Biallelic mutations in L-dopachrome tautomerase (DCT) cause infantile nystagmus and oculocutaneous albinism


  • A.E. Volk
  • A. Hedergott
  • M. Preising
  • S. Rading
  • J. Fricke
  • P. Herkenrath
  • P. Nürnberg
  • J. Altmüller
  • S. von Ameln
  • B. Lorenz
  • A. Neugebauer
  • M. Karsak
  • C. Kubisch


  • Human Genetics


  • Hum Genet 140 (8): 1157-1168


  • Infantile nystagmus syndrome (INS) denominates early-onset, involuntary oscillatory eye movements with different etiologies. Nystagmus is also one of the symptoms in oculocutaneus albinism (OCA), a heterogeneous disease mainly caused by defects in melanin synthesis or melanosome biogenesis. Dopachrome tautomerase (DCT, also called TYRP2) together with tyrosinase (TYR) and tyrosin-related protein 1 (TYRP1) is one of the key enzymes in melanin synthesis. Although DCT´s role in pigmentation has been proven in different species, until now only mutations in TYR and TYRP1 have been found in patients with OCA. Detailed ophthalmological and orthoptic investigations identified a consanguineous family with two individuals with isolated infantile nystagmus and one family member with subtle signs of albinism. By whole-exome sequencing and segregation analysis, we identified the missense mutation c.176G > T (p.Gly59Val) in DCT in a homozygous state in all three affected family members. We show that this mutation results in incomplete protein maturation and targeting in vitro compatible with a partial or total loss of function. Subsequent screening of a cohort of patients with OCA (n = 85) and INS (n = 25) revealed two heterozygous truncating mutations, namely c.876C > A (p.Tyr292*) and c.1407G > A (p.Trp469*), in an independent patient with OCA. Taken together, our data suggest that mutations in DCT can cause a phenotypic spectrum ranging from isolated infantile nystagmus to oculocutaneous albinism.