Loss-of-function mutations in a calcium-channel alpha1-subunit gene in Xp11.23 cause incomplete X-linked congenital stationary night blindness

Nat Genet. 1998 Jul;19(3):264-7. doi: 10.1038/947.


X-linked congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) is a recessive non-progressive retinal disorder characterized by night blindness, decreased visual acuity, myopia, nystagmus and strabismus. Two distinct clinical entities of X-linked CSNB have been proposed. Patients with complete CSNB show moderate to severe myopia, undetectable rod function and a normal cone response, whereas patients with incomplete CSNB show moderate myopia to hyperopia and subnormal but measurable rod and cone function. The electrophysiological and psychophysical features of these clinical entities suggest a defect in retinal neurotransmission. The apparent clinical heterogeneity in X-linked CSNB reflects the recently described genetic heterogeneity in which the locus for complete CSNB (CSNB1) was mapped to Xp11.4, and the locus for incomplete CSNB (CSNB2) was refined within Xp11.23 (ref. 5). A novel retina-specific gene mapping to the CSNB2 minimal region was characterized and found to have similarity to voltage-gated L-type calcium channel alpha1-subunit genes. Mutation analysis of this new alpha1-subunit gene, CACNA1F, in 20 families with incomplete CSNB revealed six different mutations that are all predicted to cause premature protein truncation. These findings establish that loss-of-function mutations in CACNA1F cause incomplete CSNB, making this disorder an example of a human channelopathy of the retina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Calcium Channels / genetics*
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Night Blindness / congenital*
  • Night Blindness / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Tissue Distribution
  • X Chromosome*


  • CACNA1F protein, human
  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium Channels, L-Type
  • DNA, Complementary

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF067227