Gene May Boost Risk of Kidney Transplant Failure

TUESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) — Researchers have identified a gene variant in kidney donors that’s associated with increased risk that the organ will stop working (graft failure) after it’s transplanted into a recipient.

The variation occurs in the CAV1 gene, which normally inhibits the development of fibrous connective tissue that can interfere with a transplant.

In this study, British researchers analyzed DNA from hundreds of kidney donors and their recipients in England and Ireland. They found that rates of graft failure ranged anywhere from about 39 percent to 67 percent for donor genotype AA, from around 22 percent to 42 percent for donor genotype CC, and from about 22 percent to 44 percent for donor genotype AC.

“Although a minority of donors displayed the AA genotype (approximately 10 percent), this gene variant nevertheless shows potential in identifying a subpopulation at higher risk of allograft failure,” wrote Jason Moore, of the Renal Institute of Birmingham and University Hospital Birmingham, and colleagues.

“This finding has implications for renal [kidney] transplantation with regard to the mechanisms underlying graft failure and in the identification of genetic biomarkers,” the researchers wrote. They add that the findings might have implications for other kidney or non-kidney conditions that involve fibrotic tissues, or “other conditions in which CAV1 is thought to play a role,” including heart disease and abnormal cell proliferation.

The study appears in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about kidney transplants.