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Sample records for photoreceptor gene neochrome

  1. Efficient photoreceptor-targeted gene expression in vivo by recombinant adeno-associated virus.

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    Flannery, J G; Zolotukhin, S; Vaquero, M I; LaVail, M M; Muzyczka, N; Hauswirth, W W

    1997-06-24

    We describe a general approach for achieving efficient and cell type-specific expression of exogenous genes in photoreceptor cells of the mammalian retina. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors were used to transfer the bacterial lacZ gene or a synthetic green fluorescent protein gene (gfp) to mouse or rat retinas after injection into the subretinal space. Using a proximal murine rod opsin promoter (+86 to -385) to drive expression, reporter gene product was found exclusively in photoreceptors, not in any other retinal cell type or in the adjacent retinal pigment epithelium. GFP-expressing photoreceptors typically encompassed 10-20% of the total retinal area after a single 2-microl injection. Photoreceptors were transduced with nearly 100% efficiency in the region directly surrounding the injection site. We estimate approximately 2.5 million photoreceptors were transduced as a result of the single subretinal inoculation. This level of gene transfer and expression suggests the feasibility of genetic therapy for retinal disease. The gfp-containing rAAV stock was substantially free of both adenovirus and wild-type AAV, as judged by plaque assay and infectious center assay, respectively. Thus, highly purified, helper virus-free rAAV vectors can achieve high-frequency tissue-specific transduction of terminally differentiated, postmitotic photoreceptor cells.

  2. Intraocular gene transfer of ciliary neurotrophic factor rescues photoreceptor degeneration in RCS rats.

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    Huang, Shun-Ping; Lin, Po-Kang; Liu, Jorn-Hon; Khor, Chin-Ni; Lee, Yih-Jing

    2004-01-01

    Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is known as an important factor in the regulation of retinal cell growth. We used both recombinant CNTF and an adenovirus carrying the CNTF gene to regulate retinal photoreceptor expression in a retinal degenerative animal, Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats. Cells in the outer nuclear layer of the retinae from recombinant-CNTF-treated, adenoviral-CNTF-treated, saline-operated, and contralateral untreated preparations were examined for those exhibiting CNTF photoreceptor protective effects. Cell apoptosis in the outer nuclear layer of the retinae was also detected. It was found that CNTF had a potent effect on delaying the photoreceptor degeneration process in RCS rats. Furthermore, adenovirus CNTF gene transfer was proven to be better at rescuing photoreceptors than that when using recombinant CNTF, since adenoviral CNTF prolonged the photoreceptor protection effect. The function of the photoreceptors was also examined by taking electroretinograms of different animals. Adenoviral-CNTF-treated eyes showed better retinal function than did the contralateral control eyes. This study indicates that adenoviral CNTF effectively rescues degenerating photoreceptors in RCS rats. Copyright 2004 National Science Council, ROC and S. Karger AG, Basel

  3. Machine learning approaches to supporting the identification of photoreceptor-enriched genes based on expression data

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    Simpson David

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retinal photoreceptors are highly specialised cells, which detect light and are central to mammalian vision. Many retinal diseases occur as a result of inherited dysfunction of the rod and cone photoreceptor cells. Development and maintenance of photoreceptors requires appropriate regulation of the many genes specifically or highly expressed in these cells. Over the last decades, different experimental approaches have been developed to identify photoreceptor enriched genes. Recent progress in RNA analysis technology has generated large amounts of gene expression data relevant to retinal development. This paper assesses a machine learning methodology for supporting the identification of photoreceptor enriched genes based on expression data. Results Based on the analysis of publicly-available gene expression data from the developing mouse retina generated by serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE, this paper presents a predictive methodology comprising several in silico models for detecting key complex features and relationships encoded in the data, which may be useful to distinguish genes in terms of their functional roles. In order to understand temporal patterns of photoreceptor gene expression during retinal development, a two-way cluster analysis was firstly performed. By clustering SAGE libraries, a hierarchical tree reflecting relationships between developmental stages was obtained. By clustering SAGE tags, a more comprehensive expression profile for photoreceptor cells was revealed. To demonstrate the usefulness of machine learning-based models in predicting functional associations from the SAGE data, three supervised classification models were compared. The results indicated that a relatively simple instance-based model (KStar model performed significantly better than relatively more complex algorithms, e.g. neural networks. To deal with the problem of functional class imbalance occurring in the dataset, two data re

  4. Interaction of two photoreceptors in the regulation of bacterial photosynthesis genes

    OpenAIRE

    Metz, Sebastian; Haberzettl, Kerstin; Frühwirth, Sebastian; Teich, Kristin; Hasewinkel, Christian; Klug, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    The expression of photosynthesis genes in the facultatively photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is controlled by the oxygen tension and by light quantity. Two photoreceptor proteins, AppA and CryB, have been identified in the past, which are involved in this regulation. AppA senses light by its N-terminal BLUF domain, its C-terminal part binds heme and is redox-responsive. Through its interaction to the transcriptional repressor PpsR the AppA photoreceptor controls expression of ...

  5. Photoreceptor dysplasia (pd) in miniature schnauzer dogs: evaluation of candidate genes by molecular genetic analysis.

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    Zhang, Q; Baldwin, V J; Acland, G M; Parshall, C J; Haskel, J; Aguirre, G D; Ray, K

    1999-01-01

    Photoreceptor dysplasia (pd) is one of a group of at least six distinct autosomal and one X-linked retinal disorders identified in dogs which are collectively known as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is an early onset retinal disease identified in miniature schnauzer dogs, and pedigree analysis and breeding studies have established autosomal recessive inheritance of the disease. Using a gene-based approach, a number of retina-expressed genes, including some members of the phototransduction pathway, have been causally implicated in retinal diseases of humans and other animals. Here we examined seven such potential candidate genes (opsin, RDS/peripherin, ROM1, rod cGMP-gated cation channel alpha-subunit, and three subunits of transducin) for their causal association with the pd locus by testing segregation of intragenic markers with the disease locus, or, in the absence of informative polymorphisms, sequencing of the coding regions of the genes. Based on these results, we have conclusively excluded four photoreceptor-specific genes as candidates for pd by linkage analysis. For three other photoreceptor-specific genes, we did not find any mutation in the coding sequences of the genes and have excluded them provisionally. Formal exclusion would require investigation of the levels of expression of the candidate genes in pd-affected dogs relative to age-matched controls. At present we are building suitable informative pedigrees for the disease locus with a sufficient number of meiosis to be useful for genomewide screening. This should identify markers linked to the disease locus and eventually permit progress toward the identification of the photoreceptor dysplasia gene and the disease-causing mutation.

  6. Gibberellin and auxin influence the diurnal transcription pattern of photoreceptor genes via CRY1a in tomato.

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    Paolo Facella

    Full Text Available Plant photoreceptors, phytochromes and cryptochromes, regulate many aspects of development and growth, such as seed germination, stem elongation, seedling de-etiolation, cotyledon opening, flower induction and circadian rhythms. There are several pieces of evidence of interaction between photoreceptors and phyto-hormones in all of these physiological processes, but little is known about molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying hormone-photoreceptor crosstalk.In this work, we investigated the molecular effects of exogenous phyto-hormones to photoreceptor gene transcripts of tomato wt, as well as transgenic and mutant lines with altered cryptochromes, by monitoring day/night transcript oscillations. GA and auxin alter the diurnal expression level of different photoreceptor genes in tomato, especially in mutants that lack a working form of cryptochrome 1a: in those mutants the expression of some (IAA or most (GA photoreceptor genes is down regulated by these hormones.Our results highlight the presence of molecular relationships among cryptochrome 1a protein, hormones, and photoreceptors' gene expression in tomato, suggesting that manipulation of cryptochromes could represent a good strategy to understand in greater depth the role of phyto-hormones in the plant photoperceptive mechanism.

  7. Global gene expression analysis in a mouse model for Norrie disease: late involvement of photoreceptor cells.

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    Lenzner, Steffen; Prietz, Sandra; Feil, Silke; Nuber, Ulrike A; Ropers, H-Hilger; Berger, Wolfgang

    2002-09-01

    Mutations in the NDP gene give rise to a variety of eye diseases, including classic Norrie disease (ND), X-linked exudative vitreoretinopathy (EVRX), retinal telangiectasis (Coats disease), and advanced retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The gene product is a cystine-knot-containing extracellular signaling molecule of unknown function. In the current study, gene expression was determined in a mouse model of ND, to unravel disease-associated mechanisms at the molecular level. Gene transcription in the eyes of 2-year-old Ndp knockout mice was compared with that in the eyes of age-matched wild-type control animals, by means of cDNA subtraction and microarrays. Clones (n = 3072) from the cDNA subtraction libraries were spotted onto glass slides and hybridized with fluorescently labeled RNA-derived targets. More than 230 differentially expressed clones were sequenced, and their expression patterns were verified by virtual Northern blot analysis. Numerous gene transcripts that are absent or downregulated in the eye of Ndp knockout mice are photoreceptor cell specific. In younger Ndp knockout mice (up to 1 year old), however, all these transcripts were found to be expressed at normal levels. The identification of numerous photoreceptor cell-specific transcripts with a reduced expression in 2-year-old, but not in young, Ndp knockout mice indicates that normal gene expression in these light-sensitive cells of mutant mice is established and maintained over a long period and that rods and cones are affected relatively late in the mouse model of ND. Obviously, the absence of the Ndp gene product is not compatible with long-term survival of photoreceptor cells in the mouse.

  8. Interaction of two photoreceptors in the regulation of bacterial photosynthesis genes.

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    Metz, Sebastian; Haberzettl, Kerstin; Frühwirth, Sebastian; Teich, Kristin; Hasewinkel, Christian; Klug, Gabriele

    2012-07-01

    The expression of photosynthesis genes in the facultatively photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is controlled by the oxygen tension and by light quantity. Two photoreceptor proteins, AppA and CryB, have been identified in the past, which are involved in this regulation. AppA senses light by its N-terminal BLUF domain, its C-terminal part binds heme and is redox-responsive. Through its interaction to the transcriptional repressor PpsR the AppA photoreceptor controls expression of photosynthesis genes. The cryptochrome-like protein CryB was shown to affect regulation of photosynthesis genes, but the underlying signal chain remained unknown. Here we show that CryB interacts with the C-terminal domain of AppA and modulates the binding of AppA to the transcriptional repressor PpsR in a light-dependent manner. Consequently, binding of the transcription factor PpsR to its DNA target is affected by CryB. In agreement with this, all genes of the PpsR regulon showed altered expression levels in a CryB deletion strain after blue-light illumination. These results elucidate for the first time how a bacterial cryptochrome affects gene expression.

  9. Shifts in Selective Pressures on Snake Phototransduction Genes Associated with Photoreceptor Transmutation and Dim-Light Ancestry.

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    Schott, Ryan K; Van Nynatten, Alexander; Card, Daren C; Castoe, Todd A; S W Chang, Belinda

    2018-06-01

    The visual systems of snakes are heavily modified relative to other squamates, a condition often thought to reflect their fossorial origins. Further modifications are seen in caenophidian snakes, where evolutionary transitions between rod and cone photoreceptors, termed photoreceptor transmutations, have occurred in many lineages. Little previous work, however, has focused on the molecular evolutionary underpinnings of these morphological changes. To address this, we sequenced seven snake eye transcriptomes and utilized new whole-genome and targeted capture sequencing data. We used these data to analyze gene loss and shifts in selection pressures in phototransduction genes that may be associated with snake evolutionary origins and photoreceptor transmutation. We identified the surprising loss of rhodopsin kinase (GRK1), despite a low degree of gene loss overall and a lack of relaxed selection early during snake evolution. These results provide some of the first evolutionary genomic corroboration for a dim-light ancestor that lacks strong fossorial adaptations. Our results also indicate that snakes with photoreceptor transmutation experienced significantly different selection pressures from other reptiles. Significant positive selection was found primarily in cone-specific genes, but not rod-specific genes, contrary to our expectations. These results reveal potential molecular adaptations associated with photoreceptor transmutation and also highlight unappreciated functional differences between rod- and cone-specific phototransduction proteins. This intriguing example of snake visual system evolution illustrates how the underlying molecular components of a complex system can be reshaped in response to changing selection pressures.

  10. Photocycle of the flavin-binding photoreceptor AppA, a bacterial transcriptional antirepressor of photosynthesis genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gauden, M.L.; Yeremenko, S.; Laan, W.; van Stokkum, I.H.M.; Ihalainen, J.A.; van Grondelle, R.; Hellingwerf, K.J.; Kennis, J.T.M.

    2005-01-01

    The flavoprotein AppA from Rhodobacter sphaeroides contains an N-terminal domain belonging to a new class of photoreceptors designated BLUF domains. AppA was shown to control photosynthesis gene expression in response to blue light and oxygen tension. We have investigated the photocycle of the AppA

  11. Multiple rod–cone and cone–rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: Evidence from visual opsin gene expression

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    Simoe, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L.; Loew, Ellis R.; Sanders, Kate L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.; Partridge, Julian C.; Gower, David J.

    2016-01-01

    In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor ‘transmutation’. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels.

  12. Gene Correction Reverses Ciliopathy and Photoreceptor Loss in iPSC-Derived Retinal Organoids from Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients

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    Wen-Li Deng

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP is an irreversible, inherited retinopathy in which early-onset nyctalopia is observed. Despite the genetic heterogeneity of RP, RPGR mutations are the most common causes of this disease. Here, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs from three RP patients with different frameshift mutations in the RPGR gene, which were then differentiated into retinal pigment epithelium (RPE cells and well-structured retinal organoids possessing electrophysiological properties. We observed significant defects in photoreceptor in terms of morphology, localization, transcriptional profiling, and electrophysiological activity. Furthermore, shorted cilium was found in patient iPSCs, RPE cells, and three-dimensional retinal organoids. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated correction of RPGR mutation rescued photoreceptor structure and electrophysiological property, reversed the observed ciliopathy, and restored gene expression to a level in accordance with that in the control using transcriptome-based analysis. This study recapitulated the pathogenesis of RPGR using patient-specific organoids and achieved targeted gene therapy of RPGR mutations in a dish as proof-of-concept evidence. : Jin and colleagues demonstrate that patient-specific iPSC-derived 3D retinae can recapitulate disease progress of retinitis pigmentosa through presenting defects in photoreceptor morphology, gene profile, and electrophysiology, as well as the defective ciliogenesis in iPSCs, iPSC-RPE, and 3D retinae. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene correction can rescue not only photoreceptor structure and electrophysiological property but also observed ciliopathy. Keywords: RPGR, photoreceptor, electrophysiology, retinitis pigmentosa, patient-derived iPSCs, retinal organoid, RPE cells, cilium, ciliopathy, disease modeling

  13. Analysis of transcriptional regulatory pathways of photoreceptor genes by expression profiling of the Otx2-deficient retina.

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    Omori, Yoshihiro; Katoh, Kimiko; Sato, Shigeru; Muranishi, Yuki; Chaya, Taro; Onishi, Akishi; Minami, Takashi; Fujikado, Takashi; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2011-01-01

    In the vertebrate retina, the Otx2 transcription factor plays a crucial role in the cell fate determination of both rod and cone photoreceptors. We previously reported that Otx2 conditional knockout (CKO) mice exhibited a total absence of rods and cones in the retina due to their cell fate conversion to amacrine-like cells. In order to investigate the entire transcriptome of the Otx2 CKO retina, we compared expression profile of Otx2 CKO and wild-type retinas at P1 and P12 using microarray. We observed that expression of 101- and 1049-probe sets significantly decreased in the Otx2 CKO retina at P1 and P12, respectively, whereas, expression of 3- and 4149-probe sets increased at P1 and P12, respectively. We found that expression of genes encoding transcription factors involved in photoreceptor development, including Crx, Nrl, Nr2e3, Esrrb, and NeuroD, was markedly down-regulated in the Otx2 CKO at both P1 and P12. Furthermore, we identified three human retinal disease loci mapped in close proximity to certain down-regulated genes in the Otx2 CKO retina including Ccdc126, Tnfsf13 and Pitpnm1, suggesting that these genes are possibly responsible for these diseases. These transcriptome data sets of the Otx2 CKO retina provide a resource on developing rods and cones to further understand the molecular mechanisms underlying photoreceptor development, function and disease.

  14. Analysis of transcriptional regulatory pathways of photoreceptor genes by expression profiling of the Otx2-deficient retina.

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    Yoshihiro Omori

    Full Text Available In the vertebrate retina, the Otx2 transcription factor plays a crucial role in the cell fate determination of both rod and cone photoreceptors. We previously reported that Otx2 conditional knockout (CKO mice exhibited a total absence of rods and cones in the retina due to their cell fate conversion to amacrine-like cells. In order to investigate the entire transcriptome of the Otx2 CKO retina, we compared expression profile of Otx2 CKO and wild-type retinas at P1 and P12 using microarray. We observed that expression of 101- and 1049-probe sets significantly decreased in the Otx2 CKO retina at P1 and P12, respectively, whereas, expression of 3- and 4149-probe sets increased at P1 and P12, respectively. We found that expression of genes encoding transcription factors involved in photoreceptor development, including Crx, Nrl, Nr2e3, Esrrb, and NeuroD, was markedly down-regulated in the Otx2 CKO at both P1 and P12. Furthermore, we identified three human retinal disease loci mapped in close proximity to certain down-regulated genes in the Otx2 CKO retina including Ccdc126, Tnfsf13 and Pitpnm1, suggesting that these genes are possibly responsible for these diseases. These transcriptome data sets of the Otx2 CKO retina provide a resource on developing rods and cones to further understand the molecular mechanisms underlying photoreceptor development, function and disease.

  15. Unravelling the molecular basis for light modulated cellulase gene expression - the role of photoreceptors in Neurospora crassa

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    2012-01-01

    Background Light represents an important environmental cue, which exerts considerable influence on the metabolism of fungi. Studies with the biotechnological fungal workhorse Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina) have revealed an interconnection between transcriptional regulation of cellulolytic enzymes and the light response. Neurospora crassa has been used as a model organism to study light and circadian rhythm biology. We therefore investigated whether light also regulates transcriptional regulation of cellulolytic enzymes in N. crassa. Results We show that the N. crassa photoreceptor genes wc-1, wc-2 and vvd are involved in regulation of cellulase gene expression, indicating that this phenomenon is conserved among filamentous fungi. The negative effect of VVD on production of cellulolytic enzymes is thereby accomplished by its role in photoadaptation and hence its function in White collar complex (WCC) formation. In contrast, the induction of vvd expression by the WCC does not seem to be crucial in this process. Additionally, we found that WC-1 and WC-2 not only act as a complex, but also have individual functions upon growth on cellulose. Conclusions Genome wide transcriptome analysis of photoreceptor mutants and evaluation of results by analysis of mutant strains identified several candidate genes likely to play a role in light modulated cellulase gene expression. Genes with functions in amino acid metabolism, glycogen metabolism, energy supply and protein folding are enriched among genes with decreased expression levels in the wc-1 and wc-2 mutants. The ability to properly respond to amino acid starvation, i. e. up-regulation of the cross pathway control protein cpc-1, was found to be beneficial for cellulase gene expression. Our results further suggest a contribution of oxidative depolymerization of cellulose to plant cell wall degradation in N. crassa. PMID:22462823

  16. Knock-in strategy at 3'-end of Crx gene by CRISPR/Cas9 system shows the gene expression profiles during human photoreceptor differentiation.

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    Homma, Kohei; Usui, Sumiko; Kaneda, Makoto

    2017-03-01

    Fluorescent reporter gene knock-in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines have been used to evaluate the efficiency of differentiation into specific cell lineages. Here, we report a knock-in strategy for the generation of human iPSC reporter lines in which a 2A peptide sequence and a red fluorescent protein (E2-Crimson) gene were inserted at the termination codon of the cone-rod homeobox (Crx) gene, a photoreceptor-specific transcriptional factor gene. The knock-in iPSC lines were differentiated into fluorescence-expressing cells in 3D retinal differentiation culture, and the fluorescent cells also expressed Crx specifically in the nucleus. We found that the fluorescence intensity was positively correlated with the expression levels of Crx mRNA and that fluorescent cells expressed rod photoreceptor-specific genes in the later stage of differentiation. Finally, we treated the fluorescent cells with DAPT, a Notch inhibitor, and found that DAPT-enhanced retinal differentiation was associated with up-regulation of Crx, Otx2 and NeuroD1, and down-regulation of Hes5 and Ngn2. These suggest that this knock-in strategy at the 3'-end of the target gene, combined with the 2A peptide linked to fluorescent proteins, offers a useful tool for labeling specific cell lineages or monitoring expression of any marker genes without affecting the function of the target gene. © 2017 Molecular Biology Society of Japan and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  17. Localization and expression of clarin-1, the Clrn1 gene product, in auditory hair cells and photoreceptors

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    Zallocchi, Marisa; Meehan, Daniel T.; Delimont, Duane; Askew, Charles; Garrige, Suneetha; Gratton, Michael Anne; Rothermund-Franklin, Christie A.; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2009-01-01

    The Usher syndrome 3A (CLRN1) gene encodes clarin-1, which is a member of the tetraspanin family of transmembrane proteins. Although identified more than 6 years ago, little is known about its localization or function in the eye and ear. We developed a polyclonal antibody that react with all clarin-1 isoforms and used it to characterize protein expression in cochlea and retina. In the cochlea, we observe clarin-1expression in the stereocilia of P0 mice, and in synaptic terminals present at the base of the auditory hair cells from E18 to P6. In the retina, clarin-1 localizes to the connecting cilia, inner segment of photoreceptors and to the ribbon synapses. RT-PCR from P0 cochlea and P28 retina show mRNAs encoding only isoforms 2 and 3. Western-blots show that only isoform 2 is present in protein extracts from these same tissues. We examined clarin-1 expression in the immortomouse-derived hair cell line UB/OC-1. Only isoform 2 is expressed in UB/OC-1 at both mRNA and protein levels, suggesting this isoform is biologically relevant to hair cell function. The protein co-localizes with microtubules and post-transgolgi vesicles. The sub-cellular localization of clarin-1 in hair cells and photoreceptors suggests it functions at both the basal and apical poles of neurosensoriepithelia. PMID:19539019

  18. Abrupt onset of mutations in a developmentally regulated gene during terminal differentiation of post-mitotic photoreceptor neurons in mice.

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    Ivette M Sandoval

    Full Text Available For sensitive detection of rare gene repair events in terminally differentiated photoreceptors, we generated a knockin mouse model by replacing one mouse rhodopsin allele with a form of the human rhodopsin gene that causes a severe, early-onset form of retinitis pigmentosa. The human gene contains a premature stop codon at position 344 (Q344X, cDNA encoding the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP at its 3' end, and a modified 5' untranslated region to reduce translation rate so that the mutant protein does not induce retinal degeneration. Mutations that eliminate the stop codon express a human rhodopsin-EGFP fusion protein (hRho-GFP, which can be readily detected by fluorescence microscopy. Spontaneous mutations were observed at a frequency of about one per retina; in every case, they gave rise to single fluorescent rod cells, indicating that each mutation occurred during or after the last mitotic division. Additionally, the number of fluorescent rods did not increase with age, suggesting that the rhodopsin gene in mature rod cells is less sensitive to mutation than it is in developing rods. Thus, there is a brief developmental window, coinciding with the transcriptional activation of the rhodopsin locus, in which somatic mutations of the rhodopsin gene abruptly begin to appear.

  19. Hindsight regulates photoreceptor axon targeting through transcriptional control of jitterbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance in Drosophila.

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    Oliva, Carlos; Molina-Fernandez, Claudia; Maureira, Miguel; Candia, Noemi; López, Estefanía; Hassan, Bassem; Aerts, Stein; Cánovas, José; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2015-09-01

    During axon targeting, a stereotyped pattern of connectivity is achieved by the integration of intrinsic genetic programs and the response to extrinsic long and short-range directional cues. How this coordination occurs is the subject of intense study. Transcription factors play a central role due to their ability to regulate the expression of multiple genes required to sense and respond to these cues during development. Here we show that the transcription factor HNT regulates layer-specific photoreceptor axon targeting in Drosophila through transcriptional control of jbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance and cytoskeleton organization.Using a microarray analysis we identified 235 genes whose expression levels were changed by HNT overexpression in the eye primordia. We analyzed nine candidate genes involved in cytoskeleton regulation and axon guidance, six of which displayed significantly altered gene expression levels in hnt mutant retinas. Functional analysis confirmed the role of OTK/PTK7 in photoreceptor axon targeting and uncovered Tiggrin, an integrin ligand, and Jbug/Filamin, a conserved actin- binding protein, as new factors that participate of photoreceptor axon targeting. Moreover, we provided in silico and molecular evidence that supports jbug/Filamin as a direct transcriptional target of HNT and that HNT acts partially through Jbug/Filamin in vivo to regulate axon guidance. Our work broadens the understanding of how HNT regulates the coordinated expression of a group of genes to achieve the correct connectivity pattern in the Drosophila visual system. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 1018-1032, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Developmental and daily expression of the Pax4 and Pax6 homeobox genes in the rat retina: localization of Pax4 in photoreceptor cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rath, Martin F; Bailey, Michael J; Kim, Jong-So

    2009-01-01

    Pax4 is a homeobox gene encoding Pax4, a transcription factor that is essential for embryonic development of the endocrine pancreas. In the pancreas, Pax4 counters the effects of the related transcription factor, Pax6, which is known to be essential for eye morphogenesis. In this study, we have...... in the foetal eye. Histological analysis revealed that Pax4 mRNA is exclusively expressed in the retinal photoreceptors, whereas Pax6 mRNA and protein are present in the inner nuclear layer and in the ganglion cell layer of the mature retina. In the adult retina, Pax4 transcripts exhibit a diurnal rhythm...

  1. Dynamical adaptation in photoreceptors.

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    Damon A Clark

    Full Text Available Adaptation is at the heart of sensation and nowhere is it more salient than in early visual processing. Light adaptation in photoreceptors is doubly dynamical: it depends upon the temporal structure of the input and it affects the temporal structure of the response. We introduce a non-linear dynamical adaptation model of photoreceptors. It is simple enough that it can be solved exactly and simulated with ease; analytical and numerical approaches combined provide both intuition on the behavior of dynamical adaptation and quantitative results to be compared with data. Yet the model is rich enough to capture intricate phenomenology. First, we show that it reproduces the known phenomenology of light response and short-term adaptation. Second, we present new recordings and demonstrate that the model reproduces cone response with great precision. Third, we derive a number of predictions on the response of photoreceptors to sophisticated stimuli such as periodic inputs, various forms of flickering inputs, and natural inputs. In particular, we demonstrate that photoreceptors undergo rapid adaptation of response gain and time scale, over ∼ 300[Formula: see text] ms-i. e., over the time scale of the response itself-and we confirm this prediction with data. For natural inputs, this fast adaptation can modulate the response gain more than tenfold and is hence physiologically relevant.

  2. The Retinal Pigment Epithelium: a Convenient Source of New Photoreceptor cells?

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    Shu-Zhen Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent success in restoring visual function through photoreceptor replacement in mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration intensifies the need to generate or regenerate photoreceptor cells for the ultimate goal of using cell replacement therapy for blindness caused by photoreceptor degeneration. Current research on deriving new photoreceptors for replacement, as regenerative medicine in general, focuses on the use of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells to generate transplantable cells. Nonetheless, naturally occurring regeneration, such as wound healing, involves awakening cells at or near a wound site to produce new cells needed to heal the wound. Here we discuss the possibility of tweaking an ocular tissue, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, to produce photoreceptor cells in situ in the eye. Unlike the neural retina, the RPE in adult mammals maintains cell proliferation capability. Furthermore, progeny cells from RPE proliferation may differentiate into cells other than RPE. The combination of proliferation and plasticity opens a question of whether they could be channeled by a regulatory gene with pro-photoreceptor activity towards photoreceptor production. Studies using embryonic chick and transgenic mouse showed that indeed photoreceptor-like cells were produced in culture and in vivo in the eye using genedirected reprogramming of RPE cells, supporting the feasibility of using the RPE as a convenient source of new photoreceptor cells for in situ retinal repair without involving cell transplantation.

  3. Two types of Tet-On transgenic lines for doxycycline-inducible gene expression in zebrafish rod photoreceptors and a gateway-based tet-on toolkit.

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    Leah J Campbell

    Full Text Available The ability to control transgene expression within specific tissues is an important tool for studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of development, physiology, and disease. We developed a Tet-On system for spatial and temporal control of transgene expression in zebrafish rod photoreceptors. We generated two transgenic lines using the Xenopus rhodopsin promoter to drive the reverse tetracycline-controlled transcriptional transactivator (rtTA, one with self-reporting GFP activity and one with an epitope tagged rtTA. The self-reporting line includes a tetracycline response element (TRE-driven GFP and, in the presence of doxycycline, expresses GFP in larval and adult rods. A time-course of doxycycline treatment demonstrates that maximal induction of GFP expression, as determined by the number of GFP-positive rods, is reached within approximately 24 hours of drug treatment. The epitope-tagged transgenic line eliminates the need for the self-reporting GFP activity by expressing a FLAG-tagged rtTA protein. Both lines demonstrate strong induction of TRE-driven transgenes from plasmids microinjected into one-cell embryos. These results show that spatial and temporal control of transgene expression can be achieved in rod photoreceptors. Additionally, system components are constructed in Gateway compatible vectors for the rapid cloning of doxycycline-inducible transgenes and use in other areas of zebrafish research.

  4. The biochemistry of photoreceptor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voaden, M.J.; Marshall, J.; Oraedu, A.C.I.

    1981-01-01

    Photoreceptor cells have high rates of metabolism, and enzyme distributions suggest considerable substrate movement. The authors have used tracer techniques to study the effects of light on photoreceptor metabolism. In vitro, glutamine is metabolized alongside glucose by rat photoreceptors, and is, potentially, a major precursor of the neuroactive amino acids glutamate, aspartate and γ-aminobutyrate (GABA). The utilization of both substrates is decreased by light, as is the turnover of glutamate and aspartate. Tritiated glutamic and aspartic acids are taken up by photoreceptor cells. In the primates all rods but only some cones are labelled, whereas in the guinea pig the picture is reversed. The observations support the premise that glutamate and/or aspartate are photoreceptor neurotransmitters but show that cell and species differences may exist. The authors have been unable to find evidence for the involvement of free radical mechanisms in high light-induced photoreceptor damage but the initial results suggest a reduced metabolism of glutamine and GABA in damaged cells. (Auth.)

  5. Multimodal Imaging of Photoreceptor Structure in Choroideremia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lynn W; Johnson, Ryan D; Williams, Vesper; Summerfelt, Phyllis; Dubra, Alfredo; Weinberg, David V; Stepien, Kimberly E; Fishman, Gerald A; Carroll, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Choroideremia is a progressive X-linked recessive dystrophy, characterized by degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), choroid, choriocapillaris, and photoreceptors. We examined photoreceptor structure in a series of subjects with choroideremia with particular attention to areas bordering atrophic lesions. Twelve males with clinically-diagnosed choroideremia and confirmed hemizygous mutations in the CHM gene were examined. High-resolution images of the retina were obtained using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and both confocal and non-confocal split-detector adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) techniques. Eleven CHM gene mutations (3 novel) were identified; three subjects had the same mutation and one subject had two mutations. SD-OCT findings included interdigitation zone (IZ) attenuation or loss in 10/12 subjects, often in areas with intact ellipsoid zones; RPE thinning in all subjects; interlaminar bridges in the imaged areas of 10/12 subjects; and outer retinal tubulations (ORTs) in 10/12 subjects. Only split-detector AOSLO could reliably resolve cones near lesion borders, and such cones were abnormally heterogeneous in morphology, diameter and density. On split-detector imaging, the cone mosaic terminated sharply at lesion borders in 5/5 cases examined. Split-detector imaging detected remnant cone inner segments within ORTs, which were generally contiguous with a central patch of preserved retina. Early IZ dropout and RPE thinning on SD-OCT are consistent with previously published results. Evidence of remnant cone inner segments within ORTs and the continuity of the ORTs with preserved retina suggests that these may represent an intermediate state of retinal degeneration prior to complete atrophy. Taken together, these results supports a model of choroideremia in which the RPE degenerates before photoreceptors.

  6. Responses of photoreceptors in Hermissenda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akon, D L; Fuortes, M G

    1972-12-01

    The five photoreceptors in the eye of the mollusc Hermissenda crassicornis respond to light with depolarization and firing of impulses. The impulses of any one cell inhibit other cells, but the degree of inhibition differs in different pairs. Evidence is presented to show that the interactions occur at terminal branches of the photoreceptor axons, inside the cerebropleural ganglion. Properties of the generator potential are examined and it is shown that the depolarization develops in two phases which are affected differently by extrinsic currents. Finally, it is shown that by enhancing the differences in the responses of individual cells to a variety of stimuli, the interactions may facilitate a number of simple discriminations.

  7. Role of kinesin heavy chain in Crumbs localization along the rhabdomere elongation in Drosophila photoreceptor.

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    Garrett P League

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Crumbs (Crb, a cell polarity gene, has been shown to provide a positional cue for the extension of the apical membrane domain, adherens junction (AJ, and rhabdomere along the growing proximal-distal axis during Drosophila photoreceptor morphogenesis. In developing Drosophila photoreceptors, a stabilized microtubule structure was discovered and its presence was linked to polarity protein localization. It was therefore hypothesized that the microtubules may provide trafficking routes for the polarity proteins during photoreceptor morphogenesis. This study has examined whether Kinesin heavy chain (Khc, a subunit of the microtubule-based motor Kinesin-1, is essential in polarity protein localization in developing photoreceptors. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Because a genetic interaction was found between crb and khc, Crb localization was examined in the developing photoreceptors of khc mutants. khc was dispensable during early eye differentiation and development. However, khc mutant photoreceptors showed a range of abnormalities in the apical membrane domain depending on the position along the proximal-distal axis in pupal photoreceptors. The khc mutant showed a progressive mislocalization in the apical domain along the distal-proximal axis during rhabdomere elongation. The khc mutation also led to a similar progressive defect in the stabilized microtubule structures, strongly suggesting that Khc is essential for microtubule structure and Crb localization during distal to proximal rhabdomere elongation in pupal morphogenesis. This role of Khc in apical domain control was further supported by khc's gain-of-function phenotype. Khc overexpression in photoreceptors caused disruption of the apical membrane domain and the stabilized microtubules in the developing photoreceptors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In summary, we examined the role of khc in the regulation of the apical Crb domain in developing photoreceptors. Since the rhabdomeres in

  8. Rax Homeoprotein Regulates Photoreceptor Cell Maturation and Survival in Association with Crx in the Postnatal Mouse Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irie, Shoichi; Sanuki, Rikako; Muranishi, Yuki; Kato, Kimiko; Chaya, Taro; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2015-08-01

    The Rax homeobox gene plays essential roles in multiple processes of vertebrate retina development. Many vertebrate species possess Rax and Rax2 genes, and different functions have been suggested. In contrast, mice contain a single Rax gene, and its functional roles in late retinal development are still unclear. To clarify mouse Rax function in postnatal photoreceptor development and maintenance, we generated conditional knockout mice in which Rax in maturing or mature photoreceptor cells was inactivated by tamoxifen treatment (Rax iCKO mice). When Rax was inactivated in postnatal Rax iCKO mice, developing photoreceptor cells showed a significant decrease in the level of the expression of rod and cone photoreceptor genes and mature adult photoreceptors exhibited a specific decrease in cone cell numbers. In luciferase assays, we found that Rax and Crx cooperatively transactivate Rhodopsin and cone opsin promoters and that an optimum Rax expression level to transactivate photoreceptor gene expression exists. Furthermore, Rax and Crx colocalized in maturing photoreceptor cells, and their coimmunoprecipitation was observed in cultured cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Rax plays essential roles in the maturation of both cones and rods and in the survival of cones by regulating photoreceptor gene expression with Crx in the postnatal mouse retina. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Ultrafast spectroscopy of biological photoreceptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kennis, J.T.M.; Groot, M.L.

    2007-01-01

    We review recent new insights on reaction dynamics of photoreceptors proteins gained from ultrafast spectroscopy. In Blue Light sensing Using FAD (BLUF) domains, a hydrogen-bond rearrangement around the flavin chromophore proceeds through a radical-pair mechanism, by which light-induced electron and

  10. On Dispersion in Visual Photoreceptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, D.G.; Barneveld, H.H. van

    1975-01-01

    An idealized visual pigment absorbance spectrum is used together with a Kramers-Kronig dispersion relation to calculate the contribution of the visual pigment to the refractive index of the fly photoreceptor. It appears that an absorption coefficient of 0.010 µm-1 results in a refractive index

  11. Usher protein functions in hair cells and photoreceptors.

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    Cosgrove, Dominic; Zallocchi, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    The 10 different genes associated with the deaf/blind disorder, Usher syndrome, encode a number of structurally and functionally distinct proteins, most expressed as multiple isoforms/protein variants. Functional characterization of these proteins suggests a role in stereocilia development in cochlear hair cells, likely owing to adhesive interactions in hair bundles. In mature hair cells, homodimers of the Usher cadherins, cadherin 23 and protocadherin 15, interact to form a structural fiber, the tip link, and the linkages that anchor the taller stereocilia's actin cytoskeleton core to the shorter adjacent stereocilia and the elusive mechanotransduction channels, explaining the deafness phenotype when these molecular interactions are perturbed. The conundrum is that photoreceptors lack a synonymous mechanotransduction apparatus, and so a common theory for Usher protein function in the two neurosensory cell types affected in Usher syndrome is lacking. Recent evidence linking photoreceptor cell dysfunction in the shaker 1 mouse model for Usher syndrome to light-induced protein translocation defects, combined with localization of an Usher protein interactome at the periciliary region of the photoreceptors suggests Usher proteins might regulate protein trafficking between the inner and outer segments of photoreceptors. A distinct Usher protein complex is trafficked to the ribbon synapses of hair cells, and synaptic defects have been reported in Usher mutants in both hair cells and photoreceptors. This review aims to clarify what is known about Usher protein function at the synaptic and apical poles of hair cells and photoreceptors and the prospects for identifying a unifying pathobiological mechanism to explain deaf/blindness in Usher syndrome. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Excessive Myosin Activity in Mbs Mutants Causes Photoreceptor Movement Out of the Drosophila Eye Disc Epithelium

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    Lee, Arnold; Treisman, Jessica E.

    2004-01-01

    Neuronal cells must extend a motile growth cone while maintaining the cell body in its original position. In migrating cells, myosin contraction provides the driving force that pulls the rear of the cell toward the leading edge. We have characterized the function of myosin light chain phosphatase, which down-regulates myosin activity, in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons. Mutations in the gene encoding the myosin binding subunit of this enzyme cause photoreceptors to drop out of the eye disc e...

  13. Samd7 is a cell type-specific PRC1 component essential for establishing retinal rod photoreceptor identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Kubo, Shun; Kon, Tetsuo; Furuhashi, Mayu; Narita, Hirotaka; Kominami, Taro; Ueno, Akiko; Tsutsumi, Ryotaro; Chaya, Taro; Yamamoto, Haruka; Suetake, Isao; Ueno, Shinji; Koseki, Haruhiko; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2017-09-26

    Precise transcriptional regulation controlled by a transcription factor network is known to be crucial for establishing correct neuronal cell identities and functions in the CNS. In the retina, the expression of various cone and rod photoreceptor cell genes is regulated by multiple transcription factors; however, the role of epigenetic regulation in photoreceptor cell gene expression has been poorly understood. Here, we found that Samd7, a rod-enriched sterile alpha domain (SAM) domain protein, is essential for silencing nonrod gene expression through H3K27me3 regulation in rod photoreceptor cells. Samd7- null mutant mice showed ectopic expression of nonrod genes including S-opsin in rod photoreceptor cells and rod photoreceptor cell dysfunction. Samd7 physically interacts with Polyhomeotic homologs (Phc proteins), components of the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), and colocalizes with Phc2 and Ring1B in Polycomb bodies. ChIP assays showed a significant decrease of H3K27me3 in the genes up-regulated in the Samd7 -deficient retina, showing that Samd7 deficiency causes the derepression of nonrod gene expression in rod photoreceptor cells. The current study suggests that Samd7 is a cell type-specific PRC1 component epigenetically defining rod photoreceptor cell identity.

  14. No evidence for a genetic blueprint: The case of the "complex" mammalian photoreceptor

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    G Kumaramanickavel

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite the intensity of the search for genes causing inherited retinal degenerations over the past 3 decades, of the approximately 200 disease genes identified to date, all appear to be ordinary housekeeping genes specifying proteins playing basic structural and functional roles in the mature photoreceptor cells. No genes or genetic elements have been identified which can be construed as having a specific morphogenic role, directing the development of the cytoarchitecture of any particular retinal cell. The evidence suggests that the cytoarchitecture of the retinal photoreceptors, although enormously complex, arises from the self-organization of the cells constituents without any regulation or direction from an external genetic blueprint.

  15. The Vitamin B12-Dependent Photoreceptor AerR Relieves Photosystem Gene Repression by Extending the Interaction of CrtJ with Photosystem Promoters

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    Mingxu Fang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Purple nonsulfur bacteria adapt their physiology to a wide variety of environmental conditions often through the control of transcription. One of the main transcription factors involved in controlling expression of the Rhodobacter capsulatus photosystem is CrtJ, which functions as an aerobic repressor of photosystem genes. Recently, we reported that a vitamin B12 binding antirepressor of CrtJ called AerR is required for anaerobic expression of the photosystem. However, the mechanism whereby AerR regulates CrtJ activity is unclear. In this study, we used a combination of next-generation sequencing and biochemical methods to globally identify genes under control of CrtJ and the role of AerR in controlling this regulation. Our results indicate that CrtJ has a much larger regulon than previously known, with a surprising regulatory function under both aerobic and anaerobic photosynthetic growth conditions. A combination of in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation-DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq and ChIP-seq and exonuclease digestion (ChIP-exo studies and in vitro biochemical studies demonstrate that AerR forms a 1:2 complex with CrtJ (AerR-CrtJ2 and that this complex binds to many promoters under photosynthetic conditions. The results of in vitro and in vivo DNA binding studies indicate that AerR-CrtJ2 anaerobically forms an extended interaction with the bacteriochlorophyll bchC promoter to relieve repression by CrtJ. This is contrasted by aerobic growth conditions where CrtJ alone functions as an aerobic repressor of bchC expression. These results indicate that the DNA binding activity of CrtJ is modified by interacting with AerR in a redox-regulated manner and that this interaction alters CrtJ’s function.

  16. Mef2d is essential for the maturation and integrity of retinal photoreceptor and bipolar cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Kitamura, Tamiki; Yoshida, Satoyo; Kuwahara, Ryusuke; Chaya, Taro; Irie, Shoichi; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2015-05-01

    Mef2 transcription factors play a crucial role in cardiac and skeletal muscle differentiation. We found that Mef2d is highly expressed in the mouse retina and its loss causes photoreceptor degeneration similar to that observed in human retinitis pigmentosa patients. Electroretinograms (ERGs) were severely impaired in Mef2d-/- mice. Immunohistochemistry showed that photoreceptor and bipolar cell synapse protein levels severely decreased in the Mef2d-/- retina. Expression profiling by microarray analysis showed that Mef2d is required for the expression of various genes in photoreceptor and bipolar cells, including cone arrestin, Guca1b, Pde6h and Cacna1s, which encode outer segment and synapse proteins. We also observed that Mef2d synergistically activates the cone arrestin (Arr3) promoter with Crx, suggesting that functional cooperation between Mef2d and Crx is important for photoreceptor cell gene regulation. Taken together, our results show that Mef2d is essential for photoreceptor and bipolar cell gene expression, either independently or cooperatively with Crx. © 2015 Institution for Protein Research. Genes to Cells published by Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and the Molecular Biology Society of Japan.

  17. Restoration of vision after transplantation of photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, R A; Barber, A C; Rizzi, M; Hippert, C; Xue, T; West, E L; Duran, Y; Smith, A J; Chuang, J Z; Azam, S A; Luhmann, U F O; Benucci, A; Sung, C H; Bainbridge, J W; Carandini, M; Yau, K-W; Sowden, J C; Ali, R R

    2012-05-03

    Cell transplantation is a potential strategy for treating blindness caused by the loss of photoreceptors. Although transplanted rod-precursor cells are able to migrate into the adult retina and differentiate to acquire the specialized morphological features of mature photoreceptor cells, the fundamental question remains whether transplantation of photoreceptor cells can actually improve vision. Here we provide evidence of functional rod-mediated vision after photoreceptor transplantation in adult Gnat1−/− mice, which lack rod function and are a model of congenital stationary night blindness. We show that transplanted rod precursors form classic triad synaptic connections with second-order bipolar and horizontal cells in the recipient retina. The newly integrated photoreceptor cells are light-responsive with dim-flash kinetics similar to adult wild-type photoreceptors. By using intrinsic imaging under scotopic conditions we demonstrate that visual signals generated by transplanted rods are projected to higher visual areas, including V1. Moreover, these cells are capable of driving optokinetic head tracking and visually guided behaviour in the Gnat1−/− mouse under scotopic conditions. Together, these results demonstrate the feasibility of photoreceptor transplantation as a therapeutic strategy for restoring vision after retinal degeneration.

  18. Chemically induced and light-independent cryptochrome photoreceptor activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenfeldt, Gesa; Viana, Rafael Muñoz; Mootz, Henning D; von Arnim, Albrecht G; Batschauer, Alfred

    2008-01-01

    The cryptochrome photoreceptors of higher plants are dimeric proteins. Their N-terminal photosensory domain mediates dimerization, and the unique C-terminal extension (CCT) mediates signaling. We made use of the human FK506-binding protein (FKBP) that binds with high affinity to rapamycin or rapamycin analogs (rapalogs). The FKBP-rapamycin complex is recognized by another protein, FRB, thus allowing rapamycin-induced dimerization of two target proteins. Here we demonstrate by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) assays the applicability of this regulated dimerization system to plants. Furthermore, we show that fusion proteins consisting of the C-terminal domain of Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 fused to FKBP and FRB and coexpressed in Arabidopsis cells specifically induce the expression of cryptochrome-controlled reporter and endogenous genes in darkness upon incubation with the rapalog. These results demonstrate that the activation of cryptochrome signal transduction can be chemically induced in a dose-dependent fashion and uncoupled from the light signal, and provide the groundwork for gain-of-function experiments to study specifically the role of photoreceptors in darkness or in signaling cross-talk even under light conditions that activate members of all photoreceptor families.

  19. In vitro transdifferentiation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to photoreceptor-like cells

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    Yukari Komuta

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Direct reprogramming is a promising, simple and low-cost approach to generate target cells from somatic cells without using induced pluripotent stem cells. Recently, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs have attracted considerable attention as a somatic cell source for reprogramming. As a cell source, PBMCs have an advantage over dermal fibroblasts with respect to the ease of collecting tissues. Based on our studies involving generation of photosensitive photoreceptor cells from human iris cells and human dermal fibroblasts by transduction of photoreceptor-related transcription factors via retrovirus vectors, we transduced these transcription factors into PBMCs via Sendai virus vectors. We found that retinal disease-related genes were efficiently detected in CRX-transduced cells, most of which are crucial to photoreceptor functions. In functional studies, a light-induced inward current was detected in some CRX-transduced cells. Moreover, by modification of the culture conditions including additional transduction of RAX1 and NEUROD1, we found a greater variety of retinal disease-related genes than that observed in CRX-transduced PBMCs. These data suggest that CRX acts as a master control gene for reprogramming PBMCs into photoreceptor-like cells and that our induced photoreceptor-like cells might contribute to individualized drug screening and disease modeling of inherited retinal degeneration.

  20. Photoreceptor Sensory Cilium: Traversing the Ciliary Gate

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    Hemant Khanna

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Cilia are antenna-like extensions of the plasma membrane found in nearly all cell types. In the retina of the eye, photoreceptors develop unique sensory cilia. Not much was known about the mechanisms underlying the formation and function of photoreceptor cilia, largely because of technical limitations and the specific structural and functional modifications that cannot be modeled in vitro. With recent advances in microscopy techniques and molecular and biochemical approaches, we are now beginning to understand the molecular basis of photoreceptor ciliary architecture, ciliary function and its involvement in human diseases. Here, I will discuss the studies that have revealed new knowledge of how photoreceptor cilia regulate their identity and function while coping with high metabolic and trafficking demands associated with processing light signal.

  1. Transcriptional regulation of rod photoreceptor homeostasis revealed by in vivo NRL targetome analysis.

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    Hong Hao

    Full Text Available A stringent control of homeostasis is critical for functional maintenance and survival of neurons. In the mammalian retina, the basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor NRL determines rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate and activates the expression of many rod-specific genes. Here, we report an integrated analysis of NRL-centered gene regulatory network by coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq data from Illumina and ABI platforms with global expression profiling and in vivo knockdown studies. We identified approximately 300 direct NRL target genes. Of these, 22 NRL targets are associated with human retinal dystrophies, whereas 95 mapped to regions of as yet uncloned retinal disease loci. In silico analysis of NRL ChIP-Seq peak sequences revealed an enrichment of distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites. Specifically, we discovered that genes involved in photoreceptor function include binding sites for both NRL and homeodomain protein CRX. Evaluation of 26 ChIP-Seq regions validated their enhancer functions in reporter assays. In vivo knockdown of 16 NRL target genes resulted in death or abnormal morphology of rod photoreceptors, suggesting their importance in maintaining retinal function. We also identified histone demethylase Kdm5b as a novel secondary node in NRL transcriptional hierarchy. Exon array analysis of flow-sorted photoreceptors in which Kdm5b was knocked down by shRNA indicated its role in regulating rod-expressed genes. Our studies identify candidate genes for retinal dystrophies, define cis-regulatory module(s for photoreceptor-expressed genes and provide a framework for decoding transcriptional regulatory networks that dictate rod homeostasis.

  2. Rip3 knockdown rescues photoreceptor cell death in blind pde6c zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viringipurampeer, I A; Shan, X; Gregory-Evans, K; Zhang, J P; Mohammadi, Z; Gregory-Evans, C Y

    2014-05-01

    Achromatopsia is a progressive autosomal recessive retinal disease characterized by early loss of cone photoreceptors and later rod photoreceptor loss. In most cases, mutations have been identified in CNGA3, CNGB3, GNAT2, PDE6C or PDE6H genes. Owing to this genetic heterogeneity, mutation-independent therapeutic schemes aimed at preventing cone cell death are very attractive treatment strategies. In pde6c(w59) mutant zebrafish, cone photoreceptors expressed high levels of receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIP1) and receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3) kinases, key regulators of necroptotic cell death. In contrast, rod photoreceptor cells were alternatively immunopositive for caspase-3 indicating activation of caspase-dependent apoptosis in these cells. Morpholino gene knockdown of rip3 in pde6c(w59) embryos rescued the dying cone photoreceptors by inhibiting the formation of reactive oxygen species and by inhibiting second-order neuron remodelling in the inner retina. In rip3 morphant larvae, visual function was restored in the cones by upregulation of the rod phosphodiesterase genes (pde6a and pde6b), compensating for the lack of cone pde6c suggesting that cones are able to adapt to their local environment. Furthermore, we demonstrated through pharmacological inhibition of RIP1 and RIP3 activity that cone cell death was also delayed. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the underlying mechanism of cone cell death in the pde6c(w59) mutant retina is through necroptosis, whereas rod photoreceptor bystander death occurs through a caspase-dependent mechanism. This suggests that targeting the RIP kinase signalling pathway could be an effective therapeutic intervention in retinal degeneration patients. As bystander cell death is an important feature of many retinal diseases, combinatorial approaches targeting different cell death pathways may evolve as an important general principle in treatment.

  3. Retinal neuroprotection by hypoxic preconditioning is independent of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha expression in photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiersch, Markus; Lange, Christina; Joly, Sandrine; Heynen, Severin; Le, Yun Zheng; Samardzija, Marijana; Grimm, Christian

    2009-06-01

    Hypoxic preconditioning stabilizes hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1 alpha in the retina and protects photoreceptors against light-induced cell death. HIF-1 alpha is one of the major transcription factors responding to low oxygen tension and can differentially regulate a large number of target genes. To analyse whether photoreceptor-specific expression of HIF-1 alpha is essential to protect photoreceptors by hypoxic preconditioning, we knocked down expression of HIF-1 alpha specifically in photoreceptor cells, using the cyclization recombinase (Cre)-lox system. The Cre-mediated knockdown caused a 20-fold reduced expression of Hif-1 alpha in the photoreceptor cell layer. In the total retina, RNA expression was reduced by 65%, and hypoxic preconditioning led to only a small increase in HIF-1 alpha protein levels. Accordingly, HIF-1 target gene expression after hypoxia was significantly diminished. Retinas of Hif-1 alpha knockdown animals did not show any pathological alterations, and tolerated hypoxic exposure in a comparable way to wild-type retinas. Importantly, the strong neuroprotective effect of hypoxic preconditioning against light-induced photoreceptor degeneration persisted in knockdown mice, suggesting that hypoxia-mediated survival of light exposure does not depend on an autocrine action of HIF-1 alpha in photoreceptor cells. Hypoxia-mediated stabilization of HIF-2 alpha and phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT 3) were not affected in the retinas of Hif-1 alpha knockdown mice. Thus, these factors are candidates for regulating the resistance of photoreceptors to light damage after hypoxic preconditioning, along with several potentially neuroprotective genes that were similarly induced in hypoxic knockdown and control mice.

  4. Loss and gain of cone types in vertebrate ciliary photoreceptor evolution.

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    Musser, Jacob M; Arendt, Detlev

    2017-11-01

    Ciliary photoreceptors are a diverse cell type family that comprises the rods and cones of the retina and other related cell types such as pineal photoreceptors. Ciliary photoreceptor evolution has been dynamic during vertebrate evolution with numerous gains and losses of opsin and phototransduction genes, and changes in their expression. For example, early mammals lost all but two cone opsins, indicating loss of cone receptor types in response to nocturnal lifestyle. Our review focuses on the comparison of specifying transcription factors and cell type-specific transcriptome data in vertebrate retinae to build and test hypotheses on ciliary photoreceptor evolution. Regarding cones, recent data reveal that a combination of factors specific for long-wavelength sensitive opsin (Lws)- cones in non-mammalian vertebrates (Thrb and Rxrg) is found across all differentiating cone photoreceptors in mice. This suggests that mammalian ancestors lost all but one ancestral cone type, the Lws-cone. We test this hypothesis by a correlation analysis of cone transcriptomes in mouse and chick, and find that, indeed, transcriptomes of all mouse cones are most highly correlated to avian Lws-cones. These findings underscore the importance of specifying transcription factors in tracking cell type evolution, and shed new light on the mechanisms of cell type loss and gain in retina evolution. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. PAR-Complex and Crumbs Function During Photoreceptor Morphogenesis and Retinal Degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichaud, Franck

    2018-01-01

    The fly photoreceptor has long been used as a model to study sensory neuron morphogenesis and retinal degeneration. In particular, elucidating how these cells are built continues to help further our understanding of the mechanisms of polarized cell morphogenesis, intracellular trafficking and the causes of human retinal pathologies. The conserved PAR complex, which in flies consists of Cdc42-PAR6-aPKC-Bazooka, and the transmembrane protein Crumbs (Crb) are key players during photoreceptor morphogenesis. While the PAR complex regulates polarity in many cell types, Crb function in polarity is relatively specific to epithelial cells. Together Cdc42-PAR6-aPKC-Bazooka and Crb orchestrate the differentiation of the photoreceptor apical membrane (AM) and zonula adherens (ZA) , thus allowing these cells to assemble into a neuro-epithelial lattice. In addition to its function in epithelial polarity, Crb has also been shown to protect fly photoreceptors from light-induced degeneration, a process linked to Rhodopsin expression and trafficking. Remarkably, mutations in the human Crumbs1 (CRB1) gene lead to retinal degeneration, making the fly photoreceptor a powerful disease model system.

  6. PAR-Complex and Crumbs Function During Photoreceptor Morphogenesis and Retinal Degeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franck Pichaud

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The fly photoreceptor has long been used as a model to study sensory neuron morphogenesis and retinal degeneration. In particular, elucidating how these cells are built continues to help further our understanding of the mechanisms of polarized cell morphogenesis, intracellular trafficking and the causes of human retinal pathologies. The conserved PAR complex, which in flies consists of Cdc42-PAR6-aPKC-Bazooka, and the transmembrane protein Crumbs (Crb are key players during photoreceptor morphogenesis. While the PAR complex regulates polarity in many cell types, Crb function in polarity is relatively specific to epithelial cells. Together Cdc42-PAR6-aPKC-Bazooka and Crb orchestrate the differentiation of the photoreceptor apical membrane (AM and zonula adherens (ZA, thus allowing these cells to assemble into a neuro-epithelial lattice. In addition to its function in epithelial polarity, Crb has also been shown to protect fly photoreceptors from light-induced degeneration, a process linked to Rhodopsin expression and trafficking. Remarkably, mutations in the human Crumbs1 (CRB1 gene lead to retinal degeneration, making the fly photoreceptor a powerful disease model system.

  7. Activin Signals through SMAD2/3 to Increase Photoreceptor Precursor Yield during Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Amy Q; Popova, Evgenya Y; Barnstable, Colin J

    2017-09-12

    In vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into retinal fates can be used to study the roles of exogenous factors acting through multiple signaling pathways during retina development. Application of activin A during a specific time frame that corresponds to early embryonic retinogenesis caused increased generation of CRX + photoreceptor precursors and decreased PAX6 + retinal progenitor cells (RPCs). Following activin A treatment, SMAD2/3 was activated in RPCs and bound to promoter regions of key RPC and photoreceptor genes. The effect of activin on CRX expression was repressed by pharmacological inhibition of SMAD2/3 phosphorylation. Activin signaling through SMAD2/3 in RPCs regulates expression of transcription factors involved in cell type determination and promotes photoreceptor lineage specification. Our findings can contribute to the production of photoreceptors for cell replacement therapy. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Derivation of human differential photoreceptor-like cells from the iris by defined combinations of CRX, RX and NEUROD.

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    Yuko Seko

    Full Text Available Examples of direct differentiation by defined transcription factors have been provided for beta-cells, cardiomyocytes and neurons. In the human visual system, there are four kinds of photoreceptors in the retina. Neural retina and iris-pigmented epithelium (IPE share a common developmental origin, leading us to test whether human iris cells could differentiate to retinal neurons. We here define the transcription factor combinations that can determine human photoreceptor cell fate. Expression of rhodopsin, blue opsin and green/red opsin in induced photoreceptor cells were dependent on combinations of transcription factors: A combination of CRX and NEUROD induced rhodopsin and blue opsin, but did not induce green opsin; a combination of CRX and RX induced blue opsin and green/red opsin, but did not induce rhodopsin. Phototransduction-related genes as well as opsin genes were up-regulated in those cells. Functional analysis; i.e. patch clamp recordings, clearly revealed that generated photoreceptor cells, induced by CRX, RX and NEUROD, responded to light. The response was an inward current instead of the typical outward current. These data suggest that photosensitive photoreceptor cells can be generated by combinations of transcription factors. The combination of CRX and RX generate immature photoreceptors: and additional NEUROD promotes maturation. These findings contribute substantially to a major advance toward eventual cell-based therapy for retinal degenerative diseases.

  9. Calcium homeostasis in fly photoreceptor cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oberwinkler, J

    2002-01-01

    In fly photoreceptor cells, two processes dominate the Ca2+ homeostasis: light-induced Ca2+ influx through members of the TRP family of ion channels, and Ca2+ extrusion by Na+/Ca2+ exchange.Ca2+ release from intracellular stores is quantitatively insignificant. Both, the light-activated channels and

  10. Hypoxic preconditioning protects photoreceptors against light damage independently of hypoxia inducible transcription factors in rods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kast, Brigitte; Schori, Christian; Grimm, Christian

    2016-05-01

    Hypoxic preconditioning protects photoreceptors against light-induced degeneration preserving retinal morphology and function. Although hypoxia inducible transcription factors 1 and 2 (HIF1, HIF2) are the main regulators of the hypoxic response, photoreceptor protection does not depend on HIF1 in rods. Here we used rod-specific Hif2a single and Hif1a;Hif2a double knockout mice to investigate the potential involvement of HIF2 in rods for protection after hypoxic preconditioning. To identify potential HIF2 target genes in rods we determined the retinal transcriptome of hypoxic control and rod-specific Hif2a knockouts by RNA sequencing. We show that rods do not need HIF2 for hypoxia-induced increased survival after light exposure. The transcriptomic analysis revealed a number of genes that are potentially regulated by HIF2 in rods; among those were Htra1, Timp3 and Hmox1, candidates that are interesting due to their connection to human degenerative diseases of the retina. We conclude that neither HIF1 nor HIF2 are required in photoreceptors for protection by hypoxic preconditioning. We hypothesize that HIF transcription factors may be needed in other cells to produce protective factors acting in a paracrine fashion on photoreceptor cells. Alternatively, hypoxic preconditioning induces a rod-intrinsic response that is independent of HIF transcription factors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Roles of glucose in photoreceptor survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chertov, Andrei O; Holzhausen, Lars; Kuok, Iok Teng; Couron, Drew; Parker, Ed; Linton, Jonathan D; Sadilek, Martin; Sweet, Ian R; Hurley, James B

    2011-10-07

    Vertebrate photoreceptor neurons have a high demand for metabolic energy, and their viability is very sensitive to genetic and environmental perturbations. We investigated the relationship between energy metabolism and cell death by evaluating the metabolic effects of glucose deprivation on mouse photoreceptors. Oxygen consumption, lactate production, ATP, NADH/NAD(+), TCA cycle intermediates, morphological changes, autophagy, and viability were evaluated. We compared retinas incubated with glucose to retinas deprived of glucose or retinas treated with a mixture of mitochondrion-specific fuels. Rapid and slow phases of cell death were identified. The rapid phase is linked to reduced mitochondrial activity, and the slower phase reflects a need for substrates for cell maintenance and repair.

  12. Moderate Light-Induced Degeneration of Rod Photoreceptors with Delayed Transducin Translocation in shaker1 Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Wang, Wei-Min; Delimont, Duane; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Usher syndrome is characterized by congenital deafness associated with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Mutations in the myosin VIIa gene (MYO7A) cause a common and severe subtype of Usher syndrome (USH1B). Shaker1 mice have mutant MYO7A. They are deaf and have vestibular dysfunction but do not develop photoreceptor degeneration. The goal of this study was to investigate abnormalities of photoreceptors in shaker1 mice. Methods. Immunocytochemistry and hydroethidine-based detection of intracellular superoxide production were used. Photoreceptor cell densities under various conditions of light/dark exposures were evaluated. Results. In shaker1 mice, the rod transducin translocation is delayed because of a shift of its light activation threshold to a higher level. Even moderate light exposure can induce oxidative damage and significant rod degeneration in shaker1 mice. Shaker1 mice reared under a moderate light/dark cycle develop severe retinal degeneration in less than 6 months. Conclusions. These findings show that, contrary to earlier studies, shaker1 mice possess a robust retinal phenotype that may link to defective rod protein translocation. Importantly, USH1B animal models are likely vulnerable to light-induced photoreceptor damage, even under moderate light. PMID:21447681

  13. Characterization of photoreceptor cell types in the little brown bat Myotis lucifugus (Vespertilionidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, K D; Lagerholm, S; Clubwala, R; Silver, M T; Haughey, D; Ryan, J M; Loew, E R; Deutschlander, M E; Kenyon, K L

    2009-12-01

    We report the expression of three visual opsins in the retina of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus, Vespertilionidae). Gene sequences for a rod-specific opsin and two cone-specific opsins were cloned from cDNA derived from bat eyes. Comparative sequence analyses indicate that the two cone opsins correspond to an ultraviolet short-wavelength opsin (SWS1) and a long-wavelength opsin (LWS). Immunocytochemistry using antisera to visual opsins revealed that the little brown bat retina contains two types of cone photoreceptors within a rod-dominated background. However, unlike other mammalian photoreceptors, M. lucifugus cones and rods are morphologically indistinguishable by light microscopy. Both photoreceptor types have a thin, elongated outer segment. Using microspectrophotometry we classified the absorption spectrum for the ubiquitous rods. Similar to other mammals, bat rhodopsin has an absorption peak near 500 nm. Although we were unable to confirm a spectral range, cellular and molecular analyses indicate that M. lucifugus expresses two types of cone visual pigments located within the photoreceptor layer. This study provides important insights into the visual capacity of a nocturnal microchiropteran species.

  14. Acute Zonal Cone Photoreceptor Outer Segment Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleman, Tomas S; Sandhu, Harpal S; Serrano, Leona W; Traband, Anastasia; Lau, Marisa K; Adamus, Grazyna; Avery, Robert A

    2017-05-01

    The diagnostic path presented narrows down the cause of acute vision loss to the cone photoreceptor outer segment and will refocus the search for the cause of similar currently idiopathic conditions. To describe the structural and functional associations found in a patient with acute zonal occult photoreceptor loss. A case report of an adolescent boy with acute visual field loss despite a normal fundus examination performed at a university teaching hospital. Results of a complete ophthalmic examination, full-field flash electroretinography (ERG) and multifocal ERG, light-adapted achromatic and 2-color dark-adapted perimetry, and microperimetry. Imaging was performed with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), near-infrared (NIR) and short-wavelength (SW) fundus autofluorescence (FAF), and NIR reflectance (REF). The patient was evaluated within a week of the onset of a scotoma in the nasal field of his left eye. Visual acuity was 20/20 OU, and color vision was normal in both eyes. Results of the fundus examination and of SW-FAF and NIR-FAF imaging were normal in both eyes, whereas NIR-REF imaging showed a region of hyporeflectance temporal to the fovea that corresponded with a dense relative scotoma noted on light-adapted static perimetry in the left eye. Loss in the photoreceptor outer segment detected by SD-OCT co-localized with an area of dense cone dysfunction detected on light-adapted perimetry and multifocal ERG but with near-normal rod-mediated vision according to results of 2-color dark-adapted perimetry. Full-field flash ERG findings were normal in both eyes. The outer nuclear layer and inner retinal thicknesses were normal. Localized, isolated cone dysfunction may represent the earliest photoreceptor abnormality or a distinct entity within the acute zonal occult outer retinopathy complex. Acute zonal occult outer retinopathy should be considered in patients with acute vision loss and abnormalities on NIR-REF imaging, especially if

  15. OFD1, as a Ciliary Protein, Exhibits Neuroprotective Function in Photoreceptor Degeneration Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Wang

    Full Text Available Ofd1 is a newly identified causative gene for Retinitis pigmentosa (RP, a photoreceptor degenerative disease. This study aimed to examine Ofd1 localization in retina and further to investigate its function in photoreceptor degeneration models. Ofd1 localization in rat retina was examined using immunofluorescence. N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU-induced rats and Royal College of Surgeons (RCS rats were used as photoreceptor degeneration models. The expression pattern of Ofd1, other ciliary associated genes and Wnt signaling pathway genes were examined in rat models. Furthermore, pEGFP-Ofd1-CDS and pSUPER-Ofd1-shRNA were constructed to overexpress and knockdown the expression level in 661W and R28 cells. MNU was also used to induce cell death. Cilia formation was observed using immunocytochemistry (ICC. Reactive oxygen species (ROS were detected using the 2', 7'-Dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA assay. Apoptosis genes expression was examined using qRT-PCR, Western blotting and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS. Ofd1 localized to outer segments of rat retina photoreceptors. Ofd1 and other ciliary proteins expression levels increased from the 1st and 4th postnatal weeks and decreased until the 6th week in the RCS rats, while their expression consistently decreased from the 1st and 7th day in the MNU rats. Moreover, Wnt signaling pathway proteins expression was significantly up-regulated in both rat models. Knockdown of Ofd1 expression resulted in a smaller population, shorter length of cell cilia, and lower cell viability. Ofd1 overexpression partially attenuated MNU toxic effects by reducing ROS levels and mitigating apoptosis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating Ofd1 localization and its function in rat retina and in retinal degeneration rat models. Ofd1 plays a role in controlling photoreceptor cilium length and number. Importantly, it demonstrates a neuroprotective function by protecting the photoreceptor

  16. Functional photoreceptor loss revealed with adaptive optics: an alternate cause of color blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Joseph; Neitz, Maureen; Hofer, Heidi; Neitz, Jay; Williams, David R

    2004-06-01

    There is enormous variation in the X-linked L/M (long/middle wavelength sensitive) gene array underlying "normal" color vision in humans. This variability has been shown to underlie individual variation in color matching behavior. Recently, red-green color blindness has also been shown to be associated with distinctly different genotypes. This has opened the possibility that there may be important phenotypic differences within classically defined groups of color blind individuals. Here, adaptive optics retinal imaging has revealed a mechanism for producing dichromatic color vision in which the expression of a mutant cone photopigment gene leads to the loss of the entire corresponding class of cone photoreceptor cells. Previously, the theory that common forms of inherited color blindness could be caused by the loss of photoreceptor cells had been discounted. We confirm that remarkably, this loss of one-third of the cones does not impair any aspect of vision other than color.

  17. The role of carcinine in signaling at the Drosophila photoreceptor synapse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan A Gavin

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The Drosophila melanogaster photoreceptor cell has long served as a model system for researchers focusing on how animal sensory neurons receive information from their surroundings and translate this information into chemical and electrical messages. Electroretinograph (ERG analysis of Drosophila mutants has helped to elucidate some of the genes involved in the visual transduction pathway downstream of the photoreceptor cell, and it is now clear that photoreceptor cell signaling is dependent upon the proper release and recycling of the neurotransmitter histamine. While the neurotransmitter transporters responsible for clearing histamine, and its metabolite carcinine, from the synaptic cleft have remained unknown, a strong candidate for a transporter of either substrate is the uncharacterized inebriated protein. The inebriated gene (ine encodes a putative neurotransmitter transporter that has been localized to photoreceptor cells in Drosophila and mutations in ine result in an abnormal ERG phenotype in Drosophila. Loss-of-function mutations in ebony, a gene required for the synthesis of carcinine in Drosophila, suppress components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype, while loss-of-function mutations in tan, a gene necessary for the hydrolysis of carcinine in Drosophila, have no effect on the ERG phenotype in ine mutants. We also show that by feeding wild-type flies carcinine, we can duplicate components of mutant ine ERGs. Finally, we demonstrate that treatment with H(3 receptor agonists or inverse agonists rescue several components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype. Here, we provide pharmacological and genetic epistatic evidence that ine encodes a carcinine neurotransmitter transporter. We also speculate that the oscillations observed in mutant ine ERG traces are the result of the aberrant activity of a putative H(3 receptor.

