Retinoblastoma is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in children, caused by inactivation of the RB1 gene on chromosome 13. We carried out a mutational screen of the exons and promoter of the RB1 gene in Indian patients with retinoblastoma in order to determine the range of mutations giving rise to disease. Forty-seven patients were screened for mutations in all exons and promoter of the RB1 gene by single strand conformation polymorphism followed by sequencing. Tumors were available from 27 patients (12 bilateral and 15 unilateral retinoblastoma) while only peripheral blood was available from 20 patients, all with bilateral disease. Mutations were found in 22 patients, 9 from the analysis of tumors and 13 from peripheral blood. Eight novel mutations were identified, including 4 single base changes, 2 small deletions and 1 duplication. These are g.64365T>G (Tyr325Ter), g.78131G>A (Trp515Ter), g.150061G>T (Glu587Ter), g.170383C>G (S834X), g.41924A>C (IVS3-2A>C), g.150064ins4, g.160792del22, and g.76940del14 (IVS15 del +20-33). Almost all mutations produced nonsense codons or frameshifts. Recurrent mutations, especially at CpG sites were seen predominantly. Detectable mutations in exons were found in 46% of patients tested. Large deletions, epigenetic changes as well as mutations in non-coding regions may be the cause of disease in the remainder of patients. Knowledge of the full range of mutations can aid in the design of screening tests for individuals at risk.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.