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This study sought to characterize the ophthalmic and extraocular phenotype in patients with known and novel KIF11 mutations. Four patients (3, 5, 36, and 38 years of age, on father-daughter constellation) from three unrelated families were characterized by retinal examination including multimodal retinal imaging, investigation for syndromic disease manifestations, and targeted next-generation sequencing. The subcellular localization of Kif11 in the retina was analyzed by light and electron microcopy. There was considerable interindividual and intrafamilial phenotypic heterogeneity of KIF11-related retinopathy. Two patients presented with a progressive retinal dystrophy, one with chorioretinal dysplasia and one with familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) in one eye and thinning of the photoreceptor layer in the fellow eye. Obvious syndromic disease manifestations were present only in the youngest patient, but minor signs (e.g. reduced head circumference) were present in the three other individuals. Immunohistochemistry results demonstrated Kif11 localization in the inner segment and ciliary compartments of photoreceptor cells and in the retinal pigment epithelium. Progressive retinal degeneration in KIF11-related retinopathy indicates a role for KIF11 not only in ocular development but also in maintaining retinal morphology and function. The remarkable variability of the ocular phenotype suggests four different types of retinopathy which may overlap. KIF11 should be considered in the screening of patients with retinal dystrophies because other syndromic manifestations may be subtle. Evaluation of head circumference may be considered as a potential shortcut to the genetic diagnosis. The localization of Kif11 in photoreceptor cells indicates a retinal ciliopathy.


Johannes Birtel, Martin Gliem, Elisabeth Mangold, Lars Tebbe, Isabel Spier, Philipp L Müller, Frank G Holz, Christine Neuhaus, Uwe Wolfrum, Hanno J Bolz, Peter Charbel Issa. Novel Insights Into the Phenotypical Spectrum of KIF11-Associated Retinopathy, Including a New Form of Retinal Ciliopathy. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2017 Aug 01;58(10):3950-3959

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PMID: 28785766

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