Defects in the Cell Signaling Mediator β-Catenin Cause the Retinal Vascular Condition FEVR.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Jun;100(6):960-968

Section of Ophthalmology & Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK. Electronic address:

Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) is an inherited blinding disorder characterized by the abnormal development of the retinal vasculature. The majority of mutations identified in FEVR are found within four genes that encode the receptor complex (FZD4, LRP5, and TSPAN12) and ligand (NDP) of a molecular pathway that controls angiogenesis, the Norrin-β-catenin signaling pathway. However, half of all FEVR-affected case subjects do not harbor mutations in these genes, indicating that further mutated genes remain to be identified. Here we report the identification of mutations in CTNNB1, the gene encoding β-catenin, as a cause of FEVR. We describe heterozygous mutations (c.2142_2157dup [p.His720] and c.2128C>T [p.Arg710Cys]) in two dominant FEVR-affected families and a de novo mutation (c.1434_1435insC [p.Glu479Argfs18]) in a simplex case subject. Previous studies have reported heterozygous de novo CTNNB1 mutations as a cause of syndromic intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder, and somatic mutations are linked to many cancers. However, in this study we show that Mendelian inherited CTNNB1 mutations can cause non-syndromic FEVR and that FEVR can be a part of the syndromic ID phenotype, further establishing the role that β-catenin signaling plays in the development of the retinal vasculature.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.05.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473728PMC
June 2017
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