Stargardt disease and progress in therapeutic strategies

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Stargardt disease (STGD1) is an autosomal recessive retinal dystrophy due to mutations in ABCA4, characterized by subretinal deposition of lipofuscin-like substances and bilateral centrifugal vision loss. Despite the tremendous progress made in the understanding of STGD1, there are no approved treatments to date. This review examines the challenges in the development of an effective STGD1 therapy.Materials and Methods: A literature review was performed through to June 2021 summarizing the spectrum of retinal phenotypes in STGD1, the molecular biology of ABCA4 protein, the in vivo and in vitro models used to investigate the mechanisms of ABCA4 mutations and current clinical trials.Results: STGD1 phenotypic variability remains an challenge for clinical trial design and patient selection. Pre-clinical development of therapeutic options has been limited by the lack of animal models reflecting the diverse phenotypic spectrum of STDG1. Patient-derived cell lines have facilitated the characterization of splice mutations but the clinical presentation is not always predicted by the effect of specific mutations on retinoid metabolism in cellular models. Current therapies primarily aim to delay vision loss whilst strategies to restore vision are less well developed.Conclusions: STGD1 therapy development can be accelerated by a deeper understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalOphthalmic Genetics
Issue number1
Early online date29 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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