Purpose: Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy for the detection of mutations in retinal dystrophies, a group of inherited diseases that are highly heterogeneous. Therefore, the aim of this study is the application of an NGS-based approach in a Spanish cohort of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients to find out causative mutations.
Methods: Index cases of 59 Spanish families with initial diagnosis of autosomal dominant RP and unsuccessfully studied for mutations in the most common RP causal genes, were selected for application of a NGS-based approach with a custom panel for 73 genes related to retinal dystrophies. Candidate variants were select based on frequency, pathogenicity, inherited model, and phenotype. Subsequently, confirmation by Sanger sequencing, cosegregation analysis, and population studies, was applied for determining the implication of those variants in the pathology.
Results: Overall 31 candidate variants were selected. From them, 17 variants were considered as mutations causative of the disease, 64% (11/17) of them were novel and 36% (6/17) were known RP-related mutations. Therefore, applying this technology16 families were characterized rendering a mutation detection rate of 27% (16/59). Of them, 5% (3/59) of cases displayed mutations in recessive or X-linked genes (ABCA4, RPGR, and RP2) allowing a genetic and clinical reclassification of those families. Furthermore, seven novel variants with uncertain significance and seven novel variants probably not causative of disease were also found.
Conclusions: This NGS strategy is a fast, effective, and reliable tool to detect known and novel mutations in autosomal dominant RP patients allowing genetic reclassification in some cases and increasing the knowledge of pathogenesis in retinal dystrophies.