2020 Volume 9 Issue 4 Pages 222-228
The oculocerebrorenal syndrome of Lowe is a rare X-linked disease characterized by congenital cataracts, proximal renal tubulopathy, muscular hypotonia and mental impairment. This disease is caused by mutations in the OCRL gene encoding membrane bound inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase OCRL1. Here, we examined the OCRL gene of two Lowe syndrome patients and report two new missense mutations that affect the ASH domain involved in protein-protein interactions. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood of two non-related patients and their relatives. Exons and flanking intronic regions of OCRL were analyzed by direct sequencing. Several bioinformatics tools were used to assess the pathogenicity of the variants. The three-dimensional structure of wild-type and mutant ASH domains was modeled using the online server SWISS-MODEL. Clinical features suggesting the diagnosis of Lowe syndrome were observed in both patients. Genetic analysis revealed two novel missense variants, c.1907T>A (p.V636E) and c.1979A>C (p.H660P) in exon 18 of the OCRL gene confirming the clinical diagnosis in both cases. Variant c.1907T>A (p.V636E) was inherited from the patient's mother, while variant c.1979A>C (p.H660P) seems to have originated de novo. Analysis with bioinformatics tools indicated that both variants are pathogenic. Both amino acid changes affect the structure of the OCRL1 ASH domain. In conclusion, the identification of two novel missense mutations located in the OCRL1 ASH domain may shed more light on the functional importance of this domain. We suggest that p.V636E and p.H660P cause Lowe syndrome by disrupting the interaction of OCRL1 with other proteins or by impairing protein stability.