Abnormal cone structure in foveal schisis cavities in X-linked retinoschisis from mutations in exon 6 of the RS1 gene.
ABSTRACT: To evaluate macular cone structure in patients with X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) caused by mutations in exon 6 of the RS1 gene.High-resolution macular images were obtained with adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in two patients with XLRS and 27 age-similar healthy subjects. Retinal structure was correlated with best-corrected visual acuity, kinetic and static perimetry, fundus-guided microperimetry, full-field electroretinography (ERG), and multifocal ERG. The six coding exons and the flanking intronic regions of the RS1 gene were sequenced in each patient.Two unrelated males, ages 14 and 29, with visual acuity ranging from 20/32 to 20/63, had macular schisis with small relative central scotomas in each eye. The mixed scotopic ERG b-wave was reduced more than the a-wave. SD-OCT showed schisis cavities in the outer and inner nuclear and plexiform layers. Cone spacing was increased within the largest foveal schisis cavities but was normal elsewhere. In each patient, a mutation in exon 6 of the RS1 gene was identified and was predicted to change the amino acid sequence in the discoidin domain of the retinoschisin protein.AOSLO images of two patients with molecularly characterized XLRS revealed increased cone spacing and abnormal packing in the macula of each patient, but cone coverage and function were near normal outside the central foveal schisis cavities. Although cone density is reduced, the preservation of wave-guiding cones at the fovea and eccentric macular regions has prognostic and therapeutic implications for XLRS patients with foveal schisis. (Clinical Trials.gov number, NCT00254605.).
Project description:PURPOSE:To explore the retinoschisin (RS1) protein biochemical phenotype from an RS1 exon-5 deletion/insertion frame-shift mutation in a family with X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) and describe the clinical and electrophysiological features. METHODS:Six XLRS males underwent ophthalmic examination and electroretinogram (ERG) recording. The RS1 gene was sequenced. Mutant RS1-RNA and protein expression were assessed by transfecting COS-7 cells with minigene constructs. RESULTS:All six males carried the RS1 c354del1-ins18 mutation in which an 18-bp insertion replaced nucleotide 354, duplicating the adjacent upstream intron 4-to-exon 5 junction and creating a premature termination codon downstream. Analysis indicated normal pre-mRNA splicing producing mRNA transcripts. Truncated RS1 protein was expressed transiently but was degraded rapidly by a proteasomal pathway rather than by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Two boys, 1.5 and 5 years of age, had foveal cysts and minimal peripheral schisis, and retained near-normal scotopic b-wave amplitude and normal ERG waveforms. The 5-year-old's ERG was diminished when repeated 3 years later. Four older XLRS relatives 32 to 45 years old had substantial b-wave loss and strongly electronegative ERGs; three had overt macular atrophy. Cross-sectional family analysis showed the b-/a-wave amplitude ratio as inversely related to age in the six males. CONCLUSIONS:The c354del1-ins18 mutation caused an RS1-null biochemical phenotype and a progressive clinical phenotype in a 5-year-old boy, whereas the older XLRS relatives had macular atrophy and marked ERG changes. The phenotypic heterogeneity with age by cross-sectional study of this family mutation argues that XLRS disease is not stationary and raises questions regarding factors involved in progression.
Project description:PURPOSE: To determine clinical phenotypes, examine the age dependency of X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS), and identify mutations in the retinoschisis1 gene (RS1) in 13 Hungarian (Caucasian) families with this disease. METHODS: This study included 72 members in 13 families. Complete ophthalmological examinations, including optical coherence tomography (OCT) and full-field and multifocal electroretinography (ERG), were performed on 20 affected males, 13 female carriers, and 27 healthy controls. The patients were divided into two age groups (Group I <25 years and Group II >25 years), retrospectively, to assess the possible effects of age. Correlations among genotype, age, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), OCT, and ERG results were analyzed. A modified classification scheme was done to identify the different phenotypes of the disease. In each of the 72 family members and 100 age-matched male controls, all exons and introns of RS1 were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and directly sequenced. RESULTS: Foveal retinoschisis was detected in 25 eyes (62.5%) of patients by funduscopy, and in 29 eyes (72.5%) by OCT, while macular lamellar schisis was recognizable only by OCT in 30 eyes (75%) of patients. Foveal thickness (FT) and total macular volume were significantly increased in younger (Group I) patients only. For patients younger than 26 years, large inner nuclear central cysts were observable by OCT, while after 26 years, foveas were atrophic. White flecks and dots, which were like that seen in fundus albipunctatus, were detected in both eyes of one patient. In both patient groups, characteristically decreased b-waves of standard combined ERG were recorded without any significant difference between the patient