Purpose: The aim of the present work is the molecular diagnosis of three patients with deafness and retinal degeneration.
Methods: Three patients from two unrelated families were initially analyzed with custom gene panels for Usher genes, non-syndromic hearing loss, or inherited syndromic retinopathies and further investigated by means of clinical or whole exome sequencing.
Results: The study allowed us to detect likely pathogenic variants in PEX6, a gene typically involved in peroxisomal biogenesis disorders (PBDs). Beside deaf-blindness, both families showed additional features: Siblings from Family 1 showed enamel alteration and abnormal peroxisome. In addition, the brother had mild neurodevelopmental delay and nephrolithiasis. The case II:1 from Family 2 showed intellectual disability, enamel alteration, and dysmorphism.
Conclusions: We have reported three new cases with pathogenic variants in PEX6 presenting with milder forms of the Zellweger spectrum disorders (ZSD). The three cases showed distinct clinical features. Thus, expanding the phenotypic spectrum of PBDs and ascertaining exome sequencing is an effective strategy for an accurate diagnosis of clinically overlapping and genetically heterogeneous disorders such as deafness-blindness association.
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