Nine affected individuals with isolated anophthalmia/microphthalmia from a large Muslim-inbred kindred were investigated. Assuming autosomal-recessive mode of inheritance, whole-genome linkage analysis, on DNA samples from four affected individuals, was undertaken. Homozygosity mapping techniques were employed and a 1.5-Mbp region, homozygous in all affected individuals, was delineated. The region contained nine genes, one of which, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1A3), was a clear candidate. This gene seems to encode a key enzyme in the formation of a retinoic-acid gradient along the dorsoventral axis during an early eye development and the development of the olfactory system. Sanger sequence analysis revealed a missense mutation, causing a substitution of valine (Val) to methionine (Met) at position 71. Analyzing the p.Val71Met missense mutation using standard open access software (MutationTaster online, PolyPhen, SIFT/PROVEAN) predicts this variant to be damaging. Enzymatic activity, studied in vitro, showed no changes between the mutated and the wild-type ALDH1A3 protein. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
- ALDH1A3 gene
- homozogosity mapping