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Mol Vis. 2011;17:3078-87. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Ocular phenotypes associated with biallelic mutations in BEST1 in Italian patients.

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Department of Specialized Surgical Sciences, Eye Clinic, University of Florence, Italy.



To report on the phenotype and the genotype of Italian patients carrying BEST1 mutations on both alleles.


Five Italian patients from four independent pedigrees with retinal dystrophy associated with biallelic BEST1 variants were recruited from different parts of Italy. Molecular genetic analysis of the BEST1 gene was performed with direct sequencing techniques. All the subjects included in the study were clinically evaluated with a standard ophthalmologic examination, fundus photography, optical coherence tomography scan, and electrophysiological investigations.


Six BEST1 variants were identified. Three, c.1699del (p.Glu557AsnfsX52), c.625delAAC (p.Asn179del), and c.139C>T (p.Arg47Cys), were novel, and three had already been reported in the literature, c.301C>A(p.Pro101Thr), c.934G>A (p.Asp312Asn), and c.638A>G (p.Glu213Gly). Four were missense mutations, and two were deletions. Only one BEST1 mutation was located within one of the four mutational clusters described in typical autosomal dominant Best vitelliform macular dystrophy (BVMD). Four patients showed a BVMD phenotype while one patient presented a clinical picture consistent with autosomal recessive bestrophinopathy (ARB).


Biallelic BEST1 sequence variants can be associated with at least two different phenotypes: BVMD and ARB. The phenotypic result of the molecular changes probably depends on the characteristics and the combination of the different BEST1 mutations, but unknown modifying factors such as other genes or the environment may also play a role.

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