Current landscape of Oculocutaneous Albinism in Japan.

Research paper by Ken K Okamura, Tamio T Suzuki

Indexed on: 25 Sep '20Published on: 25 Sep '20Published in: Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research


Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), which is roughly divided into non-syndromic and syndromic OCA, is a group of autosomal recessive disorders caused by mutations in genes associated with pigmentation. Patients with OCA have hypopigmentation and ocular manifestations such as photophobia, amblyopia, and nystagmus. Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS), the most common syndromic OCA, is characterized by the additional features of a bleeding tendency and other critical systemic comorbidities such as pulmonary fibrosis and immunodeficiency. NGS-based gene analyses have identified several new causative genes for OCA and have detected rare subtypes of OCA with high accuracy including Japanese patients. In our survey of 190 Japanese OCA patients/families, OCA4 is the most common subtype (25.3%) followed by OCA1 (20.0%), HPS1 (14.7%) and OCA2 (8.4%). Similar to the A481T variant in OCA2, which is associated with a mild form of OCA2 and skin color variation, the c.-492_489delAATG variant located in the promoter region of SLC45A2 has been uniquely identified in Japanese patients with a mild form of OCA4. Further, rare OCA subtypes, including OCA3, HPS2, HPS3, HPS4, HPS5, HPS6 and HPS9 have also been identified in Japanese patients. The clinical characteristics and underlying molecular mechanisms of each subtype of OCA are concisely summarized in this review. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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