Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics

Genomic analysis of pediatric cataract in Saudi Arabia reveals novel candidate disease genes.

PMID 22935719


Pediatric cataract is an important preventable blinding disease. Previous studies have estimated 10-25% of cases to be genetic in etiology. In an effort to characterize the genetics of cataract in our population, we have conducted a comprehensive clinical and genomic analysis (including autozygome and exome analysis) on a series of 38 index patients. Pediatric cataract is genetic in at least 79% of the study families. Although crystallins accounted for most of the mutant alleles, mutations in other genes were encountered, including recessive mutations in genes that usually cause the disease in a dominant manner. In addition, several novel candidate genes (MFSD6L, AKR1E2, RNLS, and CYP51A1) were identified. Pediatric cataract is typically a genetic disease, usually autosomal recessive, in Saudi Arabia. Although defining a specific cataract phenotype can sometimes predict the genetic cause, genomic analysis is often required to unravel the causative mutation given the marked genetic heterogeneity. The identified novel candidate genes require independent confirmation in future studies.