  18. The Role of Carcinine in Signaling at the Drosophila Photoreceptor Synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Brendan A; Arruda, Susan E; Dolph, Patrick J

    2007-01-01

    The Drosophila melanogaster photoreceptor cell has long served as a model system for researchers focusing on how animal sensory neurons receive information from their surroundings and translate this information into chemical and electrical messages. Electroretinograph (ERG) analysis of Drosophila mutants has helped to elucidate some of the genes involved in the visual transduction pathway downstream of the photoreceptor cell, and it is now clear that photoreceptor cell signaling is dependent upon the proper release and recycling of the neurotransmitter histamine. While the neurotransmitter transporters responsible for clearing histamine, and its metabolite carcinine, from the synaptic cleft have remained unknown, a strong candidate for a transporter of either substrate is the uncharacterized inebriated protein. The inebriated gene (ine) encodes a putative neurotransmitter transporter that has been localized to photoreceptor cells in Drosophila and mutations in ine result in an abnormal ERG phenotype in Drosophila. Loss-of-function mutations in ebony, a gene required for the synthesis of carcinine in Drosophila, suppress components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype, while loss-of-function mutations in tan, a gene necessary for the hydrolysis of carcinine in Drosophila, have no effect on the ERG phenotype in ine mutants. We also show that by feeding wild-type flies carcinine, we can duplicate components of mutant ine ERGs. Finally, we demonstrate that treatment with H3 receptor agonists or inverse agonists rescue several components of the mutant ine ERG phenotype. Here, we provide pharmacological and genetic epistatic evidence that ine encodes a carcinine neurotransmitter transporter. We also speculate that the oscillations observed in mutant ine ERG traces are the result of the aberrant activity of a putative H3 receptor. PMID:18069895

  19. Retinal cone photoreceptors of the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus: development, topography, opsin expression and spectral tuning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Arbogast

    Full Text Available A quantitative analysis of photoreceptor properties was performed in the retina of the nocturnal deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, using pigmented (wildtype and albino animals. The aim was to establish whether the deer mouse is a more suitable model species than the house mouse for photoreceptor studies, and whether oculocutaneous albinism affects its photoreceptor properties. In retinal flatmounts, cone photoreceptors were identified by opsin immunostaining, and their numbers, spectral types, and distributions across the retina were determined. Rod photoreceptors were counted using differential interference contrast microscopy. Pigmented P. maniculatus have a rod-dominated retina with rod densities of about 450.000/mm(2 and cone densities of 3000-6500/mm(2. Two cone opsins, shortwave sensitive (S and middle-to-longwave sensitive (M, are present and expressed in distinct cone types. Partial sequencing of the S opsin gene strongly supports UV sensitivity of the S cone visual pigment. The S cones constitute a 5-15% minority of the cones. Different from house mouse, S and M cone distributions do not have dorsoventral gradients, and coexpression of both opsins in single cones is exceptional (<2% of the cones. In albino P. maniculatus, rod densities are reduced by approximately 40% (270.000/mm(2. Overall, cone density and the density of cones exclusively expressing S opsin are not significantly different from pigmented P. maniculatus. However, in albino retinas S opsin is coexpressed with M opsin in 60-90% of the cones and therefore the population of cones expressing only M opsin is significantly reduced to 5-25%. In conclusion, deer mouse cone properties largely conform to the general mammalian pattern, hence the deer mouse may be better suited than the house mouse for the study of certain basic cone properties, including the effects of albinism on cone opsin expression.

  20. Different effects of valproic acid on photoreceptor loss in Rd1 and Rd10 retinal degeneration mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitton, Kenneth P; Guzman, Alvaro E; Deshpande, Mrinalini; Byrd, David; DeLooff, Camryn; Mkoyan, Kristina; Zlojutro, Paul; Wallace, Adrianne; Metcalf, Brandon; Laux, Kirsten; Sotzen, Jason; Tran, Trung

    2014-01-01

    The histone-deacetylase inhibitor activity of valproic acid (VPA) was discovered after VPA's adoption as an anticonvulsant. This generated speculation for VPA's potential to increase the expression of neuroprotective genes. Clinical trials for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are currently active, testing VPA's potential to reduce photoreceptor loss; however, we lack information regarding the effects of VPA on available mammalian models of retinal degeneration, nor do we know if retinal gene expression is perturbed by VPA in a predictable way. Thus, we examined the effects of systemic VPA on neurotrophic factor and Nrl-related gene expression in the mouse retina and compared VPA's effects on the rate of photoreceptor loss in two strains of mice, Pde6b(rd1/rd1) and Pde6b(rd10/rd10) . The expression of Bdnf, Gdnf, Cntf, and Fgf2 was measured by quantitative PCR after single and multiple doses of VPA (intraperitoneal) in wild-type and Pde6b(rd1/rd1) mice. Pde6b(rd1/rd1) mice were treated with daily doses of VPA during the period of rapid photoreceptor loss. Pde6b(rd10/rd10) mice were also treated with systemic VPA to compare in a partial loss-of-function model. Retinal morphology was assessed by virtual microscopy or spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Full-field and focal electroretinography (ERG) analysis were employed with Pde6b(rd10/rd10) mice to measure retinal function. In wild-type postnatal mice, a single VPA dose increased the expression of Bdnf and Gdnf in the neural retina after 18 h, while the expression of Cntf was reduced by 70%. Daily dosing of wild-type mice from postnatal day P17 to P28 resulted in smaller increases in Bdnf and Gdnf expression, normal Cntf expression, and reduced Fgf2 expression (25%). Nrl gene expression was decreased by 50%, while Crx gene expression was not affected. Rod-specific expression of Mef2c and Nr2e3 was decreased substantially by VPA treatment, while Rhodopsin and Pde6b gene expression was normal at P28. Daily

  1. Genetic Dissection of Dual Roles for the Transcription Factor six7 in Photoreceptor Development and Patterning in Zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mailin Sotolongo-Lopez

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The visual system of a particular species is highly adapted to convey detailed ecological and behavioral information essential for survival. The consequences of structural mutations of opsins upon spectral sensitivity and environmental adaptation have been studied in great detail, but lacking is knowledge of the potential influence of alterations in gene regulatory networks upon the diversity of cone subtypes and the variation in the ratio of rods and cones observed in numerous diurnal and nocturnal species. Exploiting photoreceptor patterning in cone-dominated zebrafish, we uncovered two independent mechanisms by which the sine oculis homeobox homolog 7 (six7 regulates photoreceptor development. In a genetic screen, we isolated the lots-of-rods-junior (ljrp23ahub mutation that resulted in an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in otherwise normal appearing larvae. Sequence analysis, genome editing using TALENs and knockdown strategies confirm ljrp23ahub as a hypomorphic allele of six7, a teleost orthologue of six3, with known roles in forebrain patterning and expression of opsins. Based on the lack of predicted protein-coding changes and a deletion of a conserved element upstream of the transcription start site, a cis-regulatory mutation is proposed as the basis of the reduced expression of six7 in ljrp23ahub. Comparison of the phenotypes of the hypomorphic and knock-out alleles provides evidence of two independent roles in photoreceptor development. EdU and PH3 labeling show that the increase in rod number is associated with extended mitosis of photoreceptor progenitors, and TUNEL suggests that the lack of green-sensitive cones is the result of cell death of the cone precursor. These data add six7 to the small but growing list of essential genes for specification and patterning of photoreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates, and highlight alterations in transcriptional regulation as a potential source of photoreceptor variation

  2. Diurnal and circadian rhythms in the tomato transcriptome and their modulation by cryptochrome photoreceptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Facella

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Circadian clocks are internal molecular time-keeping mechanisms that provide living organisms with the ability to adjust their growth and physiology and to anticipate diurnal environmental changes. Circadian clocks, without exception, respond to light and, in plants, light is the most potent and best characterized entraining stimulus. The capacity of plants to respond to light is achieved through a number of photo-perceptive proteins including cryptochromes and phytochromes. There is considerable experimental evidence demonstrating the roles of photoreceptors in providing light input to the clock. METHODOLOGY: In order to identify genes regulated by diurnal and circadian rhythms, and to establish possible functional relations between photoreceptors and the circadian clock in tomato, we monitored the temporal transcription pattern in plants entrained to long-day conditions, either by large scale comparative profiling, or using a focused approach over a number of photosensory and clock-related genes by QRT-PCR. In parallel, focused transcription analyses were performed in cry1a- and in CRY2-OX tomato genotypes. CONCLUSIONS: We report a large series of transcript oscillations that shed light on the complex network of interactions among tomato photoreceptors and clock-related genes. Alteration of cryptochrome gene expression induced major changes in the rhythmic oscillations of several other gene transcripts. In particular, over-expression of CRY2 had an impact not only on day/night fluctuations but also on rhythmicity under constant light conditions. Evidence was found for widespread diurnal oscillations of transcripts encoding specific enzyme classes (e.g. carotenoid biosynthesis enzymes as well as for post-transcriptional diurnal and circadian regulation of the CRY2 transcript.

  3. RPGR: Its role in photoreceptor physiology, human disease, and future therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megaw, Roly D; Soares, Dinesh C; Wright, Alan F

    2015-09-01

    Mammalian photoreceptors contain specialised connecting cilia that connect the inner (IS) to the outer segments (OS). Dysfunction of the connecting cilia due to mutations in ciliary proteins are a common cause of the inherited retinal dystrophy retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Mutations affecting the Retinitis Pigmentosa GTPase Regulator (RPGR) protein is one such cause, affecting 10-20% of all people with RP and the majority of those with X-linked RP. RPGR is located in photoreceptor connecting cilia. It interacts with a wide variety of ciliary proteins, but its exact function is unknown. Recently, there have been important advances both in our understanding of RPGR function and towards the development of a therapy. This review summarises the existing literature on human RPGR function and dysfunction, and suggests that RPGR plays a role in the function of the ciliary gate, which controls access of both membrane and soluble proteins to the photoreceptor outer segment. We discuss key models used to investigate and treat RPGR disease and suggest that gene augmentation therapy offers a realistic therapeutic approach, although important questions still remain to be answered, while cell replacement therapy based on retinal progenitor cells represents a more distant prospect. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Gnaz couples the circadian and dopaminergic system to G protein-mediated signaling in mouse photoreceptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Vancura

    Full Text Available The mammalian retina harbors a circadian clockwork that regulates vision and promotes healthiness of retinal neurons, mainly through directing the rhythmic release of the neurohormones dopamine-acting on dopamine D4 receptors-and melatonin-acting on MT1 and MT2 receptors. The gene Gnaz-a unique Gi/o subfamily member-was seen in the present study to be expressed in photoreceptors where its protein product Gαz shows a daily rhythm in its subcellular localization. Apart from subcellular localization, Gnaz displays a daily rhythm in expression-with peak values at night-in preparations of the whole retina, microdissected photoreceptors and photoreceptor-related pinealocytes. In retina, Gnaz rhythmicity was observed to persist under constant darkness and to be abolished in retina deficient for Clock or dopamine D4 receptors. Furthermore, circadian regulation of Gnaz was disturbed in the db/db mouse, a model of diabetic retinopathy. The data of the present study suggest that Gnaz links the circadian clockwork-via dopamine acting on D4 receptors-to G protein-mediated signaling in intact but not diabetic retina.

  5. Usher syndrome type 1-associated cadherins shape the photoreceptor outer segment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schietroma, Cataldo; Parain, Karine; Estivalet, Amrit; Aghaie, Asadollah; Boutet de Monvel, Jacques; Picaud, Serge; Sahel, José-Alain; Perron, Muriel; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Petit, Christine

    2017-06-05

    Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1) causes combined hearing and sight defects, but how mutations in USH1 genes lead to retinal dystrophy in patients remains elusive. The USH1 protein complex is associated with calyceal processes, which are microvilli of unknown function surrounding the base of the photoreceptor outer segment. We show that in Xenopus tropicalis , these processes are connected to the outer-segment membrane by links composed of protocadherin-15 (USH1F protein). Protocadherin-15 deficiency, obtained by a knockdown approach, leads to impaired photoreceptor function and abnormally shaped photoreceptor outer segments. Rod basal outer disks displayed excessive outgrowth, and cone outer segments were curved, with lamellae of heterogeneous sizes, defects also observed upon knockdown of Cdh23 , encoding cadherin-23 (USH1D protein). The calyceal processes were virtually absent in cones and displayed markedly reduced F-actin content in rods, suggesting that protocadherin-15-containing links are essential for their development and/or maintenance. We propose that calyceal processes, together with their associated links, control the sizing of rod disks and cone lamellae throughout their daily renewal. © 2017 Schietroma et al.

  6. Usher syndrome type 1–associated cadherins shape the photoreceptor outer segment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parain, Karine; Aghaie, Asadollah; Picaud, Serge

    2017-01-01

    Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1) causes combined hearing and sight defects, but how mutations in USH1 genes lead to retinal dystrophy in patients remains elusive. The USH1 protein complex is associated with calyceal processes, which are microvilli of unknown function surrounding the base of the photoreceptor outer segment. We show that in Xenopus tropicalis, these processes are connected to the outer-segment membrane by links composed of protocadherin-15 (USH1F protein). Protocadherin-15 deficiency, obtained by a knockdown approach, leads to impaired photoreceptor function and abnormally shaped photoreceptor outer segments. Rod basal outer disks displayed excessive outgrowth, and cone outer segments were curved, with lamellae of heterogeneous sizes, defects also observed upon knockdown of Cdh23, encoding cadherin-23 (USH1D protein). The calyceal processes were virtually absent in cones and displayed markedly reduced F-actin content in rods, suggesting that protocadherin-15–containing links are essential for their development and/or maintenance. We propose that calyceal processes, together with their associated links, control the sizing of rod disks and cone lamellae throughout their daily renewal. PMID:28495838

  7. NADPH Oxidase Contributes to Photoreceptor Degeneration in Constitutively Active RAC1 Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Hongman; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Zeng, Yong; Marangoni, Dario; Bush, Ronald A.; Wu, Zhijian; Sieving, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The active form of small GTPase RAC1 is required for activation of NADPH oxidase (NOX), which in turn generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in nonphagocytic cells. We explored whether NOX-induced oxidative stress contributes to rod degeneration in retinas expressing constitutively active (CA) RAC1. Methods Transgenic (Tg)–CA-RAC1 mice were given apocynin (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal), a NOX inhibitor, or vehicle daily for up to 13 weeks. Superoxide production and oxidative damage were assessed by dihydroethidium staining and by protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde levels, respectively. Outer nuclear layer (ONL) cells were counted and electroretinogram (ERG) amplitudes measured in Tg-CA-RAC1 mice. Outer nuclear layer cells were counted in wild-type (WT) mice after transfer of CA-Rac1 gene by subretinal injection of AAV8-pOpsin-CA Rac1-GFP. Results Transgenic-CA-RAC1 retinas had significantly fewer photoreceptor cells and more apoptotic ONL cells than WT controls from postnatal week (Pw) 3 to Pw13. Superoxide accumulation and protein and lipid oxidation were increased in Tg-CA-RAC1 retinas and were reduced in mice treated with apocynin. Apocynin reduced the loss of photoreceptors and increased the rod ERG a- and b-wave amplitudes when compared with vehicle-injected transgenic controls. Photoreceptor loss was also observed in regions of adult WT retina transduced with AAV8-pOpsin-CA Rac1-GFP but not in neighboring regions that were not transduced or in AAV8-pOpsin-GFP–transduced retinas. Conclusions Constitutively active RAC1 promotes photoreceptor cell death by oxidative damage that occurs, at least partially, through NOX-induced ROS. Reactive oxygen species are likely involved in multiple forms of retinal degenerations, and our results support investigating RAC1 inhibition as a therapeutic approach that targets this disease pathway. PMID:27233035

  8. Identification of endogenous fluorophores in the photoreceptors using autofluorescence spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lingling; Qu, Junle; Niu, Hanben

    2007-11-01

    In this paper, we present our investigation on the identification of endogenous fluorophores in photoreceptors using autofluorescence spectroscopy, which is performed with an inverted laser scanning confocal microscope equipped with an Argon ion laser and a GreNe laser. In our experiments, individual cones and rods are clearly resolved even in freshly prepared retina samples, without slicing or labeling. The experiment results show that autofluorescence spectrum of the photoreceptors has three peaks approximately at 525nm, 585nm and 665nm. Furthermore, the brightest autofluorescence originates from the photoreceptor outer segments. We can, therefore, come to a conclusion that the peaks at 525nm, 585nm are corresponding to FAD and A2-PE, respectively, which are distributed in the photoreceptor outer segments.

  9. Extracellular electrical activity from the photoreceptors of midge

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    349. Keywords. Chironomus; electroretinogram; insect development; midge; photoreceptor ... ceran insects, only larval ocelli of mosquito (Family: Culi- cidae) have been ... and Ball (1995) studied the influence of light in Chiro- nomus tentans ...

  10. [Modification of retinal photoreceptor membranes and Ca ion binding].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korchagin, V P; Berman, A L; Shukoliukov, S A; Rychkova, M P; Etingof, R N

    1978-10-01

    Calcium binding by modified photoreceptor membranes of cattle retina has been studied. Ca2+-binding the membranes significantly changes after C-phospholipase treatment, displaying the initial growth (less than 65% of lipid phosphorus removed) with subsequent decrease (more than 65% of phosphorus removed). Liposomes of the photoreceptor membranes lipids were found to bind more calcium than do the native photoreceptor membranes. Proteolytic enzymes (papaine, pronase) splitting some rhodopsin fragments do not affect the ability of the membrane to bind Ca2+. The increase of light-induced Ca-binding is observed only after the outer segments preincubation under conditions providing for rhodopsin phosphorylation. This effect was observed also after the splitting of the rhodopsin fragment by papaine. It is concluded that calcium binding in the photoreceptor membranes is mainly due to the phosphate groups of phospholipids.

  11. Photoreceptor atrophy in acute zonal occult outer retinopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zibrandtsen, N.; Munch, I.C.; Klemp, K.

    2008-01-01

    appearance were examined using optical coherence tomography (OCT), automated perimetry and electroretinography (ERG). RESULTS: Both patients demonstrated photoreceptor atrophy corresponding to partial or complete scotomata with reduced or extinct electroretinographic responses. Attenuation or complete loss...... of all the segments composing the photoreceptor layer was found by OCT. Full-field ERG revealed affection of the 30 Hz flicker responses and subnormal photopic responses in both patients and subnormal scotopic responses in case 1. Multifocal electroretinography (mERG) revealed localized outer retinal...

  12. Photoreceptor atrophy in acute zonal occult outer retinopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zibrandtsen, N.; Munch, I.C.; Klemp, K.

    2008-01-01

    examined using optical coherence tomography (OCT), automated perimetry and electroretinography (ERG). Both patients demonstrated photoreceptor atrophy corresponding to partial or complete scotomata with reduced or extinct electroretinographic responses. Attenuation or complete loss of all the segments...... composing the photoreceptor layer was found by OCT. Full-field ERG revealed affection of the 30 Hz flicker responses and subnormal photopic responses in both patients and subnormal scotopic responses in case 1. Multifocal electroretinography (mERG) revealed localized outer retinal dysfunction. The field...

  13. Photoreceptor layer map using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji Eun; Lim, Dae Won; Bae, Han Yong; Park, Hyun Jin

    2009-12-01

    To develop a novel method for analysis of the photoreceptor layer map (PLM) generated using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT scans were obtained from 20 eyes, 10 with macular holes (MH) and 10 with central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) using the Macular Cube (512 x 128) protocol of the Cirrus HD-OCT (Carl Zeiss). The scanned data were processed using embedded tools of the advanced visualization. A partial thickness OCT fundus image of the photoreceptor layer was generated by setting the region of interest to a 50-microm thick layer that was parallel and adjacent to the retinal pigment epithelium. The resulting image depicted the photoreceptor layer as a map of the reflectivity in OCT. The PLM was compared with fundus photography, auto-fluorescence, tomography, and retinal thickness map. The signal from the photoreceptor layer of every OCT scan in each case was demonstrated as a single image of PLM in a fundus photograph fashion. In PLM images, detachment of the sensory retina is depicted as a hypo-reflective area, which represents the base of MH and serous detachment in CSC. Relative hypo-reflectivity, which was also noted at closed MH and at recently reattached retina in CSC, was associated with reduced signal from the junction between the inner and outer segments of photoreceptors in OCT images. Using PLM, changes in the area of detachment and reflectivity of the photoreceptor layer could be efficiently monitored. The photoreceptor layer can be analyzed as a map using spectral-domain OCT. In the treatment of both MH and CSC, PLM may provide new pathological information about the photoreceptor layer to expand our understanding of these diseases.

  14. The giant mottled eel, Anguilla marmorata, uses blue-shifted rod photoreceptors during upstream migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng-Yu; Fu, Wen-Chun; Wang, I-Li; Yan, Hong Young; Wang, Tzi-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Catadromous fishes migrate between ocean and freshwater during particular phases of their life cycle. The dramatic environmental changes shape their physiological features, e.g. visual sensitivity, olfactory ability, and salinity tolerance. Anguilla marmorata, a catadromous eel, migrates upstream on dark nights, following the lunar cycle. Such behavior may be correlated with ontogenetic changes in sensory systems. Therefore, this study was designed to identify changes in spectral sensitivity and opsin gene expression of A. marmorata during upstream migration. Microspectrophotometry analysis revealed that the tropical eel possesses a duplex retina with rod and cone photoreceptors. The λmax of rod cells are 493, 489, and 489 nm in glass, yellow, and wild eels, while those of cone cells are 508, and 517 nm in yellow, and wild eels, respectively. Unlike European and American eels, Asian eels exhibited a blue-shifted pattern of rod photoreceptors during upstream migration. Quantitative gene expression analyses of four cloned opsin genes (Rh1f, Rh1d, Rh2, and SWS2) revealed that Rh1f expression is dominant at all three stages, while Rh1d is expressed only in older yellow eel. Furthermore, sequence comparison and protein modeling studies implied that a blue shift in Rh1d opsin may be induced by two known (N83, S292) and four putative (S124, V189, V286, I290) tuning sites adjacent to the retinal binding sites. Finally, expression of blue-shifted Rh1d opsin resulted in a spectral shift in rod photoreceptors. Our observations indicate that the giant mottled eel is color-blind, and its blue-shifted scotopic vision may influence its upstream migration behavior and habitat choice.

  15. The giant mottled eel, Anguilla marmorata, uses blue-shifted rod photoreceptors during upstream migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng-Yu Wang

    Full Text Available Catadromous fishes migrate between ocean and freshwater during particular phases of their life cycle. The dramatic environmental changes shape their physiological features, e.g. visual sensitivity, olfactory ability, and salinity tolerance. Anguilla marmorata, a catadromous eel, migrates upstream on dark nights, following the lunar cycle. Such behavior may be correlated with ontogenetic changes in sensory systems. Therefore, this study was designed to identify changes in spectral sensitivity and opsin gene expression of A. marmorata during upstream migration. Microspectrophotometry analysis revealed that the tropical eel possesses a duplex retina with rod and cone photoreceptors. The λmax of rod cells are 493, 489, and 489 nm in glass, yellow, and wild eels, while those of cone cells are 508, and 517 nm in yellow, and wild eels, respectively. Unlike European and American eels, Asian eels exhibited a blue-shifted pattern of rod photoreceptors during upstream migration. Quantitative gene expression analyses of four cloned opsin genes (Rh1f, Rh1d, Rh2, and SWS2 revealed that Rh1f expression is dominant at all three stages, while Rh1d is expressed only in older yellow eel. Furthermore, sequence comparison and protein modeling studies implied that a blue shift in Rh1d opsin may be induced by two known (N83, S292 and four putative (S124, V189, V286, I290 tuning sites adjacent to the retinal binding sites. Finally, expression of blue-shifted Rh1d opsin resulted in a spectral shift in rod photoreceptors. Our observations indicate that the giant mottled eel is color-blind, and its blue-shifted scotopic vision may influence its upstream migration behavior and habitat choice.

  16. Transcriptomic analysis of human retinal detachment reveals both inflammatory response and photoreceptor death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Noëlle Delyfer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Retinal detachment often leads to a severe and permanent loss of vision and its therapeutic management remains to this day exclusively surgical. We have used surgical specimens to perform a differential analysis of the transcriptome of human retinal tissues following detachment in order to identify new potential pharmacological targets that could be used in combination with surgery to further improve final outcome. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Statistical analysis reveals major involvement of the immune response in the disease. Interestingly, using a novel approach relying on coordinated expression, the interindividual variation was monitored to unravel a second crucial aspect of the pathological process: the death of photoreceptor cells. Within the genes identified, the expression of the major histocompatibility complex I gene HLA-C enables diagnosis of the disease, while PKD2L1 and SLCO4A1 -which are both down-regulated- act synergistically to provide an estimate of the duration of the retinal detachment process. Our analysis thus reveals the two complementary cellular and molecular aspects linked to retinal detachment: an immune response and the degeneration of photoreceptor cells. We also reveal that the human specimens have a higher clinical value as compared to artificial models that point to IL6 and oxidative stress, not implicated in the surgical specimens studied here. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This systematic analysis confirmed the occurrence of both neurodegeneration and inflammation during retinal detachment, and further identifies precisely the modification of expression of the different genes implicated in these two phenomena. Our data henceforth give a new insight into the disease process and provide a rationale for therapeutic strategies aimed at limiting inflammation and photoreceptor damage associated with retinal detachment and, in turn, improving visual prognosis after retinal surgery.

  17. Modeling the Flexural Rigidity of Rod Photoreceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeri, Mohammad; Knox, Barry E.; Ahmadi, Aphrodite

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrate eyes, the rod photoreceptor has a modified cilium with an extended cylindrical structure specialized for phototransduction called the outer segment (OS). The OS has numerous stacked membrane disks and can bend or break when subjected to mechanical forces. The OS exhibits axial structural variation, with extended bands composed of a few hundred membrane disks whose thickness is diurnally modulated. Using high-resolution confocal microscopy, we have observed OS flexing and disruption in live transgenic Xenopus rods. Based on the experimental observations, we introduce a coarse-grained model of OS mechanical rigidity using elasticity theory, representing the axial OS banding explicitly via a spring-bead model. We calculate a bending stiffness of ∼105 nN⋅μm2, which is seven orders-of-magnitude larger than that of typical cilia and flagella. This bending stiffness has a quadratic relation to OS radius, so that thinner OS have lower fragility. Furthermore, we find that increasing the spatial frequency of axial OS banding decreases OS rigidity, reducing its fragility. Moreover, the model predicts a tendency for OS to break in bands with higher spring number density, analogous to the experimental observation that transgenic rods tended to break preferentially in bands of high fluorescence. We discuss how pathological alterations of disk membrane properties by mutant proteins may lead to increased OS rigidity and thus increased breakage, ultimately contributing to retinal degeneration. PMID:23442852

  18. Derivation of Traceable and Transplantable Photoreceptors from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Decembrini

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Retinal degenerative diseases resulting in the loss of photoreceptors are one of the major causes of blindness. Photoreceptor replacement therapy is a promising treatment because the transplantation of retina-derived photoreceptors can be applied now to different murine retinopathies to restore visual function. To have an unlimited source of photoreceptors, we derived a transgenic embryonic stem cell (ESC line in which the Crx-GFP transgene is expressed in photoreceptors and assessed the capacity of a 3D culture protocol to produce integration-competent photoreceptors. This culture system allows the production of a large number of photoreceptors recapitulating the in vivo development. After transplantation, integrated cells showed the typical morphology of mature rods bearing external segments and ribbon synapses. We conclude that a 3D protocol coupled with ESCs provides a safe and renewable source of photoreceptors displaying a development and transplantation competence comparable to photoreceptors from age-matched retinas.

  19. Drosophila photoreceptor axon guidance and targeting requires the dreadlocks SH2/SH3 adapter protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrity, P A; Rao, Y; Salecker, I; McGlade, J; Pawson, T; Zipursky, S L

    1996-05-31

    Mutations in the Drosophila gene dreadlocks (dock) disrupt photoreceptor cell (R cell) axon guidance and targeting. Genetic mosaic analysis and cell-type-specific expression of dock transgenes demonstrate dock is required in R cells for proper innervation. Dock protein contains one SH2 and three SH3 domains, implicating it in tyrosine kinase signaling, and is highly related to the human proto-oncogene Nck. Dock expression is detected in R cell growth cones in the target region. We propose Dock transmits signals in the growth cone in response to guidance and targeting cues. These findings provide an important step for dissection of signaling pathways regulating growth cone motility.

  20. Laser induced photoreceptor damage and recovery in the high numerical aperture eye of the garter snake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwick, H; Edsall, P; Stuck, B E; Wood, E; Elliott, R; Cheramie, R; Hacker, H

    2008-02-01

    The garter snake provides a unique model for in-vivo imaging of photoreceptor damage induced by laser retinal exposure. Laser thermal/mechanical retinal injury induced alterations in photoreceptor structure and leukocyte cellular behavior. Photoreceptors turned white, lost mode structure, and swelled; leukocyte activity was observed in the vicinity of photoreceptor cells. Non-thermal alterations were identified with a bio-tag for oxidative stress. Mechanisms of photoreceptor recovery and replacement were observed and evaluated for active cytoskeletal systems by using an anti-actin tag that could detect the presence of active cytoskeletal systems resident in photoreceptors as well as other retinal systems.

  1. Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Skorupski

    Full Text Available The bumblebee Bombus impatiens is increasingly used as a model in comparative studies of colour vision, or in behavioural studies relying on perceptual discrimination of colour. However, full spectral sensitivity data on the photoreceptor inputs underlying colour vision are not available for B. impatiens. Since most known bee species are trichromatic, with photoreceptor spectral sensitivity peaks in the UV, blue and green regions of the spectrum, data from a related species, where spectral sensitivity measurements have been made, are often applied to B impatiens. Nevertheless, species differences in spectral tuning of equivalent photoreceptor classes may result in peaks that differ by several nm, which may have small but significant effects on colour discrimination ability. We therefore used intracellular recording to measure photoreceptor spectral sensitivity in B. impatiens. Spectral peaks were estimated at 347, 424 and 539 nm for UV, blue and green receptors, respectively, suggesting that this species is a UV-blue-green trichromat. Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity peaks are similar to previous measurements from Bombus terrestris, although there is a significant difference in the peak sensitivity of the blue receptor, which is shifted in the short wave direction by 12-13 nm in B. impatiens compared to B. terrestris.

  2. a photoreceptor gene mutation in an indigenous black african family

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    MUTATION IN AN INDIGENOUS. BLACK AFRICAN FAMILY WITH. RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA. IDENTIFIED USING A RAPID. SCREENING APPROACH FOR. COMMON RHODOPSIN. MUTATIONS. JGreenberg, T Franz, R Goliath, R Ramesar. Hereditary retinal degenerations may be subdivided into those affecting ...

  3. Hif1a inactivation rescues photoreceptor degeneration induced by a chronic hypoxia-like stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barben, Maya; Ail, Divya; Storti, Federica; Klee, Katrin; Schori, Christian; Samardzija, Marijana; Michalakis, Stylianos; Biel, Martin; Meneau, Isabelle; Blaser, Frank; Barthelmes, Daniel; Grimm, Christian

    2018-04-17

    Reduced choroidal blood flow and tissue changes in the ageing human eye impair oxygen delivery to photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium. As a consequence, mild but chronic hypoxia may develop and disturb cell metabolism, function and ultimately survival, potentially contributing to retinal pathologies such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here, we show that several hypoxia-inducible genes were expressed at higher levels in the aged human retina suggesting increased activity of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) during the physiological ageing process. To model chronically elevated HIF activity and investigate ensuing consequences for photoreceptors, we generated mice lacking von Hippel Lindau (VHL) protein in rods. This activated HIF transcription factors and led to a slowly progressing retinal degeneration in the ageing mouse retina. Importantly, this process depended mainly on HIF1 with only a minor contribution of HIF2. A gene therapy approach using AAV-mediated RNA interference through an anti-Hif1a shRNA significantly mitigated the degeneration suggesting a potential intervention strategy that may be applicable to human patients.

  4. Lateral interactions in the photoreceptor membrane: a NMR study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mollevanger, L.C.P.J.

    1987-01-01

    The photoreceptor membrane has an exceptionally high content of polyunsaturated fatty acyl chains combined with a high amount of phosphatidyl ethanolamine. It is situated in a cell organelle, the rod outer segment, with a high biological activity in which controlable trans-membrane currents of different ions play an important role. These characteristics make it a very interesting biological membrane to search for the existence of non-bilayer structures. Therefore in this thesis a detailed study of the polymorphic phase behaviour of the rod outer segment photoreceptor lipids was undertaken, concerning modulation of the polymorphic phase behaviour of photoreceptor membrane lipids by divalent cations and temperature, polymorphism of the individual phospholipid classes phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine and effects of cholesterol, bilayer stabilization by (rhod)opsin. Morphologically intact rod outer segment possesses a large magnetic anisotropy. This property is used to obtain 31 P-NMR of oriented photoreceptor membranes which allows spectral analysis and identification of individual phospholipid classes, and allows to study lateral lipid diffusion in intact disk membranes. The power of high resolution solid state 13 C-NMR to study the conformation of the chromophore in rhodopsin is demonstrated. (Auth.)

  5. Cubozoan genome illuminates functional diversification of opsins and photoreceptor evolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Liegertová, Michaela; Pergner, Jiří; Kozmiková, Iryna; Fabian, Peter; Pombinho, António R.; Strnad, Hynek; Pačes, Jan; Vlček, Čestmír; Bartůněk, Petr; Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 5, Jul 8 (2015) ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP305/10/2141; GA MŠk LO1220 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Cubozoan genome * opsins * photoreceptor * evolution Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 5.228, year: 2015

  6. Atypical retinal pigment epithelial defects with retained photoreceptor layers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giannakaki-Zimmermann, Helena; Querques, Giuseppe; Munch, Inger Christine

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To report patients with age-related macular degeneration and atypical central retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) defects not attributable to geographic atrophy (GA) or RPE-tears with overlying preserved photoreceptor layers. METHODS: Multimodal imaging case-series evaluating the course...

  7. Protein and signaling networks in vertebrate photoreceptor cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl-Wilhelm eKoch

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrate photoreceptor cells are exquisite light detectors operating under very dim and bright illumination. The photoexcitation and adaptation machinery in photoreceptor cells consists of protein complexes that can form highly ordered supramolecular structures and control the homeostasis and mutual dependence of the secondary messengers cGMP and Ca2+. The visual pigment in rod photoreceptors, the G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin is organized in tracks of dimers thereby providing a signaling platform for the dynamic scaffolding of the G protein transducin. Illuminated rhodopsin is turned off by phosphorylation catalyzed by rhodopsin kinase GRK1 under control of Ca2+-recoverin. The GRK1 protein complex partly assembles in lipid raft structures, where shutting off rhodopsin seems to be more effective. Re-synthesis of cGMP is another crucial step in the recovery of the photoresponse after illumination. It is catalyzed by membrane bound sensory guanylate cyclases and is regulated by specific neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins called GCAPs. At least one guanylate cyclase (ROS-GC1 was shown to be part of a multiprotein complex having strong interactions with the cytoskeleton and being controlled in a multimodal Ca2+-dependent fashion. The final target of the cGMP signaling cascade is a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel that is a hetero-oligomeric protein located in the plasma membrane and interacting with accessory proteins in highly organized microdomains. We summarize results and interpretations of findings related to the inhomogeneous organization of signaling units in photoreceptor outer segments.

  8. The UV-B Photoreceptor UVR8: From Structure to Physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Gareth I.

    2014-01-01

    Low doses of UV-B light (280 to 315 nm) elicit photomorphogenic responses in plants that modify biochemical composition, photosynthetic competence, morphogenesis, and defense. UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8) mediates photomorphogenic responses to UV-B by regulating transcription of a set of target genes. UVR8 differs from other known photoreceptors in that it uses specific Trp amino acids instead of a prosthetic chromophore for light absorption during UV-B photoreception. Absorption of UV-B dissociates the UVR8 dimer into monomers, initiating signal transduction through interaction with CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1. However, much remains to be learned about the physiological role of UVR8 and its interaction with other signaling pathways, the molecular mechanism of UVR8 photoreception, how the UVR8 protein initiates signaling, how it is regulated, and how UVR8 regulates transcription of its target genes. PMID:24481075

  9. Fundus Autofluorescence and Photoreceptor Cell Rosettes in Mouse Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Erin; Ueda, Keiko; Auran, Emily; Sullivan, Jack M.; Sparrow, Janet R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. This study was conducted to study correlations among fundus autofluorescence (AF), RPE lipofuscin accumulation, and photoreceptor cell degeneration and to investigate the structural basis of fundus AF spots. Methods. Fundus AF images (55° lens; 488-nm excitation) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) scans were acquired in pigmented Rdh8−/−/Abca4−/− mice (ages 1–9 months) with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (cSLO). For quantitative fundus AF (qAF), gray levels (GLs) were calibrated to an internal fluorescence reference. Retinal bisretinoids were measured by quantitative HPLC. Histometric analysis of outer nuclear layer (ONL) thicknesses was performed, and cryostat sections of retina were examined by fluorescence microscopy. Results. Quantified A2E and qAF intensities increased until age 4 months in the Rdh8−/−/Abca4−/− mice. The A2E levels declined after 4 months of age, but qAF intensity values continued to rise. The decline in A2E levels in the Rdh8−/−/Abca4−/− mice paralleled reduced photoreceptor cell viability as reflected in ONL thinning. Hyperautofluorescent puncta in fundus AF images corresponded to photoreceptor cell rosettes in SD-OCT images and histological sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The inner segment/outer segment–containing core of the rosette emitted an autofluorescence detected by fluorescence microscopy. Conclusions. When neural retina is disordered, AF from photoreceptor cells can contribute to noninvasive fundus AF images. Hyperautofluorescent puncta in fundus AF images are attributable, in at least some cases, to photoreceptor cell rosettes. PMID:25015357

  10. Retinal Thickening and Photoreceptor Loss in HIV Eyes without Retinitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl A Arcinue

    Full Text Available To determine the presence of structural changes in HIV retinae (i.e., photoreceptor density and retinal thickness in the macula compared with age-matched HIV-negative controls.Cohort of patients with known HIV under CART (combination Antiretroviral Therapy treatment were examined with a flood-illuminated retinal AO camera to assess the cone photoreceptor mosaic and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT to assess retinal layers and retinal thickness.Twenty-four eyes of 12 patients (n = 6 HIV-positive and 6 HIV-negative were imaged with the adaptive optics camera. In each of the regions of interest studied (nasal, temporal, superior, inferior, the HIV group had significantly less mean cone photoreceptor density compared with age-matched controls (difference range, 4,308-6,872 cones/mm2. A different subset of forty eyes of 20 patients (n = 10 HIV-positive and 10 HIV-negative was included in the retinal thickness measurements and retinal layer segmentation with the SD-OCT. We observed significant thickening in HIV positive eyes in the total retinal thickness at the foveal center, and in each of the three horizontal B-scans (through the macular center, superior, and inferior to the fovea. We also noted that the inner retina (combined thickness from ILM through RNFL to GCL layer was also significantly thickened in all the different locations scanned compared with HIV-negative controls.Our present study shows that the cone photoreceptor density is significantly reduced in HIV retinae compared with age-matched controls. HIV retinae also have increased macular retinal thickness that may be caused by inner retinal edema secondary to retinovascular disease in HIV. The interaction of photoreceptors with the aging RPE, as well as possible low-grade ocular inflammation causing diffuse inner retinal edema, may be the key to the progressive vision changes in HIV-positive patients without overt retinitis.

  11. Apigenin-7-diglucuronide protects retinas against bright light-induced photoreceptor degeneration through the inhibition of retinal oxidative stress and inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Minjuan; Zhang, Yong; Du, Xiaoye; Xu, Jing; Cui, Jingang; Gu, Jiangping; Zhu, Weiliang; Zhang, Teng; Chen, Yu

    2017-05-15

    Vision impairment in retinal degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration is primarily associated with photoreceptor degeneration, in which oxidative stress and inflammatory responses are mechanistically involved as central players. Therapies with photoreceptor protective properties remain to be developed. Apigenin-7-diglucuronide (A7DG), a flavonoid glycoside, is present in an assortment of medicinal plants with anti-inflammatory or ant-oxidant activities. However, the pharmacological significance of A7DG remains unknown in vivo. The current study isolated A7DG from Glechoma longituba (Nakai) Kuprian and investigated the retinal protective effect A7DG in mice characterized by bright light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. The results showed that A7DG treatment led to remarkable photoreceptor protection in bright light-exposed BALB/c mice. Moreover, A7DG treatment alleviated photoreceptor apoptosis, mitigated oxidative stress, suppressed reactive gliosis and microglial activation and attenuated the expression of proinflammatory genes in bright light-exposed retinas. The results demonstrated for the first time remarkable photoreceptor protective activities of A7DG in vivo. Inhibition of bright light-induced retinal oxidative stress and retinal inflammatory responses was associated with the retinal protection conferred by A7DG. The work here warrants further evaluation of A7DG as a pharmacological candidate for the treatment of vision-threatening retinal degenerative disorders. Moreover, given the general implication of oxidative stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, A7DG could be further tested for the treatment of other neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Lysergic acid diethylamide causes photoreceptor cell damage through inducing inflammatory response and oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Qi-Di; Xu, Ling-Li; Gong, Yan; Wu, Guo-Hai; Wang, Yu-Wen; Wu, Shan-Jun; Zhang, Zhe; Mao, Wei; Zhou, Yu-Sheng; Li, Qin-Bo; Yuan, Jian-Shu

    2018-01-19

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), a classical hallucinogen, was used as a popular and notorious substance of abuse in various parts of the world. Its abuse could result in long-lasting abnormalities in retina and little is known about the exact mechanism. This study was to investigate the effect of LSD on macrophage activation state at non-toxic concentration and its resultant toxicity to photoreceptor cells. Results showed that cytotoxicity was caused by LSD on 661 W cells after co-culturing with RAW264.7 cells. Treatment with LSD-induced RAW264.7 cells to the M1 phenotype, releasing more pro-inflammatory cytokines, and increasing the M1-related gene expression. Moreover, after co-culturing with RAW264.7 cells, significant oxidative stress in 661 W cells treated with LSD was observed, by increasing the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and decreasing the level of glutathione (GSH) and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD). Our study demonstrated that LSD caused photoreceptor cell damage by inducing inflammatory response and resultant oxidative stress, providing the scientific rationale for the toxicity of LSD to retina.

  13. Integrity of the cone photoreceptor mosaic in oligocone trichromacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michaelides, Michel; Rha, Jungtae; Dees, Elise W

    2011-01-01

    Oligocone trichromacy (OT) is an unusual cone dysfunction syndrome characterized by reduced visual acuity, mild photophobia, reduced amplitude of the cone electroretinogram with normal rod responses, normal fundus appearance, and normal or near-normal color vision. It has been proposed that these...... that these patients have a reduced number of normal functioning cones (oligocone). This paper has sought to evaluate the integrity of the cone photoreceptor mosaic in four patients previously described as having OT....

  14. Responses of crayfish photoreceptor cells following intense light adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummins, D R; Goldsmith, T H

    1986-01-01

    After intense orange adapting exposures that convert 80% of the rhodopsin in the eye to metarhodopsin, rhabdoms become covered with accessory pigment and appear to lose some microvillar order. Only after a delay of hours or even days is the metarhodopsin replaced by rhodopsin (Cronin and Goldsmith 1984). After 24 h of dark adaptation, when there has been little recovery of visual pigment, the photoreceptor cells have normal resting potentials and input resistances, and the reversal potential of the light response is 10-15 mV (inside positive), unchanged from controls. The log V vs log I curve is shifted about 0.6 log units to the right on the energy axis, quantitatively consistent with the decrease in the probability of quantum catch expected from the lowered concentration of rhodopsin in the rhabdoms. Furthermore, at 24 h the photoreceptors exhibit a broader spectral sensitivity than controls, which is also expected from accumulations of metarhodopsin in the rhabdoms. In three other respects, however, the transduction process appears to be light adapted: The voltage responses are more phasic than those of control photoreceptors. The relatively larger effect (compared to controls) of low extracellular Ca++ (1 mmol/l EGTA) in potentiating the photoresponses suggests that the photoreceptors may have elevated levels of free cytoplasmic Ca++. The saturating depolarization is only about 30% as large as the maximal receptor potentials of contralateral, dark controls, and by that measure the log V-log I curve is shifted downward by 0.54 log units.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  15. Early photoreceptor outer segment loss and retinoschisis in Cohen syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyhazi, Katherine E; Binenbaum, Gil; Carducci, Nicholas; Zackai, Elaine H; Aleman, Tomas S

    2018-06-01

    To describe early structural and functional retinal changes in a patient with Cohen syndrome. A 13-month-old Caucasian girl of Irish and Spanish ancestry was noted to have micrognathia and laryngomalacia at birth, which prompted a genetic evaluation that revealed biallelic deletions in COH1 (VPS13B) (a maternally inherited 60-kb deletion involving exons 26-32 and a paternally inherited 3.5-kb deletion within exon 17) consistent with Cohen syndrome. She underwent a complete ophthalmic examination, full-field flash electroretinography and retinal imaging with spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Central vision was central, steady, and maintained. There was bilateral myopic astigmatic refractive error. Fundus exam was notable for dark foveolar pigmentation, but no obvious abnormalities of either eye. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography cross sections through the fovea revealed a normal appearing photoreceptor outer nuclear layer but loss of the interdigitation signal between the photoreceptor outer segments and the apical retinal pigment epithelium. Retinoschisis involving the inner nuclear layer of both eyes and possible ganglion cell layer thinning were also noted. There was a detectable electroretinogram with similarly reduced amplitudes of rod- (white, 0.01 cd.s.m -2 ) and cone-mediated (3 cd.s.m -2 , 30 Hz) responses. Photoreceptor outer segment abnormalities and retinoschisis may represent the earliest structural retinal change detected by spectral domain optical coherence tomography in patients with Cohen syndrome, suggesting a complex pathophysiology with primary involvement of the photoreceptor cilium and disorganization of the structural integrity of the inner retina.

  16. Does Apoptosis Regulate the Function of Retinal Photoreceptors?

    OpenAIRE

    Halaby, Reginald

    2012-01-01

    Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is an integral component of developmental biology, embryology, and anatomy. All eukaryotic cells possess the molecular machinery necessary to execute apoptosis. However, dysregulated apoptosis in the form of too much or too little cell death results in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. It is postulated that apoptosis of the photoreceptors in the retina plays a vital role in mediating vision, and evidence is presented h...

  17. Calcium channel-dependent molecular maturation of photoreceptor synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawal Zabouri

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown the importance of calcium channels in the development and/or maturation of synapses. The Ca(V1.4(α(1F knockout mouse is a unique model to study the role of calcium channels in photoreceptor synapse formation. It features abnormal ribbon synapses and aberrant cone morphology. We investigated the expression and targeting of several key elements of ribbon synapses and analyzed the cone morphology in the Ca(V1.4(α(1F knockout retina. Our data demonstrate that most abnormalities occur after eye opening. Indeed, scaffolding proteins such as Bassoon and RIM2 are properly targeted at first, but their expression and localization are not maintained in adulthood. This indicates that either calcium or the Ca(V1.4 channel, or both are necessary for the maintenance of their normal expression and distribution in photoreceptors. Other proteins, such as Veli3 and PSD-95, also display abnormal expression in rods prior to eye opening. Conversely, vesicle related proteins appear normal. Our data demonstrate that the Ca(V1.4 channel is important for maintaining scaffolding proteins in the ribbon synapse but less vital for proteins related to vesicular release. This study also confirms that in adult retinae, cones show developmental features such as sprouting and synaptogenesis. Overall we present evidence that in the absence of the Ca(V1.4 channel, photoreceptor synapses remain immature and are unable to stabilize.

  18. Calcium channel-dependent molecular maturation of photoreceptor synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabouri, Nawal; Haverkamp, Silke

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown the importance of calcium channels in the development and/or maturation of synapses. The Ca(V)1.4(α(1F)) knockout mouse is a unique model to study the role of calcium channels in photoreceptor synapse formation. It features abnormal ribbon synapses and aberrant cone morphology. We investigated the expression and targeting of several key elements of ribbon synapses and analyzed the cone morphology in the Ca(V)1.4(α(1F)) knockout retina. Our data demonstrate that most abnormalities occur after eye opening. Indeed, scaffolding proteins such as Bassoon and RIM2 are properly targeted at first, but their expression and localization are not maintained in adulthood. This indicates that either calcium or the Ca(V)1.4 channel, or both are necessary for the maintenance of their normal expression and distribution in photoreceptors. Other proteins, such as Veli3 and PSD-95, also display abnormal expression in rods prior to eye opening. Conversely, vesicle related proteins appear normal. Our data demonstrate that the Ca(V)1.4 channel is important for maintaining scaffolding proteins in the ribbon synapse but less vital for proteins related to vesicular release. This study also confirms that in adult retinae, cones show developmental features such as sprouting and synaptogenesis. Overall we present evidence that in the absence of the Ca(V)1.4 channel, photoreceptor synapses remain immature and are unable to stabilize.

  19. Pineal photoreceptor cells are required for maintaining the circadian rhythms of behavioral visual sensitivity in zebrafish.

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    Xinle Li

    Full Text Available In non-mammalian vertebrates, the pineal gland functions as the central pacemaker that regulates the circadian rhythms of animal behavior and physiology. We generated a transgenic zebrafish line [Tg(Gnat2:gal4-VP16/UAS:nfsB-mCherry] in which the E. coli nitroreductase is expressed in pineal photoreceptor cells. In developing embryos and young adults, the transgene is expressed in both retinal and pineal photoreceptor cells. During aging, the expression of the transgene in retinal photoreceptor cells gradually diminishes. By 8 months of age, the Gnat2 promoter-driven nitroreductase is no longer expressed in retinal photoreceptor cells, but its expression in pineal photoreceptor cells persists. This provides a tool for selective ablation of pineal photoreceptor cells, i.e., by treatments with metronidazole. In the absence of pineal photoreceptor cells, the behavioral visual sensitivity of the fish remains unchanged; however, the circadian rhythms of rod and cone sensitivity are diminished. Brief light exposures restore the circadian rhythms of behavioral visual sensitivity. Together, the data suggest that retinal photoreceptor cells respond to environmental cues and are capable of entraining the circadian rhythms of visual sensitivity; however, they are insufficient for maintaining the rhythms. Cellular signals from the pineal photoreceptor cells may be required for maintaining the circadian rhythms of visual sensitivity.

  20. Nuclear Import of the Parsley bZIP Transcription Factor CPRF2 Is Regulated by Phytochrome Photoreceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kircher, Stefan; Wellmer, Frank; Nick, Peter; Rügner, Alexander; Schäfer, Eberhard; Harter, Klaus

    1999-01-01

    In plants, light perception by photoreceptors leads to differential expression of an enormous number of genes. An important step for differential gene expression is the regulation of transcription factor activities. To understand these processes in light signal transduction we analyzed the three well-known members of the common plant regulatory factor (CPRF) family from parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Here, we demonstrate that these CPRFs, which belong to the basic- region leucine-zipper (bZIP) domain-containing transcription factors, are differentially distributed within parsley cells, indicating different regulatory functions within the regulatory networks of the plant cell. In particular, we show by cell fractionation and immunolocalization approaches that CPRF2 is transported from the cytosol into the nucleus upon irradiation due to action of phytochrome photoreceptors. Two NH2-terminal domains responsible for cytoplasmic localization of CPRF2 in the dark were characterized by deletion analysis using a set of CPRF2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene fusion constructs transiently expressed in parsley protoplasts. We suggest that light-induced nuclear import of CPRF2 is an essential step in phytochrome signal transduction. PMID:9922448

  1. Human Usher 1B/mouse shaker-1: the retinal phenotype discrepancy explained by the presence/absence of myosin VIIA in the photoreceptor cells.

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    el-Amraoui, A; Sahly, I; Picaud, S; Sahel, J; Abitbol, M; Petit, C

    1996-08-01

    Usher syndrome type 1 (USH1) associates severe congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and progressive retinitis pigmentosa leading to blindness. The gene encoding myosin VIIA is responsible for USH1B. Mutations in the murine orthologous gene lead to the shaker-1 phenotype, which manifests cochlear and vestibular dysfunction, without any retinal defect. To address this phenotypic discrepancy, the expression of myosin VIIA in retinal cells was analyzed in human and mouse during embryonic development and adult life. In the human embryo, myosin VIIA was present first in the pigment epithelium cells, and later in these cells as well as in the photoreceptor cells. In the adult human retina, myosin VIIA was present in both cell types. In contrast, in mouse, only pigment epithelium cells expressed the protein throughout development and adult life. Myosin VIIA was also found to be absent in the photoreceptor cells of other rodents (rat and guinea-pig), whereas these cells expressed the protein in amphibians, avians and primates. These observations suggest that retinitis pigmentosa of USH1B results from a primary rod and cone defect. The USH1B/shaker-1 paradigm illustrates a species-specific cell pattern of gene expression as a possible cause for the discrepancy between phenotypes involving defective orthologous genes in man and mouse. Interestingly, in the photoreceptor cells, myosin VIIA is mainly localized in the inner and base of outer segments as well as in the synaptic ending region where it is co-localized with the synaptic vesicles. Therefore, we suggest that myosin VIIA might play a role in the trafficking of ribbon-synaptic vesicle complexes and the renewal processes of the outer photoreceptor disks.

  2. Mfsd2a Is a Transporter for the Essential ω-3 Fatty Acid Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in Eye and Is Important for Photoreceptor Cell Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Bernice H; Chan, Jia Pei; Cazenave-Gassiot, Amaury; Poh, Rebecca W; Foo, Juat Chin; Galam, Dwight L A; Ghosh, Sujoy; Nguyen, Long N; Barathi, Veluchamy A; Yeo, Sia W; Luu, Chi D; Wenk, Markus R; Silver, David L

    2016-05-13

    Eye photoreceptor membrane discs in outer rod segments are highly enriched in the visual pigment rhodopsin and the ω-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The eye acquires DHA from blood, but transporters for DHA uptake across the blood-retinal barrier or retinal pigment epithelium have not been identified. Mfsd2a is a newly described sodium-dependent lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) symporter expressed at the blood-brain barrier that transports LPCs containing DHA and other long-chain fatty acids. LPC transport via Mfsd2a has been shown to be necessary for human brain growth. Here we demonstrate that Mfsd2a is highly expressed in retinal pigment epithelium in embryonic eye, before the development of photoreceptors, and is the primary site of Mfsd2a expression in the eye. Eyes from whole body Mfsd2a-deficient (KO) mice, but not endothelium-specific Mfsd2a-deficient mice, were DHA-deficient and had significantly reduced LPC/DHA transport in vivo Fluorescein angiography indicated normal blood-retinal barrier function. Histological and electron microscopic analysis indicated that Mfsd2a KO mice exhibited a specific reduction in outer rod segment length, disorganized outer rod segment discs, and mislocalization of and reduction in rhodopsin early in postnatal development without loss of photoreceptors. Minor photoreceptor cell loss occurred in adult Mfsd2a KO mice, but electroretinography indicated visual function was normal. The developing eyes of Mfsd2a KO mice had activated microglia and up-regulation of lipogenic and cholesterogenic genes, likely adaptations to loss of LPC transport. These findings identify LPC transport via Mfsd2a as an important pathway for DHA uptake in eye and for development of photoreceptor membrane discs. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. The UVR8 UV-B Photoreceptor: Perception, Signaling and Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilbrook, Kimberley; Arongaus, Adriana B.; Binkert, Melanie; Heijde, Marc; Yin, Ruohe; Ulm, Roman

    2013-01-01

    Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) is an intrinsic part of sunlight that is accompanied by significant biological effects. Plants are able to perceive UV-B using the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 which is linked to a specific molecular signaling pathway and leads to UV-B acclimation. Herein we review the biological process in plants from initial UV-B perception and signal transduction through to the known UV-B responses that promote survival in sunlight. The UVR8 UV-B photoreceptor exists as a homodimer that instantly monomerises upon UV-B absorption via specific intrinsic tryptophans which act as UV-B chromophores. The UVR8 monomer interacts with COP1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, initiating a molecular signaling pathway that leads to gene expression changes. This signaling output leads to UVR8-dependent responses including UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis and the accumulation of UV-B-absorbing flavonols. Negative feedback regulation of the pathway is provided by the WD40-repeat proteins RUP1 and RUP2, which facilitate UVR8 redimerization, disrupting the UVR8-COP1 interaction. Despite rapid advancements in the field of recent years, further components of UVR8 UV-B signaling are constantly emerging, and the precise interplay of these and the established players UVR8, COP1, RUP1, RUP2 and HY5 needs to be defined. UVR8 UV-B signaling represents our further understanding of how plants are able to sense their light environment and adjust their growth accordingly. PMID:23864838

  4. Regulatory arrestin cycle secures the fidelity and maintenance of the fly photoreceptor cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byk, T; Bar-Yaacov, M; Doza, Y N; Minke, B; Selinger, Z

    1993-01-01

    Excitation of fly photoreceptor cells is initiated by photoisomerization of rhodopsin to the active form of metarhodopsin. Fly metarhodopsin is thermostable, does not bleach, and does not regenerate spontaneously to rhodopsin. For this reason, the activity of metarhodopsin must be stopped by an effective termination reaction. On the other hand, there is also a need to restore the inactivated photopigment to an excitable state in order to keep a sufficient number of photopigment molecules available for excitation. The following findings reveal how these demands are met. The photopigment undergoes rapid phosphorylation upon photoconversion of rhodopsin to metarhodopsin and an efficient Ca2+ dependent dephosphorylation upon regeneration of metarhodopsin to rhodopsin. Phosphorylation decreases the ability of metarhodopsin to activate the guanine nucleotide-binding protein. Binding of 49-kDa arrestin further quenches the activity of metarhodopsin and protects it from dephosphorylation. Light-dependent binding and release of 49-kDa arrestin from metarhodopsin- and rhodopsin-containing membranes, respectively, directs the dephosphorylation reaction toward rhodopsin. This ensures the return of phosphorylated metarhodopsin to the rhodopsin pool without initiating transduction in the dark. Assays of rhodopsin dephosphorylation in the Drosophila retinal degeneration C (rdgC) mutant, a mutant in a gene previously cloned and predicted to encode a serine/threonine protein phosphatase, reveal that phosphorylated rhodopsin is a major substrate for the rdgC phosphatase. We propose that mutations resulting in either a decrease or an improper regulation of rhodopsin phosphatase activity bring about degeneration of the fly photoreceptor cells. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8446607

  5. Light adaptation and the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morshedian, Ala; Fain, Gordon L

    2017-07-15

    Lamprey are cyclostomes, a group of vertebrates that diverged from lines leading to jawed vertebrates (including mammals) in the late Cambrian, 500 million years ago. It may therefore be possible to infer properties of photoreceptors in early vertebrate progenitors by comparing lamprey to other vertebrates. We show that lamprey rods and cones respond to light much like rods and cones in amphibians and mammals. They operate over a similar range of light intensities and adapt to backgrounds and bleaches nearly identically. These correspondences are pervasive and detailed; they argue for the presence of rods and cones very early in the evolution of vertebrates with properties much like those of rods and cones in existing vertebrate species. The earliest vertebrates were agnathans - fish-like organisms without jaws, which first appeared near the end of the Cambrian radiation. One group of agnathans became cyclostomes, which include lamprey and hagfish. Other agnathans gave rise to jawed vertebrates or gnathostomes, the group including all other existing vertebrate species. Because cyclostomes diverged from other vertebrates 500 million years ago, it may be possible to infer some of the properties of the retina of early vertebrate progenitors by comparing lamprey to other vertebrates. We have previously shown that rods and cones in lamprey respond to light much like photoreceptors in other vertebrates and have a similar sensitivity. We now show that these affinities are even closer. Both rods and cones adapt to background light and to bleaches in a manner almost identical to other vertebrate photoreceptors. The operating range in darkness is nearly the same in lamprey and in amphibian or mammalian rods and cones; moreover background light shifts response-intensity curves downward and to the right over a similar range of ambient intensities. Rods show increment saturation at about the same intensity as mammalian rods, and cones never saturate. Bleaches decrease

  6. Knocking Down Snrnp200 Initiates Demorphogenesis of Rod Photoreceptors in Zebrafish

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    Yuan Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. The small nuclear ribonucleoprotein 200 kDa (SNRNP200 gene is a fundamental component for precursor message RNA (pre-mRNA splicing and has been implicated in the etiology of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP. This study aims to determine the consequences of knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Methods. Expression of the Snrnp200 transcript in zebrafish was determined via whole mount in situ hybridization. Morpholino oligonucleotide (MO aiming to knock down the expression of Snrnp200 was injected into zebrafish embryos, followed by analyses of aberrant splicing and expression of the U4/U6-U5 tri-small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs components and retina-specific transcripts. Systemic changes and retinal phenotypes were further characterized by histological study and immunofluorescence staining. Results. Snrnp200 was ubiquitously expressed in zebrafish. Knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish triggered aberrant splicing of the cbln1 gene, upregulation of other U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP components, and downregulation of a panel of retina-specific transcripts. Systemic defects were found correlated with knockdown of Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Only demorphogenesis of rod photoreceptors was detected in the initial stage, mimicking the disease characteristics of RP. Conclusions. We conclude that knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish could alter regular splicing and expression of a panel of genes, which may eventually trigger rod defects.

  7. Evidence for dynamic network regulation of Drosophila photoreceptor function from mutants lacking the neurotransmitter histamine

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    An eDau

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic feedback from interneurons to photoreceptors can help to optimize visual information flow by balancing its allocation on retinal pathways under changing light conditions. But little is known about how this critical network operation is regulated dynamically. Here, we investigate this question by comparing signaling properties and performance of wild-type Drosophila R1-R6 photoreceptors to those of the hdcJK910 mutant, which lacks the neurotransmitter histamine and therefore cannot transmit information to interneurons. Recordings show that hdcJK910 photoreceptors sample similar amounts of information from naturalistic stimulation to wild-type photoreceptors, but this information is packaged in smaller responses, especially under bright illumination. Analyses reveal how these altered dynamics primarily resulted from network overload that affected hdcJK910 photoreceptors in two ways. First, the missing inhibitory histamine input to interneurons almost certainly depolarized them irrevocably, which in turn increased their excitatory feedback to hdcJK910 R1-R6s. This tonic excitation depolarized the photoreceptors to artificially high potentials, reducing their operational range. Second, rescuing histamine input to interneurons in hdcJK910 mutant also restored their normal phasic feedback modulation to R1-R6s, causing photoreceptor output to accentuate dynamic intensity differences at bright illumination, similar to the wild-type. These results provide mechanistic explanations of how synaptic feedback connections optimize information packaging in photoreceptor output and novel insight into the operation and design of dynamic network regulation of sensory neurons.

  8. Cellular elements for seeing in the dark: voltage-dependent conductances in cockroach photoreceptors

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    Salmela Iikka

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The importance of voltage-dependent conductances in sensory information processing is well-established in insect photoreceptors. Here we present the characterization of electrical properties in photoreceptors of the cockroach (Periplaneta americana, a nocturnal insect with a visual system adapted for dim light. Results Whole-cell patch-clamped photoreceptors had high capacitances and input resistances, indicating large photosensitive rhabdomeres suitable for efficient photon capture and amplification of small photocurrents at low light levels. Two voltage-dependent potassium conductances were found in the photoreceptors: a delayed rectifier type (KDR and a fast transient inactivating type (KA. Activation of KDR occurred during physiological voltage responses induced by light stimulation, whereas KA was nearly fully inactivated already at the dark resting potential. In addition, hyperpolarization of photoreceptors activated a small-amplitude inward-rectifying (IR current mediated at least partially by chloride. Computer simulations showed that KDR shapes light responses by opposing the light-induced depolarization and speeding up the membrane time constant, whereas KA and IR have a negligible role in the majority of cells. However, larger KA conductances were found in smaller and rapidly adapting photoreceptors, where KA could have a functional role. Conclusions The relative expression of KA and KDR in cockroach photoreceptors was opposite to the previously hypothesized framework for dark-active insects, necessitating further comparative work on the conductances. In general, the varying deployment of stereotypical K+ conductances in insect photoreceptors highlights their functional flexibility in neural coding.

  9. Photoreceptor processing speed and input resistance changes during light adaptation correlate with spectral class in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens.

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    Peter Skorupski

    Full Text Available Colour vision depends on comparison of signals from photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities. However, response properties of photoreceptor cells may differ in ways other than spectral tuning. In insects, for example, broadband photoreceptors, with a major sensitivity peak in the green region of the spectrum (>500 nm, drive fast visual processes, which are largely blind to chromatic signals from more narrowly-tuned photoreceptors with peak sensitivities in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. In addition, electrophysiological properties of the photoreceptor membrane may result in differences in response dynamics of photoreceptors of similar spectral class between species, and different spectral classes within a species. We used intracellular electrophysiological techniques to investigate response dynamics of the three spectral classes of photoreceptor underlying trichromatic colour vision in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, and we compare these with previously published data from a related species, Bombus terrestris. In both species, we found significantly faster responses in green, compared with blue- or UV-sensitive photoreceptors, although all 3 photoreceptor types are slower in B. impatiens than in B. terrestris. Integration times for light-adapted B. impatiens photoreceptors (estimated from impulse response half-width were 11.3 ± 1.6 ms for green photoreceptors compared with 18.6 ± 4.4 ms and 15.6 ± 4.4 for blue and UV, respectively. We also measured photoreceptor input resistance in dark- and light-adapted conditions. All photoreceptors showed a decrease in input resistance during light adaptation, but this decrease was considerably larger (declining to about 22% of the dark value in green photoreceptors, compared to blue and UV (41% and 49%, respectively. Our results suggest that the conductances associated with light adaptation are largest in green photoreceptors, contributing to their greater temporal processing speed

  10. Response Function of the Crayfish Caudal Photoreceptor to Hydrodynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breite, Sally; Bahar, Sonya; Neiman, Alexander; Moss, Frank

    2002-03-01

    In its abdominal 6th ganglion the crayfish houses 2 light-sensitive neurons (caudal photoreceptors, or CPRs). It is known that these neurons work in tandem with a mechanosensory system of tiny hairs spread across the tailfan, which make synaptic contact with the photoreceptors. A stochastic resonance effect has been shown in this system in which light enhances the transduction of a weak, periodic mechanosensory (hydrodynamic) stimulus. It is not known, however, whether an optimal response from the CPR is induced by a single sine wave cycle or some other waveform. We have experimentally investigated this favorable waveform by driving a tailfan preparation with mechanical 10 Hz correlated Ornstein-Uhlenbeck noise and calculating the response function from the spike-triggered average of the applied noise waveform. We will discuss differences in the shape of the optimal waveform under dark and light conditions, as well as what seems to be a noticeable difference in the magnitude of the animals' response to a noisy stimulus in comparison with a periodic stimulus.

  11. A novel Usher protein network at the periciliary reloading point between molecular transport machineries in vertebrate photoreceptor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maerker, Tina; van Wijk, Erwin; Overlack, Nora; Kersten, Ferry F J; McGee, Joann; Goldmann, Tobias; Sehn, Elisabeth; Roepman, Ronald; Walsh, Edward J; Kremer, Hannie; Wolfrum, Uwe

    2008-01-01

    The human Usher syndrome (USH) is the most frequent cause of combined deaf-blindness. USH is genetically heterogeneous with at least 12 chromosomal loci assigned to three clinical types, USH1-3. Although these USH types exhibit similar phenotypes in human, the corresponding gene products belong to very different protein classes and families. The scaffold protein harmonin (USH1C) was shown to integrate all identified USH1 and USH2 molecules into protein networks. Here, we analyzed a protein network organized in the absence of harmonin by the scaffold proteins SANS (USH1G) and whirlin (USH2D). Immunoelectron microscopic analyses disclosed the colocalization of all network components in the apical inner segment collar and the ciliary apparatus of mammalian photoreceptor cells. In this complex, whirlin and SANS directly interact. Furthermore, SANS provides a linkage to the microtubule transport machinery, whereas whirlin may anchor USH2A isoform b and VLGR1b (very large G-protein coupled receptor 1b) via binding to their cytodomains at specific membrane domains. The long ectodomains of both transmembrane proteins extend into the gap between the adjacent membranes of the connecting cilium and the apical inner segment. Analyses of Vlgr1/del7TM mice revealed the ectodomain of VLGR1b as a component of fibrous links present in this gap. Comparative analyses of mouse and Xenopus photoreceptors demonstrated that this USH protein network is also part of the periciliary ridge complex in Xenopus. Since this structural specialization in amphibian photoreceptor cells defines a specialized membrane domain for docking and fusion of transport vesicles, we suggest a prominent role of the USH proteins in cargo shipment.

  12. Photoreceptor PhyB Involved in Arabidopsis Temperature Perception and Heat-Tolerance Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Junyi; Liu, Qijun; Hu, Biru; Wu, Wenjian

    2017-06-05

    The influence of temperature on plants is essential. However, our knowledge on the intricate regulation process underlying heat stress (HS) response in plants is limited. Recently, information about thermal sensors in vivo has begun to emerge. In this study, another primary environmental stimulus, light, was verified once again to work with temperature synergistically on plants, through the modulation of numerous biological processes. With the application of transcriptomic analysis, a substantial number of heat-responsive genes were detected involved in both light- and phytohormone-mediated pathways in Arabidopsis. During this process, phytoreceptor phyB acts as a molecular switch to turn on or turn off several other genes HS response, under different light conditions. Furthermore, a morphological study showed the afunction of phyB enhanced plants thermal tolerance, confirming the important role of this phytochrome in temperature perception and response in plants. This study adds data to the picture of light and temperature signaling cross-talk in plants, which is important for the exploration of complicated HS responses or light-mediated mechanisms. Furthermore, based on its influence on Arabidopsis thermal response in both morphological and physiological levels, phyB is a photoreceptor, as revealed before, as well as an essential thermal sensor in plants.

  13. Cone photoreceptor structure in patients with x-linked cone dysfunction and red-green color vision deficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Patterson, Emily J.; Wilk, Melissa; Langlo, Christopher S.

    2016-01-01

    encoded by exon 4, and two with a novel insertion in exon 2. Foveal cone structure and retinal thickness was disrupted to a variable degree, even among related individuals with the same L/M array. CONCLUSIONS. Our findings provide a direct link between disruption of the cone mosaic and L/ M opsin variants......PURPOSE. Mutations in the coding sequence of the L and M opsin genes are often associated with X-linked cone dysfunction (such as Bornholm Eye Disease, BED), though the exact color vision phenotype associated with these disorders is variable. We examined individuals with L/ M opsin gene mutations...... to clarify the link between color vision deficiency and cone dysfunction.  METHODS. We recruited 17 males for imaging. The thickness and integrity of the photoreceptor layers were evaluated using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Cone density was measured using high-resolution images of the cone...

