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Hum Mutat. 1993;2(4):249-55.

Rhodopsin mutations in autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of London, England.


Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited progressive disease which is a major cause of blindness in western communities. It can be inherited as an autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, or X-linked recessive disorder. In the autosomal dominant form (adRP), which comprises about 25% of total cases, approximately 30% of families have mutations in the gene encoding the rod photoreceptor-specific protein rhodopsin. This is the transmembrane protein which, when photoexcited, initiates the visual transduction cascade. So far, 41 single-base-pair (bp) substitutions, one two-bp substitution, and four deletions ranging from 3 to 42 bp have been identified in this gene. These mutations do not appear to be significantly clustered in a specific part of the protein, but occur in all three major domains, namely the intradiscal, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic regions. Different mutations appear to cause differences in the severity of the disease, though there is considerable variability in severity even within the same family, at least in certain of these mutations. Identification of all the mutations involved in rhodopsin-RP should allow accurate and early detection of affected individuals, informed genetic counselling, as well as furthering our knowledge of the disease process involved.

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