Purpose: To investigate the regional differences in the genes and variants causing retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in Japan Study design: Retrospective multicenter study Methods: In total, 1204 probands of each pedigree clinically diagnosed with nonsyndromic RP were enrolled from 5 Japanese facilities. The regions were divided into the Tohoku region, the Kanto and Chubu regions, and the Kyushu region according to the location of the hospitals where the participants were enrolled. We compared the proportions of the causative genes and the distributions of the pathogenic variants among these 3 regions. Results: The proportions of genetically solved cases were 29.4% in the Tohoku region (n = 500), 29.6% in the Kanto and Chubu regions (n = 196), and 29.7% in the Kyushu region (n = 508), which did not differ statistically (P =.99). No significant regional differences in the proportions of each causative gene in genetically solved patients were observed after correction by multiple testing. Among the 29 pathogenic variants detected in all 3 regions, only p.(Pro347Leu) in RHO was an autosomal dominant variant; the remaining 28 variants were found in autosomal recessive genes. Conversely, 78.6% (275/350) of the pathogenic variants were detected only in a single region, and 6 pathogenic variants (p.[Asn3062fs] in EYS, p.[Ala315fs] in EYS, p.[Arg872fs] in RP1, p.[Ala126Val] in RDH12, p.[Arg41Trp] in CRX, and p.[Gly381fs] in PRPF31) were frequently found in ≥ 4 patients in the single region. Conclusion: We observed region-specific pathogenic variants in the Japanese population. Further investigations of causative genes in multiple regions in Japan will contribute to the expansion of the catalog of genetic variants causing RP.
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