  14. Mutually exclusive expression of human red and green visual pigment-reporter transgenes occurs at high frequency in murine cone photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y; Smallwood, P M; Cowan, M; Blesh, D; Lawler, A; Nathans, J

    1999-04-27

    This study examines the mechanism of mutually exclusive expression of the human X-linked red and green visual pigment genes in their respective cone photoreceptors by asking whether this expression pattern can be produced in a mammal that normally carries only a single X-linked visual pigment gene. To address this question, we generated transgenic mice that carry a single copy of a minimal human X chromosome visual pigment gene array in which the red and green pigment gene transcription units were replaced, respectively, by alkaline phosphatase and beta-galactosidase reporters. As determined by histochemical staining, the reporters are expressed exclusively in cone photoreceptor cells. In 20 transgenic mice carrying any one of three independent transgene insertion events, an average of 63% of expressing cones have alkaline phosphatase activity, 10% have beta-galactosidase activity, and 27% have activity for both reporters. Thus, mutually exclusive expression of red and green pigment transgenes can be achieved in a large fraction of cones in a dichromat mammal, suggesting a facile evolutionary path for the development of trichromacy after visual pigment gene duplication. These observations are consistent with a model of visual pigment expression in which stochastic pairing occurs between a locus control region and either the red or the green pigment gene promotor.

  15. Generation, purification and transplantation of photoreceptors derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

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    Deepak A Lamba

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Inherited and acquired retinal degenerations are frequent causes of visual impairment and photoreceptor cell replacement therapy may restore visual function to these individuals. To provide a source of new retinal neurons for cell based therapies, we developed methods to derive retinal progenitors from human ES cells.In this report we have used a similar method to direct induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS from human fibroblasts to a retinal progenitor fate, competent to generate photoreceptors. We also found we could purify the photoreceptors derived from the iPS cells using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS after labeling photoreceptors with a lentivirus driving GFP from the IRBP cis-regulatory sequences. Moreover, we found that when we transplanted the FACS purified iPSC derived photoreceptors, they were able to integrate into a normal mouse retina and express photoreceptor markers.This report provides evidence that enriched populations of human photoreceptors can be derived from iPS cells.

  16. Characterization of multiple light damage paradigms reveals regional differences in photoreceptor loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jennifer L; Nelson, Craig M; Luo, Xixia; Hyde, David R; Thummel, Ryan

    2012-04-01

    Zebrafish provide an attractive model to study the retinal response to photoreceptor apoptosis due to its remarkable ability to spontaneously regenerate retinal neurons following damage. There are currently two widely-used light-induced retinal degeneration models to damage photoreceptors in the adult zebrafish. One model uses constant bright light, whereas the other uses a short exposure to extremely intense ultraviolet light. Although both models are currently used, it is unclear whether they differ in regard to the extent of photoreceptor damage or the subsequent regeneration response. Here we report a thorough analysis of the photoreceptor damage and subsequent proliferation response elicited by each individual treatment, as well as by the concomitant use of both treatments. We show a differential loss of rod and cone photoreceptors with each treatment. Additionally, we show that the extent of proliferation observed in the retina directly correlates with the severity of photoreceptor loss. We also demonstrate that both the ventral and posterior regions of the retina are partially protected from light damage. Finally, we show that combining a short ultraviolet exposure followed by a constant bright light treatment largely eliminates the neuroprotected regions, resulting in widespread loss of rod and cone photoreceptors and a robust regenerative response throughout the retina. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A new photosensory function for simple photoreceptors, the intrinsically photoresponsive neurons of the sea slug Onchidium

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    Tsukasa Gotow

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Simple photoreceptors, namely intrinsically light-sensitive neurons without microvilli and/or cilia, have long been known to exist in the central ganglia of crayfish, Aplysia, Onchidium, and Helix. These simple photoreceptors are not only first-order photosensory cells, but also second-order neurons (interneurons, relaying several kinds of sensory synaptic inputs. Another important issue is that the photoresponses of these simple photoreceptors show very slow kinetics and little adaptation. These characteristics suggest that the simple photoreceptors of the Onchidium have a function in non-image-forming vision, different from classical eye photoreceptors used for cording dynamic images of vision. The cited literature provides evidence that the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing photoresponses of simple photoreceptors play a role in the long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission of excitatory and inhibitory sensory inputs, and as well as in the potentiation and the suppression of the subsequent behavioral outputs. In short, we suggest that simple photoreceptors operate in the general potentiation of synaptic transmission and subsequent motor output; i.e., they perform a new photosensory function.

  18. Generation of a genetically encoded marker of rod photoreceptor outer segment growth and renewal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J. Willoughby

    2011-10-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors are specialized light sensing neurons. The photoreceptor outer segment is a highly modified cilium where photons of light are transduced into a chemical and electrical signal. The outer segment has the typical cilary axoneme but, in addition, it has a large number of densely packed, stacked, intramembranous discs. The molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to vertebrate photoreceptor outer segment morphogenesis are still largely unknown. Unlike typical cilia, the outer segment is continuously regenerated or renewed throughout the life of the animal through the combined process of distal outer segment shedding and proximal outer segment growth. The process of outer segment renewal was discovered over forty years ago, but we still lack an understanding of how photoreceptors renew their outer segments and few, if any, molecular mechanisms that regulate outer segment growth or shedding have been described. Our lack of progress in understanding how photoreceptors renew their outer segments has been hampered by the difficulty in measuring rates of renewal. We have created a new method that uses heat-shock induction of a fluorescent protein that can be used to rapidly measure outer segment growth rates. We describe this method, the stable transgenic line we created, and the growth rates observed in larval and adult rod photoreceptors using this new method. This new method will allow us to begin to define the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate rod outer segment renewal, a crucial aspect of photoreceptor function and, possibly, viability.

  19. Preservation of photoreceptors in dystrophic RCS rats following allo- and xenotransplantation of IPE cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thumann, Gabriele; Salz, Anna Katharina; Walter, Peter; Johnen, Sandra

    2009-03-01

    To examine whether iris pigment epithelial (IPE) cells transplanted into the subretinal space of Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats have the ability to rescue photoreceptors. Rat IPE (rIPE) or human IPE (hIPE) cells were transplanted subretinally in 23-day-old RCS rats. Sham injection and transplantation of ARPE-19 cells served as controls. After 12 weeks, eyes were evaluated for photoreceptor survival by morphometric analysis and electron microscopy. Morphometric analysis showed photoreceptor rescue in all transplanted and sham-injected animals (number of photoreceptors/300 microm retina+/-sd: rIPE 41.67 +/- 28; hIPE 29.50 +/- 16; ARPE-19 36.12 +/- 21; sham 16.56 +/- 6) compared to age-matched, control rats (number of photoreceptors/300 microm retina+/-sd: 9.71 +/- 4). Photoreceptor rescue was prominent in IPE cell-transplanted rats and was significantly greater than sham-injected eyes (p = 0.02 for rIPE and p = 0.04 for hIPE). Since IPE cells transplanted into the subretinal space have the ability to rescue photoreceptors from degeneration in the RCS rat without any harmful effects, IPE cells may represent an ideal cell to genetically modify and thus carry essential genetic information for the repair of defects in the subretinal space.

  20. Bifurcation analysis of a photoreceptor interaction model for Retinitis Pigmentosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Erika T.; Radulescu, Anca; Wirkus, Stephen

    2016-09-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the term used to describe a diverse set of degenerative eye diseases affecting the photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the retina. This work builds on an existing mathematical model of RP that focused on the interaction of the rods and cones. We non-dimensionalize the model and examine the stability of the equilibria. We then numerically investigate other stable modes that are present in the system for various parameter values and relate these modes to the original problem. Our results show that stable modes exist for a wider range of parameter values than the stability of the equilibrium solutions alone, suggesting that additional approaches to preventing cone death may exist.

  1. Coping with 'Dark Sides of the Sun' through Photoreceptor Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demarsy, Emilie; Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michel; Ulm, Roman

    2018-03-01

    Plants grow in constantly changing environments, including highly variable light intensities. Sunlight provides the energy that drives photosynthesis and is thus of the utmost importance for plant growth and the generation of oxygen, which the majority of life on Earth depends on. However, exposure to either insufficient or excess levels of light can have detrimental effects and cause light stress. Whereas exposure to insufficient light limits photosynthetic activity, resulting in 'energy starvation', exposure to excess light can damage the photosynthetic apparatus. Furthermore, strong sunlight is associated with high levels of potentially damaging UV-B radiation. Different classes of photoreceptors play important roles in coping with the negative aspects of sunlight, for which specific mechanisms are emerging that are reviewed here. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Blue and ultraviolet-B light photoreceptors in parsley cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ensminger, P.A.; Schaefer, E.

    1992-01-01

    The authors studied UV-B photoreception in parsley cell cultures with physiological experiments involving temperature shifts and examined the possible role of flavin in blue and UV-B light photo-reception. Cells irradiated with UV-B light (0.5-15 min) at 2 o C have the same fluence requirement for chalcone synthase and flavonoid induction as controls irradiated at 25 o C. This is indicative of a purely photochemical reaction. Cells fed with riboflavin and irradiated with 6 h of UV-containing white light synthesize higher levels of chalcone synthase and flavonoid than unfed controls. This effect did not occur with blue light. These results indicate that flavin-sensitization requires excitation of flavin and the UV-B light photoreceptor. (author)

  3. Transplantation of adult mouse iPS cell-derived photoreceptor precursors restores retinal structure and function in degenerative mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Budd A Tucker

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to determine whether adult mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, could be used to produce retinal precursors and subsequently photoreceptor cells for retinal transplantation to restore retinal function in degenerative hosts. iPSCs were generated using adult dsRed mouse dermal fibroblasts via retroviral induction of the transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, KLF4 and c-Myc. As with normal mouse ES cells, adult dsRed iPSCs expressed the pluripotency genes SSEA1, Oct4, Sox2, KLF4, c-Myc and Nanog. Following transplantation into the eye of immune-compromised retinal degenerative mice these cells proceeded to form teratomas containing tissue comprising all three germ layers. At 33 days post-differentiation a large proportion of the cells expressed the retinal progenitor cell marker Pax6 and went on to express the photoreceptor markers, CRX, recoverin, and rhodopsin. When tested using calcium imaging these cells were shown to exhibit characteristics of normal retinal physiology, responding to delivery of neurotransmitters. Following subretinal transplantation into degenerative hosts differentiated iPSCs took up residence in the retinal outer nuclear layer and gave rise to increased electro retinal function as determined by ERG and functional anatomy. As such, adult fibroblast-derived iPSCs provide a viable source for the production of retinal precursors to be used for transplantation and treatment of retinal degenerative disease.

  4. Lrit1, a Retinal Transmembrane Protein, Regulates Selective Synapse Formation in Cone Photoreceptor Cells and Visual Acuity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akiko Ueno

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: In the vertebrate retina, cone photoreceptors play crucial roles in photopic vision by transmitting light-evoked signals to ON- and/or OFF-bipolar cells. However, the mechanisms underlying selective synapse formation in the cone photoreceptor pathway remain poorly understood. Here, we found that Lrit1, a leucine-rich transmembrane protein, localizes to the photoreceptor synaptic terminal and regulates the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. Lrit1-deficient retinas exhibit an aberrant morphology of cone photoreceptor pedicles, as well as an impairment of signal transmission from cone photoreceptors to cone ON-bipolar cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Lrit1 interacts with Frmpd2, a photoreceptor scaffold protein, and with mGluR6, an ON-bipolar cell-specific glutamate receptor. Additionally, Lrit1-null mice showed visual acuity impairments in their optokinetic responses. These results suggest that the Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis regulates selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and is essential for normal visual function. : Ueno et al. finds that Lrit1 plays an important role in regulating the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. The Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis is crucial for selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and for development of normal visual function. Keywords: retina, circuit, synapse formation, cone photoreceptor cell, ON-bipolar cell, visual acuity

  5. Visual cycle and its metabolic support in gecko photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolesnikov, A V; Ala-Laurila, P; Shukolyukov, S A; Crouch, R K; Wiggert, B; Estevez, M E; Govardovskii, V I; Cornwall, M C

    2007-02-01

    Photoreceptors of nocturnal geckos are transmuted cones that acquired rod morphological and physiological properties but retained cone-type phototransduction proteins. We have used microspectrophotometry and microfluorometry of solitary isolated green-sensitive photoreceptors of Tokay gecko to study the initial stages of the visual cycle within these cells. These stages are the photolysis of the visual pigment, the reduction of all-trans retinal to all-trans retinol, and the clearance of all-trans retinol from the outer segment (OS) into the interphotoreceptor space. We show that the rates of decay of metaproducts (all-trans retinal release) and retinal-to-retinol reduction are intermediate between those of typical rods and cones. Clearance of retinol from the OS proceeds at a rate that is typical of rods and is greatly accelerated by exposure to interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein, IRBP. The rate of retinal release from metaproducts is independent of the position within the OS, while its conversion to retinol is strongly spatially non-uniform, being the fastest at the OS base and slowest at the tip. This spatial gradient of retinol production is abolished by dialysis of saponin-permeabilized OSs with exogenous NADPH or substrates for its production by the hexose monophosphate pathway (NADP+glucose-6-phosphate or 6-phosphogluconate, glucose-6-phosphate alone). Following dialysis by these agents, retinol production is accelerated by several-fold compared to the fastest rates observed in intact cells in standard Ringer solution. We propose that the speed of retinol production is set by the availability of NADPH which in turn depends on ATP supply within the outer segment. We also suggest that principal source of this ATP is from mitochondria located within the ellipsoid region of the inner segment.

  6. Mechanisms underlying stage-1 TRPL channel translocation in Drosophila photoreceptors.

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    Minh-Ha Lieu

    Full Text Available TRP channels function as key mediators of sensory transduction and other cellular signaling pathways. In Drosophila, TRP and TRPL are the light-activated channels in photoreceptors. While TRP is statically localized in the signaling compartment of the cell (the rhabdomere, TRPL localization is regulated by light. TRPL channels translocate out of the rhabdomere in two distinct stages, returning to the rhabdomere with dark-incubation. Translocation of TRPL channels regulates their availability, and thereby the gain of the signal. Little, however, is known about the mechanisms underlying this trafficking of TRPL channels.We first examine the involvement of de novo protein synthesis in TRPL translocation. We feed flies cycloheximide, verify inhibition of protein synthesis, and test for TRPL translocation in photoreceptors. We find that protein synthesis is not involved in either stage of TRPL translocation out of the rhabdomere, but that re-localization to the rhabdomere from stage-1, but not stage-2, depends on protein synthesis. We also characterize an ex vivo eye preparation that is amenable to biochemical and genetic manipulation. We use this preparation to examine mechanisms of stage-1 TRPL translocation. We find that stage-1 translocation is: induced with ATP depletion, unaltered with perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton or inhibition of endocytosis, and slowed with increased membrane sterol content.Our results indicate that translocation of TRPL out of the rhabdomere is likely due to protein transport, and not degradation/re-synthesis. Re-localization from each stage to the rhabdomere likely involves different strategies. Since TRPL channels can translocate to stage-1 in the absence of ATP, with no major requirement of the cytoskeleton, we suggest that stage-1 translocation involves simple diffusion through the apical membrane, which may be regulated by release of a light-dependent anchor in the rhabdomere.

  7. Evolution of melanopsin photoreceptors: discovery and characterization of a new melanopsin in nonmammalian vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Bellingham

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available In mammals, the melanopsin gene (Opn4 encodes a sensory photopigment that underpins newly discovered inner retinal photoreceptors. Since its first discovery in Xenopus laevis and subsequent description in humans and mice, melanopsin genes have been described in all vertebrate classes. Until now, all of these sequences have been considered representatives of a single orthologous gene (albeit with duplications in the teleost fish. Here, we describe the discovery and functional characterisation of a new melanopsin gene in fish, bird, and amphibian genomes, demonstrating that, in fact, the vertebrates have evolved two quite separate melanopsins. On the basis of sequence similarity, chromosomal localisation, and phylogeny, we identify our new melanopsins as the true orthologs of the melanopsin gene previously described in mammals and term this grouping Opn4m. By contrast, the previously published melanopsin genes in nonmammalian vertebrates represent a separate branch of the melanopsin family which we term Opn4x. RT-PCR analysis in chicken, zebrafish, and Xenopus identifies expression of both Opn4m and Opn4x genes in tissues known to be photosensitive (eye, brain, and skin. In the day-14 chicken eye, Opn4m mRNA is found in a subset of cells in the outer nuclear, inner nuclear, and ganglion cell layers, the vast majority of which also express Opn4x. Importantly, we show that a representative of the new melanopsins (chicken Opn4m encodes a photosensory pigment capable of activating G protein signalling cascades in a light- and retinaldehyde-dependent manner under heterologous expression in Neuro-2a cells. A comprehensive in silico analysis of vertebrate genomes indicates that while most vertebrate species have both Opn4m and Opn4x genes, the latter is absent from eutherian and, possibly, marsupial mammals, lost in the course of their evolution as a result of chromosomal reorganisation. Thus, our findings show for the first time that nonmammalian

  8. Differentiation of retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptor precursors from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells carrying an Atoh7/Math5 lineage reporter.

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    Bin-Bin Xie

    Full Text Available The neural retina is a critical component of the visual system, which provides the majority of sensory input in humans. Various retinal degenerative diseases can result in the permanent loss of retinal neurons, especially the light-sensing photoreceptors and the centrally projecting retinal ganglion cells (RGCs. The replenishment of lost RGCs and the repair of optic nerve damage are particularly challenging, as both RGC specification and their subsequent axonal growth and projection involve complex and precise regulation. To explore the developmental potential of pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitors, we have established mouse iPS cells that allow cell lineage tracing of progenitors that have expressed Atoh7/Math5, a bHLH transcription factor required for RGC production. These Atoh7 lineage reporter iPS cells encode Cre to replace one copy of the endogenous Atoh7 gene and a Cre-dependent YFP reporter in the ROSA locus. In addition, they express pluripotent markers and are capable of generating teratomas in vivo. Under anterior neural induction and neurogenic conditions in vitro, the Atoh7-Cre/ROSA-YFP iPS cells differentiate into neurons that co-express various RGC markers and YFP, indicating that these neurons are derived from Atoh7-expressing progenitors. Consistent with previous in vivo cell lineage studies, the Atoh7-Cre/ROSA-YFP iPS cells also give rise to a subset of Crx-positive photoreceptor precursors. Furthermore, inhibition of Notch signaling in the iPSC cultures results in a significant increase of YFP-positive RGCs and photoreceptor precursors. Together, these results show that Atoh7-Cre/ROSA-YFP iPS cells can be used to monitor the development and survival of RGCs and photoreceptors from pluripotent stem cells.

  9. Functional Optical Coherence Tomography Enables In Vivo Physiological Assessment of Retinal Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiuxiang; Lu, Rongwen; Wang, Benquan; Messinger, Jeffrey D.; Curcio, Christine A.; Yao, Xincheng

    2015-04-01

    Transient intrinsic optical signal (IOS) changes have been observed in retinal photoreceptors, suggesting a unique biomarker for eye disease detection. However, clinical deployment of IOS imaging is challenging due to unclear IOS sources and limited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, by developing high spatiotemporal resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and applying an adaptive algorithm for IOS processing, we were able to record robust IOSs from single-pass measurements. Transient IOSs, which might reflect an early stage of light phototransduction, are consistently observed in the photoreceptor outer segment almost immediately (retinal stimulation. Comparative studies of dark- and light-adapted retinas have demonstrated the feasibility of functional OCT mapping of rod and cone photoreceptors, promising a new method for early disease detection and improved treatment of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases that can cause photoreceptor damage.

  10. The influence of photoreceptor size and distribution on optical sensitivity in the eyes of lanternfishes (Myctophidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Busserolles, Fanny de

    2014-06-13

    The mesopelagic zone of the deep-sea (200-1000 m) is characterised by exponentially diminishing levels of downwelling sunlight and by the predominance of bioluminescence emissions. The ability of mesopelagic organisms to detect and behaviourally react to downwelling sunlight and/or bioluminescence will depend on the visual task and ultimately on the eyes and their capacity for detecting low levels of illumination and intermittent point sources of bioluminescent light. In this study, we investigate the diversity of the visual system of the lanternfish (Myctophidae). We focus specifically on the photoreceptor cells by examining their size, arrangement, topographic distribution and contribution to optical sensitivity in 53 different species from 18 genera. We also examine the influence(s) of both phylogeny and ecology on these photoreceptor variables using phylogenetic comparative analyses in order to understand the constraints placed on the visual systems of this large group of mesopelagic fishes at the first stage of retinal processing. We report great diversity in the visual system of the Myctophidae at the level of the photoreceptors. Photoreceptor distribution reveals clear interspecific differences in visual specialisations (areas of high rod photoreceptor density), indicating potential interspecific differences in interactions with prey, predators and/or mates. A great diversity in photoreceptor design (length and diameter) and density is also present. Overall, the myctophid eye is very sensitive compared to other teleosts and each species seems to be specialised for the detection of a specific signal (downwelling light or bioluminescence), potentially reflecting different visual demands for survival. Phylogenetic comparative analyses highlight several relationships between photoreceptor characteristics and the ecological variables tested (depth distribution and luminous tissue patterns). Depth distribution at night was a significant factor in most of the

  11. The influence of photoreceptor size and distribution on optical sensitivity in the eyes of lanternfishes (Myctophidae)

    KAUST Repository

    Busserolles, Fanny de; Fitzpatrick, John L.; Marshall, N. Justin; Collin, Shaun P.

    2014-01-01

    The mesopelagic zone of the deep-sea (200-1000 m) is characterised by exponentially diminishing levels of downwelling sunlight and by the predominance of bioluminescence emissions. The ability of mesopelagic organisms to detect and behaviourally react to downwelling sunlight and/or bioluminescence will depend on the visual task and ultimately on the eyes and their capacity for detecting low levels of illumination and intermittent point sources of bioluminescent light. In this study, we investigate the diversity of the visual system of the lanternfish (Myctophidae). We focus specifically on the photoreceptor cells by examining their size, arrangement, topographic distribution and contribution to optical sensitivity in 53 different species from 18 genera. We also examine the influence(s) of both phylogeny and ecology on these photoreceptor variables using phylogenetic comparative analyses in order to understand the constraints placed on the visual systems of this large group of mesopelagic fishes at the first stage of retinal processing. We report great diversity in the visual system of the Myctophidae at the level of the photoreceptors. Photoreceptor distribution reveals clear interspecific differences in visual specialisations (areas of high rod photoreceptor density), indicating potential interspecific differences in interactions with prey, predators and/or mates. A great diversity in photoreceptor design (length and diameter) and density is also present. Overall, the myctophid eye is very sensitive compared to other teleosts and each species seems to be specialised for the detection of a specific signal (downwelling light or bioluminescence), potentially reflecting different visual demands for survival. Phylogenetic comparative analyses highlight several relationships between photoreceptor characteristics and the ecological variables tested (depth distribution and luminous tissue patterns). Depth distribution at night was a significant factor in most of the

  12. Characterization of Multiple Light Damage Paradigms Reveals Regional Differences in Photoreceptor Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Craig M.; Luo, Xixia; Hyde, David R.; Thummel, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    Zebrafish provide an attractive model to study the retinal response to photoreceptor apoptosis due to its remarkable ability to spontaneously regenerate retinal neurons following damage. There are currently two widely used light-induced retinal degeneration models to damage photoreceptors in the adult zebrafish. One model uses constant bright light, whereas the other uses a short exposure to extremely intense ultraviolet light. Although both models are currently used, it is unclear whether th...

  13. Plasticity of photoreceptor-generating retinal progenitors revealed by prolonged retinoic acid exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cameron David A

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retinoic acid (RA is important for vertebrate eye morphogenesis and is a regulator of photoreceptor development in the retina. In the zebrafish, RA treatment of postmitotic photoreceptor precursors has been shown to promote the differentiation of rods and red-sensitive cones while inhibiting the differentiation of blue- and UV-sensitive cones. The roles played by RA and its receptors in modifying photoreceptor fate remain to be determined. Results Treatment of zebrafish embryos with RA, beginning at the time of retinal progenitor cell proliferation and prior to photoreceptor terminal mitosis, resulted in a significant alteration of rod and cone mosaic patterns, suggesting an increase in the production of rods at the expense of red cones. Quantitative pattern analyses documented increased density of rod photoreceptors and reduced local spacing between rod cells, suggesting rods were appearing in locations normally occupied by cone photoreceptors. Cone densities were correspondingly reduced and cone photoreceptor mosaics displayed expanded and less regular spacing. These results were consistent with replacement of approximately 25% of positions normally occupied by red-sensitive cones, with additional rods. Analysis of embryos from a RA-signaling reporter line determined that multiple retinal cell types, including mitotic cells and differentiating rods and cones, are capable of directly responding to RA. The RA receptors RXRγ and RARαb are expressed in patterns consistent with mediating the effects of RA on photoreceptors. Selective knockdown of RARαb expression resulted in a reduction in endogenous RA signaling in the retina. Knockdown of RARαb also caused a reduced production of rods that was not restored by simultaneous treatments with RA. Conclusions These data suggest that developing retinal cells have a dynamic sensitivity to RA during retinal neurogenesis. In zebrafish RA may influence the rod vs. cone cell fate

  14. LONGITUDINAL QUANTITATIVE EVALUATION OF PHOTORECEPTOR VOLUME FOLLOWING REPAIR OF MACULA-OFF RETINAL DETACHMENT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narala, Ramsudha; Scarinci, Fabio; Shaarawy, Amr; Simonett, Joseph M; Flaxel, Christina J; Fawzi, Amani A

    2016-08-01

    To quantify photoreceptor volume changes after successful surgical repair of macula-off retinal detachment and to correlate these volumetric changes to postoperative best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA). Retrospective study of 15 eyes of 15 patients with macula-off retinal detachment who underwent successful surgical repair. A minimum of 4 optical coherence tomography scans that straddled the foveal center was used to quantify the central photoreceptor volume (central 1 mm). Mean photoreceptor volume at the first postoperative visit was 0.451 mm, increasing to 0.523 mm at the final postoperative visit (P = 0.004). Mean BCVA improved from 1.13 ± 0.59 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units (∼20/270) preoperatively to 0.52 ± 0.42 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units (∼20/66) at the final postoperative visit (P = 0.001). Mean photoreceptor volume at either the initial or final visit demonstrated significant correlations with final postoperative BCVA (r = -0.670, P = 0.017 and r = -0.753, P = 0.005, respectively). Shorter time interval from diagnosis to surgery was significantly associated with greater mean final postoperative photoreceptor volume (r = -0.588, P = 0.021) and better mean final postoperative BCVA (r = 0.709, P = 0.003). We observed a significant increase in photoreceptor volume after successful retinal detachment repair; photoreceptor volume was positively associated with BCVA and time to surgery. Our series emphasizes the importance of prompt surgical repair and shows that photoreceptor recovery and volumetric improvement correlate significantly with BCVA.

  15. Three distinct roles for notch in Drosophila R7 photoreceptor specification.

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    Andrew Tomlinson

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs and Notch (N proteins are different types of transmembrane receptors that transduce extracellular signals and control cell fate. Here we examine cell fate specification in the Drosophila retina and ask how N acts together with the RTKs Sevenless (Sev and the EGF receptor (DER to specify the R7 photoreceptor. The retina is composed of many hundred ommatidia, each of which grows by recruiting surrounding, undifferentiated cells and directing them to particular fates. The R7 photoreceptor derives from a cohort of three cells that are incorporated together following specification of the R2-R5 and R8 photoreceptors. Two cells of the cohort are specified as the R1/6 photoreceptor type by DER activation. These cells then activate N in the third cell (the R7 precursor. By manipulation of N and RTK signaling in diverse combinations we establish three roles for N in specifying the R7 fate. The first role is to impose a block to photoreceptor differentiation; a block that DER activation cannot overcome. The second role, paradoxically, is to negate the first; Notch activation up-regulates Sev expression, enabling the presumptive R7 cell to receive an RTK signal from R8 that can override the block. The third role is to specify the cell as an R7 rather than an R1/6 once RTK signaling has specified the cells as a photoreceptor. We speculate why N acts both to block and to facilitate photoreceptor differentiation, and provide a model for how N and RTK signaling act combinatorially to specify the R1/6 and R7 photoreceptors as well as the surrounding non-neuronal cone cells.

  16. Presynaptic dystroglycan-pikachurin complex regulates the proper synaptic connection between retinal photoreceptor and bipolar cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Araki, Fumiyuki; Chaya, Taro; Kajimura, Naoko; Irie, Shoichi; Terada, Koji; Muranishi, Yuki; Tsujii, Toshinori; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Kondo, Mineo; Amano, Shiro; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2012-05-02

    Dystroglycan (DG) is a key component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) at the neuromuscular junction postsynapse. In the mouse retina, the DGC is localized at the presynapse of photoreceptor cells, however, the function of presynaptic DGC is poorly understood. Here, we developed and analyzed retinal photoreceptor-specific DG conditional knock-out (DG CKO) mice. We found that the DG CKO retina showed a reduced amplitude and a prolonged implicit time of the ERG b-wave. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that bipolar dendrite invagination into the photoreceptor terminus is perturbed in the DG CKO retina. In the DG CKO retina, pikachurin, a DG ligand in the retina, is markedly decreased at photoreceptor synapses. Interestingly, in the Pikachurin(-/-) retina, the DG signal at the ribbon synaptic terminus was severely reduced, suggesting that pikachurin is required for the presynaptic accumulation of DG at the photoreceptor synaptic terminus, and conversely DG is required for pikachurin accumulation. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of pikachurin induces formation and clustering of a DG-pikachurin complex on the cell surface. The Laminin G repeats of pikachurin, which are critical for its oligomerization and interaction with DG, were essential for the clustering of the DG-pikachurin complex as well. These results suggest that oligomerization of pikachurin and its interaction with DG causes DG assembly on the synapse surface of the photoreceptor synaptic terminals. Our results reveal that the presynaptic interaction of pikachurin with DG at photoreceptor terminals is essential for both the formation of proper photoreceptor ribbon synaptic structures and normal retinal electrophysiology.

  17. Bipolar Cell-Photoreceptor Connectivity in the Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong N.; Tsujimura, Taro; Kawamura, Shoji; Dowling, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Bipolar cells convey luminance, spatial and color information from photoreceptors to amacrine and ganglion cells. We studied the photoreceptor connectivity of 321 bipolar cells in the adult zebrafish retina. 1,1'-Dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) was inserted into whole-mounted transgenic zebrafish retinas to label bipolar cells. The photoreceptors that connect to these DiI-labeled cells were identified by transgenic fluorescence or their positions relative to the fluorescent cones, as cones are arranged in a highly-ordered mosaic: rows of alternating blue- (B) and ultraviolet-sensitive (UV) single cones alternate with rows of red- (R) and green-sensitive (G) double cones. Rod terminals intersperse among cone terminals. As many as 18 connectivity subtypes were observed, 9 of which – G, GBUV, RG, RGB, RGBUV, RGRod, RGBRod, RGBUVRod and RRod bipolar cells – accounted for 96% of the population. Based on their axon terminal stratification, these bipolar cells could be further sub-divided into ON, OFF, and ON-OFF cells. The dendritic spread size, soma depth and size, and photoreceptor connections of the 308 bipolar cells within the 9 common connectivity subtypes were determined, and their dendritic tree morphologies and axonal stratification patterns compared. We found that bipolar cells with the same axonal stratification patterns could have heterogeneous photoreceptor connectivity whereas bipolar cells with the same dendritic tree morphology usually had the same photoreceptor connectivity, although their axons might stratify on different levels. PMID:22907678

  18. Photobiomodulation reduces photoreceptor death and regulates cytoprotection in early states of P23H retinal dystrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Diana K.; Gopalakrishnan, Sandeep; Schmitt, Heather; Abroe, Betsy; Stoehr, Michele; Dubis, Adam; Carroll, Joseph; Stone, Jonathan; Valter, Krisztina; Eells, Janis

    2013-03-01

    Irradiation by light in the far-red to near-infrared (NIR) region of the spectrum (photobiomodulation, PBM) has been demonstrated to attenuate the severity of neurodegenerative disease in experimental and clinical studies. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that 670 nm PBM would protect against the loss of retinal function and improve photoreceptor survival in a rodent model of retinitis pigmentosa, the P23H transgenic rat. P23H rat pups were treated once per day with a 670 nm LED array (180 sec treatments at 50 mW/cm2; fluence 9 joules/cm2) (Quantum Devices Inc., Barneveld WI) from postnatal day (p) 16-20 or from p10-20. Sham-treated rats were restrained, but not exposed to NIR light. The status of the retina was determined at p22 by assessment of mitochondrial function, oxidative stress and cell death. In a second series of studies, retinal status was assessed at p30 by measuring photoreceptor function by ERG and retinal morphology by Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT). 670 nm PBM increased retinal mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase activity and upregulated the retina's production of the key mitochondrial antioxidant enzyme, MnSOD. PBM also attenuated photoreceptor cell loss and improved photoreceptor function. PBM protects photoreceptors in the developing P23H retina, by augmenting mitochondrial function and stimulating antioxidant protective pathways. Photobiomodulation may have therapeutic potential, where mitochondrial damage is a step in the death of photoreceptors.

  19. Human amniotic fluid promotes retinal pigmented epithelial cells' trans-differentiation into rod photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaderi, Shima; Soheili, Zahra-Soheila; Ahmadieh, Hamid; Davari, Maliheh; Jahromi, Fatemeh Sanie; Samie, Shahram; Rezaie-Kanavi, Mozhgan; Pakravesh, Jalil; Deezagi, Abdolkhalegh

    2011-09-01

    To evaluate the effect of human amniotic fluid (HAF) on retinal pigmented epithelial cells growth and trans-differentiation into retinal neurons, retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells were isolated from neonatal human cadaver eye globes and cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium-F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Confluent monolayer cultures were trypsinized and passaged using FBS-containing or HAF-containing media. Amniotic fluid samples were received from pregnant women in the first trimester of gestation. Cell proliferation and death enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were performed to assess the effect of HAF on RPE cell growth. Trans-differentiation into rod photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells was also studied using immunocytochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction techniques. Primary cultures of RPE cells were successfully established under FBS-containing or HAF-containing media leading to rapid cell growth and proliferation. When RPE cells were moved to in vitro culture system, they began to lose their differentiation markers such as pigmentation and RPE65 marker and trans-differentiated neural-like cells followed by spheroid colonies pertaining to stem/progenitor cells were morphologically detected. Immunocytochemistry (ICC) analysis of HAF-treated cultures showed a considerable expression of Rhodopsin gene (30% Rhodopsin-positive cells) indicating trans-differentiation of RPE cells to rod photoreceptors. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed an HAF-dose-dependant expression of Thy-1 gene (RGC marker) and significant promoting effect of HAF on RGCs generation. The data presented here suggest that HAF possesses invaluable stimulatory effect on RPE cells growth and trans-differentiation into retinal neurons. It can be regarded as a newly introduced enriched supplement in serum-free kinds of media used in neuro-retinal regeneration studies.

  20. Non-directional photoreceptors in the pluteus of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Valero-Gracia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In comparison to complex visual systems, non-directional photoreception – the most primitive form of biological photodetection – has been poorly investigated, although it is essential to many biological processes such as circadian and seasonal rhythms. Here we describe the spatiotemporal expression pattern of the major molecular actors mediating light reception – opsins – localized in the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus larva. In contrast to other zooplanktonic larvae, the echinopluteus lacks photoreceptor cells with observable shading pigments involved in directional visual tasks. Nonetheless, the echinopluteus expresses two distinct classes of opsins: a Go-opsin and a rhabdomeric opsin. The Go-opsin, Sp-opsin3.2, is detectable at early (3 days post fertilization and four armed pluteus stages (4 days post fertilization in two cells that flank the apical organ. To rule out the presence of shading pigments involved in directional photoreception, we used electron microscopy to explore the expression domain of Go-opsin Sp-opsin3.2 positive cells. The rhabdomeric opsin Sp-Opsin4 expression is detectable in clusters of cells located around the primary podia at the five-fold ectoderm pentagonal disc stage (day 18-21 and thereafter, thus indicating that Sp-Opsin4 may not be involved in the photoreception mechanism of the larva, but only of the juvenile. We discuss the putative function of the relevant cells in their neural context, and propose a model for understanding simple photodetection in marine larvae.

  1. In silico modeling of epigenetic-induced changes in photoreceptor cis-regulatory elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Reafa A; Dunham, Nicholas R; Enke, Raymond A; Berndsen, Christopher E

    2018-01-01

    DNA methylation is a well-characterized epigenetic repressor of mRNA transcription in many plant and vertebrate systems. However, the mechanism of this repression is not fully understood. The process of transcription is controlled by proteins that regulate recruitment and activity of RNA polymerase by binding to specific cis-regulatory sequences. Cone-rod homeobox (CRX) is a well-characterized mammalian transcription factor that controls photoreceptor cell-specific gene expression. Although much is known about the functions and DNA binding specificity of CRX, little is known about how DNA methylation modulates CRX binding affinity to genomic cis-regulatory elements. We used bisulfite pyrosequencing of human ocular tissues to measure DNA methylation levels of the regulatory regions of RHO , PDE6B, PAX6 , and LINE1 retrotransposon repeats. To describe the molecular mechanism of repression, we used molecular modeling to illustrate the effect of DNA methylation on human RHO regulatory sequences. In this study, we demonstrate an inverse correlation between DNA methylation in regulatory regions adjacent to the human RHO and PDE6B genes and their subsequent transcription in human ocular tissues. Docking of CRX to the DNA models shows that CRX interacts with the grooves of these sequences, suggesting changes in groove structure could regulate binding. Molecular dynamics simulations of the RHO promoter and enhancer regions show changes in the flexibility and groove width upon epigenetic modification. Models also demonstrate changes in the local dynamics of CRX binding sites within RHO regulatory sequences which may account for the repression of CRX-dependent transcription. Collectively, these data demonstrate epigenetic regulation of CRX binding sites in human retinal tissue and provide insight into the mechanism of this mode of epigenetic regulation to be tested in future experiments.

  2. Human retinal gene therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis shows advancing retinal degeneration despite enduring visual improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Beltran, William A.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Swider, Malgorzata; Iwabe, Simone; Roman, Alejandro J.; Olivares, Melani B.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Komáromy, András M.; Hauswirth, William W.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2013-01-01

    The first retinal gene therapy in human blindness from RPE65 mutations has focused on safety and efficacy, as defined by improved vision. The disease component not studied, however, has been the fate of photoreceptors in this progressive retinal degeneration. We show that gene therapy improves vision for at least 3 y, but photoreceptor degeneration progresses unabated in humans. In the canine model, the same result occurs when treatment is at the disease stage equivalent to humans. The study ...

  3. Assessing Photoreceptor Structure in Retinitis Pigmentosa and Usher Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lynn W; Johnson, Ryan D; Langlo, Christopher S; Cooper, Robert F; Razeen, Moataz M; Russillo, Madia C; Dubra, Alfredo; Connor, Thomas B; Han, Dennis P; Pennesi, Mark E; Kay, Christine N; Weinberg, David V; Stepien, Kimberly E; Carroll, Joseph

    2016-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine cone photoreceptor structure in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Usher syndrome using confocal and nonconfocal split-detector adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO). Nineteen subjects (11 RP, 8 Usher syndrome) underwent ophthalmic and genetic testing, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), and AOSLO imaging. Split-detector images obtained in 11 subjects (7 RP, 4 Usher syndrome) were used to assess remnant cone structure in areas of altered cone reflectivity on confocal AOSLO. Despite normal interdigitation zone and ellipsoid zone appearance on OCT, foveal and parafoveal cone densities derived from confocal AOSLO images were significantly lower in Usher syndrome compared with RP. This was due in large part to an increased prevalence of non-waveguiding cones in the Usher syndrome retina. Although significantly correlated to best-corrected visual acuity and foveal sensitivity, cone density can decrease by nearly 38% before visual acuity becomes abnormal. Aberrantly waveguiding cones were noted within the transition zone of all eyes and corresponded to intact inner segment structures. These remnant cones decreased in density and increased in diameter across the transition zone and disappeared with external limiting membrane collapse. Foveal cone density can be decreased in RP and Usher syndrome before visible changes on OCT or a decline in visual function. Thus, AOSLO imaging may allow more sensitive monitoring of disease than current methods. However, confocal AOSLO is limited by dependence on cone waveguiding, whereas split-detector AOSLO offers unambiguous and quantifiable visualization of remnant cone inner segment structure. Confocal and split-detector thus offer complementary insights into retinal pathology.

  4. Optical properties of photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium cells investigated with adaptive optics optical coherence tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhuolin

    Human vision starts when photoreceptors collect and respond to light. Photoreceptors do not function in isolation though, but share close interdependence with neighboring photoreceptors and underlying retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. These cellular interactions are essential for normal function of the photoreceptor-RPE complex, but methods to assess these in the living human eye are limited. One approach that has gained increased promise is high-resolution retinal imaging that has undergone tremendous technological advances over the last two decades to probe the living retina at the cellular level. Pivotal in these advances has been adaptive optics (AO) and optical coherence tomography (OCT) that together allow unprecedented spatial resolution of retinal structures in all three dimensions. Using these high-resolution systems, cone photoreceptor are now routinely imaged in healthy and diseased retina enabling fundamental structural properties of cones to be studied such as cell spacing, packing arrangement, and alignment. Other important cell properties, however, have remained elusive to investigation as even better imaging performance is required and thus has resulted in an incomplete understanding of how cells in the photoreceptor-RPE complex interact with light. To address this technical bottleneck, we expanded the imaging capability of AO-OCT to detect and quantify more accurately and completely the optical properties of cone photoreceptor and RPE cells at the cellular level in the living human retina. The first objective of this thesis was development of a new AO-OCT method that is more precise and sensitive, thus enabling a more detailed view of the 3D optical signature of the photoreceptor-RPE complex than was previously possible (Chapter 2). Using this new system, the second objective was quantifying the waveguide properties of individual cone photoreceptor inner and outer segments across the macula (Chapter 3). The third objective extended the AO

  5. The GTP- and Phospholipid-Binding Protein TTD14 Regulates Trafficking of the TRPL Ion Channel in Drosophila Photoreceptor Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerny, Alexander C.; Altendorfer, André; Schopf, Krystina; Baltner, Karla; Maag, Nathalie; Sehn, Elisabeth; Wolfrum, Uwe; Huber, Armin

    2015-01-01

    Recycling of signaling proteins is a common phenomenon in diverse signaling pathways. In photoreceptors of Drosophila, light absorption by rhodopsin triggers a phospholipase Cβ-mediated opening of the ion channels transient receptor potential (TRP) and TRP-like (TRPL) and generates the visual response. The signaling proteins are located in a plasma membrane compartment called rhabdomere. The major rhodopsin (Rh1) and TRP are predominantly localized in the rhabdomere in light and darkness. In contrast, TRPL translocates between the rhabdomeral plasma membrane in the dark and a storage compartment in the cell body in the light, from where it can be recycled to the plasma membrane upon subsequent dark adaptation. Here, we identified the gene mutated in trpl translocation defective 14 (ttd14), which is required for both TRPL internalization from the rhabdomere in the light and recycling of TRPL back to the rhabdomere in the dark. TTD14 is highly conserved in invertebrates and binds GTP in vitro. The ttd14 mutation alters a conserved proline residue (P75L) in the GTP-binding domain and abolishes binding to GTP. This indicates that GTP binding is essential for TTD14 function. TTD14 is a cytosolic protein and binds to PtdIns(3)P, a lipid enriched in early endosome membranes, and to phosphatidic acid. In contrast to TRPL, rhabdomeral localization of the membrane proteins Rh1 and TRP is not affected in the ttd14 P75L mutant. The ttd14 P75L mutation results in Rh1-independent photoreceptor degeneration and larval lethality suggesting that other processes are also affected by the ttd14 P75L mutation. In conclusion, TTD14 is a novel regulator of TRPL trafficking, involved in internalization and subsequent sorting of TRPL into the recycling pathway that enables this ion channel to return to the plasma membrane. PMID:26509977

  6. The GTP- and Phospholipid-Binding Protein TTD14 Regulates Trafficking of the TRPL Ion Channel in Drosophila Photoreceptor Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander C Cerny

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Recycling of signaling proteins is a common phenomenon in diverse signaling pathways. In photoreceptors of Drosophila, light absorption by rhodopsin triggers a phospholipase Cβ-mediated opening of the ion channels transient receptor potential (TRP and TRP-like (TRPL and generates the visual response. The signaling proteins are located in a plasma membrane compartment called rhabdomere. The major rhodopsin (Rh1 and TRP are predominantly localized in the rhabdomere in light and darkness. In contrast, TRPL translocates between the rhabdomeral plasma membrane in the dark and a storage compartment in the cell body in the light, from where it can be recycled to the plasma membrane upon subsequent dark adaptation. Here, we identified the gene mutated in trpl translocation defective 14 (ttd14, which is required for both TRPL internalization from the rhabdomere in the light and recycling of TRPL back to the rhabdomere in the dark. TTD14 is highly conserved in invertebrates and binds GTP in vitro. The ttd14 mutation alters a conserved proline residue (P75L in the GTP-binding domain and abolishes binding to GTP. This indicates that GTP binding is essential for TTD14 function. TTD14 is a cytosolic protein and binds to PtdIns(3P, a lipid enriched in early endosome membranes, and to phosphatidic acid. In contrast to TRPL, rhabdomeral localization of the membrane proteins Rh1 and TRP is not affected in the ttd14P75L mutant. The ttd14P75L mutation results in Rh1-independent photoreceptor degeneration and larval lethality suggesting that other processes are also affected by the ttd14P75L mutation. In conclusion, TTD14 is a novel regulator of TRPL trafficking, involved in internalization and subsequent sorting of TRPL into the recycling pathway that enables this ion channel to return to the plasma membrane.

  7. Cobalamin C Deficiency Shows a Rapidly Progressing Maculopathy With Severe Photoreceptor and Ganglion Cell Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonafede, Lucas; Ficicioglu, Can H.; Serrano, Leona; Han, Grace; Morgan, Jessica I. W.; Mills, Monte D.; Forbes, Brian J.; Davidson, Stefanie L.; Binenbaum, Gil; Kaplan, Paige B.; Nichols, Charles W.; Verloo, Patrick; Leroy, Bart P.; Maguire, Albert M.; Aleman, Tomas S.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To describe in detail the retinal structure and function of a group of patients with cobalamin C (cblC) disease. Methods Patients (n = 11, age 4 months to 15 years) with cblC disease (9/11, early onset) diagnosed by newborn screening underwent complete ophthalmic examinations, fundus photography, near-infrared reflectance imaging, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Electroretinograms (ERGs) were performed in a subset of patients. Results Patients carried homozygous or compound heterozygote mutations in the methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria type C (MMACHC) gene. Late-onset patients had a normal exam. All early-onset patients showed a maculopathy; older subjects had a retina-wide degeneration (n = 4; >7 years of age). In general, retinal changes were first observed before 1 year of age and progressed within months to a well-established maculopathy. Pseudocolobomas were documented in three patients. Measurable visual acuities ranged from 20/200 to 20/540. Nystagmus was present in 8/11 patients; 5/6 patients had normal ERGs; 1/6 had reduced rod-mediated responses. Spectral-domain OCT showed macular thinning, with severe ganglion cell layer (GCL) and outer nuclear layer (ONL) loss. Inner retinal thickening was observed in areas of total GCL/ONL loss. A normal lamination pattern in the peripapillary nasal retina was often seen despite severe central and/or retina-wide disease. Conclusions Patients with early-onset cblC and MMACHC mutations showed an early-onset, unusually fast-progressing maculopathy with severe central ONL and GCL loss. An abnormally thickened inner retina supports a remodeling response to both photoreceptor and ganglion cell degeneration and/or an interference with normal development in early-onset cblC. PMID:26658511

  8. UV-sensitive photoreceptor protein OPN5 in humans and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Daisuke; Mori, Suguru; Torii, Masaki; Wada, Akimori; Morishita, Rika; Fukada, Yoshitaka

    2011-01-01

    A variety of animal species utilize the ultraviolet (UV) component of sunlight as their environmental cues, whereas physiological roles of UV photoreception in mammals, especially in human beings, remain open questions. Here we report that mouse neuropsin (OPN5) encoded by the Opn5 gene exhibited an absorption maximum (λmax) at 380 nm when reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal. Upon UV-light illumination, OPN5 was converted to a blue-absorbing photoproduct (λmax 470 nm), which was stable in the dark and reverted to the UV-absorbing state by the subsequent orange light illumination, indicating its bistable nature. Human OPN5 also had an absorption maximum at 380 nm with spectral properties similar to mouse OPN5, revealing that OPN5 is the first and hitherto unknown human opsin with peak sensitivity in the UV region. OPN5 was capable of activating heterotrimeric G protein Gi in a UV-dependent manner. Immuno-blotting analyses of mouse tissue extracts identified the retina, the brain and, unexpectedly, the outer ears as the major sites of OPN5 expression. In the tissue sections of mice, OPN5 immuno-reactivities were detected in a subset of non-rod/non-cone retinal neurons as well as in the epidermal and muscle cells of the outer ears. Most of these OPN5-immuno-reactivities in mice were co-localized with positive signals for the alpha-subunit of Gi. These results demonstrate the first example of UV photoreceptor in human beings and strongly suggest that OPN5 triggers a UV-sensitive Gi-mediated signaling pathway in the mammalian tissues.

  9. EIAV-based retinal gene therapy in the shaker1 mouse model for usher syndrome type 1B: development of UshStat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Zallocchi

    Full Text Available Usher syndrome type 1B is a combined deaf-blindness condition caused by mutations in the MYO7A gene. Loss of functional myosin VIIa in the retinal pigment epithelia (RPE and/or photoreceptors leads to blindness. We evaluated the impact of subretinally delivered UshStat, a recombinant EIAV-based lentiviral vector expressing human MYO7A, on photoreceptor function in the shaker1 mouse model for Usher type 1B that lacks a functional Myo7A gene. Subretinal injections of EIAV-CMV-GFP, EIAV-RK-GFP (photoreceptor specific, EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat or EIAV-CMV-Null (control vectors were performed in shaker1 mice. GFP and myosin VIIa expression was evaluated histologically. Photoreceptor function in EIAV-CMV-MYO7A treated eyes was determined by evaluating α-transducin translocation in photoreceptors in response to low light intensity levels, and protection from light induced photoreceptor degeneration was measured. The safety and tolerability of subretinally delivered UshStat was evaluated in macaques. Expression of GFP and myosin VIIa was confirmed in the RPE and photoreceptors in shaker1 mice following subretinal delivery of the EIAV-CMV-GFP/MYO7A vectors. The EIAV-CMV-MYO7A vector protected the shaker1 mouse photoreceptors from acute and chronic intensity light damage, indicated by a significant reduction in photoreceptor cell loss, and restoration of the α-transducin translocation threshold in the photoreceptors. Safety studies in the macaques demonstrated that subretinal delivery of UshStat is safe and well-tolerated. Subretinal delivery of EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat rescues photoreceptor phenotypes in the shaker1 mouse. In addition, subretinally delivered UshStat is safe and well-tolerated in macaque safety studies These data support the clinical development of UshStat to treat Usher type 1B syndrome.

  10. EIAV-based retinal gene therapy in the shaker1 mouse model for usher syndrome type 1B: development of UshStat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Binley, Katie; Lad, Yatish; Ellis, Scott; Widdowson, Peter; Iqball, Sharifah; Scripps, Vicky; Kelleher, Michelle; Loader, Julie; Miskin, James; Peng, You-Wei; Wang, Wei-Min; Cheung, Linda; Delimont, Duane; Mitrophanous, Kyriacos A; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2014-01-01

    Usher syndrome type 1B is a combined deaf-blindness condition caused by mutations in the MYO7A gene. Loss of functional myosin VIIa in the retinal pigment epithelia (RPE) and/or photoreceptors leads to blindness. We evaluated the impact of subretinally delivered UshStat, a recombinant EIAV-based lentiviral vector expressing human MYO7A, on photoreceptor function in the shaker1 mouse model for Usher type 1B that lacks a functional Myo7A gene. Subretinal injections of EIAV-CMV-GFP, EIAV-RK-GFP (photoreceptor specific), EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat) or EIAV-CMV-Null (control) vectors were performed in shaker1 mice. GFP and myosin VIIa expression was evaluated histologically. Photoreceptor function in EIAV-CMV-MYO7A treated eyes was determined by evaluating α-transducin translocation in photoreceptors in response to low light intensity levels, and protection from light induced photoreceptor degeneration was measured. The safety and tolerability of subretinally delivered UshStat was evaluated in macaques. Expression of GFP and myosin VIIa was confirmed in the RPE and photoreceptors in shaker1 mice following subretinal delivery of the EIAV-CMV-GFP/MYO7A vectors. The EIAV-CMV-MYO7A vector protected the shaker1 mouse photoreceptors from acute and chronic intensity light damage, indicated by a significant reduction in photoreceptor cell loss, and restoration of the α-transducin translocation threshold in the photoreceptors. Safety studies in the macaques demonstrated that subretinal delivery of UshStat is safe and well-tolerated. Subretinal delivery of EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat) rescues photoreceptor phenotypes in the shaker1 mouse. In addition, subretinally delivered UshStat is safe and well-tolerated in macaque safety studies These data support the clinical development of UshStat to treat Usher type 1B syndrome.

  11. Shaggy Photoreceptors with Subfoveal Fluid Associated with a Distant Choroidal Melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Q. Tran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To describe the enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography (EDI-OCT findings in a patient with an extra macula choroidal melanoma before and after treatment. Methods. Observational case report. Results. A 45 year-old Caucasian male patient was referred to retina clinic for management of choroidal melanoma. Examination revealed a nasal choroidal melanoma while EDI-OCT illustrated subfoveal fluid pocket with elongated shaggy photoreceptors distant and separate from the tumor. The patient was treated with plaque brachytherapy and intravitreal bevacizumab. One week after plaque removal, there was a dramatic reduction in the shaggy photoreceptors. Conclusion. Choroidal melanomas have effects that are not localized to the area of the tumor. This loculated pocket of subretinal fluid and coinciding changes to photoreceptor morphology may be related to global changes in choroidal function or release of tumor related cytokines.

  12. Analysis of macular cone photoreceptors in a case of occult macular dystrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tojo N

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Naoki Tojo Tomoko Nakamura Hironori Ozaki Miyako Oka Toshihiko Oiwake Atsushi HayashiDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of Toyama, Toyama, JapanPurpose: To investigate changes in cone photoreceptors with adaptive optics (AO fundus imaging and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT in a case of occult macular dystrophy (OMD.Patient and methods: Both eyes of a 42-year-old woman diagnosed with OMD were examined. We used an AO fundus camera to obtain images of cone photoreceptors in the macula of the OMD subject and five healthy control subjects. Correlations between the AO images and the SD-OCT images were examined. Cone photoreceptors in eight areas in the macula of OMD and healthy control subjects were analyzed and compared.Results: SD-OCT showed a loss of the cone outer-segment tips line outside of the fovea in both eyes of the subject with OMD. The left eye with decreased visual acuity showed a discontinuous photoreceptor inner-segment and outer-segment line and cone outer-segment tips line at the fovea in SD-OCT and loss of cone mosaics as a dark spot in the AO image. In panoramic AO images and cone-density maps, less cone density was observed in a ring-like region outside the fovea than in the peripheral retina. In most of the areas examined, the cone densities were lower in the OMD eyes than in the healthy control eyes.Conclusions: Cone densities in the macula of the OMD patient were greatly decreased. AO images were found to be useful to evaluate morphologic changes in cone photoreceptors in patients with OMD.Keywords: occult macular dystrophy, adaptive optics, cone photoreceptor, cone analysis, optical coherence tomography

  13. Edaravone, an ROS Scavenger, Ameliorates Photoreceptor Cell Death after Experimental Retinal Detachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Mi In; Murakami, Yusuke; Thanos, Aristomenis; Miller, Joan W.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate whether edaravone (3-methyl-1-phenyl-2-pyrazolin-5-one), a free radical scavenger, would be neuroprotective against photoreceptor cell death in a rat model of retinal detachment (RD). Methods. RD was induced in adult Brown Norway rats by subretinal injection of sodium hyaluronate. Edaravone (3, 5, or 10 mg/kg) or physiologic saline was administered intraperitoneally once a day until death on day 3 or 5. Oxidative stress in the retina was assessed by 4-hydroxynonenal staining or ELISA for protein carbonyl content. Photoreceptor death was assessed by TUNEL and measurement of the outer nuclear layer thickness. Western blot analysis and caspase activity assays were performed. Inflammatory cytokine secretion and inflammatory cell infiltration were evaluated by ELISA and immunostaining, respectively. Results. RD resulted in increased generation of ROS. Treatment with 5 mg/kg edaravone significantly reduced the ROS level, along with a decrease in TUNEL-positive cells in the photoreceptor layer. A caspase assay also confirmed decreased activation of caspase-3, -8, and -9 in RD treated with edaravone. The level of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 was increased in detached retinas after edaravone treatment, whereas the levels of the stress-activated p-ERK1/2 were decreased. In addition, edaravone treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the levels of TNF-α, MCP-1, and macrophage infiltration. Conclusions. Oxidative stress plays an important role in photoreceptor cell death after RD. Edaravone treatment may aid in preventing photoreceptor cell death after RD by suppressing ROS-induced photoreceptor damage. PMID:21310909

  14. Adaptive optics fundus images of cone photoreceptors in the macula of patients with retinitis pigmentosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tojo N

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Naoki Tojo, Tomoko Nakamura, Chiharu Fuchizawa, Toshihiko Oiwake, Atsushi HayashiDepartment of Ophthalmology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama, JapanBackground: The purpose of this study was to examine cone photoreceptors in the macula of patients with retinitis pigmentosa using an adaptive optics fundus camera and to investigate any correlations between cone photoreceptor density and findings on optical coherence tomography and fundus autofluorescence.Methods: We examined two patients with typical retinitis pigmentosa who underwent ophthalmological examination, including measurement of visual acuity, and gathering of electroretinographic, optical coherence tomographic, fundus autofluorescent, and adaptive optics fundus images. The cone photoreceptors in the adaptive optics images of the two patients with retinitis pigmentosa and five healthy subjects were analyzed.Results: An abnormal parafoveal ring of high-density fundus autofluorescence was observed in the macula in both patients. The border of the ring corresponded to the border of the external limiting membrane and the inner segment and outer segment line in the optical coherence tomographic images. Cone photoreceptors at the abnormal parafoveal ring were blurred and decreased in the adaptive optics images. The blurred area corresponded to the abnormal parafoveal ring in the fundus autofluorescence images. Cone densities were low at the blurred areas and at the nasal and temporal retina along a line from the fovea compared with those of healthy controls. The results for cone spacing and Voronoi domains in the macula corresponded with those for the cone densities.Conclusion: Cone densities were heavily decreased in the macula, especially at the parafoveal ring on high-density fundus autofluorescence in both patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Adaptive optics images enabled us to observe in vivo changes in the cone photoreceptors of

  15. Photoreceptor cells with profound structural deficits can support useful vision in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Stewart; Blodi, Frederick R; Lee, Swan; Welder, Chris R; Mullins, Robert F; Tucker, Budd A; Stasheff, Steven F; Stone, Edwin M

    2014-03-25

    In animal models of degenerative photoreceptor disease, there has been some success in restoring photoreception by transplanting stem cell-derived photoreceptor cells into the subretinal space. However, only a small proportion of transplanted cells develop extended outer segments, considered critical for photoreceptor cell function. The purpose of this study was to determine whether photoreceptor cells that lack a fully formed outer segment could usefully contribute to vision. Retinal and visual function was tested in wild-type and Rds mice at 90 days of age (Rds(P90)). Photoreceptor cells of mice homozygous for the Rds mutation in peripherin 2 never develop a fully formed outer segment. The electroretinogram and multielectrode recording of retinal ganglion cells were used to test retinal responses to light. Three distinct visual behaviors were used to assess visual capabilities: the optokinetic tracking response, the discrimination-based visual water task, and a measure of the effect of vision on wheel running. Rds(P90) mice had reduced but measurable electroretinogram responses to light, and exhibited light-evoked responses in multiple types of retinal ganglion cells, the output neurons of the retina. In optokinetic and discrimination-based tests, acuity was measurable but reduced, most notably when contrast was decreased. The wheel running test showed that Rds(P90) mice needed 3 log units brighter luminance than wild type to support useful vision (10 cd/m(2)). Photoreceptors that lack fully formed outer segments can support useful vision. This challenges the idea that normal cellular structure needs to be completely reproduced for transplanted cells to contribute to useful vision.

  16. Lrit1, a Retinal Transmembrane Protein, Regulates Selective Synapse Formation in Cone Photoreceptor Cells and Visual Acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Akiko; Omori, Yoshihiro; Sugita, Yuko; Watanabe, Satoshi; Chaya, Taro; Kozuka, Takashi; Kon, Tetsuo; Yoshida, Satoyo; Matsushita, Kenji; Kuwahara, Ryusuke; Kajimura, Naoko; Okada, Yasushi; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2018-03-27

    In the vertebrate retina, cone photoreceptors play crucial roles in photopic vision by transmitting light-evoked signals to ON- and/or OFF-bipolar cells. However, the mechanisms underlying selective synapse formation in the cone photoreceptor pathway remain poorly understood. Here, we found that Lrit1, a leucine-rich transmembrane protein, localizes to the photoreceptor synaptic terminal and regulates the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. Lrit1-deficient retinas exhibit an aberrant morphology of cone photoreceptor pedicles, as well as an impairment of signal transmission from cone photoreceptors to cone ON-bipolar cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Lrit1 interacts with Frmpd2, a photoreceptor scaffold protein, and with mGluR6, an ON-bipolar cell-specific glutamate receptor. Additionally, Lrit1-null mice showed visual acuity impairments in their optokinetic responses. These results suggest that the Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis regulates selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and is essential for normal visual function. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Chemically-induced photoreceptor degeneration and protection in mouse iPSC-derived three-dimensional retinal organoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-ichiro Ito

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, which can be differentiated into various tissues and cell types, have been used for clinical research and disease modeling. Self-organizing three-dimensional (3D tissue engineering has been established within the past decade and enables researchers to obtain tissues and cells that almost mimic in vivo development. However, there are no reports of practical experimental procedures that reproduce photoreceptor degeneration. In this study, we induced photoreceptor cell death in mouse iPSC-derived 3D retinal organoids (3D-retinas by 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT, which induces photoreceptor degeneration in mouse retinal explants, and then established a live-cell imaging system to measure degeneration-related properties. Furthermore, we quantified the protective effects of representative ophthalmic supplements for treating the photoreceptor degeneration. This drug evaluation system enables us to monitor drug effects in photoreceptor cells and could be useful for drug screening.

  18. The xanthopsins : a new family of eubacterial blue-light photoreceptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kort, R; Hoff, W.D.; West, M.E.; Kroon, A R; Hoffer, S.M.; Vlieg, K H; Crielaand, W; van Beeumen, J.; Hellingwerf, K J

    1996-01-01

    Photoactive yellow protein (PYP) is a photoreceptor that has been isolated from three halophilic phototrophic purple bacteria. The PYP from Ectothiorhodospira halophila BN9626 is the only member for which the sequence has been reported at the DNA level. Here we describe the cloning and sequencing of

  19. The Xanthopsins: a new family of eubacterial blue-light photoreceptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kort, R.; Hoff, W.D.; van West, W.S.; Kroon, A.R.; Hoffer, S.M.; Vlieg, K.H.; Crielaard, W.; van Beeumen, J.J.; Hellingwerf, K.J.

    1996-01-01

    Photoactive yellow protein (PYP) is a photoreceptor that has been isolated from three halophilic phototrophic purple bacteria. The PYP from Ectothiorhodospira halophila BN9626 is the only member for which the sequence has been reported at the DNA level. Here we describe the cloning and sequencing of

  20. Melanopsin-expressing amphioxus photoreceptors transduce light via a phospholipase C signaling cascade.

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    Juan Manuel Angueyra

    Full Text Available Melanopsin, the receptor molecule that underlies light sensitivity in mammalian 'circadian' receptors, is homologous to invertebrate rhodopsins and has been proposed to operate via a similar signaling pathway. Its downstream effectors, however, remain elusive. Melanopsin also expresses in two distinct light-sensitive cell types in the neural tube of amphioxus. This organism is the most basal extant chordate and can help outline the evolutionary history of different photoreceptor lineages and their transduction mechanisms; moreover, isolated amphioxus photoreceptors offer unique advantages, because they are unambiguously identifiable and amenable to single-cell physiological assays. In the present study whole-cell patch clamp recording, pharmacological manipulations, and immunodetection were utilized to investigate light transduction in amphioxus photoreceptors. A G(q was identified and selectively localized to the photosensitive microvillar membrane, while the pivotal role of phospholipase C was established pharmacologically. The photocurrent was profoundly depressed by IP₃ receptor antagonists, highlighting the importance of IP₃ receptors in light signaling. By contrast, surrogates of diacylglycerol (DAG, as well as poly-unsaturated fatty acids failed to activate a membrane conductance or to alter the light response. The results strengthen the notion that calcium released from the ER via IP₃-sensitive channels may fulfill a key role in conveying--directly or indirectly--the melanopsin-initiated light signal to the photoconductance; moreover, they challenge the dogma that microvillar photoreceptors and phoshoinositide-based light transduction are a prerogative of invertebrate eyes.

  1. Rod photoreceptors express GPR55 in the adult vervet monkey retina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Casanova, Christian

    2013-01-01

    . Yet, its formal classification is still a matter of debate. CB1R and CB2R expression patterns are well described for rodent and monkey retinas. In the monkey retina, CB1R has been localized in its neural (cone photoreceptor, horizontal, bipolar, amacrine and ganglion cells) and CB2R in glial...

  2. Noninvasive imaging of the human rod photoreceptor mosaic using a confocal adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubra, Alfredo; Sulai, Yusufu; Norris, Jennifer L.; Cooper, Robert F.; Dubis, Adam M.; Williams, David R.; Carroll, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    The rod photoreceptors are implicated in a number of devastating retinal diseases. However, routine imaging of these cells has remained elusive, even with the advent of adaptive optics imaging. Here, we present the first in vivo images of the contiguous rod photoreceptor mosaic in nine healthy human subjects. The images were collected with three different confocal adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopes at two different institutions, using 680 and 775 nm superluminescent diodes for illumination. Estimates of photoreceptor density and rod:cone ratios in the 5°–15° retinal eccentricity range are consistent with histological findings, confirming our ability to resolve the rod mosaic by averaging multiple registered images, without the need for additional image processing. In one subject, we were able to identify the emergence of the first rods at approximately 190 μm from the foveal center, in agreement with previous histological studies. The rod and cone photoreceptor mosaics appear in focus at different retinal depths, with the rod mosaic best focus (i.e., brightest and sharpest) being at least 10 μm shallower than the cones at retinal eccentricities larger than 8°. This study represents an important step in bringing high-resolution imaging to bear on the study of rod disorders. PMID:21750765

  3. Temperature Dependence of Receptor Potential and Noise in Fly (Calliphora erythrocephala) Photoreceptor Cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roebroek, J.G.H.; Tjonger, M. van; Stavenga, D.G.

    1990-01-01

    We investigated the effect of temperature on the response to light of photoreceptors of the blowfly Calliphora erythrocephala. The latency and the time-to-peak of the responses become shorter as the temperature increases; Q10 = 2.8 ± 0.6. The response amplitude is independent of the temperature in

  4. Effective delivery of recombinant proteins to rod photoreceptors via lipid nanovesicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asteriti, Sabrina [Dept. of Translational Research, University of Pisa, Pisa (Italy); Dal Cortivo, Giuditta [Dept. of Life Sciences and Reproduction, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, Verona (Italy); Pontelli, Valeria [Dept. of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, Verona (Italy); Cangiano, Lorenzo [Dept. of Translational Research, University of Pisa, Pisa (Italy); Buffelli, Mario, E-mail: mario.buffelli@univr.it [Dept. of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, Verona (Italy); Center for Biomedical Computing, University of Verona, Strada le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona (Italy); Dell’Orco, Daniele, E-mail: daniele.dellorco@univr.it [Dept. of Life Sciences and Reproduction, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, Verona (Italy); Center for Biomedical Computing, University of Verona, Strada le Grazie 8, 37134 Verona (Italy)

    2015-06-12

    The potential of liposomes to deliver functional proteins in retinal photoreceptors and modulate their physiological response was investigated by two experimental approaches. First, we treated isolated mouse retinas with liposomes encapsulating either recoverin, an important endogenous protein operating in visual phototransduction, or antibodies against recoverin. We then intravitrally injected in vivo liposomes encapsulating either rhodamin B or recoverin and we investigated the distribution in retina sections by confocal microscopy. The content of liposomes was found to be released in higher amount in the photoreceptor layer than in the other regions of the retina and the functional effects of the release were in line with the current model of phototransduction. Our study sets the basis for quantitative investigations aimed at assessing the potential of intraocular protein delivery via biocompatible nanovesicles, with promising implications for the treatment of retinal diseases affecting the photoreceptor layer. - Highlights: • Recombinant proteins encapsulated in nano-sized liposomes injected intravitreally reach retinal photoreceptors. • The phototransduction cascade in rods is modulated by the liposome content. • Mathematical modeling predicts the alteration of the photoresponses following liposome fusion.

  5. Subretinally transplanted embryonic stem cells rescue photoreceptor cells from degeneration in the RCS rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schraermeyer, U; Thumann, G; Luther, T; Kociok, N; Armhold, S; Kruttwig, K; Andressen, C; Addicks, K; Bartz-Schmidt, K U

    2001-01-01

    The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat is an animal model for retinal degeneration such as the age-related macular degeneration. The RCS rat undergoes a progressive retinal degeneration during the early postnatal period. A potential treatment to prevent this retinal degeneration is the transplantation into the subretinal space of cells that would replace functions of the degenerating retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells or may form neurotrophic factors. In this study we have investigated the potential of subretinally transplanted embryonic stem cells to prevent the genetically determined photoreceptor cell degeneration in the RCS rat. Embryonic stem cells from the inner cell mass of the mouse blastocyst were allowed to differentiate to neural precursor cells in vitro and were then transplanted into the subretinal space of 20-day-old RCS rats. Transplanted and sham-operated rats were sacrificed 2 months following cell transplantation. The eyes were enucleated and photoreceptor degeneration was quantified by analyzing and determining the thickness of the outer nuclear layer by light and electron microscopy. In the eyes transplanted with embryonic cells up to 8 rows of photoreceptor cell nuclei were observed, whereas in nontreated control eyes the outer nuclear layer had degenerated completely. Transplantation of embryonic stem cells appears to delay photoreceptor cell degeneration in RCS rats.

  6. Is the photoactive yellow protein a UV-B/blue light photoreceptor?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carroll, E. C.; Hospes, M.; Valladares, C.; Hellingwerf, K.J.; Larsen, D.S.

    2011-01-01

    UV light below 300 nm is shown to generate the first photocycle intermediate in the blue light photoreceptor Photoactive Yellow Protein. Fluorescence and ultrafast transient absorption measurements indicate two excitation pathways: UV-B absorption by the chromophore and Fluorescence Resonant Energy

  7. The genetics of some planthormones and photoreceptors in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koornneef, M.

