Mutational screening of VSX1, SPARC, SOD1, LOX, and TIMP3 in keratoconus

Patrizia de Bonis, Antonio Laborante, Costantina Pizzicoli, Raffaella Stallone, Raffaela Barbano, Costanza Longo, Emilio Mazzilli, Leopoldo Zelante, Luigi Bisceglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the involvement of Visual System Homeobox 1 (VSX1), Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC), Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1), Lysyl Oxidase (LOX), and Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3) in sporadic and familial keratoconus. Methods: Mutational analysis of the five genes was performed by sequencing and fragment analysis in a large cohort of 302 Italian patients, with a diagnosis of keratoconus based on clinical examination and corneal topography. The variants identified in VSX1 and SPARC were also assessed in the available relatives of the probands. Results: A novel mutation p.G239R and previously reported mutations were found in VSX1. Novel and already reported variants were identified in SPARC and SOD1, whose pathogenic significance has not been established. No pathogenic variants have been identified in LOX and TIMP3. Conclusions: Molecular analysis of the five genes in a cohort of 225 sporadic and 77 familial keratoconus cases confirms the possible pathogenic role of VSX1 though in a small number of patients; a possible involvement of LOX and TIMP3 could be excluded; and the role played by SOD1 and SPARC in determining the disease as not been definitively clarified. Further studies are required to identify other important genetic factors involved in the pathogenesis and progression of the disease that in the authors' opinion, and according with several authors, should be considered as a complex disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2482-2494
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Vision
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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