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Maternal uniparental isodisomy of chromosome 6 reveals a TULP1 mutation as a novel cause of cone dysfunction.

Ophthalmology 2013, vol. 120, issue 6

PURPOSE

The majority of the genetic causes of autosomal recessive (ar) cone dystrophy (CD) and cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) are currently unknown. We used a high-resolution homozygosity mapping approach in a cohort of patients with CD or CRD to identify new genes for ar cone disorders.

DESIGN

Case series.

PARTICIPANTS

A cohort of 159 patients with ar CD and 91 patients with CRD.

METHODS

The genomes of 83 patients with ar CD and 73 patients with CRD were analyzed for homozygous regions using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarrays. One patient showed homozygosity of SNPs across chromosome 6, and segregation analysis was performed using microsatellite markers. Direct sequencing of all retinal disease genes on chromosome 6 revealed a novel pathogenic TULP1 mutation in this patient. A cohort of 159 individuals with CD and 91 individuals with CRD was screened for this particular mutation using the restriction enzyme HhaI. The medical history of patients carrying the TULP1 mutation was reviewed and additional ophthalmic examinations were performed, including electroretinography (ERG), perimetry, optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus autofluorescence (FAF), and fundus photography.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

TULP1 mutations, age at diagnosis, visual acuity, fundus appearance, color vision defects, visual field, ERG, FAF, and OCT findings.

RESULTS

In 1 patient, homozygosity mapping and subsequent segregation analysis revealed maternal uniparental disomy (UPD) of chromosome 6. A novel homozygous missense mutation (p.Arg420Ser) was identified in TULP1, whereas no mutations were detected in other retinal disease genes on chromosome 6. The mutation affects a highly conserved amino acid residue in the Tubby domain and is predicted to be pathogenic. The same homozygous mutation was also identified in an additional, unrelated patient with CRD. Both patients carrying the p.Arg420Ser mutation presented with a bull's eye maculopathy. The first patient had progressive loss of visual acuity with a relatively preserved ERG, whereas the second patient developed loss of visual acuity, peripheral degeneration, and severely reduced ERG responses in a cone-rod pattern.

CONCLUSIONS

Maternal UPD of chromosome 6 unmasked a mutation in the TULP1 gene as a novel cause of cone dysfunction. This expands the disease spectrum of TULP1 mutations from Leber congenital amaurosis and early-onset retinitis pigmentosa to cone-dominated disease.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S)

The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

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