    1982-01-01

    This thesis describes the isolation and characterization in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. of induced mutants, deficient for gibberellins (GA's), abscisic acid (ABA) and photoreceptors.

    These compounds are known to regulate various facets of plant growth and

  8. Simple explant culture of the embryonic chicken retina with long-term preservation of photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thangaraj, Gopenath; Greif, Alexander; Layer, Paul G

    2011-10-01

    Structurally stable in vitro-model systems are indispensible to analyse neural development during embryogenesis, follow cellular differentiation and evaluate neurotoxicological or growth factor effects. Here we describe a three-dimensional, long-term in vitro-culture system of the embryonic chick retina which supports photoreceptor development. Retinal tissue was isolated from E6 chick eye, and cultured as explants by continuous orbital rotation to allow free floatation without any supporting materials. Young stage (E6) immature retinas were cultured for various time periods in order to follow the differentiation of cell types and plexiform layers by immunocytochemical methods. These explants could be cultured for at least 2-3 weeks with remarkable retention of retinal architecture. Interestingly, photoreceptors developed in the absence of pigment epithelium. Electron microscopic studies revealed formation of structures resembling photoreceptor outer segments, a feature not reported previously. Thus, the verification of photoreceptors, Müller cells, inner retinal cells and the inner plexiform layer described in our study establishes this explant culture as a valuable in vivo-like model system. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Chemical Excitation and Inactivation in Photoreceptors of the Fly Mutants trp and nss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suss, E.; Barash, S.; Stavenga, D.G.; Stieve, H.; Selinger, Z.; Minke, B.

    1989-01-01

    The Drosophila and Lucilia photoreceptor mutants, trp and nss, respond like wild-type flies to a short pulse of intense light or prolonged dim light; however, upon continuous intense illumination, the trp and nss mutants are unable to maintain persistent excitation. This defect manifests itself by a

  10. Photoreceptor spectral sensitivities of the Small White butterfly Pieris rapae crucivora interpreted with optical modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Arikawa, Kentaro

    The compound eye of the Small White butterfly, Pieris rapae crucivora, has four classes of visual pigments, with peak absorption in the ultraviolet, violet, blue and green, but electrophysiological recordings yielded eight photoreceptors classes: an ultraviolet, violet, blue, double-peaked blue,

  11. Sexual dimorphism of short-wavelength photoreceptors in the small white butterfly, Pieris rapae crucivora

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arikawa, K; Wakakuwa, M; Qiu, XD; Kurasawa, M; Stavenga, DG; Qiu, Xudong

    2005-01-01

    The eyes of the female small white butterfly, Pieris rapae crucivora, are furnished with three classes of short-wavelength photoreceptors, with sensitivity peaks in the ultraviolet (UV) (lambda(max) = 360 nm), violet (V) (lambda max = 425 nm), and blue (B) (lambda(max) = 453 nm) wavelength range.

  12. Xbp1-Independent Ire1 Signaling Is Required for Photoreceptor Differentiation and Rhabdomere Morphogenesis in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina S. Coelho

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The unfolded protein response (UPR is composed by homeostatic signaling pathways that are activated by excessive protein misfolding in the endoplasmic reticulum. Ire1 signaling is an important mediator of the UPR, leading to the activation of the transcription factor Xbp1. Here, we show that Drosophila Ire1 mutant photoreceptors have defects in the delivery of rhodopsin-1 to the rhabdomere and in the secretion of Spacemaker/Eyes Shut into the interrhabdomeral space. However, these defects are not observed in Xbp1 mutant photoreceptors. Ire1 mutant retinas have higher mRNA levels for targets of regulated Ire1-dependent decay (RIDD, including for the fatty acid transport protein (fatp. Importantly, the downregulation of fatp by RNAi rescues the rhodopsin-1 delivery defects observed in Ire1 mutant photoreceptors. Our results show that the role of Ire1 during photoreceptor differentiation is independent of Xbp1 function and demonstrate the physiological relevance of the RIDD mechanism in this specific paradigm.

  13. Gene

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Gene integrates information from a wide range of species. A record may include nomenclature, Reference Sequences (RefSeqs), maps, pathways, variations, phenotypes,...

  14. Unidirectional photoreceptor-to-Müller glia coupling and unique K+ channel expression in Caiman retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Zayas-Santiago

    Full Text Available Müller cells, the principal glial cells of the vertebrate retina, are fundamental for the maintenance and function of neuronal cells. In most vertebrates, including humans, Müller cells abundantly express Kir4.1 inwardly rectifying potassium channels responsible for hyperpolarized membrane potential and for various vital functions such as potassium buffering and glutamate clearance; inter-species differences in Kir4.1 expression were, however, observed. Localization and function of potassium channels in Müller cells from the retina of crocodiles remain, hitherto, unknown.We studied retinae of the Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus, endowed with both diurnal and nocturnal vision, by (i immunohistochemistry, (ii whole-cell voltage-clamp, and (iii fluorescent dye tracing to investigate K+ channel distribution and glia-to-neuron communications.Immunohistochemistry revealed that caiman Müller cells, similarly to other vertebrates, express vimentin, GFAP, S100β, and glutamine synthetase. In contrast, Kir4.1 channel protein was not found in Müller cells but was localized in photoreceptor cells. Instead, 2P-domain TASK-1 channels were expressed in Müller cells. Electrophysiological properties of enzymatically dissociated Müller cells without photoreceptors and isolated Müller cells with adhering photoreceptors were significantly different. This suggests ion coupling between Müller cells and photoreceptors in the caiman retina. Sulforhodamine-B injected into cones permeated to adhering Müller cells thus revealing a uni-directional dye coupling.Our data indicate that caiman Müller glial cells are unique among vertebrates studied so far by predominantly expressing TASK-1 rather than Kir4.1 K+ channels and by bi-directional ion and uni-directional dye coupling to photoreceptor cells. This coupling may play an important role in specific glia-neuron signaling pathways and in a new type of K+ buffering.

  15. Adaptive optics fundus images of cone photoreceptors in the macula of patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tojo, Naoki; Nakamura, Tomoko; Fuchizawa, Chiharu; Oiwake, Toshihiko; Hayashi, Atsushi

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine cone photoreceptors in the macula of patients with retinitis pigmentosa using an adaptive optics fundus camera and to investigate any correlations between cone photoreceptor density and findings on optical coherence tomography and fundus autofluorescence. We examined two patients with typical retinitis pigmentosa who underwent ophthalmological examination, including measurement of visual acuity, and gathering of electroretinographic, optical coherence tomographic, fundus autofluorescent, and adaptive optics fundus images. The cone photoreceptors in the adaptive optics images of the two patients with retinitis pigmentosa and five healthy subjects were analyzed. An abnormal parafoveal ring of high-density fundus autofluorescence was observed in the macula in both patients. The border of the ring corresponded to the border of the external limiting membrane and the inner segment and outer segment line in the optical coherence tomographic images. Cone photoreceptors at the abnormal parafoveal ring were blurred and decreased in the adaptive optics images. The blurred area corresponded to the abnormal parafoveal ring in the fundus autofluorescence images. Cone densities were low at the blurred areas and at the nasal and temporal retina along a line from the fovea compared with those of healthy controls. The results for cone spacing and Voronoi domains in the macula corresponded with those for the cone densities. Cone densities were heavily decreased in the macula, especially at the parafoveal ring on high-density fundus autofluorescence in both patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Adaptive optics images enabled us to observe in vivo changes in the cone photoreceptors of patients with retinitis pigmentosa, which corresponded to changes in the optical coherence tomographic and fundus autofluorescence images.

  16. Automated Photoreceptor Cell Identification on Nonconfocal Adaptive Optics Images Using Multiscale Circular Voting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianfei; Jung, HaeWon; Dubra, Alfredo; Tam, Johnny

    2017-09-01

    Adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) has enabled quantification of the photoreceptor mosaic in the living human eye using metrics such as cell density and average spacing. These rely on the identification of individual cells. Here, we demonstrate a novel approach for computer-aided identification of cone photoreceptors on nonconfocal split detection AOSLO images. Algorithms for identification of cone photoreceptors were developed, based on multiscale circular voting (MSCV) in combination with a priori knowledge that split detection images resemble Nomarski differential interference contrast images, in which dark and bright regions are present on the two sides of each cell. The proposed algorithm locates dark and bright region pairs, iteratively refining the identification across multiple scales. Identification accuracy was assessed in data from 10 subjects by comparing automated identifications with manual labeling, followed by computation of density and spacing metrics for comparison to histology and published data. There was good agreement between manual and automated cone identifications with overall recall, precision, and F1 score of 92.9%, 90.8%, and 91.8%, respectively. On average, computed density and spacing values using automated identification were within 10.7% and 11.2% of the expected histology values across eccentricities ranging from 0.5 to 6.2 mm. There was no statistically significant difference between MSCV-based and histology-based density measurements (P = 0.96, Kolmogorov-Smirnov 2-sample test). MSCV can accurately detect cone photoreceptors on split detection images across a range of eccentricities, enabling quick, objective estimation of photoreceptor mosaic metrics, which will be important for future clinical trials utilizing adaptive optics.

  17. Single residue AAV capsid mutation improves transduction of photoreceptors in the Abca4-/- mouse and bipolar cells in the rd1 mouse and human retina ex vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Silva, Samantha R; Charbel Issa, Peter; Singh, Mandeep S; Lipinski, Daniel M; Barnea-Cramer, Alona O; Walker, Nathan J; Barnard, Alun R; Hankins, Mark W; MacLaren, Robert E

    2016-11-01

    Gene therapy using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for the treatment of retinal degenerations has shown safety and efficacy in clinical trials. However, very high levels of vector expression may be necessary for the treatment of conditions such as Stargardt disease where a dual vector approach is potentially needed, or in optogenetic strategies for end-stage degeneration in order to achieve maximal light sensitivity. In this study, we assessed two vectors with single capsid mutations, rAAV2/2(Y444F) and rAAV2/8(Y733F) in their ability to transduce retina in the Abca4 -/- and rd1 mouse models of retinal degeneration. We noted significantly increased photoreceptor transduction using rAAV2/8(Y733F) in the Abca4 -/- mouse, in contrast to previous work where vectors tested in this model have shown low levels of photoreceptor transduction. Bipolar cell transduction was achieved following subretinal delivery of both vectors in the rd1 mouse, and via intravitreal delivery of rAAV2/2(Y444F). The successful use of rAAV2/8(Y733F) to target bipolar cells was further validated on human tissue using an ex vivo culture system of retinal explants. Capsid mutant AAV vectors transduce human retinal cells and may be particularly suited to treat retinal degenerations in which high levels of transgene expression are required.

  18. Usher protein functions in hair cells and photoreceptors

    OpenAIRE

    Cosgrove, Dominic; Zallocchi, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    The 10 different genes associated with the deaf/blind disorder, Usher syndrome, encode a number of structurally and functionally distinct proteins, most expressed as multiple isoforms/protein variants. Functional characterization of these proteins suggests a role in stereocilia development in cochlear hair cells, likely owing to adhesive interactions in hair bundles. In mature hair cells, homodimers of the Usher cadherins, cadherin 23 and protocadherin 15, interact to form a structural fiber,...

  19. NINL and DZANK1 Co-function in Vesicle Transport and Are Essential for Photoreceptor Development in Zebrafish

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dona, M.; Bachmann-Gagescu, R.; Texier, Y.; Toedt, G.; Hetterschijt, L.; Tonnaer, E.L.; Peters, T.A.; Beersum, S.E.C. van; Bergboer, J.G.M.; Horn, N.; Vrieze, E. de; Slijkerman, R.W.N.; Reeuwijk, J. van; Flik, G.; Keunen, J.E.E.; Ueffing, M.; Gibson, T.J.; Roepman, R.; Boldt, K.; Kremer, H.; Wijk, E. van

    2015-01-01

    Ciliopathies are Mendelian disorders caused by dysfunction of cilia, ubiquitous organelles involved in fluid propulsion (motile cilia) or signal transduction (primary cilia). Retinal dystrophy is a common phenotypic characteristic of ciliopathies since photoreceptor outer segments are specialized

  20. Optical coherence tomography of the photoreceptor layer in the healthy eye and in eyes with hereditary macular dystrophy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stur, M.; Hermann, B.; Drexler, W.; Unterhuber, A.; Sattmann, H.; Ergun, E.; Wirtitsch, M.

    2007-01-01

    Optical coherence tomography is primarily used for the evaluation of pronounced alterations of the retinal architecture, such as in macular holes, epiretinal gliosis, intra- and subretinal fluid accumulation as well as retinal atrophy. Ultrahigh resolution OCT devices also allow the assessment of discrete alterations of the photoreceptor layer and the retinal pigment epithelium. On the basis of cases from two different macular dystrophies, the importance of the evaluation of the photoreceptor layer and its correlation with visual acuity is demonstrated.(author) [de

  1. Automated detection of photoreceptor disruption in mild diabetic retinopathy on volumetric optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuo; Camino, Acner; Zhang, Miao; Wang, Jie; Hwang, Thomas S; Wilson, David J; Huang, David; Li, Dengwang; Jia, Yali

    2017-12-01

    Diabetic retinopathy is a pathology where microvascular circulation abnormalities ultimately result in photoreceptor disruption and, consequently, permanent loss of vision. Here, we developed a method that automatically detects photoreceptor disruption in mild diabetic retinopathy by mapping ellipsoid zone reflectance abnormalities from en face optical coherence tomography images. The algorithm uses a fuzzy c-means scheme with a redefined membership function to assign a defect severity level on each pixel and generate a probability map of defect category affiliation. A novel scheme of unsupervised clustering optimization allows accurate detection of the affected area. The achieved accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were about 90% on a population of thirteen diseased subjects. This method shows potential for accurate and fast detection of early biomarkers in diabetic retinopathy evolution.

  2. Short-term psychosocial stress protects photoreceptors from damage via corticosterone-mediated activation of the AKT pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forkwa, Tembei K; Neumann, Inga D; Tamm, Ernst R; Ohlmann, Andreas; Reber, Stefan O

    2014-02-01

    Apoptotic death of photoreceptors in hereditary retinal degenerations can be prevented by neuroprotective molecules. Here, we report that adrenal glucocorticoids (GC) released during psychosocial stress protect photoreceptors from apoptosis after light damage. Psychosocial stress is known to be the main type of stressor humans are exposed to and was induced here in mice by 10h of chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC). Photoreceptor damage was generated by subsequent exposure to white light. Short-term psychosocial stress prior to illumination significantly reduced the number of apoptotic photoreceptors, an effect that was absent in adrenalectomized (ADX) mice. The neuroprotective effect was completely restored in ADX mice substituted with GC. Moreover, phosphorylation of retinal AKT increased following CSC or exogenous GC treatment, an effect that was again absent in ADX mice exposed to CSC. Finally, inhibition of AKT signaling with triciribine blocked the stress- and GC-mediated neuroprotective effects on photoreceptors. In summary, we provide evidence that 1) short-term psychosocial stress protects photoreceptors from light-induced damage and 2) the protective effect is most likely mediated by GC-induced activation of the AKT signaling pathway. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Negative regulation of ciliary length by ciliary male germ cell-associated kinase (Mak) is required for retinal photoreceptor survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Chaya, Taro; Katoh, Kimiko; Kajimura, Naoko; Sato, Shigeru; Muraoka, Koichiro; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kondo, Mineo; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2010-12-28

    Cilia function as cell sensors in many organs, and their disorders are referred to as "ciliopathies." Although ciliary components and transport machinery have been well studied, regulatory mechanisms of ciliary formation and maintenance are poorly understood. Here we show that male germ cell-associated kinase (Mak) regulates retinal photoreceptor ciliary length and subcompartmentalization. Mak was localized both in the connecting cilia and outer-segment axonemes of photoreceptor cells. In the Mak-null retina, photoreceptors exhibit elongated cilia and progressive degeneration. We observed accumulation of intraflagellar transport 88 (IFT88) and IFT57, expansion of kinesin family member 3A (Kif3a), and acetylated α-tubulin signals in the Mak-null photoreceptor cilia. We found abnormal rhodopsin accumulation in the Mak-null photoreceptor cell bodies at postnatal day 14. In addition, overexpression of retinitis pigmentosa 1 (RP1), a microtubule-associated protein localized in outer-segment axonemes, induced ciliary elongation, and Mak coexpression rescued excessive ciliary elongation by RP1. The RP1 N-terminal portion induces ciliary elongation and increased intensity of acetylated α-tubulin labeling in the cells and is phosphorylated by Mak. These results suggest that Mak is essential for the regulation of ciliary length and is required for the long-term survival of photoreceptors.

  4. Random Photon Absorption Model Elucidates How Early Gain Control in Fly Photoreceptors Arises from Quantal Sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhuoyi; Zhou, Yu; Juusola, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    Many diurnal photoreceptors encode vast real-world light changes effectively, but how this performance originates from photon sampling is unclear. A 4-module biophysically-realistic fly photoreceptor model, in which information capture is limited by the number of its sampling units (microvilli) and their photon-hit recovery time (refractoriness), can accurately simulate real recordings and their information content. However, sublinear summation in quantum bump production (quantum-gain-nonlinearity) may also cause adaptation by reducing the bump/photon gain when multiple photons hit the same microvillus simultaneously. Here, we use a Random Photon Absorption Model (RandPAM), which is the 1st module of the 4-module fly photoreceptor model, to quantify the contribution of quantum-gain-nonlinearity in light adaptation. We show how quantum-gain-nonlinearity already results from photon sampling alone. In the extreme case, when two or more simultaneous photon-hits reduce to a single sublinear value, quantum-gain-nonlinearity is preset before the phototransduction reactions adapt the quantum bump waveform. However, the contribution of quantum-gain-nonlinearity in light adaptation depends upon the likelihood of multi-photon-hits, which is strictly determined by the number of microvilli and light intensity. Specifically, its contribution to light-adaptation is marginal (≤ 1%) in fly photoreceptors with many thousands of microvilli, because the probability of simultaneous multi-photon-hits on any one microvillus is low even during daylight conditions. However, in cells with fewer sampling units, the impact of quantum-gain-nonlinearity increases with brightening light. PMID:27445779

  5. Simulating human photoreceptor optics using a liquid-filled photonic crystal fiber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rativa, Diego; Vohnsen, Brian

    2011-02-11

    We introduce a liquid-filled photonic crystal fiber to simulate a retinal cone photoreceptor mosaic and the directionality selective mechanism broadly known as the Stiles-Crawford effect. Experimental measurements are realized across the visible spectrum to study waveguide coupling and directionality at different managed waveguide parameters. The crystal fiber method is a hybrid tool between theory and a real biological sample and a valuable addition as a retina model for real eye simulations.

  6. Studying of Phototransformation of Light Signal by Photoreceptor Pigments - Rhodopsin, Iodopsin and Bacteriorhodopsin

    OpenAIRE

    Ignat Ignatov; Oleg Mosin

    2014-01-01

    This review article views predominately the structure and function of animal and bacterial photoreceptor pigments (rhodopsin, iodopsin, bacteriorhodopsin) and their aspects of nano- and biotechnological usage. On an example of bacteriorhodopsin is described the method of its isolation from purple membranes of photo-organotrophic halobacterium Halobacterium halobium by cellular autolysis by distilled water, processing of bacterial biomass by ultrasound at 22 KHz, alcohol extraction of low and ...

  7. Suppressing thyroid hormone signaling preserves cone photoreceptors in mouse models of retinal degeneration

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, Hongwei; Thapa, Arjun; Morris, Lynsie; Redmond, T. Michael; Baehr, Wolfgang; Ding, Xi-Qin

    2014-01-01

    Photoreceptors degenerate in a wide array of hereditary retinal diseases and age-related macular degeneration. There is currently no treatment available for retinal degenerations. While outnumbered roughly 20:1 by rods in the human retina, it is the cones that mediate color vision and visual acuity, and their survival is critical for vision. In this communication, we investigate whether thyroid hormone (TH) signaling affects cone viability in retinal degeneration mouse models. TH signaling is...

  8. Amphioxus photoreceptors insights into the evolution of vertebrate opsins, vision and circadian rhythmicity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pergner, Jiří; Kozmik, Zbyněk

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 61, č. 10-12 (2017), s. 665-681 ISSN 0214-6282 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-15374S; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015062; GA MŠk LO1419 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : chordate * opsin evolution * photoreceptor * eye evolution * phototransduction Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 1.981, year: 2016

  9. Immunomodulation-accelerated neuronal regeneration following selective rod photoreceptor cell ablation in the zebrafish retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, David T; Sengupta, Sumitra; Saxena, Meera T; Xu, Qingguo; Hanes, Justin; Ding, Ding; Ji, Hongkai; Mumm, Jeff S

    2017-05-02

    Müller glia (MG) function as inducible retinal stem cells in zebrafish, completely repairing the eye after damage. The innate immune system has recently been shown to promote tissue regeneration in which classic wound-healing responses predominate. However, regulatory roles for leukocytes during cellular regeneration-i.e., selective cell-loss paradigms akin to degenerative disease-are less well defined. To investigate possible roles innate immune cells play during retinal cell regeneration, we used intravital microscopy to visualize neutrophil, macrophage, and retinal microglia responses to induced rod photoreceptor apoptosis. Neutrophils displayed no reactivity to rod cell loss. Peripheral macrophage cells responded to rod cell loss, as evidenced by morphological transitions and increased migration, but did not enter the retina. Retinal microglia displayed multiple hallmarks of immune cell activation: increased migration, translocation to the photoreceptor cell layer, proliferation, and phagocytosis of dying cells. To test function during rod cell regeneration, we coablated microglia and rod cells or applied immune suppression and quantified the kinetics of ( i ) rod cell clearance, ( ii ) MG/progenitor cell proliferation, and ( iii ) rod cell replacement. Coablation and immune suppressants applied before cell loss caused delays in MG/progenitor proliferation rates and slowed the rate of rod cell replacement. Conversely, immune suppressants applied after cell loss had been initiated led to accelerated photoreceptor regeneration kinetics, possibly by promoting rapid resolution of an acute immune response. Our findings suggest that microglia control MG responsiveness to photoreceptor loss and support the development of immune-targeted therapeutic strategies for reversing cell loss associated with degenerative retinal conditions.

  10. Variation in LOV Photoreceptor Activation Dynamics Probed by Time Resolved Infrared Spectroscopy

    KAUST Repository

    Iuliano, James N.

    2017-12-14

    The light, oxygen, voltage (LOV) domain proteins are blue light photoreceptors that utilize a non-covalently bound flavin mononucleotide (FMN) cofactor as the chromophore. The modular nature of these proteins has led to their wide adoption in the emerging fields of optogenetics and optobiology, where the LOV domain has been fused to a variety of output domains leading to novel light-controlled applications. In the present work, we extend our studies of the sub-picosecond to several hundred microsecond transient infrared spectroscopy of the isolated LOV domain AsLOV2 to three full-length photoreceptors in which the LOV domain is fused to an output domain: the LOV-STAS protein, YtvA, the LOV-HTH transcription factor, EL222, and the LOV-histidine kinase, LovK. Despite differences in tertiary structure, the overall pathway leading to cysteine adduct formation from the FMN triplet state is highly conserved, although there are slight variations in rate. However significant differences are observed in the vibrational spectra and kinetics after adduct formation, which are directly linked to the specific output function of the LOV domain. While the rate of adduct formation varies by only 3.6-fold amongst the proteins, the subsequent large-scale structural changes in the full-length LOV photoreceptors occur over the micro- to sub-millisecond timescales and vary by orders of magnitude depending on the different output function of each LOV domain.

  11. An Unexpected Diversity of Photoreceptor Classes in the Longfin Squid, Doryteuthis pealeii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingston, Alexandra C N; Wardill, Trevor J; Hanlon, Roger T; Cronin, Thomas W

    2015-01-01

    Cephalopods are famous for their ability to change color and pattern rapidly for signaling and camouflage. They have keen eyes and remarkable vision, made possible by photoreceptors in their retinas. External to the eyes, photoreceptors also exist in parolfactory vesicles and some light organs, where they function using a rhodopsin protein that is identical to that expressed in the retina. Furthermore, dermal chromatophore organs contain rhodopsin and other components of phototransduction (including retinochrome, a photoisomerase first found in the retina), suggesting that they are photoreceptive. In this study, we used a modified whole-mount immunohistochemical technique to explore rhodopsin and retinochrome expression in a number of tissues and organs in the longfin squid, Doryteuthis pealeii. We found that fin central muscles, hair cells (epithelial primary sensory neurons), arm axial ganglia, and sucker peduncle nerves all express rhodopsin and retinochrome proteins. Our findings indicate that these animals possess an unexpected diversity of extraocular photoreceptors and suggest that extraocular photoreception using visual opsins and visual phototransduction machinery is far more widespread throughout cephalopod tissues than previously recognized.

  12. An Unexpected Diversity of Photoreceptor Classes in the Longfin Squid, Doryteuthis pealeii.

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    Alexandra C N Kingston

    Full Text Available Cephalopods are famous for their ability to change color and pattern rapidly for signaling and camouflage. They have keen eyes and remarkable vision, made possible by photoreceptors in their retinas. External to the eyes, photoreceptors also exist in parolfactory vesicles and some light organs, where they function using a rhodopsin protein that is identical to that expressed in the retina. Furthermore, dermal chromatophore organs contain rhodopsin and other components of phototransduction (including retinochrome, a photoisomerase first found in the retina, suggesting that they are photoreceptive. In this study, we used a modified whole-mount immunohistochemical technique to explore rhodopsin and retinochrome expression in a number of tissues and organs in the longfin squid, Doryteuthis pealeii. We found that fin central muscles, hair cells (epithelial primary sensory neurons, arm axial ganglia, and sucker peduncle nerves all express rhodopsin and retinochrome proteins. Our findings indicate that these animals possess an unexpected diversity of extraocular photoreceptors and suggest that extraocular photoreception using visual opsins and visual phototransduction machinery is far more widespread throughout cephalopod tissues than previously recognized.

  13. Autofluorescence Lifetimes in Patients With Choroideremia Identify Photoreceptors in Areas With Retinal Pigment Epithelium Atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dysli, Chantal; Wolf, Sebastian; Tran, Hoai Viet; Zinkernagel, Martin S

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate fundus autofluorescence lifetimes in patients with choroideremia and to identify tissue-specific lifetime characteristics and potential prognostic markers. Autofluorescence lifetimes of the retina were measured in two spectral channels (498-560 nm and 560-720 nm) in patients with choroideremia and age-matched healthy controls. Furthermore, autofluorescence intensities and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) data were acquired and compared to fundus autofluorescence lifetime data. Sixteen eyes from 8 patients with advanced choroideremia (mean ± SD age, 55 ± 13 years) were included in this study and compared with 10 age-matched healthy participants. Whereas fundus autofluorescence intensity measurement identified areas of remaining retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), autofluorescence lifetime maps identified areas with remaining photoreceptor layers in OCT but RPE atrophy. In these areas, mean (±SEM) lifetimes were 567 ± 59 ps in the short and 603 ± 49 ps in the long spectral channels (+98% and +88% compared to controls). In areas of combined RPE atrophy and loss of photoreceptors, autofluorescence lifetimes were significantly prolonged by 1116 ± 63 ps (+364%) in the short and by 915 ± 52 ps (+270%) in the long spectral channels compared with controls. Because autofluorescence lifetimes identify areas of remaining photoreceptors in the absence of RPE, this imaging modality may be useful to monitor disease progression in the natural course of disease and in context of potential future therapeutic interventions.

  14. Photoreceptor inner segment ellipsoid band integrity on spectral domain optical coherence tomography

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    Saxena S

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Sandeep Saxena,1 Khushboo Srivastav,1 Chui M Cheung,2 Joanne YW Ng,3 Timothy YY Lai3 1Retina Service, Department of Ophthalmology, King George’s Medical University Lucknow, India; 2Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore; 3Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong Abstract: Spectral domain optical coherence tomography cross-sectional imaging of the macula has conventionally been resolved into four bands. However, some doubts were raised regarding authentication of the existence of these bands. Recently, a number of studies have suggested that the second band appeared to originate from the inner segment ellipsoids of the foveal cone photoreceptors, and therefore the previously called inner segment-outer segment junction is now referred to as inner segment ellipsoidband. Photoreceptor dysfunction may be a significant predictor of visual acuity in a spectrum of surgical and medical retinal diseases. This review aims to provide an overview and summarizes the role of the photoreceptor inner segment ellipsoid band in the management and prognostication of various vitreoretinal diseases. Keywords: spectral domain optical coherence tomography, inner segment-outer segment junction, external limiting membrane, macular hole, diabetic macular edema, age relate macular degeneration

  15. Lack of protein-tyrosine sulfation disrupts photoreceptor outer segment morphogenesis, retinal function and retinal anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherry, David M; Murray, Anne R; Kanan, Yogita; Arbogast, Kelsey L; Hamilton, Robert A; Fliesler, Steven J; Burns, Marie E; Moore, Kevin L; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R

    2010-11-01

    To investigate the role(s) of protein-tyrosine sulfation in the retina, we examined retinal function and structure in mice lacking tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases (TPST) 1 and 2. Tpst double knockout (DKO; Tpst1(-/-) /Tpst2 (-/-) ) retinas had drastically reduced electroretinographic responses, although their photoreceptors exhibited normal responses in single cell recordings. These retinas appeared normal histologically; however, the rod photoreceptors had ultrastructurally abnormal outer segments, with membrane evulsions into the extracellular space, irregular disc membrane spacing and expanded intradiscal space. Photoreceptor synaptic terminals were disorganized in Tpst DKO retinas, but established ultrastructurally normal synapses, as did bipolar and amacrine cells; however, the morphology and organization of neuronal processes in the inner retina were abnormal. These results indicate that protein-tyrosine sulfation is essential for proper outer segment morphogenesis and synaptic function, but is not critical for overall retinal structure or synapse formation, and may serve broader functions in neuronal development and maintenance. © 2010 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2010 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Synaptojanin 1 is required for endolysosomal trafficking of synaptic proteins in cone photoreceptor inner segments.

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    Ashley A George

    Full Text Available Highly polarized cells such as photoreceptors require precise and efficient strategies for establishing and maintaining the proper subcellular distribution of proteins. The signals and molecular machinery that regulate trafficking and sorting of synaptic proteins within cone inner segments is mostly unknown. In this study, we show that the polyphosphoinositide phosphatase Synaptojanin 1 (SynJ1 is critical for this process. We used transgenic markers for trafficking pathways, electron microscopy, and immunocytochemistry to characterize trafficking defects in cones of the zebrafish mutant, nrc(a14 , which is deficient in phosphoinositide phosphatase, SynJ1. The outer segments and connecting cilia of nrc(a14 cone photoreceptors are normal, but RibeyeB and VAMP2/synaptobrevin, which normally localize to the synapse, accumulate in the nrc(a14 inner segment. The structure of the Endoplasmic Reticulum in nrc(a14 mutant cones is normal. Golgi develop normally, but later become disordered. Large vesicular structures accumulate within nrc(a14 cone photoreceptor inner segments, particularly after prolonged incubation in darkness. Cone inner segments of nrc (a14 mutants also have enlarged acidic vesicles, abnormal late endosomes, and a disruption in autophagy. This last pathway also appears exacerbated by darkness. Taken altogether, these findings show that SynJ1 is required in cones for normal endolysosomal trafficking of synaptic proteins.

  17. Variation in LOV Photoreceptor Activation Dynamics Probed by Time Resolved Infrared Spectroscopy

    KAUST Repository

    Iuliano, James N.; Gil, Agnieszka A.; Laptenok, Sergey P.; Hall, Christopher R.; Tolentino Collado, Jinnette; Lukacs, Andras; Hag Ahmed, Safaa A; Abyad, Jenna; Daryaee, Taraneh; Greetham, Gregory M.; Sazanovich, Igor V.; Illarionov, Boris; Bacher, Adelbert; Fischer, Markus; Towrie, Michael; French, Jarrod B.; Meech, Stephen R.; Tonge, Peter J

    2017-01-01

    The light, oxygen, voltage (LOV) domain proteins are blue light photoreceptors that utilize a non-covalently bound flavin mononucleotide (FMN) cofactor as the chromophore. The modular nature of these proteins has led to their wide adoption in the emerging fields of optogenetics and optobiology, where the LOV domain has been fused to a variety of output domains leading to novel light-controlled applications. In the present work, we extend our studies of the sub-picosecond to several hundred microsecond transient infrared spectroscopy of the isolated LOV domain AsLOV2 to three full-length photoreceptors in which the LOV domain is fused to an output domain: the LOV-STAS protein, YtvA, the LOV-HTH transcription factor, EL222, and the LOV-histidine kinase, LovK. Despite differences in tertiary structure, the overall pathway leading to cysteine adduct formation from the FMN triplet state is highly conserved, although there are slight variations in rate. However significant differences are observed in the vibrational spectra and kinetics after adduct formation, which are directly linked to the specific output function of the LOV domain. While the rate of adduct formation varies by only 3.6-fold amongst the proteins, the subsequent large-scale structural changes in the full-length LOV photoreceptors occur over the micro- to sub-millisecond timescales and vary by orders of magnitude depending on the different output function of each LOV domain.

  18. Localization of Usher 1 proteins to the photoreceptor calyceal processes, which are absent from mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahly, Iman; Dufour, Eric; Schietroma, Cataldo; Michel, Vincent; Bahloul, Amel; Perfettini, Isabelle; Pepermans, Elise; Estivalet, Amrit; Carette, Diane; Aghaie, Asadollah; Ebermann, Inga; Lelli, Andrea; Iribarne, Maria; Hardelin, Jean-Pierre; Weil, Dominique; Sahel, José-Alain

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying retinal dystrophy in Usher syndrome type I (USH1) remain unknown because mutant mice lacking any of the USH1 proteins—myosin VIIa, harmonin, cadherin-23, protocadherin-15, sans—do not display retinal degeneration. We found here that, in macaque photoreceptor cells, all USH1 proteins colocalized at membrane interfaces (i) between the inner and outer segments in rods and (ii) between the microvillus-like calyceal processes and the outer segment basolateral region in rods and cones. This pattern, conserved in humans and frogs, was mediated by the formation of an USH1 protein network, which was associated with the calyceal processes from the early embryonic stages of outer segment growth onwards. By contrast, mouse photoreceptors lacked calyceal processes and had no USH1 proteins at the inner–outer segment interface. We suggest that USH1 proteins form an adhesion belt around the basolateral region of the photoreceptor outer segment in humans, and that defects in this structure cause the retinal degeneration in USH1 patients. PMID:23045546

  19. Restoration of outer segments of foveal photoreceptors after resolution of central serous chorioretinopathy.

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    Ojima, Yumiko; Tsujikawa, Akitaka; Yamashiro, Kenji; Ooto, Sotaro; Tamura, Hiroshi; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2010-01-01

    To study morphologically and functionally the prognosis of damaged outer segments of the foveal photoreceptor layer in eyes with resolved central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC). We studied retrospectively the medical records of 70 patients (74 eyes) with resolved CSC. Optical coherence tomography was used to detect the junctions between inner and outer segments of the photoreceptors (IS/OS) as a hallmark of the integrity of the outer photoreceptor layer. In 53 eyes (71.6%), the IS/OS line was clearly detected beneath the fovea immediately after resolution of the retinal detachment, with good visual acuity (VA). In the remaining 21 eyes (28.4%), however, the foveal IS/OS line could not be detected shortly after resolution of CSC, and VA was variable, ranging from 0.1 to 1.5 (median, 0.9). Of these 21 eyes, 15 had a follow-up examination with OCT, and in four the foveal IS/OS line was not detected at the follow-up and vision in these eyes remained poor. However, nine eyes showed recovery of the foveal IS/OS line during follow-up, and these eyes had substantial visual recovery. Immediately after resolution of active CSC, although the IS/OS line cannot be detected beneath the fovea, it often shows restoration over time, with visual recovery, though in some eyes no restoration takes place and the prognosis remains poor.

  20. Effect of late-stage therapy on disease progression in AAV-mediated rescue of photoreceptor cells in the retinoschisin-deficient mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, Andreas; Min, Seok H; Molday, Laurie L; Tanimoto, Naoyuki; Seeliger, Mathias W; Hauswirth, William W; Molday, Robert S; Weber, Bernhard H F

    2008-06-01

    Proof-of-concept for a successful adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5)-mediated gene therapy in X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) has been demonstrated in an established mouse model for this condition. The initial studies concentrated on early time-points of treatment. In this study, we aimed to explore the consequences of single subretinal injections administered at various stages of more advanced disease. By electroretinogram (ERG), functional improvement in treated versus untreated eyes is found to be significant in retinoschisin-deficient mice injected at the time-points of 15 days (P15), 1 month (PM1), and 2 months (PM2) after birth. In mice treated at 7 months after birth (PM7), an age previously shown to exhibit advanced retinal disease, ERG responses reveal no beneficial effects of vector treatment. Generally, functional rescue is paralleled by sustained retinoschisin expression and significant photoreceptor survival relative to untreated eyes. Quantitative measures of photoreceptors and peanut agglutinin-labeled ribbon synapses demonstrate rescue effects even in mice injected as late as PM7. Taken together, AAV5-mediated gene replacement is beneficial in slowing disease progression in murine XLRS. In addition, we show the effectiveness of rescue efforts even if treatment is delayed until advanced signs of disease have developed. Human XLRS patients might benefit from these findings, which suggest that the effectiveness of treatment appears not to be restricted to the early stages of the disease, and that treatment may prove to be valuable even when administered at more advanced stages.

  1. Avian cone photoreceptors tile the retina as five independent, self-organizing mosaics.

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    Yoseph A Kram

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The avian retina possesses one of the most sophisticated cone photoreceptor systems among vertebrates. Birds have five types of cones including four single cones, which support tetrachromatic color vision and a double cone, which is thought to mediate achromatic motion perception. Despite this richness, very little is known about the spatial organization of avian cones and its adaptive significance. Here we show that the five cone types of the chicken independently tile the retina as highly ordered mosaics with a characteristic spacing between cones of the same type. Measures of topological order indicate that double cones are more highly ordered than single cones, possibly reflecting their posited role in motion detection. Although cones show spacing interactions that are cell type-specific, all cone types use the same density-dependent yardstick to measure intercone distance. We propose a simple developmental model that can account for these observations. We also show that a single parameter, the global regularity index, defines the regularity of all five cone mosaics. Lastly, we demonstrate similar cone distributions in three additional avian species, suggesting that these patterning principles are universal among birds. Since regular photoreceptor spacing is critical for uniform sampling of visual space, the cone mosaics of the avian retina represent an elegant example of the emergence of adaptive global patterning secondary to simple local interactions between individual photoreceptors. Our results indicate that the evolutionary pressures that gave rise to the avian retina's various adaptations for enhanced color discrimination also acted to fine-tune its spatial sampling of color and luminance.

  2. Light- and GTP-activated hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate in squid photoreceptor membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, K.M.; Saibil, H.R.

    1988-01-01

    Light stimulates the hydrolysis of exogenous, [ 3 H]inositol-labeled phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PtdInsP2) added to squid photoreceptor membranes, releasing inositol trisphosphate (InsP3). At free calcium levels of 0.05 microM or greater, hydrolysis of the labeled lipid is stimulated up to 4-fold by GTP and light together, but not separately. This activity is the biochemical counterpart of observations on intact retina showing that a rhodopsin-activated GTP-binding protein is involved in visual transduction in invertebrates, and that InsP3 release is correlated with visual excitation and adaptation. Using an in vitro assay, we investigated the calcium and GTP dependence of the phospholipase activity. At calcium concentrations between 0.1 and 0.5 microM, some hydrolysis occurs independently of GTP and light, with a light- and GTP-activated component superimposed. At 1 microM calcium there is no background activity, and hydrolysis absolutely requires both GTP and light. Ion exchange chromatography on Dowex 1 (formate form) of the water-soluble products released at 1 microM calcium reveals that the product is almost entirely InsP3. Invertebrate rhodopsin is homologous in sequence and function to vertebrate visual pigment, which modulates the concentration of cyclic GMP through the mediation of the GTP-binding protein transducin. While there is some evidence that light also modulates PtdInsP2 content in vertebrate photoreceptors, the case for its involvement in phototransduction is stronger for the invertebrate systems. The results reported here support the scheme of rhodopsin----GTP-binding protein----phospholipase C activation in invertebrate photoreceptors

  3. Fatty acid transport protein 1 regulates retinoid metabolism and photoreceptor development in mouse retina.

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    Aurélie Cubizolle

    Full Text Available In retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, RPE65 catalyzes the isomerization of all-trans-retinyl fatty acid esters to 11-cis-retinol in the visual cycle and controls the rhodopsin regeneration rate. However, the mechanisms by which these processes are regulated are still unclear. Fatty Acid Transport Protein 1 (FATP1 is involved in fatty acid uptake and lipid metabolism in a variety of cell types. FATP1 co-localizes with RPE65 in RPE and inhibits its isomerase activity in vitro. Here, we further investigated the role of FATP1 in the visual cycle using transgenic mice that overexpress human FATP1 specifically in the RPE (hFATP1TG mice. The mice displayed no delay in the kinetics of regeneration of the visual chromophore 11-cis-retinal after photobleaching and had no defects in light sensitivity. However, the total retinoid content was higher in the hFATP1TG mice than in wild type mice, and the transgenic mice also displayed an age-related accumulation (up to 40% of all-trans-retinal and retinyl esters that was not observed in control mice. Consistent with these results, hFATP1TG mice were more susceptible to light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. hFATP1 overexpression also induced an ~3.5-fold increase in retinosome autofluorescence, as measured by two-photon microscopy. Interestingly, hFATP1TG retina contained ~25% more photoreceptor cells and ~35% longer outer segments than wild type mice, revealing a non-cell-autonomous effect of hFATP1 expressed in the RPE. These data are the first to show that FATP1-mediated fatty acid uptake in the RPE controls both retinoid metabolism in the outer retina and photoreceptor development.

  4. Optical imaging of human cone photoreceptors directly following the capture of light.

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    Phillip Bedggood

    Full Text Available Capture of light in the photoreceptor outer segment initiates a cascade of chemical events that inhibit neurotransmitter release, ultimately resulting in vision. The massed response of the photoreceptor population can be measured non-invasively by electrical recordings, but responses from individual cells cannot be measured without dissecting the retina. Here we used optical imaging to observe individual human cones in the living eye as they underwent bleaching of photopigment and associated phototransduction. The retina was simultaneously stimulated and observed with high intensity visible light at 1 kHz, using adaptive optics. There was marked variability between individual cones in both photosensitivity and pigment optical density, challenging the conventional assumption that photoreceptors act as identical subunits (coefficient of variation in rate of photoisomerization = 23%. There was also a pronounced inverse correlation between these two parameters (p<10(-7; the temporal evolution of image statistics revealed this to be a dynamic relationship, with cone waveguiding efficiency beginning a dramatic increase within 3 ms of light onset. Beginning as early as 2 ms after light onset and including half of cells by ∼7 ms, cone intensity showed reversals characteristic of interference phenomena, with greater delays in reversal corresponding to cones with more photopigment (p<10(-3. The timing of these changes is argued to best correspond with either the cessation of dark current, or to related events such as changes in intracellular cGMP. Cone intensity also showed fluctuations of high frequency (332±25 Hz and low amplitude (3.0±0.85%. Other groups have shown similar fluctuations that were directly evoked by light; if this corresponds to the same phenomenon, we propose that the amplitude of fluctuation may be increased by the use of a bright flash followed by a brief pause, to allow recovery of cone circulating current.

  5. Correlated evolution of short wavelength sensitive photoreceptor sensitivity and color pattern in Lake Malawi cichlids

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    Michael J. Pauers

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available For evolutionary ecologists, the holy grail of visual ecology is to establish an unambiguous link between photoreceptor sensitivity, the spectral environment, and the perception of specific visual stimuli (e.g., mates, food, predators, etc.. Due to the bright nuptial colors of the males, and the role female mate choice plays in their evolution, the haplochromine cichlid fishes of the African great lakes are favorite research subjects for such investigations. Despite this attention, current evidence is equivocal; while distinct correlations among photoreceptor sensitivity, photic environment, and male coloration exist in Lake Victorian haplochromines, attempts to find such correlations in Lake Malawian cichlids have failed. Lake Malawi haplochromines have a wide variability in their short-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors, especially compared to their mid- and long-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors; these cichlids also vary in the degree to which they express one of three basic color patterns (vertical bars, horizontal stripes, and solid patches of colors, each of which is likely used in a different form of communication. Thus, we hypothesize that, in these fishes, spectral sensitivity and color pattern have evolved in a correlated fashion to maximize visual communication; specifically, ultraviolet sensitivity should be found in vertically-barred species to promote ‘private’ communication, while striped species should be less likely to have ultraviolet sensitivity, since their color pattern carries ‘public’ information. Using phylogenetic independent contrasts, we found that barred species had strong sensitivity to ultraviolet wavelengths, but that striped species typically lacked sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Further, the only variable, even when environmental variables were simultaneously considered, that could predict ultraviolet sensitivity was color pattern. We also found that, using models of correlated evolution, color

  6. N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine is the preferred retinoid substrate for the photoreceptor-specific ABC transporter ABCA4 (ABCR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beharry, Seelochan; Zhong, Ming; Molday, Robert S

    2004-12-24

    ABCA4, a member of the family of ATP binding cassette (ABC) proteins found in rod and cone photoreceptors, has been implicated in the transport of retinoid compounds across the outer segment disk membrane following the photoactivation of rhodopsin. Mutations in the ABCA4 gene are responsible for Stargardt macular dystrophy and related retinal degenerative diseases that cause a loss in vision. To identify the retinoid substrate that interacts with ABCA4, we have isolated ABCA4 from rod outer segment disk membranes on an immunoaffinity matrix and analyzed retinoid compounds that bind to ABCA4 using high performance liquid chromatography and radiolabeling methods. When all-trans-retinal was added to ABCA4 in the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine, approximately 0.9 mol of N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine and 0.3 mol of all-trans-retinal were bound per mol of ABCA4 with an apparent K(d) of 2-5 microm. ATP and GTP released these retinoids from ABCA4, whereas ADP, GDP, and nonhydrolyzable derivatives, adenosine 5'-(beta,gamma-imido)triphosphate and guanosine 5'-(beta,gamma-imido)triphosphate, were ineffective. One mole of N-retinyl-phosphatidylethanolamine, the reduced form of N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine, bound per mol of ABCA4, whereas 0.3 mol of all-trans-retinal were bound in the absence of phosphatidylethanolamine. No binding of all-trans-retinol to ABCA4 was observed. Our results indicate that ABCA4 preferentially binds N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine with high affinity in the absence of ATP. Our studies further suggest that ATP binding and hydrolysis induces a protein conformational change that causes N-retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine to dissociate from ABCA4.

  7. In vivo imaging of human photoreceptor mosaic with wavefront sensorless adaptive optics optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Kevin S K; Jian, Yifan; Cua, Michelle; Bonora, Stefano; Zawadzki, Robert J; Sarunic, Marinko V

    2015-02-01

    Wavefront sensorless adaptive optics optical coherence tomography (WSAO-OCT) is a novel imaging technique for in vivo high-resolution depth-resolved imaging that mitigates some of the challenges encountered with the use of sensor-based adaptive optics designs. This technique replaces the Hartmann Shack wavefront sensor used to measure aberrations with a depth-resolved image-driven optimization algorithm, with the metric based on the OCT volumes acquired in real-time. The custom-built ultrahigh-speed GPU processing platform and fast modal optimization algorithm presented in this paper was essential in enabling real-time, in vivo imaging of human retinas with wavefront sensorless AO correction. WSAO-OCT is especially advantageous for developing a clinical high-resolution retinal imaging system as it enables the use of a compact, low-cost and robust lens-based adaptive optics design. In this report, we describe our WSAO-OCT system for imaging the human photoreceptor mosaic in vivo. We validated our system performance by imaging the retina at several eccentricities, and demonstrated the improvement in photoreceptor visibility with WSAO compensation.

  8. Small heat shock protein αA-crystallin prevents photoreceptor degeneration in experimental autoimmune uveitis.

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    Narsing A Rao

    Full Text Available The small heat shock protein, αA-crystallin null (αA-/- mice are known to be more prone to retinal degeneration than the wild type mice in Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis (EAU. In this report we demonstrate that intravenous administration of αA preserves retinal architecture and prevents photoreceptor damage in EAU. Interestingly, only αA and not αB-crystallin (αB, a closely related small heat shock protein works, pointing to molecular specificity in the observed retinal protection. The possible involvement of αA in retinal protection through immune modulation is corroborated by adaptive transfer experiments, (employing αA-/- and wild type mice with EAU as donors and Rag2-/- as the recipient mice, which indicate that αA protects against the autoimmune challenge by modulating the systemic B and T cell immunity. We show that αA administration causes marked reduction in Th1 cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12 and IFN-γ, both in the retina and in the spleen; notably, IL-17 was only reduced in the retina suggesting local intervention. Importantly, expression of Toll-like receptors and their associated adaptors is also inhibited suggesting that αA protection, against photoreceptor loss in EAU, is associated with systemic suppression of both the adaptive and innate immune responses.

  9. Small heat shock protein αA-crystallin prevents photoreceptor degeneration in experimental autoimmune uveitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Narsing A; Saraswathy, Sindhu; Pararajasegaram, Geeta; Bhat, Suraj P

    2012-01-01

    The small heat shock protein, αA-crystallin null (αA-/-) mice are known to be more prone to retinal degeneration than the wild type mice in Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis (EAU). In this report we demonstrate that intravenous administration of αA preserves retinal architecture and prevents photoreceptor damage in EAU. Interestingly, only αA and not αB-crystallin (αB), a closely related small heat shock protein works, pointing to molecular specificity in the observed retinal protection. The possible involvement of αA in retinal protection through immune modulation is corroborated by adaptive transfer experiments, (employing αA-/- and wild type mice with EAU as donors and Rag2-/- as the recipient mice), which indicate that αA protects against the autoimmune challenge by modulating the systemic B and T cell immunity. We show that αA administration causes marked reduction in Th1 cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12 and IFN-γ), both in the retina and in the spleen; notably, IL-17 was only reduced in the retina suggesting local intervention. Importantly, expression of Toll-like receptors and their associated adaptors is also inhibited suggesting that αA protection, against photoreceptor loss in EAU, is associated with systemic suppression of both the adaptive and innate immune responses.

  10. Low-resolution characterization of the 3D structure of the Euglena gracilis photoreceptor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barsanti, Laura; Coltelli, Primo; Evangelista, Valtere; Passarelli, Vincenzo; Frassanito, Anna Maria; Vesentini, Nicoletta; Gualtieri, Paolo

    2008-01-01

    This paper deals with the first characterization of the structure of the photoreceptive organelle of the unicellular alga Euglena gracilis (Euglenophyta). This organelle has a three-dimensional organization consisting of up to 50 closely stacked membrane lamellae. Ionically induced unstacking of the photoreceptor lamellae revealed ordered arrays well suited to structural analysis by electron microscopy and image analysis, which ultimately yielded a low-resolution picture of the structure. Each lamella is formed by the photoreceptive membrane protein of the cell assembled within the membrane layer in a hexagonal lattice. The first order diffraction spots in the calculated Fourier transform reveals the presence of 6-fold symmetrized topography (better resolution about 90 A). The 2D and 3D structural data are very similar with those recently published on proteorodopsin, a membrane protein used by marine bacterio-plankton as light-driven proton pump. In our opinion these similarity indicate that a photoreceptive protein belonging to the same superfamily of proteorodopsin could form the Euglena photoreceptor

  11. UV-B photoreceptor-mediated protection of the photosynthetic machinery in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allorent, Guillaume; Lefebvre-Legendre, Linnka; Chappuis, Richard; Kuntz, Marcel; Truong, Thuy B; Niyogi, Krishna K; Ulm, Roman; Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michel

    2016-12-20

    Life on earth is dependent on the photosynthetic conversion of light energy into chemical energy. However, absorption of excess sunlight can damage the photosynthetic machinery and limit photosynthetic activity, thereby affecting growth and productivity. Photosynthetic light harvesting can be down-regulated by nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). A major component of NPQ is qE (energy-dependent nonphotochemical quenching), which allows dissipation of light energy as heat. Photodamage peaks in the UV-B part of the spectrum, but whether and how UV-B induces qE are unknown. Plants are responsive to UV-B via the UVR8 photoreceptor. Here, we report in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that UVR8 induces accumulation of specific members of the light-harvesting complex (LHC) superfamily that contribute to qE, in particular LHC Stress-Related 1 (LHCSR1) and Photosystem II Subunit S (PSBS). The capacity for qE is strongly induced by UV-B, although the patterns of qE-related proteins accumulating in response to UV-B or to high light are clearly different. The competence for qE induced by acclimation to UV-B markedly contributes to photoprotection upon subsequent exposure to high light. Our study reveals an anterograde link between photoreceptor-mediated signaling in the nucleocytosolic compartment and the photoprotective regulation of photosynthetic activity in the chloroplast.

  12. FUNDUS AUTOFLUORESCENCE IN RUBELLA RETINOPATHY: Correlation With Photoreceptor Structure and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowska, Danuta M; Wan, Sue Ling; Chew, Avenell L; Chelva, Enid; Tang, Ivy; Mackey, David A; Chen, Fred K

    2017-01-01

    To illustrate altered fundus autofluorescence in rubella retinopathy and to investigate their relationships with photoreceptor structure and function using multimodal imaging. The authors report four cases of rubella retinopathy aged 8, 33, 42, and 50 years. All patients had dilated clinical fundus examination; wide-field color photography; blue, green, and near-infrared autofluorescence imaging and spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Two patients also underwent microperimetry and adaptive optics imaging. En face optical coherence tomography, cone mosaic, and microperimetry were coregistered with autofluorescence images. The authors explored the structure-function correlation. All four patients had a "salt-and-pepper" appearance on dilated fundus examination and wide-field color photography. There were variable-sized patches of hypoautofluorescence on both blue and near-infrared excitation in all four patients. Wave-guiding cones were visible and retinal sensitivity was intact over these regions. There was no correlation between hypoautofluorescence and regions of attenuated ellipsoid and interdigitation zones. Hyperautofluorescent lesions were also noted and some of these were pseudo-vitelliform lesions. Patchy hypoautofluorescence on near-infrared excitation can be a feature of rubella retinopathy. This may be due to abnormal melanin production or loss of melanin within retinal pigment epithelium cells harboring persistent rubella virus infection. Preservation of the ellipsoid zone, wave-guiding cones, and retinal sensitivity within hypoautofluorescent lesions suggest that these retinal pigment epithelium changes have only mild impact on photoreceptor cell function.

  13. UV-B photoreceptor-mediated protection of the photosynthetic machinery in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allorent, Guillaume; Lefebvre-Legendre, Linnka; Chappuis, Richard; Kuntz, Marcel; Truong, Thuy B.; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Life on earth is dependent on the photosynthetic conversion of light energy into chemical energy. However, absorption of excess sunlight can damage the photosynthetic machinery and limit photosynthetic activity, thereby affecting growth and productivity. Photosynthetic light harvesting can be down-regulated by nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). A major component of NPQ is qE (energy-dependent nonphotochemical quenching), which allows dissipation of light energy as heat. Photodamage peaks in the UV-B part of the spectrum, but whether and how UV-B induces qE are unknown. Plants are responsive to UV-B via the UVR8 photoreceptor. Here, we report in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that UVR8 induces accumulation of specific members of the light-harvesting complex (LHC) superfamily that contribute to qE, in particular LHC Stress-Related 1 (LHCSR1) and Photosystem II Subunit S (PSBS). The capacity for qE is strongly induced by UV-B, although the patterns of qE-related proteins accumulating in response to UV-B or to high light are clearly different. The competence for qE induced by acclimation to UV-B markedly contributes to photoprotection upon subsequent exposure to high light. Our study reveals an anterograde link between photoreceptor-mediated signaling in the nucleocytosolic compartment and the photoprotective regulation of photosynthetic activity in the chloroplast. PMID:27930292

  14. Cryptochrome photoreceptors in green algae: Unexpected versatility of mechanisms and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottke, Tilman; Oldemeyer, Sabine; Wenzel, Sandra; Zou, Yong; Mittag, Maria

    2017-10-01

    Green algae have a highly complex and diverse set of cryptochrome photoreceptor candidates including members of the following subfamilies: plant, plant-like, animal-like, DASH and cryptochrome photolyase family 1 (CPF1). While some green algae encode most or all of them, others lack certain members. Here we present an overview about functional analyses of so far investigated cryptochrome photoreceptors from the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (plant and animal-like cryptochromes) and Ostreococcus tauri (CPF1) with regard to their biological significance and spectroscopic properties. Cryptochromes of both algae have been demonstrated recently to be involved to various extents in circadian clock regulation and in Chlamydomonas additionally in life cycle control. Moreover, CPF1 even performs light-driven DNA repair. The plant cryptochrome and CPF1 are UVA/blue light receptors, whereas the animal-like cryptochrome responds to almost the whole visible spectrum including red light. Accordingly, plant cryptochrome, animal-like cryptochrome and CPF1 differ fundamentally in their structural response to light as revealed by their visible and infrared spectroscopic signatures, and in the role of the flavin neutral radical acting as dark form or signaling state. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. Oxygen-induced retinopathy in mice with retinal photoreceptor cell degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Zhang, Zuo-Ming

    2014-04-25

    It is reported that retinal neovascularization seems to rarely co-exist with retinitis pigmentosa in patients and in some mouse models; however, it is not widely acknowledged as a universal phenomenon in all strains of all animal species. We aimed to further explore this phenomenon with an oxygen-induced retinopathy model in mice with retinal photoreceptor cell degeneration. Oxygen-induced retinopathy of colored and albino mice with rapid retinal degeneration were compared to homologous wild-type mice. The retinas were analyzed using high-molecular-weight FITC-dextran stained flat-mount preparation, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained cross-sections, an immunohistochemical test for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) distribution and Western blotting for VEGF expression after exposure to hyperoxia between postnatal days 17 (P17) and 21. Leakage and areas of non-perfusion of the retinal blood vessels were alleviated in the retinal degeneration mice. The number of preretinal vascular endothelial cell nuclei in the retinal degeneration mice was smaller than that in the homologous wild-type mice after exposure to hyperoxia (Poxygen-induced retinopathy was positively correlated with the VEGF expression level. However, the VEGF expression level was lower in the retinal degeneration mice. Proliferative retinopathy occurred in mice with rapid retinal degeneration, but retinal photoreceptor cell degeneration could partially restrain the retinal neovascularization in this rapid retinal degeneration mouse model. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Structural aspects of the antioxidant activity of lutein in a model of photoreceptor membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisniewska-Becker, Anna; Nawrocki, Grzegorz; Duda, Mariusz; Subczynski, Witold K.

    2014-01-01

    It was shown that in membranes containing raft domains, the macular xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin are not distributed uniformly, but are excluded from saturated raft domains and about ten times more concentrated in unsaturated bulk lipids. The selective accumulation of lutein and zeaxanthin in direct proximity to unsaturated lipids, which are especially susceptible to lipid peroxidation, could be very important as far as their antioxidant activity is concerned. Therefore, the protective role of lutein against lipid peroxidation was investigated in membranes made of raft-forming mixtures and in models of photoreceptor outer segment membranes and compared with their antioxidant activity in homogeneous membranes composed of unsaturated lipids. Lipid peroxidation was induced by photosensitized reactions using rose Bengal and monitored by an MDA-TBA test, an iodometric assay, and oxygen consumption (using EPR spectroscopy and the mHCTPO spin label as an oxygen probe). The results show that lutein protects unsaturated lipids more effectively in membranes made of raft-forming mixtures than in homogeneous membranes. This suggests that the selective accumulation of macular xanthophylls in the most vulnerable regions of photoreceptor membranes may play an important role in enhancing their antioxidant properties and ability to prevent age-related macular diseases (such as age-related macular degeneration [AMD]). PMID:22428148

  17. Morphological characterization and topographic analysis of multiple photoreceptor types in the retinae of mesopelagic hatchetfishes with tubular eyes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Michelle Biagioni

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Marine hatchetfishes, Argyropelecus spp., are one of the 14 genera of mesopelagic teleosts, which possess tubular eyes. The tubular eyes are positioned dorsally on the head and consist of a main retina, which subtends a large dorsal binocular field, and an accessory retina, which subtends the lateral monocular visual field. The topographic distribution of photoreceptors in the retina of Argyropelecus sladeni, A. affinis and A. aculeatus was determined using a random, unbiased and systematic stereological approach, which consistently revealed a region of high density (area centralis in the central region of the main retina (up to a peak of 96,000 receptors per mm2 and a relatively homogeneous density of photoreceptors in the accessory retina (of approximately 20,000 receptors per mm2. The position of the area centralis in the main retina indicates this retinal region subserves greater spatial resolution in the centre of the dorsal binocular visual field. Light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy also revealed the presence of multiple photoreceptor types (two rod-like and one cone-like based on the size and shape of the inner and outer segments and ultrastructural differences in the ellipsoidal region. The presence of multiple photoreceptor types in these tubular-eyed, mesopelagic hatchetfishes may reflect the need for the visual system to function under different lighting conditions during vertical migratory behavior, especially given their unique dorsally-facing eyes.

  18. Integrating Topographic Measures to Explore the Protective Effects of Peonidin Against the N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea Induced Photoreceptor Degeneration

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    Ye Tao

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The pathphysiological properties of N-Methyl -N -nitrosourea (MNU induced photoreceptor degeneration are similar to the hereditary retinitis pigmentosa (RP. The present study sought to explore the beneficial effects of the peonidin, a common aglycone form of anthocyanin, on the MNU induced photoreceptor degeneration via topographic measurements. Methods: The MNU administrated mouse received peonidin or vehicle injections, and then they were examined by electroretinography (ERG, multi electrode array (MEA, histological and immunohistochemistry studies. Results: The protective effects of peonidin on the MNU administrated retinas were systematically verified and quantified by topographic measures. The peonidin treatment could protect the photoreceptor against the MNU toxicity both functionally and morphologicaly. The most sensitive zone to peonidin therapy was sorted out, indicating that different rescuing kinetics existed between the retinal hemispheres and retinal quadrants. Moreover, the hyperactive spontaneous firing response and the debilitated light induced response in MNU administrated retinas could be partially reversed by peonidin treatment. To our knowledge, this was the first study to explore the pharmacological effects of peonidin on the electrophysiological properties of inner visual signal pathways. Conclusion: The peonidin could ameliorate the MNU induced photoreceptors degeneration and rectify the abnormities in the inner visual signal pathways. Future refinements of the knowledge cast insights into the discovery of a novel treatment for human RP.

  19. Na+/K(+)pump activity in photoreceptors of the blowfly Calliphora : A model analysis based on membrane potential measurements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerster, U; Stavenga, DG; Backhaus, W

    Na+/K+-pump activity and intracellular Na+ and K+ concentration changes in blowfly photoreceptors are derived from intracellular potential measurements in vivo with a model based on the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz theory for membrane currents. The relation between the intracellular Na+ concentration and

  20. Metarhodopsin control by arrestin, light-filtering screening pigments, and visual pigment turnover in invertebrate microvillar photoreceptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Hardie, Roger C.

    The visual pigments of most invertebrate photoreceptors have two thermostable photo-interconvertible states, the ground state rhodopsin and photo-activated metarhodopsin, which triggers the phototransduction cascade until it binds arrestin. The ratio of the two states in photoequilibrium is

  1. Circulating Reactive Oxidant Causes Apoptosis of Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Cone Photoreceptors in the Mouse Central Retina

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    Wei Wang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Reactive oxidants damage the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, which is required for viability of overlying photoreceptors. Smoking which leads to chronic accumulation of reactive oxidants in the circulation is linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD where RPE death is seen along with photoreceptor loss in the central macular region of the retina. It is unclear why this damage is concentrated in the central retina. We asked whether circulating oxidant might specifically target the central retina. Mice were administered the classic reactive oxidant iodate through tail vein injection, and visual acuity was followed by optokinetic response. Histology and apoptosis was examined by H&E and immunostaining. Iodate indeed selectively damaged the central retina, and this damage was highlighted by early apoptosis of RPE in the central retina followed by apoptosis of photoreceptors adjacent to the region of RPE loss–-cones were lost preferentially. The pattern and extent of this damage was independent of exposure to light. We then conclude that circulating oxidant is sufficient to selectively damage the central retina highlighted by sequential apoptosis of RPE and photoreceptors, with cones being the most sensitivity to this RPE loss.

  2. Relationship between photoreceptor outer segment length and visual acuity in diabetic macular edema.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forooghian, Farzin; Stetson, Paul F; Meyer, Scott A; Chew, Emily Y; Wong, Wai T; Cukras, Catherine; Meyerle, Catherine B; Ferris, Frederick L

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantify photoreceptor outer segment (PROS) length in 27 consecutive patients (30 eyes) with diabetic macular edema using spectral domain optical coherence tomography and to describe the correlation between PROS length and visual acuity. Three spectral domain-optical coherence tomography scans were performed on all eyes during each session using Cirrus HD-OCT. A prototype algorithm was developed for quantitative assessment of PROS length. Retinal thicknesses and PROS lengths were calculated for 3 parameters: macular grid (6 x 6 mm), central subfield (1 mm), and center foveal point (0.33 mm). Intrasession repeatability was assessed using coefficient of variation and intraclass correlation coefficient. The association between retinal thickness and PROS length with visual acuity was assessed using linear regression and Pearson correlation analyses. The main outcome measures include intrasession repeatability of macular parameters and correlation of these parameters with visual acuity. Mean retinal thickness and PROS length were 298 mum to 381 microm and 30 microm to 32 mum, respectively, for macular parameters assessed in this study. Coefficient of variation values were 0.75% to 4.13% for retinal thickness and 1.97% to 14.01% for PROS length. Intraclass correlation coefficient values were 0.96 to 0.99 and 0.73 to 0.98 for retinal thickness and PROS length, respectively. Slopes from linear regression analyses assessing the association of retinal thickness and visual acuity were not significantly different from 0 (P > 0.20), whereas the slopes of PROS length and visual acuity were significantly different from 0 (P < 0.0005). Correlation coefficients for macular thickness and visual acuity ranged from 0.13 to 0.22, whereas coefficients for PROS length and visual acuity ranged from -0.61 to -0.81. Photoreceptor outer segment length can be quantitatively assessed using Cirrus HD-OCT. Although the intrasession repeatability of PROS

  3. Quantitative analysis of cone photoreceptor distribution and its relationship with axial length, age, and early age-related macular degeneration.

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    Ryo Obata

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: It has not been clarified whether early age-related macular degeneration (AMD is associated with cone photoreceptor distribution. We used adaptive optics fundus camera to examine cone photoreceptors in the macular area of aged patients and quantitatively analyzed its relationship between the presence of early AMD and cone distribution. METHODS: Sixty cases aged 50 or older were studied. The eyes were examined with funduscopy and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography to exclude the eyes with any abnormalities at two sites of measurement, 2° superior and 5° temporal to the fovea. High-resolution retinal images with cone photoreceptor mosaic were obtained with adaptive optics fundus camera (rtx1, Imagine Eyes, France. After adjusting for axial length, cone packing density was calculated and the relationship with age, axial length, or severity of early AMD based on the age-related eye disease study (AREDS classification was analyzed. RESULTS: Patient's age ranged from 50 to 77, and axial length from 21.7 to 27.5 mm. Mean density in metric units and that in angular units were 24,900 cells/mm2, 2,170 cells/deg2 at 2° superior, and 18,500 cells/mm2, 1,570 cels/deg2 at 5° temporal, respectively. Axial length was significantly correlated with the density calculated in metric units, but not with that in angular units. Age was significantly correlated with the density both in metric and angular units at 2° superior. There was no significant difference in the density in metric and angular units between the eyes with AREDS category one and those with categories two or three. CONCLUSION: Axial length and age were significantly correlated with parafoveal cone photoreceptor distribution. The results do not support that early AMD might influence cone photoreceptor density in the area without drusen or pigment abnormalities.

  4. An automated algorithm for photoreceptors counting in adaptive optics retinal images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xu; Zhang, Yudong; Yun, Dai

    2012-10-01

    Eyes are important organs of humans that detect light and form spatial and color vision. Knowing the exact number of cones in retinal image has great importance in helping us understand the mechanism of eyes' function and the pathology of some eye disease. In order to analyze data in real time and process large-scale data, an automated algorithm is designed to label cone photoreceptors in adaptive optics (AO) retinal images. Images acquired by the flood-illuminated AO system are taken to test the efficiency of this algorithm. We labeled these images both automatically and manually, and compared the results of the two methods. A 94.1% to 96.5% agreement rate between the two methods is achieved in this experiment, which demonstrated the reliability and efficiency of the algorithm.

  5. Nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells adapts to vision in mammalian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solovei, Irina; Kreysing, Moritz; Lanctôt, Christian; Kösem, Süleyman; Peichl, Leo; Cremer, Thomas; Guck, Jochen; Joffe, Boris

    2009-04-17

    We show that the nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells differs fundamentally in nocturnal and diurnal mammals. The rods of diurnal retinas possess the conventional architecture found in nearly all eukaryotic cells, with most heterochromatin situated at the nuclear periphery and euchromatin residing toward the nuclear interior. The rods of nocturnal retinas have a unique inverted pattern, where heterochromatin localizes in the nuclear center, whereas euchromatin, as well as nascent transcripts and splicing machinery, line the nuclear border. The inverted pattern forms by remodeling of the conventional one during terminal differentiation of rods. The inverted rod nuclei act as collecting lenses, and computer simulations indicate that columns of such nuclei channel light efficiently toward the light-sensing rod outer segments. Comparison of the two patterns suggests that the conventional architecture prevails in eukaryotic nuclei because it results in more flexible chromosome arrangements, facilitating positional regulation of nuclear functions.

  6. Images of photoreceptors in living primate eyes using adaptive optics two-photon ophthalmoscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Jennifer J.; Masella, Benjamin; Dubra, Alfredo; Sharma, Robin; Yin, Lu; Merigan, William H.; Palczewska, Grazyna; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Williams, David R.

    2011-01-01

    In vivo two-photon imaging through the pupil of the primate eye has the potential to become a useful tool for functional imaging of the retina. Two-photon excited fluorescence images of the macaque cone mosaic were obtained using a fluorescence adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope, overcoming the challenges of a low numerical aperture, imperfect optics of the eye, high required light levels, and eye motion. Although the specific fluorophores are as yet unknown, strong in vivo intrinsic fluorescence allowed images of the cone mosaic. Imaging intact ex vivo retina revealed that the strongest two-photon excited fluorescence signal comes from the cone inner segments. The fluorescence response increased following light stimulation, which could provide a functional measure of the effects of light on photoreceptors. PMID:21326644

  7. Modulation of rod photoreceptor output by HCN1 channels is essential for regular mesopic cone vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeliger, Mathias W; Brombas, Arne; Weiler, Reto; Humphries, Peter; Knop, Gabriel; Tanimoto, Naoyuki; Müller, Frank

    2011-11-08

    Retinal photoreceptors permit visual perception over a wide range of lighting conditions. Rods work best in dim, and cones in bright environments, with considerable functional overlap at intermediate (mesopic) light levels. At many sites in the outer and inner retina where rod and cone signals interact, gap junctions, particularly those containing Connexin36, have been identified. However, little is known about the dynamic processes associated with the convergence of rod and cone system signals into ON- and OFF-pathways. Here we show that proper cone vision under mesopic conditions requires rapid adaptational feedback modulation of rod output via hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels 1. When these channels are absent, sustained rod responses following bright light exposure saturate the retinal network, resulting in a loss of downstream cone signalling. By specific genetic and pharmacological ablation of key signal processing components, regular cone signalling can be restored, thereby identifying the sites involved in functional rod-cone interactions.

