Analysis of conjunctival fibroblasts from a proband with Schnyder corneal dystrophy.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To analyze for the presence of lipids in conjunctival fibroblasts of a patient with Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD). METHODS: A proband with SCD was identified, and the pedigree was examined. The proband underwent an automated lamellar therapeutic keratoplasty (ALTK). At the same time, the proband underwent a skin and conjunctival biopsy. Specimens were sent for histological and ultrastructural examination. Conjunctival fibroblasts were cultured from the biopsy specimen and stained with filipin. RESULTS: The proband showed no evidence of recurrence following the ALTK procedure. Histopathological examination showed no evidence of hydrophobic lipids in the conjunctival or dermal fibroblasts. Lipid particles were detected in the cornea. Ultrastructural examination showed no lipid particles in the conjunctival fibroblasts. Cultured fibroblasts showed no evidence of intracellular unesterified cholesterol unless low density lipoprotein (LDL) was added to the culture medium. CONCLUSIONS: There was no evidence of lipid deposition in conjunctival or skin fibroblasts in our patient with SCD. The evidence suggests local factors are responsible for the lipid deposition in the cornea.
Project description:Purpose. To report the identification of the first de novo UBIAD1 missense mutation in an individual with Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD). Methods. A slit lamp examination was performed on a 47-year-old woman without a family history of corneal disorders. The proband's parents, two sisters, and son were also examined and genomic DNA from all six individuals was collected. The exons and exon-intron boundaries of UBIAD1 were screened using Sanger sequencing. Identified mutations were screened for in 200 control chromosomes. In silico analysis predicted the impact of identified mutations on protein function and structure. Results. Slit lamp examination of the proband revealed findings consistent with SCD. Corneas of the family members appeared unaffected. Screening of UBIAD1 in the proband identified a novel heterozygous c.308C>T mutation, predicted to encode the missense amino acid substitution p.(Thr103Ile). This mutation was not identified in any of the family members or in 200 control chromosomes and was predicted to be damaging to normal protein function and structure. Conclusions. We present a novel heterozygous de novo missense mutation in UBIAD1, p.(Thr103Ile), identified in a patient with classic clinical features of SCD. This highlights the value of genetic testing in clinical diagnostic settings, even in the absence of a positive family history.
Project description:PURPOSE:Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD) is a rare inherited disease that leads to gradual vision loss by the deposition of lipids in the corneal stroma. The aim of this study is to report a novel pathogenic variant in the UBIAD1 gene and present clinical and molecular findings in Polish patients with SCD. METHODS:Individuals (n?=?37) originating from four Polish SCD families were subjected for a complete ophthalmological check-up and genetic testing. Corneal changes were visualized by slit-lamp examination, anterior segment optical coherent tomography (AS-OCT), and in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). RESULTS:In a proband with primarily mild SCD that progressed rapidly at the end of the fifth decade of life, a novel missense pathogenic variant in UBIAD1 (p.Thr120Arg) was identified. The other studied SCD family represents the second family reported worldwide with the UBIAD1 p.Asp112Asn variant. SCD in the remaining two families resulted from a frequently identified p.Asn102Ser pathogenic variant. All affected subjects presented a crystalline form of SCD. The severity of corneal changes was age-dependent, and their morphology and localization are described in detail. CONCLUSION:The novel p.Thr120Arg is the fourth SCD-causing variant lying within the FARM motif of the UBIAD1 protein, which underlines a high importance of this motif for SCD pathogenesis. The current study provides independent evidence for the pathogenic potential of UBIAD1 p.Asp112Asn and new information useful for clinicians.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mutations in a novel gene, UBIAD1, were recently found to cause the autosomal dominant eye disease Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD). SCD is characterized by an abnormal deposition of cholesterol and phospholipids in the cornea resulting in progressive corneal opacification and visual loss. We characterized lesions in the UBIAD1 gene in new SCD families and examined protein homology, localization, and structure. