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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Sep;42(10):2217-24.

Clinical features and mutations in patients with dominant retinitis pigmentosa-1 (RP1).

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Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations and the Ocular Molecular Genetics Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



To survey patients with dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP) for mutations in the RP1 gene to determine the spectrum of dominant mutations in this gene, to estimate the proportion of dominant RP caused by this gene, and to determine whether the clinical features of patients with RP1 mutations differ from features of those with rhodopsin mutations.


A set of 241 patients who did not have mutations in the rhodopsin gene (based on previous work) formed the basis for the study. Of these patients, 117 had also been previously evaluated and were found not to carry mutations in the RDS gene. The single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) method was used to search for sequence variants, which were then directly sequenced. The relatives of selected patients were recruited for segregation analyses. Clinical evaluations of patients included a measurement of Snellen visual acuity, final dark adaptation thresholds, visual fields, and ERGs. Clinical data were compared with those obtained earlier from a study of 128 patients with dominant rhodopsin mutations.


Of the 241 patients, all were screened for the most common RP1 mutation (Arg677Ter), and 10 patients were found to have this mutation. In addition, an evaluation of a subset of 189 patients in whom the entire coding sequence was evaluated revealed the following mutations: Gln679Ter (1 case), Gly723Ter (2 cases), Glu729(1-bp del) (1 case), Leu762(5-bp del) (2 cases), and Asn763(4-bp del) (1 case). All of these mutations cosegregated with RP in the families of the index patients. Nine missense mutations that were each found in six or fewer patients were encountered. The segregation of eight of these was evaluated in the respective patients' families, and only one segregated with dominant RP. This cosegregating missense change was in cis with the nonsense mutation Gln679Ter. Although patients with RP1 mutations had, on average, slightly better visual acuity than patients with rhodopsin mutations, there was no statistically significant difference in final dark-adaptation thresholds, visual field diameters, or cone electroretinogram (ERG) amplitudes. Comparably aged patients with RP1 mutations had visual function that varied by approximately two orders of magnitude, based on visual fields and ERG amplitudes.


Dominant RP1 alleles typically have premature nonsense codons occurring in the last exon of the gene and would be expected to encode mutant proteins that are only approximately one third the size of the wild-type protein, suggesting that a dominant negative effect rather than haploinsufficiency is the mechanism leading to RP caused by RP1 mutations. On average, patients with RP1 mutations have slightly better visual acuity than patients with dominant rhodopsin mutations; otherwise, they have similarly severe disease. The wide range in severity among patients with RP1 mutations indicates that other genetic or environmental factors modulate the effect of the primary mutation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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