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Eur J Hum Genet. 2001 Aug;9(8):561-71.

Complete exon-intron structure of the RPGR-interacting protein (RPGRIP1) gene allows the identification of mutations underlying Leber congenital amaurosis.

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Unité de Recherches sur les Handicaps Génétiques de l'Enfant, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a genetically heterogeneous autosomal recessive condition responsible for congenital blindness or greatly impaired vision since birth. So far, six LCA loci have been mapped but only 4 out of 6 genes have been identified. A genome-wide screen for homozygosity was conducted in seven consanguineous families unlinked to any of the six LCA loci. Evidence for homozygosity was found in two of these seven families at the 14q11 chromosomal region. Two retinal specific candidate genes were known to map to this region, namely the neural retina leucine zipper (NRL) and the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator interacting protein (RPGRIP1). No mutation of the NRL gene was found in any of the two families. Thus, we determined the complete exon-intron structure of the RPGRIP1 gene. RPGRIP1 encompasses 24 coding exons, nine of which are first described here with their corresponding exon-intron boundaries. The screening of the gene in the two families consistent with linkage to chromosome 14q11 allowed the identification of a homozygous null mutation and a homozygous missense mutation, respectively. Further screening of LCA patients unlinked to any of the four already identified LCA genes (n=86) identified seven additional mutations in six of them. In total, eight distinct mutations (5 out of 8 truncating) in 8/93 patients were found. So far this gene accounts for eight out of 142 LCA cases in our series (5.6%).

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