BMP4 and OTX2 are master genes in ophthalmogenesis. Mutations of BMP4 and OTX2 often lead to eye defects, including anophthalmia-microphthalmia. A significant degree of variable expressivity has been reported in heterozygous individuals with BMP4 or OTX2 mutation. Interestingly, both BMP4 and OTX2 reside on 14q22, being only 2.8 Mb apart. Previous studies reported that among three patients with 14q22 deletion involving BMP4 and OTX2, all had severe eye defects. The minimal degree of variable expressivity among these individuals who were doubly deleted for BMP4 and OTX2 could be attributed to the combinatorial relationship of the two genes observed in animal models. We herein report a patient with a concurrent deletion of BMP4 and OTX2 who exhibited bilateral microphthalmia, more specifically, anterior segment dysgenesis with microcornea. Evolutionarily conserved physical linkage of Bmp4 and Otx2 loci may suggest an advantage of the proximal alignment of the two genes. Another striking feature in the propositus was the progressive white matter loss observed by serial neuroimaging. A review of twelve previously reported patients with 14q22 microdeletion revealed decreased white matter volume in half of the patients. It remains to be elucidated whether the white matter lesion is age-dependent and progressive. In conclusion, anterior segment defects of the eyes, especially when accompanied by decreased white matter volume on neuroimaging, should raise the clinical suspicion of 14q22 microdeletion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas