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      Intrafamilial Clinical Heterogeneity Associated with a Novel Mutation of the Retinal Degeneration Slow/Peripherin Gene

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          Aims: To identify the phenotypic variations in 6 related individuals affected by a novel mutation in the retinal degeneration slow/peripherin gene. Methods: Ten family members underwent ophthalmologic assessment with slit-lamp biomicroscopy, dilated fundus examination, fundus photography, autofluorescence imaging and electrophysiological tests. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples of all family members (n = 15) using the standard salting-out procedure. Results: The novel C165R mutation was identified in 8 individuals. Of these 8 patients, only 6 gave consent to the clinical study. They had a retinal disease characterized by an adulthood onset of symptoms, and their best corrected visual acuity was between 20/50 and 20/20. Fundus examination showed that 3 patients had typical fundus flavimaculatus: 1 had butterfly-shaped pattern dystrophy and 2 had incipient retinal changes. Conclusion: We identified a novel mutation of the retinal degeneration slow/peripherin gene in a family affected by different patterns of retinal dystrophy. This is the first report of an association of fundus flavimaculatus with butterfly-shaped pattern dystrophy.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Mutations in the human retinal degeneration slow gene in autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

          The murine retinal degeneration slow (rds) gene is a semidominant mutation with a phenotype having rod and cone photoreceptors that develop abnormally and then slowly degenerate. The phenotype is a possible model for retinitis pigmentosa, one of the scores of hereditary human retinal degenerations, which is also characterized by photoreceptor degeneration. We report here three mutations of the human homologue of the rds gene (RDS) that cosegregate with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa in separate families. Our results indicate that some cases of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa are due to mutations at the RDS locus.
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            Localization of peripherin/rds in the disk membranes of cone and rod photoreceptors: relationship to disk membrane morphogenesis and retinal degeneration

            The outer segments of vertebrate rod photoreceptor cells consist of an ordered stack of membrane disks, which, except for a few nascent disks at the base of the outer segment, is surrounded by a separate plasma membrane. Previous studies indicate that the protein, peripherin or peripherin/rds, is localized along the rim of mature disks of rod outer segments. A mutation in the gene for this protein has been reported to be responsible for retinal degeneration in the rds mouse. In the present study, we have shown by immunogold labeling of rat and ground squirrel retinas that peripherin/rds is present in the disk rims of cone outer segments as well as rod outer segments. Additionally, in the basal regions of rod and cone outer segments, where disk morphogenesis occurs, we have found that the distribution of peripherin/rds is restricted to a region that is adjacent to the cilium. Extension of its distribution from the cilium coincides with the formation of the disk rim. These results support the model of disk membrane morphogenesis that predicts rim formation to be a second stage of growth, after the first stage in which the ciliary plasma membrane evaginates to form open nascent disks. The results also indicate how the proteins of the outer segment plasma membrane and the disk membranes are sorted into their separate domains: different sets of proteins may be incorporated into membrane outgrowths during different growth stages of disk morphogenesis. Finally, the presence of peripherin/rds protein in both cone and rod outer segment disks, together with the phenotype of the rds mouse, which is characterized by the failure of both rod and cone outer segment formation, suggest that the same rds gene is expressed in both types of photoreceptor cells.
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              Identification of a photoreceptor-specific mRNA encoded by the gene responsible for retinal degeneration slow (rds).

              Mutant mice homozygous for 'retinal degeneration slow' (rds/rds) are characterized phenotypically by abnormal development of photoreceptor outer segments in the retina, followed by gradual degeneration of photoreceptors. This process of degeneration is complete by one year, with preservation of all other retinal cells. The biochemical defect that leads to the mutant phenotype is not known. Our strategy for cloning the rds gene was based upon three previously reported observations. First, the rds locus maps to chromosome 17. Second, experimental rds/rds----+/+ and rds/+----+/+ tetra-parental mice manifest patchy photoreceptor changes in the retina, suggesting that the wild-type rds locus is expressed within cells of the photoreceptor lineage. Finally, the process of degeneration is specific to photoreceptors. On the basis of these observations, we predicted that the rds mRNA is encoded by a gene on chromosome 17 and is normally expressed exclusively within photoreceptors in the retina. We here present evidence that this is the case.

                Author and article information

                Ophthalmic Res
                Ophthalmic Research
                S. Karger AG
                October 2007
                12 September 2007
                : 39
                : 5
                : 255-259
                aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Second University of Naples, Naples, bDepartment of Oncology, Biology and Genetics, University of Genoa, Genoa, cDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of Udine, Udine, and dDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
                108118 Ophthalmic Res 2007;39:255–259
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 26, Pages: 5
                Original Paper


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