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A Missense Mutation in PRPF6 Causes Impairment of pre-mRNA Splicing and Autosomal-Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa.
American Journal of Human Genetics
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited form of retinal degeneration that leads to progressive visual-field constriction and blindness. Although the disease manifests only in the retina, mutations in ubiquitously expressed genes associated with the tri-snRNP complex of the spliceosome have been identified in patients with dominantly inherited RP. We screened for mutations in PRPF6 (NM_012469.3), a gene on chromosome 20q13.33 encoding an essential protein for tri-snRNP assembly and stability, in 188 unrelated patients with autosomal-dominant RP and identified a missense mutation, c.2185C>T (p.Arg729Trp). This change affected a residue that is conserved from humans to yeast and cosegregated with the disease in the family in which it was identified. Lymphoblasts derived from patients with this mutation showed abnormal localization of endogenous PRPF6 within the nucleus. Specifically, this protein accumulated in the Cajal bodies, indicating a possible impairment in the tri-snRNP assembly or recycling. Expression of GFP-tagged PRPF6 in HeLa cells showed that this phenomenon depended exclusively on the mutated form of the protein. Furthermore, analysis of endogenous transcripts in cells from patients revealed intron retention for pre-mRNA bearing specific splicing signals, according to the same pattern displayed by lymphoblasts with mutations in other PRPF genes. Our results identify PRPF6 as the sixth gene involved in pre-mRNA splicing and dominant RP, corroborating the hypothesis that deficiencies in the spliceosome play an important role in the molecular pathology of this disease.
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