Whole Exome Sequencing widens the genetic landscape of Hereditary Optic Neuropathies

Fiorini, Claudio (2022) Whole Exome Sequencing widens the genetic landscape of Hereditary Optic Neuropathies, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche e neuromotorie, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10126.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Salvo eventuali più ampie autorizzazioni dell'autore, la tesi può essere liberamente consultata e può essere effettuato il salvataggio e la stampa di una copia per fini strettamente personali di studio, di ricerca e di insegnamento, con espresso divieto di qualunque utilizzo direttamente o indirettamente commerciale. Ogni altro diritto sul materiale è riservato.
Download (3MB)


Hereditary optic neuropathies (HON) are a genetic cause of visual impairment characterized by degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. The majority of HON are caused by pathogenic variants in mtDNA genes and in gene OPA1. However, several other genes can cause optic atrophy and can only be identified by high throughput genetic analysis. Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) is becoming the primary choice in rare disease molecular diagnosis, being both cost effective and informative. We performed WES on a cohort of 106 cases, of which 74 isolated ON patients (ON) and 32 syndromic ON patients (sON). The total diagnostic yield amounts to 27%, slightly higher for syndromic ON (31%) than for isolated ON (26%). The majority of genes found are related to mitochondrial function and already reported for harbouring HON pathogenic variants: ACO2, AFG3L2, C19orf12, DNAJC30, FDXR, MECR, MTFMT, NDUFAF2, NDUFB11, NDUFV2, OPA1, PDSS1, SDHA, SSBP1, and WFS1. Among these OPA1, ACO2, and WFS1 were confirmed as the most relevant genetic causes of ON. Moreover, several genes were identified, especially in sON patients, with direct impairment of non-mitochondrial molecular pathways: from autophagy and ubiquitin system (LYST, SNF8, WDR45, UCHL1), to neural cells development and function (KIF1A, GFAP, EPHB2, CACNA1A, CACNA1F), but also vitamin metabolism (SLC52A2, BTD), cilia structure (USH2A), and nuclear pore shuttling (NUTF2). Functional validation on yeast model was performed for pathogenic variants detected in MECR, MTFMT, SDHA, and UCHL1 genes. For SDHA and UCHL1 also muscle biopsy and fibroblast cell lines from patients were analysed, pointing to possible pathogenic mechanisms that will be investigated in further studies. In conclusion, WES proved to be an efficient tool when applied to our ON cohort, for both common disease-genes identification and novel genes discovery. It is therefore recommended to consider WES in ON molecular diagnostic pipeline, as for other rare genetic diseases.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Fiorini, Claudio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Optic Neuropathy, Mitochondrial Disease, Whole Exome Sequencing
Data di discussione
25 Marzo 2022

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi