Duplication events downstream of IRX1 cause North Carolina macular dystrophy at the MCDR3 locus

Valentina Cipriani, Raquel S. Silva, Gavin Arno, Nikolas Pontikos, Ambreen Kalhoro, Sandra Valeina, Inna Inashkina, Mareta Audere, Katrina Rutka, Bernard Puech, Michel Michaelides, Veronica Van Heyningen, Baiba Lace, Andrew R. Webster, Anthony T. Moore

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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Autosomal dominant North Carolina macular dystrophy (NCMD) is believed to represent a failure of macular development. The disorder has been linked to two loci, MCDR1 (chromosome 6q16) and MCDR3 (chromosome 5p15-p13). Recently, non-coding variants upstream of PRDM13 (MCDR1) and a duplication including IRX1 (MCDR3) have been identified. However, the underlying disease-causing mechanism remains uncertain. Through a combination of sequencing studies on eighteen NCMD families, we report two novel overlapping duplications at the MCDR3 locus, in a gene desert downstream of IRX1 and upstream of ADAMTS16. One duplication of 43 kb was identified in nine families (with evidence for a shared ancestral haplotype), and another one of 45 kb was found in a single family. Three families carry the previously reported V2 variant (MCDR1), while five remain unsolved. The MCDR3 locus is thus refined to a shared region of 39 kb that contains DNAse hypersensitive sites active at a restricted time window during retinal development. Publicly available data confirmed expression of IRX1 and ADAMTS16 in human fetal retina, with IRX1 preferentially expressed in fetal macula. These findings represent a major advance in our understanding of the molecular genetics of NCMD and provide insights into the genetic pathways involved in human macular development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7512
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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