PURPOSE: To identify the disease locus associated with autosomal dominant Fuchs corneal dystrophy (FCD) in a large family and to compare the progression of severity in families mapped to the FCD1 and FCD2 loci.
METHODS: Seventeen individuals in a large family were examined by slit lamp biomicroscopy. Blood samples were collected, DNA was extracted, and a genome-wide scan was performed with a microarray SNP chip. After initial generation of a genome-wide, two-point LOD score, linkage was confirmed and the critical interval was established by genotyping of short tandem repeat (STR) microsatellite markers.
RESULTS: A genome-wide linkage scan localized the disease interval to the long arm of chromosome 5, with a maximum two-point parametric LOD score of 3.41. Haplotype analyses refined the critical interval to 5q33.1-q35.2, spanning a 27-Mb (29-cM) region. Clinical examination of affected individuals in this family revealed an early onset of FCD at approximately age 40, after which progression of the disease was significantly attenuated compared to the FCD1- and FCD2-linked families.
CONCLUSIONS: Late-onset FCD is linked to a novel locus on 5q33.1-q35.2 and is associated with a milder severity in age at onset and rate of progression than the FCD1 and FCD2 loci. Correlation of individual genotypes with unique rates of disease progression will provide important tools for disease management, as well as for identifying the underlying genetic lesion, offer insight into the pathomechanism of FCD.
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