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Mol Vis. 2008 Aug 25;14:1549-58.

Truncation of retinoschisin protein associated with a novel splice site mutation in the RS1 gene.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.



To present the ocular findings of a Hungarian family with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) and to reveal a novel putative splice mutation leading to serious truncation of retinoschisin (RS1) protein. Our genetic results were compared to a mouse model of XLRS.


Complete ophthalmic examinations were performed on five members (two male patients, two female carriers, and one healthy fraternal male twin) of the family. The examinations included optical coherence tomography (OCT) and full-field and multifocal electroretinography (mfERG). OCT and ERG results were compared to the normative database of our laboratory. All exons and the flanking intronic regions of the RS1 gene were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and directly sequenced in all family members and in 50 male controls.


Typical microcystic foveal changes were found on fundoscopy and OCT in two male patients. Large foveal and smaller perifoveal cysts were detected by OCT in the inner nuclear layer and another deeper retinal cleavage in the photoreceptor layer. The standard combined b-wave amplitudes and b/a amplitude ratios of full-field ERGs of the male patients were decreased compared with controls, but the typical "negative-type" ERG was not observed. The amplitudes of mfERGs were reduced in all rings but mainly in the central part of the examined retina. Implicit times were delayed across almost the whole testing field. Female carriers and the healthy fraternal twin brother were without any symptoms and had normal clinical examination results, but the implicit times of female carriers were delayed in all rings. DNA sequence analyses revealed a novel putative splice mutation (c.78+1G>C) in the splice donor site of intron 2 in RS1 of two male patients and two female carriers. Mutations were absent in the 50 control samples.


Male patients exhibited typical bilateral foveal retinoschisis in two retinal layers and characteristic ERG changes. The inheritance of the novel putative splice mutation (c.78+1G>C) followed the classic inheritance of an X-linked recessive disease in two male patients and two female obligate carriers. There are two possible ways the c.78+1G>C splice site mutation may lead to frameshift and introduce a premature termination codon at the beginning of exon 3: after activation of the next cryptic splice site by a 10 bp insertion or after exon skipping by a 26 bp deletion. The splice site mutation in the second intron of RS1 identified in these XLRS patients is practically identical to the N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) induced splice site mutation in the mouse model of XLRS described by the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium. The genetic findings of the mutant mouse model confirm and support our human results.

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