Novel homozygous splicing mutations in ARL2BP cause autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa.
Fiorentino A., Yu J., Arno G., Pontikos N., Halford S., Broadgate S., Michaelides M., Carss KJ., Raymond FL., Cheetham ME., Webster AR., Downes SM., Hardcastle AJ., NIHR-BioResource Rare Diseases Consortium None., U.K. Inherited Retinal Dystrophy Consortium None.
Purpose: Mutations in ARL2BP, encoding ADP-ribosylation factor-like 2 binding protein, have recently been implicated as a cause of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP), with three homozygous variants identified to date. In this study, we performed next-generation sequencing to reveal additional arRP cases associated with ARL2BP variants. Methods: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) or whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed in 1,051 unrelated individuals recruited for the UK Inherited Retinal Disease Consortium and NIHR-BioResource Rare Diseases research studies. Sanger sequencing was used to validate the next-generation sequencing data, and reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR analysis was performed on RNA extracted from blood from affected individuals to test for altered splicing of ARL2BP. Detailed phenotyping was performed, including clinical evaluation, electroretinography, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence imaging, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Results: Homozygous variants in ARL2BP (NM_012106.3) were identified in two unrelated individuals with RP. The variants, c.207+1G>A and c.390+5G>A, at conserved splice donor sites for intron 3 and intron 5, respectively, were predicted to alter the pre-mRNA splicing of ARL2BP. RT-PCR spanning the affected introns revealed that both variants caused abnormal splicing of ARL2BP in samples from affected individuals. Conclusions: This study identified two homozygous variants in ARL2BP as a rare cause of arRP. Further studies are required to define the underlying disease mechanism causing retinal degeneration as a result of mutations in ARL2BP and any phenotype-genotype correlation associated with residual levels of the wild-type transcript.