Signal Peptide Variants in Inherited Retinal Diseases: A Multi-Institutional Case Series

Hiram J. Jimenez, Rebecca A. Procopio, Tobin B.T. Thuma, Molly H. Marra, Natalio Izquierdo, Michael A. Klufas, Aaron Nagiel, Mark E. Pennesi, Jose S. Pulido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Signal peptide (SP) mutations are an infrequent cause of inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). We report the genes currently associated with an IRD that possess an SP sequence and assess the prevalence of these variants in a multi-institutional retrospective review of clinical genetic testing records. The online databases, RetNet and UniProt, were used to determine which IRD genes possess a SP. A multicenter retrospective review was performed to retrieve cases of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of an IRD and a concurrent SP variant. In silico evaluations were performed with MutPred, MutationTaster, and the signal peptide prediction tool, SignalP 6.0. SignalP 6.0 was further used to determine the locations of the three SP regions in each gene: the N-terminal region, hydrophobic core, and C-terminal region. Fifty-six (56) genes currently associated with an IRD possess a SP sequence. Based on the records review, a total of 505 variants were present in the 56 SP-possessing genes. Six (1.18%) of these variants were within the SP sequence and likely associated with the patients’ disease based on in silico predictions and clinical correlation. These six SP variants were in the CRB1 (early-onset retinal dystrophy), NDP (familial exudative vitreoretinopathy) (FEVR), FZD4 (FEVR), EYS (retinitis pigmentosa), and RS1 (X-linked juvenile retinoschisis) genes. It is important to be aware of SP mutations as an exceedingly rare cause of IRDs. Future studies will help refine our understanding of their role in each disease process and assess therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13361
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • in silico prediction
  • inherited retinal dystrophies
  • signal peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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