Bothun ED, Lynn MJ, Christiansen SP, Kruger SJ, VanderVeen DK, Neely DE, Lambert SR, Lambert SR. Strabismus surgery outcomes in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) at age 5 years. J AAPOS 2016;20(6):501-505.Abstract

PURPOSE: To report strabismus surgery frequency and outcomes after monocular infantile cataract surgery with or without IOL implantation. METHODS: The Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS) is a randomized, multicenter clinical trial comparing treatment of aphakia with a primary IOL or contact lens in 114 infants with a unilateral congenital cataract. This report is a secondary outcome analysis of ocular motor data from IATS patients who underwent strabismus surgery prior to age 5 years. RESULTS: Strabismus surgery was performed in 45 (39%) patients (contact lens group [CL], 37%; IOL group, 42% [P = 0.70]). The indications for strabismus surgery were esotropia (62%), exotropia (33%), and hypertropia (4%). Infants who underwent cataract surgery at a younger age were less likely to undergo strabismus surgery (28-48 days, 12/50 [24%]; 49-210 days, 33/64 [52%]; P = 0.0037). Of the 42 patients who underwent strabismus surgery, 14 (33%) had a postoperative distance alignment within 8(Δ) of orthotropia at age 5 years. The 5-year visual acuity of children with strabismus was the same whether or not strabismus surgery had been performed (1.10 logMAR with surgery vs 1.00 without [P = 0.71]). CONCLUSIONS: In this study cohort, cataract surgery performed in the first 6 weeks of life was associated with a reduced frequency of strabismus surgery. Strabismus surgery outcomes in this population are guarded. Surgical improvement of strabismus does not appear to influence long-term visual acuity.

Bouffard MA, Caplan LR, Torun N. Divergence Palsy due to Divalproex and Oxcarbazepine. Clin Neuropharmacol 2017;Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This case series is the first to describe divergence palsy as an adverse effect of antiepileptic drug use. Diplopia is a common adverse effect of antiepileptic drugs, but no explanatory motility deficit has ever been reported. METHODS: We present 2 patients, 1 on oxcarbazepine and 1 on divalproex, each with a normal examination result between spells and divergency palsy when symptomatic. RESULTS: Discontinuation of the antiepileptic medication led to resolution of the episodes in both cases. Rechallenge with the offending agent after washout in one patient resulted in recurrence of diplopia and divergence palsy, both resolving after subsequent withdrawal of the antiepileptic. CONCLUSIONS: Antiepileptic drugs may cause divergence palsy.

Bouffard MA, Torun N. The Mystery of the Locking Eye. JAMA Neurol 2017;
Bouffard MA, Nathavitharana RR, Yassa DS, Torun N. Re-Treatment With Ethambutol After Toxic Optic Neuropathy. J Neuroophthalmol 2017;37(1):40-42.Abstract

There are no data in the literature regarding the safety of re-treatment with ethambutol for recurrent mycobacterial infection after prior ethambutol-induced optic neuropathy. We describe a patient who developed optic neuropathy attributed to ethambutol, recovered fully after drug withdrawal, and tolerated a 14-month long re-treatment 10 years later without developing recurrent optic neuropathy.

Bovee CE, Pasquale LR. Evolving Surgical Interventions in the Treatment of Glaucoma. Semin Ophthalmol 2017;32(1):91-95.Abstract

Interventions in the treatment of mild to moderate glaucoma have evolved to include a group of procedures collectively named "Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)." These procedures are less invasive than traditional filtering surgery and setons and offer the benefit of an improved side-effect profile. A review of current published literature has shown that these procedures offer lower intraocular pressure, decrease reliance on topical medications, have no negative effect on refractive outcomes, and can be safely done following failed tube surgery.

