The distinct ophthalmic phenotype of Knobloch syndrome in children.
ABSTRACT Knobloch syndrome is defined as a triad of occipital defect, high myopia and vitreo-retinal degeneration (often with later retinal detachment); however, the ocular phenotype is not well defined. This report characterises eye findings of the syndrome in children with genetically confirmed disease.
Case series of Saudi children with previously documented homozygous mutations in COL18A1 or ADAMTS18.
All eight children (4-15 years old; five families) had smooth (cryptless) irides, high myopia (-10 to -20 dioptres) and distinctive vitreo-retinal degeneration consisting of diffuse very severe retinal pigment epithelium atrophic changes with prominent choroidal vessel show, macular atrophic lesions with or without a 'punched out' appearance and white fibrillar vitreous condensations. In two probands and a sibling, this distinctive retinal appearance was the basis for initial clinical diagnosis. Six children had temporal ectopia lentis and four had posterior perinuclear lens opacity. Additional features included developmental delay (two), epilepsy (one) and heterotopic grey matter in the lateral ventricles (one). Four children had no clinically discernible occipital defect.
Taken together, smooth iridies, ectopia lentis and characteristic vitreo-retinal degeneration seem pathognomonic. Although it is a defining feature of the syndrome, clinically discernible occipital defect is not a sine qua non for the diagnosis. Ophthalmologists are uniquely able to diagnose Knobloch syndrome.
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ABSTRACT: Collagen XVIII is an evolutionary conserved ubiquitously expressed basement membrane proteoglycan produced in three isoforms via two promoters (P). Here, we assess the function of the N-terminal, domain of unknown function/frizzled-like sequences unique to medium/long collagen XVIII by creating P-specific null mice. P2-null mice, which only produce short collagen XVIII, developed reduced bulk-adiposity, hepatic steatosis, and hypertriglyceridemia. These abnormalities did not develop in P1-null mice, which produce medium/long collagen XVIII. White adipose tissue samples from P2-null mice contain larger reserves of a cell population enriched in early adipocyte progenitors; however, their embryonic fibroblasts had ∼50% lower adipocyte differentiation potential. Differentiating 3T3-L1 fibroblasts into mature adipocytes produced striking increases in P2 gene-products and dramatic falls in P1-transcribed mRNA, whereas Wnt3a-induced dedifferentiation of mature adipocytes produced reciprocal changes in P1 and P2 transcript levels. P2-derived gene-products containing frizzled-like sequences bound the potent adipogenic inhibitor, Wnt10b, in vitro. Previously, we have shown that these same sequences bind Wnt3a, inhibiting Wnt3a-mediated signaling. P2-transcript levels in visceral fat were positively correlated with serum free fatty acid levels, suggesting that collagen α1 (XVIII) expression contributes to regulation of adipose tissue metabolism in visceral obesity. Medium/long collagen XVIII is deposited in the Space of Disse, and interaction between hepatic apolipoprotein E and this proteoglycan is lost in P2-null mice. These results describe a previously unidentified extracellular matrix-directed mechanism contributing to the control of the multistep adipogenic program that determines the number of precursors committing to adipocyte differentiation, the maintenance of the differentiated state, and the physiological consequences of its impairment on ectopic fat deposition.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 07/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Background Knobloch syndrome is a rare, autosomal recessive, developmental disorder characterized by stereotyped ocular abnormalities with or without occipital skull deformities (encephalocele, bone defects, cutis aplasia). While there is clear heterogeneity in clinical presentation, central nervous system malformations, aside from the characteristic encephalocele, have not typically been considered a component of the disease phenotype. Methods Four patients originally presented for genetic work-up for their symptomatic structural brain malformations. Whole-genome genotyping, whole-exome sequencing and confirmatory sanger sequencing was performed. Using immunohistochemical analysis, we investigated the protein localization pattern of COL18A1 in the developing human fetal brain and then analyzed the spatial and temporal changes in the expression pattern of COL18A1 during human cortical development using the Human Brain Transcriptome database. Results We identified two novel homozygous deleterious frame-shift mutations in the COL18A1 gene. Upon further investigation of these patients and their families, we found that many exhibited certain characteristics of Knobloch syndrome, including pronounced ocular defects. Our data strongly support an important role for COL18A1 in brain development and this report contributes to an enhanced characterization of the brain malformations that can result from deficiencies of collagen XVIII. Conclusions This case series highlights the diagnostic power and clinical utility of whole-exome sequencing technology – allowing clinicians and physician scientists to better understand the pathophysiology and presentations of rare diseases. We suggest that patients who are clinically diagnosed with Knobloch syndrome and/or found to have COL18A1 mutations via genetic screening should be investigated for potential structural brain abnormalities even in the absence of encephaloceles.Pediatric Neurology 09/2014; · 1.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify the genetic basis of a chorioretinal dystrophy with high myopia of unknown origin in a child of a consanguineous marriage. The proband and ten family members of Iranian ancestry participated in this study. Linkage analysis was carried out with DNA samples of the proband and her parents by using the Human SNP Array 6.0. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed with the patients’ DNA. Specific sequence alterations within the homozygous regions identified by whole exome sequencing were verified by Sanger sequencing. Upon genetic analysis, a novel homozygous frameshift mutation was found in exon 42 of the COL18A1 gene in the patient. Both parents were heterozygous for this sequence variation. Mutations in COL18A1 are known to cause Knobloch syndrome (KS). Retrospective analysis of clinical records of the patient revealed surgical removal of a meningocele present at birth. The clinical features shown by our patient were typical of KS with the exception of chorioretinal degeneration which is a rare manifestation. This is the first case of KS reported in a family of Iranian ancestry. We identified a novel disease-causing (deletion) mutation in the COL18A1 gene leading to a frameshift and premature stop codon in the last exon. The mutation was not present in SNP databases and was also not found in 192 control individuals. Its localization within the endostatin domain implicates a functional relevance of endostatin in KS. A combined approach of linkage analysis and WES led to a rapid identification of the disease-causing mutation even though the clinical description was not completely clear at the beginning.PLoS ONE 11/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor