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D J Rosas, A J Roman, P Weissbrod, J P Macke, J Nathans; Autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa in a large family: a clinical and molecular genetic study.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(8):3134-3144.
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PURPOSE: To characterize the pedigree, visual function phenotype, and responsible mutation in a large family with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. METHODS: Pedigree data were obtained by personal interviews and corroborated with community records. One hundred twenty-eight members of the family were examined clinically, and a subset of 12 affected subjects was further studied with dark- and light-adapted static perimetry and electroretinography. The coding region of the rhodopsin gene was polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified and resolved by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Genomic DNA samples from nine affected and five unaffected family members were analyzed by PCR amplification and restriction enzyme digestion. RESULTS: A 14-generation pedigree was identified in which retinitis pigmentosa (RP) was inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion. Affected individuals reported early night blindness and showed vessel attenuation and bone spicule-like pigmentary changes. In these individuals, the rod electroretinogram (ERG) was not detectable, and the cone ERG was reduced in amplitude and delayed in timing. With dark-adapted perimetry, rod function could be detected in only one young patient, and it was markedly abnormal. Light-adapted perimetry indicated that cone sensitivity could be relatively well preserved in the central field, but it was diminished in the periphery even in the most mildly affected subjects. A valine345-to-leucine mutation was identified in the rhodopsin gene and shown to cosegregate in the heterozygous condition with the disease. CONCLUSIONS: The natural history of RP in this family begins with a loss of rod function, progresses to involve the cone system, and leads eventually to a severe loss of visual function. The invariance of valine345 in all functional vertebrate visual pigments sequenced to date, and the unusually conservative nature of the valine345-to-leucine mutation suggests that the carboxy terminus of rhodopsin is involved in a highly specific interaction with one or more rod proteins.
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