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Genetic Analysis in a Swiss Cohort of Bilateral Congenital Cataract


Abstract

Importance

Identification of geographic population-based differences in genotype and phenotype heterogeneity are important for targeted and patient-specific diagnosis and treatment, counseling, and screening strategies.

Objective

To report disease-causing variants and their detailed phenotype in patients with bilateral congenital cataract from a single center in Switzerland and thereby draw a genetic map and perform a genotype-phenotype comparison of this cohort.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This clinical and molecular-genetic cohort study took place through the collaboration of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University Hospital Zurich and the Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics, University of Zurich, Schlieren, Switzerland. Thirty-seven patients from 25 families with different types of bilateral congenital cataract were included. All participating family members received a comprehensive eye examination. Whole exome sequencing was performed in the index patients, followed by a filtering process to detect possible disease-associated variants in genes previously described in association with congenital cataract. Probable disease-causing variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing in available family members. All data were collected from January 2018 to June 2020, and the molecular-genetic analyses were performed from January 2019 to July 2020.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Identification of the underlying genetic causes of bilateral congenital cataract, including novel disease-causing variants and phenotype correlation.

Results

Among the 37 patients (18 [49%] male and 19 [51%] female; mean [SD] age, 17.3 [15.9] years) from 25 families, pathogenic variants were detected in 20 families (80% detection rate), which included 13 novel variants in the following genes: BCOR, COL4A1, CRYBA2, CRYBB2, CRYGC, CRYGS, GJA3, MAF, NHS, and WFS1. Putative disease-causing variants were identified in 14 of 20 families (70%) as isolated cases and in 6 of 20 families (30%) with syndromic cases. A recessive variant in the CRYBB2 gene in a consanguineous family with 2 affected siblings showing a nuclear and sutural cataract was reported in contrast to previously published reports. In addition, the effect on splicing in a minigene assay of a novel splice site variant in the NHS gene (c.[719-2A>G]) supported the pathogenicity of this variant.

Conclusions and Relevance

This study emphasizes the importance of genetic testing of congenital cataracts. Known dominant genes need to be considered for recessive inheritance patterns. Syndromic types of cataract may be underdiagnosed in patients with mild systemic features.

Abstract

Importance

Identification of geographic population-based differences in genotype and phenotype heterogeneity are important for targeted and patient-specific diagnosis and treatment, counseling, and screening strategies.

Objective

To report disease-causing variants and their detailed phenotype in patients with bilateral congenital cataract from a single center in Switzerland and thereby draw a genetic map and perform a genotype-phenotype comparison of this cohort.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This clinical and molecular-genetic cohort study took place through the collaboration of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University Hospital Zurich and the Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics, University of Zurich, Schlieren, Switzerland. Thirty-seven patients from 25 families with different types of bilateral congenital cataract were included. All participating family members received a comprehensive eye examination. Whole exome sequencing was performed in the index patients, followed by a filtering process to detect possible disease-associated variants in genes previously described in association with congenital cataract. Probable disease-causing variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing in available family members. All data were collected from January 2018 to June 2020, and the molecular-genetic analyses were performed from January 2019 to July 2020.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Identification of the underlying genetic causes of bilateral congenital cataract, including novel disease-causing variants and phenotype correlation.

Results

Among the 37 patients (18 [49%] male and 19 [51%] female; mean [SD] age, 17.3 [15.9] years) from 25 families, pathogenic variants were detected in 20 families (80% detection rate), which included 13 novel variants in the following genes: BCOR, COL4A1, CRYBA2, CRYBB2, CRYGC, CRYGS, GJA3, MAF, NHS, and WFS1. Putative disease-causing variants were identified in 14 of 20 families (70%) as isolated cases and in 6 of 20 families (30%) with syndromic cases. A recessive variant in the CRYBB2 gene in a consanguineous family with 2 affected siblings showing a nuclear and sutural cataract was reported in contrast to previously published reports. In addition, the effect on splicing in a minigene assay of a novel splice site variant in the NHS gene (c.[719-2A>G]) supported the pathogenicity of this variant.

Conclusions and Relevance

This study emphasizes the importance of genetic testing of congenital cataracts. Known dominant genes need to be considered for recessive inheritance patterns. Syndromic types of cataract may be underdiagnosed in patients with mild systemic features.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Ophthalmology Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Genetics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Molecular Genetics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 July 2021
Deposited On:25 May 2021 16:52
Last Modified:25 Apr 2024 01:37
Publisher:American Medical Association (AMA)
ISSN:2168-6165
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.0385
PubMed ID:34014271
Project Information:
  • : FunderIten-Kohaut-Foundation to the University Hospital Zurich Foundation.
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title