP93 variants suggest these could be a significant cause of paediatric onset SRNS. We report NUP93 cases in the UK and demonstrate in vivo functional effects of Nup93 depletion in a fly (Drosophila melanogaster) nephrocyte model.MethodsThree hundred thirty-seven paediatric SRNS patients from the National cohort of patients with Nephrotic Syndrome (NephroS) were whole exome and/or whole genome sequenced. Patients were screened for over 70 genes known to be associated with Nephrotic Syndrome (NS). D. melanogaster Nup93 knockdown was achieved by RNA interference using nephrocyte-restricted drivers.ResultsSix novel homozygous and compound heterozygous NUP93 variants were detected in 3 sporadic and 2 familial paediatric onset SRNS characterised histologically by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and progressing to kidney failure by 12 months from clinical diagnosis. Silencing of the two orthologs of human NUP93 expressed in D. melanogaster, Nup93-1, and Nup93-2 resulted in significant signal reduction of up to 82% in adult pericardial nephrocytes with concomitant disruption of NPC protein expression. Additionally, nephrocyte morphology was highly abnormal in Nup93-1 and Nup93-2 silenced flies surviving to adulthood.ConclusionWe expand the spectrum of NUP93 variants detected in paediatric onset SRNS and demonstrate its incidence within a national cohort. Silencing of either D. melanogaster Nup93 ortholog caused a severe nephrocyte phenotype, signaling an important role for the nucleoporin complex in podocyte biology. A higher resolution version of the Graphical abstract is available as Supplementary information.