April 2015

Andzelm MM, Cherry TJ, Harmin DA, Boeke AC, Lee C, Hemberg M, Pawlyk B, Malik AN, Flavell SW, Sandberg MA, Raviola E, Greenberg ME. MEF2D Drives Photoreceptor Development through a Genome-wide Competition for Tissue-Specific Enhancers. Neuron 2015;86(1):247-63.Abstract

Organismal development requires the precise coordination of genetic programs to regulate cell fate and function. MEF2 transcription factors (TFs) play essential roles in this process but how these broadly expressed factors contribute to the generation of specific cell types during development is poorly understood. Here we show that despite being expressed in virtually all mammalian tissues, in the retina MEF2D binds to retina-specific enhancers and controls photoreceptor cell development. MEF2D achieves specificity by cooperating with a retina-specific factor CRX, which recruits MEF2D away from canonical MEF2 binding sites and redirects it to retina-specific enhancers that lack the consensus MEF2-binding sequence. Once bound to retina-specific enhancers, MEF2D and CRX co-activate the expression of photoreceptor-specific genes that are critical for retinal function. These findings demonstrate that broadly expressed TFs acquire specific functions through competitive recruitment to enhancers by tissue-specific TFs and through selective activation of these enhancers to regulate tissue-specific genes.

Aung T, Ozaki M, Mizoguchi T, Allingham RR, Li Z, Haripriya A, Nakano S, Uebe S, Harder JM, Chan ASY, Lee MC, Burdon KP, Astakhov YS, Abu-Amero KK, Zenteno JC, Nilgün Y, Zarnowski T, Pakravan M, Safieh LA, Jia L, Wang YX, Williams S, Paoli D, Schlottmann PG, Huang L, Sim KS, Foo JN, Nakano M, Ikeda Y, Kumar RS, Ueno M, Manabe S-I, Hayashi K, Kazama S, Ideta R, Mori Y, Miyata K, Sugiyama K, Higashide T, Chihara E, Inoue K, Ishiko S, Yoshida A, Yanagi M, Kiuchi Y, Aihara M, Ohashi T, Sakurai T, Sugimoto T, Chuman H, Matsuda F, Yamashiro K, Gotoh N, Miyake M, Astakhov SY, Osman EA, Al-Obeidan SA, Owaidhah O, Al-Jasim L, Shahwan SA, Fogarty RA, Leo P, Yetkin Y, Oğuz Ç, Kanavi MR, Beni AN, Yazdani S, Akopov EL, Toh K-Y, Howell GR, Orr AC, Goh Y, Meah WY, Peh SQ, Kosior-Jarecka E, Lukasik U, Krumbiegel M, Vithana EN, Wong TY, Liu Y, Koch AAE, Challa P, Rautenbach RM, Mackey DA, Hewitt AW, Mitchell P, Wang JJ, Ziskind A, Carmichael T, Ramakrishnan R, Narendran K, Venkatesh R, Vijayan S, Zhao P, Chen X, Guadarrama-Vallejo D, Cheng CY, Perera SA, Husain R, Ho S-L, Welge-Luessen U-C, Mardin C, Schloetzer-Schrehardt U, Hillmer AM, Herms S, Moebus S, Nöthen MM, Weisschuh N, Shetty R, Ghosh A, Teo YY, Brown MA, Lischinsky I, Lischinsky I, Lischinsky I, Crowston JG, Coote M, Zhao B, Sang J, Zhang N, You Q, Vysochinskaya V, Founti P, Chatzikyriakidou A, Lambropoulos A, Anastasopoulos E, Coleman AL, Wilson RM, Rhee DJ, Kang JH, May-Bolchakova I, Heegaard S, Mori K, Alward WLM, Jonas JB, Xu L, Liebmann JM, Chowbay B, Schaeffeler E, Schwab M, Lerner F, Wang N, Yang Z, Frezzotti P, Kinoshita S, Fingert JH, Inatani M, Tashiro K, Reis A, Edward DP, Pasquale LR, Kubota T, Wiggs JL, Pasutto F, Topouzis F, Dubina M, Craig JE, Yoshimura N, Sundaresan P, John SWM, Ritch R, Hauser MA, Khor C-C. A common variant mapping to CACNA1A is associated with susceptibility to exfoliation syndrome. Nat Genet 2015;47(4):387-92.Abstract

