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Update on Usher syndrome

Saihan, Zubina; Webster, Andrew Ra; Luxon, Lindab; Bitner-Glindzicz, Mariac

doi: 10.1097/WCO.0b013e3283218807
Neuro-ophthalmology and neuro-otology: Edited by James Acheson

Purpose of review The present review addresses the mechanisms, genetics and pathogenesis of Usher syndrome.

Recent findings Recent molecular findings have provided more information regarding the pathogenesis of this disorder and the wide phenotypic variation in both audiovestibular and/or visual systems. Evidence has begun to emerge supporting a theory of a protein interactome involving the Usher proteins in both the inner ear and the retina. This interactome appears to be important for hair cell development in the ear but its role in the retina remains unclear.

Summary Understanding clinical disease progression and molecular pathways is important in the progress towards developing gene therapy to prevent blindness due to Usher syndrome as well as delivering prognostic information to affected individuals.

aUCL Institute of Ophthalmology & Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK

bUCL Ear Institute, UK

cUCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK

Correspondence to Zubin Saihan, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, 11-43 Bath Street, London EC1V 9EL, UK Tel: +44 20 76086971; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.