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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21379. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021379. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Functional analysis of retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2) protein reveals variable pathogenic potential of disease-associated missense variants.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

Genetic mutations are frequently associated with diverse phenotypic consequences, which limits the interpretation of the consequence of a variation in patients. Mutations in the retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2) gene are associated with X-linked RP, which is a phenotypically heterogenic form of retinal degeneration. The purpose of this study was to assess the functional consequence of disease-associated mutations in the RP2 gene using an in vivo assay. Morpholino-mediated depletion of rp2 in zebrafish resulted in perturbations in photoreceptor development and microphthalmia (small eye). Ultrastructural and immunofluorescence analyses revealed defective photoreceptor outer segment development and lack of expression of photoreceptor-specific proteins. The retinopathy phenotype could be rescued by expressing the wild-type human RP2 protein. Notably, the tested RP2 mutants exhibited variable degrees of rescue of rod versus cone photoreceptor development as well as microphthalmia. Our results suggest that RP2 plays a key role in photoreceptor development and maintenance in zebrafish and that the clinical heterogeneity associated with RP2 mutations may, in part, result from its potentially distinct functional relevance in rod versus cone photoreceptors.

PMID:
21738648
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3124502
Free PMC Article
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