Exfoliation syndrome (XFS) is the most common recognizable cause of open-angle glaucoma worldwide. To better understand the etiology of XFS, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 1,484 cases and 1,188 controls from Japan and followed up the most significant findings in a further 6,901 cases and 20,727 controls from 17 countries across 6 continents. We discovered a genome-wide significant association between a new locus (CACNA1A rs4926244) and increased susceptibility to XFS (odds ratio (OR) = 1.16, P = 3.36 × 10(-11)). Although we also confirmed overwhelming association at the LOXL1 locus, the key SNP marker (LOXL1 rs4886776) demonstrated allelic reversal depending on the ancestry group (Japanese: ORA allele = 9.87, P = 2.13 × 10(-217); non-Japanese: ORA allele = 0.49, P = 2.35 × 10(-31)). Our findings represent the first genetic locus outside of LOXL1 surpassing genome-wide significance for XFS and provide insight into the biology and pathogenesis of the disease.

Consugar MB, Navarro-Gomez D, Place EM, Bujakowska KM, Sousa ME, Fonseca-Kelly ZD, Taub DG, Janessian M, Wang DY, Au ED, Sims KB, Sweetser DA, Fulton AB, Liu Q, Wiggs JL, Gai X, Pierce EA. Panel-based genetic diagnostic testing for inherited eye diseases is highly accurate and reproducible, and more sensitive for variant detection, than exome sequencing. Genet Med 2015;17(4):253-61.Abstract

PURPOSE: Next-generation sequencing-based methods are being adopted broadly for genetic diagnostic testing, but the performance characteristics of these techniques with regard to test accuracy and reproducibility have not been fully defined. METHODS: We developed a targeted enrichment and next-generation sequencing approach for genetic diagnostic testing of patients with inherited eye disorders, including inherited retinal degenerations, optic atrophy, and glaucoma. In preparation for providing this genetic eye disease (GEDi) test on a CLIA-certified basis, we performed experiments to measure the sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility, as well as the clinical sensitivity, of the test. RESULTS: The GEDi test is highly reproducible and accurate, with sensitivity and specificity of 97.9 and 100%, respectively, for single-nucleotide variant detection. The sensitivity for variant detection was notably better than the 88.3% achieved by whole-exome sequencing using the same metrics, because of better coverage of targeted genes in the GEDi test as compared with a commercially available exome capture set. Prospective testing of 192 patients with inherited retinal degenerations indicated that the clinical sensitivity of the GEDi test is high, with a diagnostic rate of 51%. CONCLUSION: Based on quantified performance metrics, the data suggest that selective targeted enrichment is preferable to whole-exome sequencing for genetic diagnostic testing.Genet Med 17 4, 253-261.

Dohlman TH, Omoto M, Hua J, Stevenson W, Lee S-M, Chauhan SK, Dana R. VEGF-trap Aflibercept Significantly Improves Long-term Graft Survival in High-risk Corneal Transplantation. Transplantation 2015;99(4):678-86.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Graft failure because of immune rejection remains a significant problem in organ transplantation, and lymphatic and blood vessels are important components of the afferent and efferent arms of the host alloimmune response, respectively. We compare the effect of antihemangiogenic and antilymphangiogenic therapies on alloimmunity and graft survival in a murine model of high-risk corneal transplantation. METHODS: Orthotopic corneal transplantation was performed in hemevascularized and lymph-vascularized high-risk host beds, and graft recipients received subconjunctival vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-trap, anti-VEGF-C, sVEGFR-3, or no treatment, beginning at the time of surgery. Fourteen days after transplantation, graft hemeangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The frequencies of Th1 cells in regional lymphoid tissue and graft-infiltrating immune cells were evaluated by flow cytometry. Long-term allograft survival was compared using Kaplan-Meier curves. RESULTS: VEGF-trap significantly decreased graft hemangiogenesis as compared to the control group and was most effective in reducing the frequency of graft-infiltrating immune cells. Anti-VEGF-C and sVEGFR3 significantly decreased graft lymphangiogenesis and lymphoid Th1 cell frequencies as compared to control. VEGF-trap (72%), anti-VEGF-C (25%), and sVEGFR-3 (11%) all significantly improved in the 8-week graft survival compared to control (0%), although VEGF-trap was significantly more effective than both anti-VEGF-C (P < 0.05) and sVEGFR-3 (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: In a clinically relevant model of high-risk corneal transplantation in which blood and lymphatic vessels are present and treatment begins at the time of transplantation, VEGF-trap is significantly more effective in improving long-term graft survival as compared to anti-VEGF-C and sVEGFR-3, but all approaches improve survival when compared to untreated control.

