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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002 Sep;43(9):2819-24.

ABCA4 gene mutations in Japanese patients with Stargardt disease and retinitis pigmentosa.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.



To evaluate photoreceptor cell-specific adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette transporter (ABCA4) gene mutations in Japanese patients with Stargardt disease (STGD) and the correlation of these mutations to clinical phenotypes.


Serum was obtained from 10 unrelated Japanese patients with STGD and 96 unrelated Japanese patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP). All 50 ABCA4 gene exons of the patients with STGD were screened for mutations by a combination of single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) direct-sequencing techniques. By restriction enzyme digestion, primer extension analysis, and PCR direct sequencing techniques, the patients with arRP were screened for three segregated, presumably null ABCA4 gene mutations observed in Japanese patients with STGD.


Three novel, presumably null mutations of the ABCA4 gene, IVS7-45_952delinsTCTGACC, IVS12+2T-->G, and 1894delA, were identified. The Arg2149stop mutation that had been found in a white patient with STGD in a prior study was also found in a Japanese patient. Two arRP-affected siblings and two unrelated patients with STGD were found to be homozygous for the same IVS12+2T-->G mutation, and three other arRP-affected siblings were carriers of the IVS12+2T-->G mutation and/or the IVS7-45_952delinsTCTGACC mutation. These three siblings with arRP showed only atrophic degeneration in the macula early after the onset of the disease, and STGD had been diagnosed.


Three novel ABCA4 gene mutations were identified in Japanese patients with STGD and arRP. Mutations in the ABCA4 gene can cause panretinal degeneration that changes its clinical appearance from STGD to arRP over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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