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Homozygosity Mapping and Genetic Analysis of Autosomal Recessive Retinal Dystrophies in 144 Consanguineous Pakistani FamiliesPakistani RP Study



The Pakistan Punjab population has been a rich source for identifying genes causing or contributing to autosomal recessive retinal degenerations (arRD). This study was carried out to delineate the genetic architecture of arRD in the Pakistani population.


The genetic origin of arRD in a total of 144 families selected only for having consanguineous marriages and multiple members affected with arRD was examined. Of these, causative mutations had been identified in 62 families while only the locus had been identified for an additional 15. The remaining 67 families were subjected to homozygosity exclusion mapping by screening of closely flanking microsatellite markers at 180 known candidate genes/loci followed by sequencing of the candidate gene for pathogenic changes.


Of these 67 families subjected to homozygosity mapping, 38 showed homozygosity for at least one of the 180 regions, and sequencing of the corresponding genes showed homozygous cosegregating mutations in 27 families. Overall, mutations were detected in approximately 61.8 % (89/144) of arRD families tested, with another 10.4% (15/144) being mapped to a locus but without a gene identified.


These results suggest the involvement of unmapped novel genes in the remaining 27.8% (40/144) of families. In addition, this study demonstrates that homozygosity mapping remains a powerful tool for identifying the genetic defect underlying genetically heterogeneous arRD disorders in consanguineous marriages for both research and clinical applications.

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