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Heterozygous and homozygous mutations in PITX3 in a large Lebanese family with posterior polar cataracts and neurodevelopmental abnormalities

Carla Bidinost, Masayuki Matsumoto, Daniel Chung, Nabiha Salem, Kang Zhang, David W Stockton, Antoine Khoury, Andre Megarbane, Bassem A Bejjani, Elias I Traboulsi
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2006, 47 (4): 1274-80

PURPOSE: The PITX3 gene, which codes for a homeobox bicoidlike transcription factor is responsible for dominant cataract and anterior segment mesenchymal dysgenesis in humans. In the current study, a family with autosomal dominant posterior polar cataract (PPC) and a PITX3 mutation that cosegregates with the disease was examined. Also studied were two siblings who were homozygous for the PITX3 mutation who had microphthalmia and significant neurologic impairment.

METHODS: A genome-wide screen, linkage analysis in the PITX3 chromosomal region 10q25, haplotype analysis, and sequencing of the PITX3 gene were performed on 28 affected and 14 unaffected member of a three-generation Lebanese family.

RESULTS: Genome-wide linkage analysis showed a lod score of 3.56 at theta = 0.00 on chromosome 10 at area q25. Analysis of the haplotypes and phenotypes confined the disease locus to a region on 10q25 between the markers D10S1239 and D10S1268. A candidate gene, PITX3, maps to that region. Sequencing of the PITX3 gene revealed a heterozygous G deletion mutation in 25 of the 42 family members. In addition, two siblings from a consanguineous marriage were found to be homozygous for the deletion.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of homozygous PITX3 mutations in humans. The phenotype in these individuals highlights the role of PITX3 in ocular and central nervous system (CNS) development.

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