Spectrum of PEX1 and PEX6 variants in Heimler syndrome

Claire E.L. Smith, James A. Poulter, Alex V. Levin, Jenina E. Capasso, Susan Price, Tamar Ben-Yosef, Reuven Sharony, William G. Newman, Roger C. Shore, Steven J. Brookes, Alan J. Mighell, Chris F. Inglehearn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heimler syndrome (HS) consists of recessively inherited sensorineural hearing loss, amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) and nail abnormalities, with or without visual defects. Recently HS was shown to result from hypomorphic mutations in PEX1 or PEX6, both previously implicated in Zellweger Syndrome Spectrum Disorders (ZSSD). ZSSD are a group of conditions consisting of craniofacial and neurological abnormalities, sensory defects and multi-organ dysfunction. The finding of HS-causing mutations in PEX1 and PEX6 shows that HS represents the mild end of the ZSSD spectrum, though these conditions were previously thought to be distinct nosological entities. Here, we present six further HS families, five with PEX6 variants and one with PEX1 variants, and show the patterns of Pex1, Pex14 and Pex6 immunoreactivity in the mouse retina. While Ratbi et al. found more HS-causing mutations in PEX1 than in PEX6, as is the case for ZSSD, in this cohort PEX6 variants predominate, suggesting both genes play a significant role in HS. The PEX6 variant c.1802G>A, p.(R601Q), reported previously in compound heterozygous state in one HS and three ZSSD cases, was found in compound heterozygous state in three HS families. Haplotype analysis suggests a common founder variant. All families segregated at least one missense variant, consistent with the hypothesis that HS results from genotypes including milder hypomorphic alleles. The clinical overlap of HS with the more common Usher syndrome and lack of peroxisomal abnormalities on plasma screening suggest that HS may be under-diagnosed. Recognition of AI is key to the accurate diagnosis of HS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1565-1571
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Spectrum of PEX1 and PEX6 variants in Heimler syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this