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Xue Chen, Xiaoguang Wang, Chao Jiang, Min Xu, Yang Liu, Rui Qi, Xiaolong Qi, Xiantao Sun, Ping Xie, Qinghuai Liu, Biao Yan, Xunlun Sheng, Chen Zhao; IFT52 as a Novel Candidate for Ciliopathies Involving Retinal Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(11):4581-4589. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23351.
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Mutations in the intraflagellar transport protein 52 homolog (IFT52) gene are reported to interrupt ciliary function and cause short-rib thoracic dysplasia (SRTD), a specific form of skeletal ciliopathy. However, the roles of these mutations in retinal ciliopathy are inexplicit. We herein aim to study the impact of IFT52 mutations in retinopathies.
A patient with syndromic ciliopathy, presenting mild SRTD (skeletal ciliopathy) and Liber congenital amaurosis (LCA; retinal ciliopathy), and nine unaffected family members were recruited. Comprehensive systemic evaluations, including ophthalmic tests, were received by the patient. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was applied for genetic annotation. An in vitro cell system was employed to study the pathogenicity of the variant.
WGS identified a homozygous missense variation in IFT52, c.556A>G (p.T186A), carried by the patient but absent in both unaffected siblings. In silico analysis supported the pathogenic nature of this highly conserved variant. Structural analysis suggested that this substitution could generate a novel hydrogen bond between the mutated residue 186 and proline at residue 192, thus potentially interrupting the tertiary structure and the stability of the IFT52 protein. In vitro cellular study indicated that this mutation might disturb the stability of encoded IFT52 protein and dramatically disrupt cilia elongation in hTERT-RPE1 cells in a loss-of-function manner.
This report expands ocular phenotypes of IFT52 mutation-caused ciliopathy to include retinal ciliopathy and demonstrates its deleterious nature in interrupting primary ciliary function. Our study hence highlights the need for screening for IFT52 mutations in LCA patients and ophthalmic reviews of patients carrying IFT52 mutations.
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