Bowers AR. Driving with homonymous visual field loss: a review of the literature. Clin Exp Optom 2016;99(5):402-18.Abstract

Driving is an important rehabilitation goal for patients with homonymous field defects (HFDs); however, whether or not people with HFDs should be permitted to drive is not clear. Over the last 15 years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies evaluating the effects of HFDs on driving performance. This review of the literature provides a much-needed summary for practitioners and researchers, addressing the following topics: regulations pertaining to driving with HFDs, self-reported driving difficulties, pass rates in on-road tests, the effects of HFDs on lane position and steering stability, the effects of HFDs on scanning and detection of potential hazards, screening for potential fitness to drive, evaluating practical fitness to drive and the efficacy of interventions to improve driving of persons with HFDs. Although there is clear evidence from on-road studies that some people with HFDs may be rated as safe to drive, others are reported to have significant deficits in skills important for safe driving, including taking a lane position too close to one side of the travel lane, unstable steering and inadequate viewing (scanning) behaviour. Driving simulator studies have provided strong evidence of a wide range in compensatory scanning abilities and detection performance, despite similar amounts of visual field loss. Conventional measurements of visual field extent (in which eye movements are not permitted) do not measure such compensatory abilities and are not predictive of on-road driving performance. Thus, there is a need to develop better tests to screen people with HFDs for visual fitness to drive. We are not yet at a point where we can predict which HFD patient is likely to be a safe driver. Therefore, it seems only fair to provide an opportunity for individualised assessments of practical fitness to drive either on the road and/or in a driving simulator.

Bowers AR, Sheldon SS, DeCarlo DK, Peli E. Bioptic Telescope Use and Driving Patterns of Drivers with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2016;5(5):5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate the telescope use and driving patterns of bioptic drivers with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: A questionnaire addressing telescope use and driving patterns was administered by telephone interview to three groups of bioptic drivers: AMD (n = 31; median 76 years); non-AMD first licensed with a bioptic (n = 38; 53 years); and non-AMD first licensed without a bioptic (n = 47; 37 years). Driving patterns of bioptic AMD drivers were also compared with those of normal vision (NV) drivers (n = 36; 74 years) and nonbioptic AMD drivers (n = 34; 79 years). RESULTS: Bioptic usage patterns of AMD drivers did not differ from those of the younger bioptic drivers and greater visual difficulty without the bioptic was strongly correlated with greater bioptic helpfulness. Bioptic AMD drivers were more likely to report avoidance of night driving than the age-similar NV drivers (P = 0.06). However, they reported less difficulty than the nonbioptic AMD drivers in all driving situations (P ≤ 0.02). Weekly mileages of bioptic AMD drivers were lower than those of the younger bioptic drivers (P < 0.001), but not the NV group (P = 0.54), and were higher than those of the nonbioptic AMD group (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that bioptic telescopes met the visual demands of drivers with AMD and that those drivers had relatively unrestricted driving habits. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Licensure with a bioptic telescope may prolong driving of older adults with AMD; however, objective measures of bioptic use, driving performance, and safety are needed.

Boynton GE, Raoof D, Niziol LM, Hussain M, Mian SI. Prospective Randomized Trial Comparing Efficacy of Topical Loteprednol Etabonate 0.5% Versus Cyclosporine-A 0.05% for Treatment of Dry Eye Syndrome Following Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Cornea 2015;34(7):725-32.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of topical loteprednol etabonate (LE) 0.5% compared with cyclosporine A (CsA) 0.05% for the prophylaxis and treatment of dry eye syndrome (DES) after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). METHODS: Seventy-five patients were randomized to LE (n = 76 eyes of 38 patients) or CsA (n = 74 eyes of 37 patients) pre-HSCT. Lissamine green and fluorescein staining, tear break-up time, tear osmolarity (Osm), Schirmer score (Sch), intraocular pressure, visual acuity, and Ocular Surface Disease Index were assessed pre-HSCT, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-HSCT. RESULTS: There were no differences in DES incidence (P = 0.22; log-rank test) or progression (P = 0.41; log-rank test) between the 2 treatment arms during the course of the study. Among eyes with no DES at enrollment, the Kaplan-Meier analysis yielded a 90% rate of DES development in cyclosporine-treated eyes and a 79% rate of DES development in LE-treated eyes by 12 months post-HSCT. The Kaplan-Meier analysis of eyes with DES at enrollment demonstrated a 38% rate of disease progression among cyclosporine-treated eyes and a 26% rate of disease progression among loteprednol-treated eyes by 12 months. No patient in either group had an elevation of 10 mm Hg or greater from baseline at any study visit, and no patients had their treatment discontinued for elevation in intraocular pressure. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-HSCT initiation of LE 0.5% appears to be safe and may be as effective as CsA 0.5% for the treatment and prophylaxis of DES following HSCT.