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We characterized five novel mutations in the UBIAD1 gene in ten SCD families, including a first SCD family of Native American ethnicity. Examination of protein homology revealed that SCD altered amino acids which were highly conserved across species. Cell lines were established from patients including keratocytes obtained after corneal transplant surgery and lymphoblastoid cell lines from Epstein-Barr virus immortalized peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These were used to determine the subcellular localization of mutant and wild type protein, and to examine cholesterol metabolite ratios. Immunohistochemistry using antibodies specific for UBIAD1 protein in keratocytes revealed that both wild type and N102S protein were localized sub-cellularly to mitochondria. Analysis of cholesterol metabolites in patient cell line extracts showed no significant alteration in the presence of mutant protein indicating a potentially novel function of the UBIAD1 protein in cholesterol biochemistry. Molecular modeling was used to develop a model of human UBIAD1 protein in a membrane and revealed potentially critical roles for amino acids mutated in SCD. Potential primary and secondary substrate binding sites were identified and docking simulations indicated likely substrates including prenyl and phenolic molecules. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Accumulating evidence from the SCD familial mutation spectrum, protein homology across species, and molecular modeling suggest that protein function is likely down-regulated by SCD mutations. Mitochondrial UBIAD1 protein appears to have a highly conserved function that, at least in humans, is involved in cholesterol metabolism in a novel manner.
Project description:Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD) is a rare autosomal dominant disease in humans, characterized by abnormal deposition of cholesterol and phospholipids in cornea caused by mutations in the UbiA prenyltransferase domain containing 1 (UBIAD1) gene. In this study, we generated a mouse line carrying Ubiad1 N100S point mutation using the CRISPR/Cas9 technique to investigate the pathogenesis of SCD. In vivo confocal microscopy revealed hyper-reflective dot-like deposits in the anterior cornea in heterozygotes and homozygotes. No significant change was found in corneal epithelial barrier function or wound healing. Electron microscopy revealed abnormal mitochondrial morphology in corneal epithelial, stromal, and endothelial cells. Mitochondrial DNA copy number assay showed 1.27?±?0.07 fold change in homozygotes versus 0.98?±?0.05 variation in wild type mice (P?<?0.05). Lipidomic analysis indicated abnormal metabolism of glycerophosphoglycerols, a lipid class found in mitochondria. Four (34:1, 34:2, 36:2, and 44:8) of the 11 glycerophosphoglycerols species identified by mass spectrometry showed a significant increase in homozygous corneas compared with heterozygous and wild-type mouse corneas. Unexpectedly, we did not find a difference in the corneal cholesterol level between different genotypes by filipin staining or lipidomic analysis. The Ubiad1N100S mouse provides a promising animal model of SCD revealing that mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent component of the disease. The different phenotype in human and mouse may due to difference in cholesterol metabolism between species.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to identify the genetic cause and describe the clinical phenotype of Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD) in six unrelated probands.We identified two white Czech, two white British and two South Asian families with a clinical diagnosis of SCD. Ophthalmic assessment included spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) of one individual with advanced disease, and SD-OCT and confocal microscopy of a child with early stages of disease. UBIAD1 coding exons were amplified and Sanger sequenced in each proband. A fasting serum lipid profile was measured in three probands. Paternity testing was performed in one family.A novel heterozygous c.527G>A; p.(Gly176Glu) mutation in UBIAD1 was identified in one Czech proband. In the second Czech proband, aged 6 years when first examined, a previously described de novo heterozygous c.289G>A; p.(Ala97Thr) mutation was found. Two probands of South Asian descent carried a known c.305G>A; p.(Asn102Ser) mutation in the heterozygous state. Previously reported heterozygous c.361C>T; p.(Leu121Phe) and c.308C>T; p.(Thr103Ile) mutations were found in two white British families. Although crystalline deposits were present in all probands the affected area was small in some individuals. Corneal arcus and stromal haze were the most prominent phenotypical feature in two probands. In the Czech probands, SD-OCT confirmed accumulation of reflective material in the anterior stroma. Crystalline deposits were visualized by confocal microscopy. Mild dyslipidemia was found in all three individuals tested.Although de novo occurrence of mutations in UBIAD1 is extremely rare, SCD should be considered in the differential diagnosis of bilateral corneal haze and/or crystal deposition, especially in children.
