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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Mar 17;95(6):3088-93.

Mutations in the RPE65 gene in patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa or leber congenital amaurosis.

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Ocular Molecular Genetics Institute, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


RPE65 is a protein of unknown function expressed specifically by the retinal pigment epithelium. We examined all 14 exons of this gene in 147 unrelated patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP), in 15 patients with isolate RP, and in 45 patients with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Sequence anomalies that were likely to be pathogenic were found in two patients with recessive RP, in one patient with isolate RP recategorized as recessive, and in seven patients with LCA. Cosegregation analysis in each available family showed that all affected individuals were either homozygotes or compound heterozygotes and that all unaffected individuals were either heterozygote carriers or homozygous wild type. In one family, there was one instance of a new mutation not present in either parent of the affected individual. In another family, affected members with recessive RP in three branches (i.e., three distinct pairs of parents) were compound heterozygotes for the same two mutations or homozygous for one of them. Based on our results, mutations in the RPE65 gene appear to account for approximately 2% of cases of recessive RP and approximately 16% of cases of LCA.

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