1. Department of Ophthalmology, Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
2. Department of endocrinology, Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
* These authors contributed equally.
Distichiasis presents as double rows of eyelashes arising from aberrant differentiation of the meibomian glands of the eyelids, and it may be sporadic or hereditary. FOXC2 gene mutations in hereditary distichiasis are rarely reported. Here, we examined two generations of a Chinese family with hereditary distichiasis but without lymphedema or other features of LD syndrome. The FOXC2 gene was amplified and sequenced in all family members. Subcellular localization and luciferase assays were performed to assess the activity of the mutant FOXC2 protein. Clinical examinations showed distichiasis, lower eyelid ectropion, congenital ptosis and photophobia in all affected individuals. Sequence analysis revealed a novel frameshift mutation, c.964_965insG, in the coding region of the FOXC2 gene. This mutation caused protein truncation due to the presence of a premature stop codon. A fluorescence assay showed that this mutation did not change the nuclear localization of the protein. However, it impaired DNA-binding activity and decreased transcriptional activation. This is the first report of a FOXC2 mutation in hereditary distichiasis in the Chinese population. The findings of our study expand the FOXC2 mutation spectrum and contribute to the understanding of the genotype-phenotype correlation of this disease.
Keywords: congenital distichiasis, FOXC2, mutation.