groups. The BCVA and ERG parameters of all patients and the OCT of younger patients were significantly worse (p<0.05) than those of age-matched controls. A significant difference between the two age groups was found in case FT, total macular volume, and amplitudes of rod b-wave only. Moderate negative correlation (r=-0.54, p<0.001) was detected between age and FT, while only low negative correlation (r=-0.33, p<0.05) was detected between age and standard combined b-wave amplitudes of full-field ERG. BCVA LogMAR did not show any obvious correlation with age (r=-0.14, p=0.39) or with the type of mutation. Nine different mutations were identified in 25 male patients and 31 female carriers of 13 families: six known and one novel missense mutation (c.575C>T, p.Pro192Leu), one insertion mutation (c.579dupC, p.Ile194Hisfs29ext43), and one frameshift, causing splice site mutation (c.78+1G>C) were detected. These mutations were absent in the 100 age-matched male control samples. CONCLUSIONS: Foveal cystic schisis was found more often by OCT than by funduscopy (+10%), while flat macular lamellar schisis was recognizable only by OCT. Advancing age inversely influenced the size of cavities (FT), and standard combined b-wave amplitudes of full-field ERG, while BCVA, response density, and implicit times of multifocal electroretinography did not show any obvious correlation with age. The atrophic stage of the disease was observable after 26 years of age. The lesions that appeared to be indicative of fundus albipunctatus were proven to be palisades between the splitted retinal layers. Our modified classification scheme was helpful in assessing the prevalence of disease types. In these Hungarian patients, one novel and eight known mutations were detected. The distribution of mutations in RS1 was different to that reported in the literature, because the greatest number of different mutations was in exon 6 instead of exon 4. Two mutation hot spots were found: between c.418-422 in exon 5 and between c.574-579 in exon 6. Genotype-phenotype correlation was not demonstrable.
Project description:To investigate the clinical characteristics of X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) and identify genetic mutations in Taiwanese patients with XLRS.This study included 23 affected males from 16 families with XLRS. Fundus photography, spectral domain optical coherent tomography (SD-OCT), fundus autofluorescence (FAF), and full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) were performed. The coding regions of the RS1 gene that encodes retinoschisin were sequenced.The median age at diagnosis was 18 years (range 4-58 years). The best-corrected visual acuity ranged from no light perception to 20/25. The typical spoke-wheel pattern in the macula was present in 61% of the patients (14/23) while peripheral retinoschisis was present in 43% of the patients (10/23). Four eyes presented with vitreous hemorrhage, and two eyes presented with leukocoria that mimics Coats' disease. Macular schisis was identified with SD-OCT in 82% of the eyes (31/38) while foveal atrophy was present in 18% of the eyes (7/38). Concentric area of high intensity was the most common FAF abnormality observed. Seven out of 12 patients (58%) showed electronegative ERG findings. Sequencing of the RS1 gene identified nine mutations, six of which were novel. The mutations are all located in exons 4-6, including six missense mutations, two nonsense mutations, and one deletion-caused frameshift mutation.XLRS is a clinically heterogeneous disease with profound phenotypic inter- and intrafamiliar variability. Genetic sequencing is valuable as it allows a definite diagnosis of XLRS to be made without the classical clinical features and ERG findings. This study showed the variety of clinical features of XLRS and reported novel mutations.
Project description:X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is an inherited form of macular degeneration that is caused by mutations in the retinoschisin (RS1) gene. In addition to macular degeneration, other major characteristics of XLRS include splitting of the retina (schisis) and impaired synaptic transmission as indicated by a reduction in the electroretinogram b-wave. It has been known that patients carrying RS1 mutations show a broad range of phenotypic variability. Interestingly, phenotypic variation is observed even among family members with the same RS1 mutation, suggesting the existence of genetic or environmental factors that contribute to the severity of XLRS. However, in the human population, the cause of phenotypic variability and the contribution of genetic modifiers for this relatively rare disease are difficult to study and poorly understood. In this study, using a mouse model for XLRS, we show that genetic factors can contribute to the severity of the retinoschisis phenotype. We report evidence of a major genetic modifier of Rs1, which affects the disease severity in these animals. A quantitative trait locus (QTL), named modifier of Rs1 1 (Mor1), is mapped on chromosome (Chr) 7. When homozygous, the Mor1 allele from the inbred mouse strain AKR/J diminishes the severity of the schisis phenotype in Rs1(tmgc1)/Y male and Rs1(tmgc1)/Rs1(tmgc1) female mice. We also show that the penetrance of the disease phenotype is affected by additional genetic factor(s). Our study suggests that multiple genetic modifiers could potentially be responsible for the phenotypic variation in human XLRS.
