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    Patients with nanophthalmos who undergo intraocular surgery often present with abnormal ciliary zonules. In a previous study, we reported mutation in MYRF that is implicated in the pathogenesis of nanophthalmos. The aim of this study was to model the mutation in mice to explore the role of MYRF on zonule structure and its major molecular composition, including FBN1 and FBN2. Human MYRF nanophthalmos frameshift mutation was generated in mouse using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. PCR and Sanger sequencing were used for genotype analysis of the mice model. Anterior chamber depth (ACD) was measured using hematoxylin and eosin-stained histology samples. Morphologic analysis of ciliary zonules was carried out using silver staining and immunofluorescence. Transcript and protein expression levels of MYRF, FBN1, and FBN2 in ciliary bodies were quantified using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. A nanophthalmos frameshift mutation (c.789delC, p.N264fs) of MYRF in mice showed ocular phenotypes similar to those reported in patients with nanophthalmos. ACD was reduced in MYRF mutant mice (MYRFmut/+) compared with that in littermate control mice (MYRF+/+). In addition, the morphology of ciliary zonules showed reduced zonular fiber density and detectable structural dehiscence of zonular fibers. Furthermore, qRT-PCR analysis and Western blot showed a significant decrease in mRNA expression levels of MYRF, FBN1, and FBN2 in MYRFmut/+ mice. Changes in the structure and major molecular composition of ciliary zonules accompanied with shallowing anterior chamber were detected in MYRFmut/+ mice. Therefore, MYRF mutant mice strain is a useful model for exploring pathogenesis of zonulopathy, which is almost elusive for basic researches due to lack of appropriate animal models.


    Xiaowei Yu, Nannan Sun, Xue Yang, Zhenni Zhao, Xiaoqian Su, Jiamin Zhang, Yuqing He, Yixiu Lin, Jian Ge, Zhigang Fan. Nanophthalmos-Associated MYRF Gene Mutation Causes Ciliary Zonule Defects in Mice. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 2021 Mar 01;62(3):1

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    PMID: 33646289

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