Exclusion of pathogenic promoter region variants and identification of novel nonsense mutations in the zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 gene in posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy

Mol Vis. 2013;19:575-80. Epub 2013 Mar 15.


Purpose: To report the identification of five novel nonsense mutations in the zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) gene and exclusion of promoter region mutations in individuals without ZEB1 coding region mutations in posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD).

Methods: Slit-lamp examination and DNA collection were performed for individuals diagnosed with PPCD and, when available, affected and unaffected family members. Genomic DNA prepared from peripheral blood leukocytes and buccal epithelial cells underwent PCR amplification and automated sequencing of the ZEB1 gene and 1 kb 5' of ZEB1, presumably containing the ZEB1 promoter region.

Results: Thirteen unrelated individuals with PPCD were identified, and genomic DNA was collected from each individual. ZEB1 mutations were identified in six of the 13 probands, five of which were novel: p.(Gly150Alafs*36; spontaneous), p.(His230Argfs*7), p.(Ser638Cysfs*5), p.(Glu1039Glyfs*6), and p.(Gln884Argfs*37). Screening of the ZEB1 promoter region in 31 probands with PPCD without a ZEB1 coding region mutation identified only two known single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whose frequency in the affected probands did not differ significantly from that in the general population.

Conclusions: We report five novel frame-shift mutations, one confirmed as spontaneous, in the ZEB1 gene associated with PPCD, bringing the total number of reported pathogenic mutations to 24, and the percentage of PPCD associated with ZEB1 mutations to 32%. The absence of ZEB1 promoter region mutations in probands without a ZEB1 coding region mutation indicates that other genetic loci, such as the PPCD1 locus, are involved in the pathogenesis of PPCD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Pairing / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon, Nonsense / genetics*
  • Corneal Dystrophies, Hereditary / genetics*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Exons / genetics
  • Female
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Pedigree
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1


  • Codon, Nonsense
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • ZEB1 protein, human
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1

Supplementary concepts

  • Corneal Dystrophy, Posterior Polymorphous, 1