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INTRODUCTION: Molecular confirmation of pathogenic sequence variants in the CHM gene is required prior to enrolment in retinal gene therapy clinical trials for choroideremia. Individuals with mild choroideremia have been reported. The molecular basis of genotype-phenotype associations is of clinical relevance since it may impact on selection for retinal gene therapy. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Genetic testing and RNA analysis were undertaken in a patient with mild choroideremia to confirm the pathogenicity of a novel intronic variant in CHM and to explore the mechanism underlying the mild clinical phenotype. RESULTS: A 42-year-old male presented with visual field loss. Fundoscopy and autofluorescence imaging demonstrated mild choroideremia for his age. Genetic analysis revealed a variant at a splice acceptor site in the CHM gene (c.1350-3C > G). RNA analysis demonstrated two out-of-frame transcripts, suggesting pathogenicity, without any detectable wildtype transcripts. One of the two out-of-frame transcripts is present in very low levels in healthy controls. DISCUSSION: Mild choroideremia may result from +3 or -3 splice site variants in CHM. It is presumed that the resulting mRNA transcripts may be partly functional, thereby preventing the development of the null phenotype. Choroideremia patients with such variants may present challenges for gene therapy since there may be residual transcript activity which could result in long-lasting visual function which is atypical for this disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Ophthalmic Genet

Publication Date



1 - 8


Choroideremia, gene therapy, genetic analysis, splice site mutation