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1.  Homozygosity Mapping in Patients with Cone–Rod Dystrophy: Novel Mutations and Clinical Characterizations 
Homozygosity mapping in CRD patients led to the identification of novel mutations in ABCA4, CERKL, and PROM1, showing that this method may be a powerful tool for identifying genetic defects, even in nonconsanguineous patients. Clinical examinations showed a variety of retinal phenotypes.
To determine the genetic defect and to describe the clinical characteristics in a cohort of mainly nonconsanguineous cone–rod dystrophy (CRD) patients.
One hundred thirty-nine patients with diagnosed CRD were recruited. Ninety of them were screened for known mutations in ABCA4, and those carrying one or two mutations were excluded from further research. Genome-wide homozygosity mapping was performed in the remaining 108. Known genes associated with autosomal recessive retinal dystrophies located within a homozygous region were screened for mutations. Patients in whom a mutation was detected underwent further ophthalmic examination.
Homozygous sequence variants were identified in eight CRD families, six of which were nonconsanguineous. The variants were detected in the following six genes: ABCA4, CABP4, CERKL, EYS, KCNV2, and PROM1. Patients carrying mutations in ABCA4, CERKL, and PROM1 had typical CRD symptoms, but a variety of retinal appearances on funduscopy, optical coherence tomography, and autofluorescence imaging.
Homozygosity mapping led to the identification of new mutations in consanguineous and nonconsanguineous patients with retinal dystrophy. Detailed clinical characterization revealed a variety of retinal appearances, ranging from nearly normal to extensive retinal remodeling, retinal thinning, and debris accumulation. Although CRD was initially diagnosed in all patients, the molecular findings led to a reappraisal of the diagnosis in patients carrying mutations in EYS, CABP4, and KCNV2.
PMCID: PMC3061516  PMID: 20554613
2.  Molecular genetic analysis of retinitis pigmentosa in Indonesia using genome-wide homozygosity mapping 
Molecular Vision  2011;17:3013-3024.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous retinal disorder. Despite tremendous knowledge about the genes involved in RP, little is known about the genetic causes of RP in Indonesia. Here, we aim to identify the molecular genetic causes underlying RP in a small cohort of Indonesian patients, using genome-wide homozygosity mapping.
DNA samples from affected and healthy individuals from 14 Indonesian families segregating autosomal recessive, X-linked, or isolated RP were collected. Homozygosity mapping was conducted using Illumina 6k or Affymetrix 5.0 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. Known autosomal recessive RP (arRP) genes residing in homozygous regions and X-linked RP genes were sequenced for mutations.
In ten out of the 14 families, homozygous regions were identified that contained genes known to be involved in the pathogenesis of RP. Sequence analysis of these genes revealed seven novel homozygous mutations in ATP-binding cassette, sub-family A, member 4 (ABCA4), crumbs homolog 1 (CRB1), eyes shut homolog (Drosophila) (EYS), c-mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MERTK), nuclear receptor subfamily 2, group E, member 3 (NR2E3) and phosphodiesterase 6A, cGMP-specific, rod, alpha (PDE6A), all segregating in the respective families. No mutations were identified in the X-linked genes retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) and retinitis pigmentosa 2 (X-linked recessive; RP2).
Homozygosity mapping is a powerful tool to identify the genetic defects underlying RP in the Indonesian population. Compared to studies involving patients from other populations, the same genes appear to be implicated in the etiology of recessive RP in Indonesia, although all mutations that were discovered are novel and as such may be unique for this population.
PMCID: PMC3224842  PMID: 22128245
3.  A common allele in RPGRIP1L is a modifier of retinal degeneration in ciliopathies 
Nature genetics  2009;41(6):739-745.
Despite rapid advances in disease gene identification, the predictive power of the genotype remains limited, in part due to poorly understood effects of second-site modifiers. Here we demonstrate that a polymorphic coding variant of RPGRIP1L (retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator-interacting protein-1 like), a ciliary gene mutated in Meckel-Gruber (MKS) and Joubert (JBTS) syndromes, is associated with the development of retinal degeneration in patients with ciliopathies caused by mutations in other genes. As part of our resequencing efforts of the ciliary proteome, we identified several putative loss of function RPGRIP1L mutations, including one common variant, A229T. Multiple genetic lines of evidence showed this allele to be associated with photoreceptor loss in ciliopathies. Moreover, we show that RPGRIP1L interacts biochemically with RPGR, loss of which causes retinal degeneration, and that the 229T-encoded protein significantly compromises this interaction. Our data represent an example of modification of a discrete phenotype of syndromic disease and highlight the importance of a multifaceted approach for the discovery of modifier alleles of intermediate frequency and effect.
PMCID: PMC2783476  PMID: 19430481
4.  Next-generation genetic testing for retinitis pigmentosa 
Human Mutation  2012;33(6):963-972.
Molecular diagnostics for patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) has been hampered by extreme genetic and clinical heterogeneity, with 52 causative genes known to date. Here, we developed a comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach for the clinical molecular diagnostics of RP. All known inherited retinal disease genes (n = 111) were captured and simultaneously analyzed using NGS in 100 RP patients without a molecular diagnosis. A systematic data analysis pipeline was developed and validated to prioritize and predict the pathogenicity of all genetic variants identified in each patient, which enabled us to reduce the number of potential pathogenic variants from approximately 1,200 to zero to nine per patient. Subsequent segregation analysis and in silico predictions of pathogenicity resulted in a molecular diagnosis in 36 RP patients, comprising 27 recessive, six dominant, and three X-linked cases. Intriguingly, De novo mutations were present in at least three out of 28 isolated cases with causative mutations. This study demonstrates the enormous potential and clinical utility of NGS in molecular diagnosis of genetically heterogeneous diseases such as RP. De novo dominant mutations appear to play a significant role in patients with isolated RP, having major implications for genetic counselling.
PMCID: PMC3490376  PMID: 22334370
NGS; DNA diagnostics; clinical molecular diagnostics; retinitis pigmentosa; blindness

Results 1-4 (4)