Ribonuclease 7 (RNase 7) is an antimicrobial peptide that prevents urinary tract infections (UTI); however, it is yet unknown how RNASE7 genetic variations affect its antimicrobial activity and its mitigation of UTI risk. This study determined whether the RNASE7 SNP rs1263872 is more prevalent in children with UTI and defined how rs1263872 affects RNase 7’s antimicrobial activity against uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). We performed genotyping for rs1263872 in 2 national UTI cohorts, including children enrolled in the Randomized Intervention for Children with Vesicoureteral Reflux trial or the Careful Urinary Tract Infection Evaluation study. Genotypes from these cohorts were compared with those of female controls with no UTI. To assess whether rs1263872 affects RNase 7’s antimicrobial activity, we generated RNase 7 peptides and genetically modified urothelial cultures encoding wild-type RNase 7 and its variant. Compared with controls, girls in both UTI cohorts had an increased prevalence of the RNASE7 variant. Compared with the missense variant, wild-type RNase 7 peptide showed greater bactericidal activity against UPEC. Wild-type RNase 7 overexpression in human urothelial cultures reduced UPEC invasive infection compared with mutant overexpression. These results show that children with UTI have an increased prevalence of RNASE7 rs1263872, which may increase UTI susceptibility by suppressing RNase 7’s antibacterial activity.
Keith R. Pierce, Tad Eichler, Claudia Mosquera Vasquez, Andrew L. Schwaderer, Aaron Simoni, Steven Creacy, David S. Hains, John D. Spencer