Project description:X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is juvenile-onset macular degeneration caused by haploinsufficiency of the extracellular cell adhesion protein retinoschisin (RS1). RS1 mutations can lead to either a non-functional protein or the absence of protein secretion, and it has been established that extracellular deficiency of RS1 is the underlying cause of the phenotype. Therefore, we hypothesized that an ex vivo gene therapy strategy could be used to deliver sufficient extracellular RS1 to reverse the phenotype seen in XLRS. Here, we used adipose-derived, syngeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that were genetically modified to secrete human RS1 and then delivered these cells by intravitreal injection to the retina of the Rs1h knockout mouse model of XLRS.MSCs were electroporated with two transgene expression systems (cytomegalovirus (CMV)-controlled constitutive and doxycycline-induced Tet-On controlled inducible), both driving expression of human RS1 cDNA. The stably transfected cells, using either constitutive mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) or inducible MSC cassettes, were assayed for their RS1 secretion profile. For single injection studies, 100,000 genetically modified MSCs were injected into the vitreous cavity of the Rs1h knockout mouse eye at P21, and data were recorded at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post-injection. The control groups received either unmodified MSCs or vehicle injection. For the multiple injection studies, the mice received intravitreal MSC injections at P21, P60, and P90 with data collection at P120. For the single- and multiple-injection studies, the outcomes were measured with electroretinography, optokinetic tracking responses (OKT), histology, and immunohistochemistry.Two lines of genetically modified MSCs were established and found to secrete RS1 at a rate of 8 ng/million cells/day. Following intravitreal injection, RS1-expressing MSCs were found mainly in the inner retinal layers. Two weeks after a single injection of MSCs, the area of the schisis cavities was reduced by 65% with constitutive MSCs and by 83% with inducible MSCs, demonstrating improved inner nuclear layer architecture. This benefit was maintained up to 8 weeks post-injection and corresponded to a significant improvement in the electroretinogram (ERG) b-/a-wave ratio at 8 weeks (2.6 inducible MSCs; 1.4 untreated eyes, p<0.05). At 4 months after multiple injections, the schisis cavity areas were reduced by 78% for inducible MSCs and constitutive MSCs, more photoreceptor nuclei were present (700/µm constitutive MSC; 750/µm inducible MSC; 383/µm untreated), and the ERG b-wave was significantly improved (threefold higher with constitutive MSCs and twofold higher with inducible MSCs) compared to the untreated control group.These results establish that extracellular delivery of RS1 rescues the structural and functional deficits in the Rs1h knockout mouse model and that this ex vivo gene therapy approach can inhibit progression of disease. This proof-of-principle work suggests that other inherited retinal degenerations caused by a deficiency of extracellular matrix proteins could be targeted by this strategy.
Project description:X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is a retinal degenerative disorder caused by mutations in RS1 gene leading to splitting of retinal layers (schisis) which impairs visual signal processing. Retinoschisin (RS1) is an adhesive protein which is secreted predominantly by the photoreceptors and bipolar cells as a double-octameric complex. In general, XLRS patients show wide clinical heterogeneity, presenting practical challenges in disease management. Though researchers have attempted various approaches to offer an explanation for clinical heterogeneity, the molecular basis has not been understood yet. Therefore, this study aims at establishing a link between the phenotype and genotype based on the molecular mechanism exerted by the mutations. Twenty seven XLRS patients were enrolled, of which seven harboured novel mutations. The mutant constructs were genetically engineered and their secretion profiles were studied by in vitro cell culture experiments. Based on the secretory profile, the patients were categorized as either secreted or non-secreted group. Various clinical parameters such as visual acuity, location of schisis, foveal thickness and ERG parameters were compared between the two groups and control. Although the two groups showed severe disease phenotype in comparison with control, there was no significant difference between the two XLRS groups. However, the secreted group exhibited relatively severe disease indications. On the other hand molecular analysis suggests that most of the RS1 mutations result in intracellular retention of retinoschisin. Hence, clinical parameters of patients with non-secreted profile were analyzed which in turn revealed wide variability even within the group. Altogether, our results indicate that disease severity is not merely dependent on secretory profile of the mutations. Thus, we hypothesize that intricate molecular detail such as the precise localization of mutant protein in the cell as well as its ability to assemble into a functionally active oligomer might largely influence disease severity among XLRS patients.
