Variants in the WDR45 Gene Within the OPA-2 Locus Associate With Isolated X-Linked Optic Atrophy

Inbal Gazit*, Idan Hecht, Chen Weiner, Alina Kotlyar, Zina Almer, Erez Bakshi, Lior Or, Hadas Volkov, Barak Feldman, Idit Maharshak, Marina Michelson, Nitza Goldenberg-Cohen, Eran Pras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE. To describe clinical and molecular findings of two families with X-linked optic atrophy and present two new pathogenic variants in the WDR45 gene. METHODS. Case series and molecular analysis of two families of Jewish Ashkenazi descent with early onset bilateral optic atrophy. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) and bioinformatic analysis were performed, followed by Sanger sequencing and segregation analysis. RESULTS. In both families, male siblings (three in family 1, two in family 2) had early-onset isolated bilateral optic atrophy. The sibling’s healthy mother (and in the second family also one healthy sister) had a mild presentation, suggesting a carrier state and an X-linked inheritance pattern. All participants were otherwise healthy, apart from mild learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder in two siblings of the second family. Variants in known optic atrophy genes were excluded. Analysis revealed a point variant in the WDR45 gene—a missense variant in the first family, NM_001029896.2:c.107C>A; NP_001025067.1:p.Pro36His (variant ID: 1704205), and a splice site variant in the second family, NM_001029896.2:c.236-1G>T; NP_009006.2:p.Val80Leu (variant ID: 1704204), located on Xp11.23 (OPA2 locus). Both variants are novel and predicted as pathogenic. In both families, the variant was seen with full segregation with the disease, occurring in all affected male participants and in one allele of the carrier females, as well as none of the healthy participants. CONCLUSIONS. Among two families with isolated X-linked optic atrophy, molecular analysis revealed novel variants in the WDR45 gene in full segregation with the disease. This gene resides within the OPA2 locus, previously described to associate with X-linked optic atrophy. Taken together, these findings suggest that certain pathogenic variants in the WDR45 gene are associated with isolated X-linked optic atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • ADOA
  • LHON
  • WDR45
  • X-linked
  • hereditary optic atrophy
  • optic atrophy


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