Angiotensin type 2 receptor gene null mutant mice display congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT). Various features of mouse CAKUT impressively mimic human CAKUT. Studies of the human type 2 receptor (AGTR2) gene in two independent cohorts found that a significant association exists between CAKUT and a nucleotide transition within the lariat branchpoint motif of intron 1, which perturbs AGTR2 mRNA splicing efficiency. AGTR2, therefore, has a significant ontogenic role for the kidney and urinary tract system. Studies revealed that the establishment of CAKUT is preceded by delayed apoptosis of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells surrounding the urinary tract during key ontogenic events, from the ureteral budding to the expansive growth of the kidney and ureter.