Project description:Gene mutations that encode retinoschisin (RS1) cause X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS), a form of juvenile macular and retinal degeneration that affects males. RS1 is an adhesive protein which is proposed to preserve the structural and functional integrity of the retina, but there is very little evidence of the mechanism by which protein changes are related to XLRS disease. Here, we report molecular modeling of the RS1 protein and consider perturbations caused by mutations found in human XLRS subjects. In 60 XLRS patients who share 27 missense mutations, we then evaluated possible correlations of the molecular modeling with retinal function as determined by the electroretinogram (ERG) a- and b-waves. The b/a-wave ratio reflects visual-signal transfer in retina. We sorted the ERG b/a-ratios by patient age and by the mutation impact on protein structure. The majority of RS1 mutations caused minimal structure perturbation and targeted the protein surface. These patients' b/a-ratios were similar across younger and older subjects. Maximum structural perturbations from either the removal or insertion of cysteine residues or changes in the hydrophobic core were associated with greater difference in the b/a-ratio with age, with a significantly smaller ratio at younger ages, analogous to the ERG changes with age observed in mice with no RS1-protein expression due to a recombinant RS1-knockout gene. The molecular modeling suggests an association between the predicted structural alteration and/or damage to retinoschisin and the severity of XLRS as measured by the ERG analogous to the RS1-knockout mouse.
Project description:X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) is an early-onset inherited condition that affects primarily males and is characterized by cystic lesions of the inner retina, decreased visual acuity and contrast sensitivity and a selective reduction of the electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave. Although XLRS is genetically heterogeneous, all mouse models developed to date involve engineered or spontaneous null mutations. In the present study, we have studied three new Rs1 mutant mouse models: (1) a knockout with inserted lacZ reporter gene; (2) a C59S point mutant substitution and (3) an R141C point mutant substitution. Mice were studied from postnatal day (P15) to 28 weeks by spectral domain optical coherence tomography and ERG. Retinas of P21-22 mice were examined using biochemistry, single cell electrophysiology of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and by immunohistochemistry. Each model developed intraretinal schisis and reductions in the ERG that were greater for the b-wave than the a-wave. The phenotype of the C59S mutant appeared less severe than the other mutants by ERG at adult ages. RGC electrophysiology demonstrated elevated activity in the absence of a visual stimulus and reduced signal-to-noise ratios in response to light stimuli. Immunohistochemical analysis documented early abnormalities in all cells of the outer retina. Together, these results provide significant insight into the early events of XLRS pathophysiology, from phenotype differences between disease-causing variants to common mechanistic events that may play critical roles in disease presentation and progression.
Project description:To investigate the retinal microstructure and lamination of patients affected with X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) using high-resolution imaging modalities.Patients diagnosed as having XLRS underwent assessment. Visual function testing included visual acuity, color vision, and full-field electroretinography. We used a high-resolution Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT) system (4.5-mum axial resolution; 9 frames/s; 1000 A-scans per frame) combined with a handheld scanner. Macular image evaluation included schisis localization and retinal layer integrity.Six patients with XLRS and identified mutations in the XLRS1 gene underwent testing. Visual acuity ranged from 0.2 to 1.6 logMAR (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution). Results of FD-OCT revealed foveal schisis extending from the outer to the inner plexiform layer in 4 of 6 patients. Bullous foveal schisis was associated with younger age. All patients showed extrafoveal schisis within the outer and inner nuclear and ganglion cell layer, alone or in combination. Photoreceptor outer and inner segment layers were disrupted and irregular in all patients.Retinal dystrophy in XLRS is reflected by morphological changes within the inner and outer retinal layers. Disturbed foveal photoreceptor integrity was identified in all patients. Retinal layer abnormalities correlated with age but did not appear to correlate with visual acuity or genotypic variation.
Project description:Purpose:To report the clinical and genetic findings of a male toddler who presented bilateral bullous retinoschisis with a novel RS1 mutation. Observations:This is an observational case report of a patient referred to our hospital with esotropia. A comprehensive ophthalmic examination was performed with the boy (age, 1 year 4 months) under general anesthesia that included fundus examinations, fluorescein angiography (FA), swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT), and full-field electroretinography (FF-ERG). Genetic analysis of the coding region in the RS1 gene was performed by Sanger sequencing for the patient and mother. There was a family history of X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS). Fundus examinations and FA showed bullous retinoschisis bilaterally in the inferior retina. The SS-OCT images showed two kinds of schisis in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and more proximally. In general, the inner plexiform layer, ganglion cell layer, and retinal nerve fiber layer are in the proximal INL; however, in this case there was hyperreflective tissue with a rough surface instead of normal retinal layers. In addition, in the schisis cavity between the hyperreflective tissue and separated retina, a number of hyperreflective fiber-like strands arose from the hyperreflective tissue and extended to the schisis cavity. During the follow-up period, the bullous retinoschisis collapsed spontaneously in the right eye. FF-ERG showed a reduced b-wave and relatively preserved a-wave in all components. Genetic analysis showed a novel RS1 mutation (c.185_186insT, p.E62DfsX24 in exon 4) in the patient and mother. Conclusions and importance:We report the detailed retinal structure in a genetically identified case of bullous retinoschisis. The notable finding was that the cavity of bullous retinoschisis contained a number of fiber-like strands as observed in the cavity of typical retinoschisis.