  8. Structure and function of the interphotoreceptor matrix surrounding retinal photoreceptor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Makoto; Sawada, Yu; Yoshitomi, Takeshi

    2015-04-01

    The interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM) is a highly organized structure with interconnected domains surrounding cone and rod photoreceptor cells and extends throughout the subretinal space. Based on known roles of the extracellular matrix in other tissues, the IPM is thought to have several prominent functions including serving as a receptor for growth factors, regulating retinoid transport, participating in cytoskeletal organization in surrounding cells, and regulation of oxygen and nutrient transport. In addition, a number of studies suggest that the IPM also may play a significant role in the etiology of retinal degenerative disorders. In this review, we describe the present knowledge concerning the structure and function of the IPM under physiological and pathological conditions. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Partial reconstitution of photoreceptor cGMP phosphodiesterase characteristics in cGMP phosphodiesterase-5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granovsky, A E; Artemyev, N O

    2001-06-15

    Photoreceptor cGMP phosphodiesterases (PDE6) are uniquely qualified to serve as effector enzymes in the vertebrate visual transduction cascade. In the dark-adapted photoreceptors, the activity of PDE6 is blocked via tight association with the inhibitory gamma-subunits (Pgamma). The Pgamma block is removed in the light-activated PDE6 by the visual G protein, transducin. Transducin-activated PDE6 exhibits an exceptionally high catalytic rate of cGMP hydrolysis ensuring high signal amplification. To identify the structural determinants for the inhibitory interaction with Pgamma and the remarkable cGMP hydrolytic ability, we sought to reproduce the PDE6 characteristics by mutagenesis of PDE5, a related cyclic GMP-specific, cGMP-binding PDE. PDE5 is insensitive to Pgamma and has a more than 100-fold lower k(cat) for cGMP hydrolysis. Our mutational analysis of chimeric PDE5/PDE6alpha' enzymes revealed that the inhibitory interaction of cone PDE6 catalytic subunits (PDE6alpha') with Pgamma is mediated primarily by three hydrophobic residues at the entry to the catalytic pocket, Met(758), Phe(777), and Phe(781). The maximal catalytic rate of PDE5 was enhanced by at least 10-fold with substitutions of PDE6alpha'-specific glycine residues for the corresponding PDE5 alanine residues, Ala(608) and Ala(612). The Gly residues are adjacent to the highly conserved metal binding motif His-Asn-X-X-His, which is essential for cGMP hydrolysis. Our results suggest that the unique Gly residues allow the PDE6 metal binding site to adopt a more favorable conformation for cGMP hydrolysis.

  10. THE STRUCTURE AND CONCENTRATION OF SOLIDS IN PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS STUDIED BY REFRACTOMETRY AND INTERFERENCE MICROSCOPY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidman, Richard L.

    1957-01-01

    Fragments of freshly obtained retinas of several vertebrate species were studied by refractometry, with reference to the structure of the rods and cones. The findings allowed a reassessment of previous descriptions based mainly on fixed material. The refractometric method was used also to measure the refractice indices and to calculate the concentrations of solids and water in the various cell segments. The main quantitative data were confirmed by interference microscopy. When examined by the method of refractometry the outer segments of freshly prepared retinal rods appear homogeneous. Within a few minutes a single eccentric longitudinal fiber appears, and transverse striations may develop. These changes are attributed to imbibition of water and swelling in structures normally too small for detection by light microscopy. The central "core" of outer segments and the chromophobic disc between outer and inner segments appear to be artifacts resulting from shrinkage during dehydration. The fresh outer segments of cones, and the inner segments of rods and cones also are described and illustrated. The volumes, refractive indices, concentrations of solids, and wet and dry weights of various segments of the photoreceptor cells were tabulated. Rod outer segments of the different species vary more than 100-fold in volume and mass but all have concentrations of solids of 40 to 43 per cent. Cone outer segments contain only about 30 per cent solids. The myoids, paraboloids, and ellipsoids of the inner segments likewise have characteristic refractive indices and concentrations of solids. Some of the limitations and particular virtues of refractometry as a method for quantitative analysis of living cells are discussed in comparison with more conventional biochemical techniques. Also the shapes and refractive indices of the various segments of photoreceptor cells are considered in relation to the absorption and transmission of light. The Stiles-Crawford effect can be accounted

  11. Photoreceptor Outer Segment on Internal Limiting Membrane after Macular Hole Surgery: Implications for Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinton, Michael E; Sandinha, Maria T; Steel, David H W

    2015-01-01

    This report presents a case, which highlights key principles in the pathophysiology of macular holes. It has been hypothesized that anteroposterior (AP) and tangential vitreous traction on the fovea are the primary underlying factors causing macular holes [Nischal and Pearson; in Kanski and Bowling: Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systemic Approach, 2011, pp 629-631]. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) has subsequently corroborated this theory in part but shown that AP vitreofoveal traction is the more common scenario [Steel and Lotery: Eye 2013;27:1-21]. This study was conducted as a single case report. A 63-year old female presented to her optician with blurred and distorted vision in her left eye. OCT showed a macular hole with a minimum linear diameter of 370 µm, with persistent broad vitreofoveal attachment on both sides of the hole edges. The patient underwent combined left phacoemulsification and pars plana vitrectomy, internal limiting membrane (ILM) peel and gas injection. The ILM was examined by electron microscopy and showed the presence of a cone outer segment on the retinal side. Post-operative OCT at 11 weeks showed a closed hole with recovery of the foveal contour and good vision. Our case shows the presence of a photoreceptor outer segment on the retinal side of the ILM and reinforces the importance of tangential traction in the development of some macula holes. The case highlights the theory of transmission of inner retinal forces to the photoreceptors via Müller cells and how a full thickness macular hole defect can occur in the absence of AP vitreomacular traction.

  12. Circadian locomotor rhythms in the cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus. I. Localization of the pacemaker and the photoreceptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Y; Ushirogawa, H; Tomioka, K

    1997-10-01

    Circadian locomotor rhythm and its underlying mechanism were investigated in the cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus. Adult male crickets showed a nocturnal locomotor rhythm peaking early in the dark phase of a light to dark cycle. This rhythm persisted under constant darkness (DD) with a free-running period averaging 23.1 +/- 0.3 hr. Although constant bright light made most animals arrhythmic, about 40% of the animals showed free-running rhythms with a period longer than 24 hr under constant dim light condition. On transfer to DD, all arrhythmic animals restored the locomotor rhythm. Bilateral optic nerve severance resulted in free-running of the rhythm even under light-dark cycles. The free-running period of the optic nerve severed animals was significantly longer than sham operated crickets in DD, suggesting that the compound eye plays some role in determining the free-running period. Removal of bilateral lamina-medulla portion of the optic lobe abolished the rhythm under DD. These results demonstrate that the photoreceptor for entrainment is the compound eye and the optic lobe is indispensable for persistence of the rhythm. However, 75% and 54% of the optic lobeless animals showed aberrant rhythms with a period very close to 24 hr under light and temperature cycles, respectively, suggesting that there are neural and/or humoral mechanisms for the aberrant rhythms outside of the optic lobe. Since ocelli removal did not affect the photoperiodically induced rhythm, it is likely that the photoreception for the rhythm is performed through an extraretinal photoreceptor.

  13. Role of the mouse retinal photoreceptor ribbon synapse in visual motion processing for optokinetic responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugita, Yuko; Araki, Fumiyuki; Chaya, Taro; Kawano, Kenji; Furukawa, Takahisa; Miura, Kenichiro

    2015-01-01

    The ribbon synapse is a specialized synaptic structure in the retinal outer plexiform layer where visual signals are transmitted from photoreceptors to the bipolar and horizontal cells. This structure is considered important in high-efficiency signal transmission; however, its role in visual signal processing is unclear. In order to understand its role in visual processing, the present study utilized Pikachurin-null mutant mice that show improper formation of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. We examined the initial and late phases of the optokinetic responses (OKRs). The initial phase was examined by measuring the open-loop eye velocity of the OKRs to sinusoidal grating patterns of various spatial frequencies moving at various temporal frequencies for 0.5 s. The mutant mice showed significant initial OKRs with a spatiotemporal frequency tuning (spatial frequency, 0.09 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.87 ± 0.12 Hz) that was slightly different from the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.66 ± 0.12 Hz). The late phase of the OKRs was examined by measuring the slow phase eye velocity of the optokinetic nystagmus induced by the sinusoidal gratings of various spatiotemporal frequencies moving for 30 s. We found that the optimal spatial and temporal frequencies of the mutant mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 0.81 ± 0.24 Hz) were both lower than those in the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.15 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.93 ± 0.62 Hz). These results suggest that the ribbon synapse modulates the spatiotemporal frequency tuning of visual processing along the ON pathway by which the late phase of OKRs is mediated.

  14. Role of the mouse retinal photoreceptor ribbon synapse in visual motion processing for optokinetic responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuko Sugita

    Full Text Available The ribbon synapse is a specialized synaptic structure in the retinal outer plexiform layer where visual signals are transmitted from photoreceptors to the bipolar and horizontal cells. This structure is considered important in high-efficiency signal transmission; however, its role in visual signal processing is unclear. In order to understand its role in visual processing, the present study utilized Pikachurin-null mutant mice that show improper formation of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. We examined the initial and late phases of the optokinetic responses (OKRs. The initial phase was examined by measuring the open-loop eye velocity of the OKRs to sinusoidal grating patterns of various spatial frequencies moving at various temporal frequencies for 0.5 s. The mutant mice showed significant initial OKRs with a spatiotemporal frequency tuning (spatial frequency, 0.09 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.87 ± 0.12 Hz that was slightly different from the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.66 ± 0.12 Hz. The late phase of the OKRs was examined by measuring the slow phase eye velocity of the optokinetic nystagmus induced by the sinusoidal gratings of various spatiotemporal frequencies moving for 30 s. We found that the optimal spatial and temporal frequencies of the mutant mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 0.81 ± 0.24 Hz were both lower than those in the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.15 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.93 ± 0.62 Hz. These results suggest that the ribbon synapse modulates the spatiotemporal frequency tuning of visual processing along the ON pathway by which the late phase of OKRs is mediated.

  15. Gene therapy for Stargardt disease associated with ABCA4 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Zongchao; Conley, Shannon M; Naash, Muna I

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the photoreceptor-specific flippase ABCA4 lead to accumulation of the toxic bisretinoid A2E, resulting in atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and death of the photoreceptor cells. Many blinding diseases are associated with these mutations including Stargardt's disease (STGD1), cone-rod dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and increased susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration. There are no curative treatments for any of these dsystrophies. While the monogenic nature of many of these conditions makes them amenable to treatment with gene therapy, the ABCA4 cDNA is 6.8 kb and is thus too large for the AAV vectors which have been most successful for other ocular genes. Here we review approaches to ABCA4 gene therapy including treatment with novel AAV vectors, lentiviral vectors, and non-viral compacted DNA nanoparticles. Lentiviral and compacted DNA nanoparticles in particular have a large capacity and have been successful in improving disease phenotypes in the Abca4 (-/-) murine model. Excitingly, two Phase I/IIa clinical trials are underway to treat patients with ABCA4-associated Startgardt's disease (STGD1). As a result of the development of these novel technologies, effective therapies for ABCA4-associated diseases may finally be within reach.

  16. ℮-conome: an automated tissue counting platform of cone photoreceptors for rodent models of retinitis pigmentosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clérin Emmanuelle

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retinitis pigmentosa is characterized by the sequential loss of rod and cone photoreceptors. The preservation of cones would prevent blindness due to their essential role in human vision. Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor is a thioredoxin-like protein that is secreted by rods and is involved in cone survival. To validate the activity of Rod-derived Cone Viability Factors (RdCVFs as therapeutic agents for treating retinitis Pigmentosa, we have developed e-conome, an automated cell counting platform for retinal flat mounts of rodent models of cone degeneration. This automated quantification method allows for faster data analysis thereby accelerating translational research. Methods An inverted fluorescent microscope, motorized and coupled to a CCD camera records images of cones labeled with fluorescent peanut agglutinin lectin on flat-mounted retinas. In an average of 300 fields per retina, nine Z-planes at magnification X40 are acquired after two-stage autofocus individually for each field. The projection of the stack of 9 images is subject to a threshold, filtered to exclude aberrant images based on preset variables. The cones are identified by treating the resulting image using 13 variables empirically determined. The cone density is calculated over the 300 fields. Results The method was validated by comparison to the conventional stereological counting. The decrease in cone density in rd1 mouse was found to be equivalent to the decrease determined by stereological counting. We also studied the spatiotemporal pattern of the degeneration of cones in the rd1 mouse and show that while the reduction in cone density starts in the central part of the retina, cone degeneration progresses at the same speed over the whole retinal surface. We finally show that for mice with an inactivation of the Nucleoredoxin-like genes Nxnl1 or Nxnl2 encoding RdCVFs, the loss of cones is more pronounced in the ventral retina. Conclusion The automated

  17. ℮-conome: an automated tissue counting platform of cone photoreceptors for rodent models of retinitis pigmentosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clérin, Emmanuelle; Wicker, Nicolas; Mohand-Saïd, Saddek; Poch, Olivier; Sahel, José-Alain; Léveillard, Thierry

    2011-12-20

    Retinitis pigmentosa is characterized by the sequential loss of rod and cone photoreceptors. The preservation of cones would prevent blindness due to their essential role in human vision. Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor is a thioredoxin-like protein that is secreted by rods and is involved in cone survival. To validate the activity of Rod-derived Cone Viability Factors (RdCVFs) as therapeutic agents for treating retinitis Pigmentosa, we have developed e-conome, an automated cell counting platform for retinal flat mounts of rodent models of cone degeneration. This automated quantification method allows for faster data analysis thereby accelerating translational research. An inverted fluorescent microscope, motorized and coupled to a CCD camera records images of cones labeled with fluorescent peanut agglutinin lectin on flat-mounted retinas. In an average of 300 fields per retina, nine Z-planes at magnification X40 are acquired after two-stage autofocus individually for each field. The projection of the stack of 9 images is subject to a threshold, filtered to exclude aberrant images based on preset variables. The cones are identified by treating the resulting image using 13 variables empirically determined. The cone density is calculated over the 300 fields. The method was validated by comparison to the conventional stereological counting. The decrease in cone density in rd1 mouse was found to be equivalent to the decrease determined by stereological counting. We also studied the spatiotemporal pattern of the degeneration of cones in the rd1 mouse and show that while the reduction in cone density starts in the central part of the retina, cone degeneration progresses at the same speed over the whole retinal surface. We finally show that for mice with an inactivation of the Nucleoredoxin-like genes Nxnl1 or Nxnl2 encoding RdCVFs, the loss of cones is more pronounced in the ventral retina. The automated platform ℮-conome used here for retinal disease is a tool that

  18. Dim-light photoreceptor of chub mackerel Scomber japonicus and the photoresponse upon illumination with LEDs of different wavelengths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Jun-Chul; Choi, Mi-Jin; Yang, Yong-Soo; Lee, Hyung-Been; Yu, Young-Moon; Kim, Jong-Myoung

    2016-06-01

    To study the absorption characteristics of rhodopsin, a dim-light photoreceptor, in chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) and the relationship between light wavelengths on the photoresponse, the rod opsin gene was cloned into an expression vector, pMT4. Recombinant opsin was transiently expressed in COS-1 cells and reconstituted with 11-cis-retinal. Cells containing the regenerated rhodopsin were solubilized and subjected to UV/Vis spectroscopic analysis in the dark and upon illumination. Difference spectra from the lysates indicated an absorption maximum of mackerel rhodopsin around 500 nm. Four types of light-emitting diode (LED) modules with different wavelengths (red, peak 627 nm; cyan, 505 nm; blue, 442 nm; white, 447 + 560 nm) were constructed to examine their effects on the photoresponse in chub mackerel. Behavioral responses of the mackerels, including speed and frequencies acclimated in the dark and upon LED illumination, were analyzed using an underwater acoustic camera. Compared to an average speed of 22.25 ± 1.57 cm/s of mackerel movement in the dark, speed increased to 22.97 ± 0.29, 24.66 ± 1.06, 26.28 ± 2.28, and 25.19 ± 1.91 cm/s upon exposure to red, blue, cyan, and white LEDs, respectively. There were increases of 103.48 ± 1.58, 109.37 ± 5.29, 118.48 ± 10.82, and 109.43 ± 3.92 %, respectively, in the relative speed of the fishes upon illumination with red, blue, cyan, and white LEDs compared with that in the dark (set at 100 %). Similar rate of wavelength-dependent responses was observed in a frequency analysis. These results indicate that an LED emitting a peak wavelength close to an absorption maximum of rhodopsin is more effective at eliciting a response to light.

  19. The noncoding RNA taurine upregulated gene 1 is required for differentiation of the murine retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, T L; Matsuda, T; Cepko, C L

    2005-03-29

    With the advent of genome-wide analyses, it is becoming evident that a large number of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are expressed in vertebrates. However, of the thousands of ncRNAs identified, the functions of relatively few have been established. In a screen for genes upregulated by taurine in developing retinal cells, we identified a gene that appears to be a ncRNA. Taurine Upregulated Gene 1 (TUG1) is a spliced, polyadenylated RNA that does not encode any open reading frame greater than 82 amino acids in its full-length, 6.7 kilobase (kb) RNA sequence. Analyses of Northern blots and in situ hybridization revealed that TUG1 is expressed in the developing retina and brain, as well as in adult tissues. In the newborn retina, knockdown of TUG1 with RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in malformed or nonexistent outer segments of transfected photoreceptors. Immunofluorescent staining and microarray analyses suggested that this loss of proper photoreceptor differentiation is a result of the disregulation of photoreceptor gene expression. A function for a newly identified ncRNA, TUG1, has been established. TUG1 is necessary for the proper formation of photoreceptors in the developing rodent retina.

  20. The Ste20 kinase misshapen regulates both photoreceptor axon targeting and dorsal closure, acting downstream of distinct signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Y C; Maurel-Zaffran, C; Treisman, J E; Skolnik, E Y

    2000-07-01

    We have previously shown that the Ste20 kinase encoded by misshapen (msn) functions upstream of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinase module in Drosophila. msn is required to activate the Drosophila JNK, Basket (Bsk), to promote dorsal closure of the embryo. A mammalian homolog of Msn, Nck interacting kinase, interacts with the SH3 domains of the SH2-SH3 adapter protein Nck. We now show that Msn likewise interacts with Dreadlocks (Dock), the Drosophila homolog of Nck. dock is required for the correct targeting of photoreceptor axons. We have performed a structure-function analysis of Msn in vivo in Drosophila in order to elucidate the mechanism whereby Msn regulates JNK and to determine whether msn, like dock, is required for the correct targeting of photoreceptor axons. We show that Msn requires both a functional kinase and a C-terminal regulatory domain to activate JNK in vivo in Drosophila. A mutation in a PXXP motif on Msn that prevents it from binding to the SH3 domains of Dock does not affect its ability to rescue the dorsal closure defect in msn embryos, suggesting that Dock is not an upstream regulator of msn in dorsal closure. Larvae with only this mutated form of Msn show a marked disruption in photoreceptor axon targeting, implicating an SH3 domain protein in this process; however, an activated form of Msn is not sufficient to rescue the dock mutant phenotype. Mosaic analysis reveals that msn expression is required in photoreceptors in order for their axons to project correctly. The data presented here genetically link msn to two distinct biological events, dorsal closure and photoreceptor axon pathfinding, and thus provide the first evidence that Ste20 kinases of the germinal center kinase family play a role in axonal pathfinding. The ability of Msn to interact with distinct classes of adapter molecules in dorsal closure and photoreceptor axon pathfinding may provide the flexibility that allows it to link to distinct

  1. Correction of the retinal dystrophy phenotype of the RCS rat by viral gene transfer of Mertk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollrath, D; Feng, W; Duncan, J L; Yasumura, D; D'Cruz, P M; Chappelow, A; Matthes, M T; Kay, M A; LaVail, M M

    2001-10-23

    The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat is a widely studied animal model of retinal degeneration in which the inability of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to phagocytize shed photoreceptor outer segments leads to a progressive loss of rod and cone photoreceptors. We recently used positional cloning to demonstrate that the gene Mertk likely corresponds to the retinal dystrophy (rdy) locus of the RCS rat. In the present study, we sought to determine whether gene transfer of Mertk to a RCS rat retina would result in correction of the RPE phagocytosis defect and preservation of photoreceptors. We used subretinal injection of a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus encoding rat Mertk to deliver the gene to the eyes of young RCS rats. Electrophysiological assessment of animals 30 days after injection revealed an increased sensitivity of treated eyes to low-intensity light. Histologic and ultrastructural assessment demonstrated substantial sparing of photoreceptors, preservation of outer segment structure, and correction of the RPE phagocytosis defect in areas surrounding the injection site. Our results provide definitive evidence that mutation of Mertk underlies the RCS retinal dystrophy phenotype, and that the phenotype can be corrected by treatment of juvenile animals. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of complementation of both a functional cellular defect (phagocytosis) and a photoreceptor degeneration by gene transfer to the RPE. These results, together with the recent discovery of MERTK mutations in individuals with retinitis pigmentosa, emphasize the importance of the RCS rat as a model for gene therapy of diseases that arise from RPE dysfunction.

  2. Human neural progenitor cells decrease photoreceptor degeneration, normalize opsin distribution and support synapse structure in cultured porcine retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollick, Tanzina; Mohlin, Camilla; Johansson, Kjell

    2016-09-01

    Retinal neurodegenerative disorders like retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment decrease retinal functionality leading to visual impairment. The pathological events are characterized by photoreceptor degeneration, synaptic disassembly, remodeling of postsynaptic neurons and activation of glial cells. Despite intense research, no effective treatment has been found for these disorders. The current study explores the potential of human neural progenitor cell (hNPC) derived factors to slow the degenerative processes in adult porcine retinal explants. Retinas were cultured for 3 days with or without hNPCs as a feeder layer and investigated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), immunohistochemical, western blot and quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) techniques. TUNEL showed that hNPCs had the capacity to limit photoreceptor cell death. Among cone photoreceptors, hNPC coculture resulted in better maintenance of cone outer segments and reduced opsin mislocalization. Additionally, maintained synaptic structural integrity and preservation of second order calbindin positive horizontal cells was also observed. However, Müller cell gliosis only seemed to be alleviated in terms of reduced Müller cell density. Our observations indicate that at 3 days of coculture, hNPC derived factors had the capacity to protect photoreceptors, maintain synaptic integrity and support horizontal cell survival. Human neural progenitor cell applied treatment modalities may be an effective strategy to help maintain retinal functionality in neurodegenerative pathologies. Whether hNPCs can independently hinder Müller cell gliosis by utilizing higher concentrations or by combination with other pharmacological agents still needs to be determined. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Development and degeneration of cone bipolar cells are independent of cone photoreceptors in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao Chen

    Full Text Available Retinal photoreceptors die during retinal synaptogenesis in a portion of retinal degeneration. Whether cone bipolar cells establish regular retinal mosaics and mature morphologies, and resist degeneration are not completely understood. To explore these issues, we backcrossed a transgenic mouse expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP in one subset of cone bipolar cells (type 7 into rd1 mice, a classic mouse model of retinal degeneration, to examine the development and survival of cone bipolar cells in a background of retinal degeneration. Our data revealed that both the development and degeneration of cone bipolar cells are independent of the normal activity of cone photoreceptors. We found that type 7 cone bipolar cells achieved a uniform tiling of the retinal surface and developed normal dendritic and axonal arbors without the influence of cone photoreceptor innervation. On the other hand, degeneration of type 7 cone bipolar cells, contrary to our belief of central-to-peripheral progression, was spatially uniform across the retina independent of the spatiotemporal pattern of cone degeneration. The results have important implications for the design of more effective therapies to restore vision in retinal degeneration.

  4. Applications of hydrogen deuterium exchange (HDX for the characterization of conformational dynamics in light-activated photoreceptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eLindner

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Rational design of optogenetic tools is inherently linked to the understanding of photoreceptor function. Structural analysis of elements involved in signal integration in individual sensor domains provides an initial idea of their mode of operation, but understanding how local structural rearrangements eventually affect signal transmission to output domains requires inclusion of the effector regions in the characterization. However, the dynamic nature of these assemblies renders their structural analysis challenging and therefore a combination of high- and low-resolution techniques is required to appreciate functional aspects of photoreceptors.This review focuses on the potential of Hydrogen-Deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS for complementing the structural characterization of photoreceptors. In this respect, the ability of HDX-MS to provide information on the conformational dynamics and the possibility to address multiple functionally relevant states in solution render this methodology ideally suitable. We highlight recent examples demonstrating the potential of HDX-MS and discuss how these results can help to improve existing optogenetic systems or guide the design of novel optogenetic tools.

  5. Luminescence- and nanoparticle-mediated increase of light absorption by photoreceptor cells: Converting UV light to visible light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lei; Sahi, Sunil K; Peng, Mingying; Lee, Eric B; Ma, Lun; Wojtowicz, Jennifer L; Malin, John H; Chen, Wei

    2016-02-10

    We developed new optic devices - singly-doped luminescence glasses and nanoparticle-coated lenses that convert UV light to visible light - for improvement of visual system functions. Tb(3+) or Eu(3+) singly-doped borate glasses or CdS-quantum dot (CdS-QD) coated lenses efficiently convert UV light to 542 nm or 613 nm wavelength narrow-band green or red light, or wide-spectrum white light, and thereby provide extra visible light to the eye. In zebrafish (wild-type larvae and adult control animals, retinal degeneration mutants, and light-induced photoreceptor cell degeneration models), the use of Tb(3+) or Eu(3+) doped luminescence glass or CdS-QD coated glass lenses provide additional visible light to the rod and cone photoreceptor cells, and thereby improve the visual system functions. The data provide proof-of-concept for the future development of optic devices for improvement of visual system functions in patients who suffer from photoreceptor cell degeneration or related retinal diseases.

  6. Blockage of NOX2/MAPK/NF-κB Pathway Protects Photoreceptors against Glucose Deprivation-Induced Cell Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Fan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Acute energy failure is one of the critical factors contributing to the pathogenic mechanisms of retinal ischemia. Our previous study demonstrated that glucose deprivation can lead to a caspase-dependent cell death of photoreceptors. The aim of this study was to decipher the upstream signal pathway in glucose deprivation- (GD- induced cell death. We mimicked acute energy failure by using glucose deprivation in photoreceptor cells (661W cells. GD-induced oxidative stress was evaluated by measuring ROS with the DCFH-DA assay and HO-1 expression by Western blot analysis. The activation of NOX2/MAPK/NF-κB signal was assessed by Western blot and immunohistochemical assays. The roles of these signals in GD-induced cell death were measured by using their specific inhibitors. Inhibition of Rac-1 and NOX2 suppressed GD-induced oxidative stress and protected photoreceptors against GD-induced cell death. NOX2 was an upstream signal in the caspase-dependent cell death cascade, yet the downstream MAPK pathways were activated and blocking MAPK signals rescued 661W cells from GD-induced death. In addition, GD caused the activation of NF-κB signal and inhibiting NF-κB significantly protected 661W cells. These observations may provide insights for treating retinal ischemic diseases and protecting retinal neurons from ischemia-induced cell death.

  7. Material Exchange in Photoreceptor Transplantation: Updating Our Understanding of Donor/Host Communication and the Future of Cell Engraftment Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickerson, Philip E B; Ortin-Martinez, Arturo; Wallace, Valerie A

    2018-01-01

    Considerable research effort has been invested into the transplantation of mammalian photoreceptors into healthy and degenerating mouse eyes. Several platforms of rod and cone fluorescent reporting have been central to refining the isolation, purification and transplantation of photoreceptors. The tracking of engrafted cells, including identifying the position, morphology and degree of donor cell integration post-transplant is highly dependent on the use of fluorescent protein reporters. Improvements in imaging and analysis of transplant recipients have revealed that donor cell fluorescent reporters can transfer into host tissue though a process termed material exchange (ME). This recent discovery has chaperoned a new era of interpretation when reviewing the field's use of dissociated donor cell preparations, and has prompted scientists to re-examine how we use and interpret the information derived from fluorescence-based tracking tools. In this review, we describe the status of our understanding of ME in photoreceptor transplantation. In addition, we discuss the impact of this discovery on several aspects of historical rod and cone transplantation data, and provide insight into future standards and approaches to advance the field of cell engraftment.

  8. Material Exchange in Photoreceptor Transplantation: Updating Our Understanding of Donor/Host Communication and the Future of Cell Engraftment Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip E. B. Nickerson

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Considerable research effort has been invested into the transplantation of mammalian photoreceptors into healthy and degenerating mouse eyes. Several platforms of rod and cone fluorescent reporting have been central to refining the isolation, purification and transplantation of photoreceptors. The tracking of engrafted cells, including identifying the position, morphology and degree of donor cell integration post-transplant is highly dependent on the use of fluorescent protein reporters. Improvements in imaging and analysis of transplant recipients have revealed that donor cell fluorescent reporters can transfer into host tissue though a process termed material exchange (ME. This recent discovery has chaperoned a new era of interpretation when reviewing the field’s use of dissociated donor cell preparations, and has prompted scientists to re-examine how we use and interpret the information derived from fluorescence-based tracking tools. In this review, we describe the status of our understanding of ME in photoreceptor transplantation. In addition, we discuss the impact of this discovery on several aspects of historical rod and cone transplantation data, and provide insight into future standards and approaches to advance the field of cell engraftment.

  9. Multiple photoreceptor systems control the swim pacemaker activity in box jellyfish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garm, Anders Lydik; Mori, S.

    2009-01-01

    Like all other cnidarian medusae, box jellyfish propel themselves through the water by contracting their bell-shaped body in discrete swim pulses. These pulses are controlled by a swim pacemaker system situated in their sensory structures, the rhopalia. Each medusa has four rhopalia each with a s......Like all other cnidarian medusae, box jellyfish propel themselves through the water by contracting their bell-shaped body in discrete swim pulses. These pulses are controlled by a swim pacemaker system situated in their sensory structures, the rhopalia. Each medusa has four rhopalia each...... with a similar set of six eyes of four morphologically different types. We have examined how each of the four eye types influences the swim pacemaker. Multiple photoreceptor systems, three of the four eye types, plus the rhopalial neuropil, affect the swim pacemaker. The lower lens eye inhibits the pacemaker...... when stimulated and provokes a strong increase in the pacemaker frequency upon light-off. The upper lens eye, the pit eyes and the rhopalial neuropil all have close to the opposite effect. When these responses are compared with all-eye stimulations it is seen that some advanced integration must take...

  10. How can EPR spectroscopy help to unravel molecular mechanisms of flavin-dependent photoreceptors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eNohr

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy is a well-established spectroscopic method for the examination of paramagnetic molecules. Proteins can contain paramagnetic moieties in form of stable cofactors, transiently formed intermediates, or spin labels artificially introduced to cysteine sites. The focus of this review is to evaluate potential scopes of application of EPR to the emerging field of optogenetics. The main objective for EPR spectroscopy in this context is to unravel the complex mechanisms of light-active proteins, from their primary photoreaction to downstream signal transduction. An overview of recent results from the family of flavin-containing, blue-light dependent photoreceptors is given. In detail, mechanistic similarities and differences are condensed from the three classes of flavoproteins, the cryptochromes, LOV (Light-oxygen-voltage, and BLUF (blue-light using FAD domains. Additionally, a concept that includes spin-labeled proteins and examination using modern pulsed EPR is introduced, which allows for a precise mapping of light-induced conformational changes.

  11. How can EPR spectroscopy help to unravel molecular mechanisms of flavin-dependent photoreceptors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nohr, Daniel; Rodriguez, Ryan; Weber, Stefan; Schleicher, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a well-established spectroscopic method for the examination of paramagnetic molecules. Proteins can contain paramagnetic moieties in form of stable cofactors, transiently formed intermediates, or spin labels artificially introduced to cysteine sites. The focus of this review is to evaluate potential scopes of application of EPR to the emerging field of optogenetics. The main objective for EPR spectroscopy in this context is to unravel the complex mechanisms of light-active proteins, from their primary photoreaction to downstream signal transduction. An overview of recent results from the family of flavin-containing, blue-light dependent photoreceptors is given. In detail, mechanistic similarities and differences are condensed from the three classes of flavoproteins, the cryptochromes, LOV (Light-oxygen-voltage), and BLUF (blue-light using FAD) domains. Additionally, a concept that includes spin-labeled proteins and examination using modern pulsed EPR is introduced, which allows for a precise mapping of light-induced conformational changes.

  12. Effect of hydroxylamine on photon-like events during dark adaptation in toad rod photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibrock, C S; Lamb, T D

    1997-01-01

    1. The suction pipette technique was used to investigate the recovery of toad rod photoreceptors following small bleaches of 0.2-3% of the rhodopsin. 2. The reduction in sensitivity and the increase in noise elicited by bleaches were measured, and from these measurements the underlying rate of occurrence of photon-like events was calculated as a function of time after the bleach. 3. Exposure to hydroxylamine solution was used to hasten the decomposition of the metarhodopsin photoproducts. The outer segment was exposed to 110 mM hydroxylamine in a low-Ca2+ Ringer solution for a period of 10-50 s beginning 10-17 min after the bleaching exposure. 4. By the time of the hydroxylamine exposure, the flash sensitivity and response kinetics had returned almost to normal, and were not significantly altered by the exposure. 5. Following hydroxylamine exposure, the rate of spontaneous photon-like events in the rods declined rapidly to near pre-bleach levels. 6. We conclude that hydroxylamine reduces the rate of occurrence of photon-like events induced by a bleach, and we postulate that this reduction results from the removal of metarhodopsin (most likely metarhodopsin II) from the outer segment. 7. Our results are consistent with a model in which photon-like events result from reversal of the reactions (phosphorylation and capping by arrestin) that lead to inactivation of the activated form of rhodopsin, Rh*. PMID:9174997

  13. Molecular determinants of Guanylate Cyclase Activating Protein subcellular distribution in photoreceptor cells of the retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Begines, Santiago; Plana-Bonamaisó, Anna; Méndez, Ana

    2018-02-13

    Retinal guanylate cyclase (RetGC) and guanylate cyclase activating proteins (GCAPs) play an important role during the light response in photoreceptor cells. Mutations in these proteins are linked to distinct forms of blindness. RetGC and GCAPs exert their role at the ciliary outer segment where phototransduction takes place. We investigated the mechanisms governing GCAP1 and GCAP2 distribution to rod outer segments by expressing selected GCAP1 and GCAP2 mutants as transient transgenes in the rods of GCAP1/2 double knockout mice. We show that precluding GCAP1 direct binding to RetGC (K23D/GCAP1) prevented its distribution to rod outer segments, while preventing GCAP1 activation of RetGC post-binding (W94A/GCAP1) did not. We infer that GCAP1 translocation to the outer segment strongly depends on GCAP1 binding affinity for RetGC, which points to GCAP1 requirement to bind to RetGC to be transported. We gain further insight into the distinctive regulatory steps of GCAP2 distribution, by showing that a phosphomimic at position 201 is sufficient to retain GCAP2 at proximal compartments; and that the bovine equivalent to blindness-causative mutation G157R/GCAP2 results in enhanced phosphorylation in vitro and significant retention at the inner segment in vivo, as likely contributing factors to the pathophysiology.

  14. Complementary shifts in photoreceptor spectral tuning unlock the full adaptive potential of ultraviolet vision in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toomey, Matthew B; Lind, Olle; Frederiksen, Rikard; Curley, Robert W; Riedl, Ken M; Wilby, David; Schwartz, Steven J; Witt, Christopher C; Harrison, Earl H; Roberts, Nicholas W; Vorobyev, Misha; McGraw, Kevin J; Cornwall, M Carter; Kelber, Almut; Corbo, Joseph C

    2016-07-12

    Color vision in birds is mediated by four types of cone photoreceptors whose maximal sensitivities (λmax) are evenly spaced across the light spectrum. In the course of avian evolution, the λmax of the most shortwave-sensitive cone, SWS1, has switched between violet (λmax > 400 nm) and ultraviolet (λmax < 380 nm) multiple times. This shift of the SWS1 opsin is accompanied by a corresponding short-wavelength shift in the spectrally adjacent SWS2 cone. Here, we show that SWS2 cone spectral tuning is mediated by modulating the ratio of two apocarotenoids, galloxanthin and 11’,12’-dihydrogalloxanthin, which act as intracellular spectral filters in this cell type. We propose an enzymatic pathway that mediates the differential production of these apocarotenoids in the avian retina, and we use color vision modeling to demonstrate how correlated evolution of spectral tuning is necessary to achieve even sampling of the light spectrum and thereby maintain near-optimal color discrimination.

  15. Induction of the unfolded protein response by constitutive G-protein signaling in rod photoreceptor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tian; Chen, Jeannie

    2014-10-17

    Phototransduction is a G-protein signal transduction cascade that converts photon absorption to a change in current at the plasma membrane. Certain genetic mutations affecting the proteins in the phototransduction cascade cause blinding disorders in humans. Some of these mutations serve as a genetic source of "equivalent light" that activates the cascade, whereas other mutations lead to amplification of the light response. How constitutive phototransduction causes photoreceptor cell death is poorly understood. We showed that persistent G-protein signaling, which occurs in rod arrestin and rhodopsin kinase knock-out mice, caused a rapid and specific induction of the PERK pathway of the unfolded protein response. These changes were not observed in the cGMP-gated channel knock-out rods, an equivalent light condition that mimics light-stimulated channel closure. Thus transducin signaling, but not channel closure, triggers rapid cell death in light damage caused by constitutive phototransduction. Additionally, we show that in the albino light damage model cell death was not associated with increase in global protein ubiquitination or unfolded protein response induction. Taken together, these observations provide novel mechanistic insights into the cell death pathway caused by constitutive phototransduction and identify the unfolded protein response as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Pupillometer-based objective chromatic perimetry in normal eyes and patients with retinal photoreceptor dystrophies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skaat, Alon; Sher, Ifat; Kolker, Andrew; Elyasiv, Sivan; Rosenfeld, Elkana; Mhajna, Mohamad; Melamed, Shlomo; Belkin, Michael; Rotenstreich, Ygal

    2013-04-17

    To evaluate a novel objective perimetry using multifocal chromatic pupil light reflex in normal participants and patients with photoreceptor dysfunction, and to relate this new technique with subjective dark-adapted chromatic Goldmann perimetry. Thirty-two eyes of 17 retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or cone-rod dystrophy patients and 20 eyes of 12 healthy individuals were tested. A computerized infrared video pupillometer was used to record changes in pupil diameter in response to short- and long-wavelength stimuli (peak 485 and 640 nm, respectively; light intensity 40 cd/m(2)) at 13 different points of the 30° visual field (VF), under background illumination of 2.7 cd/m(2). The pupillary response (PR) of patients was compared with PR obtained from normal control participants. In 11 patients, the pupillary responses were also compared with their findings on dark-adapted chromatic Goldmann perimetry. Significantly reduced pupillary responses were obtained in RP patients in response to the short-wavelength stimulus in nearly all perimetric locations (P chromatic Goldmann perimetry. In all patients that were tested by the chromatic Goldmann, minimal PR was recorded in areas that were nondetected in the chromatic Goldmann perimetry. This study demonstrates the potential feasibility of using pupillometer-based chromatic perimetry for objectively assessing VF defects and retinal function in patients with retinal dystrophies. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01021982.).

  17. [Restoring vision in blind patients following photoreceptor degeneration: clinical results and future challenges].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendali, Amel; Lorach, Henri; Djilas, Milan; Marre, Olivier; Bensoman, Ryad; Rousseau, Lionel; Lissorgues, Gaëlle; Scorsone, Emmanuel; Bergonzo, Philippe; Garrido, Jose A; Sahel, José Alain; Picaud, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Retinal prostheses aim at restoring vision in patients blind from photoreceptor degeneration by electrically stimulating the residual retinal tissue. Currently, the most efficient implants are either inserted in the subretinal space or on the vitreal side of the retina (epi-retinal). Although the residual tissue can partly degenerate, it was shown that acute stimulation of residual neurones can induce visual percepts. Recently, a clinical trial with the epiretinal Argus2 device (60 electrodes) from the company 2nd Sight enabled most patients to orient and find light targets, some even reading words. This device has received a CE mark. Surprisingly, when the subretinal implant from the company Retina Implant AG displaying many more electrodes (1500 electrodes) was evaluated in clinical trials, the patient visual performances were fairly similar. The restored visual performances of the patients demonstrate that blind patients can recover some visual function when their residual retina is properly stimulated. However, the resolution is not yet sufficient to perform complex tasks such as autonomous locomotion, face identification or text reading. Several challenges remain to generate an increase in pixel density corresponding to the increase in electrode number and density. These challenges include the stimulation modality, the tissue/implant interface design, the electrode materials, and the visual information encoder. This review will discuss these great challenges after introducing the major clinical results. © Société de Biologie, 2013.

  18. Fasudil, a Clinically Used ROCK Inhibitor, Stabilizes Rod Photoreceptor Synapses after Retinal Detachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townes-Anderson, Ellen; Wang, Jianfeng; Halász, Éva; Sugino, Ilene; Pitler, Amy; Whitehead, Ian; Zarbin, Marco

    2017-06-01

    Retinal detachment disrupts the rod-bipolar synapse in the outer plexiform layer by retraction of rod axons. We showed that breakage is due to RhoA activation whereas inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK), using Y27632, reduces synaptic damage. We test whether the ROCK inhibitor fasudil, used for other clinical applications, can prevent synaptic injury after detachment. Detachments were made in pigs by subretinal injection of balanced salt solution (BSS) or fasudil (1, 10 mM). In some animals, fasudil was injected intravitreally after BSS-induced detachment. After 2 to 4 hours, retinae were fixed for immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. Axon retraction was quantified by imaging synaptic vesicle label in the outer nuclear layer. Apoptosis was analyzed using propidium iodide staining. For biochemical analysis by Western blotting, retinal explants, detached from retinal pigmented epithelium, were cultured for 2 hours. Subretinal injection of fasudil (10 mM) reduced retraction of rod spherules by 51.3% compared to control detachments ( n = 3 pigs, P = 0.002). Intravitreal injection of 10 mM fasudil, a more clinically feasible route of administration, also reduced retraction (28.7%, n = 5, P ROCK, was decreased with 30 μM fasudil ( n = 8-10 explants, P ROCK signaling with fasudil reduced photoreceptor degeneration and preserved the rod-bipolar synapse after retinal detachment. These results support the possibility, previously tested with Y27632, that ROCK inhibition may attenuate synaptic damage in iatrogenic detachments.

  19. Modulation of recognition memory performance by light requires both melanopsin and classical photoreceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Shu K. E.; Hasan, Sibah; Hughes, Steven; Hankins, Mark W.; Foster, Russell G.; Bannerman, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Acute light exposure exerts various effects on physiology and behaviour. Although the effects of light on brain network activity in humans are well demonstrated, the effects of light on cognitive performance are inconclusive, with the size, as well as direction, of the effect depending on the nature of the task. Similarly, in nocturnal rodents, bright light can either facilitate or disrupt performance depending on the type of task employed. Crucially, it is unclear whether the effects of light on behavioural performance are mediated via the classical image-forming rods and cones or the melanopsin-expressing photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. Here, we investigate the modulatory effects of light on memory performance in mice using the spontaneous object recognition task. Importantly, we examine which photoreceptors are required to mediate the effects of light on memory performance. By using a cross-over design, we show that object recognition memory is disrupted when the test phase is conducted under a bright light (350 lux), regardless of the light level in the sample phase (10 or 350 lux), demonstrating that exposure to a bright light at the time of test, rather than at the time of encoding, impairs performance. Strikingly, the modulatory effect of light on memory performance is completely abolished in both melanopsin-deficient and rodless–coneless mice. Our findings provide direct evidence that melanopsin-driven and rod/cone-driven photoresponses are integrated in order to mediate the effect of light on memory performance. PMID:28003454

  20. The two parallel photocycles of the Chlamydomonas sensory photoreceptor histidine kinase rhodopsin 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Meike; Hegemann, Peter

    2017-10-01

    Histidine kinase rhodopsins (HKRs) belong to a class of unexplored sensory photoreceptors that share a similar modular architecture. The light sensing rhodopsin domain is covalently linked to signal-transducing modules and in some cases to a C-terminal guanylyl-cyclase effector. In spite of their wide distribution in unicellular organisms, very little is known about their physiological role and mechanistic functioning. We investigated the photochemical properties of the recombinant rhodopsin-fragment of Cr-HKR1 originating from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Our spectroscopic studies revealed an unusual thermal stability of the photoproducts with the deprotonated retinal Schiff base (RSB). Upon UV-irradiation these Rh-UV states with maximal absorbance in the UVA-region (Rh-UV) photochemically convert to stable blue light absorbing rhodopsin (Rh-Bl) with protonated chromophore. The heterogeneity of the sample is based on two parallel photocycles with the chromophore in C 15 =N-syn- or -anti-configuration. This report represents an attempt to decipher the underlying reaction schemes and interconversions of the two coexisting photocycles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Distribution of macular xanthophylls between domains in a model of photoreceptor outer segment membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisniewska, Anna; Subczynski, Witold K

    2006-10-15

    A model of photoreceptor outer segment (POS) membranes has been proposed, consisting of an equimolar ternary mixture of 1-palmitoyl-2-docosahexaenoylphosphatidylcholine/distearoylphosphatidylcholine/cholesterol. It was shown that, as in membranes made from the raft-forming mixture, in the model of POS membranes, two domains are formed: the raft domain (detergent resistant membranes, DRM), and the bulk domain (detergent soluble membranes, DSM). Saturation-recovery EPR discrimination by oxygen transport method also demonstrated the presence of two domains in this model system in situ at a wide range of temperatures (10-55 degrees C), showing additionally that neither lutein nor zeaxanthin at 1 mol% affect the formation of these domains. These membrane domains have been separated using cold Triton X-100 extraction from a model of POS membranes containing 1 mol% of either lutein or zeaxanthin. The results indicated that the macular xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin are substantially excluded from DRM and remain concentrated in DSM, a domain enriched in highly unsaturated docosahexaenoyl acid which is abundant in retina membranes. The concentration of xanthophylls in DRM and DSM calculated as the mol ratio of either xanthophyll to total lipid (phospholipid+cholesterol) was 0.0028 and 0.0391, respectively. Thus, xanthophylls are about 14 times more concentrated in DSM than in DRM. No significant difference in the distribution of lutein and zeaxanthin was found. The obtained results suggest that in POS membranes macular xanthophylls should also be concentrated in domains enriched in polyunsaturated chains.

  2. Location of macular xanthophylls in the most vulnerable regions of photoreceptor outer-segment membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subczynski, Witold K; Wisniewska, Anna; Widomska, Justyna

    2010-12-01

    Lutein and zeaxanthin are two dietary carotenoids that compose the macular pigment of the primate retina. Another carotenoid, meso-zeaxanthin, is formed from lutein in the retina. A membrane location is one possible site where these dipolar, terminally dihydroxylated carotenoids, named macular xanthophylls, are accumulated in the nerve fibers and photoreceptor outer segments. Macular xanthophylls are oriented perpendicular to the membrane surface, which ensures their high solubility, stability, and significant effects on membrane properties. It was recently shown that they are selectively accumulated in membrane domains that contain unsaturated phospholipids, and thus are located in the most vulnerable regions of the membrane. This location is ideal if they are to act as lipid antioxidants, which is the most accepted mechanism through which lutein and zeaxanthin protect the retina from age-related macular degeneration. In this mini-review, we examine published data on carotenoid-membrane interactions and present our hypothesis that the specific orientation and location of macular xanthophylls maximize their protective action in membranes of the eye retina. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Protein kinase C activation induces conductance changes in Hermissenda photoreceptors like those seen in associative learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, J; Auerbach, S

    Phosphorylation of ion channels has been suggested as one molecular mechanism responsible for learning-produced long-term changes in neuronal excitability. Persistent training-produced changes in two distinct K+ currents (IA (ref. 2), IK-Ca (refs 3,4)) and a voltage-dependent calcium current (ICa; refs 3,4) have previously been shown to occur in type B photoreceptors of Hermissenda, as a result of associative learning. But the identity of the phosphorylation pathway(s) responsible for these changes has not as yet been determined. Injections of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase reduce a K+ current (IK) in B cells which is different from those changed by training, but fails to reduce IA and IK-Ca. Phosphorylase b kinase (an exogenous calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase) reduces IA, but whether IK-Ca and ICa are changed in the manner of associative training is not yet known. Another protein kinase present in high concentrations in both mammalian brain and molluscan nervous systems is protein kinase C, which is both calcium- and phospholipid-sensitive. We now present evidence that activation of protein kinase C by the tumour promoter phorbol ester (PDB) and intracellular injection of the enzyme induce conductance changes similar to those caused by associative training in Hermissenda B cells (that is a reduction of IA and IK-Ca, and enhancement of ICa). These results represent the first direct demonstration that protein kinase C affects membrane K+ ion conductance mechanisms.

  4. Role of fractalkine/CX3CR1 interaction in light-induced photoreceptor degeneration through regulating retinal microglial activation and migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Excessive exposure to light enhances the progression and severity of some human retinal degenerative diseases. While retinal microglia are likely to be important in neuron damage associated with these diseases, the relationship between photoreceptor damage and microglial activation remains poorly understood. Some recent studies have indicated that the chemokine fractalkine is involved in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. The present study was performed to investigate the cross-talk between injured photoreceptors and activated retinal microglia, focusing on the role of fractalkine and its receptor CX3CR1 in light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Both in vivo and in vitro experiments were involved in the research. In vivo, Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to blue light for 24 hours. In vitro, the co-culture of primary retinal microglia and a photoreceptor cell line (661W cell was exposed to blue light for five hours. Some cultures were pretreated by the addition of anti-CX3CR1 neutralizing antibody or recombinant fractalkine. Expression of fractalkine/CX3CR1 and inflammatory cytokines was detected by immunofluorescence, real-time PCR, Western immunoblot analysis, and ELISA assay. TUNEL method was used to detect cell apoptosis. In addition, chemotaxis assay was performed to evaluate the impact of soluble fractalkine on microglial migration. Our results showed that the expression of fractalkine that was significantly upregulated after exposure to light, located mainly at the photoreceptors. The extent of photoreceptor degeneration and microglial migration paralleled the increased level of fractalkine/CX3CR1. Compared with the control, the expression of inflammatory cytokines was significantly downregulated in the anti-CX3CR1 neutralizing antibody-treated group, and the number of photoreceptors was also well preserved. The addition of recombinant full-length fractalkine or soluble

  5. C-terminal region of the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 initiates signaling through interaction with the COP1 protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloix, Catherine; Kaiserli, Eirini; Heilmann, Monika; Baxter, Katherine J.; Brown, Bobby A.; O’Hara, Andrew; Smith, Brian O.; Christie, John M.; Jenkins, Gareth I.

    2012-01-01

    UV-B light initiates photomorphogenic responses in plants. Arabidopsis UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8) specifically mediates these responses by functioning as a UV-B photoreceptor. UV-B exposure converts UVR8 from a dimer to a monomer, stimulates the rapid accumulation of UVR8 in the nucleus, where it binds to chromatin, and induces interaction of UVR8 with CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1), which functions with UVR8 to control photomorphogenic UV-B responses. Although the crystal structure of UVR8 reveals the basis of photoreception, it does not show how UVR8 initiates signaling through interaction with COP1. Here we report that a region of 27 amino acids from the C terminus of UVR8 (C27) mediates the interaction with COP1. The C27 region is necessary for UVR8 function in the regulation of gene expression and hypocotyl growth suppression in Arabidopsis. However, UVR8 lacking C27 still undergoes UV-B–induced monomerization in both yeast and plant protein extracts, accumulates in the nucleus in response to UV-B, and interacts with chromatin at the UVR8-regulated ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5) gene. The UV-B–dependent interaction of UVR8 and COP1 is reproduced in yeast cells and we show that C27 is both necessary and sufficient for the interaction of UVR8 with the WD40 domain of COP1. Furthermore, we show that C27 interacts in yeast with the REPRESSOR OF UV-B PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS proteins, RUP1 and RUP2, which are negative regulators of UVR8 function. Hence the C27 region has a key role in UVR8 function. PMID:22988111

  6. Tokay gecko photoreceptors achieve rod-like physiology with cone-like proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xue; Wensel, Theodore G; Yuan, Ching

    2006-01-01

    The retinal photoreceptors of the nocturnal Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) consist exclusively of rods by the criteria of morphology and key features of their light responses. Unlike cones, they display robust photoresponses and have relatively slow recovery times. Nonetheless, the major and minor visual pigments identified in gecko rods are of the cone type by sequence and spectroscopic behavior. In the ongoing search for the molecular bases for the physiological differences between cones and rods, we have characterized the molecular biology and biochemistry of the gecko rod phototransduction cascade. We have cloned cDNAs encoding all or part of major protein components of the phototransduction cascade by RT-PCR with degenerate oligonucleotides designed to amplify cone- or rod-like sequences. For all proteins examined we obtained only cone-like and never rod-like sequences. The proteins identified include transducin alpha (Galphat), phosphodiesterase (PDE6) catalytic and inhibitory subunits, cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGalpha) and arrestin. We also cloned cDNA encoding gecko RGS9-1 (Regulator of G Protein Signaling 9, splice variant 1), which is expressed in both rods and cones of all species studied but is typically found at 10-fold higher concentrations in cones, and found that gecko rods contain slightly lower RGS9-1 levels than mammalian rods. Furthermore, we found that the levels of GTPase accelerating protein (GAP) activity and cyclic GMP (cGMP) phosphodiesterase activity were similar in gecko and mammalian rods. These results place substantial constraints on the critical changes needed to convert a cone into a rod in the course of evolution: The many features of phototransduction molecules conserved between those expressed in gecko rods and those expressed in cones cannot explain the physiological differences, whereas the higher levels of RGS9-1 and GAP activity in cones are likely among the essential requirements for the rapid photoresponses of cones.

  7. Studies concerning the photoreceptor pigments of stentor coeruleus and blepharisma japonicum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dax, T.G.

    2000-05-01

    In the presence of 1,8-bis-(dimethylamino)-naphthalene, solutions of 3-O-benzyl hypericin and 3,4-di-O-benzyl hypericin in aromatic solvents like benzene or toluene have shown to be photoreactive, whereas in the dark no reactions occurred. 3-O-benzyl hypericin was found to enter a photorearrangement reaction leading to a product species, whose structural details could be elicited by UV/VIS, NMR, and mass spectroscopy together with spectrophotometric titrations. Investigation results led to a 11-phenyl-11H-benz{4,10}anthra{2,1,9,8-nopqa}pleiadene skeleton forming the backbone of the photoproduct. This fundamental system is the more of interest since it highly resembles the parent compound of the blepharismins, the photoreceptor pigments of Blepharisma japonicum. In analogy to blepharismin C, which can be converted photochemically into oxyblepharismin C and further on into stentorin by treatment with acid, the photoproduct could be transformed into hypericin upon irradiation and additional acidic work up. As the photoproduct incorporates several equilibrium systems, computer aided calculations were executed to achieve an idea about the relative stability of the photoproduct's various isomeric forms. The described photoreaction represents a possible route for the total synthesis of blepharismins and oxyblepharismins. Furthermore, it could shed some light on the biogenesis of these photosensing pigments. Irradiation of 3,4-di-O-benzyl hypericin in benzene solution together with a large excess of 1,8-bis-(dimethylamino)-naphthalene produced a species exhibiting a tremendous absorption band in the near IR. By means of EPR spectroscopy it could be stated that this primary photoproduct was of radical nature. The product was examined by means of UV/VIS, NMR, IR and mass spectroscopy. (author)

  8. UV-B Perceived by the UVR8 Photoreceptor Inhibits Plant Thermomorphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Scott; Sharma, Ashutosh; Fraser, Donald P; Trevisan, Martine; Cragg-Barber, C Kester; Tavridou, Eleni; Fankhauser, Christian; Jenkins, Gareth I; Franklin, Keara A

    2017-01-09

    Small increases in ambient temperature can elicit striking effects on plant architecture, collectively termed thermomorphogenesis [1]. In Arabidopsis thaliana, these include marked stem elongation and leaf elevation, responses that have been predicted to enhance leaf cooling [2-5]. Thermomorphogenesis requires increased auxin biosynthesis, mediated by the bHLH transcription factor PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) [6-8], and enhanced stability of the auxin co-receptor TIR1, involving HEAT SHOCK PROTEIN 90 (HSP90) [9]. High-temperature-mediated hypocotyl elongation additionally involves localized changes in auxin metabolism, mediated by the indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-amido synthetase Gretchen Hagen 3 (GH3).17 [10]. Here we show that ultraviolet-B light (UV-B) perceived by the photoreceptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) [11] strongly attenuates thermomorphogenesis via multiple mechanisms inhibiting PIF4 activity. Suppression of thermomorphogenesis involves UVR8 and CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1)-mediated repression of PIF4 transcript accumulation, reducing PIF4 abundance. UV-B also stabilizes the bHLH protein LONG HYPOCOTYL IN FAR RED (HFR1), which can bind to and inhibit PIF4 function. Collectively, our results demonstrate complex crosstalk between UV-B and high-temperature signaling. As plants grown in sunlight would most likely experience concomitant elevations in UV-B and ambient temperature, elucidating how these pathways are integrated is of key importance to the understanding of plant development in natural environments. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Chromatic detection from cone photoreceptors to V1 neurons to behavior in rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, Charles A; Angueyra, Juan M; Lindbloom-Brown, Zachary; Rieke, Fred; Horwitz, Gregory D

    2015-01-01

    Chromatic sensitivity cannot exceed limits set by noise in the cone photoreceptors. To determine how close neurophysiological and psychophysical chromatic sensitivity come to these limits, we developed a parameter-free model of stimulus encoding in the cone outer segments, and we compared the sensitivity of the model to the psychophysical sensitivity of monkeys performing a detection task and to the sensitivity of individual V1 neurons. Modeled cones had a temporal impulse response and a noise power spectrum that were derived from in vitro recordings of macaque cones, and V1 recordings were made during performance of the detection task. The sensitivity of the simulated cone mosaic, the V1 neurons, and the monkeys were tightly yoked for low-spatiotemporal-frequency isoluminant modulations, indicating high-fidelity signal transmission for this class of stimuli. Under the conditions of our experiments and the assumptions for our model, the signal-to-noise ratio for these stimuli dropped by a factor of ∼3 between the cones and perception. Populations of weakly correlated V1 neurons narrowly exceeded the monkeys' chromatic sensitivity but fell well short of the cones' chromatic sensitivity, suggesting that most of the behavior-limiting noise lies between the cone outer segments and the output of V1. The sensitivity gap between the cones and behavior for achromatic stimuli was larger than for chromatic stimuli, indicating greater postreceptoral noise. The cone mosaic model provides a means to compare visual sensitivity across disparate stimuli and to identify sources of noise that limit visual sensitivity.

  10. Cell Fate of Müller Cells During Photoreceptor Regeneration in an N-Methyl-N-nitrosourea-Induced Retinal Degeneration Model of Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogai, Kazuhiro; Hisano, Suguru; Sugitani, Kayo; Koriyama, Yoshiki; Kato, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    Zebrafish can regenerate several organs such as the tail fin, heart, central nervous system, and photoreceptors. Very recently, a study has demonstrated the photoreceptor regeneration in the alkylating agent N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced retinal degeneration (RD) zebrafish model, in which whole photoreceptors are lost within a week after MNU treatment and then regenerated within a month. The research has also shown massive proliferation of Müller cells within a week. To address the question of whether proliferating Müller cells are the source of regenerating photoreceptors, which remains unknown in the MNU-induced zebrafish RD model, we employed a BrdU pulse-chase technique to label the proliferating cells within a week after MNU treatment. As a result of the BrdU pulse-chase technique, a number of BrdU(+) cells were observed in the outer nuclear layer as well as the inner nuclear layer. This implies that regenerating photoreceptors are derived from proliferating Müller cells in the zebrafish MNU-induced RD model.

  11. Quantitative and Topographical Analysis of the Losses of Cone Photoreceptors and Retinal Ganglion Cells Under Taurine Depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadj-Saïd, Wahiba; Froger, Nicolas; Ivkovic, Ivana; Jiménez-López, Manuel; Dubus, Élisabeth; Dégardin-Chicaud, Julie; Simonutti, Manuel; Quénol, César; Neveux, Nathalie; Villegas-Pérez, María Paz; Agudo-Barriuso, Marta; Vidal-Sanz, Manuel; Sahel, Jose-Alain; Picaud, Serge; García-Ayuso, Diego

    2016-09-01

    Taurine depletion is known to induce photoreceptor degeneration and was recently found to also trigger retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss similar to the retinal toxicity of vigabatrin. Our objective was to study the topographical loss of RGCs and cone photoreceptors, with a distinction between the two cone types (S- and L- cones) in an animal model of induced taurine depletion. We used the taurine transporter (Tau-T) inhibitor, guanidoethane sulfonate (GES), to induce taurine depletion at a concentration of 1% in the drinking water. Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and electroretinograms (ERG) were performed on animals after 2 months of GES treatment administered through the drinking water. Retinas were dissected as wholemounts and immunodetection of Brn3a (RGC), S-opsin (S-cones), and L-opsin (L-cones) was performed. The number of Brn3a+ RGCs, and L- and S-opsin+ cones was automatically quantified and their retinal distribution studied using isodensity maps. The treatment resulted in a significant reduction in plasma taurine levels and a profound dysfunction of visual performance as shown by ERG recordings. Optical coherence tomography analysis revealed that the retina was thinner in the taurine-depleted group. S-opsin+cones were more affected (36%) than L-opsin+cones (27%) with greater cone cell loss in the dorsal area whereas RGC loss (12%) was uniformly distributed. This study confirms that taurine depletion causes RGC and cone loss. Electroretinograms results show that taurine depletion induces retinal dysfunction in photoreceptors and in the inner retina. It establishes a gradient of cell loss depending on the cell type from S-opsin+cones, L-opsin+cones, to RGCs. The greater cell loss in the dorsal retina and of the S-cone population may underline different cellular mechanisms of cellular degeneration and suggests that S-cones may be more sensitive to light-induced retinal toxicity enhanced by the taurine depletion.

  12. An N-Terminal ER Export Signal Facilitates the Plasma Membrane Targeting of HCN1 Channels in Photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yuan; Laird, Joseph G; Yamaguchi, David M; Baker, Sheila A

    2015-06-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated 1 (HCN1) channels are widely expressed in the retina. In photoreceptors, the hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih) carried by HCN1 is important for shaping the light response. It has been shown in multiple systems that trafficking HCN1 channels to specific compartments is key to their function. The localization of HCN1 in photoreceptors is concentrated in the plasma membrane of the inner segment (IS). The mechanisms controlling this localization are not understood. We previously identified a di-arginine endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention motif that negatively regulates the surface targeting of HCN1. In this study, we sought to identify a forward trafficking signal that could counter the function of the ER retention signal. We studied trafficking of HCN1 and several mutants by imaging their subcellular localization in transgenic X. laevis photoreceptors. Velocity sedimentation was used to assay the assembly state of HCN1 channels. We found the HCN1 N-terminus can redirect a membrane reporter from outer segments (OS) to the plasma membrane of the IS. The sequence necessary for this behavior was mapped to a 20 amino acid region containing a leucine-based ER export motif. The ER export signal is necessary for forward trafficking but not channel oligomerization. Moreover, this ER export signal alone counteracted the di-arginine ER retention signal. We identified an ER export signal in HCN1 that functions with the ER retention signal to maintain equilibrium of HCN1 between the endomembrane system and the plasma membrane.

  13. Rod and cone photoreceptor cells produce ROS in response to stress in a live retinal explant system.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bhatt, Lavinia

    2010-01-01

    PURPOSE: The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can lead to oxidative stress, which is a strong contributory factor to many ocular diseases. In this study, the removal of trophic factors is used as a model system to investigate the effects of stress in the retina. The aims were to determine if both rod and cone photoreceptor cells produce ROS when they are deprived of trophic factor support and to demonstrate if the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (Nox) enzymes are responsible for this ROS production. METHODS: Retinas were explanted from mice aged between postnatal days 8-10 and cultured overnight. The following morning, confocal microscopy combined with various fluorescent probes was used to detect the production of ROS. Each time peanut agglutinin (PNA), a cone photoreceptor marker, was used to facilitate orientation of the retina. Dihydroethidium and dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR123) were used to determine which cells produce ROS. Subsequently, western blots of retinal serial sections were used to detect the presence of Noxs in the different retinal layers. The Nox inhibitor apocynin was then tested to determine if it altered the production of ROS within these cells. RESULTS: Live retinal explants, viewed at high magnifications using confocal microscopy, displayed an increase in the fluorescent products of dihydroethidium and DHR123 upon serum removal when compared to controls. DHR123 fluorescence, once oxidized, localized to mitochondria and was found in the same focal plane as the PNA staining. This showed that cones and rods produced ROS when stressed. Retinal serial sectioning established that the photoreceptor layer expressed Nox4, dual oxidase (Duox) 1, and Duox2 at varying levels. Finally, the Nox inhibitor apocynin decreased the burst stimulated by the stress of serum removal. CONCLUSIONS: Confocal microscopy and PNA staining allowed differentiation of cell types within the outermost layers of the retina, demonstrating

  14. Inverted nuclear architecture and its development during differentiation of mouse rod photoreceptor cells: a new model to study nuclear architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solovei, I; Joffe, B

    2010-09-01

    Interphase nuclei have a conserved architecture: heterochromatin occupies the nuclear periphery, whereas euchromatin resides in the nuclear interior. It has recently been found that rod photoreceptor cells of nocturnal mammals have an inverted architecture, which transforms these nuclei in microlenses and supposedly facilitates a reduction in photon loss in the retina. This unique deviation from the nearly universal pattern throws a new light on the nuclear organization. In the article we discuss the implications of the studies of the inverted nuclei for understanding the role of the spatial organization of the nucleus in nuclear functions.

  15. Identification of intracellular phospholipases A2 in the human eye: involvement in phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kolko, Miriam; Wang, Jinmei; Zhan, Chen

    2007-01-01

    PURPOSE: To identify intracellular phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)) in the human retina and to explore the role of these enzymes in human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments (POS). METHODS: PCR amplification and Western blot analysis were used to identify m......)-VIA activity was found to be specifically increased 12 hours after ARPE-19 cells were fed with POS. Finally, RPE phagocytosis was inhibited by the iPLA(2)-VIA inhibitor bromoenol lactone. CONCLUSIONS: Various intracellular PLA(2) subtypes are present in the human retina. iPLA(2)-VIA may play...

  16. Photoreceptor Differentiation following Transplantation of Allogeneic Retinal Progenitor Cells to the Dystrophic Rhodopsin Pro347Leu Transgenic Pig

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klassen, H; Kiilgaard, Jens Folke; Warfvinge, K

    2012-01-01

    Purpose. Transplantation of stem, progenitor, or precursor cells has resulted in photoreceptor replacement and evidence of functional efficacy in rodent models of retinal degeneration. Ongoing work has been directed toward the replication of these results in a large animal model, namely, the pig....... Methods. Retinal progenitor cells were derived from the neural retina of GFP-transgenic pigs and transplanted to the subretinal space of rhodopsin Pro347Leu-transgenic allorecipients, in the early stage of the degeneration and the absence of immune suppression. Results. Results confirm the survival...

  17. Normative data of outer photoreceptor layer thickness obtained by software image enhancing based on Stratus optical coherence tomography images

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, U.C.; Krøyer, K.; Thomadsen, Jakob

    2008-01-01

    backscattered light within the outer nuclear layer (ONL) in the fovea was registered and compared with backscattered light within the ONL in the peripheral part of the macula (I-ratio-ONL). Results: The mean RPE-OScomplex thickness in the foveal centre was 77.2 mu m (SD = 3.95). The RPE-OScomplex thickness...... in the superior macula 0.5-3 mm of the centre was significantly increased as compared with the corresponding inferior retina. In healthy subjects, the I-ratio-ONL was 1.06. Conclusions: Contrast-enhanced OCT images enable quantification of outer photoreceptor layer thickness, and normative values may help...

  18. Dysregulation of Ca(v)1.4 channels disrupts the maturation of photoreceptor synaptic ribbons in congenital stationary night blindness type 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoni; Kerov, Vasily; Haeseleer, Françoise; Majumder, Anurima; Artemyev, Nikolai; Baker, Sheila A; Lee, Amy

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the gene encoding Cav 1.4, CACNA1F, are associated with visual disorders including X-linked incomplete congenital stationary night blindness type 2 (CSNB2). In mice lacking Cav 1.4 channels, there are defects in the development of "ribbon" synapses formed between photoreceptors (PRs) and second-order neurons. However, many CSNB2 mutations disrupt the function rather than expression of Cav 1.4 channels. Whether defects in PR synapse development due to altered Cav 1.4 function are common features contributing to the pathogenesis of CSNB2 is unknown. To resolve this issue, we profiled changes in the subcellular distribution of Cav 1.4 channels and synapse morphology during development in wild-type (WT) mice and mouse models of CSNB2. Using Cav 1.4-selective antibodies, we found that Cav 1.4 channels associate with ribbon precursors early in development and are concentrated at both rod and cone PR synapses in the mature retina. In mouse models of CSNB2 in which the voltage-dependence of Cav 1.4 activation is either enhanced (Cav 1.4I756T) or inhibited (CaBP4 KO), the initial stages of PR synaptic ribbon formation are largely unaffected. However, after postnatal day 13, many PR ribbons retain the immature morphology. This synaptic abnormality corresponds in severity to the defect in synaptic transmission in the adult mutant mice, suggesting that lack of sufficient mature synapses contributes to vision impairment in Cav 1.4I756T and CaBP4 KO mice. Our results demonstrate the importance of proper Cav 1.4 function for efficient PR synapse maturation, and that dysregulation of Cav 1.4 channels in CSNB2 may have synaptopathic consequences.

