Mutations in RPGR and RP2 Account for 15% of Males with Simplex Retinal Degenerative Disease

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105, United States.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science (Impact Factor: 3.4). 11/2012; 53(13). DOI: 10.1167/iovs.12-11025
Source: PubMed


To determine the proportion of male patients presenting simplex retinal degenerative disease (RD: retinitis pigmentosa [RP] or cone/cone-rod dystrophy [COD/CORD]) with mutations in the X-linked retinal degeneration genes RPGR and RP2.

Simplex males were defined as patients with no known affected family members. Patients were excluded if they had a family history of parental consanguinity. Blood samples from a total of 214 simplex males with a diagnosis of retinal degeneration were collected for genetic analysis. The patients were screened for mutations in RPGR and RP2 by direct sequencing of PCR-amplified genomic DNA.

We identified pathogenic mutations in 32 of the 214 patients screened (15%). Of the 29 patients with a diagnosis of COD/CORD, four mutations were identified in the ORF15 mutational hotspot of the RPGR gene. Of the 185 RP patients, three patients had mutations in RP2 and 25 had RPGR mutations (including 12 in the ORF15 region).

This study represents mutation screening of RPGR and RP2 in the largest cohort, to date, of simplex males affected with RP or COD/CORD. Our results demonstrate a substantial contribution of RPGR mutations to retinal degenerations, and in particular, to simplex RP. Based on our findings, we suggest that RPGR should be considered as a first tier gene for screening isolated males with retinal degeneration.

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    • "Although XLRP is thought to affect male subjects only, many documented cases of RPGR cause disease in carrier female subjects, which giving an impression of occurrence in sequential generations simulating Mendelian dominant transmission [6]. It has been reported that RPGR carrier female subjects exhibit a range of phenotypes that can vary from asymptomatic to severe retinal disease similar to male subjects [8]–[10]. The presence of “affected” or, at least, partially manifesting female subjects with an absence of male-to-male transmission in a pedigree may lead to misinterpretation [6], which makes the genetic diagnosis difficult and complex. "
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    ABSTRACT: X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa (XLRP) accounts for 10-20% of all RP cases, and represents the most severe subtype of this disease. Mutations in the Retinitis Pigmentosa GTPase Regulator (RPGR) gene are the most common causes of XLRP, accounting for over 70-75% of all XLRP cases. In this work, we analyzed all the exons of RPGR gene with Sanger sequencing in seven Chinese XLRP families, two of these with a provisional diagnosis of adRP but without male-to-male transmission. Three novel deletions (c.2233_34delAG; c.2236_37delGA and c.2403_04delAG) and two known nonsense mutations (c.851C→G and c.2260G→T) were identified in five families. Two novel deletions (c.2233_34delAG and c.2236_37delGA) resulted in the same frame shift (p.E746RfsX22), created similar phenotype in Family 3 and 4. The novel deletion (c.2403_04delAG; p.E802GfsX31) resulted in both XLRP and x-linked cone-rod dystrophy within the male patients of family 5, which suggested the presence of either genetic or environmental modifiers, or both, play a substantial role in disease expression. Genotype-phenotype correlation analysis suggested that (1) both patients and female carriers with mutation in Exon 8 (Family 1) manifest more severe disease than did those with ORF15 mutations (Family 2&3&4); (2) mutation close to downstream of ORF15 (Family 5) demonstrate the early preferential loss of cone function with moderate loss of rod function.
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    • "Mutations in the same gene can cause different phenotypes and similar clinical findings can result from mutations in different genes. For example, RPGR and RP2 are primary causative genes in X-linked RP, but recent studies have reported the prevalence of RP2 and RPGR mutations even in simplex retinal degeneration in males [116] and in pedigrees with ‘apparent’ autosomal dominant inheritance of RP [117]. Thus, the boundaries of distinct clinical entities can be blurred, demanding more comprehensive methods of molecular evaluation [118]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) are major causes of blindness. They result from mutations in many genes which has long hampered comprehensive genetic analysis. Recently, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) has proven useful to overcome this limitation. To uncover "hidden mutations" such as copy number variations (CNVs) and mutations in non-coding regions, we extended the use of NGS data by quantitative readout for the exons of 55 RP and LCA genes in 126 patients, and by including non-coding 5' exons. We detected several causative CNVs which were key to the diagnosis in hitherto unsolved constellations, e.g. hemizygous point mutations in consanguineous families, and CNVs complemented apparently monoallelic recessive alleles. Mutations of non-coding exon 1 of EYS revealed its contribution to disease. In view of the high carrier frequency for retinal disease gene mutations in the general population, we considered the overall variant load in each patient to assess if a mutation was causative or reflected accidental carriership in patients with mutations in several genes or with single recessive alleles. For example, truncating mutations in RP1, a gene implicated in both recessive and dominant RP, were causative in biallelic constellations, unrelated to disease when heterozygous on a biallelic mutation background of another gene, or even non-pathogenic if close to the C-terminus. Patients with mutations in several loci were common, but without evidence for di- or oligogenic inheritance. Although the number of targeted genes was low compared to previous studies, the mutation detection rate was highest (70%) which likely results from completeness and depth of coverage, and quantitative data analysis. CNV analysis should routinely be applied in targeted NGS, and mutations in non-coding exons give reason to systematically include 5'-UTRs in disease gene or exome panels. Consideration of all variants is indispensable because even truncating mutations may be misleading.
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