Usher syndrome type I (USH1) is a recessively-inherited disorder consisting of retinitis pigmentosa, profound congenital deafness, and vestibular ataxia. It can be caused by mutations in at least six different loci (USH1A-1F). The gene encoding human myosin VIIA (MYO7A) is the USH1B locus. In this study, 66 unrelated patients with USH1 were evaluated for defects in MYO7A using single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and direct genomic sequencing. Twenty-nine per cent of cases were found to have likely pathogenic MYO7A mutations. A total of 22 likely pathogenic changes were identified, 18 of which were novel. Cosegregation analysis of mutations in five available families showed that the MYO7A changes segregated with the disease in an autosomal recessive fashion. Average visual function as measured by visual acuity, visual field area, and ERG amplitude was not significantly different between the group of patients with likely pathogenic MYO7A changes and the group in which no likely pathogenic MYO7A changes were detected.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.