Congenital or juvenile cataract is a disease condition in which opacification of the lenses is present at birth or manifests early in life. It has been attributed to different monogenic factors with a high degree of heterogeneity and is often studied using mouse models. A spontaneous mutation was identified in a mouse line selected for heat loss that influenced lens formation and resulted in juvenile cataracts in mice homozygous for the recessive allele. Genetic dissection of this selection line by combining high-density genotypes and homozygosity mapping uncovered a 906 kb fragment on MMU7 encompassing 21 SNPs split into two groups of consecutive, homozygous segments specific to the cataract phenotype. Haplotype analysis revealed a 197.5 kb segment unique to cataract-affected mice that included a single known transcript consisting of the first 14 exons of Sipa1l3. In this region, we discovered a deletion of 1114 bp at the mRNA level, spanning four coding exons, predicted to produce a truncated Sipa1l3 protein lacking a portion of a Rap-GAP domain and two other potentially vital domains. At the genome level, the deletion consisted of 16,733 bp. Genotyping across different samples confirmed that only affected mice were homozygous for the deletion and normal mice were either heterozygous or homozygous for the wild-type allele. Further studies will be required to determine the impact of the truncated Sipa1l3 domains on eye development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas