Purpose: Despite the extensive use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to identify disease-causing genomic variations, a major gap in our understanding of Mendelian diseases is the unidentified molecular lesion in a significant portion of patients. For inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), although currently close to 300 disease-associated genes have been identified, the mutations in approximately one-third of patients remain unknown. With mounting evidence that noncoding mutations might contribute significantly to disease burden, we aimed to systematically investigate the contributions of noncoding regions in the genome to IRDs. Methods: In this study, we focused on RPGRIP1, which has been linked to various IRD phenotypes, including Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and macular dystrophy (MD). As several noncoding mutant alleles have been reported in RPGRIP1, and we observed that the mutation carrier frequency of RPGRIP1 is higher in patient cohorts with unsolved IRDs, we hypothesized that mutations in the noncoding regions of RPGRIP1 might be a significant contributor to pathogenicity. To test this hypothesis, we performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for 25 patients with unassigned IRD who carry a single mutation in RPGRIP1. Results: Three noncoding variants in RPGRIP1, including a 2,890 bp deletion and two deep-intronic variants (c.2710+233G>A and c.1468–263G>C), were identified as putative second hits of RPGRIP1 in three patients with LCA. The mutant alleles were validated with direct sequencing or in vitro assays. Conclusions: The results highlight the significance of the contribution of noncoding pathogenic variants to unsolved IRD cases.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - 2021|
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