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. 2001 Sep;22(3):133-54.
doi: 10.1076/opge.

Update on the Molecular Genetics of Retinitis Pigmentosa


Update on the Molecular Genetics of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Q Wang et al. Ophthalmic Genet. .


Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of retinal dystrophies characterized by photoreceptor cell degeneration. RP causes night blindness, a gradual loss of peripheral visual fields, and eventual loss of central vision. Advances in molecular genetics have provided new insights into the genes responsible and the pathogenic mechanisms of RP. The genetics of RP is complex, and the disease can be inherited in autosomal dominant, recessive, X-linked, or digenic modes. Twenty-six causative genes have been identified or cloned for RP, and an additional fourteen genes have been mapped, but not yet identified. Eight autosomal dominant forms are due to mutations in RHO on chromosome 3q21-24, RDS on 6p21.1-cen, RP1 on 8p11-21, RGR on 10q23, ROM1 on 11q13, NRL on 14q11.1-11.2, CRX on 19q13.3, and PRKCG on 19q13.4. Autosomal recessive genes include RPE65 on chromosome 1p31, ABCA4 on 1p21-13, CRB1 on 1q31-32.1, USH2A on 1q41, MERTK on 2q14.1, SAG on 2q37.1, RHO on 3q21-24, PDE6B on 4p16.3, CNGA1 on 4p14-q13, PDE6A on 5q31.2-34, TULP1 on 6p21.3, RGR on 10q, NR2E3 on 15q23, and RLBP1 on 15q26. For X-linked RP, two genes, RP2 and RP3 (RPGR), have been cloned. Moreover, heterozygous mutations in ROM1 on 11q13, in combination with heterozygous mutations in RDS on 6p21.1-cen, cause digenic RP (the two-locus mechanism). These exciting molecular discoveries have defined the genetic pathways underlying the pathogenesis of retinitis pigmentosa, and have raised the hope of genetic testing for RP and the development of new avenues for therapy.

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