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Identification of a Novel Mutation in the CDHR1 Gene in a Family With Recessive Retinal Degeneration



To describe the clinical phenotype and identify the molecular basis of disease in a consanguineous family of Palestinian origin with autosomal recessive retinal degeneration.


Eight family members were evaluated with visual acuity and perimetry tests, color fundus photographs, full-field electroretinography, and optical coherence tomography. Cone photoreceptors surrounding the fovea were imaged in 2 members, using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Exome was captured using probes and sequenced. Readings were mapped to reference hg19. Variant calls and annotations were performed, using published protocols. Confirmation of variants and segregation analysis was performed using dideoxy sequencing.


Analysis detected 24 037 single-nucleotide variants in one affected family member, of which 3622 were rare and potentially damaging to encoded proteins. Further analysis revealed a novel homozygous nonsense change, c.1381 C>T, p.Gln461X in exon 13 of the CDHR1 gene, which segregated with retinal degeneration in this family. Affected members had night blindness beginning during adolescence with progressive visual acuity and field loss and unmeasurable electroretinographic responses, as well as macular outer retinal loss, although residual cones with increased cone spacing were observed in the youngest individual.


Exome analysis revealed a novel CDHR1 nonsense mutation segregating with progressive retinal degeneration causing severe central vision loss by the fourth decade of life. High-resolution retinal imaging revealed outer retinal changes suggesting that CDHR1 is important for normal photoreceptor structure and survival.

Clinical relevance

Exome sequencing is a powerful technique that may identify causative genetic variants in families with autosomal recessive retinal degeneration.

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