UMD-USHbases: A Comprehensive Set of Databases to Record and Analyse Pathogenic Mutations and Unclassified Variants in Seven Usher Syndrome Causing Genes

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Communicated by Alastair F. BrownUsing the Universal Mutation Database (UMD®) software, we have constructed “UMDUSHbases”, a set of relational databases of nucleotide variations for seven genes involved in Usher syndrome (MYO7A, CDH23, PCDH15, USH1C, USH1G, USH3AandUSH2A). Mutations in the Usher syndrome type I causing genes are also recorded in non-syndromic hearing loss cases and mutations inUSH2Ain non-syndromic retinitis pigmentosa. Usher syndrome provides a particular challenge for molecular diagnostics because of the clinical and molecular heterogeneity. As many mutations are missense changes, and all the genes also contain apparently non-pathogenic polymorphisms, well-curated databases are crucial for accurate interpretation of pathogenicity. Tools are provided to assess the pathogenicity of mutations, including conservation of amino acids and analysis of splice-sites. Reference amino acid alignments are provided. Apparently non-pathogenic variants in patients with Usher syndrome, at both the nucleotide and amino acid level, are included. The UMDUSHbases currently contain more than 2,830 entries including disease causing mutations, unclassified variants or non-pathogenic polymorphisms identified in over 938 patients. In addition to data collected from 89 publications, 15 novel mutations identified in our laboratory are recorded inMYO7A(6),CDH23(8), orPCDH15(1) genes. Information is given on the relative involvement of the seven genes, the number and distribution of variants in each gene. UMD-USHbases give access to a software package that provides specific routines and optimized multicriteria research and sorting tools. These databases should assist clinicians and geneticists seeking information about mutations responsible for Usher syndrome.

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