Frequent mutations of RetNet genes in eoHM: Further confirmation in 325 probands and comparison with late-onset high myopia based on exome sequencing

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In our previous study, potential pathological mutations of RetNet genes were detected in 23.8% (71/298) of probands with early-onset high myopia (eoHM), based on whole exome sequencing (WES). The current study aimed to confirm this finding in an additional 325 probands with eoHM and to clarify its specificity by comparison of 195 probands with late-onset high myopia (loHM). Variants in the 234 RetNet genes were selected from whole-exome sequencing data and were filtered using multistep bioinformatics analyses. Potential pathological variants in 33 genes were detected in 76 of 325 (23.4%) probands with eoHM and 14 of 195 (7.2%) probands with loHM. Thirty-five of the 76 (46.1%) probands with eoHM had mutations in COL2A1, COL11A1, RPGR, and CACNAIF, while only 2/14 (14.3%) probands with eoHM were detected. The mutation frequency and spectrum of RetNet genes in the 325 probands with eoHM were similar to our previous study but were significantly different in 195 probands with loHM (P = 2 × 10−6 and 0.04). Data from eoHM and loHM strongly suggest that a significant proportion of eoHM is caused by mutations in RetNet genes. These results also provide initial genetic evidence that eoHM is different from loHM. The presence of mutations in 7.2% probands with loHM raises questions about pathogenicity and the variable manifestation of some mutations. The functional studies of the mutations in question and more extensive investigations of related phenotypes in the mutation carriers and their family members may provide valuable information to address these questions.

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