Mutation Spectrum of the ABCA4 Gene in a Greek Cohort with Stargardt Disease: Identification of Novel Mutations and Evidence of Three Prevalent Mutated Alleles



To evaluate the frequency and pattern of disease-associated mutations of ABCA4 gene among Greek patients with presumed Stargardt disease (STGD1).

Materials and Methods:

A total of 59 patients were analyzed for ABCA4 mutations using the ABCR400 microarray and PCR-based sequencing of all coding exons and flanking intronic regions. MLPA analysis as well as sequencing of two regions in introns 30 and 36 reported earlier to harbor deep intronic disease-associated variants was used in 4 selected cases.


An overall detection rate of at least one mutant allele was achieved in 52 of the 59 patients (88.1%). Direct sequencing improved significantly the complete characterization rate, that is, identification of two mutations compared to the microarray analysis (93.1% versus 50%). In total, 40 distinct potentially disease-causing variants of the ABCA4 gene were detected, including six previously unreported potentially pathogenic variants. Among the disease-causing variants, in this cohort, the most frequent was c.5714+5G>A representing 16.1%, while p.Gly1961Glu and p.Leu541Pro represented 15.2% and 8.5%, respectively.


By using a combination of methods, we completely molecularly diagnosed 48 of the 59 patients studied. In addition, we identified six previously unreported, potentially pathogenic ABCA4 mutations.

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Source: Hindawi Journal of Ophthalmology