Project description:Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD) is a rare genetic eye disease characterized by corneal opacification resulted from deposition of excess free cholesterol. UbiA prenyltransferase domain-containing protein-1 (UBIAD1) is an enzyme catalyzing biosynthesis of coenzyme Q10 and vitamin K2. More than 20 UBIAD1 mutations have been found to associate with human SCD. How these mutants contribute to SCD development is not fully understood. Here, we identified HMGCR as a binding partner of UBIAD1 using mass spectrometry. In contrast to the Golgi localization of wild-type UBIAD1, SCD-associated mutants mainly resided in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and competed with Insig-1 for HMGCR binding, thereby preventing HMGCR from degradation and increasing cholesterol biosynthesis. The heterozygous Ubiad1 G184R knock-in (Ubiad1G184R/+) mice expressed elevated levels of HMGCR protein in various tissues. The aged Ubiad1G184R/+ mice exhibited corneal opacification and free cholesterol accumulation, phenocopying clinical manifestations of SCD patients. In summary, these results demonstrate that SCD-associated mutations of UBIAD1 impair its ER-to-Golgi transportation and enhance its interaction with HMGCR. The stabilization of HMGCR by UBIAD1 increases cholesterol biosynthesis and eventually causes cholesterol accumulation in the cornea.
Project description:PURPOSE: To identify the molecular defect in the UbiA prenyltransferase domain containing 1 (UBIAD1) gene in a four-generation Chinese family with Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD). METHODS: A four-generation Chinese family with SCD and 50 unrelated normal individuals as controls were enrolled in. The complete ophthalmic examination was performed and blood samples were taken for subsequent genetic analysis. Mutation screening of UBIAD1 was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based DNA sequencing. RESULTS: The missense mutation N102S in UBIAD1 was identified in this pedigree from the mainland of China for the first time. The molecular defect cosegregates with the affected individuals, whereas not found in unaffected family members or normal controls. CONCLUSIONS: The nonsynonymous mutation, N102S, in UBIAD1 detected in this family confirms that it is a mutation hot spot not only in Caucasian but also in Chinese. This finding adds support to the proposal that N102S has been independently mutated and argues against the likelihood of a founder effect.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To evaluate the expression patterns of cytokeratin (K) 12, 13, and 19 in normal epithelium of the human ocular surface to determine whether K13 could be used as a marker for conjunctival epithelium.<h4>Methods</h4>Total RNA was isolated from the human conjunctiva and central cornea. Those transcripts that had threefolds or higher expression levels in the conjunctiva than the cornea were identified using microarray technique. Expression levels of three known signature genes and of two conjunctival genes, K13 and K19 were confirmed by using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Protein expression of K12, K13, and K19 was confirmed by immunostaining with specific antibodies on histologic sections of human sclerocornea that contained the conjunctiva, limbus, and cornea and on impression cytology (IC) specimens of the cornea and conjunctiva from normal donors. Double staining of K13/K12 and K19/K12 on histologic sections and IC specimens was performed.<h4>Results</h4>There were 337 transcripts that were preferentially expressed in the conjunctiva. K13 and K19 were among the top twenty transcripts in the conjunctiva and this preferential expression pattern of K13 and K19 was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Immunohistochemical studies showed that K13 was expressed at the posterior limbal epithelium and conjunctival epithelium but was totally absent in the cornea. K12 was expressed in the corneal and anterior limbal epithelia except for the basal layer and was absent from the conjunctiva. In contrast, K19 was detected in the corneal, limbal and conjunctival epithelia. Immunostaining of the IC specimens showed K12(+) epithelial cells in the corneal region, K13(+) cells in the conjunctival area, and K19(+) cells in the corneal and conjunctival specimens. Expression of K13 and K12 on the ocular surface was mutually exclusive on both the histologic and IC samples using double immunostaining.<h4>Conclusions</h4>K13 is more specific to the conjunctival epithelial cells than K19 and potentially could be used as a marker to identify conjunctival epithelial cells in limbal stem cell deficiency.
