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Retinitis pigmentosa punctata albescens (RPA) is a particular form of retinitis pigmentosa characterized by childhood onset night blindness and areas of peripheral retinal atrophy. We investigated the genetic cause of RPA in a family consisting of two affected Egyptian brothers with healthy consanguineous parents. Mutational analysis of four RPA causative genes was realized by Sanger sequencing on both probands, and detected variants were subsequently genotyped in their parents. Afterwards, found variants were deeply, statistically, and in silico characterized to determine their possible effects and association with RPA. Both brothers carry three missense PRPH2 variants in a homozygous condition (c.910C > A, c.929G > A, and c.1013A > C) and two promoter variants in RHO (c.-26A > G) and RLBP1 (c.-70G > A) genes, respectively. Haplotype analyses highlighted a PRPH2 rare haplotype variant (GAG), determining a possible alteration of PRPH2 binding with melanoregulin and other outer segment proteins, followed by photoreceptor outer segment instability. Furthermore, an altered balance of transcription factor binding sites, due to the presence of RHO and RLBP1 promoter variants, might determine a comprehensive downregulation of both genes, possibly altering the PRPH2 shared visual-related pathway. Despite several limitations, the study might be a relevant step towards detection of novel scenarios in RPA etiopathogenesis.


Luigi Donato, Ebtesam Mohamed Abdalla, Concetta Scimone, Simona Alibrandi, Carmela Rinaldi, Karim Mahmoud Nabil, Rosalia D'Angelo, Antonina Sidoti. Impairments of Photoreceptor Outer Segments Renewal and Phototransduction Due to a Peripherin Rare Haplotype Variant: Insights from Molecular Modeling. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Mar 27;22(7)

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PMID: 33801777

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