Duda T, Wen X-H, Isayama T, Sharma RK, Makino CL. Bicarbonate Modulates Photoreceptor Guanylate Cyclase (ROS-GC) Catalytic Activity. J Biol Chem 2015;290(17):11052-60.Abstract

By generating the second messenger cGMP in retinal rods and cones, ROS-GC plays a central role in visual transduction. Guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) link cGMP synthesis to the light-induced fall in [Ca(2+)]i to help set absolute sensitivity and assure prompt recovery of the response to light. The present report discloses a surprising feature of this system: ROS-GC is a sensor of bicarbonate. Recombinant ROS-GCs synthesized cGMP from GTP at faster rates in the presence of bicarbonate with an ED50 of 27 mm for ROS-GC1 and 39 mm for ROS-GC2. The effect required neither Ca(2+) nor use of the GCAPs domains; however, stimulation of ROS-GC1 was more powerful in the presence of GCAP1 or GCAP2 at low [Ca(2+)]. When applied to retinal photoreceptors, bicarbonate enhanced the circulating current, decreased sensitivity to flashes, and accelerated flash response kinetics. Bicarbonate was effective when applied either to the outer or inner segment of red-sensitive cones. In contrast, bicarbonate exerted an effect when applied to the inner segment of rods but had little efficacy when applied to the outer segment. The findings define a new regulatory mechanism of the ROS-GC system that affects visual transduction and is likely to affect the course of retinal diseases caused by cGMP toxicity.

Eviston TJ, Croxson GR, Kennedy PGE, Hadlock T, Krishnan AV. Bell's palsy: aetiology, clinical features and multidisciplinary care. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2015;Abstract

Bell's palsy is a common cranial neuropathy causing acute unilateral lower motor neuron facial paralysis. Immune, infective and ischaemic mechanisms are all potential contributors to the development of Bell's palsy, but the precise cause remains unclear. Advancements in the understanding of intra-axonal signal molecules and the molecular mechanisms underpinning Wallerian degeneration may further delineate its pathogenesis along with in vitro studies of virus-axon interactions. Recently published guidelines for the acute treatment of Bell's palsy advocate for steroid monotherapy, although controversy exists over whether combined corticosteroids and antivirals may possibly have a beneficial role in select cases of severe Bell's palsy. For those with longstanding sequaelae from incomplete recovery, aesthetic, functional (nasal patency, eye closure, speech and swallowing) and psychological considerations need to be addressed by the treating team. Increasingly, multidisciplinary collaboration between interested clinicians from a wide variety of subspecialties has proven effective. A patient centred approach utilising physiotherapy, targeted botulinum toxin injection and selective surgical intervention has reduced the burden of long-term disability in facial palsy.

Fu Z, Lofqvist CA, Shao Z, Sun Y, Joyal J-S, Hurst CG, Cui RZ, Evans LP, Tian K, SanGiovanni JP, Chen J, Ley D, Hansen Pupp I, Hellstrom A, Smith LEH. Dietary ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease retinal neovascularization by adipose-endoplasmic reticulum stress reduction to increase adiponectin. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101(4):879-88.Abstract

BACKGROUND: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vision-threatening disease in premature infants. Serum adiponectin (APN) concentrations positively correlate with postnatal growth and gestational age, important risk factors for ROP development. Dietary ω-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFAs) suppress ROP and oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) in a mouse model of human ROP, but the mechanism is not fully understood. OBJECTIVE: We examined the role of APN in ROP development and whether circulating APN concentrations are increased by dietary ω-3 LCPUFAs to mediate the protective effect in ROP. DESIGN: Serum APN concentrations were correlated with ROP development and serum ω-3 LCPUFA concentrations in preterm infants. Mouse OIR was then used to determine whether ω-3 LCPUFA supplementation increases serum APN concentrations, which then suppress retinopathy. RESULTS: We found that in preterm infants, low serum APN concentrations positively correlate with ROP, and serum APN concentrations positively correlate with serum ω-3 LCPUFA concentrations. In mouse OIR, serum total APN and bioactive high-molecular-weight APN concentrations are increased by ω-3 LCPUFA feed. White adipose tissue, where APN is produced and assembled in the endoplasmic reticulum, is the major source of serum APN. In mouse OIR, adipose endoplasmic reticulum stress is increased, and APN production is suppressed. ω-3 LCPUFA feed in mice increases APN production by reducing adipose endoplasmic reticulum stress markers. Dietary ω-3 LCPUFA suppression of neovascularization is reduced from 70% to 10% with APN deficiency. APN receptors localize in the retina, particularly to pathologic neovessels. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that increasing APN by ω-3 LCPUFA supplementation in total parental nutrition for preterm infants may suppress ROP.

