X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) is a severe form of inherited progressive retinal degeneration. The RP3 (retinitis pigmentosa type 3) locus at Xp21.1 is believed to account for the disease in the majority of XLRP families. Linkage analysis and identification of patients with chromosomal deletion have refined the location of the RP3 locus and recently have led to the cloning of the RPGR (retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator) gene, which has been shown to be mutated in 10%-15% of XLRP patients. In order to systematically characterize the RPGR mutations, we identified 11 retinitis pigmentosa type III (RP3) families by haplotype analysis. Sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified genomic DNA from patients representing these RP3 families did not reveal any causative mutation in RPGR exons 2-19, spanning >98% of the coding region. In patients from two families, we identified transition mutations in the intron region near splice sites [IVS10+3 and IVS13-8). RNA analysis showed that both splice-site mutations resulted in the generation of aberrant RPGR transcripts. Our results support the hypothesis that mutations in the reported RPGR gene are not a common defect in the RP3 subtype of XLRP and that a majority of causative mutations may reside either in as yet unidentified RPGR exons or in another nearby gene at Xp21.1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas