Impaired Bestrophin Channel Activity in an iPSC-RPE Model of Best Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy (BVMD) from an Early Onset Patient Carrying the P77S Dominant Mutation


Best Vitelliform Macular dystrophy (BVMD) is the most prevalent of the distinctive retinal dystrophies caused by mutations in the BEST1 gene. This gene, which encodes for a homopentameric calcium-activated ion channel, is crucial for the homeostasis and function of the retinal pigment epithelia (RPE), the cell type responsible for recycling the visual pigments generated by photoreceptor cells. In BVMD patients, mutations in this gene induce functional problems in the RPE cell layer with an accumulation of lipofucsin that evolves into cell death and loss of sight. In this work, we employ iPSC-RPE cells derived from a patient with the p.Pro77Ser dominant mutation to determine the correlation between this variant and the ocular phenotype. To this purpose, gene and protein expression and localization are evaluated in iPSC-RPE cells along with functional assays like phagocytosis and anion channel activity. Our cell model shows no differences in gene expression, protein expression/localization, or phagocytosis capacity, but presents an increased chloride entrance, indicating that the p.Pro77Ser variant might be a gain-of-function mutation. We hypothesize that this variant disturbs the neck region of the BEST1 channel, affecting channel function but maintaining cell homeostasis in the short term. This data shed new light on the different phenotypes of dominant mutations in BEST1, and emphasize the importance of understanding its molecular mechanisms. Furthermore, the data widen the knowledge of this pathology and open the door for a better diagnosis and prognosis of the disease.

Authors Navinés-Ferrer A, Ruiz-Nogales S, Navarro R, Pomares E
Journal International journal of molecular sciences
Publication Date 2022 Jul 4;23(13)
PubMed 35806438
PubMed Central PMC9266689
DOI 10.3390/ijms23137432

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