Kataoka K, Matsumoto H, Kaneko H, Notomi S, Takeuchi K, Sweigard JH, Atik A, Murakami Y, Connor KM, Terasaki H, Miller JW, Vavvas DG. Macrophage- and RIP3-dependent inflammasome activation exacerbates retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor cell death. Cell Death Dis 2015;6:e1731.Abstract

Detachment of photoreceptors from the retinal pigment epithelium is seen in various retinal disorders, resulting in photoreceptor death and subsequent vision loss. Cell death results in the release of endogenous molecules that activate molecular platforms containing caspase-1, termed inflammasomes. Inflammasome activation in retinal diseases has been reported in some cases to be protective and in others to be detrimental, causing neuronal cell death. Moreover, the cellular source of inflammasomes in retinal disorders is not clear. Here, we demonstrate that patients with photoreceptor injury by retinal detachment (RD) have increased levels of cleaved IL-1β, an end product of inflammasome activation. In an animal model of RD, photoreceptor cell death led to activation of endogenous inflammasomes, and this activation was diminished by Rip3 deletion. The major source of Il1b expression was found to be infiltrating macrophages in the subretinal space, rather than dying photoreceptors. Inflammasome inhibition attenuated photoreceptor death after RD. Our data implicate the infiltrating macrophages as a source of damaging inflammasomes after photoreceptor detachment in a RIP3-dependent manner and suggest a novel therapeutic target for treatment of retinal diseases.

Kheirkhah A, Dohlman TH, Amparo F, Arnoldner MA, Jamali A, Hamrah P, Dana R. Effects of corneal nerve density on the response to treatment in dry eye disease. Ophthalmology 2015;122(4):662-8.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate whether levels of corneal subbasal nerve fiber length (SNFL) in dry eye disease (DED) could prognosticate the level of improvement in signs and symptoms after treatment. DESIGN: Phase IV, double-masked, randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty patients with meibomian gland dysfunction-associated DED and 27 age-matched controls. METHODS: Patients with DED were randomized to receive topical artificial tears, loteprednol etabonate 0.5%, or loteprednol etabonate 0.5%/tobramycin 0.3% twice daily for 4 weeks. At baseline, in vivo confocal microscopy of central cornea was performed in both eyes. Patients with DED were divided into 2 subgroups: those with low baseline SNFL and those with near-normal baseline SNFL for this purpose (the cutoff point: the mean SNFL in controls minus 2 standard deviations). Clinical signs and symptoms at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment were compared between the subgroups with low and near-normal SNFL for all therapeutic groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Symptom questionnaires, corneal fluorescein staining (CFS), conjunctival staining with lissamine green, tear break-up time, Schirmer's test, and SNFL. RESULTS: In patients with DED, baseline SNFL (17.06±5.78 mm/mm(2)) was significantly lower than in controls (23.68±3.42 mm/mm(2), P = 0.001). In the artificial tear and loteprednol groups, although no significant improvement in any sign or symptom was noted in patients with low baseline SNFL (<16.84 mm/mm(2)), subjects with near-normal baseline SNFL (≥16.84 mm/mm(2)) showed significant improvement in both symptoms and CFS score (all P < 0.05). In the loteprednol/tobramycin group, no significant change was evident for any sign or symptom in either subgroup of low or near-normal baseline SNFL. CONCLUSIONS: Significant improvements in CFS and patient symptomatology after DED treatment were evident only in the subgroup with near-normal corneal SNFL. Consideration of SNFL may assist in explaining the variability of patients' response to DED therapy.

