Nephronophthisis (NPHP) 4 gene coding nephrocystin-4 is involved in the development of renal tubules and its congenital mutations cause juvenile end-stage renal disease, NPHP. To investigate the association between single-point single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of NPHP4 gene and renal function, we conducted a cross-sectional study in Japanese population. The subjects of this study were non-diabetic general population consisting of 2604 individuals >40 years in Takahata town, Japan. We genotyped 11 SNPs within NPHP4 gene that displayed frequent minor allele frequencies (>0.1) in Japanese general population. Among 11 SNPs in NPHP4 gene, only rs1287637 that induces amino acid substitution (A (Gln)/T (Leu)), located in the acceptor site of exon 21, showed a significant association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; T/T: 81.3±15.6 (n=1886), A/T: 82.0±15.5 (n=652) and A/A: 87.4±21.4 ml min-1 per 1.73m2 (n=66); mean±s.d., P=0.006). This SNP was not in linkage disequilibrium with the surrounding SNPs. The multivariate analysis adjusted with possible confounders showed that the A/T+T/T genotype of rs1287637 was independently associated with reduced renal function (eGFR <90 ml min-1 per 1.73m2; odds ratio (OR) 1.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-2.94, P=0.033). These results indicate the novel and independent association between single-point SNP rs1287637 in NPHP4 gene and renal function in non-diabetic Japanese population.
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