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Mutations in TUBB4B Cause a Distinctive Sensorineural Disease.

Am J Hum Genet; 101(6): 1006-1012, 2017 Dec 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29198720
Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a neurodegenerative disease of photoreceptor cells that causes blindness within the first year of life. It occasionally occurs in syndromic metabolic diseases and plurisystemic ciliopathies. Using exome sequencing in a multiplex family and three simplex case subjects with an atypical association of LCA with early-onset hearing loss, we identified two heterozygous mutations affecting Arg391 in ß-tubulin 4B isotype-encoding (TUBB4B). Inspection of the atomic structure of the microtubule (MT) protofilament reveals that the ß-tubulin Arg391 residue contributes to a binding pocket that interacts with α-tubulin contained in the longitudinally adjacent αß-heterodimer, consistent with a role in maintaining MT stability. Functional analysis in cultured cells overexpressing FLAG-tagged wild-type or mutant TUBB4B as well as in primary skin-derived fibroblasts showed that the mutant TUBB4B is able to fold, form αß-heterodimers, and co-assemble into the endogenous MT lattice. However, the dynamics of growing MTs were consistently altered, showing that the mutations have a significant dampening impact on normal MT growth. Our findings provide a link between sensorineural disease and anomalies in MT behavior and describe a syndromic LCA unrelated to ciliary dysfunction.