Human genetics

Use of genome-wide SNP homozygosity mapping in small pedigrees to identify new mutations in VSX2 causing recessive microphthalmia and a semidominant inner retinal dystrophy.

PMID 20414678


Mutations in the visual system homeobox 2 gene (VSX2, also known as CHX10), which encodes a retinal transcription factor from the paired homeobox family, have been implicated in recessive isolated microphthalmia. In this study, we use genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism homozygosity mapping in unrelated small consanguineous pedigrees and a candidate gene approach to identify three further causative VSX2 mutations (two novel and one previously reported). All affected individuals with homozygous mutations had bilateral anophthalmia or severe microphthalmia with absent vision. In addition, we identified a novel inner retinal dystrophy in two carrier parents suggesting a semidominant effect for this particular VSX2 mutation. A further study of individuals with retinal degenerative conditions may reveal a causative role for heterozygous mutations in VSX2.