Bravo-Osuna I, Vicario-de-la-Torre M, Andrés-Guerrero V, Sánchez-Nieves J, Guzmán-Navarro M, de la Mata FJ, Gómez R, de Las Heras B, Argüeso P, Ponchel G, Herrero-Vanrell R, Molina-Martínez IT. Novel Water-Soluble Mucoadhesive Carbosilane Dendrimers for Ocular Administration. Mol Pharm 2016;13(9):2966-76.Abstract

The purpose of this research was to determine the potential use of water-soluble anionic and cationic carbosilane dendrimers (generations 1-3) as mucoadhesive polymers in eyedrop formulations. Cationic carbosilane dendrimers decorated with ammonium -NH3(+) groups were prepared by hydrosylilation of Boc-protected allylamine and followed by deprotection with HCl. Anionic carbosilane dendrimers with terminal carboxylate groups were also employed in this study. In vitro and in vivo tolerance studies were performed in human ocular epithelial cell lines and rabbit eyes respectively. The interaction of dendrimers with transmembrane ocular mucins was evaluated with a surface biosensor. As proof of concept, the hypotensive effect of a carbosilane dendrimer eyedrop formulation containing acetazolamide (ACZ), a poorly water-soluble drug with limited ocular penetration, was tested after instillation in normotensive rabbits. The methodology used to synthesize cationic dendrimers avoids the difficulty of obtaining neutral -NH2 dendrimers that require harsher reaction conditions and also present high aggregation tendency. Tolerance studies demonstrated that both prototypes of water-soluble anionic and cationic carbosilane dendrimers were well tolerated in a range of concentrations between 5 and 10 μM. Permanent interactions between cationic carbosilane dendrimers and ocular mucins were observed using biosensor assays, predominantly for the generation-three (G3) dendrimer. An eyedrop formulation containing G3 cationic carbosilane dendrimers (5 μM) and ACZ (0.07%) (289.4 mOsm; 5.6 pH; 41.7 mN/m) induced a rapid (onset time 1 h) and extended (up to 7 h) hypotensive effect, and led to a significant increment in the efficacy determined by AUC0(8h) and maximal intraocular pressure reduction. This work takes advantage of the high-affinity interaction between cationic carbosilane dendrimers and ocular transmembrane mucins, as well as the tensioactive behavior observed for these polymers. Our results indicate that low amounts of cationic carbosilane dendrimers are well tolerated and able to improve the hypotensive effect of an acetazolamide solution. Our results suggest that carbosilane dendrimers can be used in a safe range of concentrations to enhance the bioavailability of drugs topically administered in the eye.

Bressler SB, Edwards AR, Andreoli CM, Edwards PA, Glassman AR, Jaffe GJ, Melia M, Sun JK, for the Committee DRCRN/W. Reproducibility of Optovue RTVue Optical Coherence Tomography Retinal Thickness Measurements and Conversion to Equivalent Zeiss Stratus Metrics in Diabetic Macular Edema. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2015;4(1):5.Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate the reproducibility of central subfield thickness (CST) and volume measurements from optical coherence tomography (OCT) images obtained with Zeiss Stratus and Optovue RTVue, and formulate equations to convert these measurements from RTVue to 'equivalent' Stratus values. METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study from 309 eyes of 167 participants with diabetes and at least one eye with central-involved diabetic macular edema (DME; Stratus CST ≥ 250 μm) that underwent two replicate Stratus scans followed by two replicate RTVue scans centered on the fovea. RESULTS: The Bland-Altman coefficient of repeatability for relative change in CST (the degree of change that could be expected from measurement variability) was not significantly different on Stratus and RTVue scans (10% and 16%, respectively). The replicate Stratus CST was within 10% of the initial Stratus measurement 93% of the time; the CST conversion equation predicted a Stratus value calculated from the observed RTVue value within 10% of the observed Stratus thickness 91% of the time. Bland-Altman limit of agreement for relative change in CST between measurements observed on different machines was 23%, comparing predicted versus actual Stratus measurement. CONCLUSIONS: RTVue thickness reproducibility appears similar to Stratus. Conversion equations to transform RTVue measurements to Stratus-equivalent values within 10% of the observed Stratus RT are feasible. CST changes greater than 10% when using the same machine or 20% when switching from Stratus to RTVue, after conversion to Stratus equivalents, are likely due to a true change beyond measurement error. TRANSLATIONAL RELEVANCE: Conversion equations to translate central retinal thickness measurements between OCT instruments is critical to clinical trials.

