Pathogenesis and Treatment of Usher Syndrome Type IIA

Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2022 Jul-Aug;11(4):369-379. doi: 10.1097/APO.0000000000000546. Epub 2022 Aug 17.


Usher syndrome (USH) is the most common form of deaf-blindness, with an estimated prevalence of 4.4 to 16.6 per 100,000 people worldwide. The most common form of USH is type IIA (USH2A), which is caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the USH2A gene and accounts for around half of all USH cases. USH2A patients show moderate to severe hearing loss from birth, with diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa in the second decade of life and variable vestibular involvement. Although hearing aids or cochlear implants can provide some mitigation of hearing deficits, there are currently no treatments aimed at preventing or restoring vision loss in USH2A patients. In this review, we first provide an overview of the molecular biology of the USH2A gene and its protein isoforms, which include a transmembrane protein (TM usherin) and an extracellular protein (EC usherin). The role of these proteins in the inner ear and retina and their impact on the pathogenesis of USH2A is discussed. We review animal cell-derived and patient cell-derived models currently used in USH2A research and conclude with an overview of potential treatment strategies currently in preclinical development and clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Retina
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa* / genetics
  • Usher Syndromes* / diagnosis
  • Usher Syndromes* / genetics
  • Usher Syndromes* / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Usher syndrome, type 2A