Mutation spectrum of the rhodopsin gene among patients with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.
We searched for point mutations in every exon of the rhodopsin gene in 150 patients from separate families with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Including the 4 mutations we reported previously, we found a total of 17 different mutations that correlate with the disease. Each of these mutations is a single-base substitution corresponding to a single amino acid substitution. Based on current models for the structure of rhodopsin, 3 of the 17 mutant amino acids are normally located on the cytoplasmic side of the protein, 6 in transmembrane domains, and 8 on the intradiscal side. Forty-three of the 150 patients (29%) carry 1 of these mutations, and no patient has more than 1 mutation. In every family with a mutation so far analyzed, the mutation cosegregates with the disease. We found one instance of a mutation in an affected patient that was absent in both unaffected parents (i.e., a new germ-line mutation), indicating that some "isolate" cases of retinitis pigmentosa carry a mutation of the rhodopsin gene.