SSBP1 mutations in dominant optic atrophy with variable retinal degeneration.

TitleSSBP1 mutations in dominant optic atrophy with variable retinal degeneration.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsJurkute, N, Leu, C, Pogoda, H-M, Arno, G, Robson, AG, Nürnberg, G, Altmüller, J, Thiele, H, Motameny, S, Toliat, MReza, Powell, K, Höhne, W, Michaelides, M, Webster, AR, Moore, AT, Hammerschmidt, M, Nürnberg, P, Yu-Wai-Man, P, Votruba, M
JournalAnn Neurol
Date Published2019 Jul 12

OBJECTIVE: Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) starts in early childhood with loss of visual acuity and color vision deficits. OPA1 mutations are responsible for the majority of cases, but in a portion of patients with a clinical diagnosis of ADOA, the cause remains unknown. This study aimed to identify novel ADOA-associated genes and explore their causality.

METHODS: Linkage analysis and sequencing were performed in multigeneration families and unrelated patients to identify disease-causing variants. Functional consequences were investigated in silico and confirmed experimentally using the zebrafish model.

RESULTS: We defined a new ADOA locus on 7q33-q35 and identified 3 different missense variants in SSBP1 (NM_001256510.1; c.113G>A [p.(Arg38Gln)], c.320G>A [p.(Arg107Gln)] and c.422G>A [p.(Ser141Asn)]) in affected individuals from 2 families and 2 singletons with ADOA and variable retinal degeneration. The mutated arginine residues are part of a basic patch that is essential for single-strand DNA binding. The loss of a positive charge at these positions is very likely to lower the affinity of SSBP1 for single-strand DNA. Antisense-mediated knockdown of endogenous ssbp1 messenger RNA (mRNA) in zebrafish resulted in compromised differentiation of retinal ganglion cells. A similar effect was achieved when mutated mRNAs were administered. These findings point toward an essential role of ssbp1 in retinal development and the dominant-negative nature of the identified human variants, which is consistent with the segregation pattern observed in 2 multigeneration families studied.

INTERPRETATION: SSBP1 is an essential protein for mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance. Our data have established pathogenic variants in SSBP1 as a cause of ADOA and variable retinal degeneration. ANN NEUROL 2019.

Alternate JournalAnn. Neurol.
Citation Key10.1002/ana.25550
PubMed ID31298765
Grant ListGM63904 / / National Institute of General Medical Sciences /
/ / Fight for Sight Early Career Investigator Award /
/ / NIHR Biomedical Research Centre /
/ / UK National Institute of Health Research /
/ / Isaac Newton Trust /
/ / Fight for Sight (UK) /
/ / Medical Research Council (UK) /
G1002570 / / Clinician Scientist Fellowship Award /
G108523 / / Clinician Scientist Fellowship Award /
G0700949 / / Medical Research Council Project Grant /
/ / Medical Research Council (UK) /
G0700949 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
G1002570 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
G108523 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
/ / Cancer Research United Kingdom /
/ / Wellcome Trust /
/ / National Health Service /
/ / National Institute for Health Research /