Brodowska K, Theodoropoulou S, Meyer Zu Hörste M, Paschalis EI, Takeuchi K, Scott G, Ramsey DJ, Kiernan E, Hoang M, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas ES, Vavvas DG. Effects of metformin on retinoblastoma growth in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 2014;45(6):2311-24.Abstract
Recent studies suggest that the anti-diabetic drug metformin may reduce the risk of cancer and have anti-proliferative effects for some but not all cancers. In this study, we examined the effects of metformin on human retinoblastoma cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Two different human retinoblastoma cell lines (Y79, WERI) were treated with metformin in vitro and xenografts of Y79 cells were established in nu/nu immune-deficient mice and used to assess the effects of pharmacological levels of metformin in vivo. Metformin inhibited proliferation of the retinoblastoma cells in vitro. Similar to other studies, high concentrations of metformin (mM) blocked the cell cycle in G0‑G1, indicated by a strong decrease of G1 cyclins, especially cyclin D, cyclin-dependent kinases (4 and 6), and flow cytometry assessment of the cell cycle. This was associated with activation of AMPK, inhibition of the mTOR pathways and autophagy marker LC3B. However, metformin failed to suppress growth of xenografted tumors of Y79 human retinoblastoma cells in nu/nu mice, even when treated with a maximally tolerated dose level achieved in human patients. In conclusion, suprapharmacological levels (mM) of metformin, well above those tolerated in vivo, inhibited the proliferation of retinoblastoma cells in vitro. However, physiological levels of metformin, such as seen in the clinical setting, did not affect the growth of retinoblastoma cells in vitro or in vivo. This suggests that the potential beneficial effects of metformin seen in epidemiological studies may be limited to specific tumor types or be related to indirect effects/mechanisms not observed under acute laboratory conditions.
Brodowska K, Al-Moujahed A, Marmalidou A, Meyer Zu Horste M, Cichy J, Miller JW, Gragoudas E, Vavvas DG. The clinically used photosensitizer Verteporfin (VP) inhibits YAP-TEAD and human retinoblastoma cell growth invitro without light activation. Exp Eye Res 2014;124:67-73.Abstract

Verteporfin (VP), a benzoporphyrin derivative, is clinically used in photodynamic therapy for neovascular macular degeneration. Recent studies indicate that VP may inhibit growth of hepatoma cells without photoactivation through inhibition of YAP-TEAD complex. In this study, we examined the effects of VP without light activation on human retinoblastoma cell lines. Verteporfin but not vehicle control inhibited the growth, proliferation and viability of human retinoblastoma cell lines (Y79 and WERI) in a dose-dependent manner and was associated with downregulation of YAP-TEAD associated downstream proto-oncogenes such as c-myc, Axl, and surviving. In addition VP affected signals involved in cell migration and angiogenesis such as CTGF, cyr61, and VEGF-A but was not associated with significant effect on the mTOR/autophagy pathway. Of interest the pluripotency marker Oct4 were downregulated by Verteporfin treatment. Our results indicate that the clinically used photosensitizer VP is a potent inhibitor of cell growth in retinoblastoma cells, disrupting YAP-TEAD signaling and pluripotential marker OCT4. This study highlights for the first time the role of the YAP-TEAD pathway in Retinoblastoma and suggests that VP may be a useful adjuvant therapeutic tool in treating Rb patients.

