Ophthalmo-acromelic syndrome is a condition that results in malformations of the eyes, hands, and feet. The features of this condition are present from birth. The eyes are often absent or severely underdeveloped (anophthalmia), or they may be abnormally small (microphthalmia). Usually both eyes are similarly affected in this condition, but if only one eye is small or missing, the other eye may have a defect such as a gap or split in its structures (coloboma).
Mutations in the SMOC1 gene cause ophthalmo-acromelic syndrome. The SMOC1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called secreted modular calcium-binding protein 1 (SMOC-1). This protein is found in basement membranes, which are thin, sheet-like structures that support cells in many tissues and help anchor cells to one another during embryonic development. The SMOC-1 protein attaches (binds) to many different proteins and is thought to regulate molecules called growth factors that stimulate the growth and development of tissues throughout the body. These growth factors play important roles in skeletal formation, normal shaping (patterning) of the limbs, as well as eye formation and development. The SMOC-1 protein also likely promotes the maturation (differentiation) of cells that build bones, called osteoblasts.
The prevalence of ophthalmo-acromelic syndrome is not known; approximately 35 cases have been reported in the medical literature.
This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
Published Date: March 01, 2014Published By: National Institutes of Health
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