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Gene Ther. 2012 Feb;19(2):137-44. doi: 10.1038/gt.2011.172. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Gene-based therapies for dominantly inherited retinopathies.

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Department of Genetics, Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.


In light of the elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis of some dominantly inherited retinal degenerations over the past two decades, it is timely to explore possible means of therapeutic intervention for such diseases. However, the presence of significant levels of intergenic and intragenic genetic heterogeneity in this group of dominant conditions represents a barrier to the development of therapies focused on correcting the primary genetic defect. More than 60 genes have been implicated in dominant retinopathies and indeed over 150 different mutations in the rhodopsin gene alone have been identified in patients with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Employing next-generation sequencing to characterise populations of retinal degeneration patients genetically over the coming years will beyond doubt serve to highlight further the immense genetic heterogeneity inherent in this group of disorders. Such diversity in genetic aetiologies has promoted the search for therapeutic solutions for dominantly inherited retinopathies that are independent of disease-causing mutations. The various approaches being considered to provide mutation-independent therapies for these dominant conditions will be discussed in the review, as will the preclinical data supporting the further development of such strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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