Exome sequencing in a swiss childhood glaucoma cohort reveals CYP1B1 and FOXC1 variants as most frequent causes

Elena Lang, Samuel Koller, Luzy Bähr, Marc Töteberg-Harms, David Atac, Françoise Roulez, Angela Bahr, Katharina Steindl, Silke Feil, Wolfgang Berger, Christina Gerth-Kahlert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular basis of childhood glaucoma in Switzerland to recommend future targeted genetic analysis in the Swiss population.Methods: Whole-exome sequencing and copy number variation (CNV) analysis was performed in a Swiss cohort of 18 patients from 14 unrelated families. Identified variants were validated by Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Breakpoints of structural variants were determined by a microarray. A minigene assay was conducted for functional analysis of a splice site variant.Results: A diagnosis of primary congenital glaucoma was made in 14 patients, of which six (43%) harbored pathogenic variants in CYP1B1, one (7%) a frameshift variant in FOXC1, and seven (50%) remained without a genetic diagnosis. Three patients were diagnosed with glaucoma associated with nonacquired ocular anomalies, of which two patients with mild ocular features of Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome harbored a FOXC1 duplication plus an additional FOXC1 missense variant, and one patient with a Barkan membrane remained without genetic diagnosis. A diagnosis of juvenile open-angle glaucoma was made in one patient, and genetic analysis revealed a FOXC1 duplication.Conclusions: Sequencing of CYP1B1 and FOXC1, as well as analysis of CNVs in FOXC1, should be performed before extended gene panel sequencing.Translational Relevance: The identification of the molecular cause of childhood glaucoma is a prerequisite for genetic counseling and personalized care for patients and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome
  • CYP1B1
  • Childhood glaucoma
  • FOXC1
  • Primary congenital glaucoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


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