Objective: Keratoconus (KC) is an eye disorder in which the cornea is swollen, thinned and deformed. Despite extensive studies, the pathophysiological processes and genetic etiology of KC are unknown. The disease incidence is approximately 1 in 2,000, and it is the most common cause of corneal transplantation in the USA. Many genes are involved in the disease, but evidence suggests a major role for VSX1 in the etiology of KC. This study aimed to determine the frequency of mutations in exons 2, 3 and 4 of the VSX1 gene in Chaharmahal va Bakhtiari province in the southwest of Iran. Study Design: In this experimental study, mutations in 3 exons, namely exons 2, 3 and 4, of VSX1 were investigated in 50 patients with KC and 50 healthy control subjects. DNA was extracted using a standard phenol-chloroform method. PCR-single-strand conformational polymorphism/heteroduplex analysis was performed, followed by DNA sequencing to confirm the identified motility shifts. Results: H244R mutations were found in 1 patient and also in 1 healthy control subject. Furthermore, 12 polymorphisms were identified in patients with KC and 7 in healthy control subjects [rs6138482 and c.546A>G (rs12480307)]. Conclusion: Our investigation showed that KC-related VSX1 mutations were found in a very small proportion of the studied patients from Iran. Further investigations on other genes are needed to clarify their roles in KC pathogenesis.

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