Brodowska K, Stryjewski TP, Papavasileiou E, Chee YE, Eliott D. Validation of the Retinal Detachment after Open Globe Injury (RD-OGI) Score as an Effective Tool for Predicting Retinal Detachment. Ophthalmology 2017;124(5):674-678.Abstract

PURPOSE: The Retinal Detachment after Open Globe Injury (RD-OGI) Score is a clinical prediction model that was developed at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to predict the risk of retinal detachment (RD) after open globe injury (OGI). This study sought to validate the RD-OGI Score in an independent cohort of patients. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: The predictive value of the RD-OGI Score was evaluated by comparing the original RD-OGI Scores of 893 eyes with OGI that presented between 1999 and 2011 (the derivation cohort) with 184 eyes with OGI that presented from January 1, 2012, to January 31, 2014 (the validation cohort). METHODS: Three risk classes (low, moderate, and high) were created and logistic regression was undertaken to evaluate the optimal predictive value of the RD-OGI Score. A Kaplan-Meier survival analysis evaluated survival experience between the risk classes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time to RD. RESULTS: At 1 year after OGI, 255 eyes (29%) in the derivation cohort and 66 eyes (36%) in the validation cohort were diagnosed with an RD. At 1 year, the low risk class (RD-OGI Scores 0-2) had a 3% detachment rate in the derivation cohort and a 0% detachment rate in the validation cohort, the moderate risk class (RD-OGI Scores 2.5-4.5) had a 29% detachment rate in the derivation cohort and a 35% detachment rate in the validation cohort, and the high risk class (RD-OGI scores 5-7.5) had a 73% detachment rate in the derivation cohort and an 86% detachment rate in the validation cohort. Regression modeling revealed the RD-OGI to be highly discriminative, especially 30 days after injury, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.939 in the validation cohort. Survival experience was significantly different depending upon the risk class (P < 0.0001, log-rank chi-square). CONCLUSIONS: The RD-OGI Score can reliably predict the future risk of developing an RD based on clinical variables that are present at the time of the initial evaluation after OGI.

Bron AJ, Argüeso P, Irkec M, Bright FV. Clinical staining of the ocular surface: mechanisms and interpretations. Prog Retin Eye Res 2015;44:36-61.Abstract

In this article we review the mechanism of ocular surface staining. Water-soluble dyes are excluded from the normal epithelium by tight junctions, the plasma membranes and the surface glycocalyx. Shed cells can take up dye. A proportion of normal corneas show sparse, scattered time-dependent, punctate fluorescein uptake, which, we hypothesise, is due to a graded loss of the glycocalyx barrier, permitting transcellular entry into pre-shed cells. In pathological staining, there is little evidence of 'micropooling' at sites of shedding and the term 'punctate erosion' may be a misnomer. It is more likely that the initial event involves transcellular dye entry and, in addition, diffusion across defective tight junctions. Different dye-staining characteristics probably reflect differences in molecular size and other physical properties of each dye, coupled with differences in visibility under the conditions of illumination used. This is most relevant to the rapid epithelial spread of fluorescein from sites of punctate staining, compared to the apparent confinement of dyes to staining cells with dyes such as lissamine green and rose bengal. We assume that fluorescein, with its lower molecular weight, spreads initially by a paracellular route and then by transcellular diffusion. Solution-Induced Corneal Staining (SICS), related to the use of certain contact lens care solutions, may have a different basis, involving the non-pathological uptake of cationic preservatives, such as biguanides, into epithelial membranes and secondary binding of the fluorescein anion. It is transient and may not imply corneal toxicity. Understanding the mechanism of staining is relevant to the standardisation of grading, to monitoring disease and to the conduct of clinical trials.

