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Mol Vis. 2008 Mar 4;14:418-24.

A novel connexin 50 (GJA8) mutation in a Chinese family with a dominant congenital pulverulent nuclear cataract.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan, China.



To identify the genetic cause responsible for the autosomal dominant hereditary cataract in a Chinese family.


A whole family of a proband who has a dominant congenital pulverulent nuclear cataract was recruited into Zhongnan Hospital. The lenses of patients were observed by a slit-lamp microscope, and the lenses of the proband's mother were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. Mutation screening was performed in the cataract candidate genes coding for crystallins and connexin 50 by sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products amplified from blood leukocyte DNA samples of eight family members. The identified mutation was then investigated in other participated family members, 200 normal controls, and 40 senile cataract patients by the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method.


The structure of the lens opacities of the proband's mother is puffy, and the fibers are tangled under a scanning electron microscope. A novel C>T transition at nucleotide position 827 was determined in the connexin 50 (GJA8) gene. This mutation led to a serine (S) to phenylalanine (F) amino acid substitution in amino acid position 276 where the secondary structure prediction suggested a helix replaced by a sheet. And the mutation was neither found in the 200 controls nor in the 40 senile cataract patients.


A novel GJA8 gene mutation was found to be associated with hereditary cataract in a Chinese congenital cataract family.

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