Mutations in TCF8 cause posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy and ectopic expression of COL4A3 by corneal endothelial cells.
ABSTRACT: Posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD, also known as PPMD) is a rare disease involving metaplasia and overgrowth of corneal endothelial cells. In patients with PPCD, these cells manifest in an epithelial morphology and gene expression pattern, produce an aberrant basement membrane, and, sometimes, spread over the iris and nearby structures in a way that increases the risk for glaucoma. We previously mapped PPCD to a region (PPCD3) on chromosome 10 containing the gene that encodes the two-handed zinc-finger homeodomain transcription factor TCF8. Here, we report a heterozygous frameshift mutation in TCF8 that segregates with PPCD in the family used to map PPCD3 and four different heterozygous nonsense and frameshift mutations in TCF8 in four other PPCD probands. Family reports of inguinal hernia, hydrocele, and possible bone anomalies in affected individuals suggest that individuals with TCF8 mutations should be examined for nonocular anomalies. We detect transcripts of all three identified PPCD genes (VSX1, COL8A2, and TCF8) in the cornea. We show presence of a complex (core plus secondary) binding site for TCF8 in the promoter of Alport syndrome gene COL4A3, which encodes collagen type IV alpha 3, and we present immunohistochemical evidence of ectopic expression of COL4A3 in corneal endothelium of the proband of the original PPCD3 family. Identification of TCF8 as the PPCD3 gene provides a valuable tool for the study of critical gene regulation events in PPCD pathology and suggests a possible role for TCF8 mutations in altered structure and function of cells lining body cavities other than the anterior chamber of the eye. Thus, this study has identified TCF8 as the gene responsible for approximately half of the cases of PPCD, has implicated TCF8 mutations in developmental abnormalities outside the eye, and has presented the TCF8 regulatory target, COL4A3, as a key, shared molecular component of two different diseases, PPCD and Alport syndrome.
Project description:The aim of this review was to provide an evidenced-based review of the genetic basis of the corneal endothelial dystrophies. A review of the English language peer-reviewed literature describing the molecular genetic basis of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD), congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED), Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and X-linked endothelial corneal dystrophy (XECD) was performed. Mutations in several genes have been implicated as playing a pathogenic role in the corneal endothelial dystrophies: VSX1 mutations in PPCD1; COL8A2 mutations in PPCD2 and FECD; ZEB1 mutations in PPCD3 and FECD; and SLC4A11 mutations in CHED2 and FECD. However, linkage, association and familial segregation analyses support a role of only one gene in each corneal endothelial dystrophy: ZEB1 in PPCD3, SLC4A11 in CHED2 and COL8A2 in FECD (early onset). In addition, insufficient evidence exists to consider the autosomal dominant form of CHED (CHED1) as distinct from PPCD. An accurate classification of the corneal endothelial dystrophies requires a critical review of the evidence to support the role of each suggested chromosomal locus, gene and genetic mutation associated with a corneal endothelial dystrophy. Only after the separation of evidence from opinion is performed can a critical examination of the molecular pathways that lead to endothelial dysfunction in each of these disorders be accurately performed.
Project description:PURPOSE:To determine how nonsense mutations in the transcription factor ZEB1 lead to the development of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy type 3 (PPCD3). METHODS:Whole-cell extracts were obtained from cultured human corneal epithelial cells (HCEpCs) as a source of ZEB1 protein. DNA-binding assays were performed using the whole-cell extract and oligonucleotide probes consisting of the two conserved E2-box motifs and surrounding nucleotides upstream of COL4A3. ZEB1 and COL4A3 mRNA expression in primary human corneal endothelial cells (HCEnCs) was assayed in both PPCD3 and control corneas by RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize ZEB1 and COL4A3 expression in normal human cornea. RESULTS:Electromobility shift assays (EMSAs) and competition EMSAs demonstrated binding of protein(s) in the cultured HCEpCs to the E2-box motifs in the probes. The supershift EMSA confirmed that ZEB1, demonstrated to be present in the whole-cell extracts, binds to both the proximal and distal E2-box motifs in the COL4A3 promoter region. Both COL4A3 and ZEB1 are expressed in normal HCEnCs, although in PPCD3, ZEB1 expression is decreased and COL4A3 expression is increased compared with levels of both genes in healthy control corneas. CONCLUSIONS:Inversely related HCEnC expression levels of ZEB1 and COL4A3 in PPCD3 indicate that ZEB1-mediated alterations in COL4A3 expression are most likely associated with the pathogenesis of this corneal endothelial dystrophy. However, the demonstration of COL4A3 expression in healthy adult primary HCEnCs suggests that PPCD3 is more likely to involve an alteration in the timing and/or degree of COL4A3 expression than to result from the dichotomous change implied by the previously proposed ectopic expression model.