Lane AM, Kim IK, Gragoudas ES. Long-term Risk of Melanoma-Related Mortality for Patients With Uveal Melanoma Treated With Proton Beam Therapy. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;Abstract

Importance: Little is known about the long-term risk of dying of uveal melanoma after treatment with radiotherapy. Objective: To determine the long-term risk of dying of this disease, we evaluated melanoma-related mortality rates up to 25 years after proton beam therapy in a large series of patients with uveal melanoma. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this analysis, we included 3088 patients with uveal melanoma, identified from a hospital-based cohort and treated with proton irradiation between January 1975 and December 2005. Vital status and cause of death were ascertained through active follow-up and searches of government databases (the Social Security Death Index and the National Death Index) through December 31, 2008. Cumulative rates of melanoma-related mortality were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Patient and tumor characteristics of known prognostic significance for melanoma-associated death were evaluated, including patient age and tumor dimensions. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome measure was cumulative rates of melanoma-specific mortality, and secondary measures included annual melanoma-specific mortality hazard rates and cumulative all-cause mortality rates. Results: Of 1490 deceased patients, 620 (41.6%) died of ocular melanoma. In addition, 19 patients were alive, but their melanoma metastasized, by the end of the observation period (mean follow-up after diagnosis of metastasis, 5.3 years). All-cause mortality rates in this cohort were 49.0% (95% CI, 47.0-51.1) at 15 years, 58.6% (95% CI, 56.4%-60.8%) at 20 years, and 66.8% (95% CI, 64.2%-69.4%) at 25 years. Melanoma-related mortality rates were 24.6% (95% CI, 22.8-26.4) at 15 years after treatment, 25.8% (95% CI, 24.0-27.8) at 20 years after treatment, and 26.4% (95% CI, 24.5-28.5) at 25 years after treatment. The 20-year mortality rate was 8.6% (95% CI, 6.2-11.9) for younger patients (≤60 years) with small tumors (≤11 mm) and 40.1% (95% CI, 36.1-44.3) for older patients (>60 years) with large tumors (>11 mm). Conclusions and Relevance: In this large series of patients with ocular melanoma treated conservatively with proton beam irradiation, the cumulative melanoma-related mortality rates continued to increase up to 23 years after treatment. Annual rates decreased considerably (to <1%) 14 years after treatment. Information regarding the long-term risk of dying of uveal melanoma may be useful to clinicians when counseling patients.

Ma J, Guo C, Guo C, Sun Y, Liao T, Beattie U, López FJ, Chen DF, Lashkari K. Transplantation of Human Neural Progenitor Cells Expressing IGF-1 Enhances Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival. PLoS One 2015;10(4):e0125695.Abstract

We have previously characterized human neuronal progenitor cells (hNP) that can adopt a retinal ganglion cell (RGC)-like morphology within the RGC and nerve fiber layers of the retina. In an effort to determine whether hNPs could be used a candidate cells for targeted delivery of neurotrophic factors (NTFs), we evaluated whether hNPs transfected with an vector that expresses IGF-1 in the form of a fusion protein with tdTomato (TD), would increase RGC survival in vitro and confer neuroprotective effects in a mouse model of glaucoma. RGCs co-cultured with hNPIGF-TD cells displayed enhanced survival, and increased neurite extension and branching as compared to hNPTD or untransfected hNP cells. Application of various IGF-1 signaling blockers or IGF-1 receptor antagonists abrogated these effects. In vivo, using a model of glaucoma we showed that IOP elevation led to reductions in retinal RGC count. In this model, evaluation of retinal flatmounts and optic nerve cross sections indicated that only hNPIGF-TD cells effectively reduced RGC death and showed a trend to improve optic nerve axonal loss. RT-PCR analysis of retina lysates over time showed that the neurotrophic effects of IGF-1 were also attributed to down-regulation of inflammatory and to some extent, angiogenic pathways. This study shows that neuronal progenitor cells that hone into the RGC and nerve fiber layers may be used as vehicles for local production and delivery of a desired NTF. Transplantation of hNPIGF-TD cells improves RGC survival in vitro and protects against RGC loss in a rodent model of glaucoma. Our findings have provided experimental evidence and form the basis for applying cell-based strategies for local delivery of NTFs into the retina. Application of cell-based delivery may be extended to other disease conditions beyond glaucoma.