  19. Gene expression regulation in photomorphogenesis from the perspective of the central dogma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shu-Hsing

    2014-01-01

    Depending on the environment a young seedling encounters, the developmental program following seed germination could be skotomorphogenesis in the dark or photomorphogenesis in the light. Light signals are interpreted by a repertoire of photoreceptors followed by sophisticated gene expression networks, eventually resulting in developmental changes. The expression and functions of photoreceptors and key signaling molecules are highly coordinated and regulated at multiple levels of the central dogma in molecular biology. Light activates gene expression through the actions of positive transcriptional regulators and the relaxation of chromatin by histone acetylation. Small regulatory RNAs help attenuate the expression of light-responsive genes. Alternative splicing, protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, the formation of diverse transcriptional complexes, and selective protein degradation all contribute to proteome diversity and change the functions of individual proteins.

  20. Retinitis pigmentosa: genes and disease mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Stefano; Di Iorio, Enzo; Barbaro, Vanessa; Ponzin, Diego; Sorrentino, Francesco S; Parmeggiani, Francesco

    2011-06-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited disorders affecting 1 in 3000-7000 people and characterized by abnormalities of the photoreceptors (rods and cones) or the retinal pigment epithelium of the retina which lead to progressive visual loss. RP can be inherited in an autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked manner. While usually limited to the eye, RP may also occur as part of a syndrome as in the Usher syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Over 40 genes have been associated with RP so far, with the majority of them expressed in either the photoreceptors or the retinal pigment epithelium. The tremendous heterogeneity of the disease makes the genetics of RP complicated, thus rendering genotype-phenotype correlations not fully applicable yet. In addition to the multiplicity of mutations, in fact, different mutations in the same gene may cause different diseases. We will here review which genes are involved in the genesis of RP and how mutations can lead to retinal degeneration. In the future, a more thorough analysis of genetic and clinical data together with a better understanding of the genotype-phenotype correlation might allow to reveal important information with respect to the likelihood of disease development and choices of therapy.

  1. Norbixin Protects Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Cells and Photoreceptors against A2E-Mediated Phototoxicity In Vitro and In Vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valérie Fontaine

    Full Text Available The accumulation of N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine (A2E, a toxic by-product of the visual pigment cycle in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE is a major cause of visual impairment in the elderly. Photooxidation of A2E results in retinal pigment epithelium degeneration followed by that of associated photoreceptors. Present treatments rely on nutrient supplementation with antioxidants. 9'-cis-Norbixin (a natural diapocarotenoid, 97% purity was prepared from Bixa orellana seeds. It was first evaluated in primary cultures of porcine retinal pigment epithelium cells challenged with A2E and illuminated with blue light, and it provided an improved photo-protection as compared with lutein or zeaxanthin. In Abca4-/- Rdh8-/- mice (a model of dry AMD, intravitreally-injected norbixin maintained the electroretinogram and protected photoreceptors against light damage. In a standard rat blue-light model of photodamage, norbixin was at least equally as active as phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone, a free radical spin-trap. Chronic experiments performed with Abca4-/- Rdh8-/- mice treated orally for 3 months with norbixin showed a reduced A2E accumulation in the retina. Norbixin appears promising for developing an oral treatment of macular degeneration. A drug candidate (BIO201 with 9'-cis-norbixin as the active principle ingredient is under development, and its potential will be assessed in a forthcoming clinical trial.

  2. Idiopathic multifocal choroiditis/punctate inner choroidopathy with acute photoreceptor loss or dysfunction out of proportion to clinically visible lesions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munk, Marion R.; Jung, Jesse J.; Biggee, Kristin; Tucker, William R.; Sen, H. Nida; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Fawzi, Amani A.; Jampol, Lee M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To report acute/subacute vision loss and paracentral scotomata in patients with idiopathic multifocal choroiditis/punctate inner choroidopathy (MFC/PIC) due to large zones of acute photoreceptor attenuation surrounding the chorioretinal lesions. Methods Multimodal-imaging case-series Results Six females and 2 males were included (mean age 31.5±5.8 years). Vision ranged from 20/20-1 to hand motion (mean 20/364). SD-OCT demonstrated extensive attenuation of the external limiting membrane (ELM), ellipsoid and interdigitation zones, adjacent to the visible MFC/PIC lesions. The corresponding areas were hyperautofluorescent on fundus-autofluorescence (FAF), and were associated with corresponding visual field defects. Full-field ERG (available in 3 cases) showed markedly decreased cone/rod response and multifocal ERG revealed reduced amplitudes and increased implicit times in 2 cases. Three patients received no treatment, the remaining were treated with oral corticosteroids (n=4), oral acyclovir/valacyclovir (n=2), intravitreal/posterior subtenon triamcinolone-acetate (n=3) and anti-VEGF (n=2). Visual recovery occurred in only 3 cases, of whom 2 were treated. Varying morphological recovery was found in 6 cases, associated with decrease in hyperautofluorescence on FAF. Conclusions MFC/PIC can present with transient or permanent central photoreceptor attenuation/loss. This presentation is likely a variant of MFC/PIC with chorioretinal atrophy. Associated changes are best evaluated using multimodal imaging. PMID:25322466

  3. Modelling the optical response of human retinal photoreceptors to plane wave illumination with the finite integration technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhlagh Moayed, Alireza; Dang, Shannon; Ramahi, Omar M.; Bizheva, Kostadinka K.

    2009-02-01

    The early stages of ocular diseases such as Diabetic Retinopathy are manifested by morphological changes in retinal tissue occurring on cellular level. Therefore, a number of ophthalmic diseases can be diagnosed at an early stage by detecting spatial and temporal variations in the scattering profile of retinal tissue. It was recently demonstrated that, OCT can be used to probe the functional response of retinal photoreceptors to external light stimulation [1]-[3]. fUHROCT measures localized differential changes in the retina reflectivity over time resulting from external light stimulation of the retina. Currently the origins of the observed reflectivity changes are not well understood. However, due to the complex nature of retinal physiology using purely experimental approaches in this case is problematic. For example fUHROCT is sensitive to small changes in the refractive index of biological tissue which as demonstrated previously, can result from a number of processes such as membrane hyperpolarization, osmotic swelling, metabolic changes, etc. In this paper, we present a computational model of interaction between photoreceptor cells and optical plane wave based on the Finite Integration Technique (FIT).

  4. Patterns of nucleotide diversity at photoperiod related genes in Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Källman, Thomas; De Mita, Stéphane; Larsson, Hanna; Gyllenstrand, Niclas; Heuertz, Myriam; Parducci, Laura; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Lagercrantz, Ulf; Lascoux, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The ability of plants to track seasonal changes is largely dependent on genes assigned to the photoperiod pathway, and variation in those genes is thereby important for adaptation to local day length conditions. Extensive physiological data in several temperate conifer species suggest that populations are adapted to local light conditions, but data on the genes underlying this adaptation are more limited. Here we present nucleotide diversity data from 19 genes putatively involved in photoperiodic response in Norway spruce (Picea abies). Based on similarity to model plants the genes were grouped into three categories according to their presumed position in the photoperiod pathway: photoreceptors, circadian clock genes, and downstream targets. An HKA (Hudson, Kreitman and Aquade) test showed a significant excess of diversity at photoreceptor genes, but no departure from neutrality at circadian genes and downstream targets. Departures from neutrality were also tested with Tajima's D and Fay and Wu's H statistics under three demographic scenarios: the standard neutral model, a population expansion model, and a more complex population split model. Only one gene, the circadian clock gene PaPRR3 with a highly positive Tajima's D value, deviates significantly from all tested demographic scenarios. As the PaPRR3 gene harbours multiple non-synonymous variants it appears as an excellent candidate gene for control of photoperiod response in Norway spruce.

  5. Genetic analysis reveals the identity of the photoreceptor for phototaxis in hormogonium filaments of Nostoc punctiforme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Elsie L; Hagen, Kari D; Chen, Rui; Risser, Douglas D; Ferreira, Daniela P; Meeks, John C

    2015-02-15

    In cyanobacterial Nostoc species, substratum-dependent gliding motility is confined to specialized nongrowing filaments called hormogonia, which differentiate from vegetative filaments as part of a conditional life cycle and function as dispersal units. Here we confirm that Nostoc punctiforme hormogonia are positively phototactic to white light over a wide range of intensities. N. punctiforme contains two gene clusters (clusters 2 and 2i), each of which encodes modular cyanobacteriochrome-methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs) and other proteins that putatively constitute a basic chemotaxis-like signal transduction complex. Transcriptional analysis established that all genes in clusters 2 and 2i, plus two additional clusters (clusters 1 and 3) with genes encoding MCPs lacking cyanobacteriochrome sensory domains, are upregulated during the differentiation of hormogonia. Mutational analysis determined that only genes in cluster 2i are essential for positive phototaxis in N. punctiforme hormogonia; here these genes are designated ptx (for phototaxis) genes. The cluster is unusual in containing complete or partial duplicates of genes encoding proteins homologous to the well-described chemotaxis elements CheY, CheW, MCP, and CheA. The cyanobacteriochrome-MCP gene (ptxD) lacks transmembrane domains and has 7 potential binding sites for bilins. The transcriptional start site of the ptx genes does not resemble a sigma 70 consensus recognition sequence; moreover, it is upstream of two genes encoding gas vesicle proteins (gvpA and gvpC), which also are expressed only in the hormogonium filaments of N. punctiforme. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Usher syndrome: animal models, retinal function of Usher proteins, and prospects for gene therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, David S.

    2009-01-01

    Usher syndrome is a deafness-blindness disorder. The blindness occurs from a progressive retinal degeneration that begins after deafness and after the retina has developed. Three clinical subtypes of Usher syndrome have been identified, with mutations in any one of six different genes giving rise to type 1, in any one of three different genes to type 2, and in one identified gene causing Usher type 3. Mutant mice for most of the genes have been studied; while they have clear inner ear defects, retinal phenotypes are relatively mild and have been difficult to characterize. The retinal functions of the Usher proteins are still largely unknown. Protein binding studies have suggested many interactions among the proteins, and a model of interaction among all the proteins in the photoreceptor synapse has been proposed. However this model is not supported by localization data from some laboratories, or the indication of any synaptic phenotype in mutant mice. An earlier suggestion, based on patient pathologies, of Usher protein function in the photoreceptor cilium continues to gain support from immunolocalization and mutant mouse studies, which are consistent with Usher protein interaction in the photoreceptor ciliary/periciliary region. So far, the most characterized Usher protein is myosin VIIa. It is present in the apical RPE and photoreceptor ciliary/periciliary region, where it is required for organelle transport and clearance of opsin from the connecting cilium, respectively. Usher syndrome is amenable to gene replacement therapy, but also has some specific challenges. Progress in this treatment approach has been achieved by correction of mutant phenotypes in Myo7a-null mouse retinas, following lentiviral delivery of MYO7A. PMID:17936325

  7. Mechanism of immune suppression by ultraviolet irradiation in vivo. I. Evidence for the existence of a unique photoreceptor in skin and its role in photoimmunology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Fabo, E.C.; Noonan, F.P.

    1983-01-01

    UV irradiation of mice causes a systemic immune alteration that can be detected either by suppression of the immunologic rejection of UV-induced tumors, or by suppression of contact hypersensitivity (CHS). Suppression of these two immunologic responses has similar photobiologic characteristics and in both cases is associated with the generation of antigen-specific suppressor T cells. To identify whether a specific photoreceptor for this effect exists, the relative wavelength effectiveness (action spectrum) was determined for the UV-induced suppression of CHS. Narrow bands of UV (half bandwidth 3 nm) were used at 10 wavelengths from 250 to 320 nm to obtain dose-response curves. The action spectrum derived from the dose-response curves has a maximum between 260 and 270 nm, a shoulder at 280-290 nm, and declines steadily to approximately 3% of maximum at 320 nm. The finding of such a clearly defined wavelength dependence implies the presence of a specific photoreceptor for this effect. Removing the stratum corneum by tape stripping before UV irradiation prevented the suppression of CHS using 254-nm radiation, suggesting the photoreceptor is superficially located in the skin. The hypothesis is advanced that the photoreceptor for systemic UV-induced immunosuppression of contact hypersensitivity may be urocanic acid. As such, it may also play a role in UV-induced carcinogenesis via the production of tumor-specific suppressor cells

  8. Genes and Gene Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... correctly, a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... or prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  9. Analysis of the function of the photoreceptors phytochrome B and phytochrome D in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Aurora Piñas; Gil, Patricia; Valkai, Ildiko; Nagy, Ferenc; Schäfer, Eberhard

    2005-05-01

    To investigate the mechanism of phytochrome action in vivo, NtPHYB, AtPHYB and phyD:green fluorescent protein (GFP) were overexpressed in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and Arabidopsis thaliana. The expression of 35S:NtPHYB:GFP and 35S:AtPHYB:GFP complemented the tobacco hgl2 and Arabidopsis phyB-9 mutations, whereas the 35S:AtPHYD:GFP only rescued the hgl2 mutant. All three fusion proteins are transported into the nucleus in all genetic backgrounds. These data indicate that AtPHYD:GFP is biologically active and functions as the main red light receptor in transgenic tobacco, and establish an experimental system for the functional analysis of this elusive photoreceptor in vivo.

  10. Presentation of Complex Homozygous Allele in ABCA4 Gene in a Patient with Retinitis Pigmentosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Māreta Audere

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative retinal disease characterized by progressive photoreceptor damage, which causes loss of peripheral and night vision and the development of tunnel vision and may result in loss of central vision. This study describes a patient with retinitis pigmentosa caused by a mutation in the ABCA4 gene with complex allele c.1622T>C, p.L541P; c.3113C>T, p.A1038V in homozygous state.

  11. BMI1 loss delays photoreceptor degeneration in Rd1 mice. Bmi1 loss and neuroprotection in Rd1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zencak, Dusan; Crippa, Sylvain V; Tekaya, Meriem; Tanger, Ellen; Schorderet, Daniel E; Munier, Francis L; van Lohuizen, Maarten; Arsenijevic, Yvan

    2006-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of genetic disorders leading to blindness, which remain untreatable at present. Rd1 mice represent a recognized model of RP, and so far only GDNF treatment provided a slight delay in the retinal degeneration in these mice. Bmi1, a transcriptional repressor, has recently been shown to be essential for neural stem cell (NSC) renewal in the brain, with an increased appearance of glial cells in vivo in Bmi1 knockout (Bmi1-/-) mice. One of the roles of glial cells is to sustain neuronal function and survival. In the view of a role of the retinal Miller glia as a source of neural protection in the retina, the increased astrocytic population in the Bmi1-/- brain led us to investigate the effect of Bmi1 loss in Rd1 mice. We observed an increase of Müller glial cells in Rd1-Bmi1-/- retinas compared to Rd1. Moreover, Rd1-Bmi1-/- mice showed 7-8 rows of photoreceptors at 30 days of age (P30), while in Rd1 littermates there was a complete disruption of the outer nuclear layer (ONL). Preliminary ERG results showed a responsiveness of Rd1-Bmi1-/- mice in scotopic vision at P35. In conclusion, Bmi1 loss prevented, or rescued, photoreceptors from degeneration to an unanticipated extent in Rd1 mice. In this chapter, we will first provide a brief review of our work on the cortical NSCs and introduce the Bmi1 oncogene, thus offering a rational to our observations on the retina.

  12. Overexpression of guanylate cyclase activating protein 2 in rod photoreceptors in vivo leads to morphological changes at the synaptic ribbon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia López-del Hoyo

    Full Text Available Guanylate cyclase activating proteins are EF-hand containing proteins that confer calcium sensitivity to retinal guanylate cyclase at the outer segment discs of photoreceptor cells. By making the rate of cGMP synthesis dependent on the free intracellular calcium levels set by illumination, GCAPs play a fundamental role in the recovery of the light response and light adaptation. The main isoforms GCAP1 and GCAP2 also localize to the synaptic terminal, where their function is not known. Based on the reported interaction of GCAP2 with Ribeye, the major component of synaptic ribbons, it was proposed that GCAP2 could mediate the synaptic ribbon dynamic changes that happen in response to light. We here present a thorough ultrastructural analysis of rod synaptic terminals in loss-of-function (GCAP1/GCAP2 double knockout and gain-of-function (transgenic overexpression mouse models of GCAP2. Rod synaptic ribbons in GCAPs-/- mice did not differ from wildtype ribbons when mice were raised in constant darkness, indicating that GCAPs are not required for ribbon early assembly or maturation. Transgenic overexpression of GCAP2 in rods led to a shortening of synaptic ribbons, and to a higher than normal percentage of club-shaped and spherical ribbon morphologies. Restoration of GCAP2 expression in the GCAPs-/- background (GCAP2 expression in the absence of endogenous GCAP1 had the striking result of shortening ribbon length to a much higher degree than overexpression of GCAP2 in the wildtype background, as well as reducing the thickness of the outer plexiform layer without affecting the number of rod photoreceptor cells. These results indicate that preservation of the GCAP1 to GCAP2 relative levels is relevant for maintaining the integrity of the synaptic terminal. Our demonstration of GCAP2 immunolocalization at synaptic ribbons at the ultrastructural level would support a role of GCAPs at mediating the effect of light on morphological remodeling changes of

  13. Photoreceptor change and visual outcome after idiopathic epiretinal membrane removal with or without additional internal limiting membrane peeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Seong Joon; Ahn, Jeeyun; Woo, Se Joon; Park, Kyu Hyung

    2014-01-01

    To compare the postoperative photoreceptor status and visual outcome after epiretinal membrane removal with or without additional internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling. Medical records of 40 eyes from 37 patients undergoing epiretinal membrane removal with residual ILM peeling (additional ILM peeling group) and 69 eyes from 65 patients undergoing epiretinal membrane removal without additional ILM peeling (no additional peeling group) were reviewed. The length of defects in cone outer segment tips, inner segment/outer segment junction, and external limiting membrane line were measured using spectral domain optical coherence tomography images of the fovea before and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the surgery. Cone outer segment tips and inner segment/outer segment junction line defects were most severe at postoperative 1 month and gradually restored at 12 months postoperatively. The cone outer segment tips line defect in the additional ILM peeling group was significantly greater than that in the no additional peeling group at postoperative 1 month (P = 0.006), and best-corrected visual acuity was significantly worse in the former group at the same month (P = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the defect size and best-corrected visual acuity at subsequent visits and recurrence rates between the two groups. Patients who received epiretinal membrane surgery without additional ILM peeling showed better visual and anatomical outcome than those with additional ILM peeling at postoperative 1 month. However, surgical outcomes were comparable between the two groups, thereafter. In terms of visual outcome and photoreceptor integrity, additional ILM peeling may not be an essential procedure.

  14. Variation in rhodopsin kinase expression alters the dim flash response shut off and the light adaptation in rod photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Keisuke; Young, Joyce E; Kefalov, Vladimir J; Khani, Shahrokh C

    2011-08-29

    Rod photoreceptors are exquisitely sensitive light detectors that function in dim light. The timely inactivation of their light responses is critical for the ability of rods to reliably detect and count photons. A key step in the inactivation of the rod transduction is the phosphorylation of the rod visual pigment, rhodopsin, catalyzed by G-protein-dependent receptor kinase 1 (GRK1). Absence of GRK1 greatly prolongs the photoreceptors' light response and enhances their susceptibility to degeneration. This study examined the light responses from mouse rods expressing various levels of GRK1 to evaluate how their function is modulated by rhodopsin inactivation. Transretinal and single-cell rod electrophysiological recordings were obtained from several strains of mice expressing GRK1 at 0.3- to 3-fold the wild-type levels. The effect of GRK1 expression level on the function of mouse rods was examined in darkness and during background adaptation. Altering the expression of GRK1 from 0.3- to 3-fold that in wild-type rods had little effect on the single photon response amplitude. Notably, increasing the expression level of GRK1 accelerated the dim flash response shut off but had no effect on the saturated response shut off. Additionally, GRK1 excess abolished the acceleration of saturated responses shut off during light adaptation. These results demonstrate that rhodopsin inactivation can modulate the kinetics of recovery from dim light stimulation. More importantly, the ratio of rhodopsin kinase to its modulator recoverin appears critical for the proper adaptation of rods and the acceleration of their response shut off in background light.

  15. Myosin7a deficiency results in reduced retinal activity which is improved by gene therapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasqualina Colella

    Full Text Available Mutations in MYO7A cause autosomal recessive Usher syndrome type IB (USH1B, one of the most frequent conditions that combine severe congenital hearing impairment and retinitis pigmentosa. A promising therapeutic strategy for retinitis pigmentosa is gene therapy, however its pre-clinical development is limited by the mild retinal phenotype of the shaker1 (sh1(-/- murine model of USH1B which lacks both retinal functional abnormalities and degeneration. Here we report a significant, early-onset delay of sh1(-/- photoreceptor ability to recover from light desensitization as well as a progressive reduction of both b-wave electroretinogram amplitude and light sensitivity, in the absence of significant loss of photoreceptors up to 12 months of age. We additionally show that subretinal delivery to the sh1(-/- retina of AAV vectors encoding the large MYO7A protein results in significant improvement of sh1(-/- photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium ultrastructural anomalies which is associated with improvement of recovery from light desensitization. These findings provide new tools to evaluate the efficacy of experimental therapies for USH1B. In addition, although AAV vectors expressing large genes might have limited clinical applications due to their genome heterogeneity, our data show that AAV-mediated MYO7A gene transfer to the sh1(-/- retina is effective.

  16. Targeted ablation of Crb2 in photoreceptor cells induces retinitis pigmentosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alves, Celso Henrique; Pellissier, Lucie P; Vos, Rogier M; Garcia Garrido, Marina; Sothilingam, Vithiyanjali; Seide, Christina; Beck, Susanne C; Klooster, J.; Furukawa, Takahisa; Flannery, John G; Verhaagen, J.; Seeliger, Mathias W; Wijnholds, J.

    2014-01-01

    In humans, the Crumbs homolog-1 (CRB1) gene is mutated in autosomal recessive Leber congenital amaurosis and early-onset retinitis pigmentosa. In mammals, the Crumbs family is composed of: CRB1, CRB2, CRB3A and CRB3B. Recently, we showed that removal of mouse Crb2 from retinal progenitor cells, and

  17. CRX ChIP-seq reveals the cis-regulatory architecture of mouse photoreceptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.C. Corbo (Joseph); K.A. Lawrence (Karen); M. Karlstetter (Marcus); C.A. Myers (Connie); M. Abdelaziz (Musa); W. Dirkes (William); K. Weigelt (Karin); M. Seifert (Martin); V. Benes (Vladimir); L.G. Fritsche (Lars); B.H.F. Weber (Bernhard); T. Langmann (Thomas)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractApproximately 98% of mammalian DNA is noncoding, yet we understand relatively little about the function of this enigmatic portion of the genome. The cis-regulatory elements that control gene expression reside in noncoding regions and can be identified by mapping the binding sites of

  18. A Comprehensive Survey of Sequence Variation in the ABCA4 (ABCR) Gene in Stargardt Disease and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    OpenAIRE

    Rivera, Andrea; White, Karen; Stöhr, Heidi; Steiner, Klaus; Hemmrich, Nadine; Grimm, Timo; Jurklies, Bernhard; Lorenz, Birgit; Scholl, Hendrik P. N.; Apfelstedt-Sylla, Eckhart; Weber, Bernhard H. F.

    2000-01-01

    Stargardt disease (STGD) is a common autosomal recessive maculopathy of early and young-adult onset and is caused by alterations in the gene encoding the photoreceptor-specific ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter (ABCA4). We have studied 144 patients with STGD and 220 unaffected individuals ascertained from the German population, to complete a comprehensive, population-specific survey of the sequence variation in the ABCA4 gene. In addition, we have assessed the proposed role for ABCA4 in ...

  19. Gene Therapy for Color Blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassall, Mark M; Barnard, Alun R; MacLaren, Robert E

    2017-12-01

    Achromatopsia is a rare congenital cause of vision loss due to isolated cone photoreceptor dysfunction. The most common underlying genetic mutations are autosomal recessive changes in CNGA3 , CNGB3 , GNAT2 , PDE6H , PDE6C , or ATF6 . Animal models of Cnga3 , Cngb3 , and Gnat2 have been rescued using AAV gene therapy; showing partial restoration of cone electrophysiology and integration of this new photopic vision in reflexive and behavioral visual tests. Three gene therapy phase I/II trials are currently being conducted in human patients in the USA, the UK, and Germany. This review details the AAV gene therapy treatments of achromatopsia to date. We also present novel data showing rescue of a Cnga3 -/- mouse model using an rAAV.CBA.CNGA3 vector. We conclude by synthesizing the implications of this animal work for ongoing human trials, particularly, the challenge of restoring integrated cone retinofugal pathways in an adult visual system. The evidence to date suggests that gene therapy for achromatopsia will need to be applied early in childhood to be effective.

  20. Expression of the Arabidopsis Sigma Factor SIG5 Is Photoreceptor and Photosynthesis Controlled

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Mellenthin

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Two collections of Arabidopsis GAL4 enhancer trap lines were screened for light-intensity dependent reporter gene activation. Line N9313 was isolated for its strong light-intensity regulation. The T-DNA element trapped distant enhancers of the SIG5 promoter, which drives expression of a sigma factor involved in regulation of chloroplast genes for photosystem II core proteins. The T-DNA insertion 715 bp upstream of the transcription initiation site splits the promoter in a distal and proximal part. Both parts are sensitive to blue and red light and depend on photosynthetic electron transport activity between photosystem II and the plastoquinone pool. The mainblue-light sensitivity is localized within a 196-bp sequence (–887 to –691 bp in the proximal promoter region It is preferentially CRY1 and PHYB controlled. Type-I and type-II phytochromes mediate red-light sensitivity via various promoter elements spread over the proximal and distal upstream region. This work characterizes SIG5 as an anterograde control factor of chloroplast gene expression, which is controlled by chloroplast signals in a retrograde manner.

  1. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U12039-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 9 |pid:none) Mougeotia scalaris neochrome gene,... 101 7e-20 AB206962_1( AB206962 |pid:none) Mougeotia scala...AB206961_1( AB206961 |pid:none) Mougeotia scalaris NEO1 mRNA for n... 97 2e-18 ( ...01 7e-20 AY813860_1( AY813860 |pid:none) Schistosoma japonicum SJCHGC06050 ... 101 7e-20 AY878549_1( AY87854

  2. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U11436-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available ryptococcus neoformans var. neo... 119 3e-25 AY878549_1( AY878549 |pid:none) Mougeotia scala...ris neochrome gene,... 118 4e-25 AB206962_1( AB206962 |pid:none) Mougeotia scalaris NEO2 mRNA for...9836_1( D49836 |pid:none) Rat mRNA for RAC protein kinase gamma,... 101 5e-20 AB206961_1( AB206961 |pid:none) Mougeotia scala

  3. Effects induced on the transverse-spatial-impulse response of an inhomogeneous photoreceptor with a nonsymmetric refractive index profile and arbitrarily located origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calvo, M.L.

    1987-01-01

    In a few earlier communications, spatial-transverse-impulse response (STIR) associated with the initial field transversely distributed across the entrance pupil of an inhomogeneous optical wave guide (photo-receptor) has been investigated. In the present work, effects of indetermination in the location of the origin on an arbitrarily defined refractive index profile, representing the degree of inhomogenity at the aperture pupil of a single receptor, have been studied. Some consequences related to a few possible technical applications have been discussed

  4. Effects induced on the transverse-spatial-impulse response of an inhomogeneous photoreceptor with a nonsymmetric refractive index profile and arbitrarily located origin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calvo, M.L.; Mondal, P.K.

    1987-03-01

    In a few earlier communications, spatial-transverse-impulse response (STIR) associated with the initial field transversely distributed across the entrance pupil of an inhomogeneous optical wave guide (photoreceptor) has been investigated. In the present work, effects of indetermination in the location of the origin on an arbitrarily defined refractive index profile, representing the degree of inhomogeneity at the aperture pupil of a single receptor, have been studied. Some consequences related to a few possible technical applications have been discussed.

  5. Biological activity is the likely origin of the intersection between the photoreceptor inner and outer segments of the rat retina as determined by optical coherence tomography

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    Yamauchi Y

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Yasuyuki Yamauchi, Hiromichi Yagi, Yoshihiko Usui, Keisuke Kimura, Tsuyoshi Agawa, Rintaro Tsukahara, Naoyuki Yamakawa, Hiroshi GotoDepartment of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, Tokyo, JapanBackground: Recent research on macular diseases has prompted investigations into the condition of the intersection between the photoreceptor inner and outer segments (IS/OS and the relationship with retinal photoreceptor abnormalities. Although the origin of the IS/OS in optical coherence tomography (OCT images is unclear, it may be related to either the cellular activity of the photoreceptors or the structure of the OS disks. To address this question, we compared the IS/OS status in OCT images of rat retinas before and after euthanasia.Methods: OCT images were taken before and after euthanasia in four eyes of two Brown Norway rats. After the OCT images were taken, the rats were used for histopathological studies to confirm that retinal structures were intact.Results: Before euthanasia, the IS/OS and external limiting membrane (ELM line were clearly identifiable on the OCT images. However, after euthanasia, neither the IS/OS nor the ELM line was evident in three out of four eyes, and a faint IS/OS and an ELM line were identified in one eye. Histopathological analysis did not show any abnormalities in the retina in any of the four eyes.Conclusion: The origin of the IS/OS identified in OCT images is likely related to the biological activities of the photoreceptor cells.Keywords: IS/OS, OCT, histopathology, biological activity

  6. Loss of ift122, a Retrograde Intraflagellar Transport (IFT) Complex Component, Leads to Slow, Progressive Photoreceptor Degeneration Due to Inefficient Opsin Transport*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boubakri, Meriam; Chaya, Taro; Hirata, Hiromi; Kajimura, Naoko; Kuwahara, Ryusuke; Ueno, Akiko; Malicki, Jarema; Furukawa, Takahisa; Omori, Yoshihiro

    2016-01-01

    In the retina, aberrant opsin transport from cell bodies to outer segments leads to retinal degenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. Opsin transport is facilitated by the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system that mediates the bidirectional movement of proteins within cilia. In contrast to functions of the anterograde transport executed by IFT complex B (IFT-B), the precise functions of the retrograde transport mediated by IFT complex A (IFT-A) have not been well studied in photoreceptor cilia. Here, we analyzed developing zebrafish larvae carrying a null mutation in ift122 encoding a component of IFT-A. ift122 mutant larvae show unexpectedly mild phenotypes, compared with those of mutants defective in IFT-B. ift122 mutants exhibit a slow onset of progressive photoreceptor degeneration mainly after 7 days post-fertilization. ift122 mutant larvae also develop cystic kidney but not curly body, both of which are typically observed in various ciliary mutants. ift122 mutants display a loss of cilia in the inner ear hair cells and nasal pit epithelia. Loss of ift122 causes disorganization of outer segment discs. Ectopic accumulation of an IFT-B component, ift88, is observed in the ift122 mutant photoreceptor cilia. In addition, pulse-chase experiments using GFP-opsin fusion proteins revealed that ift122 is required for the efficient transport of opsin and the distal elongation of outer segments. These results show that IFT-A is essential for the efficient transport of outer segment proteins, including opsin, and for the survival of retinal photoreceptor cells, rendering the ift122 mutant a unique model for human retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:27681595

  7. Photosensory transduction in unicellular eukaryotes: a comparison between related ciliates Blepharisma japonicum and Stentor coeruleus and photoreceptor cells of higher organisms.

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    Sobierajska, Katarzyna; Fabczak, Hanna; Fabczak, Stanisław

    2006-06-01

    Blepharisma japonicum and Stentor coeruleus are related ciliates, conspicuous by their photosensitivity. They are capable of avoiding illuminated areas in the surrounding medium, gathering exclusively in most shaded places (photodispersal). Such behaviour results mainly from motile photophobic response occurring in ciliates. This light-avoiding response is observed during a relatively rapid increase in illumination intensity (light stimulus) and consists of cessation of cell movement, a period of backward movement (ciliary reversal), followed by a forward swimming, usually in a new direction. The photosensitivity of ciliates is ascribed to their photoreceptor system, composed of pigment granules, containing the endogenous photoreceptor -- blepharismin in Blepharisma japonicum, and stentorin in Stentor coeruleus. A light stimulus, applied to both ciliates activates specific stimulus transduction processes leading to the electrical changes at the plasma membrane, correlated with a ciliary reversal during photophobic response. These data indicate that both ciliates Blepharisma japonicum and Stentor coeruleus, the lower eukaryotes, are capable of transducing the perceived light stimuli in a manner taking place in some photoreceptor cells of higher eukaryotes. Similarities and differences concerning particular stages of light transduction in eukaryotes at different evolutional levels are discussed in this article.

  8. Assessment of different virus-mediated approaches for retinal gene therapy of Usher 1B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Vanda S; Diemer, Tanja; Williams, David S

    2014-01-01

    Usher syndrome type 1B, which is characterized by congenital deafness and progressive retinal degeneration, is caused by the loss of the function of MYO7A. Prevention of the retinal degeneration should be possible by delivering functional MYO7A to retinal cells. Although this approach has been used successfully in clinical trials for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA2), it remains a challenge for Usher 1B because of the large size of the MYO7A cDNA. Different viral vectors have been tested for use in MYO7A gene therapy. Here, we review approaches with lentiviruses, which can accommodate larger genes, as well as attempts to use adeno-associated virus (AAV), which has a smaller packaging capacity. In conclusion, both types of viral vector appear to be effective. Despite concerns about the ability of lentiviruses to access the photoreceptor cells, a phenotype of the photoreceptors of Myo7a-mutant mice can be corrected. And although MYO7A cDNA is significantly larger than the nominal carrying capacity of AAV, AAV-MYO7A in single vectors also corrected Myo7a-mutant phenotypes in photoreceptor and RPE cells. Interestingly, however, a dual AAV vector approach was found to be much less effective.

  9. Leber’s congenital amaurosis and the role of gene therapy in congenital retinal disorders

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    Walid Sharif

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA and recent gene therapy advancement for treating inherited retinopathies were extensive literature reviewed using MEDLINE, PubMed and EMBASE. Adeno-associated viral vectors were the most utilised vectors for ocular gene therapy. Cone photoreceptor cells might use an alternate pathway which was not reliant of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE derived retinoid isomerohydrolase (RPE65 to access the 11-cis retinal dehydechromophore. Research efforts dedicated on the progression of a gene-based therapy for the treatment of LCA2. Such gene therapy approaches were extremely successful in canine, porcine and rodent LCA2 models. The recombinant AAV2.hRPE65v2 adeno-associated vector contained the RPE65 cDNA and was replication deficient. Its in vitro injection in target cells induced RPE65 protein production. The gene therapy trials that were so far conducted for inherited retinopathies have generated promising results. Phase I clinical trials to cure LCA and choroideremia demonstrated that adeno-associated viral vectors containing RPE genes and photoreceptors respectively, could be successfully administered to inherited retinopathy patients. A phase III trial is presently ongoing and if successful, it will lead the way to additional gene therapy attempts to cure monogenic, inherited retinopathies.

  10. Leber’s congenital amaurosis and the role of gene therapy in congenital retinal disorders

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Walid; Sharif; Zuhair; Sharif

    2017-01-01

    Leber’s congenital amaurosis(LCA)and recent gene therapy advancement for treating inherited retinopathies were extensive literature reviewed using MEDLINE,Pub Med and EMBASE. Adeno-associated viral vectors were the most utilised vectors for ocular gene therapy. Cone photoreceptor cells might use an alternate pathway which was not reliant of the retinal pigment epithelium(RPE)derived retinoid isomerohydrolase(RPE65)to access the 11-cis retinal dehydechromophore. Research efforts dedicated on the progression of a gene-based therapy for the treatment of LCA2. Such gene therapy approaches were extremely successful in canine,porcine and rodent LCA2 models. The recombinant AAV2.h RPE65v2 adenoassociated vector contained the RPE65 cDNA and was replication deficient. Its in vitro injection in target cells induced RPE65 protein production. The gene therapy trials that were so far conducted for inherited retinopathies have generated promising results. Phase I clinical trials to cure LCA and choroideremia demonstrated that adeno-associated viral vectors containing RPE genes and photoreceptors respectively,could be successfully administered to inherited retinopathy patients. A phase III trial is presently ongoing and if successful,it will lead the way to additional gene therapy attempts to cure monogenic,inherited retinopathies.

  11. Necrotic enlargement of cone photoreceptor cells and the release of high-mobility group box-1 in retinitis pigmentosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Y; Ikeda, Y; Nakatake, S; Tachibana, T; Fujiwara, K; Yoshida, N; Notomi, S; Nakao, S; Hisatomi, T; Miller, J W; Vavvas, DG; Sonoda, KH; Ishibashi, T

    2015-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) refers to a group of inherited retinal degenerations resulting form rod and cone photoreceptor cell death. The rod cell death due to deleterious genetic mutations has been shown to occur mainly through apoptosis, whereas the mechanisms and features of the secondary cone cell death have not been fully elucidated. Our previous study showed that the cone cell death in rd10 mice, an animal model of RP, involves necrotic features and is partly mediated by the receptor interacting protein kinase. However, the relevancy of necrotic cone cell death in human RP patients remains unknown. In the present study, we showed that dying cone cells in rd10 mice exhibited cellular enlargement, along with necrotic changes such as cellular swelling and mitochondrial rupture. In human eyes, live imaging of cone cells by adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy revealed significantly increased percentages of enlarged cone cells in the RP patients compared with the control subjects. The vitreous of the RP patients contained significantly higher levels of high-mobility group box-1, which is released extracellularly associated with necrotic cell death. These findings suggest that necrotic enlargement of cone cells is involved in the process of cone degeneration, and that necrosis may be a novel target to prevent or delay the loss of cone-mediated central vision in RP. PMID:27551484

  12. Chemical cues from fish heighten visual sensitivity in larval crabs through changes in photoreceptor structure and function.

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    Charpentier, Corie L; Cohen, Jonathan H

    2015-11-01

    Several predator avoidance strategies in zooplankton rely on the use of light to control vertical position in the water column. Although light is the primary cue for such photobehavior, predator chemical cues or kairomones increase swimming responses to light. We currently lack a mechanistic understanding for how zooplankton integrate visual and chemical cues to mediate phenotypic plasticity in defensive photobehavior. In marine systems, kairomones are thought to be amino sugar degradation products of fish body mucus. Here, we demonstrate that increasing concentrations of fish kairomones heightened sensitivity of light-mediated swimming behavior for two larval crab species (Rhithropanopeus harrisii and Hemigrapsus sanguineus). Consistent with these behavioral results, we report increased visual sensitivity at the retinal level in larval crab eyes directly following acute (1-3 h) kairomone exposure, as evidenced electrophysiologically from V-log I curves and morphologically from wider, shorter rhabdoms. The observed increases in visual sensitivity do not correspond with a decline in temporal resolution, because latency in electrophysiological responses actually increased after kairomone exposure. Collectively, these data suggest that phenotypic plasticity in larval crab photobehavior is achieved, at least in part, through rapid changes in photoreceptor structure and function. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Mechanism for Selective Synaptic Wiring of Rod Photoreceptors into the Retinal Circuitry and Its Role in Vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yan; Sarria, Ignacio; Fehlhaber, Katherine E; Kamasawa, Naomi; Orlandi, Cesare; James, Kiely N; Hazen, Jennifer L; Gardner, Matthew R; Farzan, Michael; Lee, Amy; Baker, Sheila; Baldwin, Kristin; Sampath, Alapakkam P; Martemyanov, Kirill A

    2015-09-23

    In the retina, rod and cone photoreceptors form distinct connections with different classes of downstream bipolar cells. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for their selective connectivity are unknown. Here we identify a cell-adhesion protein, ELFN1, to be essential for the formation of synapses between rods and rod ON-bipolar cells in the primary rod pathway. ELFN1 is expressed selectively in rods where it is targeted to the axonal terminals by the synaptic release machinery. At the synapse, ELFN1 binds in trans to mGluR6, the postsynaptic receptor on rod ON-bipolar cells. Elimination of ELFN1 in mice prevents the formation of synaptic contacts involving rods, but not cones, allowing a dissection of the contributions of primary and secondary rod pathways to retinal circuit function and vision. We conclude that ELFN1 is necessary for the selective wiring of rods into the primary rod pathway and is required for high sensitivity of vision. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Absorption and fluorescence spectroscopic characterisation of the circadian blue-light photoreceptor cryptochrome from Drosophila melanogaster (dCry)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirdel, J.; Zirak, P.; Penzkofer, A.; Breitkreuz, H.; Wolf, E.

    2008-09-01

    The absorption and fluorescence behaviour of the circadian blue-light photoreceptor cryptochrome from Drosophila melanogaster (dCry) in a pH 8 aqueous buffer solution is studied. The flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor of dCry is identified to be present in its oxidized form (FAD ox), and the 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF) cofactor is found to be hydrolyzed and oxidized to 10-formyldihydrofolate (10-FDHF). The absorption and the fluorescence behaviour of dCry is investigated in the dark-adapted (receptor) state, the light-adapted (signalling) state, and under long-time violet light exposure. Photo-excitation of FAD ox in dCry causes a reductive electron transfer to the formation of anionic FAD semiquinone (FAD rad - ), and photo-excitation of the generated FAD rad - causes an oxidative electron transfer to the back formation of FAD ox. In light adapted dCry a photo-induced equilibrium between FAD ox and FAD rad - exists. The photo-cycle dynamics of signalling state formation and recovery is discussed. Quantum yields of photo-induced signalling state formation of about 0.2 and of photo-induced back-conversion of about 0.2 are determined. A recovery of FAD rad - to FAD ox in the dark with a time constant of 1.6 min at room temperature is found.

  15. Harmonin (Ush1c is required in zebrafish Müller glial cells for photoreceptor synaptic development and function

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    Jennifer B. Phillips

    2011-11-01

    Usher syndrome is the most prevalent cause of hereditary deaf-blindness, characterized by congenital sensorineural hearing impairment and progressive photoreceptor degeneration beginning in childhood or adolescence. Diagnosis and management of this disease are complex, and the molecular changes underlying sensory cell impairment remain poorly understood. Here we characterize two zebrafish models for a severe form of Usher syndrome, Usher syndrome type 1C (USH1C: one model is a mutant with a newly identified ush1c nonsense mutation, and the other is a morpholino knockdown of ush1c. Both have defects in hearing, balance and visual function from the first week of life. Histological analyses reveal specific defects in sensory cell structure that are consistent with these behavioral phenotypes and could implicate Müller glia in the retinal pathology of Usher syndrome. This study shows that visual defects associated with loss of ush1c function in zebrafish can be detected from the onset of vision, and thus could be applicable to early diagnosis for USH1C patients.

  16. Light-induced translocation of RGS9-1 and Gβ5L in mouse rod photoreceptors.

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    Mei Tian

    Full Text Available The transducin GTPase-accelerating protein complex, which determines the photoresponse duration of photoreceptors, is composed of RGS9-1, Gβ5L and R9AP. Here we report that RGS9-1 and Gβ5L change their distribution in rods during light/dark adaptation. Upon prolonged dark adaptation, RGS9-1 and Gβ5L are primarily located in rod inner segments. But very dim-light exposure quickly translocates them to the outer segments. In contrast, their anchor protein R9AP remains in the outer segment at all times. In the dark, Gβ5L's interaction with R9AP decreases significantly and RGS9-1 is phosphorylated at S(475 to a significant degree. Dim light exposure leads to quick de-phosphorylation of RGS9-1. Furthermore, after prolonged dark adaptation, RGS9-1 and transducin Gα are located in different cellular compartments. These results suggest a previously unappreciated mechanism by which prolonged dark adaptation leads to increased light sensitivity in rods by dissociating RGS9-1 from R9AP and redistributing it to rod inner segments.

  17. Zebrafish Lacking Circadian Gene per2 Exhibit Visual Function Deficiency

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    Deng-feng Huang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The retina has an intrinsic circadian clock, but the importance of this clock for vision is unknown. Zebrafish offer many advantages for studying vertebrate vision and circadian rhythm. Here, we explored the role of zebrafish per2, a light-regulated gene, in visual behavior and the underlying mechanisms. We observed that per2 mutant zebrafish larvae showed decreased contrast sensitivity and visual acuity using optokinetic response (OKR assays. Using a visual motor response (VMR assay, we observed normal OFF responses but abnormal ON responses in mutant zebrafish larvae. Immunofluorescence showed that mutants had a normal morphology of cone photoreceptor cells and retinal organization. However, electron microscopy showed that per2 mutants displayed abnormal and decreased photoreceptor ribbon synapses with arciform density, which resulted in retinal ON pathway defect. We also examined the expression of three cone opsins by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR, and the expression of long-wave-sensitive opsin (opn1lw and short-wave-sensitive opsin (opn1sw was reduced in mutant zebrafish larvae. qRT-PCR analyses also showed a down-regulation of the clock genes cry1ba and bmal1b in the adult eye of per2 mutant zebrafish. This study identified a mechanism by which a clock gene affects visual function and defined important roles of per2 in retinal information processing.

  18. Cone photoreceptor sensitivities and unique hue chromatic responses: correlation and causation imply the physiological basis of unique hues.

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    Ralph W Pridmore

    Full Text Available This paper relates major functions at the start and end of the color vision process. The process starts with three cone photoreceptors transducing light into electrical responses. Cone sensitivities were once expected to be Red Green Blue color matching functions (to mix colors but microspectrometry proved otherwise: they instead peak in yellowish, greenish, and blueish hues. These physiological functions are an enigma, unmatched with any set of psychophysical (behavioral functions. The end-result of the visual process is color sensation, whose essential percepts are unique (or pure hues red, yellow, green, blue. Unique hues cannot be described by other hues, but can describe all other hues, e.g., that hue is reddish-blue. They are carried by four opponent chromatic response curves but the literature does not specify whether each curve represents a range of hues or only one hue (a unique over its wavelength range. Here the latter is demonstrated, confirming that opponent chromatic responses define, and may be termed, unique hue chromatic responses. These psychophysical functions also are an enigma, unmatched with any physiological functions or basis. Here both enigmas are solved by demonstrating the three cone sensitivity curves and the three spectral chromatic response curves are almost identical sets (Pearson correlation coefficients r from 0.95-1.0 in peak wavelengths, curve shapes, math functions, and curve crossover wavelengths, though previously unrecognized due to presentation of curves in different formats, e.g., log, linear. (Red chromatic response curve is largely nonspectral and thus derives from two cones. Close correlation combined with deterministic causation implies cones are the physiological basis of unique hues. This match of three physiological and three psychophysical functions is unique in color vision.

  19. Identification of the gamma subunit-interacting residues on photoreceptor cGMP phosphodiesterase, PDE6alpha '.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granovsky, A E; Artemyev, N O

    2000-12-29

    Photoreceptor cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE6) is the effector enzyme in the G protein-mediated visual transduction cascade. In the dark, the activity of PDE6 is shut off by the inhibitory gamma subunit (Pgamma). Chimeric proteins between cone PDE6alpha' and cGMP-binding and cGMP-specific PDE (PDE5) have been constructed and expressed in Sf9 cells to study the mechanism of inhibition of PDE6 catalytic activity by Pgamma. Substitution of the segment PDE5-(773-820) by the corresponding PDE6alpha'-(737-784) sequence in the wild-type PDE5 or in a PDE5/PDE6alpha' chimera containing the catalytic domain of PDE5 results in chimeric enzymes capable of inhibitory interaction with Pgamma. The catalytic properties of the chimeric PDEs remained similar to those of PDE5. Ala-scanning mutational analysis of the Pgamma-binding region, PDE6alpha'-(750-760), revealed PDE6alpha' residues essential for the interaction. The M758A mutation markedly impaired and the Q752A mutation moderately impaired the inhibition of chimeric PDE by Pgamma. The analysis of the catalytic properties of mutant PDEs and a model of the PDE6 catalytic domain suggest that residues Met(758) and Gln(752) directly bind Pgamma. A model of the PDE6 catalytic site shows that PDE6alpha'-(750-760) forms a loop at the entrance to the cGMP-binding pocket. Binding of Pgamma to Met(758) would effectively block access of cGMP to the catalytic cavity, providing a structural basis for the mechanism of PDE6 inhibition.

  20. Cone photoreceptor sensitivities and unique hue chromatic responses: correlation and causation imply the physiological basis of unique hues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pridmore, Ralph W

    2013-01-01

    This paper relates major functions at the start and end of the color vision process. The process starts with three cone photoreceptors transducing light into electrical responses. Cone sensitivities were once expected to be Red Green Blue color matching functions (to mix colors) but microspectrometry proved otherwise: they instead peak in yellowish, greenish, and blueish hues. These physiological functions are an enigma, unmatched with any set of psychophysical (behavioral) functions. The end-result of the visual process is color sensation, whose essential percepts are unique (or pure) hues red, yellow, green, blue. Unique hues cannot be described by other hues, but can describe all other hues, e.g., that hue is reddish-blue. They are carried by four opponent chromatic response curves but the literature does not specify whether each curve represents a range of hues or only one hue (a unique) over its wavelength range. Here the latter is demonstrated, confirming that opponent chromatic responses define, and may be termed, unique hue chromatic responses. These psychophysical functions also are an enigma, unmatched with any physiological functions or basis. Here both enigmas are solved by demonstrating the three cone sensitivity curves and the three spectral chromatic response curves are almost identical sets (Pearson correlation coefficients r from 0.95-1.0) in peak wavelengths, curve shapes, math functions, and curve crossover wavelengths, though previously unrecognized due to presentation of curves in different formats, e.g., log, linear. (Red chromatic response curve is largely nonspectral and thus derives from two cones.) Close correlation combined with deterministic causation implies cones are the physiological basis of unique hues. This match of three physiological and three psychophysical functions is unique in color vision.

  1. Retinal Photoreceptors and Microvascular Changes in Prediabetes Measured with Adaptive Optics (rtx1™: A Case-Control Study

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    Anna Zaleska-Żmijewska

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Patients with prediabetes are at risk for diabetes, cardiovascular events, and microvascular complications. The rtx1 (Imagine Eyes, France permits early detection of changes in the retinal photoreceptors and vessels. Objective. Cone parameters and retinal microvasculature were analyzed with the rtx1 in 12 prediabetic patients and 22 healthy subjects. The analysis was based on cone density (DM, interphotoreceptor distance (SM, cone packing regularity, and retinal vessel parameters: wall thickness, lumen diameter (LD, wall-to-lumen ratio (WLR, and cross-sectional area of the vascular wall. Results. DM in the prediabetic group was not significantly lower than that in the control group (18,935 ± 1713 cells/mm2 and 19,900 ± 2375 cells/mm2, respectively; p=0.0928. The LD and WLR means differed significantly between the prediabetic and the control groups (LD 94.3 ± 10.9 versus 101.2 ± 15, p=0.022; WLR 0.29 ± 0.05 versus 0.22 ± 0.03, p<0.05. A multivariate regression analysis showed that the WLR was significantly correlated with BMI and total cholesterol. Conclusions. Abnormalities found in rtx1 examinations indicated early signs of arteriolar dysfunction, prior to impaired glucose tolerance progressing to diabetes. The rtx1 retinal image analysis offers noninvasive measurement of early changes in the vasculature that routine clinical examination cannot detect.

  2. Recent Advancements in Gene Therapy for Hereditary Retinal Dystrophies

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    Ayşe Öner

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Hereditary retinal dystrophies (HRDs are degenerative diseases of the retina which have marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Common presentations among these disorders include night or colour blindness, tunnel vision, and subsequent progression to complete blindness. The known causative disease genes have a variety of developmental and functional roles, with mutations in more than 120 genes shown to be responsible for the phenotypes. In addition, mutations within the same gene have been shown to cause different disease phenotypes, even amongst affected individuals within the same family, highlighting further levels of complexity. The known disease genes encode proteins involved in retinal cellular structures, phototransduction, the visual cycle, and photoreceptor structure or gene regulation. Significant advancements have been made in understanding the genetic pathogenesis of ocular diseases, and gene replacement and gene silencing have been proposed as potentially efficacious therapies. Because of its favorable anatomical and immunological characteristics, the eye has been at the forefront of translational gene therapy. Recent improvements have been made in the safety and specificity of vector-based ocular gene transfer methods. Dozens of promising proofs of concept have been obtained in animal models of HRDs and some of them have been relayed to the clinic. The results from the first clinical trials for a congenital form of blindness have generated great interest and have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of intraocular administrations of viral vectors in humans. This review summarizes the clinical development of retinal gene therapy.

  3. AAV-Mediated Clarin-1 Expression in the Mouse Retina: Implications for USH3A Gene Therapy.

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    Astra Dinculescu

    Full Text Available Usher syndrome type III (USH3A is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in clarin-1 (CLRN1 gene, leading to progressive retinal degeneration and sensorineural deafness. Efforts to develop therapies for preventing photoreceptor cell loss are hampered by the lack of a retinal phenotype in the existing USH3 mouse models and by conflicting reports regarding the endogenous retinal localization of clarin-1, a transmembrane protein of unknown function. In this study, we used an AAV-based approach to express CLRN1 in the mouse retina in order to determine the pattern of its subcellular localization in different cell types. We found that all major classes of retinal cells express AAV-delivered CLRN1 driven by the ubiquitous, constitutive small chicken β-actin promoter, which has important implications for the design of future USH3 gene therapy studies. Within photoreceptor cells, AAV-expressed CLRN1 is mainly localized at the inner segment region and outer plexiform layer, similar to the endogenous expression of other usher proteins. Subretinal delivery using a full strength viral titer led to significant loss of retinal function as evidenced by ERG analysis, suggesting that there is a critical limit for CLRN1 expression in photoreceptor cells. Taken together, these results suggest that CLRN1 expression is potentially supported by a variety of retinal cells, and the right combination of AAV vector dose, promoter, and delivery method needs to be selected to develop safe therapies for USH3 disorder.

  4. AAV-Mediated Clarin-1 Expression in the Mouse Retina: Implications for USH3A Gene Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinculescu, Astra; Stupay, Rachel M; Deng, Wen-Tao; Dyka, Frank M; Min, Seok-Hong; Boye, Sanford L; Chiodo, Vince A; Abrahan, Carolina E; Zhu, Ping; Li, Qiuhong; Strettoi, Enrica; Novelli, Elena; Nagel-Wolfrum, Kerstin; Wolfrum, Uwe; Smith, W Clay; Hauswirth, William W

    2016-01-01

    Usher syndrome type III (USH3A) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in clarin-1 (CLRN1) gene, leading to progressive retinal degeneration and sensorineural deafness. Efforts to develop therapies for preventing photoreceptor cell loss are hampered by the lack of a retinal phenotype in the existing USH3 mouse models and by conflicting reports regarding the endogenous retinal localization of clarin-1, a transmembrane protein of unknown function. In this study, we used an AAV-based approach to express CLRN1 in the mouse retina in order to determine the pattern of its subcellular localization in different cell types. We found that all major classes of retinal cells express AAV-delivered CLRN1 driven by the ubiquitous, constitutive small chicken β-actin promoter, which has important implications for the design of future USH3 gene therapy studies. Within photoreceptor cells, AAV-expressed CLRN1 is mainly localized at the inner segment region and outer plexiform layer, similar to the endogenous expression of other usher proteins. Subretinal delivery using a full strength viral titer led to significant loss of retinal function as evidenced by ERG analysis, suggesting that there is a critical limit for CLRN1 expression in photoreceptor cells. Taken together, these results suggest that CLRN1 expression is potentially supported by a variety of retinal cells, and the right combination of AAV vector dose, promoter, and delivery method needs to be selected to develop safe therapies for USH3 disorder.

  5. Multiple episodes of convergence in genes of the dim light vision pathway in bats.

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    Yong-Yi Shen

    Full Text Available The molecular basis of the evolution of phenotypic characters is very complex and is poorly understood with few examples documenting the roles of multiple genes. Considering that a single gene cannot fully explain the convergence of phenotypic characters, we choose to study the convergent evolution of rod vision in two divergent bats from a network perspective. The Old World fruit bats (Pteropodidae are non-echolocating and have binocular vision, whereas the sheath-tailed bats (Emballonuridae are echolocating and have monocular vision; however, they both have relatively large eyes and rely more on rod vision to find food and navigate in the night. We found that the genes CRX, which plays an essential role in the differentiation of photoreceptor cells, SAG, which is involved in the desensitization of the photoactivated transduction cascade, and the photoreceptor gene RH, which is directly responsible for the perception of dim light, have undergone parallel sequence evolution in two divergent lineages of bats with larger eyes (Pteropodidae and Emballonuroidea. The multiple convergent events in the network of genes essential for rod vision is a rare phenomenon that illustrates the importance of investigating pathways and networks in the evolution of the molecular basis of phenotypic convergence.

  6. Functional interaction between the two halves of the photoreceptor-specific ATP binding cassette protein ABCR (ABCA4). Evidence for a non-exchangeable ADP in the first nucleotide binding domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Jinhi; Beharry, Seelochan; Molday, Laurie L; Molday, Robert S

    2003-10-10

    ABCR, also known as ABCA4, is a member of the superfamily of ATP binding cassette transporters that is believed to transport retinal or retinylidene-phosphatidylethanolamine across photoreceptor disk membranes. Mutations in the ABCR gene are responsible for Stargardt macular dystrophy and related retinal dystrophies that cause severe loss in vision. ABCR consists of two tandemly arranged halves each containing a membrane spanning segment followed by a large extracellular/lumen domain, a multi-spanning membrane domain, and a nucleotide binding domain (NBD). To define the role of each NBD, we examined the nucleotide binding and ATPase activities of the N and C halves of ABCR individually and co-expressed in COS-1 cells and derived from trypsin-cleaved ABCR in disk membranes. When disk membranes or membranes from co-transfected cells were photoaffinity labeled with 8-azido-ATP and 8-azido-ADP, only the NBD2 in the C-half bound and trapped the nucleotide. Co-expressed half-molecules displayed basal and retinal-stimulated ATPase activity similar to full-length ABCR. The individually expressed N-half displayed weak 8-azido-ATP labeling and low basal ATPase activity that was not stimulated by retinal, whereas the C-half did not bind ATP and exhibited little if any ATPase activity. Purified ABCR contained one tightly bound ADP, presumably in NBD1. Our results indicate that only NBD2 of ABCR binds and hydrolyzes ATP in the presence or absence of retinal. NBD1, containing a bound ADP, associates with NBD2 to play a crucial, non-catalytic role in ABCR function.

  7. Long-term preservation of retinal function in the RCS rat model of retinitis pigmentosa following lentivirus-mediated gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschernutter, M; Schlichtenbrede, F C; Howe, S; Balaggan, K S; Munro, P M; Bainbridge, J W B; Thrasher, A J; Smith, A J; Ali, R R

    2005-04-01

    The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat is a well-characterized model of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP) due to a defect in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). It is homozygous for a null mutation in the gene encoding , a receptor tyrosine kinase found in RPE cells, that is required for phagocytosis of shed photoreceptor outer segments. The absence of Mertk results in accumulation of outer segment debris. This subsequently leads to progressive loss of photoreceptor cells. In order to evaluate the efficacy of lentiviral-mediated gene replacement therapy in the RCS rat, we produced recombinant VSV-G pseudotyped HIV-1-based lentiviruses containing a murine Mertk cDNA driven by a spleen focus forming virus (SFFV) promoter. The vector was subretinally injected into the right eye of 10-day-old RCS rats; the left eye was left untreated as an internal control. Here, we present a detailed assessment of the duration and extent of the morphological rescue and the resulting functional benefits. We examined animals at various time points over a period of 7 months by light and electron microscopy, and electroretinography. We observed correction of the phagocytic defect, slowing of photoreceptor cell loss and preservation of retinal function for up to 7 months. This study demonstrates the potential of gene therapy approaches for the treatment of retinal degenerations caused by defects specific to the RPE and supports the use of lentiviral vectors for the treatment of such disorders.

  8. The SLC24 gene family of Na⁺/Ca²⁺-K⁺ exchangers: from sight and smell to memory consolidation and skin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnetkamp, Paul P M

    2013-01-01

    Members of the SLC24 gene family encode K(+)-dependent Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchangers (NCKX) that utilize both the inward Na(+) and outward K(+) gradients to extrude Ca(2+) from cells. There are five human SLC24 genes that play a role in biological process as diverse as vision in retinal rod and cone photoreceptors, olfaction, skin pigmentation and at least three of the five genes are also widely expressed in the brain. Here I review the functional, physiological and structural features of NCKX proteins that have emerged in the past few years. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Spectroscopic studies of model photo-receptors: validation of a nanosecond time-resolved micro-spectrophotometer design using photoactive yellow protein and α-phycoerythrocyanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purwar, Namrta; Tenboer, Jason; Tripathi, Shailesh; Schmidt, Marius

    2013-09-13

    Time-resolved spectroscopic experiments have been performed with protein in solution and in crystalline form using a newly designed microspectrophotometer. The time-resolution of these experiments can be as good as two nanoseconds (ns), which is the minimal response time of the image intensifier used. With the current setup, the effective time-resolution is about seven ns, determined mainly by the pulse duration of the nanosecond laser. The amount of protein required is small, on the order of 100 nanograms. Bleaching, which is an undesirable effect common to photoreceptor proteins, is minimized by using a millisecond shutter to avoid extensive exposure to the probing light. We investigate two model photoreceptors, photoactive yellow protein (PYP), and α-phycoerythrocyanin (α-PEC), on different time scales and at different temperatures. Relaxation times obtained from kinetic time-series of difference absorption spectra collected from PYP are consistent with previous results. The comparison with these results validates the capability of this spectrophotometer to deliver high quality time-resolved absorption spectra.

  10. UV photoreceptors and UV-yellow wing pigments in Heliconius butterflies allow a color signal to serve both mimicry and intraspecific communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Seth M; Yuan, Furong; Ramstetter, Monica D; Llorente-Bousquets, Jorge; Reed, Robert D; Osorio, Daniel; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2012-01-01

    Mimetic wing coloration evolves in butterflies in the context of predator confusion. Unless butterfly eyes have adaptations for discriminating mimetic color variation, mimicry also carries a risk of confusion for the butterflies themselves. Heliconius butterfly eyes, which express recently duplicated ultraviolet (UV) opsins, have such an adaptation. To examine bird and butterfly color vision as sources of selection on butterfly coloration, we studied yellow wing pigmentation in the tribe Heliconiini. We confirmed, using reflectance and mass spectrometry, that only Heliconius use 3-hydroxy-DL-kynurenine (3-OHK), which looks yellow to humans but reflects both UV- and long-wavelength light, whereas butterflies in related genera have chemically unknown yellow pigments mostly lacking UV reflectance. Modeling of these color signals reveals that the two UV photoreceptors of Heliconius are better suited to separating 3-OHK from non-3-OHK spectra compared with the photoreceptors of related genera or birds. The co-occurrence of potentially enhanced UV vision and a UV-reflecting yellow wing pigment could allow unpalatable Heliconius private intraspecific communication in the presence of mimics. Our results are the best available evidence for the correlated evolution of a color signal and color vision. They also suggest that predator visual systems are error prone in the context of mimicry. © 2011 by The University of Chicago.

  11. Mitosis in neurons: Roughex and APC/C maintain cell cycle exit to prevent cytokinetic and axonal defects in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Ruggiero

    Full Text Available The mechanisms of cell cycle exit by neurons remain poorly understood. Through genetic and developmental analysis of Drosophila eye development, we found that the cyclin-dependent kinase-inhibitor Roughex maintains G1 cell cycle exit during differentiation of the R8 class of photoreceptor neurons. The roughex mutant neurons re-enter the mitotic cell cycle and progress without executing cytokinesis, unlike non-neuronal cells in the roughex mutant that perform complete cell divisions. After mitosis, the binucleated R8 neurons usually transport one daughter nucleus away from the cell body into the developing axon towards the brain in a kinesin-dependent manner resembling anterograde axonal trafficking. Similar cell cycle and photoreceptor neuron defects occurred in mutants for components of the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome. These findings indicate a neuron-specific defect in cytokinesis and demonstrate a critical role for mitotic cyclin downregulation both to maintain cell cycle exit during neuronal differentiation and to prevent axonal defects following failed cytokinesis.

  12. Differentiation and Transplantation of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cone Photoreceptors into a Mouse Model of End-Stage Retinal Degeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Kruczek

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The loss of cone photoreceptors that mediate daylight vision represents a leading cause of blindness, for which cell replacement by transplantation offers a promising treatment strategy. Here, we characterize cone differentiation in retinas derived from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs. Similar to in vivo development, a temporal pattern of progenitor marker expression is followed by the differentiation of early thyroid hormone receptor β2-positive precursors and, subsequently, photoreceptors exhibiting cone-specific phototransduction-related proteins. We establish that stage-specific inhibition of the Notch pathway increases cone cell differentiation, while retinoic acid signaling regulates cone maturation, comparable with their actions in vivo. MESC-derived cones can be isolated in large numbers and transplanted into adult mouse eyes, showing capacity to survive and mature in the subretinal space of Aipl1−/− mice, a model of end-stage retinal degeneration. Together, this work identifies a robust, renewable cell source for cone replacement by purified cell suspension transplantation.

  13. Efficacy of 670 nm Light Therapy to Protect against Photoreceptor Cell Death Is Dependent on the Severity of Damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua A. Chu-Tan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Photobiomodulation at a wavelength of 670 nm has been shown to be effective in preventing photoreceptor cell death in the retina. We treated Sprague-Dawley (SD rats with varying doses of 670 nm light (9; 18; 36; 90 J/cm2 before exposing them to different intensities of damaging white light (750; 1000; 1500 lux. 670 nm light exhibited a biphasic response in its amelioration of cell death in light-induced degeneration in vivo. Lower light damage intensities required lower doses of 670 nm light to reduce TUNEL cell death. At higher damage intensities, the highest dose of 670 nm light showed protection. In vitro, the Seahorse XFe96 Extracellular Flux Analyzer revealed that 670 nm light directly influences mitochondrial metabolism by increasing the spare respiratory capacity of mitochondria in 661 W photoreceptor-like cells in light damaged conditions. Our findings further support the use of 670 nm light as an effective treatment against retinal degeneration as well as shedding light on the mechanism of protection through the increase of the mitochondrial spare respiratory capacity.

  14. Mutations in the ABCA4 (ABCR) Gene Are the Major Cause of Autosomal Recessive Cone-Rod Dystrophy

    OpenAIRE

    Maugeri, Alessandra; Klevering, B. Jeroen; Rohrschneider, Klaus; Blankenagel, Anita; Brunner, Han G.; Deutman, August F.; Hoyng, Carel B.; Cremers, Frans P. M.

    2000-01-01

    The photoreceptor cell–specific ATP-binding cassette transporter gene (ABCA4; previously denoted “ABCR”) is mutated in most patients with autosomal recessive (AR) Stargardt disease (STGD1) or fundus flavimaculatus (FFM). In addition, a few cases with AR retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and AR cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) have been found to have ABCA4 mutations. To evaluate the importance of the ABCA4 gene as a cause of AR CRD, we selected 5 patients with AR CRD and 15 patients with isolated CRD, all fro...

  15. Gene Therapy in a Large Animal Model of PDE6A-Retinitis Pigmentosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freya M. Mowat

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite mutations in the rod phosphodiesterase 6-alpha (PDE6A gene being well-recognized as a cause of human retinitis pigmentosa, no definitive treatments have been developed to treat this blinding disease. We performed a trial of retinal gene augmentation in the Pde6a mutant dog using Pde6a delivery by capsid-mutant adeno-associated virus serotype 8, previously shown to have a rapid onset of transgene expression in the canine retina. Subretinal injections were performed in 10 dogs at 29–44 days of age, and electroretinography and vision testing were performed to assess functional outcome. Retinal structure was assessed using color fundus photography, spectral domain optical coherence tomography, and histology. Immunohistochemistry was performed to examine transgene expression and expression of other retinal genes. Treatment resulted in improvement in dim light vision and evidence of rod function on electroretinographic examination. Photoreceptor layer thickness in the treated area was preserved compared with the contralateral control vector treated or uninjected eye. Improved rod and cone photoreceptor survival, rhodopsin localization, cyclic GMP levels and bipolar cell dendrite distribution was observed in treated areas. Some adverse effects including foci of retinal separation, foci of retinal degeneration and rosette formation were identified in both AAV-Pde6a and control vector injected regions. This is the first description of successful gene augmentation for Pde6a retinitis pigmentosa in a large animal model. Further studies will be necessary to optimize visual outcomes and minimize complications before translation to human studies.

  16. Gene Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gene therapy Overview Gene therapy involves altering the genes inside your body's cells in an effort to treat or stop disease. Genes contain your ... that don't work properly can cause disease. Gene therapy replaces a faulty gene or adds a new ...

  17. A novel NR2E3 gene mutation in autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa with cystic maculopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Mahajan, D.; Votruba, Marcela

    2017-01-01

    NR2E3 is a gene that encodes for photoreceptor cell specific nuclear receptor, which is involved in cone proliferation. The splice site mutation 119-2A>C in NR2E3 (15q23) has been previously reported to underlie recessive enhanced cone S sensitivity syndrome, clumped pigmentary retinal degeneration, Goldman-Favre syndrome and also autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP). However, the mutation c 571 + 2 T > C in NR2E3 has not been previously reported with retinal d...

  18. Micro-calibration of space and motion by photoreceptors synchronized in parallel with cortical oscillations: A unified theory of visual perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerath, Ravinder; Cearley, Shannon M; Barnes, Vernon A; Jensen, Mike

    2018-01-01

    A fundamental function of the visual system is detecting motion, yet visual perception is poorly understood. Current research has determined that the retina and ganglion cells elicit responses for motion detection; however, the underlying mechanism for this is incompletely understood. Previously we proposed that retinogeniculo-cortical oscillations and photoreceptors work in parallel to process vision. Here we propose that motion could also be processed within the retina, and not in the brain as current theory suggests. In this paper, we discuss: 1) internal neural space formation; 2) primary, secondary, and tertiary roles of vision; 3) gamma as the secondary role; and 4) synchronization and coherence. Movement within the external field is instantly detected by primary processing within the space formed by the retina, providing a unified view of the world from an internal point of view. Our new theory begins to answer questions about: 1) perception of space, erect images, and motion, 2) purpose of lateral inhibition, 3) speed of visual perception, and 4) how peripheral color vision occurs without a large population of cones located peripherally in the retina. We explain that strong oscillatory activity influences on brain activity and is necessary for: 1) visual processing, and 2) formation of the internal visuospatial area necessary for visual consciousness, which could allow rods to receive precise visual and visuospatial information, while retinal waves could link the lateral geniculate body with the cortex to form a neural space formed by membrane potential-based oscillations and photoreceptors. We propose that vision is tripartite, with three components that allow a person to make sense of the world, terming them "primary, secondary, and tertiary roles" of vision. Finally, we propose that Gamma waves that are higher in strength and volume allow communication among the retina, thalamus, and various areas of the cortex, and synchronization brings cortical

  19. Ancestral gene reconstruction and synthesis of ancient rhodopsins in the laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Belinda S W

    2003-08-01

    Laboratory synthesis of ancestral proteins offers an intriguing opportunity to study the past directly. The development of Bayesian methods to infer ancestral sequences, combined with advances in models of molecular evolution, and synthetic gene technology make this an increasingly promising approach in evolutionary studies of molecular function. Visual pigments form the first step in the biochemical cascade of events in the retina in all animals known to possess visual capabilities. In vertebrates, the necessity of spanning a dynamic range of light intensities of many orders of magnitude has given rise to two different types of photoreceptors, rods specialized for dim-light conditions, and cones for daylight and color vision. These photoreceptors contain different types of visual pigment genes. Reviewed here are methods of inferring ancestral sequences, chemical synthesis of artificial ancestral genes in the laboratory, and applications to the evolution of vertebrate visual systems and the experimental recreation of an archosaur rod visual pigment. The ancestral archosaurs gave rise to several notable lineages of diapsid reptiles, including the birds and the dinosaurs, and would have existed over 200 MYA. What little is known of their physiology comes from fossil remains, and inference based on the biology of their living descendants. Despite its age, an ancestral archosaur pigment was successfully recreated in the lab, and showed interesting properties of its wavelength sensitivity that may have implications for the visual capabilities of the ancestral archosaurs in dim light.

