Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension KnowledgeBase (PAHKB)
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension KnowledgeBase

Forthcoming changes for the PAHKB

New Genes: We are going to add two genes to our PAHKB. They are EIF2AK4 (eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 4) and KCNK3 (potassium channel, subfamily K, member 3).

EIF2AK4 was reported to cause pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, a recessive form of pulmonary hypertension. The full story can be found on nature genetics website. Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) is a rare and devastating cause of pulmonary hypertension that is characterized histologically by widespread fibrous intimal proliferation of septal veins and preseptal venules and is frequently associated with pulmonary capillary dilatation and proliferation1, 2. PVOD is categorized into a separate pulmonary arterial hypertension–related group in the current classification of pulmonary hypertension3. PVOD presents either sporadically or as familial cases with a seemingly recessive mode of transmission4. Using whole-exome sequencing, we detected recessive mutations in EIF2AK4 (also called GCN2) that cosegregated with PVOD in all 13 families studied. We also found biallelic EIF2AK4 mutations in 5 of 20 histologically confirmed sporadic cases of PVOD. All mutations, either in a homozygous or compound-heterozygous state, disrupted the function of the gene. These findings point to EIF2AK4 as the major gene that is linked to PVOD development and contribute toward an understanding of the complex genetic architecture of pulmonary hypertension.

KCNK3 was recently implicated in the pathogenesis of familial PAH. The full story can be found on the new england journal of medicine website. BACKGROUND: Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a devastating disease with high mortality. Familial cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension are usually characterized by autosomal dominant transmission with reduced penetrance, and some familial cases have unknown genetic causes. METHODS: We studied a family in which multiple members had pulmonary arterial hypertension without identifiable mutations in any of the genes known to be associated with the disease, including BMPR2, ALK1, ENG, SMAD9, and CAV1. Three family members were studied with whole-exome sequencing. Additional patients with familial or idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension were screened for the mutations in the gene that was identified on whole-exome sequencing. All variants were expressed in COS-7 cells, and channel function was studied by means of patch-clamp analysis. RESULTS: We identified a novel heterozygous missense variant c.608 G->A (G203D) in KCNK3 (the gene encoding potassium channel subfamily K, member 3) as a disease-causing candidate gene in the family. Five additional heterozygous missense variants in KCNK3 were independently identified in 92 unrelated patients with familial pulmonary arterial hypertension and 230 patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. We used in silico bioinformatic tools to predict that all six novel variants would be damaging. Electrophysiological studies of the channel indicated that all these missense mutations resulted in loss of function, and the reduction in the potassium-channel current was remedied by the application of the phospholipase inhibitor ONO-RS-082. CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified the association of a novel gene, KCNK3, with familial and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. Mutations in this gene produced reduced potassium-channel current, which was successfully remedied by pharmacologic manipulation. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)

Recent changes
  • Lung development-related gene expression dataset (GSE14334) were added to PAHKB on Oct 20th, 2013.
  • Gene expression dataset (GSE22356) from scleroderma-associated pulmonary hypertension indivisuals were added to PAHKB on Oct 12th, 2013.