Project description:To describe the in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) appearances of the tarsal conjunctiva in trachoma compared with the appearance of healthy conjunctiva and to develop grading systems for IVCM examination of the tarsal conjunctiva for use in future studies on trachoma and other conjunctival diseases.Prospective observational study.In vivo confocal microscopy examination was performed on 302 clinically normal adults, 16 clinically normal children, 750 adults with trachomatous conjunctival scarring, and 25 children with active trachoma.Clinical evaluation was performed with ×2.5 loupes, and IVCM examination of the upper tarsal conjunctiva was carried out with a Heidelberg Retina Tomograph 3 with the Rostock Cornea Module (Heidelberg Engineering GmbH, Dossenheim, Germany).In vivo confocal microscopy images were analyzed for cellular and tissue changes associated with trachomatous inflammation and scarring compared with healthy subjects.Trachomatous subjects with follicular and papillary inflammation had an increased inflammatory cellular infiltrate, including dendritiform cells, discrete follicular and papillary structures, and cystic lacunae suggestive of tissue edema. Trachomatous conjunctival scarring was seen with IVCM as organization of the subepithelial connective tissue into bands/sheets. Grading systems for inflammatory changes and scarring were developed, with the system for scarring showing good interobserver agreement with an intraclass coefficient of 0.88.In vivo confocal microscopy provides a powerful tool for examining the ocular surface. Numerous cellular and tissue changes were observed in subjects with trachoma, the first time IVCM has been applied to this disease. These changes both complement and add to previous histologic analyses. In vivo confocal microscopy promises to provide new insights into the pathogenesis of trachoma and other conjunctival diseases.
Project description:In this study, we report the metabolic consequences of the m.1630 A?>?G variant in fibroblasts from the symptomatic proband affected with the mitochondrial encephalomyopathy lactic acidosis and stroke-like episode Syndrome and her asymptomatic mother. By long-range PCR followed by massively parallel sequencing of the mitochondrial genome, we accurately measured heteroplasmy in fibroblasts from the proband (89.6%) and her mother (94.8%). Using complementary experimental approaches, we show a functional correlation between manifestation of clinical symptoms and bioenergetic potential. Our mitochondrial morphometric analysis reveals a link between defects of mitochondrial cristae ultrastructure and symptomatic status. Despite near-homoplasmic level of the m.1630A?>?G variant, the mother's fibroblasts have a normal OXPHOS metabolism, which stands in contrast to the severely impaired OXPHOS response of the proband's fibroblasts. The proband's fibroblasts also exhibit glycolysis at near constitutive levels resulting in a stunted compensatory glycolytic response to offset the severe OXPHOS defect. Whole exome sequencing reveals the presence of a heterozygous nonsense VARS2 variant (p.R334X) exclusively in the proband, which removes two thirds of the VARS2 protein containing key domains interacting with the mt-tRNAval and may play a role in modulating the penetrance of the m.1630A?>?G variant despite similar near homoplasmic levels. Our transmission electron microscopy study also shows unexpected ultrastructural changes of chromatin suggestive of differential epigenomic regulation between the proband and her mother that may explain the differential OXPHOS response between the proband and her mother. Future study will decipher by which molecular mechanisms the nuclear background influences the penetrance of the m.1630 A?>?G variant causing MELAS.