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Distinct Roles of Histone Lysine Demethylases and Methyltransferases in Developmental Eye Disease. Genes (Basel) 2023 Jan 14;14(1)



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85146756040 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   1 Citation


Histone lysine methyltransferase and demethylase enzymes play a central role in chromatin organization and gene expression through the dynamic regulation of histone lysine methylation. Consistent with this, genes encoding for histone lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) and demethylases (KDMs) are involved in complex human syndromes, termed congenital regulopathies. In this report, we present several lines of evidence for the involvement of these genes in developmental ocular phenotypes, suggesting that individuals with structural eye defects, especially when accompanied by craniofacial, neurodevelopmental and growth abnormalities, should be examined for possible variants in these genes. We identified nine heterozygous damaging genetic variants in KMT2D (5) and four other histone lysine methyltransferases/demethylases (KMT2C, SETD1A/KMT2F, KDM6A and KDM5C) in unrelated families affected with developmental eye disease, such as Peters anomaly, sclerocornea, Axenfeld-Rieger spectrum, microphthalmia and coloboma. Two families were clinically diagnosed with Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome and two were diagnosed with Peters plus-like syndrome; others received no specific diagnosis prior to genetic testing. All nine alleles were novel and five of them occurred de novo; five variants resulted in premature truncation, three were missense changes and one was an in-frame deletion/insertion; and seven variants were categorized as pathogenic or likely pathogenic and two were variants of uncertain significance. This study expands the phenotypic spectra associated with KMT and KDM factors and highlights the importance of genetic testing for correct clinical diagnosis.

Author List

Reis LM, Atilla H, Kannu P, Schneider A, Thompson S, Bardakjian T, Semina EV


Elena V. Semina PhD Chief, Professor in the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Eye Abnormalities
Histone Demethylases
Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase