Purpose: To characterize the molecular defects in two x-linked retinitis pigmentosa (RP) families. We hypothesized that different RPGR mutations result in distinct RP phenotypes.
Design: Observational case series.
Methods: Fifteen members in family I and three members in family II were evaluated. Full ophthalmic evaluations were done. Linkage analyses were performed and likelihood of odds scores (LOD score) were calculated. For mutation analyses, we used dHPLC and automated sequencing.
Results: Two novel RPGR mutations were identified in the two families; a Glu 414 (2-bp del) frameshift mutation in family I and an IVS 2-1 (g to a) splice site mutation in family II. All male family members in family I were severely affected by RP but maintained central visual acuities until their 50s and did not develop a bull's eye maculopathy. The female phenotype was highly variable. Some of the carriers exhibited a severe phenotype, one female displayed an asymmetric phenotype, and other carriers were asymptomatic. All members with the RPGR frameshift mutation exhibited rod-cone electroretinograms abnormalities, whereas five members had hearing loss. Male members of family II were severely affected, with early visual acuity loss, central scotomas, and bull's eye maculopathy. The female family members were asymptomatic but displayed cone-rod electroretinograms changes. There was no hearing loss.
Conclusions: Different RPGR mutations lead to distinct RP phenotypes, with a highly variable inter- and intrafamilial phenotypic spectrum of disease that is associated with the type of mutation in RPGR and nonrandom X chromosome inactivation, respectively.