The PKHD1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called fibrocystin (sometimes known as polyductin). This protein is present in fetal and adult kidney cells, and is also present at low levels in the liver and pancreas.
Fibrocystin spans the cell membrane of kidney cells, so that one end of the protein remains inside the cell and the other end projects from the outer surface of the cell. Based on its structure, fibrocystin may act as a receptor, interacting with molecules outside the cell and receiving signals that help the cell respond to its environment. This protein also may be involved in connecting cells together (adhesion), keeping cells apart (repulsion), and promoting the growth and division of cells (proliferation).
Fibrocystin is also found in cell structures called primary cilia. Primary cilia are tiny, fingerlike projections that line the small tubes where urine is formed (renal tubules). Researchers believe that primary cilia play an important role in maintaining the size and structure of these tubules; however, the function of fibrocystin in primary cilia remains unclear.
Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes
Polycystic kidney disease
More than 270 mutations in the PKHD1 gene have been identified in people with polycystic kidney disease. These mutations cause autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), which is a severe type of the disorder that is usually evident at birth or in early infancy. PKHD1 mutations include changes in single DNA building blocks (base pairs) and insertions or deletions of a small number of base pairs in the gene. These mutations disrupt the normal structure and function of the fibrocystin protein, or lead to the production of an abnormally small, nonfunctional version of the protein. Researchers have not determined how these genetic changes lead to the formation of numerous cysts characteristic of polycystic kidney disease.More About This Health Condition
Other Names for This Gene
- polycystic kidney and hepatic disease 1 (autosomal recessive)
Additional Information & Resources
Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry
Scientific Articles on PubMed
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
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- Bergmann C, Senderek J, Windelen E, Küpper F, Middeldorf I, Schneider F, Dornia C, Rudnik-Schöneborn S, Konrad M, Schmitt CP, Seeman T, Neuhaus TJ, Vester U, Kirfel J, Büttner R, Zerres K; APN (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pädiatrische Nephrologie). Clinical consequences of PKHD1 mutations in 164 patients with autosomal-recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). Kidney Int. 2005 Mar;67(3):829-48. Citation on PubMed
- Harris PC, Rossetti S. Molecular genetics of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. Mol Genet Metab. 2004 Feb;81(2):75-85. Review. Citation on PubMed
- Lina F, Satlinb LM. Polycystic kidney disease: the cilium as a common pathway in cystogenesis. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2004 Apr;16(2):171-6. Review. Citation on PubMed
- Sharp AM, Messiaen LM, Page G, Antignac C, Gubler MC, Onuchic LF, Somlo S, Germino GG, Guay-Woodford LM. Comprehensive genomic analysis of PKHD1 mutations in ARPKD cohorts. J Med Genet. 2005 Apr;42(4):336-49. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Sweeney WE, Avner ED. Polycystic Kidney Disease, Autosomal Recessive. 2001 Jul 19 [updated 2019 Feb 14]. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Mirzaa G, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2021. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1326/ Citation on PubMed
- Ward CJ, Hogan MC, Rossetti S, Walker D, Sneddon T, Wang X, Kubly V, Cunningham JM, Bacallao R, Ishibashi M, Milliner DS, Torres VE, Harris PC. The gene mutated in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease encodes a large, receptor-like protein. Nat Genet. 2002 Mar;30(3):259-69. Epub 2002 Feb 4. Citation on PubMed
- Ward CJ, Yuan D, Masyuk TV, Wang X, Punyashthiti R, Whelan S, Bacallao R, Torra R, LaRusso NF, Torres VE, Harris PC. Cellular and subcellular localization of the ARPKD protein; fibrocystin is expressed on primary cilia. Hum Mol Genet. 2003 Oct 15;12(20):2703-10. Epub 2003 Aug 12. Citation on PubMed
- Wilson PD. Polycystic kidney disease. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jan 8;350(2):151-64. Review. Citation on PubMed