Research Article: Understanding variable disease severity in X-linked retinoschisis: Does RS1 secretory mechanism determine disease severity?

Date Published: May 31, 2018

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Dhandayuthapani Sudha, Srividya Neriyanuri, Ramya Sachidanandam, Srikrupa N. Natarajan, Mamatha Gandra, Arokiasamy Tharigopala, Muthukumaran Sivashanmugam, Mohammed Alameen, Umashankar Vetrivel, Lingam Gopal, Vikas Khetan, Rajiv Raman, Parveen Sen, Subbulakshmi Chidambaram, Jayamuruga Pandian Arunachalam, Klaus Brusgaard.


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.

Partial Text

X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) (OMIM 312700) is a retinal dystrophy, characterized by spoke wheel pattern in the retina, schisis (splitting) within the retinal layers and reduced b-wave amplitude on electroretinogram (ERG) resulting in visual deterioration in affected males [1]. The estimated worldwide prevalence of XLRS ranges from 1:5000 to 1:25000 males [2].




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