Bronstad MP, Albu A, Bowers AR, Goldstein R, Peli E. Driving with Central Visual Field Loss II: How Scotomas above or below the Preferred Retinal Locus (PRL) Affect Hazard Detection in a Driving Simulator. PLoS One 2015;10(9):e0136517.Abstract

We determined whether binocular central scotomas above or below the preferred retinal locus affect detection of hazards (pedestrians) approaching from the side. Seven participants with central field loss (CFL), and seven age-and sex-matched controls with normal vision (NV), each completed two sessions of 5 test drives (each approximately 10 minutes long) in a driving simulator. Participants pressed the horn when detecting pedestrians that appeared at one of four eccentricities (-14°, -4°, left, 4°, or 14°, right, relative to car heading). Pedestrians walked or ran towards the travel lane on a collision course with the participant's vehicle, thus remaining in the same area of the visual field, assuming participant's steady forward gaze down the travel lane. Detection rates were nearly 100% for all participants. CFL participant reaction times were longer (median 2.27s, 95% CI 2.13 to 2.47) than NVs (median 1.17s, 95%CI 1.10 to 2.13; difference p<0.01), and CFL participants would have been unable to stop for 21% of pedestrians, compared with 3% for NV, p<0.001. Although the scotomas were not expected to obscure pedestrian hazards, gaze tracking revealed that scotomas did sometimes interfere with detection; late reactions usually occurred when pedestrians were entirely or partially obscured by the scotoma (time obscured correlated with reaction times, r = 0.57, p<0.001). We previously showed that scotomas lateral to the preferred retinal locus delay reaction times to a greater extent; however, taken together, the results of our studies suggest that any binocular CFL might negatively impact timely hazard detection while driving and should be a consideration when evaluating vision for driving.

Brownstein CA, Kleiman RJ, Engle EC, Towne MC, D'Angelo EJ, Yu TW, Beggs AH, Picker J, Fogler JM, Carroll D, Schmitt RCO, Wolff RR, Shen Y, Lip V, Bilguvar K, Kim A, Tembulkar S, O'Donnell K, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. Overlapping 16p13.11 deletion and gain of copies variations associated with childhood onset psychosis include genes with mechanistic implications for autism associated pathways: Two case reports. Am J Med Genet A 2016;170(5):1165-73.Abstract

Copy number variability at 16p13.11 has been associated with intellectual disability, autism, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Adolescent/adult- onset psychosis has been reported in a subset of these cases. Here, we report on two children with CNVs in 16p13.11 that developed psychosis before the age of 7. The genotype and neuropsychiatric abnormalities of these patients highlight several overlapping genes that have possible mechanistic relevance to pathways previously implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorders, including the mTOR signaling and the ubiquitin-proteasome cascades. A careful screening of the 16p13.11 region is warranted in patients with childhood onset psychosis. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Bujakowska KM, Zhang Q, Siemiatkowska AM, Liu Q, Place E, Falk MJ, Consugar M, Lancelot M-E, Antonio A, Lonjou C, Carpentier W, Mohand-Saïd S, den Hollander AI, Cremers FPM, Leroy BP, Gai X, Sahel J-A, van den Born IL, Collin RWJ, Zeitz C, Audo I, Pierce EA. Mutations in IFT172 cause isolated retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Hum Mol Genet 2015;24(1):230-42.Abstract

Primary cilia are sensory organelles present on most mammalian cells. The assembly and maintenance of primary cilia are facilitated by intraflagellar transport (IFT), a bidirectional protein trafficking along the cilium. Mutations in genes coding for IFT components have been associated with a group of diseases called ciliopathies. These genetic disorders can affect a variety of organs including the retina. Using whole exome sequencing in three families, we identified mutations in Intraflagellar Transport 172 Homolog [IFT172 (Chlamydomonas)] that underlie an isolated retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Extensive functional analyses of the identified mutations in cell culture, rat retina and in zebrafish demonstrated their hypomorphic or null nature. It has recently been reported that mutations in IFT172 cause a severe ciliopathy syndrome involving skeletal, renal, hepatic and retinal abnormalities (Jeune and Mainzer-Saldino syndromes). Here, we report for the first time that mutations in this gene can also lead to an isolated form of retinal degeneration. The functional data for the mutations can partially explain milder phenotypes; however, the involvement of modifying alleles in the IFT172-associated phenotypes cannot be excluded. These findings expand the spectrum of disease associated with mutations in IFT172 and suggest that mutations in genes originally reported to be associated with syndromic ciliopathies should also be considered in subjects with non-syndromic retinal dystrophy.

