Disruption of murine Adamtsl4 results in zonular fiber detachment from the lens and in retinal pigment epithelium dedifferentiation.

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Hum Mol Genet 2015 Dec 15; 24(24):6958-74.




EY016501, EY021151, CA34196


Human gene mutations have revealed that a significant number of ADAMTS (a disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase (reprolysin type) with thrombospondin type 1 motifs) proteins are necessary for normal ocular development and eye function. Mutations in human ADAMTSL4, encoding an ADAMTS-like protein which has been implicated in fibrillin microfibril biogenesis, cause ectopia lentis (EL) and EL et pupillae. Here, we report the first ADAMTSL4 mouse model, tvrm267, bearing a nonsense mutation in Adamtsl4. Homozygous Adamtsl4(tvrm267) mice recapitulate the EL phenotype observed in humans, and our analysis strongly suggests that ADAMTSL4 is required for stable anchorage of zonule fibers to the lens capsule. Unexpectedly, homozygous Adamtsl4(tvrm267) mice exhibit focal retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) defects primarily in the inferior eye. RPE dedifferentiation was indicated by reduced pigmentation, altered cellular morphology and a reduction in RPE-specific transcripts. Finally, as with a subset of patients with ADAMTSL4 mutations, increased axial length, relative to age-matched controls, was observed and was associated with the severity of the RPE phenotype. In summary, the Adamtsl4(tvrm267) model provides a valuable tool to further elucidate the molecular basis of zonule formation, the pathophysiology of EL and ADAMTSL4 function in the maintenance of the RPE. Hum Mol Genet 2015 Dec 15; 24(24):6958-74.