It has been well documented that mutations in the same retinal disease gene can result in different clinical phenotypes due to difference in the mutant allele and/or genetic background. To evaluate this, a set of consanguineous patient families with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) that do not carry mutations in known LCA disease genes was characterized through homozygosity mapping followed by targeted exon/whole-exome sequencing to identify genetic variations. Among these families, a total of five putative disease-causing mutations, including four novel alleles, were found for six families. These five mutations are located in four genes, ALMS1, IQCB1, CNGA3, and MYO7A. Therefore, in our LCA collection from Saudi Arabia, three of the 37 unassigned families carry mutations in retinal disease genes ALMS1, CNGA3, and MYO7A, which have not been previously associated with LCA, and 3 of the 37 carry novel mutations in IQCB1, which has been recently associated with LCA. Together with other reports, our results emphasize that the molecular heterogeneity underlying LCA, and likely other retinal diseases, may be highly complex. Thus, to obtain accurate diagnosis and gain a complete picture of the disease, it is essential to sequence a larger set of retinal disease genes and combine the clinical phenotype with molecular diagnosis.
"Since first identification in 1995, mutations in MYO7A gene have been reported to be implicated in causing a wide phenotypic spectrum, including USH type 1 , an atypical form of USH mimicking USH type 3 , two types of nonsyndromic deafness: autosomal dominant nonsyndromic deafness-11 (DFNA11)  and autosomal recessive nonsyndromic deafness-2 (DFNB2) , , and even Leber congenital amaurosis . Based on the great clinical and genetic heterogeneities, there has been hypothesis concerning the relationship between the localizations of the mutations and the diverse clinical phenotypes. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Usher syndrome (USH) is a group of disorders manifested as retinitis pigmentosa and bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, with or without vestibular dysfunction. Here, we recruited three Chinese families affected with autosomal recessive USH for detailed clinical evaluations and for mutation screening in the genes associated with inherited retinal diseases. Using targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach, three new alleles and one known mutation in MYO7A gene were identified in the three families. In two families with USH type 1, novel homozygous frameshift variant p.Pro194Hisfs*13 and recurrent missense variant p.Thr165Met were demonstrated as the causative mutations respectively. Crystal structural analysis denoted that p.Thr165Met would very likely change the tertiary structure of the protein encoded by MYO7A. In another family affected with USH type 2, novel biallelic mutations in MYO7A, c.[1343+1G>A];[2837T>G] or p.[?];[Met946Arg], were identified with clinical significance. Because MYO7A, to our knowledge, has rarely been correlated with USH type 2, our findings therefore reveal distinguished clinical phenotypes associated with MYO7A. We also conclude that targeted NGS is an effective approach for genetic diagnosis for USH, which can further provide better understanding of genotype-phenotype relationship of the disease.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97808. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097808 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"This new phenomenon extends our understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations. How a mutated gene can cause a complex, extensive syndrome in one patient and isolated RP in another is currently not understood, but it is postulated to result from the complex interaction between genetic modifiers and environmental differences (Wang et al. 2011). One of the utilities of molecular information is to improve diagnostic accuracy when coupled with clinic information. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a devastating form of retinal degeneration, with significant social and professional consequences. Molecular genetic information is invaluable for an accurate clinical diagnosis of RP due to its high genetic and clinical heterogeneity. Using a gene capture panel that covers 163 of the currently known retinal disease genes, including 48 RP genes, we performed a comprehensive molecular screening in a collection of 123 RP unsettled probands from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, including 113 unrelated simplex and 10 autosomal recessive RP (arRP) cases. As a result, 61 mutations were identified in 45 probands, including 38 novel pathogenic alleles. Interestingly, we observed that phenotype and genotype were not in full agreement in 21 probands. Among them, eight probands were clinically reassessed, resulting in refinement of clinical diagnoses for six of these patients. Finally, recessive mutations in CLN3 were identified in five retinal degeneration patients, including four RP probands and one cone-rod dystrophy patient, suggesting that CLN3 is a novel non-syndromic retinal disease gene. Collectively, our results underscore that, due to the high molecular and clinical heterogeneity of RP, comprehensive screening of all retinal disease genes is effective in identifying novel pathogenic mutations and provides an opportunity to discover new genotype-phenotype correlations. Information gained from this genetic screening will directly aid in patient diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, as well as allowing appropriate family planning and counseling.
Human Genetics 10/2013; 133(3). DOI:10.1007/s00439-013-1381-5 · 4.82 Impact Factor
"NGS has been applied previously to screen for specific forms of RD, with variable results –. For example, NGS provided genetic diagnosis in 36% (36 out of 100) of patients with retinitis pigmentosa . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinal dystrophies (RD) are a group of hereditary diseases that lead to debilitating visual impairment and are usually transmitted as a Mendelian trait. Pathogenic mutations can occur in any of the 100 or more disease genes identified so far, making molecular diagnosis a rather laborious process. In this work we explored the use of whole exome sequencing (WES) as a tool for identification of RD mutations, with the aim of assessing its applicability in a diagnostic context.
We ascertained 12 Spanish families with seemingly recessive RD. All of the index patients underwent mutational pre-screening by chip-based sequence hybridization and resulted to be negative for known RD mutations. With the exception of one pedigree, to simulate a standard diagnostic scenario we processed by WES only the DNA from the index patient of each family, followed by in silico data analysis. We successfully identified causative mutations in patients from 10 different families, which were later verified by Sanger sequencing and co-segregation analyses. Specifically, we detected pathogenic DNA variants (∼50% novel mutations) in the genes RP1, USH2A, CNGB3, NMNAT1, CHM, and ABCA4, responsible for retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, achromatopsia, Leber congenital amaurosis, choroideremia, or recessive Stargardt/cone-rod dystrophy cases.
Despite the absence of genetic information from other family members that could help excluding nonpathogenic DNA variants, we could detect causative mutations in a variety of genes known to represent a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes in 83% of the patients analyzed. Considering the constant drop in costs for human exome sequencing and the relative simplicity of the analyses made, this technique could represent a valuable tool for molecular diagnostics or genetic research, even in cases for which no genotypes from family members are available.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e65574. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065574 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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