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Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Feb 10;90(2):331-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.12.006.

GPR179 is required for depolarizing bipolar cell function and is mutated in autosomal-recessive complete congenital stationary night blindness.

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  • 1Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, OH 44195, USA.


Complete congenital stationary night blindness (cCSNB) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of retinal disorders characterized by nonprogressive impairment of night vision, absence of the electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave, and variable degrees of involvement of other visual functions. We report here that mutations in GPR179, encoding an orphan G protein receptor, underlie a form of autosomal-recessive cCSNB. The Gpr179(nob5/nob5) mouse model was initially discovered by the absence of the ERG b-wave, a component that reflects depolarizing bipolar cell (DBC) function. We performed genetic mapping, followed by next-generation sequencing of the critical region and detected a large transposon-like DNA insertion in Gpr179. The involvement of GPR179 in DBC function was confirmed in zebrafish and humans. Functional knockdown of gpr179 in zebrafish led to a marked reduction in the amplitude of the ERG b-wave. Candidate gene analysis of GPR179 in DNA extracted from patients with cCSNB identified GPR179-inactivating mutations in two patients. We developed an antibody against mouse GPR179, which robustly labeled DBC dendritic terminals in wild-type mice. This labeling colocalized with the expression of GRM6 and was absent in Gpr179(nob5/nob5) mutant mice. Our results demonstrate that GPR179 plays a critical role in DBC signal transduction and expands our understanding of the mechanisms that mediate normal rod vision.

Copyright © 2012 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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