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CNGA3 mutations in two United Arab Emirates families with achromatopsia

1 , 2 , , 1

Molecular Vision

Molecular Vision

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      PurposeAchromatopsia results from mutations in one of three genes: cyclic nucleotide-gated channel, alpha-3 (CNGA3); cyclic nucleotide-gated channel, beta-3 (CNGB3); and guanine nucleotide-binding protein, alpha-transducing activity polypeptide 2 (GNAT2). We report the responsible mutations in two United Arab Emirates families who have this autosomal recessive disease.MethodsClinical examinations were performed in seven patients from three nuclear families. Molecular genetic testing for common CNGA3 and CNGB3 mutations was undertaken using standard protocols.ResultsAll patients were extremely light sensitive and had reduced visual acuity and no color perception. Fundus examinations did not show any visible abnormalities. After further pedigree analysis, two of the families were found to be linked through the paternal line. Two mutations in CNGA3 were identified: Arg283Trp and Gly397Val. Family A, the larger pedigree, had one branch in which two sisters and one brother were homozygous for the Gly397Val mutation and another branch in which a brother and sister were compound heterozygous for both aforenamed mutations. Family B, however, only had two brothers who were homozygous for the Arg283Trp mutation.ConclusionsAchromatopsia in these two United Arab Emirates families results from two different mutations in CNGA3. Two branches of the same pedigree had individuals with both homozygous and compound heterozygous disease, demonstrating a complex molecular pathology in this large family.

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      Total colourblindness is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the alpha-subunit of the cone photoreceptor cGMP-gated cation channel.

      Total colourblindness (OMIM 216900), also referred to as rod monochromacy (RM) or complete achromatopsia, is a rare, autosomal recessive inherited and congenital disorder characterized by photophobia, reduced visual acuity, nystagmus and the complete inability to discriminate between colours. Electroretinographic recordings show that in RM, rod photoreceptor function is normal, whereas cone photoreceptor responses are absent. The locus for RM has been mapped to chromosome 2q11 (ref. 2), however the gene underlying RM has not yet been identified. Recently, a suitable candidate gene, CNGA3, encoding the alpha-subunit of the cone photoreceptor cGMP-gated cation channel, a key component of the phototransduction pathway, has been cloned and assigned to human chromosome 2q11 (refs 3,4). We report the identification of missense mutations in CNGA3 in five families with RM. Homozygous mutations are present in two families, whereas the remaining families show compound heterozygous mutations. In all cases, the segregation pattern of the mutations is consistent with the autosomal recessive inheritance of the disease and all mutations affect amino acids that are highly conserved among cyclic nucleotide gated channels (CNG) in various species. This is the first report of a colour vision disorder caused by defects other than mutations in the cone pigment genes, and implies at least in this instance a common genetic basis for phototransduction in the three different cone photoreceptors of the human retina.
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        Genetic disorders in the Arab world.

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          CNGB3 mutations account for 50% of all cases with autosomal recessive achromatopsia.

          Achromatopsia is a congenital, autosomal recessively inherited disorder characterized by a lack of color discrimination, low visual acuity (<0.2), photophobia, and nystagmus. Mutations in the genes for CNGA3, CNGB3, and GNAT2 have been associated with this disorder. Here, we analyzed the spectrum and prevalence of CNGB3 gene mutations in a cohort of 341 independent patients with achromatopsia. In 163 patients, CNGB3 mutations could be identified. A total of 105 achromats carried apparent homozygous mutations, 44 were compound (double) heterozygotes, and 14 patients had only a single mutant allele. The derived CNGB3 mutation spectrum comprises 28 different mutations including 12 nonsense mutations, eight insertions and/or deletions, five putative splice site mutations, and three missense mutations. Thus, the majority of mutations in the CNGB3 gene result in significantly altered and/or truncated polypeptides. Several mutations were found recurrently, in particular a 1 bp deletion, c.1148delC, which accounts for over 70% of all CNGB3 mutant alleles. In conclusion, mutations in the CNGB3 gene are responsible for approximately 50% of all patients with achromatopsia. This indicates that the CNGB3/ACHM3 locus on chromosome 8q21 is the major locus for achromatopsia in patients of European origin or descent.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Center for Genetic Eye Diseases, Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
            [2 ]Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Germany
            Author notes
            Correspondence to: Dr. Elias I. Traboulsi, Department of Ophthalmic Research, Cole Eye Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, i32, Cleveland, OH 44195; Phone: (216) 444-4363; FAX: (216) 445-2226; email:
            Mol Vis
            Molecular Vision
            Molecular Vision
            10 July 2008
            : 14
            : 1293-1297
            154 2007MOLVIS383

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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