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    Mutations in pre-mRNA processing factors (PRPFs) cause autosomal-dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but it is unclear why mutations in ubiquitously expressed genes cause non-syndromic retinal disease. Here, we generate transcriptome profiles from RP11 (PRPF31-mutated) patient-derived retinal organoids and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), as well as Prpf31+/- mouse tissues, which revealed that disrupted alternative splicing occurred for specific splicing programmes. Mis-splicing of genes encoding pre-mRNA splicing proteins was limited to patient-specific retinal cells and Prpf31+/- mouse retinae and RPE. Mis-splicing of genes implicated in ciliogenesis and cellular adhesion was associated with severe RPE defects that include disrupted apical - basal polarity, reduced trans-epithelial resistance and phagocytic capacity, and decreased cilia length and incidence. Disrupted cilia morphology also occurred in patient-derived photoreceptors, associated with progressive degeneration and cellular stress. In situ gene editing of a pathogenic mutation rescued protein expression and key cellular phenotypes in RPE and photoreceptors, providing proof of concept for future therapeutic strategies.


    Adriana Buskin, Lili Zhu, Valeria Chichagova, Basudha Basu, Sina Mozaffari-Jovin, David Dolan, Alastair Droop, Joseph Collin, Revital Bronstein, Sudeep Mehrotra, Michael Farkas, Gerrit Hilgen, Kathryn White, Kuan-Ting Pan, Achim Treumann, Dean Hallam, Katarzyna Bialas, Git Chung, Carla Mellough, Yuchun Ding, Natalio Krasnogor, Stefan Przyborski, Simon Zwolinski, Jumana Al-Aama, Sameer Alharthi, Yaobo Xu, Gabrielle Wheway, Katarzyna Szymanska, Martin McKibbin, Chris F Inglehearn, David J Elliott, Susan Lindsay, Robin R Ali, David H Steel, Lyle Armstrong, Evelyne Sernagor, Henning Urlaub, Eric Pierce, Reinhard Lührmann, Sushma-Nagaraja Grellscheid, Colin A Johnson, Majlinda Lako. Disrupted alternative splicing for genes implicated in splicing and ciliogenesis causes PRPF31 retinitis pigmentosa. Nature communications. 2018 Oct 12;9(1):4234

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    PMID: 30315276

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