Despite the successful identification of causative genes and genetic variants of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), many patients have not been molecularly diagnosed. Our recent study using targeted short-read sequencing showed that the proportion of carriers of pathogenic variants in EYS, the cause of autosomal recessive RP, was unexpectedly high in Japanese patients with unsolved RP. This result suggested that causative genetic variants, which are difficult to detect by short-read sequencing, exist in such patients. Using long-read sequencing technology (Oxford Nanopore), we analysed the whole genomes of 15 patients with RP with one heterozygous pathogenic variant in EYS detected in our previous study along with structural variants (SVs) in EYS and another 88 RP-associated genes. Two large exon-overlapping deletions involving six exons were identified in EYS in two patients with unsolved RP. An analysis of an independent patient set (n=1189) suggested that these two deletions are not founder mutations. Our results suggest that searching for SVs by long-read sequencing in genetically unsolved cases benefits the molecular diagnosis of RP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes