An antibody, which recognizes an epitope(s) on a 26 kD peptide of the noncollagenous domain of type IV collagen and which fails to bind to basement membranes of individuals with Alport syndrome, was used to characterize members of families representing phenotypic variants of the disorder. Ten of 11 families with juvenile-onset renal failure and 4 of 5 families with adult-onset renal failure exhibited loss of the epitope(s) from epidermal and/or renal basement membranes by indirect immunofluorescence. Two families with typical Alport nephropathy but normal hearing exhibited the same abnormality. This study provides strong evidence that a defect in the main noncollagenous domain of type IV collagen is common to the various phenotypes of Alport syndrome.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
prepared the illustrations. This work was supported by grants from the National Kidney Foundation, Minnesota Medical Foundation, Viking Childrens Fund, Hereditary Nephritis Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (A110704, DK25518, NS12125 and DK39497).