Sequencing of TGF-beta pathway genes in familial cases of intracranial aneurysm

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Familial aggregation of intracranial aneurysms (IA) strongly suggests a genetic contribution to pathogenesis. However, genetic risk factors have yet to be defined. For families affected by aortic aneurysms, specific gene variants have been identified, many affecting the receptors to transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). In recent work, we found that aortic and intracranial aneurysms may share a common genetic basis in some families. We hypothesized, therefore, that mutations in TGF-beta receptors might also play a role in IA pathogenesis.

METHODS: To identify genetic variants in TGF-beta and its receptors, TGFB1, TGFBR1, TGFBR2, ACVR1, TGFBR3, and ENG were directly sequenced in 44 unrelated patients with familial IA. Novel variants were confirmed by restriction digestion analyses, and allele frequencies were analyzed in cases versus individuals without known intracranial disease. Similarly, allele frequencies of a subset of known SNPs in each gene were also analyzed for association with IA.

RESULTS: No mutations were found in TGFB1, TGFBR1, TGFBR2, or ACVR1. Novel variants identified in ENG (p.A60E) and TGFBR3 (p.W112R) were not detected in at least 892 reference chromosomes. ENG p.A60E showed significant association with familial IA in case-control studies (P=0.0080). No association with IA could be found for any of the known polymorphisms tested.

CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in TGF-beta receptor genes are not a major cause of IA. However, we identified rare variants in ENG and TGFBR3 that may be important for IA pathogenesis in a subset of families.


Activin Receptors, Type I, Aged, Alleles, Antigens, CD, DNA, DNA Primers, Female, Humans, Intracranial Aneurysm, Male, Middle Aged, Pedigree, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases, Proteoglycans, Receptors, Cell Surface, Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta, Signal Transduction, Stroke, Transforming Growth Factor beta