To identify pathogenic variants in a cohort of 23 black South African children with sporadic primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) using an exome-based approach.
Children with PCG were recruited from two Paediatric Ophthalmology Clinics in Johannesburg, South Africa. Whole exome sequencing was performed on genomic DNA. Of the 23 children, 19 were male and 19 had bilateral PCG. A variant prioritization strategy was employed whereby variants in known PCG genes (CYP1B1, LTBP2 and TEK) were evaluated first, followed by the identification of putative disease-causing variants in other genes related to eye diseases and phenotypes.
Validated pathogenic variants in the CYP1B1 gene (c.1169 G>A; p.Arg390His) and TEK gene (c.922 G>A; p.Gly308Arg) were identified in one child each. No LTBP2 mutations were identified in this cohort. In silico predictions identified potentially damaging rare variants in genes previously associated with eye development phenotypes or glaucoma in a further 12 children.
This study demonstrates the value of whole exome sequencing in identifying disease-causing variants in African children with PCG. It is the first report of a TEK disease-causing variant in an African PCG patient. Potential causative variants detected in PCG candidate genes warrant further investigation.

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.