  20. A novel culture method reveals unique neural stem/progenitors in mature porcine iris tissues that differentiate into neuronal and rod photoreceptor-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royall, Lars N; Lea, Daniel; Matsushita, Tamami; Takeda, Taka-Aki; Taketani, Shigeru; Araki, Masasuke

    2017-11-15

    Iris neural stem/progenitor cells from mature porcine eyes were investigated using a new protocol for tissue culture, which consists of dispase treatment and Matrigel embedding. We used a number of culture conditions and found an intense differentiation of neuronal cells from both the iris pigmented epithelial (IPE) cells and the stroma tissue cells. Rod photoreceptor-like cells were also observed but mostly in a later stage of culture. Neuronal differentiation does not require any additives such as fetal bovine serum or FGF2, although FGF2 and IGF2 appeared to promote neural differentiation in the IPE cultures. Furthermore, the stroma-derived cells were able to be maintained in vitro indefinitely. The evolutionary similarity between humans and domestic pigs highlight the potential for this methodology in the modeling of human diseases and characterizing human ocular stem cells. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Photoreceptor spectral sensitivity of the compound eyes of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) informing the design of LED-based illumination to enhance indoor reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oonincx, D G A B; Volk, N; Diehl, J J E; van Loon, J J A; Belušič, G

    2016-12-01

    Mating in the black soldier fly (BSF) is a visually mediated behaviour that under natural conditions occurs in full sunlight. Artificial light conditions promoting mating by BSF were designed based on the spectral characteristics of the compound eye retina. Electrophysiological measurements revealed that BSF ommatidia contained UV-, blue- and green-sensitive photoreceptor cells, allowing trichromatic vision. An illumination system for indoor breeding based on UV, blue and green LEDs was designed and its efficiency was compared with illumination by fluorescent tubes which have been successfully used to sustain a BSF colony for five years. Illumination by LEDs and the fluorescent tubes yielded equal numbers of egg clutches, however, the LED illumination resulted in significantly more larvae. The possibilities to optimize the current LED illumination system to better approximate the skylight illuminant and potentially optimize the larval yield are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Multimodal LA-ICP-MS and nanoSIMS imaging enables copper mapping within photoreceptor megamitochondria in a zebrafish model of Menkes disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Cheri M; Weber, Peter K; Xiao, Tong; Thai, Bao; Kuo, Tiffani J; Zhang, Emily; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer; Chang, Christopher J

    2018-03-01

    Copper is essential for eukaryotic life, and animals must acquire this nutrient through the diet and distribute it to cells and organelles for proper function of biological targets. Indeed, mutations in the central copper exporter ATP7A contribute to a spectrum of diseases, including Menkes disease, with symptoms ranging from neurodegeneration to lax connective tissue. As such, a better understanding of the fundamental impacts of ATP7A mutations on in vivo copper distributions is of relevance to those affected by these diseases. Here we combine metal imaging and optical imaging techniques at a variety of spatial resolutions to identify tissues and structures with altered copper levels in the Calamity gw71 zebrafish model of Menkes disease. Rapid profiling of tissue slices with LA-ICP-MS identified reduced copper levels in the brain, neuroretina, and liver of Menkes fish compared to control specimens. High resolution nanoSIMS imaging of the neuroretina, combined with electron and confocal microscopies, identified the megamitochondria of photoreceptors as loci of copper accumulation in wildtype fish, with lower levels of megamitochondrial copper observed in Calamity gw71 zebrafish. Interestingly, this localized copper decrease does not result in impaired photoreceptor development or altered megamitochondrial morphology, suggesting the prioritization of copper at sufficient levels for maintaining essential mitochondrial functions. Together, these data establish the Calamity gw71 zebrafish as an optically transparent in vivo model for the study of neural copper misregulation, illuminate a role for the ATP7A copper exporter in trafficking copper to the neuroretina, and highlight the utility of combining multiple imaging techniques for studying metals in whole organism settings with spatial resolution.

  3. Restoration of the photoreceptor layer and improvement of visual acuity in successfully treated optic disc pit maculopathy: a long follow-up study by optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodossiadis, George P; Grigoropoulos, Vlassis G; Liarakos, Vasilis S; Rouvas, Alexandros; Emfietzoglou, Ioannis; Theodossiadis, Panagiotis G

    2012-07-01

    To investigate by optical coherence tomography (OCT) the evolution of the photoreceptor layer and its association with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in optic disc pit (ODP) maculopathy after successful surgical treatment. Fourteen eyes of 14 patients were included in this study, and followed up from 36 to 95 months (mean 57.36 ± 18.32 months). The follow-up period started at the time of complete subretinal fluid absorption. Examination was performed by time-domain OCT before and after treatment. Spectral-domain OCT was used after treatment. Parameters assessed were type of elevation, central foveal thickness, time elapsed from onset to treatment, type of treatment, BCVA, and inner segment outer segment (IS/OS) junction line. The IS/OS junction was characterized after treatment as intact, interrupted, or absent (not distinguishable). Significant restoration of the IS/OS junction line was first noticed between 6 and 12 months after fluid absorption (p = 0.02; Wilcoxon signed rank test). Restoration was continuous up to the 24th month of postoperative examination after fluid absorption (p = 0.14; Wilcoxon signed rank test). BCVA was 0.99 ± 0.38 logMar before treatment, 0.81 ± 0.26 logMar (p = 0.011; paired t-test) immediately after fluid absorption and 0.61 ± 0.33 logMar (p = 0.026; one-way ANOVA) 24 months after fluid resolution. BCVA was significantly positively correlated with the integrity of the IS/OS junction line during follow-up (Pearson r = 0.775; p final photoreceptor layer condition and BCVA immediately after fluid absorption are the main factors predicting final BCVA after successful surgical treatment of ODP maculopathy.

  4. ATM localization and gene expression in the adult mouse eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leemput, Julia; Masson, Christel; Bigot, Karine; Errachid, Abdelmounaim; Dansault, Anouk; Provost, Alexandra; Gadin, Stéphanie; Aoufouchi, Said; Menasche, Maurice; Abitbol, Marc

    2009-01-01

    High levels of metabolism and oxygen consumption in most adult murine ocular compartments, combined with exposure to light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, are major sources of oxidative stress, causing DNA damage in ocular cells. Of all mammalian body cells, photoreceptor cells consume the largest amount of oxygen and generate the highest levels of oxidative damage. The accumulation of such damage throughout life is a major factor of aging tissues. Several multiprotein complexes have recently been identified as the major sensors and mediators involved in the maintenance of DNA integrity. The activity of these complexes initially seemed to be restricted to dividing cells, given their ultimate role in major cell cycle checkpoints. However, it was later established that they are also active in post-mitotic cells. Recent findings demonstrate that the DNA damage response (DDR) is essential for the development, maintenance, and normal functioning of the adult central nervous system. One major molecular factor in the DDR is the protein, ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM). It is required for the rapid induction of cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks. These cytotoxic DNA lesions may be caused by oxidative damage. To understand how ATM prevents oxidative stress and participates in the maintenance of genomic integrity and cell viability of the adult retina, we determined the ATM expression patterns and studied its localization in the adult mouse eye. Atm gene expression was analyzed by RT-PCR experiments and its localization by in situ hybridization on adult mouse ocular and cerebellar tissue sections. ATM protein expression was determined by western blot analysis of proteins homogenates extracted from several mouse tissues and its localization by immunohistochemistry experiments performed on adult mouse ocular and cerebellar tissue sections. In addition, subcellular localization was realized by confocal microscopy imaging of ocular tissue sections, with a special

  5. Autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa caused by mutations in the MAK gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Edwin M; Luo, Xunda; Héon, Elise; Lam, Byron L; Weleber, Richard G; Halder, Jennifer A; Affatigato, Louisa M; Goldberg, Jacqueline B; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Cideciyan, Artur V; Jacobson, Samuel G

    2011-12-28

    To determine the disease expression in autosomal recessive (ar) retinitis pigmentosa (RP) caused by mutations in the MAK (male germ cell-associated kinase) gene. Patients with RP and MAK gene mutations (n = 24; age, 32-77 years at first visit) were studied by ocular examination, perimetry, and optical coherence tomography (OCT). All but one MAK patient were homozygous for an identical truncating mutation in exon 9 and had Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. The carrier frequency of this mutation among 1207 unrelated Ashkenazi control subjects was 1 in 55, making it the most common cause of heritable retinal disease in this population and MAK-associated RP the sixth most common Mendelian disease overall in this group. Visual acuities could be normal into the eighth decade of life. Kinetic fields showed early loss in the superior-temporal quadrant. With more advanced disease, superior and midperipheral function was lost, but the nasal field remained. Only a central island was present at late stages. Pigmentary retinopathy was less prominent in the superior nasal quadrant. Rod-mediated vision was abnormal but detectable in the residual field; all patients had rod>cone dysfunction. Photoreceptor layer thickness was normal centrally but decreased with eccentricity. At the stages studied, there was no evidence of photoreceptor ciliary elongation. The patterns of disease expression in the MAK form of arRP showed some resemblance to patterns described in autosomal dominant RP, especially the form caused by RP1 mutations. The similarity in phenotypes is of interest, considering that there is experimental evidence of interaction between Mak and RP1 in the photoreceptor cilium.

  6. Expression of Root Genes in Arabidopsis Seedlings Grown by Standard and Improved Growing Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yanli; Liu, Shuai; Bao, Wenlong; Xue, Xian; Ma, Zhengwen; Yokawa, Ken; Baluška, František; Wan, Yinglang

    2017-05-03

    Roots of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings grown in the laboratory using the traditional plant-growing culture system (TPG) were covered to maintain them in darkness. This new method is based on a dark chamber and is named the improved plant-growing method (IPG). We measured the light conditions in dark chambers, and found that the highest light intensity was dramatically reduced deeper in the dark chamber. In the bottom and side parts of dark chambers, roots were almost completely shaded. Using the high-throughput RNA sequencing method on the whole RNA extraction from roots, we compared the global gene expression levels in roots of seedlings from these two conditions and identified 141 differently expressed genes (DEGs) between them. According to the KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) enrichment, the flavone and flavonol biosynthesis and flavonoid biosynthesis pathways were most affected among all annotated pathways. Surprisingly, no genes of known plant photoreceptors were identified as DEGs by this method. Considering that the light intensity was decreased in the IPG system, we collected four sections (1.5 cm for each) of Arabidopsis roots grown in TPG and IPG conditions, and the spatial-related differential gene expression levels of plant photoreceptors and polar auxin transporters, including CRY1 , CRY2 , PHYA , PHYB , PHOT1 , PHOT2 , and UVR8 were analyzed by qRT-PCR. Using these results, we generated a map of the spatial-related expression patterns of these genes under IPG and TPG conditions. The expression levels of light-related genes in roots is highly sensitive to illumination and it provides a background reference for selecting an improved culture method for laboratory-maintained Arabidopsis seedlings.

  7. A novel Usher protein network at the periciliary reloading point between molecular transport machineries in vertebrate photoreceptor cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maerker, T.; Wijk, E. van; Overlack, N.; Kersten, F.F.J.; McGee, J.; Goldmann, T.; Sehn, E.; Roepman, R.; Walsh, E.J.; Kremer, H.; Wolfrum, U.

    2008-01-01

    The human Usher syndrome (USH) is the most frequent cause of combined deaf-blindness. USH is genetically heterogeneous with at least 12 chromosomal loci assigned to three clinical types, USH1-3. Although these USH types exhibit similar phenotypes in human, the corresponding gene products belong to

  8. An animal model for Norrie disease (ND): gene targeting of the mouse ND gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, W; van de Pol, D; Bächner, D; Oerlemans, F; Winkens, H; Hameister, H; Wieringa, B; Hendriks, W; Ropers, H H

    1996-01-01

    In order to elucidate the cellular and molecular processes which are involved in Norrie disease (ND), we have used gene targeting technology to generate ND mutant mice. The murine homologue of the ND gene was cloned and shown to encode a polypeptide that shares 94% of the amino acid sequence with its human counterpart. RNA in situ hybridization revealed expression in retina, brain and the olfactory bulb and epithelium of 2 week old mice. Hemizygous mice carrying a replacement mutation in exon 2 of the ND gene developed retrolental structures in the vitreous body and showed an overall disorganization of the retinal ganglion cell layer. The outer plexiform layer disappears occasionally, resulting in a juxtaposed inner and outer nuclear layer. At the same regions, the outer segments of the photoreceptor cell layer are no longer present. These ocular findings are consistent with observations in ND patients and the generated mouse line provides a faithful model for study of early pathogenic events in this severe X-linked recessive neurological disorder.

  9. Adenovirus-Mediated Delivery of Catalase to Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Protects Neighboring Photoreceptors from Photo-Oxidative Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Rex, T.S.; Tsui, I.; Hahn, P.; Maguire, A.M.; Duan, D.; Bennett, J.; Dunaief, J.L.

    2004-01-01

    Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Overexpression of antioxidant enzymes by gene therapy may protect tissues from oxidative damage. Because the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide can diffuse across cell membranes, we hypothesized that overexpression of the antioxidant catalase within certain cells might protect neighboring cells. To test this hypothesis, we transduced retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in vitro and in vivo with adenovirus carrying th...

  10. Interleukin-17 retinotoxicity is prevented by gene transfer of a soluble interleukin-17 receptor acting as a cytokine blocker: implications for age-related macular degeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Ardeljan

    Full Text Available Age-related macular degeneration (AMD is a common yet complex retinal degeneration that causes irreversible central blindness in the elderly. Pathology is widely believed to follow loss of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE and photoreceptor degeneration. Here we report aberrant expression of interleukin-17A (IL17A and the receptor IL17RC in the macula of AMD patients. In vitro, IL17A induces RPE cell death characterized by the accumulation of cytoplasmic lipids and autophagosomes with subsequent activation of pro-apoptotic Caspase-3 and Caspase-9. This pathology is reduced by siRNA knockdown of IL17RC. IL17-dependent retinal degeneration in a mouse model of focal retinal degeneration can be prevented by gene therapy with adeno-associated virus vector encoding soluble IL17 receptor. This intervention rescues RPE and photoreceptors in a MAPK-dependent process. The IL17 pathway plays a key role in RPE and photoreceptor degeneration and could hold therapeutic potential in AMD.

  11. Structural analysis of retinal photoreceptor ellipsoid zone and postreceptor retinal layer associated with visual acuity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa by ganglion cell analysis combined with OCT imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guodong; Li, Hui; Liu, Xiaoqiang; Xu, Ding; Wang, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this study was to examine changes in photoreceptor ellipsoid zone (EZ) and postreceptor retinal layer in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients by ganglion cell analysis (GCA) combined with optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging to evaluate the structure–function relationships between retinal layer changes and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA). Sixty-eight eyes of 35 patients with RP and 65 eyes of 35 normal controls were analyzed in the study. The average length of EZ was 911.1 ± 208.8 μm in RP patients, which was shortened with the progression of the disease on the OCT images. The average ganglion cell–inner plexiform layer thickness (GCIPLT) was 54.7 ± 18.9 μm in RP patients, while in normal controls it was 85.6 ± 6.8 μm. The GCIPLT in all quarters became significantly thinner along with outer retinal thinning. There was a significantly positive correlation between BCVA and EZ (r = −0.7622, P retinal layer changes from a new perspective in RP patients, which suggests that EZ and GCIPLT obtained by GCA combined with OCT imaging are the direct and valid indicators to diagnosis and predict the pathological process of RP. PMID:28033301

  12. Individual variation in cone photoreceptor density in house sparrows: implications for between-individual differences in visual resolution and chromatic contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensminger, Amanda L; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    Between-individual variation has been documented in a wide variety of taxa, especially for behavioral characteristics; however, intra-population variation in sensory systems has not received similar attention in wild animals. We measured a key trait of the visual system, the density of retinal cone photoreceptors, in a wild population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We tested whether individuals differed from each other in cone densities given within-individual variation across the retina and across eyes. We further tested whether the existing variation could lead to individual differences in two aspects of perception: visual resolution and chromatic contrast. We found consistent between-individual variation in the densities of all five types of avian cones, involved in chromatic and achromatic vision. Using perceptual modeling, we found that this degree of variation translated into significant between-individual differences in visual resolution and the chromatic contrast of a plumage signal that has been associated with mate choice and agonistic interactions. However, there was no evidence for a relationship between individual visual resolution and chromatic contrast. The implication is that some birds may have the sensory potential to perform "better" in certain visual tasks, but not necessarily in both resolution and contrast simultaneously. Overall, our findings (a) highlight the need to consider multiple individuals when characterizing sensory traits of a species, and (b) provide some mechanistic basis for between-individual variation in different behaviors (i.e., animal personalities) and for testing the predictions of several widely accepted hypotheses (e.g., honest signaling).

  13. Deletion of the Thyroid Hormone-Activating Type 2 Deiodinase Rescues Cone Photoreceptor Degeneration but Not Deafness in Mice Lacking Type 3 Deiodinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Lily; Liu, Hong; St Germain, Donald L; Hernandez, Arturo; Forrest, Douglas

    2017-06-01

    Type 2 deiodinase amplifies and type 3 deiodinase depletes levels of the active form of thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine. Given the opposing activities of these enzymes, we tested the hypothesis that they counteract each other's developmental functions by investigating whether deletion of type 2 deiodinase (encoded by Dio2) modifies sensory phenotypes in type 3 deiodinase-deficient (Dio3-/-) mice. Dio3-/- mice display degeneration of retinal cones, the photoreceptors that mediate daylight and color vision. In Dio2-/- mice, cone function was largely normal but deletion of Dio2 in Dio3-/- mice markedly recovered cone numbers and electroretinogram responses, suggesting counterbalancing roles for both enzymes in cone survival. Both Dio3-/- and Dio2-/- strains exhibit deafness with cochlear abnormalities. In Dio3-/-;Dio2-/- mice, deafness was exacerbated rather than alleviated, suggesting unevenly balanced actions by these enzymes during auditory development. Dio3-/- mice also exhibit an atrophic thyroid gland, low thyroxine, and high triiodothyronine levels, but this phenotype was ameliorated in Dio3-/-;Dio2-/- mice, indicating counterbalancing roles for the enzymes in determining the thyroid hormone status. The results suggest that the composite action of these two enzymes is a critical determinant in visual and auditory development and in setting the systemic thyroid hormone status.

  14. Capturing the photo-signaling state of a photoreceptor in a steady-state fashion by binding a transition metal complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Pengyun; Song, Lei; Qin, Jun; Wang, Jianping

    2017-11-01

    Binding a small molecule to proteins causes conformational changes, but often to a limited extent. Here, we demonstrate that the interaction of a CO-releasing molecule (CORM3) with a photoreceptor photoactive yellow protein (PYP) drives large structural changes in the latter. The interaction of CORM3 and a mutant of PYP, Met100Ala, not only trigger the isomerization of its chromophore, p-coumaric acid, from its anionic trans configuration to a protonated cis configuration, but also increases the content of β-sheet at the cost of α-helix and random coil in the secondary structure of the protein. The CORM3 derived Met100Ala is found to highly resemble the signaling state, which is one of the key photo-intermediates of this photoactive protein, in both protein local conformation and chromophore configuration. The organometallic reagents hold promise as protein engineering tools. This work highlights a novel approach to structurally accessing short lived intermediates of proteins in a steady-state fashion. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  15. Diverse regulation of retinal pigment epithelium phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments by calcium-independent phospholipase A₂, group VIA and secretory phospholipase A₂, group IB

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhan, Chen; Wang, Jinmei; Kolko, Miriam

    2012-01-01

    PURPOSE: To investigate the roles of the phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)) subtypes, iPLA(2)-VIA and sPLA(2)-IB in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments (POS) and to explore a possible interaction between sPLA(2)-IB and iPLA(2)-VIA in the RPE. METHODS: To explore...... the role of iPLA(2)-VIA in RPE phagocytosis of POS, experiments with iPLA(2)-VIA vector transfection, iPLA(2)-VIA(-/-) knockout (KO) mice, and iPLA(2)-VIA inhibition by bromoenol lactone (BEL) were done. Exogenous addition of sPLA(2)-IB was used to investigate the role of sPLA(2)-IB in RPE phagocytosis....... A Luciferase Reporter Vector containing the iPLA(2)-VIA promoter was used to study the effects of sPLA(2)-IB on the iPLA(2)-VIA promoter. RESULTS: ARPE-19 and primary mouse RPE cells transfected with iPLA(2)-VIA showed increased phagocytosis. Phagocytosis was reduced in primary mouse RPE inhibited with BEL...

  16. Loss-of-function of the ciliopathy protein Cc2d2a disorganizes the vesicle fusion machinery at the periciliary membrane and indirectly affects Rab8-trafficking in zebrafish photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda Naharros, Irene; Gesemann, Matthias; Mateos, José M; Barmettler, Gery; Forbes, Austin; Ziegler, Urs; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Bachmann-Gagescu, Ruxandra

    2017-12-01

    Ciliopathies are human disorders caused by dysfunction of primary cilia, ubiquitous organelles involved in transduction of environmental signals such as light sensation in photoreceptors. Concentration of signal detection proteins such as opsins in the ciliary membrane is achieved by RabGTPase-regulated polarized vesicle trafficking and by a selective barrier at the ciliary base, the transition zone (TZ). Dysfunction of the TZ protein CC2D2A causes Joubert/Meckel syndromes in humans and loss of ciliary protein localization in animal models, including opsins in retinal photoreceptors. The link between the TZ and upstream vesicle trafficking has been little explored to date. Moreover, the role of the small GTPase Rab8 in opsin-carrier vesicle (OCV) trafficking has been recently questioned in a mouse model. Using correlative light and electron microscopy and live imaging in zebrafish photoreceptors, we provide the first live characterization of Rab8-mediated trafficking in photoreceptors in vivo. Our results support a possibly redundant role for both Rab8a/b paralogs in OCV trafficking, based on co-localization of Rab8 and opsins in vesicular structures, and joint movement of Rab8-tagged particles with opsin. We further investigate the role of the TZ protein Cc2d2a in Rab8-mediated trafficking using cc2d2a zebrafish mutants and identify a requirement for Cc2d2a in the latest step of OCV trafficking, namely vesicle fusion. Progressive accumulation of opsin-containing vesicles in the apical portion of photoreceptors lacking Cc2d2a is caused by disorganization of the vesicle fusion machinery at the periciliary membrane with mislocalization and loss of the t-SNAREs SNAP25 and Syntaxin3 and of the exocyst component Exoc4. We further observe secondary defects on upstream Rab8-trafficking with cytoplasmic accumulation of Rab8. Taken together, our results support participation of Rab8 in OCV trafficking and identify a novel role for the TZ protein Cc2d2a in fusion of incoming

  17. Gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hildebrand, C.E.; Crawford, B.D.; Walters, R.A.; Enger, M.D.

    1983-01-01

    We prepared probes for isolating functional pieces of the metallothionein locus. The probes enabled a variety of experiments, eventually revealing two mechanisms for metallothionein gene expression, the order of the DNA coding units at the locus, and the location of the gene site in its chromosome. Once the switch regulating metallothionein synthesis was located, it could be joined by recombinant DNA methods to other, unrelated genes, then reintroduced into cells by gene-transfer techniques. The expression of these recombinant genes could then be induced by exposing the cells to Zn 2+ or Cd 2+ . We would thus take advantage of the clearly defined switching properties of the metallothionein gene to manipulate the expression of other, perhaps normally constitutive, genes. Already, despite an incomplete understanding of how the regulatory switch of the metallothionein locus operates, such experiments have been performed successfully

  18. Renal-Retinal Ciliopathy Gene Sdccag8 Regulates DNA Damage Response Signaling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Airik, Rannar; Slaats, Gisela G; Guo, Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Nephronophthisis-related ciliopathies (NPHP-RCs) are developmental and degenerative kidney diseases that are frequently associated with extrarenal pathologies such as retinal degeneration, obesity, and intellectual disability. We recently identified mutations in a gene encoding the centrosomal...... protein SDCCAG8 as causing NPHP type 10 in humans. To study the role of Sdccag8 in disease pathogenesis, we generated a Sdccag8 gene-trap mouse line. Homozygous Sdccag8(gt/gt) mice lacked the wild-type Sdccag8 transcript and protein, and recapitulated the human phenotypes of NPHP and retinal degeneration....... These mice exhibited early onset retinal degeneration that was associated with rhodopsin mislocalization in the photoreceptors and reduced cone cell numbers, and led to progressive loss of vision. By contrast, renal histologic changes occurred later, and no global ciliary defects were observed in the kidneys...

  19. Isolation and expression of a Pax-6 gene in the regenerating and intact Planarian Dugesia(G)tigrina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaerts, P.; Munoz-Marmol, A. M.; Glardon, S.; Castillo, E.; Sun, H.; Li, W.-H.; Gehring, W. J.; Salo, E.

    1999-01-01

    The Pax-6 gene encodes a transcription factor containing both a paired and a homeodomain and is highly conserved among Metazoa. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, Pax-6 is required for eye morphogenesis, development of parts of the central nervous system, and, in some phyla, for the development of olfactory sense organs. Ectopic expression of Pax-6 from insects, mammals, cephalopods, and ascidians induces ectopic eyes in Drosophila, suggesting that Pax-6 may be a universal master control gene for eye morphogenesis. Platyhelminthes are an ancient phylum, originating from the base of spiralian protostomes, that bear primitive eyes, consisting of a group of rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells enclosed in a cup of pigment cells. The analysis of Pax-6 and its expression pattern should provide insights into the ancestral function of Pax-6 in eye morphogenesis. We have identified the Pax-6 gene of the planarian Dugesia(G)tigrina (Platyhelminthes; Turbellaria; Tricladida). This gene shares significant sequence identity and conserved genomic organization with Pax-6 proteins from other phyla. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that it clusters with the other Pax-6 genes, but in the most basal position. DtPax-6 is expressed as a single transcript in both regenerating and fully grown eyes, and electron microscopy studies show strong expression in the perykarion of both photoreceptor and pigment cells. Very low levels of expression also are detectable in other body regions. Because a bona fide Pax-6 homolog so far has not been detected in diploblastic animals, we speculate that Pax-6 may be typical for triploblasts and that the appearance of additional Pax genes may have coincided with increasingly complex body plans. PMID:9892672

  20. Gene profiling of postnatal Mfrprd6 mutant eyes reveals differential accumulation of Prss56, visual cycle and phototransduction mRNAs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramani Soundararajan

    Full Text Available Mutations in the membrane frizzled-related protein (MFRP/Mfrp gene, specifically expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE and ciliary body, cause nanophthalmia or posterior microphthalmia with retinitis pigmentosa in humans, and photoreceptor degeneration in mice. To better understand MFRP function, microarray analysis was performed on eyes of homozygous Mfrprd6 and C57BL/6J mice at postnatal days (P 0 and P14, prior to photoreceptor loss. Data analysis revealed no changes at P0 but significant differences in RPE and retina-specific transcripts at P14, suggesting a postnatal influence of the Mfrprd6 allele. A subset of these transcripts was validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR. In Mfrprd6 eyes, a significant 1.5- to 2.0-fold decrease was observed among transcripts of genes linked to retinal degeneration, including those involved in visual cycle (Rpe65, Lrat, Rgr, phototransduction (Pde6a, Guca1b, Rgs9, and photoreceptor disc morphogenesis (Rpgrip1 and Fscn2. Levels of RPE65 were significantly decreased by 2.0-fold. Transcripts of Prss56, a gene associated with angle-closure glaucoma, posterior microphthalmia and myopia, were increased in Mfrprd6 eyes by 17-fold. Validation by qRT-PCR indicated a 3.5-, 14- and 70-fold accumulation of Prss56 transcripts relative to controls at P7, P14 and P21, respectively. This trend was not observed in other RPE or photoreceptor mutant mouse models with similar disease progression, suggesting that Prss56 upregulation is a specific attribute of the disruption of Mfrp. Prss56 and Glul in situ hybridization directly identified Müller glia in the inner nuclear layer as the cell type expressing Prss56. In summary, the Mfrprd6 allele causes significant postnatal changes in transcript and protein levels in the retina and RPE. The link between Mfrp deficiency and Prss56 up-regulation, together with the genetic association of human MFRP or PRSS56 variants and ocular size, raises the possibility that

  1. A neuroanatomical and physiological study of the non-image forming visual system of the cone-rod homeobox gene (Crx) knock out mouse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rovsing, Louise; Rath, Martin F; Lund-Andersen, Casper

    2010-01-01

    The anatomy and physiology of the non-image forming visual system was investigated in a visually blind cone-rod homeobox gene (Crx) knock-out mouse (Crx(-)(/)(-)), which lacks the outer segments of the photoreceptors. We show that the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the Crx(-/-) mouse exhibit...... melanopsin neurons or the SCN may be necessary for a normal function of the non-image forming system of the mouse. However, a change in the SCN of the Crx(-/-) mouse might also explain the observed circadian differences between the knock out mouse and wild type mouse....

  2. A new path in defining light parameters for hair growth: Discovery and modulation of photoreceptors in human hair follicle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buscone, Serena; Mardaryev, Andrei N; Raafs, Bianca; Bikker, Jan W; Sticht, Carsten; Gretz, Norbert; Farjo, Nilofer; Uzunbajakava, Natallia E; Botchkareva, Natalia V

    2017-09-01

    Though devices for hair growth based on low levels of light have shown encouraging results, further improvements of their efficacy is impeded by a lack of knowledge on the exact molecular targets that mediate physiological response in skin and hair follicle. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of selected light-sensitive receptors in the human hair follicle and to study the impact of UV-free blue light on hair growth ex vivo. The expression of Opsin receptors in human skin and hair follicles has been characterized using RT-qPCR and immunofluorescence approaches. The functional significance of Opsin 3 was assessed by silencing its expression in the hair follicle cells followed by a transcriptomic profiling. Proprietary LED-based devices emitting two discrete visible wavelengths were used to access the effects of selected optical parameters on hair growth ex vivo and outer root sheath cells in vitro. The expression of OPN2 (Rhodopsin) and OPN3 (Panopsin, Encephalopsin) was detected in the distinct compartments of skin and anagen hair follicle. Treatment with 3.2 J/cm 2 of blue light with 453 nm central wavelength significantly prolonged anagen phase in hair follicles ex vivo that was correlated with sustained proliferation in the light-treated samples. In contrast, hair follicle treatment with 3.2 J/cm 2 of 689 nm light (red light) did not significantly affect hair growth ex vivo. Silencing of OPN3 in the hair follicle outer root sheath cells resulted in the altered expression of genes involved in the control of proliferation and apoptosis, and abrogated stimulatory effects of blue light (3.2 J/cm 2 ; 453 nm) on proliferation in the outer root sheath cells. We provide the first evidence that (i) OPN2 and OPN3 are expressed in human hair follicle, and (ii) A 453 nm blue light at low radiant exposure exerts a positive effect on hair growth ex vivo, potentially via interaction with OPN3. Lasers Surg. Med. 49:705-718, 2017. © 2017 Wiley

  3. High-resolution crystal structures of the photoreceptor glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) with three and four-bound NAD molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Bo Y; Shi, Wuxian; Wang, Benlian; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2014-01-01

    Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) catalyzes the oxidative phosphorylation of d-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P) into 1,3-diphosphoglycerate (BGP) in the presence of the NAD cofactor. GAPDH is an important drug target because of its central role in glycolysis, and nonglycolytic processes such as nuclear RNA transport, DNA replication/repair, membrane fusion and cellular apoptosis. Recent studies found that GAPDH participates in the development of diabetic retinopathy and its progression after the cessation of hyperglycemia. Here, we report two structures for native bovine photoreceptor GAPDH as a homotetramer with differing occupancy by NAD, bGAPDH(NAD)4, and bGAPDH(NAD)3. The bGAPDH(NAD)4 was solved at 1.52 Å, the highest resolution for GAPDH. Structural comparison of the bGAPDH(NAD)4 and bGAPDH(NAD)3 models revealed novel details of conformational changes induced by cofactor binding, including a loop region (residues 54–56). Structure analysis of bGAPDH confirmed the importance of Phe34 in NAD binding, and demonstrated that Phe34 was stabilized in the presence of NAD but displayed greater mobility in its absence. The oxidative state of the active site Cys149 residue is regulated by NAD binding, because this residue was found oxidized in the absence of dinucleotide. The distance between Cys149 and His176 decreased upon NAD binding and Cys149 remained in a reduced state when NAD was bound. These findings provide an important structural step for understanding the mechanism of GAPDH activity in vision and its pathological role in retinopathies. PMID:25176140

  4. Rescue of compromised lysosomes enhances degradation of photoreceptor outer segments and reduces lipofuscin-like autofluorescence in retinal pigmented epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guha, Sonia; Liu, Ji; Baltazar, Gabe; Laties, Alan M; Mitchell, Claire H

    2014-01-01

    Healthful cell maintenance requires the efficient degradative processing and removal of waste material. Retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells have the onerous task of degrading both internal cellular debris generated through autophagy as well as phagocytosed photoreceptor outer segments. We propose that the inadequate processing material with the resulting accumulation of cellular waste contributes to the downstream pathologies characterized as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The lysosomal enzymes responsible for clearance function optimally over a narrow range of acidic pH values; elevation of lysosomal pH by compounds like chloroquine or A2E can impair degradative enzyme activity and lead to a lipofuscin-like autofluorescence. Restoring acidity to the lysosomes of RPE cells can enhance activity of multiple degradative enzymes and is therefore a logical target in early AMD. We have identified several approaches to reacidify lysosomes of compromised RPE cells; stimulation of beta-adrenergic, A2A adenosine and D5 dopamine receptors each lowers lysosomal pH and improves degradation of outer segments. Activation of the CFTR chloride channel also reacidifies lysosomes and increases degradation. These approaches also restore the lysosomal pH of RPE cells from aged ABCA4(-/-) mice with chronically high levels of A2E, suggesting that functional signaling pathways to reacidify lysosomes are retained in aged cells like those in patients with AMD. Acidic nanoparticles transported to RPE lysosomes also lower pH and improve degradation of outer segments. In summary, the ability of diverse approaches to lower lysosomal pH and enhance outer segment degradation support the proposal that lysosomal acidification can prevent the accumulation of lipofuscin-like material in RPE cells.

  5. Combination of retinal pigment epithelium cell-conditioned medium and photoreceptor outer segments stimulate mesenchymal stem cell differentiation toward a functional retinal pigment epithelium cell phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chen; Zhang, Jing; Ao, Mingxin; Li, Ying; Zhang, Chun; Xu, Yonggen; Li, Xuemin; Wang, Wei

    2012-02-01

    Recent studies have suggested that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) are capable of retinal tissue-specific differentiation but not retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell-specific differentiation. Photoreceptor outer segments (POS) contribute to RPE development and maturation. However, there has been no standard culture system that fosters the differentiation of BMMSCs into mature RPE cells in vitro. In this study, we investigated if the soluble factors from RPE cells and POS could differentiate BMMSCs into cells having a phenotype characteristic of RPE cells. Rat BMMSCs were separately co-cultured with RPE cells, or they were exposed to either control medium, RPE cell-conditioned medium (RPECM), POS, or a combination of RPECM and POS (RPECM-POS). After 7 days, the cells were analyzed for morphology and the expression of RPE markers (cytokeratin 8, CRALBP, and RPE65) to assess the RPE differentiation. Significantly higher pigment accumulation and increased protein expression of the three markers were seen in cells cultured in RPECM-POS than in other treated cultures. Furthermore, the RPECM-POS-treated cultures displayed ultrastructural features typical of RPE cells, expressed RPE cell functional proteins, and had the capability to phagocytose POS. Together, theses results suggest the combination of RPECM and POS stimulate BMMSCs differentiation toward a functional RPE phenotype. Our results provide the foundation for a new route to RPE regenerative therapy involving BMMSCs. Future work isolating the active agent in RPECM and POS would be useful in therapies for RPE diseases or in developing appropriately pre-differentiated BMMSCs for tissue-engineered RPE reconstruction. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Trichoderma genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, Pamela [Los Altos, CA; Goedegebuur, Frits [Vlaardingen, NL; Van Solingen, Pieter [Naaldwijk, NL; Ward, Michael [San Francisco, CA

    2012-06-19

    Described herein are novel gene sequences isolated from Trichoderma reesei. Two genes encoding proteins comprising a cellulose binding domain, one encoding an arabionfuranosidase and one encoding an acetylxylanesterase are described. The sequences, CIP1 and CIP2, contain a cellulose binding domain. These proteins are especially useful in the textile and detergent industry and in pulp and paper industry.

  7. Defining the Human Macula Transcriptome and Candidate Retinal Disease Genes UsingEyeSAGE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickman, Catherine Bowes; Ebright, Jessica N.; Zavodni, Zachary J.; Yu, Ling; Wang, Tianyuan; Daiger, Stephen P.; Wistow, Graeme; Boon, Kathy; Hauser, Michael A.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To develop large-scale, high-throughput annotation of the human macula transcriptome and to identify and prioritize candidate genes for inherited retinal dystrophies, based on ocular-expression profiles using serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE). Methods Two human retina and two retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid SAGE libraries made from matched macula or midperipheral retina and adjacent RPE/choroid of morphologically normal 28- to 66-year-old donors and a human central retina longSAGE library made from 41- to 66-year-old donors were generated. Their transcription profiles were entered into a relational database, EyeSAGE, including microarray expression profiles of retina and publicly available normal human tissue SAGE libraries. EyeSAGE was used to identify retina- and RPE-specific and -associated genes, and candidate genes for retina and RPE disease loci. Differential and/or cell-type specific expression was validated by quantitative and single-cell RT-PCR. Results Cone photoreceptor-associated gene expression was elevated in the macula transcription profiles. Analysis of the longSAGE retina tags enhanced tag-to-gene mapping and revealed alternatively spliced genes. Analysis of candidate gene expression tables for the identified Bardet-Biedl syndrome disease gene (BBS5) in the BBS5 disease region table yielded BBS5 as the top candidate. Compelling candidates for inherited retina diseases were identified. Conclusions The EyeSAGE database, combining three different gene-profiling platforms including the authors’ multidonor-derived retina/RPE SAGE libraries and existing single-donor retina/RPE libraries, is a powerful resource for definition of the retina and RPE transcriptomes. It can be used to identify retina-specific genes, including alternatively spliced transcripts and to prioritize candidate genes within mapped retinal disease regions. PMID:16723438

  8. Extracellular matrix components expression in human pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal organoids recapitulates retinogenesis in vivo and reveals an important role for IMPG1 and CD44 in the development of photoreceptors and interphotoreceptor matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felemban, Majed; Dorgau, Birthe; Hunt, Nicola Claire; Hallam, Dean; Zerti, Darin; Bauer, Roman; Ding, Yuchun; Collin, Joseph; Steel, David; Krasnogor, Natalio; Al-Aama, Jumana; Lindsay, Susan; Mellough, Carla; Lako, Majlinda

    2018-05-17

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in numerous processes including cellular proliferation, differentiation, migration, maturation, adhesion guidance and axonal growth. To date, there has been no detailed analysis of the ECM distribution during retinal ontogenesis in humans and the functional importance of many ECM components is poorly understood. In this study, the expression of key ECM components in adult mouse and monkey retina, developing and adult human retina and retinal organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells was studied. Our data indicate that basement membrane ECMs (Fibronectin and Collagen IV) were expressed in Bruch's membrane and the inner limiting membrane of the developing human retina, whilst the hyalectins (Versican and Brevican), cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44), photoreceptor-specific ECMs Interphotoreceptor Matrix Proteoglycan 1 (IMPG1) and Interphotoreceptor Matrix Proteoglycan 2 (IMPG2) were detected in the developing interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM). The expression of IMPG1, Versican and Brevican in the developing IPM was conserved between human developing retina and human pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal organoids. Blocking the action of CD44 and IMPG1 in pluripotent stem cell derived retinal organoids affected the development of photoreceptors, their inner/outer segments and connecting cilia and disrupted IPM formation, with IMPG1 having an earlier and more significant impact. Together, our data suggest an important role for IMPG1 and CD44 in the development of photoreceptors and IPM formation during human retinogenesis. The expression and the role of many extracellular matrix (ECM) components during human retinal development is not fully understood. In this study, expression of key ECM components (Collagen IV, Fibronectin, Brevican, Versican, IMPG1 and IMPG2) was investigated during human retinal ontogenesis. Collagen IV and Fibronectin were expressed in Bruch's membrane; whereas Brevican, Versican

  9. Profile of the genes expressed in the human peripheral retina, macula, and retinal pigment epithelium determined through serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon, Dror; Blackshaw, Seth; Cepko, Constance L.; Dryja, Thaddeus P.

    2002-01-01

    We used the serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) technique to catalogue and measure the relative levels of expression of the genes expressed in the human peripheral retina, macula, and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) from one or both of two humans, aged 88 and 44 years. The cone photoreceptor contribution to all transcription in the retina was found to be similar in the macula versus the retinal periphery, whereas the rod contribution was greater in the periphery versus the macula. Genes encoding structural proteins for axons were found to be expressed at higher levels in the macula versus the retinal periphery, probably reflecting the large proportion of ganglion cells in the central retina. In comparison with the younger eye, the peripheral retina of the older eye had a substantially higher proportion of mRNAs from genes encoding proteins involved in iron metabolism or protection against oxidative damage and a substantially lower proportion of mRNAs from genes encoding proteins involved in rod phototransduction. These differences may reflect the difference in age between the two donors or merely interindividual variation. The RPE library had numerous previously unencountered tags, suggesting that this cell type has a large, idiosyncratic repertoire of expressed genes. Comparison of these libraries with 100 reported nonocular SAGE libraries revealed 89 retina-specific or enriched genes expressed at substantial levels, of which 14 are known to cause a retinal disease and 53 are RPE-specific genes. We expect that these libraries will serve as a resource for understanding the relative expression levels of genes in the retina and the RPE and for identifying additional disease genes. PMID:11756676

  10. Understanding the Function of Genes Involved in Inherited Retinal Degeneration-Insights into the Pathogenesis and Function of C8ORF37

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharif, Ali Sakawa

    Inherited retinal degenerative diseases (IRD) are a group of disorders that lead to progressive deterioration of mainly the photoreceptors. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) are two forms of IRDs. RP is the most common form of IRD and is due to rod photoreceptor degeneration followed by cone photoreceptor loss. CRD, on the other hand, is characterized by the loss of cones or the concurrent degeneration of both cones and rods. Both RP and CRD are presently incurable. More than 200 genes have been identified to cause IRDs and the functions of many of these genes remain unclear. Mutations in a novel gene, C8ORF37, were identified to cause recessive, severe, and early-onset RP and CRD. I, therefore, pioneered in characterizing the role of C8ORF37 in the retina. This dissertation is comprised of four chapters that is organized as follows: (1) summary of an ocular disorder (2) a genetic model of a retinal disorder (3) biochemical/proteomic analysis of C8ORF37 (4) potential clinical applications. A summary of ocular disorders is discussed in Chapter 1, with an emphasis on CRD. Chapter 2 focuses on the generation and characterization of C8orf37 mutant mouse models that recapitulate the retinal pathologies observed in human patients. In C8orf37 knockout retinas, the outer segment (OS) was nonuniform, swollen, and wider in width when compared to the controls. Moreover, many OS membrane proteins were reduced in the retina of C8orf37 knockout, including CNGB1 and RDS, proteins essential for OS disc morphogenesis and alignment. Our findings shed new light on the pathogenesis underlying retinal dysfunction and degeneration in C8ORF37-deficient patients. To determine the function of a novel protein, a powerful approach is by identifying its binding partners. In Chapter 3, I discuss GST pull-down using bovine retinal lysates, yeast-two-hybrid, and immunoprecipitation with mouse retinal lysate in order to identify C8ORF37-interacting proteins. Our pull

  11. Ageing genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rattan, Suresh

    2018-01-01

    The idea of gerontogenes is in line with the evolutionary explanation of ageing as being an emergent phenomenon as a result of the imperfect maintenance and repair systems. Although evolutionary processes did not select for any specific ageing genes that restrict and determine the lifespan...... of an individual, the term ‘gerontogenes’ primarily refers to any genes that may seem to influence ageing and longevity, without being specifically selected for that role. Such genes can also be called ‘virtual gerontogenes’ by virtue of their indirect influence on the rate and process of ageing. More than 1000...... virtual gerontogenes have been associated with ageing and longevity in model organisms and humans. The ‘real’ genes, which do influence the essential lifespan of a species, and have been selected for in accordance with the evolutionary life history of the species, are known as the longevity assurance...

  12. In vivo visualization of photoreceptor layer and lipofuscin accumulation in Stargardt’s disease and fundus flavimaculatus by high resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Querques

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Giuseppe Querques, Rosy Prato, Gabriel Coscas, Gisèle Soubrane, Eric H SouiedDepartment of Ophthalmology, Hopital Intercommunal de Creteil, University Paris XII, FranceIntroduction: To assess photoreceptor (PR layer morphology in patients with Stargardt’s disease (STGD and fundus flavimaculatus (FFM using high resolution spectral domain optical coherence tomography (HD-OCT; OCT 4000 Cirrus, Humphrey-Zeiss, San Leandro, CA.Methods: This was a prospective observational case series. Sixteen consecutive patients with STGD and FFM underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination. Optical coherence tomography examination was performed with HD-OCT, a high-speed (27,000 axial scans per second OCT system using spectral/Fourier domain detection, with an axial image resolution of 5 µm.Results: A total of 31 eyes were included in the study. Transverse loss of the PR layer in the foveal region was shown by HD-OCT. Twenty eyes with clinically evident central atrophy had a disruption of either the Verhoeff‘s membrane (VM or the layer corresponding to the interface of inner segment (IS and outer segment (OS of PR in the foveal region. Among these eyes, 12/20 eyes had a loss of the PR layer (loss of both VM and IS-OS interface in the foveal region. Eleven eyes (11/31 without clinically evident central atrophy had an intact interface of IS and OS of PR centrally. Moreover, we observed hyperreflective deposits: type 1 lesions located within the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE layer and at the level of the outer segments of PR, and type 2 lesions located at the level of the outer nuclear layer and clearly separated from the RPE layer. Type 1 lesions alone were associated with absence of loss of the PR layer in the foveal region in all eyes; type 2 lesions were always associated with presence of type 1 lesions, and often (8/12 eyes associated with loss of the PR layer within the foveal region. Mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA was significantly

  13. Protective function of pyridoxamine on retinal photoreceptor cells via activation of the p‑Erk1/2/Nrf2/Trx/ASK1 signalling pathway in diabetic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Xiang; Sun, Hong; Zhang, Chenghong; Li, Chen; Wang, Jinlei; Shen, Jie; Yu, Dong; Kong, Li

    2016-07-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the mechanisms that mediate the protective effects of pyridoxamine (PM) on light‑damaged retinal photoreceptor cells in diabetic mice. A high‑fat diet and streptozotocin were used to induce a mouse model of type II diabetes. During the experiment, mice were divided the mice into three types of group, as follows: Control groups (negative control and light‑damaged groups); experimental groups (diabetic and diabetic light‑damaged groups); and treatment groups (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg PM‑treated groups). Using hematoxylin‑eosin staining, the number of nuclear layer cells were counted. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were performed to measure the levels of thioredoxin (Trx), phospho‑extracellular signal‑regulated kinase 1/2 (p‑Erk1/2), nuclear factor erythroid 2‑related factor 2 (Nrf2) and apoptosis signal‑regulating kinase 1 (ASK1). The photoreceptor cell count in the outer nuclear layer of the light‑damaged, diabetic control and diabetic light‑damaged groups were significantly reduced compared with the negative control group (PTrx, p‑Erk1/2 and Nrf2 expression levels (PTrx, p‑Erk1/2 and Nrf2 expression levels were significantly increased (PTrx, p‑Erk1/2 and Nrf2 expression, and the downregulation of ASK1 expression.

  14. Gene doping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haisma, H J; de Hon, O

    2006-04-01

    Together with the rapidly increasing knowledge on genetic therapies as a promising new branch of regular medicine, the issue has arisen whether these techniques might be abused in the field of sports. Previous experiences have shown that drugs that are still in the experimental phases of research may find their way into the athletic world. Both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have expressed concerns about this possibility. As a result, the method of gene doping has been included in the list of prohibited classes of substances and prohibited methods. This review addresses the possible ways in which knowledge gained in the field of genetic therapies may be misused in elite sports. Many genes are readily available which may potentially have an effect on athletic performance. The sporting world will eventually be faced with the phenomena of gene doping to improve athletic performance. A combination of developing detection methods based on gene arrays or proteomics and a clear education program on the associated risks seems to be the most promising preventive method to counteract the possible application of gene doping.

  15. Improvement and decline in vision with gene therapy in childhood blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Samuel G; Cideciyan, Artur V; Roman, Alejandro J; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Heon, Elise; Hauswirth, William W

    2015-05-14

    Retinal gene therapy for Leber's congenital amaurosis, an autosomal recessive childhood blindness, has been widely considered to be safe and efficacious. Three years after therapy, improvement in vision was maintained, but the rate of loss of photoreceptors in the treated retina was the same as that in the untreated retina. Here we describe long-term follow-up data from three treated patients. Topographic maps of visual sensitivity in treated regions, nearly 6 years after therapy for two of the patients and 4.5 years after therapy for the third patient, indicate progressive diminution of the areas of improved vision. (Funded by the National Eye Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00481546.).

  16. A role for the deep orange and carnation eye color genes in lysosomal delivery in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevrioukov, E A; He, J P; Moghrabi, N; Sunio, A; Krämer, H

    1999-10-01

    Deep orange and carnation are two of the classic eye color genes in Drosophila. Here, we demonstrate that Deep orange is part of a protein complex that localizes to endosomal compartments. A second component of this complex is Carnation, a homolog of Sec1p-like regulators of membrane fusion. Because complete loss of deep orange function is lethal, the role of this complex in intracellular trafficking was analyzed in deep orange mutant clones. Retinal cells devoid of deep orange function completely lacked pigmentation and exhibited exaggerated multivesicular structures. Furthermore, a defect in endocytic trafficking was visualized in developing photoreceptor cells. These results provide direct evidence that eye color mutations of the granule group also disrupt vesicular trafficking to lysosomes.

  17. Gene Locater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anwar, Muhammad Zohaib; Sehar, Anoosha; Rehman, Inayat-Ur

    2012-01-01

    software's for calculating recombination frequency is mostly limited to the range and flexibility of this type of analysis. GENE LOCATER is a fully customizable program for calculating recombination frequency, written in JAVA. Through an easy-to-use interface, GENE LOCATOR allows users a high degree...... of flexibility in calculating genetic linkage and displaying linkage group. Among other features, this software enables user to identify linkage groups with output visualized graphically. The program calculates interference and coefficient of coincidence with elevated accuracy in sample datasets. AVAILABILITY...

  18. Enhancing Understanding of the Visual Cycle by Applying CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing in Zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Ward

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available During the vertebrate visual cycle, all-trans-retinal is exported from photoreceptors to the adjacent RPE or Müller glia wherein 11-cis-retinal is regenerated. The 11-cis chromophore is returned to photoreceptors, forming light-sensitive visual pigments with opsin GPCRs. Dysfunction of this process perturbs phototransduction because functional visual pigment cannot be generated. Mutations in visual cycle genes can result in monogenic inherited forms of blindness. Though key enzymatic processes are well characterized, questions remain as to the physiological role of visual cycle proteins in different retinal cell types, functional domains of these proteins in retinoid biochemistry and in vivo pathogenesis of disease mutations. Significant progress is needed to develop effective and accessible treatments for inherited blindness arising from mutations in visual cycle genes. Here, we review opportunities to apply gene editing technology to two crucial visual cycle components, RPE65 and CRALBP. Expressed exclusively in the human RPE, RPE65 enzymatically converts retinyl esters into 11-cis retinal. CRALBP is an 11-cis-retinal binding protein expressed in human RPE and Muller glia. Loss-of-function mutations in either protein results in autosomal recessive forms of blindness. Modeling these human conditions using RPE65 or CRALBP murine knockout models have enhanced our understanding of their biochemical function, associated disease pathogenesis and development of therapeutics. However, rod-dominated murine retinae provide a challenge to assess cone function. The cone-rich zebrafish model is amenable to cost-effective maintenance of a variety of strains. Interestingly, gene duplication in zebrafish resulted in three Rpe65 and two Cralbp isoforms with differential temporal and spatial expression patterns. Functional investigations of zebrafish Rpe65 and Cralbp were restricted to gene knockdown with morpholino oligonucleotides. However, transient

  19. Gene Ontology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaston K. Mazandu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The wide coverage and biological relevance of the Gene Ontology (GO, confirmed through its successful use in protein function prediction, have led to the growth in its popularity. In order to exploit the extent of biological knowledge that GO offers in describing genes or groups of genes, there is a need for an efficient, scalable similarity measure for GO terms and GO-annotated proteins. While several GO similarity measures exist, none adequately addresses all issues surrounding the design and usage of the ontology. We introduce a new metric for measuring the distance between two GO terms using the intrinsic topology of the GO-DAG, thus enabling the measurement of functional similarities between proteins based on their GO annotations. We assess the performance of this metric using a ROC analysis on human protein-protein interaction datasets and correlation coefficient analysis on the selected set of protein pairs from the CESSM online tool. This metric achieves good performance compared to the existing annotation-based GO measures. We used this new metric to assess functional similarity between orthologues, and show that it is effective at determining whether orthologues are annotated with similar functions and identifying cases where annotation is inconsistent between orthologues.

  20. Phytochrome-dependent coordinate control of distinct aspects of nuclear and plastid gene expression during anterograde signalling and photomorphogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sookyung eOh

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Light perception by photoreceptors impacts plastid transcription, development, and differentiation. This photoreceptor-dependent activity suggests a mechanism for photoregulation of gene expression in the nucleus and plastid that serves to coordinate expression of critical genes of these two organelles. This coordinate expression is required for proper stoichiometric accumulation of components needed for assembly of plastids, photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes and components such as phytochromes. Chloroplast-targeted sigma factors, which function together with the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase to regulate expression of plastid-encoded genes, and nuclear-encoded plastid development factors, such as GLK1 and GLK2, are targets of phytochrome regulation. Such phytochrome-dependent functions are hypothesized to allow light-dependent regulation, and feasibly tuning, of plastid components and function in response to changes in the external environment, which directly affects photosynthesis and the potential for light-induced damage. When the size and protein composition of the light-harvesting complexes are not tuned to the external environment, imbalances in electron transport can impact the cellular redox state and cause cellular damage. We show that phytochromes specifically regulate the expression of multiple factors that function to modulate plastid transcription and, thus, provide a paradigm for coordinate expression of the nuclear and plastid genomes in response to changes in external light conditions. As phytochromes respond to changes in the prevalent wavelengths of light and light intensity, we propose that specific phytochrome-dependent molecular mechanisms are used during light-dependent signaling between the nucleus and chloroplast during photomorphogenesis to coordinate chloroplast development with plant developmental stage and the external environment.

  1. Mutations in the ABCA4 (ABCR) gene are the major cause of autosomal recessive cone-rod dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maugeri, A; Klevering, B J; Rohrschneider, K; Blankenagel, A; Brunner, H G; Deutman, A F; Hoyng, C B; Cremers, F P

    2000-10-01

    The photoreceptor cell-specific ATP-binding cassette transporter gene (ABCA4; previously denoted "ABCR") is mutated, in most patients, with autosomal recessive (AR) Stargardt disease (STGD1) or fundus flavimaculatus (FFM). In addition, a few cases with AR retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and AR cone-rod dystrophy (CRD) have been found to have ABCA4 mutations. To evaluate the importance of the ABCA4 gene as a cause of AR CRD, we selected 5 patients with AR CRD and 15 patients from Germany and The Netherlands with isolated CRD. Single-strand conformation-polymorphism analysis and sequencing revealed 19 ABCA4 mutations in 13 (65%) of 20 patients. In six patients, mutations were identified in both ABCA4 alleles; in seven patients, mutations were detected in one allele. One complex ABCA4 allele (L541P;A1038V) was found exclusively in German patients with CRD; one patient carried this complex allele homozygously, and five others were compound heterozygous. These findings suggest that mutations in the ABCA4 gene are the major cause of AR CRD. A primary role of the ABCA4 gene in STGD1/FFM and AR CRD, together with the gene's involvement in an as-yet-unknown proportion of cases with AR RP, strengthens the idea that mutations in the ABCA4 gene could be the most frequent cause of inherited retinal dystrophy in humans.

  2. Gene doping: gene delivery for olympic victory

    OpenAIRE

    Gould, David

    2012-01-01

    With one recently recommended gene therapy in Europe and a number of other gene therapy treatments now proving effective in clinical trials it is feasible that the same technologies will soon be adopted in the world of sport by unscrupulous athletes and their trainers in so called ‘gene doping’. In this article an overview of the successful gene therapy clinical trials is provided and the potential targets for gene doping are highlighted. Depending on whether a doping gene product is secreted...

  3. Effects of the cryptochrome CryB from Rhodobacter sphaeroides on global gene expression in the dark or blue light or in the presence of singlet oxygen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Frühwirth

    Full Text Available Several regulators are controlling the formation of the photosynthetic apparatus in the facultatively photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Among the proteins affecting photosynthesis gene expression is the blue light photoreceptor cryptochrome CryB. This study addresses the effect of CryB on global gene expression. The data reveal that CryB does not only influence photosynthesis gene expression but also genes for the non-photosynthetic energy metabolism like citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. In addition several genes involved in RNA processing and in transcriptional regulation are affected by a cryB deletion. Although CryB was shown to undergo a photocycle it does not only affect gene expression in response to blue light illumination but also in response to singlet oxygen stress conditions. While there is a large overlap in these responses, some CryB-dependent effects are specific for blue-light or photooxidative stress. In addition to protein-coding genes some genes for sRNAs show CryB-dependent expression. These findings give new insight into the function of bacterial cryptochromes and demonstrate for the first time a function in the oxidative stress response.

  4. Genes and Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... ENTCareers Marketplace Find an ENT Doctor Near You Genes and Hearing Loss Genes and Hearing Loss Patient ... mutation may only have dystopia canthorum. How Do Genes Work? Genes are a road map for the ...

  5. Gene expression and gene therapy imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rome, Claire; Couillaud, Franck; Moonen, Chrit T.W.

    2007-01-01

    The fast growing field of molecular imaging has achieved major advances in imaging gene expression, an important element of gene therapy. Gene expression imaging is based on specific probes or contrast agents that allow either direct or indirect spatio-temporal evaluation of gene expression. Direct evaluation is possible with, for example, contrast agents that bind directly to a specific target (e.g., receptor). Indirect evaluation may be achieved by using specific substrate probes for a target enzyme. The use of marker genes, also called reporter genes, is an essential element of MI approaches for gene expression in gene therapy. The marker gene may not have a therapeutic role itself, but by coupling the marker gene to a therapeutic gene, expression of the marker gene reports on the expression of the therapeutic gene. Nuclear medicine and optical approaches are highly sensitive (detection of probes in the picomolar range), whereas MRI and ultrasound imaging are less sensitive and require amplification techniques and/or accumulation of contrast agents in enlarged contrast particles. Recently developed MI techniques are particularly relevant for gene therapy. Amongst these are the possibility to track gene therapy vectors such as stem cells, and the techniques that allow spatiotemporal control of gene expression by non-invasive heating (with MRI guided focused ultrasound) and the use of temperature sensitive promoters. (orig.)

  6. Imaging reporter gene for monitoring gene therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beco, V. de; Baillet, G.; Tamgac, F.; Tofighi, M.; Weinmann, P.; Vergote, J.; Moretti, J.L.; Tamgac, G.

    2002-01-01

    Scintigraphic images can be obtained to document gene function at cellular level. This approach is presented here and the use of a reporter gene to monitor gene therapy is described. Two main ways are presented: either the use of a reporter gene coding for an enzyme the action of which will be monitored by radiolabeled pro-drug, or a cellular receptor gene, the action of which is documented by a radio labeled cognate receptor ligand. (author)

  7. Night blindness and abnormal cone electroretinogram ON responses in patients with mutations in the GRM6 gene encoding mGluR6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dryja, Thaddeus P.; McGee, Terri L.; Berson, Eliot L.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Sandberg, Michael A.; Alexander, Kenneth R.; Derlacki, Deborah J.; Rajagopalan, Aruna S.

    2005-01-01

    We report three unrelated patients with mutations in the GRM6 gene that normally encodes the glutamate receptor mGluR6. This neurotransmitter receptor has been shown previously to be present only in the synapses of the ON bipolar cell dendrites, and it mediates synaptic transmission from rod and cone photoreceptors to this type of second-order neuron. Despite the synaptic defect, best visual acuities were normal or only moderately reduced (20/15 to 20/40). The patients were night blind from an early age, and when maximally dark-adapted, they could perceive lights only with an intensity equal to or slightly dimmer than that normally detected by the cone system (i.e., 2-3 log units above normal). Electroretinograms (ERGs) in response to single brief flashes of light had clearly detectable a-waves, which are derived from photoreceptors, and greatly reduced b-waves, which are derived from the second-order inner retinal neurons. ERGs in response to sawtooth flickering light indicated a markedly reduced ON response and a nearly normal OFF response. There was no subjective delay in the perception of suddenly appearing white vs. black objects on a gray background. These patients exemplify a previously unrecognized, autosomal recessive form of congenital night blindness associated with a negative ERG waveform. PMID:15781871

  8. Effects of Subretinal Gene Transfer at Different Time Points in a Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Xufeng; Zhang, Hua; Han, Juanjuan; He, Ying; Zhang, Yangyang; Qi, Yan; Pang, Ji-Jing

    2016-01-01

    Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 (LPCAT1) is necessary for photoreceptors to generate an important lipid component of their membranes. The absence of LPCAT1 results in early and rapid rod and cone degeneration. Retinal degeneration 11 (rd11) mice carry a mutation in the Lpcat1 gene, and are an excellent model of early-onset rapid retinal degeneration (RD). To date, no reports have documented gene therapy administration in the rd11 mouse model at different ages. In this study, the AAV8 (Y733F)-smCBA-Lpcat1 vector was subretinally injected at postnatal day (P) 10, 14, 18, or 22. Four months after injection, immunohistochemistry and analysis of retinal morphology showed that treatment at P10 rescued about 82% of the wild-type retinal thickness. However, the diffusion of the vector and the resulting rescue were limited to an area around the injection site that was only 31% of the total retinal area. Injection at P14 resulted in vector diffusion that covered approximately 84% of the retina, and we found that gene therapy was more effective against RD when exposure to light was limited before and after treatment. We observed long-term preservation of electroretinogram (ERG) responses, and preservation of retinal structure, indicating that early treatment followed by limited light exposure can improve gene therapy effectiveness for the eyes of rd11 mice. Importantly, delayed treatment still partially preserved M-cones, but not S-cones, and M-cones in the rd11 retina appeared to have a longer window of opportunity for effective preservation with gene therapy. These results provide important information regarding the effects of subretinal gene therapy in the mouse model of LPCAT1-deficiency.

  9. Alteration of light-dependent gene regulation by the absence of the RCO-1/RCM-1 repressor complex in the fungus Neurospora crassa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Ruger-Herreros

    Full Text Available The activation of transcription by light in the fungus Neurospora crassa requires the White Collar Complex (WCC, a photoreceptor and transcription factor complex. After light reception two WCCs interact and bind the promoters of light-regulated genes to activate transcription. This process is regulated by VVD, a small photoreceptor that disrupts the interaction between WCCs and leads to a reduction in transcription after long exposures to light. The N. crassa RCO-1/RCM-1 repressor complex is the homolog of the Tup1-Ssn6 repressor complex in yeast, and its absence modifies photoadaptation. We show that the absence of the RCO-1/RCM-1 repressor complex leads to several alterations in transcription that are gene-specific: an increase in the accumulation of mRNAs in the dark, a repression of transcription, and a derepression of transcription after long exposures to light. The absence of the RCO-1/RCM-1 repressor complex leads to lower VVD levels that are available for the regulation of the activity of the WCC. The reduction in the amount of VVD results in increased WCC binding to the promoters of light-regulated genes in the dark and after long exposures to light, leading to the modification of photoadaptation that has been observed in rco-1 and rcm-1 mutants. Our results show that the photoadaptation phenotype of mutants in the RCO-1/RCM-1 repressor complex is, at least in part, an indirect consequence of the reduction of vvd transcription, and the resulting modification in the regulation of transcription by the WCC.

  10. ato-Gal4 fly lines for gene function analysis: Eya is required in late progenitors for eye morphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Linlin; Zhou, Qingxiang; Pignoni, Francesca

    2015-06-01

    The Gal4/UAS system is one of the most powerful tools for the study of cellular and developmental processes in Drosophila. Gal4 drivers can be used to induce targeted expression of dominant-negative and dominant-active proteins, histological markers, activity sensors, gene-specific dsRNAs, modulators of cell survival or proliferation, and other reagents. Here, we describe novel atonal-Gal4 lines that contain regions of the regulatory DNA of atonal, the proneural gene for photoreceptors, stretch receptors, auditory organ, and some olfactory sensilla. During neurogenesis, the atonal gene is expressed at a critical juncture, a time of transition from progenitor cell to developing neuron. Thus, these lines are particularly well suited for the study of the transcription factors and signaling molecules orchestrating this critical transition. To demonstrate their usefulness, we focus on two visual organs, the eye and the Bolwig. We demonstrate the induction of predicted eye phenotypes when expressing the dominant-negative EGF receptor or a dsRNA against Notch in the developing eye disc. In another example, we show the deletion of the Bolwig's organ using the proapoptotic factor Hid. Finally, we investigate the function of the eye specification factor Eyes absent or Eya in late retinal progenitors, shortly before they begin morphogenesis. We show that Eya is still required in these late progenitors to promote eye formation, and show failure to induce the target gene atonal and consequent lack of neuron formation. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Imaging gene expression in gene therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiebe, Leonard I.

    1997-01-01

    Full text. Gene therapy can be used to introduce new genes, or to supplement the function of indigenous genes. At the present time, however, there is non-invasive test to demonstrate efficacy of the gene transfer and expression processes. It has been postulated that scintigraphic imaging can offer unique information on both the site at which the transferred gene is expressed, and the degree of expression, both of which are critical issue for safety and clinical efficacy. Many current studies are based on 'suicide gene therapy' of cancer. Cells modified to express these genes commit metabolic suicide in the presence of an enzyme encoded by the transferred gene and a specifically-convertible pro drug. Pro drug metabolism can lead to selective metabolic trapping, required for scintigraphy. Herpes simplex virus type-1 thymidine kinase (H S V-1 t k + ) has been use for 'suicide' in vivo tumor gene therapy. It has been proposed that radiolabelled nucleosides can be used as radiopharmaceuticals to detect H S V-1 t k + gene expression where the H S V-1 t k + gene serves a reporter or therapeutic function. Animal gene therapy models have been studied using purine-([ 18 F]F H P G; [ 18 F]-A C V), and pyrimidine- ([ 123 / 131 I]I V R F U; [ 124 / 131I ]) antiviral nucleosides. Principles of gene therapy and gene therapy imaging will be reviewed and experimental data for [ 123 / 131I ]I V R F U imaging with the H S V-1 t k + reporter gene will be presented

  12. Imaging gene expression in gene therapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiebe, Leonard I. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton (Canada). Noujaim Institute for Pharmaceutical Oncology Research

    1997-12-31

    Full text. Gene therapy can be used to introduce new genes, or to supplement the function of indigenous genes. At the present time, however, there is non-invasive test to demonstrate efficacy of the gene transfer and expression processes. It has been postulated that scintigraphic imaging can offer unique information on both the site at which the transferred gene is expressed, and the degree of expression, both of which are critical issue for safety and clinical efficacy. Many current studies are based on `suicide gene therapy` of cancer. Cells modified to express these genes commit metabolic suicide in the presence of an enzyme encoded by the transferred gene and a specifically-convertible pro drug. Pro drug metabolism can lead to selective metabolic trapping, required for scintigraphy. Herpes simplex virus type-1 thymidine kinase (H S V-1 t k{sup +}) has been use for `suicide` in vivo tumor gene therapy. It has been proposed that radiolabelled nucleosides can be used as radiopharmaceuticals to detect H S V-1 t k{sup +} gene expression where the H S V-1 t k{sup +} gene serves a reporter or therapeutic function. Animal gene therapy models have been studied using purine-([{sup 18} F]F H P G; [{sup 18} F]-A C V), and pyrimidine- ([{sup 123}/{sup 131} I]I V R F U; [{sup 124}/{sup 131I}]) antiviral nucleosides. Principles of gene therapy and gene therapy imaging will be reviewed and experimental data for [{sup 123}/{sup 131I}]I V R F U imaging with the H S V-1 t k{sup +} reporter gene will be presented

  13. Curcumin is a potent modulator of microglial gene expression and migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aslanidis Alexander

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microglial cells are important effectors of the neuronal innate immune system with a major role in chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin, a major component of tumeric, alleviates pro-inflammatory activities of these cells by inhibiting nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB signaling. To study the immuno-modulatory effects of curcumin on a transcriptomic level, DNA-microarray analyses were performed with resting and LPS-challenged microglial cells after short-term treatment with curcumin. Methods Resting and LPS-activated BV-2 cells were stimulated with curcumin and genome-wide mRNA expression patterns were determined using DNA-microarrays. Selected qRT-PCR analyses were performed to confirm newly identified curcumin-regulated genes. The migration potential of microglial cells was determined with wound healing assays and transwell migration assays. Microglial neurotoxicity was estimated by morphological analyses and quantification of caspase 3/7 levels in 661W photoreceptors cultured in the presence of microglia-conditioned medium. Results Curcumin treatment markedly changed the microglial transcriptome with 49 differentially expressed transcripts in a combined analysis of resting and activated microglial cells. Curcumin effectively triggered anti-inflammatory signals as shown by induced expression of Interleukin 4 and Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α. Several novel curcumin-induced genes including Netrin G1, Delta-like 1, Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1, and Plasma cell endoplasmic reticulum protein 1, have been previously associated with adhesion and cell migration. Consequently, curcumin treatment significantly inhibited basal and activation-induced migration of BV-2 microglia. Curcumin also potently blocked gene expression related to pro-inflammatory activation of resting cells including Toll-like receptor 2 and Prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2. Moreover, transcription of NO synthase 2 and

  14. Curcumin is a potent modulator of microglial gene expression and migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Microglial cells are important effectors of the neuronal innate immune system with a major role in chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin, a major component of tumeric, alleviates pro-inflammatory activities of these cells by inhibiting nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) signaling. To study the immuno-modulatory effects of curcumin on a transcriptomic level, DNA-microarray analyses were performed with resting and LPS-challenged microglial cells after short-term treatment with curcumin. Methods Resting and LPS-activated BV-2 cells were stimulated with curcumin and genome-wide mRNA expression patterns were determined using DNA-microarrays. Selected qRT-PCR analyses were performed to confirm newly identified curcumin-regulated genes. The migration potential of microglial cells was determined with wound healing assays and transwell migration assays. Microglial neurotoxicity was estimated by morphological analyses and quantification of caspase 3/7 levels in 661W photoreceptors cultured in the presence of microglia-conditioned medium. Results Curcumin treatment markedly changed the microglial transcriptome with 49 differentially expressed transcripts in a combined analysis of resting and activated microglial cells. Curcumin effectively triggered anti-inflammatory signals as shown by induced expression of Interleukin 4 and Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α. Several novel curcumin-induced genes including Netrin G1, Delta-like 1, Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1, and Plasma cell endoplasmic reticulum protein 1, have been previously associated with adhesion and cell migration. Consequently, curcumin treatment significantly inhibited basal and activation-induced migration of BV-2 microglia. Curcumin also potently blocked gene expression related to pro-inflammatory activation of resting cells including Toll-like receptor 2 and Prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2. Moreover, transcription of NO synthase 2 and Signal transducer and activator

  15. Gene doping: gene delivery for olympic victory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, David

    2013-08-01

    With one recently recommended gene therapy in Europe and a number of other gene therapy treatments now proving effective in clinical trials it is feasible that the same technologies will soon be adopted in the world of sport by unscrupulous athletes and their trainers in so called 'gene doping'. In this article an overview of the successful gene therapy clinical trials is provided and the potential targets for gene doping are highlighted. Depending on whether a doping gene product is secreted from the engineered cells or is retained locally to, or inside engineered cells will, to some extent, determine the likelihood of detection. It is clear that effective gene delivery technologies now exist and it is important that detection and prevention plans are in place. © 2012 The Author. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.

