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Title: Molecular genetic basis of recessively inherited retinal dystrophies in the Saudi population
Author: Alrashed, M. M. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 5317
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Inherited retinal dystrophies (IRD) are a remarkably genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous group of inherited eye diseases, with over 190 causative genes identified to date. In the highly consanguineous Saudi population, autosomal recessive forms of IRD are thought to account for the overwhelming majority of cases. Consanguinity is known to increase the frequency of recessive disorders since it increases the coefficient of inbreeding, which is a measure of the percentage of the genome that is identical by descent. Homozygosity mapping, targeted candidate gene analysis and whole exome sequencing were used to identify the causes of IRD in the Saudi population. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common form of IRD, and mutations in the RP1 gene cause both recessive and dominant RP. Mutations in RP1 were found to be a common cause of recessive RP in the Saudi population. Novel and previously identified homozygous mutations in the KCNV2 gene were identified in a cohort of patients with a distinct recessive retinal disorder, ‘cone dystrophy with supranormal rod response,’ demonstrating phenotype/genotype correlation. In addition, a founder homozygous CABP4 mutation was identified in four consanguineous Saudi families with clinical features including congenital nystagmus, stable low vision, photophobia and a normal or near-normal fundus appearance, and no symptom of night blindness. Causative homozygous mutations were also found in the IRD genes RBP3, RDH12, CRB1, BBS4, CNGA3, CNGB1, EYS, RLBP1, ABCA4 and PCDH12 in Saudi patients. Four novel candidate genes for retinal degeneration were identified in this study. Potentially pathogenic homozygous variants were identified in EMC1 (c.G430A, p.A144T), KIAA1549 (c.2399_2400insAA, p.T800fs809X), GPR125 (c.C2504G, p.S835C) and DHX29 (c.C2738T, p.A913V). In the majority of cases (31 families) the genetic cause of IRD was identified, demonstrating the power of homozygosity mapping and whole exome sequencing. In four families (3 multiplex and 1 simplex case), however, no potentially pathogenic homozygous variants were identified, indicating that other novel loci and genes may be implicated as causing IRD in the Saudi population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available