Phenotypic spectrum of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa without posterior column ataxia caused by mutations in the FLVCR1 gene

  • Laura KuehleweinEmail author
  • Ludger Schöls
  • Pablo Llavona
  • Alexander Grimm
  • Saskia Biskup
  • Eberhart Zrenner
  • Susanne Kohl



Posterior column ataxia and retinitis pigmentosa (PCARP) is a rare form of syndromic RP associated with mutations in the FLVCR1 gene. Recent evidence has suggested a spectrum in the phenotype depending on the genotype.


Six individuals with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) carrying mutations in the FLVCR1 gene underwent detailed ophthalmological examinations at the Center for Ophthalmology and two of these also an extensive neurological examination at the Department of Neurology in Tuebingen, Germany.


The mutation spectrum in our cohort comprised one nonsense mutation, one 1-bp deletion, two missense variants, and one splice site variant (c.1092+5G>A). Three patients presented with a typical clinical picture of autosomal recessive RP, two patients presented with atypical RP, and one patient presented with a particularly mild form of RP. The findings of the patients that underwent detailed neurological and neurophysiological testing were not suggestive for the presence of progressive PCA, but one patient showed mild cerebellar signs without worsening over time. Five out of six of our cases carry the splice site variant c.1092+5G>A at least on one allele possibly providing evidence as to that this splice site variant may cause a milder form of non-syndromic autosomal recessive RP.


Mutations in FLVCR1 can present with the clinical picture of a non-syndromic autosomal recessive RP (in this case RP without PCA), RP with mild cerebellar signs, but also PCARP. Additionally, we show evidence for a spectrum of the severity of the retinal involvement likely depending on the genotype.


FLVCR1 Posterior column ataxia PCARP Retinitis pigmentosa 



This study was supported by the Tistou and Charlotte Kerstan foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Kuehlewein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ludger Schöls
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pablo Llavona
    • 5
  • Alexander Grimm
    • 2
  • Saskia Biskup
    • 6
  • Eberhart Zrenner
    • 1
    • 4
  • Susanne Kohl
    • 5
  1. 1.FEBO, Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Center for OphthalmologyEberhard Karls University TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain ResearchEberhard Karls University TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  3. 3.German Research Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)Eberhard Karls University TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  4. 4.Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative NeuroscienceEberhard Karls University TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Molecular Genetics LaboratoryEberhard Karls University TuebingenTuebingenGermany
  6. 6.CeGaT and Praxis fuer HumangenetikTuebingenGermany

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