Molecular genetics of "PRPF31" dominant mutations linked to retinitis pigmentosa


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Molecular genetics of "PRPF31" dominant mutations linked to retinitis pigmentosa
Rio Frio T.
Rivolta C.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Faculté de biologie et de médecine Université de Lausanne UNIL - Bugnon Rue du Bugnon 21 - bureau 4111 CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
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REROID:R004855847 ill.
The retina is one of the most important human sensory tissues since it detects and transmits all visual information from the outside world to the brain. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a group of inherited diseases that affect specifically the photoreceptors present in the retina and in many instances lead to blindness. Dominant mutations in PRPF31, a gene that encodes for a pre-mRNA splicing factor, cause retinitis pigmentosa with reduced penetrance. We functionally investigated a novel mutation, identified in a large family with autosomal dominant RP, and 7 other mutations, substitutions and microdeletions, in 12 patients from 7 families with PRPF31-linked RP. Seven mutations lead to PRPF31 mRNA with premature stop codons and one to mRNA lacking the exon containing the initiation codon. Quantification of PRPF31 mRNA and protein levels revealed a significant reduction in cell lines derived from patients, compared to non carriers of mutations in PRPF31. Allelic quantification of PRPF31 mRNA indicated that the level of mutated mRNA is very low compared to wild-type mRNA. No mutant protein was detected and the subnuclear localization of wild-type PRPF31 remains the same in cell lines from patients and controls. Blocking nonsense-mediated mRNA decay in cell lines derived from patients partially restored PRPF31 mutated mRNA but derived proteins were still undetectable, even when protein degradation pathways were inhibited. Our results demonstrated that the vast majority of PRPF31 mutations result in null alleles, since they are subject to surveillance mechanisms that degrade mutated mRNA and possibly block its translation. Altogether, these data indicate that the likely cause of PRPF31-linked RP is haploinsufficiency, rather than a dominant negative effect. Penetrance of PRPF31 mutations has been previously demonstrated to be inversely correlated with the level of PRPF31 mRNA, since high expression of wild-type PRPF31 mRNA protects from the disease. Consequently, we have investigated the genetic modifiers that control the expression of PRPF31 by quantifying PRPF31 mRNA levels in cell lines derived from 200 individuals from 15 families representative of the general population. By linkage analyses we identified a 8.2Mb-region on chromosome 14q21-23 that contains a gene involved in the modulation of PRPF31 expression. We also assessed apreviously-mapped penetrance factor invariably located on the wild-type allele and linked to the PRPF31 locus in asymptomatic patients from different families with RP. We demonstrated that this modifier increases the expression of both PRPF31 alleles already at the pre-mRNA level. Finally, our data suggest that PRPF31 mRNA expression and consequently the penetrance of PRPF31 mutations is modulated by at least 2 diffusible compounds, which act on both PRPF31 alleles during their transcription.
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24/06/2010 10:37
Last modification date
20/08/2019 13:54
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