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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 67

of 'Hereditary pancreatitis'

A novel mutation of the calcium sensing receptor gene is associated with chronic pancreatitis in a family with heterozygous SPINK1 mutations.
Felderbauer P, Hoffmann P, Einwächter H, Bulut K, Ansorge N, Schmitz F, Schmidt WE
BMC Gastroenterol. 2003 Nov;3:34. Epub 2003 Nov 29.
BACKGROUND: The role of mutations in the serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1) gene in chronic pancreatitis is still a matter of debate. Active SPINK1 is thought to antagonize activated trypsin. Cases of SPINK1 mutations, especially N34S, have been reported in a subset of patients with idiopathic chronic pancreatitis. However, the inheritance pattern is still unknown. Some cases with N34S heterozygosity have been reported with and without evidence for CP indicating neither an autosomal recessive nor dominant trait. Therefore SPINK1 mutations have been postulated to act as a disease modifier requiring additional mutations in a more complex genetic model. Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH) caused by heterozygous inactivating mutations in the calcium sensing receptor (CASR) gene is considered a benign disorder with elevated plasma calcium levels. Although hypercalcemia represents a risk factor for pancreatitis, increased rates of pancreatitis in patients with FHH have not been reported thus far.
METHODS: We studied a family with a FHH-related hypercalcemia and chronic pancreatitis. DNA samples were analysed for mutations within the cationic trypsinogen (N29I, R122H) and SPINK1 (N34S) gene using melting curve analysis. Mutations within CASR gene were identified by DNA sequencing.
RESULTS: A N34S SPINK1 mutation was found in all screened family members. However, only two family members developed chronic pancreatitis. These patients also had FHH caused by a novel, sporadic mutation in the CASR gene (518T>C) leading to an amino acid exchange (leucine->proline) in the extracellular domain of the CASR protein.
CONCLUSION: Mutations in the calcium sensing receptor gene might represent a novel as yet unidentified predisposing factor which may lead to an increased susceptibility for chronic pancreatitis. Moreover, this family analysis supports the hypothesis that SPINK1 mutations act as disease modifier and suggests an even more complex genetic model in SPINK1 related chronic pancreatitis.
Laboratory for Experimental Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine I, St, Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University of Bochum. peter.felderbauer@rub.de