Positional candidate cloning of the RP10 form of retinitis pigmentosa

Sara Juanita Bowne, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetically heterogeneous group of retinal degenerations that affects over one million people worldwide. To date, 11 autosomal dominant, 13 autosomal recessive, and 5 X-linked forms of retinitis pigmentosa have been identified through linkage analysis, but the disease-causing genes and mutations have been found for only half of these loci. My research uses a positional candidate cloning approach to identify the gene and mutations responsible for one type of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, RP10. The premise is that identifying the genes and mutations responsible for disease will provide insight into disease mechanisms and provide treatment options. Previous research mapped the RP10 locus to a 5cM region on chromosome 7q31 between markers D7S686 and D7S530. Linkage and fine-point haplotype analysis was used to reduce and refine the RP10 disease interval to a 4cM region located between D7S2471 and a new marker located 45,000bp telomeric of D7S461. In order to identify genes located in the RP10 interval, an extensive EST map was created of this region. Five EST clusters from this map were analyzed to determine if mutations in these genes cause the RP10 form of retinitis pigmentosa. The genomic structure of a known metabotrophic glutamate receptor, GRMS8, was determined first. DNA sequencing of GRM8 in RP10 family members did not identify any disease-causing mutations. Four other EST clusters (A170, A173, A189, and A258) were characterized and determined to be part of the same gene, UBNL1 (ubinuclein-like 1). The full-length mRNA sequence and genomic structure of UBNL1 was determined and then screened in patients. No disease-causing mutations were identified in any of the RP10 family members tested. Recent data made available with the release of the public and Celera genome assemblies indicates that UBNL1 is outside of the RP10 disease region. Despite this complication, characterization of UBNL1 is still important in the understanding of normal visual processes and it is possible that mutations in UBNL1 could cause other forms of retinopathy. The EST map and list of RP10 candidates will continue to aid others in the search for the RP10 gene and mutations.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Bowne, Sara Juanita, "Positional candidate cloning of the RP10 form of retinitis pigmentosa" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3004446.