Mauris J, Dieckow J, Schob S, Pulli B, Hatton MP, Jeong S, Bauskar A, Gabison E, Nowak R, Argüeso P. Loss of CD147 results in impaired epithelial cell differentiation and malformation of the meibomian gland. Cell Death Dis 2015;6:e1726.Abstract

Meibomian gland dysfunction is a leading cause of ocular surface disease. However, little is known about the regulatory processes that control the development and maintenance of this sebaceous gland. Here, we identify a novel function for CD147, a transmembrane protein that promotes tissue remodeling through induction of matrix metalloproteinases, in regulating meibocyte differentiation and activity. We found that CD147 localized along basal cells and within discrete membrane domains of differentiated meibocytes in glandular acini containing gelatinolytic activity. Induction of meibocyte differentiation in vitro promoted CD147 clustering and MMP9 secretion, whereas RNAi-mediated abrogation of CD147 impaired MMP9 secretion, concomitant with a reduction in the number of proliferative cells and cytoplasmic lipids. Meibomian glands of CD147 knockout mice had a lower number of acini in both the superior and inferior tarsal plates of the eyelids, and were characterized by loss of lipid-filled meibocytes compared with control mice. Together, our data provide evidence showing that gelatinolytic activity in meibocytes is dependent on CD147, and supports a role for CD147 in maintaining the normal development and function of the meibomian gland.

McDonald JC, Spruyt O, Alhatem A. Control of intractable pruritus in a patient with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma using a continuous subcutaneous infusion of lidocaine. J Pain Symptom Manage 2015;49(4):e1-3.
Mlynarski EE, Sheridan MB, Xie M, Guo T, Racedo SE, McDonald-McGinn DM, Gai X, Chow EWC, Vorstman J, Swillen A, Devriendt K, Breckpot J, Digilio MC, Marino B, Dallapiccola B, Philip N, Simon TJ, Roberts AE, Piotrowicz M, Bearden CE, Eliez S, Gothelf D, Coleman K, Kates WR, Devoto M, Zackai E, Heine-Suñer D, Shaikh TH, Bassett AS, Goldmuntz E, Morrow BE, Emanuel BS. Copy-Number Variation of the Glucose Transporter Gene SLC2A3 and Congenital Heart Defects in the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. Am J Hum Genet 2015;96(5):753-64.Abstract
The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS; velocardiofacial/DiGeorge syndrome; VCFS/DGS) is the most common microdeletion syndrome and the phenotypic presentation is highly variable. Approximately 65% of individuals with 22q11DS have a congenital heart defect (CHD), mostly of the conotruncal type, and/or an aortic arch defect. The etiology of this phenotypic variability is not currently known. We hypothesized that copy-number variants (CNVs) outside the 22q11.2 deleted region might increase the risk of being born with a CHD in this sensitized population. Genotyping with Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 was performed on two groups of subjects with 22q11DS separated by time of ascertainment and processing. CNV analysis was completed on a total of 949 subjects (cohort 1, n = 562; cohort 2, n = 387), 603 with CHDs (cohort 1, n = 363; cohort 2, n = 240) and 346 with normal cardiac anatomy (cohort 1, n = 199; cohort 2, n = 147). Our analysis revealed that a duplication of SLC2A3 was the most frequent CNV identified in the first cohort. It was present in 18 subjects with CHDs and 1 subject without (p = 3.12 × 10(-3), two-tailed Fisher's exact test). In the second cohort, the SLC2A3 duplication was also significantly enriched in subjects with CHDs (p = 3.30 × 10(-2), two-tailed Fisher's exact test). The SLC2A3 duplication was the most frequent CNV detected and the only significant finding in our combined analysis (p = 2.68 × 10(-4), two-tailed Fisher's exact test), indicating that the SLC2A3 duplication might serve as a genetic modifier of CHDs and/or aortic arch anomalies in individuals with 22q11DS.
Navarro-Gomez D, Leipzig J, Shen L, Lott M, Stassen APM, Wallace DC, Wiggs JL, Falk MJ, van Oven M, Gai X. Phy-Mer: a novel alignment-free and reference-independent mitochondrial haplogroup classifier. Bioinformatics 2015;31(8):1310-2.Abstract

MOTIVATION: All current mitochondrial haplogroup classification tools require variants to be detected from an alignment with the reference sequence and to be properly named according to the canonical nomenclature standards for describing mitochondrial variants, before they can be compared with the haplogroup determining polymorphisms. With the emergence of high-throughput sequencing technologies and hence greater availability of mitochondrial genome sequences, there is a strong need for an automated haplogroup classification tool that is alignment-free and agnostic to reference sequence. RESULTS: We have developed a novel mitochondrial genome haplogroup-defining algorithm using a k-mer approach namely Phy-Mer. Phy-Mer performs equally well as the leading haplogroup classifier, HaploGrep, while avoiding the errors that may occur when preparing variants to required formats and notations. We have further expanded Phy-Mer functionality such that next-generation sequencing data can be used directly as input. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: Phy-Mer is publicly available under the GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 on GitHub (https://github.com/danielnavarrogomez/phy-mer). CONTACT: Xiaowu_Gai@meei.harvard.edu SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Papavasileiou E, Sobrin L, Papaliodis GN. Ocular ischemic syndrome presenting as retinal vasculitis in a patient with moyamoya syndrome. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2015;9(2):170-2.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report a case of ocular ischemic syndrome presenting as retinal vasculitis in a patient with Moyamoya syndrome. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted to record clinical data including fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, and serologic testing. A review of the literature from 1969 to 2014 of ocular involvement in Moyamoya syndrome was performed. RESULTS: A 51-year-old woman with long history of bilateral retinal vasculitis and refractory cystoid macular edema was eventually diagnosed with Moyamoya syndrome after sustaining a perioperative cerebrovascular accident. Moyamoya syndrome has been associated in the literature with ocular ischemic syndrome, presenting with narrowed retinal arteries, dilated veins, and midperipheral retinal hemorrhages, but retinal vasculitis with cystoid macular edema has not been reported. CONCLUSION: Moyamoya-related ocular ischemic syndrome can present as retinal vascular leakage and macular edema. Ophthalmologists should be cognizant that signs of the disease may be first observed in the eye before manifestations in the cerebrovascular system.

da Ricardo JRS, Medhi J, Pineda R. Femtosecond laser-assisted keratopigmentation for the management of visual disabilities due to peripheral iridectomies. J Glaucoma 2015;24(4):e22-4.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report the technique and result of keratopigmentation using a femtosecond laser for the treatment of functional visual disabilities caused by peripheral iridectomies. DESIGN: Case report. METHODS: Two eyes of 2 patients underwent femtosecond laser-assisted keratopigmentation (FLAK) for moderate to severe visual dysfunction secondary to peripheral iridectomies. The main outcomes measures of the study were changes in visual-related symptoms, cosmesis, and intraoperative surgical complications. RESULTS: Following FLAK, the visual-related symptoms (ghosting, glare, and monocular diplopia) improved in both cases with significant improvement to total elimination of symptoms. No patient lost any lines of visual acuity, and no significant complications were observed during the follow-up period. The cosmetic appearance was reported as very good. CONCLUSIONS: FLAK is minimally invasive and results in a significant decrease in the subjective glare and photophobia and even in resolution of monocular diplopia. The cosmetic outcome was also favorable. This technique allows surgeons to correct visual disabilities associated with iris defects with a high success rate while avoiding more aggressive intraocular surgery.

Sakurai K, Chen J, Khani SC, Kefalov VJ. Regulation of Mammalian cone phototransduction by recoverin and rhodopsin kinase. J Biol Chem 2015;290(14):9239-50.Abstract

Cone photoreceptors function under daylight conditions and are essential for color perception and vision with high temporal and spatial resolution. A remarkable feature of cones is that, unlike rods, they remain responsive in bright light. In rods, light triggers a decline in intracellular calcium, which exerts a well studied negative feedback on phototransduction that includes calcium-dependent inhibition of rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) by recoverin. Rods and cones share the same isoforms of recoverin and GRK1, and photoactivation also triggers a calcium decline in cones. However, the molecular mechanisms by which calcium exerts negative feedback on cone phototransduction through recoverin and GRK1 are not well understood. Here, we examined this question using mice expressing various levels of GRK1 or lacking recoverin. We show that although GRK1 is required for the timely inactivation of mouse cone photoresponse, gradually increasing its expression progressively delays the cone response recovery. This surprising result is in contrast with the known effect of increasing GRK1 expression in rods. Notably, the kinetics of cone responses converge and become independent of GRK1 levels for flashes activating more than ∼1% of cone pigment. Thus, mouse cone response recovery in bright light is independent of pigment phosphorylation and likely reflects the spontaneous decay of photoactivated visual pigment. We also find that recoverin potentiates the sensitivity of cones in dim light conditions but does not contribute to their capacity to function in bright light.

Scarcelli G, Besner S, Pineda R, Kalout P, Yun SH. In vivo biomechanical mapping of normal and keratoconus corneas. JAMA Ophthalmol 2015;133(4):480-2.