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      Congenital Hereditary Endothelial Dystrophy Caused by SLC4A11 Mutations Progresses to Harboyan Syndrome

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          Homozygous mutations in SLC4A11 cause 2 rare recessive conditions: congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED), affecting the cornea alone, and Harboyan syndrome consisting of corneal dystrophy and sensorineural hearing loss. In addition, adult-onset Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is associated with dominant mutations in SLC4A11. In this report, we investigate whether patients with CHED go on to develop hearing loss and whether their parents, who are carriers of an SLC4A11 mutation, show signs of having FECD.


          Patients with CHED were screened for mutations in the SLC4A11 gene and underwent audiometric testing. The patients and their parents underwent a clinical examination and specular microscopy.


          Molecular analyses confirmed SLC4A11 mutations in 4 affected individuals from 3 families. All the patients were found to have varying degrees of sensorineural hearing loss at a higher frequency range. Guttate lesions were seen in 2 of the 4 parents who were available for examination.


          Our observations suggest that CHED caused by homozygous SLC4A11 mutations progresses to Harboyan syndrome, but the severity of this may vary considerably. Patients with CHED should therefore be monitored for progressive hearing loss. We could not determine conclusively whether the parents of the patients with CHED were at increased risk of developing late-onset FECD.

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          Corneal dystrophies

          The term corneal dystrophy embraces a heterogenous group of bilateral genetically determined non-inflammatory corneal diseases that are restricted to the cornea. The designation is imprecise but remains in vogue because of its clinical value. Clinically, the corneal dystrophies can be divided into three groups based on the sole or predominant anatomical location of the abnormalities. Some affect primarily the corneal epithelium and its basement membrane or Bowman layer and the superficial corneal stroma (anterior corneal dystrophies), the corneal stroma (stromal corneal dystrophies), or Descemet membrane and the corneal endothelium (posterior corneal dystrophies). Most corneal dystrophies have no systemic manifestations and present with variable shaped corneal opacities in a clear or cloudy cornea and they affect visual acuity to different degrees. Corneal dystrophies may have a simple autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked recessive Mendelian mode of inheritance. Different corneal dystrophies are caused by mutations in the CHST6, KRT3, KRT12, PIP5K3, SLC4A11, TACSTD2, TGFBI, and UBIAD1 genes. Knowledge about the responsible genetic mutations responsible for these disorders has led to a better understanding of their basic defect and to molecular tests for their precise diagnosis. Genes for other corneal dystrophies have been mapped to specific chromosomal loci, but have not yet been identified. As clinical manifestations widely vary with the different entities, corneal dystrophies should be suspected when corneal transparency is lost or corneal opacities occur spontaneously, particularly in both corneas, and especially in the presence of a positive family history or in the offspring of consanguineous parents. Main differential diagnoses include various causes of monoclonal gammopathy, lecithin-cholesterol-acyltransferase deficiency, Fabry disease, cystinosis, tyrosine transaminase deficiency, systemic lysosomal storage diseases (mucopolysaccharidoses, lipidoses, mucolipidoses), and several skin diseases (X-linked ichthyosis, keratosis follicularis spinolosa decalvans). The management of the corneal dystrophies varies with the specific disease. Some are treated medically or with methods that excise or ablate the abnormal corneal tissue, such as deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty (DLEK) and phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK). Other less debilitating or asymptomatic dystrophies do not warrant treatment. The prognosis varies from minimal effect on the vision to corneal blindness, with marked phenotypic variability.
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            SLC4A11 mutations in Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy.

            The endothelial (posterior) corneal dystrophies, which result from primary endothelial dysfunction, include Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD) and congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED). Mutations in SLC4A11 gene have been recently identified in patients with recessive CHED (CHED2). In this study, we show that heterozygous mutations in the SLC4A11 gene also cause late-onset FECD. Four heterozygous mutations [three missense mutations (E399K, G709E and T754M) and one deletion mutation (c.99-100delTC)] absent in ethnically matched controls were identified in a screen of 89 FECD patients. Missense mutations involved amino acid residues showing high interspecies conservation, indicating that mutations at these sites would be deleterious. Accordingly, immunoblot analysis, biochemical assay of cell surface localization and confocal immunolocalization showed that missense proteins encoded by the mutants were defective in localization to the cell surface. Our data suggests that SLC4A11 haploinsufficiency and gradual accumulation of the aberrant misfolded protein may play a role in FECD pathology and that reduced levels of SLC4A11 influence the long-term viability of the neural crest derived corneal endothelial cells.
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              Mutations in sodium-borate cotransporter SLC4A11 cause recessive congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED2).

              Congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) is a heritable, bilateral corneal dystrophy characterized by corneal opacification and nystagmus. We describe seven different mutations in the SLC4A11 gene in ten families with autosomal recessive CHED. Mutations in SLC4A11, which encodes a membrane-bound sodium-borate cotransporter, cause loss of function of the protein either by blocking its membrane targeting or nonsense-mediated decay.

                Author and article information

                17 December 2013
                March 2014
                : 33
                : 3
                : 247-251
                [* ]Section of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom;
                []Department of Ophthalmology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom;
                []Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico;
                [§ ]Department of Genetics, Institute of Ophthalmology “Conde de Valenciana,” Mexico City, Mexico; and
                []Department of Ophthalmology, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford, United Kingdom.
                Author notes
                Reprints: Manir Ali, Section of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Wellcome Trust Brenner Building, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, United Kingdom (e-mail: medma@ ).
                CORNEA-D-13-00456 00007
                Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

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