The D144E substitution in the VSX1 gene: A non-pathogenic variant or a disease causing mutation?

Pras Eran*, Abu Almogit, Zadok David, Haike Reznik Wolf, Garzozi Hana, Barkana Yaniv, Pras Elon, Avni Isaac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify the genetic defect associated with keratoconus (KC) in an Ashkenazi Jewish family and to evaluate its nature and its phenotypic expression within carriers. Methods: A three generation Ashkenazi Jewish family with KC was ascertained. Diagnosis was based on clinical examination and corneal topography. Segregation analysis was performed using micro-satellite polymorphic markers in close proximity to 7 previously associated KC loci and genes. Mutation analysis of the VSX1 gene was performed by direct sequencing of PCR-amplified exons, and a BseR1 restriction assay. In selected cases, where the genotype was consistent with KC, additional effort to detect subtle corneal changes was made by computerized Orbscan measurements. Results: We found co-segregation between the KC phenotype and a polymorphic marker close to the VSX1. Sequencing revealed a previously described missense mutation (D144E). All of the mutation carriers manifested pathologic corneal findings; some had overt KC while others had subtle corneal alterations identifiable only by Orbscan. Conclusions: These findings support the pathogenic role of VSX1 gene in KC. The variable expression among the carriers, suggests the involvement of other factors in determining the final phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Complex inheritance
  • Keratoconus
  • VSX1


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