Mutational spectrum of the ZEB1 gene in corneal dystrophies supports a genotype-phenotype correlation.
PURPOSE: Mutations in ZEB1 have been reported in posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD3; MIM #609141) and Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD6; MIM #613270). Although PPCD and keratoconus are clinically and pathologically distinct, PPCD has been associated with keratoconus, suggesting a common genetic basis. The purpose of our study was to perform mutational screening of the ZEB1 gene in patients affected with keratoconus or PPCD. METHODS: Sanger sequencing of ZEB1 was performed in 70 unrelated patients with keratoconus and 18 unrelated patients with PPCD. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was performed on RNA from cultured corneal keratocytes obtained from a keratoconic patient harboring a missense ZEB1 mutation (p.Gln640His) undergoing corneal transplantation. RESULTS: Mutational analysis of ZEB1 in PPCD identified a previously reported frameshift mutation (C.1578_1579INSG) and a novel nonsense mutation (C.2249C A) in exon 7 of ZEB1 causing the insertion of a stop codon: p.Ser750X. In the keratoconus cohort, a novel heterozygous pathogenic mutation in exon 7 (c.1920G > T; p.Gln640His) of ZEB1 was identified in a family affected with keratoconus and Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy. RT-qPCR performed on cultured corneal keratocytes harboring the missense ZEB1 mutation (p.Gln640His) demonstrated that COL4A1 and COL4A2 were markedly downregulated, and COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL8A2 were moderately downregulated. CONCLUSIONS: Our data combined with the previously reported mutational spectrum of ZEB1 support a genotypephenotype correlation: missense substitutions in the ZEB1 protein are associated with FECD6 and keratoconus, whereas protein truncating ZEB1 mutations result in PPCD3. The dysregulation of α-type IV collagens represents a common link between ZEB1 mutation and the clinical phenotypes (PPCD3, FECD, and keratoconus).
Lechner, J; Dash, DP; Muszynska, D; Hosseini, M; Segev, F; George, S; Frazer, DG; Moore, JE; Kaye, SB; Young, T; Simpson, DA; Churchill, AJ; Héon, E; Willoughby, CE
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