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Am J Hum Genet. 1995 Sep;57(3):539-48.

Mutation of the PAX6 gene in patients with autosomal dominant keratitis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Autosomal dominant keratitis (ADK) is an eye disorder chiefly characterized by corneal opacification and vascularization and by foveal hypoplasia. Aniridia (shown recently to result from mutations in the PAX6 gene) has overlapping clinical findings and a similar pattern of inheritance with ADK. On the basis of these similarities, we used a candidate-gene approach to investigate whether mutations in the PAX6 gene also result in ADK. Significant linkage was found between two polymorphic loci in the PAX6 region and ADK in a family with 15 affected members in four generations (peak LOD score = 4.45; theta = .00 with D11S914), consistent with PAX6 mutations being responsible for ADK. SSCP analysis and direct sequencing revealed a mutation in the PAX6 exon 11 splice-acceptor site. The predicted consequent incorrect splicing results in truncation of the PAX6 proline-serine-threonine activation domain. The SeyNeu mouse results from a mutation in the Pax-6 exon 10 splice-donor site that produces a PAX6 protein truncated from the same point as occurs in our family with ADK. Therefore, the SeyNeu mouse is an excellent animal model of ADK. The finding that mutations in PAX6 underlie ADK, along with a recent report that mutations in PAX6 also underlie Peters anomaly, implicates PAX6 broadly in human anterior segment malformations.

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