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Hum Mutat. 2008 Mar;29(3):451. doi: 10.1002/humu.9524.

Spectrum of USH2A mutations in Scandinavian patients with Usher syndrome type II.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway.


Usher syndrome type II (USH2) is an autosomal recessive disorder, characterised by moderate to severe high-frequency hearing impairment, normal balance function and progressive visual impairment due to retinitis pigmentosa. Usher syndrome type IIa, the most common subtype, is defined by mutations in the USH2A gene encoding a short and a recently discovered long usherin isoform comprising 21 and 73 exons, respectively. More than 120 different disease-causing mutations have been reported, however, most of the previous reports concern mutations restricted to exons 1-21 of the USH2A gene. To explore the spectrum of USH2A disease-causing mutations among Scandinavian USH2 cases, patients from 118 unrelated families of which 27 previously had been found to carry mutations in exons 1-21 were subjected to extensive DNA sequence analysis of the full size USH2A gene. Altogether, 122 USH2A DNA sequence alterations were identified of which 57 were predicted to be disease-causing, 7 were considered to be of uncertain pathogenicity and 58 were predicted to be benign variants. Of 36 novel pathogenic USH2A mutations 31 were located in exons 22-73, specific to the long isoform. USH2A mutations were identified in 89/118 (75.4%) families. In 79/89 (88.8%) of these families two pathogenic mutations were identified whereas in 10/89 (11.2%) families the second mutation remained unidentified. In 5/118 (4.2%) families the USH phenotype could be explained by mutations in the USH3A gene. The results presented here provide a comprehensive picture of the genetic aetiology of Usher syndrome type IIA in Scandinavia as it is known to date.

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