A novel homozygous ZNF469 variant causing brittle cornea syndrome is associated with corneal ectasias in heterozygous carriers

Int Ophthalmol. 2023 Mar;43(3):807-815. doi: 10.1007/s10792-022-02481-5. Epub 2022 Sep 1.


Aim: To describe a family segregating a novel truncating ZNF469 homozygous mutation causing brittle cornea syndrome type 1 in a male patient and associated with corneal ectasia in his two heterozygous young children.

Methods: A 49-year-old affected male and his 12- and 8-year-old, apparently healthy, siblings underwent phenotypic and genetic assessment. An Oculus Pentacam Scheimpflug topographer system was employed for keratometries and central corneal thickness measurements. Exome sequencing was performed in DNA from the index case with subsequent Sanger sequencing confirmation of the ZNF469 gene causal variant in his relatives.

Results: The index case had a history of bilateral keratoglobus, corneal perforations, bilateral hypoacusia, and skeletal anomalies. His two children exhibited topographic anomalies compatible with keratoconus suspects as well as mild skeletal anomalies. Genetic analysis identified a novel homozygous c.2340delC variant in the ZNF469 gene, which predicts a p.(Arg781Glufs*19) truncated protein. Sanger sequencing identified heterozygosity for the c.2340delC variant in DNA from both siblings.

Conclusion: Our results expand the mutational spectrum associated with brittle cornea syndrome and provide the first demonstration of early corneal anomalies in subjects carrying monoallelic ZNF469 variants.

Keywords: Brittle cornea syndrome; Corneal ectasias; Keratoconus; ZNF469.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cornea
  • Corneal Topography
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Eye Abnormalities* / diagnosis
  • Eye Abnormalities* / genetics
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Keratoconus* / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Abnormalities* / diagnosis
  • Skin Abnormalities* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Transcription Factors
  • ZNF469 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Brittle cornea syndrome 1