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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Jun 8;52(7):4063-71. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6869.

Four-year follow-up of diagnostic service in USH1 patients.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, Montpellier, France.



The purpose of this study was to establish the mutation spectrum of an Usher type I cohort of 61 patients from France and to describe a diagnostic strategy, including a strategy for estimating the pathogenicity of sequence changes.


To optimize the identification of Usher (USH)-causative mutations, taking into account the genetic heterogeneity, preliminary haplotyping at the five USH1 loci was performed to prioritize the gene to be sequenced, as previously described. Coding exons and flanking intronic sequences were sequenced and, where necessary, semiquantitative PCR and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) were performed to detect large genomic rearrangements.


Four years ' experience confirms that the chosen approach provides an efficient diagnostic service. Sixty-one patients showed an abnormal genotype in one of the five USH1 genes. Genetic heterogeneity was confirmed, and, although MYO7A remains the major gene, involvement of other genes is considerable. Distribution of missense, splicing, premature termination codons (PTCs; due to point substitution and small deletions/ or insertions), and large genomic alterations was determined among the USH genes and clearly highlights the need to pay special attention to the diagnostic approach and interpretation, depending on the mutated gene.


Over the 4 years of a diagnostic service offering USH1 patient testing, pathogenic genotypes were identified in most cases (>90%). The complexity and heterogeneity of mutations reinforces the need for a comprehensive approach. Because 32% of the mutations are newly described, the results show that a screening strategy based on known mutations would have solved less than 55% of the cases.

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