Date Published :
Objectives: Our aim was to determine the molecular cause of autosomal dominant familial retinal arteriolar tortuosity (FRAT) in a family with three affected subjects.
Material and methods Ophthalmologic evaluation included determination of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), slit- lamp and dilated fundus inspection, applanation tonometry, fundus photography, and fluorescein retinal angiography (FA). Molecular methods included whole exome sequencing analysis and Sanger sequencing validation of putative causal mutation in DNA from affected individuals.
Results: Typical signs of familial retinal arteriolar tortuosity were observed in all three patients. Exome sequencing identified a heterozygous c.1528G>A (p. Gly510Arg) mutation in COL4A1. Sanger sequencing confirmed that all three patients harbored the same pathogenetic mutation in COL4A1. The p. Gly510Arg variant in COL4A1 was absent in DNA from an available unaffected daughter, from a set of control alleles, and from publicly available databases.
Conclusions: The molecular basis of familial retinal arteriolar tortuosity was identified for the first time, thus expanding the human phenotypes linked to COL4A1 mutations. Interestingly, the COL4A1 p.Gly510Arg mutation has been previously identified in a family with HANAC (Hereditary Angiopathy with Nephropathy, Aneurysm and Cramps), a multisystemic disease featuring retinal arteriolar tortuosity. No cerebral, neurologic, renal, cardiac or vascular anomalies were recognized in the pedigree described here. These data indicate that identical mutations in COL4A1 can originate both eye-restricted and systemic phenotypes.