Total colourblindness is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the alpha-subunit of the cone photoreceptor cGMP-gated cation channel.
ABSTRACT Total colourblindness (OMIM 216900), also referred to as rod monochromacy (RM) or complete achromatopsia, is a rare, autosomal recessive inherited and congenital disorder characterized by photophobia, reduced visual acuity, nystagmus and the complete inability to discriminate between colours. Electroretinographic recordings show that in RM, rod photoreceptor function is normal, whereas cone photoreceptor responses are absent. The locus for RM has been mapped to chromosome 2q11 (ref. 2), however the gene underlying RM has not yet been identified. Recently, a suitable candidate gene, CNGA3, encoding the alpha-subunit of the cone photoreceptor cGMP-gated cation channel, a key component of the phototransduction pathway, has been cloned and assigned to human chromosome 2q11 (refs 3,4). We report the identification of missense mutations in CNGA3 in five families with RM. Homozygous mutations are present in two families, whereas the remaining families show compound heterozygous mutations. In all cases, the segregation pattern of the mutations is consistent with the autosomal recessive inheritance of the disease and all mutations affect amino acids that are highly conserved among cyclic nucleotide gated channels (CNG) in various species. This is the first report of a colour vision disorder caused by defects other than mutations in the cone pigment genes, and implies at least in this instance a common genetic basis for phototransduction in the three different cone photoreceptors of the human retina.
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ABSTRACT: Achromatopsia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder which shows color blindness, severely impaired visual acuity, and extreme sensitivity to bright light. Mutations in the alpha subunits of the cone cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGA3) are responsible for about 1/4 of achromatopsia in the U.S. and Europe. Here, we test whether gene replacement therapy using an AAV5 vector could restore cone-mediated function and arrest cone degeneration in the cpfl5 mouse, a naturally occurring mouse model of achromatopsia with a CNGA3 mutation. We show that gene therapy leads to significant rescue of cone-mediated ERGs, normal visual acuities and contrast sensitivities. Normal expression and outer segment localization of both M- and S-opsins were maintained in treated retinas. The therapeutic effect of treatment lasted for at least 5 months post-injection. This study is the first demonstration of substantial, relatively long-term restoration of cone-mediated light responsiveness and visual behavior in a naturally occurring mouse model of CNGA3 achromatopsia. The results provide the foundation for development of an AAV5-based gene therapy trial for human CNGA3 achromatopsia.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35250. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Long-term and age-dependent restoration of visual function in a mouse model of CNGB3-associated achromatopsia following gene therapy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mutations in the CNGB3 gene account for >50% of all known cases of achromatopsia. Although of early onset, its stationary character and the potential for rapid assessment of restoration of retinal function following therapy renders achromatopsia a very attractive candidate for gene therapy. Here we tested the efficacy of an rAAV2/8 vector containing a human cone arrestin promoter and a human CNGB3 cDNA in CNGB3 deficient mice. Following subretinal delivery of the vector, CNGB3 was detected in both M- and S-cones and resulted in increased levels of CNGA3, increased cone density and survival, improved cone outer segment structure and normal subcellular compartmentalization of cone opsins. Therapy also resulted in long-term improvement of retinal function, with restoration of cone ERG amplitudes of up to 90% of wild-type and a significant improvement in visual acuity. Remarkably, successful restoration of cone function was observed even when treatment was initiated at 6 months of age; however, restoration of normal visual acuity was only possible in younger animals (e.g. 2-4 weeks old). This study represents achievement of the most substantial restoration of visual function reported to date in an animal model of achromatopsia using a human gene construct, which has the potential to be utilized in clinical trials.Human Molecular Genetics 06/2011; 20(16):3161-75. · 7.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Blindness, although not life threatening, is a debilitating disorder for which few, if any treatments exist. Ocular gene therapies have the potential to profoundly improve the quality of life in patients with inherited retinal disease. As such, tremendous focus has been given to develop such therapies. Several factors make the eye an ideal organ for gene-replacement therapy including its accessibility, immune privilege, small size, compartmentalization, and the existence of a contralateral control. This review will provide a comprehensive summary of (i) existing gene therapy clinical trials for several genetic forms of blindness and (ii) preclinical efficacy and safety studies in a variety of animal models of retinal disease which demonstrate strong potential for clinical application. To be as comprehensive as possible, we include additional proof of concept studies using gene replacement, neurotrophic/neuroprotective, optogenetic, antiangiogenic, or antioxidative stress strategies as well as a description of the current challenges and future directions in the ocular gene therapy field to this review as a supplement.Molecular Therapy (2013); doi:10.1038/mt.2012.280.Molecular Therapy 01/2013; · 6.87 Impact Factor