Whole-exome sequencing prioritizes candidate genes for hereditary cataract in the Emory mouse mutant

Thomas M. Bennett, Yuefang Zhou, Kacie J. Meyer, Michael G. Anderson, Alan Shiels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Emory cataract (Em) mouse mutant has long been proposed as an animal model for age-related or senile cataract in humans—a leading cause of visual impairment. However, the genetic defect(s) underlying the autosomal dominant Em phenotype remains elusive. Here, we confirmed development of the cataract phenotype in commercially available Em/J mice [but not ancestral Carworth Farms White (CFW) mice] at 6–8 months of age and undertook whole-exome sequencing of candidate genes for Em. Analysis of coding and splice-site variants did not identify any disease-causing/associated mutations in over 450 genes known to underlie inherited and age-related forms of cataract and other lens disorders in humans and mice, including genes for lens crystallins, membrane/cytoskeleton proteins, DNA/RNA-binding proteins, and those associated with syndromic/systemic forms of cataract. However, we identified three cataract/lens-associated genes each with one novel homozygous variant including predicted missense substitutions in Prx (p.R167C) and Adamts10 (p.P761L) and a disruptive in-frame deletion variant (predicted missense) in Abhd12 (p.L30_A32delinsS) that were absent in CFW and over 35 other mouse strains. In silico analysis predicted that the missense substitutions in Prx and Adamts10 were borderline neutral/damaging and neutral, respectively, at the protein function level, whereas, that in Abhd12 was functionally damaging. Both the human counterparts of Adamts10 and Abhd12 are clinically associated with syndromic forms of cataract known as Weil-Marchesani syndrome 1 and polyneuropathy, hearing loss, ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, and cataract syndrome, respectively. Overall, while we cannot exclude Prx and Adamts10, our data suggest that Abhd12 is a promising candidate gene for cataract in the Em/J mouse.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjkad055
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Abhd12
  • Adamts10
  • CFW-Em/J mouse
  • Prx
  • cataract
  • lens


Dive into the research topics of 'Whole-exome sequencing prioritizes candidate genes for hereditary cataract in the Emory mouse mutant'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this