Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Usher syndrome is the most common deafness-blindness caused by genetic mutations. To date, three genes have been identified underlying the most prevalent form of Usher syndrome, the type II form (USH2). The proteins encoded by these genes are demonstrated to form a complex in vivo. This complex is localized mainly at the periciliary membrane complex in photoreceptors and the ankle-link of the stereocilia in hair cells. Many proteins have been found to interact with USH2 proteins in vitro, suggesting that they are potential additional components of this USH2 complex and that the genes encoding these proteins may be the candidate USH2 genes. However, further investigations are critical to establish their existence in the USH2 complex in vivo. Based on the predicted functional domains in USH2 proteins, their cellular localizations in photoreceptors and hair cells, the observed phenotypes in USH2 mutant mice, and the known knowledge about diseases similar to USH2, putative biological functions of the USH2 complex have been proposed. Finally, therapeutic approaches for this group of diseases are now being actively explored.