Hereditary hyperuricemia


Hyperuricemia and gout have long been known to run in families. As well as an apparently multifactorial genetic component to classic gout itself, 2 rather unusual sex-linked single-gene disorders of purine biosynthesis or recycling have been defined: deficiency of the enzyme hypoxanthine-guaninephosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT), and overactivity of PPriboseP synthase. Both result in overproduction of urate, hyperuricemia, and secondary overexcretion that may lead to acute or chronic renal damage. Familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephropathy (FJHN) and autosomal-dominant medullary cystic kidney disease (ADMCKD) are more common but less well-defined hyperuricemic conditions resulting from a decrease in the fractional excretion of filtered urate, with normal urate production. Although having features in common, ADMCKD is distinguished in particular by the presence of medullary cysts. One major group of both disorders is associated with mutations in the gene for uromodulin, but this accounts for only about one third of cases, and genetic heterogeneity is present. Whether the genes involved in these latter disorders contribute to the polygenic hyperuricemia and urate underexcretion of classic gout remains unexplored.