The RS1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called retinoschisin, which is found in the retina. The retina is a specialized light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Retinoschisin attaches (binds) to the surface of specialized cells within the retina that detect light and color (photoreceptor cells). The protein also binds to bipolar cells, which relay light signals from photoreceptor cells to other retinal cells. Studies suggest that retinoschisin plays a role in the development and maintenance of the retina and its specialized cells. Retinoschisin is likely involved in the organization of cells in the retina by attaching cells together (cell adhesion).
More than 220 mutations in the RS1 gene have been found to cause X-linked juvenile retinoschisis. This disorder causes tiny splits (schisis) or tears to form in the retina, which results in progressive vision loss in males. Most of the RS1 gene mutations change one protein building block (amino acid) in the retinoschisin protein, although many different types of mutations have been identified. Research suggests that the various mutations in the RS1 gene can alter the 3-dimensional structure of the protein, impair the protein's ability to attach cells together (cell adhesion), cause misplacement of the protein within retinal cells, or prevent protein production. Changes in the retinoschisin protein function or production disrupt its role in the maintenance and organization of the retina. As a result, splitting or tearing of the retina can occur, causing the vision problems associated with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis.
- retinoschisis (X-linked, juvenile) 1
- X-linked juvenile retinoschisis protein