Autosomal dominant cataract is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous lens disorder that usually presents as a sight-threatening trait in childhood. Here we have mapped dominant pulverulent cataract to the β-crystallin gene cluster on chromosome 22q11.2. Suggestive evidence of linkage was detected at markers D22S1167 (LOD score [Z] 2.09 at recombination fraction [θ] 0) and D22S1154 (Z = 1.39 at θ = 0), which closely flank the genes for βB1-crystallin (CRYBB1) and βA4-crystallin (CRYBA4). Sequencing failed to detect any nucleotide changes in CRYBA4; however, a G→T transversion in exon 6 of CRYBB1 was found to cosegregate with cataract in the family. This single-nucleotide change was predicted to introduce a translation stop codon at glycine 220 (G220X). Expression of recombinant human βB1-crystallin in bacteria showed that the truncated G220X mutant was significantly less soluble than wild type. This study has identified the first CRYBB1 mutation associated with autosomal dominant cataract in humans.
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