Bujakowska KM, Consugar M, Place E, Harper S, Lena J, Taub DG, White J, Navarro-Gomez D, Weigel DiFranco C, Farkas MH, Gai X, Berson EL, Pierce EA. Targeted exon sequencing in Usher syndrome type I. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(12):8488-96.Abstract

PURPOSE: Patients with Usher syndrome type I (USH1) have retinitis pigmentosa, profound congenital hearing loss, and vestibular ataxia. This syndrome is currently thought to be associated with at least six genes, which are encoded by over 180 exons. Here, we present the use of state-of-the-art techniques in the molecular diagnosis of a cohort of 47 USH1 probands. METHODS: The cohort was studied with selective exon capture and next-generation sequencing of currently known inherited retinal degeneration genes, comparative genomic hybridization, and Sanger sequencing of new USH1 exons identified by human retinal transcriptome analysis. RESULTS: With this approach, we were able to genetically solve 14 of the 47 probands by confirming the biallelic inheritance of mutations. We detected two likely pathogenic variants in an additional 19 patients, for whom family members were not available for cosegregation analysis to confirm biallelic inheritance. Ten patients, in addition to primary disease-causing mutations, carried rare likely pathogenic USH1 alleles or variants in other genes associated with deaf-blindness, which may influence disease phenotype. Twenty-one of the identified mutations were novel among the 33 definite or likely solved patients. Here, we also present a clinical description of the studied cohort at their initial visits. CONCLUSIONS: We found a remarkable genetic heterogeneity in the studied USH1 cohort with multiplicity of mutations, of which many were novel. No obvious influence of genotype on phenotype was found, possibly due to small sample sizes of the genotypes under study.

Bujakowska KM, Fernandez-Godino R, Place E, Consugar M, Navarro-Gomez D, White J, Bedoukian EC, Zhu X, Xie HM, Gai X, Leroy BP, Pierce EA. Copy-number variation is an important contributor to the genetic causality of inherited retinal degenerations. Genet Med 2016;Abstract

PURPOSE: Despite substantial progress in sequencing, current strategies can genetically solve only approximately 55-60% of inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) cases. This can be partially attributed to elusive mutations in the known IRD genes, which are not easily identified by the targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) or Sanger sequencing approaches. We hypothesized that copy-number variations (CNVs) are a major contributor to the elusive genetic causality of IRDs. METHODS: Twenty-eight cases previously unsolved with a targeted NGS were investigated with whole-genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) arrays. RESULTS: Deletions in the IRD genes were detected in 5 of 28 families, including a de novo deletion. We suggest that the de novo deletion occurred through nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) and we constructed a genomic map of NAHR-prone regions with overlapping IRD genes. In this article, we also report an unusual case of recessive retinitis pigmentosa due to compound heterozygous mutations in SNRNP200, a gene that is typically associated with the dominant form of this disease. CONCLUSIONS: CNV mapping substantially increased the genetic diagnostic rate of IRDs, detecting genetic causality in 18% of previously unsolved cases. Extending the search to other structural variations will probably demonstrate an even higher contribution to genetic causality of IRDs.Genet Med advance online publication 13 October 2016Genetics in Medicine (2016); doi:10.1038/gim.2016.158.

Bujakowska KM, Liu Q, Pierce EA. Photoreceptor Cilia and Retinal Ciliopathies. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2017;Abstract

Photoreceptors are sensory neurons designed to convert light stimuli into neurological responses. This process, called phototransduction, takes place in the outer segments (OS) of rod and cone photoreceptors. OS are specialized sensory cilia, with analogous structures to those present in other nonmotile cilia. Deficient morphogenesis and/or dysfunction of photoreceptor sensory cilia (PSC) caused by mutations in a variety of photoreceptor-specific and common cilia genes can lead to inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs). IRDs can manifest as isolated retinal diseases or syndromic diseases. In this review, we describe the structure and composition of PSC and different forms of ciliopathies with retinal involvement. We review the genetics of the IRDs, which are monogenic disorders but genetically diverse with regard to causality.