Project description:To investigate the molecular basis of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD) by examining the PPCD transcriptome and the effect of decreased ZEB1 expression on corneal endothelial cell (CEnC) gene expression.Next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses of corneal endothelium from two PPCD-affected individuals (one with PPCD3 and one of unknown genetic cause) compared with two age-matched controls, and primary human CEnC (pHCEnC) transfected with siRNA-mediated ZEB1 knockdown. The expression of selected differentially expressed genes was validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and/or assessed by in situ hybridization in the corneal endothelium of four independent cases of PPCD (one with PPCD3 and three of unknown genetic cause).Expression of 16% and 46% of the 104 protein-coding genes specific to ex vivo corneal endothelium was lost in the endothelium of two individuals with PPCD. Thirty-two genes associated with ZEB1 and 3 genes (BMP4, CCND1, ZEB1) associated with OVOL2 were differentially expressed in the same direction in both individuals with PPCD. Immunohistochemistry staining and RNA-seq analyses demonstrated variable expression of type IV collagens in PPCD corneas. Decreasing ZEB1 expression in pHCEnC altered expression of 711 protein-coding genes, many of which are associated with canonical pathways regulating various cellular processes.Identification of the altered transcriptome in PPCD and in a cell-based model of PPCD provided insight into the molecular alterations characterizing PPCD. Further study of the differentially expressed genes associated with ZEB1 and OVOL2 is expected to identify candidate genes for individuals with PPCD and without a ZEB1 or OVOL2 mutation.
Project description:Fuchs corneal dystrophy (FCD) is a degenerative genetic disorder of the corneal endothelium that represents one of the most common causes of corneal transplantation in the United States. Despite its high prevalence (4% over the age of 40), the underlying genetic basis of FCD is largely unknown. Here we report missense mutations in TCF8, a transcription factor whose haploinsufficiency causes posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD), in a cohort of late-onset FCD patients. In contrast to PPCD-causing mutations, all of which are null, FCD-associated mutations encode rare missense changes suggested to cause loss of function by an in vivo complementation assay. Importantly, segregation of a recurring p.Q840P mutation in a large, multigenerational FCD pedigree showed this allele to be sufficient but not necessary for pathogenesis. Execution of a genome-wide scan conditioned for the presence of the 840P allele identified an additional late-onset FCD locus on chromosome 9p, whereas haplotype analysis indicated that the presence of the TCF8 allele and the disease haplotype on 9p leads to a severe FCD manifestation with poor prognosis. Our data suggest that PPCD and FCD are allelic variants of the same disease continuum and that genetic interaction between genes that cause corneal dystrophies can modulate the expressivity of the phenotype.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To identify the genetic basis of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD) in families mapped to the PPCD1 locus and in affected individuals without ZEB1 coding region mutations.<h4>Methods</h4>The promoter, 5' UTR, and coding regions of OVOL2 was screened in the PPCD family in which linkage analysis established the PPCD1 locus and in 26 PPCD probands who did not harbor a ZEB1 mutation. Copy number variation (CNV) analysis in the PPCD1 and PPCD3 intervals was performed on DNA samples from eight probands using aCGH. Luciferase reporter assays were performed in human corneal endothelial cells to determine the impact of the identified potentially pathogenic variants on OVOL2 promoter activity.<h4>Results</h4>OVOL2 mutation analysis in the first PPCD1-linked family demonstrated segregation of the c.-307T>C variant with the affected phenotype. In the other 26 probands screened, one heterozygous coding region variant and five promoter region heterozygous variants were identified, though none are likely pathogenic based on allele frequency. Array CGH in the PPCD1 and PPCD3 loci excluded the presence of CNV involving either OVOL2 or ZEB1, respectively. The c.-307T>C variant demonstrated increased promoter activity in corneal endothelial cells when compared to the wild-type sequence as has been demonstrated previously in another cell type.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Previously identified as the cause of PPCD1, the OVOL2 promoter variant c.-307T>C was herein identified in the original family that established the PPCD1 locus. However, the failure to identify presumed pathogenic coding or non-coding OVOL2 or ZEB1 variants, or CNV involving the PPCD1 and PPCD3 loci in 26 other PPCD probands suggests that other genetic loci may be involved in the pathogenesis of PPCD.
Project description:Posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by corneal endothelial abnormalities, which can lead to blindness due to loss of corneal transparency and sometimes glaucoma. We mapped a new locus responsible for PPCD in a family in which we excluded the previously reported PPCD locus on 20q11, and the region containing COL8A2 on chromosome 1. Results of a 317-marker genome scan provided significant evidence of linkage of PPCD to markers on chromosome 10, with single-point LOD scores of 2.63, 1.63, and 3.19 for markers D10S208 (at (circumflex)theta = 0.03), D10S1780 (at (circumflex)theta = 0.00), and D10S578 (at (circumflex)theta = 0.06). A maximum multi-point LOD score of 4.35 was found at marker D10S1780. Affected family members shared a haplotype in an 8.55 cM critical interval that was bounded by markers D10S213 and D10S578. Our finding of another PPCD locus, PPCD3, on chromosome 10 indicates that PPCD is genetically heterogeneous. Guttae, a common corneal finding sometimes observed along with PPCD, were found among both affected and unaffected members of the proband's sib ship, but were absent in the younger generations of the family. Evaluation of phenotypic differences between family members sharing the same affected haplotype raises questions about whether differences in disease severity, including differences in response to surgical interventions, could be due to genetic background or other factors independent of the PPCD3 locus.
Project description:We describe the search for mutations in six unrelated Czech and four unrelated British families with posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD); a relatively rare eye disorder. Coding exons and intron/exon boundaries of all three genes (VSX1, COL8A2, and ZEB1/TCF8) previously reported to be implicated in the pathogenesis of this disorder were screened by DNA sequencing. Four novel pathogenic mutations were identified in four families; two deletions, one nonsense, and one duplication within exon 7 in the ZEB1 gene located at 10p11.2. We also genotyped the Czech patients to test for a founder haplotype and lack of disease segregation with the 20p11.2 locus we previously described. Although a systematic clinical examination was not performed, our investigation does not support an association between ZEB1 changes and self reported non-ocular anomalies. In the remaining six families no disease causing mutations were identified thereby indicating that as yet unidentified gene(s) are likely to be responsible for PPCD.
Project description:A substantial proportion of patients with posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD) lack a molecular diagnosis. We evaluated 14 unrelated probands who had a clinical diagnosis of PPCD who were previously determined to be negative for mutations in ZEB1 by direct sequencing. A combination of techniques was used including whole-exome sequencing (WES), single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array copy number variation (CNV) analysis, quantitative real-time PCR, and long-range PCR. Segregation of potentially pathogenic changes with disease was confirmed, where possible, in family members. A putative run of homozygosity on chromosome 10 was identified by WES in a three-generation PPCD family, suggestive of a heterozygous deletion. SNP array genotyping followed by long-range PCR and direct sequencing to define the breakpoints confirmed the presence of a large deletion that encompassed multiple genes, including ZEB1. Identification of a heterozygous deletion spanning ZEB1 prompted us to further investigate potential CNVs at this locus in the remaining probands, leading to detection of two additional heterozygous ZEB1 gene deletions. This study demonstrates that ZEB1 mutations account for a larger proportion of PPCD than previously estimated, and supports the hypothesis that haploinsufficiency of ZEB1 is the underlying molecular mechanism of disease for PPCD3.
Project description:Name of the disease (synonyms) CUGC for posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD).OMIM# of the disease 122000; 609141; 618031.Name of the analysed genes or DNA/chromosome segments OVOL2 (PPCD1); ZEB1 (PPCD3); GRHL2 (PPCD4).OMIM# of the gene(s) 616441; 189909; 608576. Review of the analytical and clinical validity as well as of the clinical utility of DNA-based testing for variants in theOVOL2, ZEB1andGRHL2gene(s) in a diagnostic setting, predictive and parental settings and for risk assesment in relatives.
Project description:Purpose: To identify the genetic basis of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD) in families mapped to the PPCD1 locus and in affected individuals without ZEB1 coding region mutations. Methods: The promoter and/or coding regions of OVOL2 were screened in the PPCD family in which linkage analysis established the PPCD1 locus and in 26 PPCD probands who did not harbor a ZEB1 mutation. Copy number variation (CNV) analysis in the PPCD1 and PPCD3 intervals was performed on DNA samples from eight probands using aCGH. Luciferase reporter assays were performed in human corneal endothelial cells to determine the impact of the identified potentially pathogenic variants on OVOL2 promoter activity. Results: OVOL2 screening in the first PPCD1-linked family demonstrated segregation of the c.-307T>C variant with the affected phenotype. In the other 26 probands screened, one heterozygous coding region variant and five promoter region heterozygous variants were identified, though none are likely pathogenic based on allele frequency. Array CGH in the PPCD1 and PPCD3 loci excluded the presence of CNV involving either OVOL2 or ZEB1, respectively. The c.-307T>C variant demonstrated increased promoter activity when compared to the wild-type sequence. Conclusions: The previously identified and presumed pathogenic OVOL2 promoter variant c.-307T>C was identified in the PPCD family that established the PPCD1 locus. However, the failure to identify presumed pathogenic coding or non-coding OVOL2 or ZEB1 variants, or CNV involving the PPCD1 and PPCD3 loci in 26 other PPCD probands suggests that other genetic loci may be involved in the pathogenesis of PPCD. Overall design: Eight PPCD probands without a ZEB1 protein-coding region pathogenic variant were analyzed for copy number variation within the PPCD1 (chromosome 20) and the PPCD3 (chromosome 10) loci.