  16. Evolution of homeobox genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Peter W H

    2013-01-01

    Many homeobox genes encode transcription factors with regulatory roles in animal and plant development. Homeobox genes are found in almost all eukaryotes, and have diversified into 11 gene classes and over 100 gene families in animal evolution, and 10 to 14 gene classes in plants. The largest group in animals is the ANTP class which includes the well-known Hox genes, plus other genes implicated in development including ParaHox (Cdx, Xlox, Gsx), Evx, Dlx, En, NK4, NK3, Msx, and Nanog. Genomic data suggest that the ANTP class diversified by extensive tandem duplication to generate a large array of genes, including an NK gene cluster and a hypothetical ProtoHox gene cluster that duplicated to generate Hox and ParaHox genes. Expression and functional data suggest that NK, Hox, and ParaHox gene clusters acquired distinct roles in patterning the mesoderm, nervous system, and gut. The PRD class is also diverse and includes Pax2/5/8, Pax3/7, Pax4/6, Gsc, Hesx, Otx, Otp, and Pitx genes. PRD genes are not generally arranged in ancient genomic clusters, although the Dux, Obox, and Rhox gene clusters arose in mammalian evolution as did several non-clustered PRD genes. Tandem duplication and genome duplication expanded the number of homeobox genes, possibly contributing to the evolution of developmental complexity, but homeobox gene loss must not be ignored. Evolutionary changes to homeobox gene expression have also been documented, including Hox gene expression patterns shifting in concert with segmental diversification in vertebrates and crustaceans, and deletion of a Pitx1 gene enhancer in pelvic-reduced sticklebacks. WIREs Dev Biol 2013, 2:31-45. doi: 10.1002/wdev.78 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Gene cluster statistics with gene families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghupathy, Narayanan; Durand, Dannie

    2009-05-01

    Identifying genomic regions that descended from a common ancestor is important for understanding the function and evolution of genomes. In distantly related genomes, clusters of homologous gene pairs are evidence of candidate homologous regions. Demonstrating the statistical significance of such "gene clusters" is an essential component of comparative genomic analyses. However, currently there are no practical statistical tests for gene clusters that model the influence of the number of homologs in each gene family on cluster significance. In this work, we demonstrate empirically that failure to incorporate gene family size in gene cluster statistics results in overestimation of significance, leading to incorrect conclusions. We further present novel analytical methods for estimating gene cluster significance that take gene family size into account. Our methods do not require complete genome data and are suitable for testing individual clusters found in local regions, such as contigs in an unfinished assembly. We consider pairs of regions drawn from the same genome (paralogous clusters), as well as regions drawn from two different genomes (orthologous clusters). Determining cluster significance under general models of gene family size is computationally intractable. By assuming that all gene families are of equal size, we obtain analytical expressions that allow fast approximation of cluster probabilities. We evaluate the accuracy of this approximation by comparing the resulting gene cluster probabilities with cluster probabilities obtained by simulating a realistic, power-law distributed model of gene family size, with parameters inferred from genomic data. Surprisingly, despite the simplicity of the underlying assumption, our method accurately approximates the true cluster probabilities. It slightly overestimates these probabilities, yielding a conservative test. We present additional simulation results indicating the best choice of parameter values for data

  18. Carboxylesterase 1 genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Henrik Berg; Madsen, Majbritt Busk

    2018-01-01

    The carboxylesterase 1 gene (CES1) encodes a hydrolase that metabolizes commonly used drugs. The CES1-related pseudogene, carboxylesterase 1 pseudogene 1 (CES1P1), has been implicated in gene exchange with CES1 and in the formation of hybrid genes including the carboxylesterase 1A2 gene (CES1A2...

  19. Progressive retinal atrophy in Shetland sheepdog is associated with a mutation in the CNGA1 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiik, A C; Ropstad, E O; Ekesten, B; Karlstam, L; Wade, C M; Lingaas, F

    2015-10-01

    Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is the collective name of a class of hereditary retinal dystrophies in the dog and is often described as the equivalent of retinitis pigmentosa in humans. PRA is characterized by visual impairment due to degeneration of the photoreceptors in the retina, usually leading to blindness. PRA has been reported in dogs from more than 100 breeds and can be genetically heterogeneous both between and within breeds. The disease can be subdivided by age at onset and rate of progression. Using genome-wide association with 15 Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) cases and 14 controls, we identified a novel PRA locus on CFA13 (Praw  = 8.55 × 10(-7) , Pgenome  = 1.7 × 10(-4) ). CNGA1, which is known to be involved in human cases of retinitis pigmentosa, was located within the associated region and was considered a likely candidate gene. Sequencing of this gene identified a 4-bp deletion in exon 9 (c.1752_1755delAACT), leading to a frameshift and a premature stop codon. The study indicated genetic heterogeneity as the mutation was present in all PRA-affected individuals in one large family of Shelties, whereas some other cases in the studied Sheltie population were not associated with this CNGA1 mutation. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a mutation in CNGA1 causing PRA in dogs. © 2015 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  20. Vision from next generation sequencing: multi-dimensional genome-wide analysis for producing gene regulatory networks underlying retinal development, aging and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hyun-Jin; Ratnapriya, Rinki; Cogliati, Tiziana; Kim, Jung-Woong; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-05-01

    Genomics and genetics have invaded all aspects of biology and medicine, opening uncharted territory for scientific exploration. The definition of "gene" itself has become ambiguous, and the central dogma is continuously being revised and expanded. Computational biology and computational medicine are no longer intellectual domains of the chosen few. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, together with novel methods of pattern recognition and network analyses, has revolutionized the way we think about fundamental biological mechanisms and cellular pathways. In this review, we discuss NGS-based genome-wide approaches that can provide deeper insights into retinal development, aging and disease pathogenesis. We first focus on gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that govern the differentiation of retinal photoreceptors and modulate adaptive response during aging. Then, we discuss NGS technology in the context of retinal disease and develop a vision for therapies based on network biology. We should emphasize that basic strategies for network construction and analyses can be transported to any tissue or cell type. We believe that specific and uniform guidelines are required for generation of genome, transcriptome and epigenome data to facilitate comparative analysis and integration of multi-dimensional data sets, and for constructing networks underlying complex biological processes. As cellular homeostasis and organismal survival are dependent on gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, we believe that network-based biology will provide the foundation for deciphering disease mechanisms and discovering novel drug targets for retinal neurodegenerative diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. The cone-dominant retina and the inner ear of zebrafish express the ortholog of CLRN1, the causative gene of human Usher syndrome type 3A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Jennifer B; Västinsalo, Hanna; Wegner, Jeremy; Clément, Aurélie; Sankila, Eeva-Marja; Westerfield, Monte

    2013-12-01

    Clarin-1 (CLRN1) is the causative gene in Usher syndrome type 3A, an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive vision and hearing loss. CLRN1 encodes Clarin-1, a glycoprotein with homology to the tetraspanin family of proteins. Previous cell culture studies suggest that Clarin-1 localizes to the plasma membrane and interacts with the cytoskeleton. Mouse models demonstrate a role for the protein in mechanosensory hair bundle integrity, but the function of Clarin-1 in hearing remains unclear. Even less is known of its role in vision, because the Clrn1 knockout mouse does not exhibit a retinal phenotype and expression studies in murine retinas have provided conflicting results. Here, we describe cloning and expression analysis of the zebrafish clrn1 gene, and report protein localization of Clarin-1 in auditory and visual cells from embryonic through adult stages. We detect clrn1 transcripts as early as 24h post-fertilization, and expression is maintained through adulthood. In situ hybridization experiments show clrn1 transcripts enriched in mechanosensory hair cells and supporting cells of the inner ear and lateral line organ, photoreceptors, and cells of the inner retina. In mechanosensory hair cells, Clarin-1 is polarized to the apical cell body and the synapses. In the retina, Clarin-1 localizes to lateral cell contacts between photoreceptors and is associated with the outer limiting membrane and subapical processes emanating from Müller glial cells. We also find Clarin-1 protein in the outer plexiform, inner nuclear and ganglion cell layers of the retina. Given the importance of Clarin-1 function in the human retina, it is imperative to find an animal model with a comparable requirement. Our data provide a foundation for exploring the role of Clarin-1 in retinal cell function and survival in a diurnal, cone-dominant species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Gene doping in sports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unal, Mehmet; Ozer Unal, Durisehvar

    2004-01-01

    Gene or cell doping is defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as "the non-therapeutic use of genes, genetic elements and/or cells that have the capacity to enhance athletic performance". New research in genetics and genomics will be used not only to diagnose and treat disease, but also to attempt to enhance human performance. In recent years, gene therapy has shown progress and positive results that have highlighted the potential misuse of this technology and the debate of 'gene doping'. Gene therapies developed for the treatment of diseases such as anaemia (the gene for erythropoietin), muscular dystrophy (the gene for insulin-like growth factor-1) and peripheral vascular diseases (the gene for vascular endothelial growth factor) are potential doping methods. With progress in gene technology, many other genes with this potential will be discovered. For this reason, it is important to develop timely legal regulations and to research the field of gene doping in order to develop methods of detection. To protect the health of athletes and to ensure equal competitive conditions, the International Olympic Committee, WADA and International Sports Federations have accepted performance-enhancing substances and methods as being doping, and have forbidden them. Nevertheless, the desire to win causes athletes to misuse these drugs and methods. This paper reviews the current status of gene doping and candidate performance enhancement genes, and also the use of gene therapy in sports medicine and ethics of genetic enhancement. Copyright 2004 Adis Data Information BV

  3. RNA interference gene therapy in dominant retinitis pigmentosa and cone-rod dystrophy mouse models caused by GCAP1 mutations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eJiang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available RNA interference (RNAi knockdown is an efficacious therapeutic strategy for silencing genes causative for dominant retinal dystrophies. To test this, we used self-complementary (sc AAV2/8 vector to develop an RNAi-based therapy in two dominant retinal degeneration mouse models. The allele-specific model expresses transgenic bovine GCAP1(Y99C establishing a rapid RP-like phenotype, whereas the nonallele-specific model expresses mouse GCAP1(L151F producing a slowly progressing cone/rod dystrophy (CORD. The late onset GCAP1(L151F-CORD mimics the dystrophy observed in human GCAP1-CORD patients. Subretinal injection of scAAV2/8 carrying shRNA expression cassettes specific for bovine or mouse GCAP1 showed strong expression at one week post-injection. In both allele-specific (GCAP1(Y99C-RP and nonallele-specific (GCAP1(L151F-CORD models of dominant retinal dystrophy, RNAi-mediated gene silencing enhanced photoreceptor survival, delayed onset of degeneration and improved visual function. Such results provide a proof of concept toward effective RNAi-based gene therapy mediated by scAAV2/8 for dominant retinal disease based on GCAP1 mutation. Further, nonallele-specific RNAi knockdown of GCAP1 may prove generally applicable toward the rescue of any human GCAP1-based dominant cone-rod dystrophy.

  4. Ebi/AP-1 suppresses pro-apoptotic genes expression and permits long-term survival of Drosophila sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Mi Lim

    Full Text Available Sensory organs are constantly exposed to physical and chemical stresses that collectively threaten the survival of sensory neurons. Failure to protect stressed neurons leads to age-related loss of neurons and sensory dysfunction in organs in which the supply of new sensory neurons is limited, such as the human auditory system. Transducin β-like protein 1 (TBL1 is a candidate gene for ocular albinism with late-onset sensorineural deafness, a form of X-linked age-related hearing loss. TBL1 encodes an evolutionarily conserved F-box-like and WD40 repeats-containing subunit of the nuclear receptor co-repressor/silencing mediator for retinoid and thyroid hormone receptor and other transcriptional co-repressor complexes. Here we report that a Drosophila homologue of TBL1, Ebi, is required for maintenance of photoreceptor neurons. Loss of ebi function caused late-onset neuronal apoptosis in the retina and increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. Ebi formed a complex with activator protein 1 (AP-1 and was required for repression of Drosophila pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes expression. These results suggest that Ebi/AP-1 suppresses basal transcription levels of apoptotic genes and thereby protects sensory neurons from degeneration.

  5. Human Gene Therapy: Genes without Frontiers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Eric J.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the latest advancements and setbacks in human gene therapy to provide reference material for biology teachers to use in their science classes. Focuses on basic concepts such as recombinant DNA technology, and provides examples of human gene therapy such as severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, familial hypercholesterolemia, and…

  6. A new functional role for mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1 in the circadian regulation of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels in avian cone photoreceptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Chia-Yu Huang

    Full Text Available In the retina, the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs are responsible for neurotransmitter release from photoreceptors and are under circadian regulation. Both the current densities and protein expression of L-VGCCs are significantly higher at night than during the day. However, the underlying mechanisms of circadian regulation of L-VGCCs in the retina are not completely understood. In this study, we demonstrated that the mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTORC signaling pathway participated in the circadian phase-dependent modulation of L-VGCCs. The activities of the mTOR cascade, from mTORC1 to its downstream targets, displayed circadian oscillations throughout the course of a day. Disruption of mTORC1 signaling dampened the L-VGCC current densities, as well as the protein expression of L-VGCCs at night. The decrease of L-VGCCs at night by mTORC1 inhibition was in part due to a reduction of L-VGCCα1 subunit translocation from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. Finally, we showed that mTORC1 was downstream of the phosphatidylionositol 3 kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT signaling pathway. Taken together, mTORC1 signaling played a role in the circadian regulation of L-VGCCs, in part through regulation of ion channel trafficking and translocation, which brings to light a new functional role for mTORC1: the modulation of ion channel activities.

  7. The expression of melanopsin and clock genes in Xenopus laevis melanophores and their modulation by melatonin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bluhm, A.P.C.; Obeid, N.N.; Castrucci, A.M.L.; Visconti, M.A. [Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2012-05-25

    Vertebrates have a central clock and also several peripheral clocks. Light responses might result from the integration of light signals by these clocks. The dermal melanophores of Xenopus laevis have a photoreceptor molecule denominated melanopsin (OPN4x). The mechanisms of the circadian clock involve positive and negative feedback. We hypothesize that these dermal melanophores also present peripheral clock characteristics. Using quantitative PCR, we analyzed the pattern of temporal expression of Opn4x and the clock genes Per1, Per2, Bmal1, and Clock in these cells subjected to a 14-h light:10-h dark (14L:10D) regime or constant darkness (DD). Also, in view of the physiological role of melatonin in the dermal melanophores of X. laevis, we determined whether melatonin modulates the expression of these clock genes. These genes show a time-dependent expression pattern when these cells are exposed to 14L:10D, which differs from the pattern observed under DD. Cells kept in DD for 5 days exhibited overall increased mRNA expression for Opn4x and Clock, and a lower expression for Per1, Per2, and Bmal1. When the cells were kept in DD for 5 days and treated with melatonin for 1 h, 24 h before extraction, the mRNA levels tended to decrease for Opn4x and Clock, did not change for Bmal1, and increased for Per1 and Per2 at different Zeitgeber times (ZT). Although these data are limited to one-day data collection, and therefore preliminary, we suggest that the dermal melanophores of X. laevis might have some characteristics of a peripheral clock, and that melatonin modulates, to a certain extent, melanopsin and clock gene expression.

  8. The expression of melanopsin and clock genes in Xenopus laevis melanophores and their modulation by melatonin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bluhm, A.P.C.; Obeid, N.N.; Castrucci, A.M.L.; Visconti, M.A.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrates have a central clock and also several peripheral clocks. Light responses might result from the integration of light signals by these clocks. The dermal melanophores of Xenopus laevis have a photoreceptor molecule denominated melanopsin (OPN4x). The mechanisms of the circadian clock involve positive and negative feedback. We hypothesize that these dermal melanophores also present peripheral clock characteristics. Using quantitative PCR, we analyzed the pattern of temporal expression of Opn4x and the clock genes Per1, Per2, Bmal1, and Clock in these cells subjected to a 14-h light:10-h dark (14L:10D) regime or constant darkness (DD). Also, in view of the physiological role of melatonin in the dermal melanophores of X. laevis, we determined whether melatonin modulates the expression of these clock genes. These genes show a time-dependent expression pattern when these cells are exposed to 14L:10D, which differs from the pattern observed under DD. Cells kept in DD for 5 days exhibited overall increased mRNA expression for Opn4x and Clock, and a lower expression for Per1, Per2, and Bmal1. When the cells were kept in DD for 5 days and treated with melatonin for 1 h, 24 h before extraction, the mRNA levels tended to decrease for Opn4x and Clock, did not change for Bmal1, and increased for Per1 and Per2 at different Zeitgeber times (ZT). Although these data are limited to one-day data collection, and therefore preliminary, we suggest that the dermal melanophores of X. laevis might have some characteristics of a peripheral clock, and that melatonin modulates, to a certain extent, melanopsin and clock gene expression

  9. Early adaptive response of the retina to a pro-diabetogenic diet: Impairment of cone response and gene expression changes in high-fructose fed rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thierry, Magalie; Pasquis, Bruno; Buteau, Bénédicte; Fourgeux, Cynthia; Dembele, Doulaye; Leclere, Laurent; Gambert-Nicot, Ségolène; Acar, Niyazi; Bron, Alain M; Creuzot-Garcher, Catherine P; Bretillon, Lionel

    2015-06-01

    The lack of plasticity of neurons to respond to dietary changes, such as high fat and high fructose diets, by modulating gene and protein expression has been associated with functional and behavioral impairments that can have detrimental consequences. The inhibition of high fat-induced rewiring of hypothalamic neurons induced obesity. Feeding rodents with high fructose is a recognized and widely used model to trigger obesity and metabolic syndrome. However the adaptive response of the retina to short term feeding with high fructose is poorly documented. We therefore aimed to characterize both the functional and gene expression changes in the neurosensory retina of Brown Norway rats fed during 3 and 8 days with a 60%-rich fructose diet (n = 16 per diet and per time point). Glucose, insulin, leptin, triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and fructosamine were quantified in plasma (n = 8 in each group). Functionality of the inner retina was studied using scotopic single flash electroretinography (n = 8 in each group) and the individual response of rod and cone photoreceptors was determined using 8.02 Hz Flicker electroretinography (n = 8 in each group). Analysis of gene expression in the neurosensory retina was performed by Affymetrix genechips, and confirmed by RT-qPCR (n = 6 in each group). Elevated glycemia (+13%), insulinemia (+83%), and leptinemia (+172%) was observed after 8 days of fructose feeding. The cone photoreceptor response was altered at day 8 in high fructose fed rats (Δ = 0.5 log unit of light stimulus intensity). Affymetrix analysis of gene expression highlighted significant modulation of the pathways of eIF2 signaling and endoplasmic reticulum stress, regulation of eIF4 and p70S6K signaling, as well as mTOR signaling and mitochondrial dysfunction. RT-qPCR analysis confirmed the down regulation of Crystallins, Npy, Nid1 and Optc genes after 3 days of fructose feeding, and up regulation of End2. Meanwhile, a trend

  10. Tumor targeted gene therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Joo Hyun

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of molecular mechanisms governing malignant transformation brings new opportunities for therapeutic intervention against cancer using novel approaches. One of them is gene therapy based on the transfer of genetic material to an organism with the aim of correcting a disease. The application of gene therapy to the cancer treatment had led to the development of new experimental approaches such as suicidal gene therapy, inhibition of oncogenes and restoration of tumor-suppressor genes. Suicidal gene therapy is based on the expression in tumor cells of a gene encoding an enzyme that converts a prodrug into a toxic product. Representative suicidal genes are Herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk) and cytosine deaminase (CD). Especially, physicians and scientists of nuclear medicine field take an interest in suicidal gene therapy because they can monitor the location and magnitude, and duration of expression of HSV1-tk and CD by PET scanner

  11. Essential Bacillus subtilis genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kobayashi, K.; Ehrlich, S.D.; Albertini, A.

    2003-01-01

    To estimate the minimal gene set required to sustain bacterial life in nutritious conditions, we carried out a systematic inactivation of Bacillus subtilis genes. Among approximate to4,100 genes of the organism, only 192 were shown to be indispensable by this or previous work. Another 79 genes were...... predicted to be essential. The vast majority of essential genes were categorized in relatively few domains of cell metabolism, with about half involved in information processing, one-fifth involved in the synthesis of cell envelope and the determination of cell shape and division, and one-tenth related...... to cell energetics. Only 4% of essential genes encode unknown functions. Most essential genes are present throughout a wide range of Bacteria, and almost 70% can also be found in Archaea and Eucarya. However, essential genes related to cell envelope, shape, division, and respiration tend to be lost from...

  12. Radiotechnologies and gene therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xia Jinsong

    2001-01-01

    Gene therapy is an exciting frontier in medicine today. Radiologist will make an uniquely contribution to these exciting new technologies at every level by choosing sites for targeting therapy, perfecting and establishing routes of delivery, developing imaging strategies to monitor therapy and assess gene expression, developing radiotherapeutic used of gene therapy

  13. Discovering genes underlying QTL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vanavichit, Apichart [Kasetsart University, Kamphaengsaen, Nakorn Pathom (Thailand)

    2002-02-01

    A map-based approach has allowed scientists to discover few genes at a time. In addition, the reproductive barrier between cultivated rice and wild relatives has prevented us from utilizing the germ plasm by a map-based approach. Most genetic traits important to agriculture or human diseases are manifested as observable, quantitative phenotypes called Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL). In many instances, the complexity of the phenotype/genotype interaction and the general lack of clearly identifiable gene products render the direct molecular cloning approach ineffective, thus additional strategies like genome mapping are required to identify the QTL in question. Genome mapping requires no prior knowledge of the gene function, but utilizes statistical methods to identify the most likely gene location. To completely characterize genes of interest, the initially mapped region of a gene location will have to be narrowed down to a size that is suitable for cloning and sequencing. Strategies for gene identification within the critical region have to be applied after the sequencing of a potentially large clone or set of clones that contains this gene(s). Tremendous success of positional cloning has been shown for cloning many genes responsible for human diseases, including cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy as well as plant disease resistance genes. Genome and QTL mapping, positional cloning: the pre-genomics era, comparative approaches to gene identification, and positional cloning: the genomics era are discussed in the report. (M. Suetake)

  14. The severity of retinal degeneration in Rp1h gene-targeted mice is dependent on genetic background.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qin; Saveliev, Alexei; Pierce, Eric A

    2009-04-01

    The severity of disease in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) can vary significantly, even among patients with the same primary mutations. It is hypothesized that modifier genes play important roles in determining the severity of RP, including the retinitis pigmentosa 1 (RP1) form of disease. To investigate the basis of variation in disease expression for RP1 disease, the authors generated congenic mice with a gene-targeted retinitis pigmentosa 1 homolog (Rp1h) allele (Rp1h(tm1Eap)) on several different genetic backgrounds and analyzed their retinal phenotypes. The Rp1h(tm1Eap) allele was placed onto the C57BL/6J, DBA1/J, and A/J backgrounds. Retinal function of the resultant congenic mice was evaluated using electroretinographic analyses. Retinal structure and ultrastructure were evaluated using light and electron microscopy. Rp1h protein location was determined with immunofluorescence microscopy. Analysis of the retinal phenotype of incipient congenic (N6) B6.129S-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap), DBA.129S(B6)-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap), and A.129S(B6)-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap) mice at 1 year of age showed retinal degeneration only in the A.129S(B6)-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap) mice. Further analyses revealed that the photoreceptors of the fully congenic A.129S(B6)-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap) mice show evidence of degeneration at 6 months of age and are almost completely lost by 18 months of age. In contrast, the photoreceptor cells in the fully congenic B6.129S-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap) mice remain healthy up to 18 months. The severity of the retinal degeneration caused by the Rp1h(tm1Eap) allele is notably dependent on genetic background. The development and characterization of the B6.129S-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap) and A.129S(B6)-Rp1h(+/tm1Eap) congenic mouse lines will facilitate identification of sequence alterations in genes that modify the severity of RP1 disease.

  15. Gene therapy: An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudip Indu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene therapy "the use of genes as medicine" involves the transfer of a therapeutic or working copy of a gene into specific cells of an individual in order to repair a faulty gene copy. The technique may be used to replace a faulty gene, or to introduce a new gene whose function is to cure or to favorably modify the clinical course of a condition. The objective of gene therapy is to introduce new genetic material into target cells while causing no damage to the surrounding healthy cells and tissues, hence the treatment related morbidity is decreased. The delivery system includes a vector that delivers a therapeutic gene into the patient′s target cell. Functional proteins are created from the therapeutic gene causing the cell to return to a normal stage. The vectors used in gene therapy can be viral and non-viral. Gene therapy, an emerging field of biomedicine, is still at infancy and much research remains to be done before this approach to the treatment of condition will realize its full potential.

  16. Gene therapy in periodontics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Anirban; Singh, Nidhi; Saluja, Mini

    2013-03-01

    GENES are made of DNA - the code of life. They are made up of two types of base pair from different number of hydrogen bonds AT, GC which can be turned into instruction. Everyone inherits genes from their parents and passes them on in turn to their children. Every person's genes are different, and the changes in sequence determine the inherited differences between each of us. Some changes, usually in a single gene, may cause serious diseases. Gene therapy is 'the use of genes as medicine'. It involves the transfer of a therapeutic or working gene copy into specific cells of an individual in order to repair a faulty gene copy. Thus it may be used to replace a faulty gene, or to introduce a new gene whose function is to cure or to favorably modify the clinical course of a condition. It has a promising era in the field of periodontics. Gene therapy has been used as a mode of tissue engineering in periodontics. The tissue engineering approach reconstructs the natural target tissue by combining four elements namely: Scaffold, signaling molecules, cells and blood supply and thus can help in the reconstruction of damaged periodontium including cementum, gingival, periodontal ligament and bone.

  17. Primetime for Learning Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keifer, Joyce

    2017-02-11

    Learning genes in mature neurons are uniquely suited to respond rapidly to specific environmental stimuli. Expression of individual learning genes, therefore, requires regulatory mechanisms that have the flexibility to respond with transcriptional activation or repression to select appropriate physiological and behavioral responses. Among the mechanisms that equip genes to respond adaptively are bivalent domains. These are specific histone modifications localized to gene promoters that are characteristic of both gene activation and repression, and have been studied primarily for developmental genes in embryonic stem cells. In this review, studies of the epigenetic regulation of learning genes in neurons, particularly the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene ( BDNF ), by methylation/demethylation and chromatin modifications in the context of learning and memory will be highlighted. Because of the unique function of learning genes in the mature brain, it is proposed that bivalent domains are a characteristic feature of the chromatin landscape surrounding their promoters. This allows them to be "poised" for rapid response to activate or repress gene expression depending on environmental stimuli.

  18. Conditional ablation of the choroideremia gene causes age-related changes in mouse retinal pigment epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wavre-Shapton, Silène T; Tolmachova, Tanya; Lopes da Silva, Mafalda; da Silva, Mafalda Lopes; Futter, Clare E; Seabra, Miguel C

    2013-01-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a pigmented monolayer of cells lying between the photoreceptors and a layer of fenestrated capillaries, the choriocapillaris. Choroideremia (CHM) is an X-linked progressive degeneration of these three layers caused by the loss of function of Rab Escort protein-1 (REP1). REP1 is involved in the prenylation of Rab proteins, key regulators of membrane trafficking. To study the pathological consequences of chronic disruption of membrane traffic in the RPE we used a cell type-specific knock-out mouse model of the disease, where the Chm/Rep1 gene is deleted only in pigmented cells (Chm(Flox), Tyr-Cre+). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to quantitate the melanosome distribution in the RPE and immunofluorescent staining of rhodopsin was used to quantitate phagocytosed rod outer segments in retinal sections. The ultrastructure of the RPE and Bruch's membrane at different ages was characterised by TEM to analyse age-related changes occurring as a result of defects in membrane traffic pathways. Chm/Rep1 gene knockout in RPE cells resulted in reduced numbers of melanosomes in the apical processes and delayed phagosome degradation. In addition, the RPE accumulated pathological changes at 5-6 months of age similar to those observed in 2-year old controls. These included the intracellular accumulation of lipofuscin-containing deposits, disorganised basal infoldings and the extracellular accumulation of basal laminar and basal linear deposits. The phenotype of the Chm(Flox), Tyr-Cre+ mice suggests that loss of the Chm/Rep1 gene causes premature accumulation of features of aging in the RPE. Furthermore, the striking similarities between the present observations and some of the phenotypes reported in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) suggest that membrane traffic defects may contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD.

  19. Conditional ablation of the choroideremia gene causes age-related changes in mouse retinal pigment epithelium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silène T Wavre-Shapton

    Full Text Available The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE is a pigmented monolayer of cells lying between the photoreceptors and a layer of fenestrated capillaries, the choriocapillaris. Choroideremia (CHM is an X-linked progressive degeneration of these three layers caused by the loss of function of Rab Escort protein-1 (REP1. REP1 is involved in the prenylation of Rab proteins, key regulators of membrane trafficking. To study the pathological consequences of chronic disruption of membrane traffic in the RPE we used a cell type-specific knock-out mouse model of the disease, where the Chm/Rep1 gene is deleted only in pigmented cells (Chm(Flox, Tyr-Cre+. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM was used to quantitate the melanosome distribution in the RPE and immunofluorescent staining of rhodopsin was used to quantitate phagocytosed rod outer segments in retinal sections. The ultrastructure of the RPE and Bruch's membrane at different ages was characterised by TEM to analyse age-related changes occurring as a result of defects in membrane traffic pathways. Chm/Rep1 gene knockout in RPE cells resulted in reduced numbers of melanosomes in the apical processes and delayed phagosome degradation. In addition, the RPE accumulated pathological changes at 5-6 months of age similar to those observed in 2-year old controls. These included the intracellular accumulation of lipofuscin-containing deposits, disorganised basal infoldings and the extracellular accumulation of basal laminar and basal linear deposits. The phenotype of the Chm(Flox, Tyr-Cre+ mice suggests that loss of the Chm/Rep1 gene causes premature accumulation of features of aging in the RPE. Furthermore, the striking similarities between the present observations and some of the phenotypes reported in age-related macular degeneration (AMD suggest that membrane traffic defects may contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD.

  20. Switch in rod opsin gene expression in the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, A J; Partridge, J C; Hayes, P K

    1998-01-01

    The rod photoreceptors of the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.), alter their wavelength of maximum sensitivity (lambda max) from c.a. 523 nm to c.a. 482 nm at maturation, a switch involving the synthesis of a new visual pigment protein (opsin) that is inserted into the outer segments of existing rods. We artificially induced the switch in rod opsin production by the administration of hormones, and monitored the switch at the level of mRNA accumulation using radiolabelled oligonuleotides that hybridized differently to the two forms of eel rod opsin. The production of the deep-sea form of rod opsin was detected 6 h after the first hormone injection, and the switch in rod opsin expression was complete within four weeks, at which time only the mRNA for the deep-sea opsin was detectable in the retinal cells. It is suggested that this system could be used as a tractable model for studying the regulatory control of opsin gene expression. PMID:9633112

  1. Targeted Inactivation of DNA Photolyase Genes in Medaka Fish (Oryzias latipes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa-Fujiwara, Tomoko; Shiraishi, Eri; Fujikawa, Yoshihiro; Mori, Toshio; Tsujimura, Tohru; Todo, Takeshi

    2017-01-01

    Proteins of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) exhibit sequence and structural conservation, but their functions are divergent. Photolyase is a DNA repair enzyme that catalyzes the light-dependent repair of ultraviolet (UV)-induced photoproducts, whereas cryptochrome acts as a photoreceptor or circadian clock protein. Two types of DNA photolyase exist: CPD photolyase, which repairs cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), and 6-4 photolyase, which repairs 6-4 pyrimidine-pyrimidone photoproducts (6-4PPs). Although the Cry-DASH protein is classified as a cryptochrome, it also has light-dependent DNA repair activity. To determine the significance of the three light-dependent repair enzymes in recovering from solar UV-induced DNA damage at the organismal level, we generated mutants in each gene in medaka using the CRISPR genome editing technique. The light-dependent repair activity of the mutants was examined in vitro in cultured cells and in vivo in skin tissue. Light-dependent repair of CPD was lost in the CPD photolyase-deficient mutant, whereas weak repair activity against 6-4PPs persisted in the 6-4 photolyase-deficient mutant. These results suggest the existence of a heretofore unknown 6-4PP repair pathway and thus improve our understanding of the mechanisms of defense against solar UV in vertebrates. © 2016 The Authors. Photochemistry and Photobiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Photobiology.

  2. Mutation screening of USH3 gene (clarin-1) in Spanish patients with Usher syndrome: low prevalence and phenotypic variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aller, E; Jaijo, T; Oltra, S; Alió, J; Galán, F; Nájera, C; Beneyto, M; Millán, J M

    2004-12-01

    Usher syndrome type III is an autosomal recessive disorder clinically characterized by the association of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), variable presence of vestibular dysfunction and progressive hearing loss, being the progression of the hearing impairment the critical parameter classically used to distinguish this form from Usher syndrome type I and Usher syndrome type II. Usher syndrome type III clinical subtype is the rarest form of Usher syndrome in Spain, accounting only for 6% of all Usher syndrome Spanish cases. The gene responsible for Usher syndrome type III is named clarin-1 and it is thought to be involved in hair cell and photoreceptor cell synapses. Here, we report a screening for mutations in clarin-1 gene among our series of Usher syndrome Spanish patients. Clarin-1 has been found to be responsible for the disease in only two families: the first one is a previously reported family homozygous for Y63X mutation and the second one, described here, is homozygous for C40G. This accounts for 1.7% of Usher syndrome Spanish families. It is noticeable that, whereas C40G family is clinically compatible with Usher syndrome type III due to the progression of the hearing loss, Y63X family could be diagnosed as Usher syndrome type I because the hearing impairment is profound and stable. Thus, we consider that the progression of hearing loss is not the definitive key parameter to distinguish Usher syndrome type III from Usher syndrome type I and Usher syndrome type II.

  3. Identification of a Novel Mutation in the ABCA4 Gene in a Chinese Family with Retinitis Pigmentosa Using Exome Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xiangjun; Yuan, Lamei; Xu, Hongbo; Zheng, Wen; Cao, Yanna; Yi, Junhui; Guo, Yi; Yang, Zhijian; Li, Yu; Deng, Hao

    2018-02-05

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of hereditary, degenerative retinal disorders characterized by progressive retinal dysfunction, outer retina cell loss, and retinal tissue atrophy. It eventually leads to tunnel vision and legal, or total blindness. Here we aimed to reveal the causal gene and mutation contributing to the development of autosomal recessive RP (arRP) in a consanguineous family. A novel homozygous mutation, c.4845delT (p.K1616Rfs*46), in the ATP-binding cassette subfamily A member 4gene ( ABCA4 ) was identified. It may reduce ABCA4 protein activity, leading to progressive degeneration of both rod and cone photoreceptors. The study extends the arRP genotypic spectrum and confirms a genotype-phenotype relationship. This study may also disclose some new clues for RP genetic causes and pathogenesis, as well as clinical and genetic diagnosis. The research findings may contribute to improvement in clinical care, therapy, genetic screening, and counseling. ©2018 The Author(s).

  4. Genes and Social Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, Gene E.; Fernald, Russell D.; Clayton, David F.

    2008-01-01

    What specific genes and regulatory sequences contribute to the organization and functioning of brain circuits that support social behavior? How does social experience interact with information in the genome to modulate these brain circuits? Here we address these questions by highlighting progress that has been made in identifying and understanding two key “vectors of influence” that link genes, brain, and social behavior: 1) social information alters gene readout in the brain to influence beh...

  5. History of gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Thomas; Parker, Nigel; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo

    2013-08-10

    Two decades after the initial gene therapy trials and more than 1700 approved clinical trials worldwide we not only have gained much new information and knowledge regarding gene therapy in general, but also learned to understand the concern that has persisted in society. Despite the setbacks gene therapy has faced, success stories have increasingly emerged. Examples for these are the positive recommendation for a gene therapy product (Glybera) by the EMA for approval in the European Union and the positive trials for the treatment of ADA deficiency, SCID-X1 and adrenoleukodystrophy. Nevertheless, our knowledge continues to grow and during the course of time more safety data has become available that helps us to develop better gene therapy approaches. Also, with the increased understanding of molecular medicine, we have been able to develop more specific and efficient gene transfer vectors which are now producing clinical results. In this review, we will take a historical view and highlight some of the milestones that had an important impact on the development of gene therapy. We will also discuss briefly the safety and ethical aspects of gene therapy and address some concerns that have been connected with gene therapy as an important therapeutic modality. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Refining discordant gene trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Górecki, Pawel; Eulenstein, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary studies are complicated by discordance between gene trees and the species tree in which they evolved. Dealing with discordant trees often relies on comparison costs between gene and species trees, including the well-established Robinson-Foulds, gene duplication, and deep coalescence costs. While these costs have provided credible results for binary rooted gene trees, corresponding cost definitions for non-binary unrooted gene trees, which are frequently occurring in practice, are challenged by biological realism. We propose a natural extension of the well-established costs for comparing unrooted and non-binary gene trees with rooted binary species trees using a binary refinement model. For the duplication cost we describe an efficient algorithm that is based on a linear time reduction and also computes an optimal rooted binary refinement of the given gene tree. Finally, we show that similar reductions lead to solutions for computing the deep coalescence and the Robinson-Foulds costs. Our binary refinement of Robinson-Foulds, gene duplication, and deep coalescence costs for unrooted and non-binary gene trees together with the linear time reductions provided here for computing these costs significantly extends the range of trees that can be incorporated into approaches dealing with discordance.

  7. Programming Retinal Stem Cells into Cone Photoreceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    0704-0188 Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response , including the time for reviewing...development. 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON USAMRMC a. REPORT...PERIOD: Nothing to report. This is the final report for this award. However, using funds from philanthropic sources we have recently secured (11/2015

  8. Chromatin loops, gene positioning, and gene expression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holwerda, S.; de Laat, W.

    2012-01-01

    Technological developments and intense research over the last years have led to a better understanding of the 3D structure of the genome and its influence on genome function inside the cell nucleus. We will summarize topological studies performed on four model gene loci: the alpha- and beta-globin

  9. Blue light alters miR167 expression and microRNA-targeted auxin response factor genes in Arabidopsis thaliana plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pashkovskiy, Pavel P; Kartashov, Alexander V; Zlobin, Ilya E; Pogosyan, Sergei I; Kuznetsov, Vladimir V

    2016-07-01

    The effect of blue LED (450 nm) on the photomorphogenesis of Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 plants and the transcript levels of several genes, including miRNAs, photoreceptors and auxin response factors (ARF) was investigated. It was observed that blue light accelerated the generative development, reduced the rosette leaf number, significantly reduced the leaf area, dry biomass and led to the disruption of conductive tissue formation. The blue LED differentially influenced the transcript levels of several phytochromes (PHY a, b, c, d, and e), cryptochromes (CRY 1 and 2) and phototropins (PHOT 1 and 2). At the same time, the blue LED significantly increased miR167 expression compared to a fluorescent lamp or white LEDs. This increase likely resulted in the enhanced transcription of the auxin response factor genes ARF4 and ARF8, which are regulated by this miRNA. These findings support the hypothesis that the effects of blue light on A. thaliana are mediated by auxin signalling pathway involving miRNA-dependent regulation of ARF gene expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Multiple Roles for UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 in Regulating Gene Expression and Metabolite Accumulation in Arabidopsis under Solar Ultraviolet Radiation1[W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Luis O.; Brosché, Mikael; Vainonen, Julia; Jenkins, Gareth I.; Wargent, Jason J.; Sipari, Nina; Strid, Åke; Lindfors, Anders V.; Tegelberg, Riitta; Aphalo, Pedro J.

    2013-01-01

    Photomorphogenic responses triggered by low fluence rates of ultraviolet B radiation (UV-B; 280–315 nm) are mediated by the UV-B photoreceptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8). Beyond our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of UV-B perception by UVR8, there is still limited information on how the UVR8 pathway functions under natural sunlight. Here, wild-type Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and the uvr8-2 mutant were used in an experiment outdoors where UV-A (315–400 nm) and UV-B irradiances were attenuated using plastic films. Gene expression, PYRIDOXINE BIOSYNTHESIS1 (PDX1) accumulation, and leaf metabolite signatures were analyzed. The results show that UVR8 is required for transcript accumulation of genes involved in UV protection, oxidative stress, hormone signal transduction, and defense against herbivores under solar UV. Under natural UV-A irradiance, UVR8 is likely to interact with UV-A/blue light signaling pathways to moderate UV-B-driven transcript and PDX1 accumulation. UVR8 both positively and negatively affects UV-A-regulated gene expression and metabolite accumulation but is required for the UV-B induction of phenolics. Moreover, UVR8-dependent UV-B acclimation during the early stages of plant development may enhance normal growth under long-term exposure to solar UV. PMID:23250626

  11. Temporal and tissue specific regulation of RP-associated splicing factor genes PRPF3, PRPF31 and PRPC8--implications in the pathogenesis of RP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huibi Cao

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetic mutations in several ubiquitously expressed RNA splicing genes such as PRPF3, PRP31 and PRPC8, have been found to cause retina-specific diseases in humans. To understand this intriguing phenomenon, most studies have been focused on testing two major hypotheses. One hypothesis assumes that these mutations interrupt retina-specific interactions that are important for RNA splicing, implying that there are specific components in the retina interacting with these splicing factors. The second hypothesis suggests that these mutations have only a mild effect on the protein function and thus affect only the metabolically highly active cells such as retinal photoreceptors.We examined the second hypothesis using the PRPF3 gene as an example. We analyzed the spatial and temporal expression of the PRPF3 gene in mice and found that it is highly expressed in retinal cells relative to other tissues and its expression is developmentally regulated. In addition, we also found that PRP31 and PRPC8 as well as snRNAs are highly expressed in retinal cells.Our data suggest that the retina requires a relatively high level of RNA splicing activity for optimal tissue-specific physiological function. Because the RP18 mutation has neither a debilitating nor acute effect on protein function, we suggest that retinal degeneration is the accumulative effect of decades of suboptimal RNA splicing due to the mildly impaired protein.

  12. Your Genes, Your Choices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Table of Contents Your Genes, Your Choices describes the Human Genome Project, the science behind it, and the ethical, legal, and social issues that are ... Nothing could be further from the truth. Your Genes, Your Choices points out how the progress of ...

  13. DNA repair genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morimyo, Mitsuoki

    1995-01-01

    Fission yeast S. pombe is assumed to be a good model for cloning of human DNA repair genes, because human gene is normally expressed in S. pombe and has a very similar protein sequence to yeast protein. We have tried to elucidate the DNA repair mechanisms of S. pombe as a model system for those of mammals. (J.P.N.)

  14. Antisense gene silencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Troels T; Nielsen, Jørgen E

    2013-01-01

    Since the first reports that double-stranded RNAs can efficiently silence gene expression in C. elegans, the technology of RNA interference (RNAi) has been intensively exploited as an experimental tool to study gene function. With the subsequent discovery that RNAi could also be applied...

  15. Radionuclide reporter gene imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Min, Jung Joon

    2004-01-01

    Recent progress in the development of non-invasive imaging technologies continues to strengthen the role of molecular imaging biological research. These tools have been validated recently in variety of research models, and have been shown to provide continuous quantitative monitoring of the location(s), magnitude, and time-variation of gene expression. This article reviews the principles, characteristics, categories and the use of radionuclide reporter gene imaging technologies as they have been used in imaging cell trafficking, imaging gene therapy, imaging endogenous gene expression and imaging molecular interactions. The studies published to date demonstrate that reporter gene imaging technologies will help to accelerate model validation as well as allow for clinical monitoring of human diseases

  16. Radionuclide reporter gene imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Min, Jung Joon [School of Medicine, Chonnam National Univ., Gwangju (Korea, Republic of)

    2004-04-01

    Recent progress in the development of non-invasive imaging technologies continues to strengthen the role of molecular imaging biological research. These tools have been validated recently in variety of research models, and have been shown to provide continuous quantitative monitoring of the location(s), magnitude, and time-variation of gene expression. This article reviews the principles, characteristics, categories and the use of radionuclide reporter gene imaging technologies as they have been used in imaging cell trafficking, imaging gene therapy, imaging endogenous gene expression and imaging molecular interactions. The studies published to date demonstrate that reporter gene imaging technologies will help to accelerate model validation as well as allow for clinical monitoring of human diseases.

  17. Gene amplification in carcinogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucimari Bizari

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene amplification increases the number of genes in a genome and can give rise to karyotype abnormalities called double minutes (DM and homogeneously staining regions (HSR, both of which have been widely observed in human tumors but are also known to play a major role during embryonic development due to the fact that they are responsible for the programmed increase of gene expression. The etiology of gene amplification during carcinogenesis is not yet completely understood but can be considered a result of genetic instability. Gene amplification leads to an increase in protein expression and provides a selective advantage during cell growth. Oncogenes such as CCND1, c-MET, c-MYC, ERBB2, EGFR and MDM2 are amplified in human tumors and can be associated with increased expression of their respective proteins or not. In general, gene amplification is associated with more aggressive tumors, metastases, resistance to chemotherapy and a decrease in the period during which the patient stays free of the disease. This review discusses the major role of gene amplification in the progression of carcinomas, formation of genetic markers and as possible therapeutic targets for the development of drugs for the treatment of some types of tumors.

  18. Methanogenesis and methane genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reeve, J.N.; Shref, B.A.

    1991-01-01

    An overview of the pathways leading to methane biosynthesis is presented. The steps investigated to date by gene cloning and DNA sequencing procedures are identified and discussed. The primary structures of component C of methyl coenzyme M reductase encoded by mcr operons in different methanogens are compared. Experiments to detect the primary structure of the genes encoding F420 reducing hydrogenase (frhABG) and methyl hydrogen reducing hydrogenase (mvhDGA) in methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum strain H are compared with each other and with eubacterial hydrogenase encoding genes. A biotechnological use for hydrogenases from hypermorphillic archaebacteria is suggested. (author)

  19. Mutation screening of the PCDH15 gene in Spanish patients with Usher syndrome type I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaijo, Teresa; Oshima, Aki; Aller, Elena; Carney, Carol; Usami, Shin-ichi; Millán, José M; Kimberling, William J

    2012-01-01

    PCDH15 codes for protocadherin-15, a cell-cell adhesion protein essential in the morphogenesis and cohesion of stereocilia bundles and in the function or preservation of photoreceptor cells. Mutations in the PCDH15 gene are responsible for Usher syndrome type I (USH1F) and non-syndromic hearing loss (DFNB23). The purpose of this work was to perform PCDH15 mutation screening to identify the genetic cause of the disease in a cohort of Spanish patients with Usher syndrome type I and establish phenotype-genotype correlation. Mutation analysis of PCDH15 included additional exons recently identified and was performed by direct sequencing. The screening was performed in 19 probands with USH already screened for mutations in the most prevalent USH1 genes, myosin VIIA (MYO7A) and cadherin-23 (CDH23), and for copy number variants in PCDH15. Seven different point mutations, five novel, were detected. Including the large PCDH15 rearrangements previously reported in our cohort of patients, a total of seven of 19 patients (36.8%) were carriers of at least one pathogenic allele. Thirteen out of the 38 screened alleles carried pathogenic PCDH15 variants (34.2%). Five out of the seven point mutations reported in the present study are novel, supporting the idea that most PCDH15 mutations are private. Furthermore, no mutational hotspots have been identified. In most patients, detected mutations led to a truncated protein, reinforcing the hypothesis that severe mutations cause the Usher I phenotype and that missense variants are mainly responsible for non-syndromic hearing impairment.

  20. Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Gene Expression Omnibus is a public functional genomics data repository supporting MIAME-compliant submissions of array- and sequence-based data. Tools are provided...

  1. Finding Genes for Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Åberg, Karolina

    2005-01-01

    Schizophrenia is one of our most common psychiatric diseases. It severely affects all aspects of psychological functions and results in loss of contact with reality. No cure exists and the treatments available today produce only partial relief for disease symptoms. The aim of this work is to better understand the etiology of schizophrenia by identification of candidate genes and gene pathways involved in the development of the disease. In a preliminarily study, the effects of medication and g...

  2. Epigenetics: beyond genes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fossey, A

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available in forestry breeding. Keywords Gene regulation; chromatin; histone code hyporthesis; RNA silencing; post transcriptional gene silencing; forestry. Introduction to epigenetic phenomena Most living organisms share a vast amount of genetic information... (Rapp and Wendel, 2005). Epigenetic phenomena pervade all aspects of cell proliferation and plant development and are often in conflict with Mendelian models of genetics (Grant-Downton and Dickinson, 2005). A key element in many epigenetic effects...

  3. Gene-Gene and Gene-Environment Interactions in the Etiology of Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Adegoke, Olufemi

    2003-01-01

    The objective of this CDA is to evaluate the gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in the etiology of breast cancer in two ongoing case-control studies, the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study (SBCS...

  4. Radiosensitivity and genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qiyue, Hu; Mingyue, Lun [Suzhou Medical Coll., JS (China)

    1995-07-01

    Reported effects of some oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and DNA repair genes on sensitivity of cells to ionizing radiation are reviewed. The role of oncogenes in cellular response to irradiation is discussed, especially the extensively studied oncogenes such as the ras gene family. For tumour suppressor genes, mainly the p53, which is increasingly implicated as a gene affecting radiosensitivity, is reviewed. It is considered that there is a cell cycle checkpoint determinant which is postulated to be able to arrest the irradiated cells in G{sub 1} phase to allow them to repair damage before they undergo DNA synthesis. So far there are six DNA repair genes which have been cloned in mammalian cells, but only one, XRCC1, appears to be involved in repair of human X-ray damage. XRCC1 can correct high sisterchromatid exchange levels when transferred into EM{sub 9} cells, but its expression seems to have no correlation with radiosensitivity of human neck and head tumour cells. Radiosensitivity is an intricate issue which may involve many factors. A scheme of cellular reactions after exposure to irradiation is proposed to indicate a possible sequence of events initiated by ionizing radiation.

  5. Radiosensitivity and genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Qiyue; Lun Mingyue

    1995-07-01

    Reported effects of some oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and DNA repair genes on sensitivity of cells to ionizing radiation are reviewed. The role of oncogenes in cellular response to irradiation is discussed, especially the extensively studied oncogenes such as the ras gene family. For tumour suppressor genes, mainly the p53, which is increasingly implicated as a gene affecting radiosensitivity, is reviewed. It is considered that there is a cell cycle checkpoint determinant which is postulated to be able to arrest the irradiated cells in G 1 phase to allow them to repair damage before they undergo DNA synthesis. So far there are six DNA repair genes which have been cloned in mammalian cells, but only one, XRCC1, appears to be involved in repair of human X-ray damage. XRCC1 can correct high sisterchromatid exchange levels when transferred into EM 9 cells, but its expression seems to have no correlation with radiosensitivity of human neck and head tumour cells. Radiosensitivity is an intricate issue which may involve many factors. A scheme of cellular reactions after exposure to irradiation is proposed to indicate a possible sequence of events initiated by ionizing radiation

  6. Evidence for homosexuality gene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pool, R.

    1993-07-16

    A genetic analysis of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers has uncovered a region on the X chromosome that appears to contain a gene or genes for homosexuality. When analyzing the pedigrees of homosexual males, the researcheres found evidence that the trait has a higher likelihood of being passed through maternal genes. This led them to search the X chromosome for genes predisposing to homosexuality. The researchers examined the X chromosomes of pairs of homosexual brothers for regions of DNA that most or all had in common. Of the 40 sets of brothers, 33 shared a set of five markers in the q28 region of the long arm of the X chromosome. The linkage has a LOD score of 4.0, which translates into a 99.5% certainty that there is a gene or genes in this area that predispose males to homosexuality. The chief researcher warns, however, that this one site cannot explain all instances of homosexuality, since there were some cases where the trait seemed to be passed paternally. And even among those brothers where there was no evidence that the trait was passed paternally, seven sets of brothers did not share the Xq28 markers. It seems likely that homosexuality arises from a variety of causes.

  7. Molecular Characterization of the Skate Peripherin/rds Gene: Relationship to Its Orthologues and Paralogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chibo; Ding, Xi-Qin; O’Brien, John; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R.

    2010-01-01

    PURPOSE A great deal of information about functionally significant domains of a protein may be obtained by comparison of primary sequences of gene homologues over a broad phylogenetic base. This study was designed to identify evolutionarily conserved domains of the photoreceptor disc membrane protein peripherin/rds by analysis of the homologue in a primitive vertebrate, the skate. METHODS A skate retinal cDNA library was screened using a mouse peripherin/rds clone. The 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of the skate peripherin/rds (srds) cDNA were isolated by the rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) approach. The gene structure was characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing of genomic fragments. Northern and Western blot analyses were used to identify srds transcript and protein, respectively. RESULTS A new homologue of peripherin/rds was identified from the skate retinal cDNA library. SRDS is a glycoprotein with a predicted molecular mass of 40.2 kDa. The srds gene consists of two exons and one small intron and transcribes into a single 6-kb message. Phylogenetic analysis places SRDS at the base of peripherin/rds family and near the division of that group and the branch leading to rds-like and rom-1 genes. SRDS protein is 54.5% identical with peripherin/rds across species. Identity is significantly higher (73%) in the intradiscal domains. Sequence comparison revealed the conservation of all residues that have been shown, on mutation, to associate with retinitis pigmentosa and showed conservation of most residues associated with macular dystrophies. Comparison with ROM-1 and other rds-like proteins revealed the presence of a highly conserved domain in the large intradiscal loop. CONCLUSIONS Srds represents the skate orthologue of mammalian peripherin/rds genes. Conservation of most of the residues associated with human retinal diseases indicates that these residues serve important functional roles. The high degree of conservation of a short stretch within

  8. Differential expression of anti-angiogenic factors and guidance genes in the developing macula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozulin, Peter; Natoli, Riccardo; O'Brien, Keely M Bumsted; Madigan, Michele C; Provis, Jan M

    2009-01-01

    The primate retina contains a specialized, cone-rich macula, which mediates high acuity and color vision. The spatial resolution provided by the neural retina at the macula is optimized by stereotyped retinal blood vessel and ganglion cell axon patterning, which radiate away from the macula and reduce shadowing of macular photoreceptors. However, the genes that mediate these specializations, and the reasons for the vulnerability of the macula to degenerative disease, remain obscure. The aim of this study was to identify novel genes that may influence retinal vascular patterning and definition of the foveal avascular area. We used RNA from human fetal retinas at 19-20 weeks of gestation (WG; n=4) to measure differential gene expression in the macula, a region nasal to disc (nasal) and in the surrounding retina (surround) by hybridization to 12 GeneChip microarrays (HG-U133 Plus 2.0). The raw data was subjected to quality control assessment and preprocessing, using GC-RMA. We then used ANOVA analysis (Partek) Genomic Suite 6.3) and clustering (DAVID website) to identify the most highly represented genes clustered according to "biological process." The neural retina is fully differentiated at the macula at 19-20 WG, while neuronal progenitor cells are present throughout the rest of the retina. We therefore excluded genes associated with the cell cycle, and markers of differentiated neurons, from further analyses. Significantly regulated genes (pmacula versus surround" and "macula versus nasal." KEGG pathway clustering of the filtered gene lists identified 25 axon guidance-related genes that are differentially regulated in the macula. Furthermore, we found significant upregulation of three anti-angiogenic factors in the macula: pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF), natriuretic peptide precurusor B (NPPB), and collagen type IValpha2. Differential expression of several members of the ephrin and semaphorin axon guidance gene families, PEDF, and NPPB was verified by

  9. The Mycoplasma hominis vaa gene displays a mosaic gene structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boesen, Thomas; Emmersen, Jeppe M. G.; Jensen, Lise T.

    1998-01-01

    Mycoplasma hominis contains a variable adherence-associated (vaa) gene. To classify variants of the vaa genes, we examined 42 M. hominis isolated by PCR, DNA sequencing and immunoblotting. This uncovered the existence of five gene categories. Comparison of the gene types revealed a modular...

  10. Gene expression changes in the retina following subretinal injection of human neural progenitor cells into a rodent model for retinal degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Melissa K; Lu, Bin; Saghizadeh, Mehrnoosh; Wang, Shaomei

    2016-01-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases (RDDs) affect millions of people and are the leading cause of vision loss. Although treatment options for RDDs are limited, stem and progenitor cell-based therapies have great potential to halt or slow the progression of vision loss. Our previous studies have shown that a single subretinal injection of human forebrain derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) into the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) retinal degenerate rat offers long-term preservation of photoreceptors and visual function. Furthermore, neural progenitor cells are currently in clinical trials for treating age-related macular degeneration; however, the molecular mechanisms of stem cell-based therapies are largely unknown. This is the first study to analyze gene expression changes in the retina of RCS rats following subretinal injection of hNPCs using high-throughput sequencing. RNA-seq data of retinas from RCS rats injected with hNPCs (RCS(hNPCs)) were compared to sham surgery in RCS (RCS(sham)) and wild-type Long Evans (LE(sham)) rats. Differential gene expression patterns were determined with in silico analysis and confirmed with qRT-PCR. Function, biologic, cellular component, and pathway analyses were performed on differentially expressed genes and investigated with immunofluorescent staining experiments. Analysis of the gene expression data sets identified 1,215 genes that were differentially expressed between RCS(sham) and LE(sham) samples. Additionally, 283 genes were differentially expressed between the RCS(hNPCs) and RCS(sham) samples. Comparison of these two gene sets identified 68 genes with inverse expression (termed rescue genes), including Pdc, Rp1, and Cdc42ep5. Functional, biologic, and cellular component analyses indicate that the immune response is enhanced in RCS(sham). Pathway analysis of the differential expression gene sets identified three affected pathways in RCS(hNPCs), which all play roles in phagocytosis signaling. Immunofluorescent staining

  11. A CTRP5 gene S163R mutation knock-in mouse model for late-onset retinal degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavali, Venkata R M; Khan, Naheed W; Cukras, Catherine A; Bartsch, Dirk-Uwe; Jablonski, Monica M; Ayyagari, Radha

    2011-05-15

    Late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORD) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder caused by a single missense mutation (S163R) in the CTRP5/C1QTNF5 protein. Early phenotypic features of L-ORD include: dark adaptation abnormalities, nyctalopia, and drusen deposits in the peripheral macular region. Apart from posterior segment abnormalities, these patients also develop abnormally long anterior lens zonules. In the sixth decade of life the rod and cone function declines, accompanied by electroretinogram (ERG) abnormalities. Some patients also develop choroidal neovascularization and glaucoma. In order to understand the disease pathology and mechanisms involved in retinal dystrophy, we generated a knock-in (Ctrp5(+/-)) mouse model carrying the disease-associated mutation in the mouse Ctrp5/C1QTNF5 gene. These mice develop slower rod-b wave recovery consistent with early dark adaptation abnormalities, accumulation of hyperautofluorescence spots, retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities, drusen, Bruch's membrane abnormalities, loss of photoreceptors, and retinal vascular leakage. The Ctrp5(+/-) mice, which have most of the pathological features of age-related macular degeneration, are unique and may serve as a valuable model both to understand the molecular pathology of late-onset retinal degeneration and to evaluate therapies.

  12. CERKL, a retinal disease gene, encodes an mRNA-binding protein that localizes in compact and untranslated mRNPs associated with microtubules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alihamze Fathinajafabadi

    Full Text Available The function of CERKL (CERamide Kinase Like, a causative gene of retinitis pigmentosa and cone-rod dystrophy, still awaits characterization. To approach its cellular role we have investigated the subcellular localization and interaction partners of the full length CERKL isoform, CERKLa of 532 amino acids, in different cell lines, including a photoreceptor-derived cell line. We demonstrate that CERKLa is a main component of compact and untranslated mRNPs and that associates with other RNP complexes such as stress granules, P-bodies and polysomes. CERKLa is a protein that binds through its N-terminus to mRNAs and interacts with other mRNA-binding proteins like eIF3B, PABP, HSP70 and RPS3. Except for eIF3B, these interactions depend on the integrity of mRNAs but not of ribosomes. Interestingly, the C125W CERKLa pathological mutant does not interact with eIF3B and is absent from these complexes. Compact mRNPs containing CERKLa also associate with microtubules and are found in neurites of neural differentiated cells. These localizations had not been reported previously for any member of the retinal disorders gene family and should be considered when investigating the pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutical approaches in these diseases.

  13. Exome analysis identified a novel mutation in the RBP4 gene in a consanguineous pedigree with retinal dystrophy and developmental abnormalities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Cukras

    Full Text Available Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP is a common form of retinal degeneration characterized by photoreceptor degeneration and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE atrophy causing loss of visual field and acuities. Exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous splice site variant (c.111+1G>A in the gene encoding retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4. This change segregated with early onset, progressive, and severe autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP in an eight member consanguineous pedigree of European ancestry. Additionally, one patient exhibited developmental abnormalities including patent ductus arteriosus and chorioretinal and iris colobomas. The second patient developed acne from young age and extending into the 5(th decade. Both patients had undetectable levels of RBP4 in the serum suggesting that this mutation led to either mRNA or protein instability resulting in a null phenotype. In addition, the patients exhibited severe vitamin A deficiency, and diminished serum retinol levels. Circulating transthyretin levels were normal. This study identifies the RBP4 splice site change as the cause of RP in this pedigree. The presence of developmental abnormalities and severe acne in patients with retinal degeneration may indicate the involvement of genes that regulate vitamin A absorption, transport and metabolism.

  14. Exome analysis identified a novel mutation in the RBP4 gene in a consanguineous pedigree with retinal dystrophy and developmental abnormalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cukras, Catherine; Gaasterland, Terry; Lee, Pauline; Gudiseva, Harini V; Chavali, Venkata R M; Pullakhandam, Raghu; Maranhao, Bruno; Edsall, Lee; Soares, Sandra; Reddy, G Bhanuprakash; Sieving, Paul A; Ayyagari, Radha

    2012-01-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a common form of retinal degeneration characterized by photoreceptor degeneration and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) atrophy causing loss of visual field and acuities. Exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous splice site variant (c.111+1G>A) in the gene encoding retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4). This change segregated with early onset, progressive, and severe autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP) in an eight member consanguineous pedigree of European ancestry. Additionally, one patient exhibited developmental abnormalities including patent ductus arteriosus and chorioretinal and iris colobomas. The second patient developed acne from young age and extending into the 5(th) decade. Both patients had undetectable levels of RBP4 in the serum suggesting that this mutation led to either mRNA or protein instability resulting in a null phenotype. In addition, the patients exhibited severe vitamin A deficiency, and diminished serum retinol levels. Circulating transthyretin levels were normal. This study identifies the RBP4 splice site change as the cause of RP in this pedigree. The presence of developmental abnormalities and severe acne in patients with retinal degeneration may indicate the involvement of genes that regulate vitamin A absorption, transport and metabolism.

  15. FunGene: the functional gene pipeline and repository.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Jordan A; Chai, Benli; Wang, Qiong; Sun, Yanni; Brown, C Titus; Tiedje, James M; Cole, James R

    2013-01-01

    Ribosomal RNA genes have become the standard molecular markers for microbial community analysis for good reasons, including universal occurrence in cellular organisms, availability of large databases, and ease of rRNA gene region amplification and analysis. As markers, however, rRNA genes have some significant limitations. The rRNA genes are often present in multiple copies, unlike most protein-coding genes. The slow rate of change in rRNA genes means that multiple species sometimes share identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, while many more species share identical sequences in the short 16S rRNA regions commonly analyzed. In addition, the genes involved in many important processes are not distributed in a phylogenetically coherent manner, potentially due to gene loss or horizontal gene transfer. While rRNA genes remain the most commonly used markers, key genes in ecologically important pathways, e.g., those involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, can provide important insights into community composition and function not obtainable through rRNA analysis. However, working with ecofunctional gene data requires some tools beyond those required for rRNA analysis. To address this, our Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository (FunGene; http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/) offers databases of many common ecofunctional genes and proteins, as well as integrated tools that allow researchers to browse these collections and choose subsets for further analysis, build phylogenetic trees, test primers and probes for coverage, and download aligned sequences. Additional FunGene tools are specialized to process coding gene amplicon data. For example, FrameBot produces frameshift-corrected protein and DNA sequences from raw reads while finding the most closely related protein reference sequence. These tools can help provide better insight into microbial communities by directly studying key genes involved in important ecological processes.

  16. FunGene: the Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan A. Fish

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Ribosomal RNA genes have become the standard molecular markers for microbial community analysis for good reasons, including universal occurrence in cellular organisms, availability of large databases, and ease of rRNA gene region amplification and analysis. As markers, however, rRNA genes have some significant limitations. The rRNA genes are often present in multiple copies, unlike most protein-coding genes. The slow rate of change in rRNA genes means that multiple species sometimes share identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, while many more species share identical sequences in the short 16S rRNA regions commonly analyzed. In addition, the genes involved in many important processes are not distributed in a phylogenetically coherent manner, potentially due to gene loss or horizontal gene transfer.While rRNA genes remain the most commonly used markers, key genes in ecologically important pathways, e.g., those involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, can provide important insights into community composition and function not obtainable through rRNA analysis. However, working with ecofunctional gene data requires some tools beyond those required for rRNA analysis. To address this, our Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository (FunGene; http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/ offers databases of many common ecofunctional genes and proteins, as well as integrated tools that allow researchers to browse these collections and choose subsets for further analysis, build phylogenetic trees, test primers and probes for coverage, and download aligned sequences. Additional FunGene tools are specialized to process coding gene amplicon data. For example, FrameBot produces frameshift-corrected protein and DNA sequences from raw reads while finding the most closely related protein reference sequence. These tools can help provide better insight into microbial communities by directly studying key genes involved in important ecological processes.

  17. Gene therapy prospects--intranasal delivery of therapeutic genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolska, Karolina; Stachurska, Anna; Hajdukiewicz, Karolina; Małecki, Maciej

    2012-01-01

    Gene therapy is recognized to be a novel method for the treatment of various disorders. Gene therapy strategies involve gene manipulation on broad biological processes responsible for the spreading of diseases. Cancer, monogenic diseases, vascular and infectious diseases are the main targets of gene therapy. In order to obtain valuable experimental and clinical results, sufficient gene transfer methods are required. Therapeutic genes can be administered into target tissues via gene carriers commonly defined as vectors. The retroviral, adenoviral and adeno-associated virus based vectors are most frequently used in the clinic. So far, gene preparations may be administered directly into target organs or by intravenous, intramuscular, intratumor or intranasal injections. It is common knowledge that the number of gene therapy clinical trials has rapidly increased. However, some limitations such as transfection efficiency and stable and long-term gene expression are still not resolved. Consequently, great effort is focused on the evaluation of new strategies of gene delivery. There are many expectations associated with intranasal delivery of gene preparations for the treatment of diseases. Intranasal delivery of therapeutic genes is regarded as one of the most promising forms of pulmonary gene therapy research. Gene therapy based on inhalation of gene preparations offers an alternative way for the treatment of patients suffering from such lung diseases as cystic fibrosis, alpha-1-antitrypsin defect, or cancer. Experimental and first clinical trials based on plasmid vectors or recombinant viruses have revealed that gene preparations can effectively deliver therapeutic or marker genes to the cells of the respiratory tract. The noninvasive intranasal delivery of gene preparations or conventional drugs seems to be very encouraging, although basic scientific research still has to continue.

  18. Radionuclide reporter gene imaging for cardiac gene therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inubushi, Masayuki; Tamaki, Nagara

    2007-01-01

    In the field of cardiac gene therapy, angiogenic gene therapy has been most extensively investigated. The first clinical trial of cardiac angiogenic gene therapy was reported in 1998, and at the peak, more than 20 clinical trial protocols were under evaluation. However, most trials have ceased owing to the lack of decisive proof of therapeutic effects and the potential risks of viral vectors. In order to further advance cardiac angiogenic gene therapy, remaining open issues need to be resolved: there needs to be improvement of gene transfer methods, regulation of gene expression, development of much safer vectors and optimisation of therapeutic genes. For these purposes, imaging of gene expression in living organisms is of great importance. In radionuclide reporter gene imaging, ''reporter genes'' transferred into cell nuclei encode for a protein that retains a complementary ''reporter probe'' of a positron or single-photon emitter; thus expression of the reporter genes can be imaged with positron emission tomography or single-photon emission computed tomography. Accordingly, in the setting of gene therapy, the location, magnitude and duration of the therapeutic gene co-expression with the reporter genes can be monitored non-invasively. In the near future, gene therapy may evolve into combination therapy with stem/progenitor cell transplantation, so-called cell-based gene therapy or gene-modified cell therapy. Radionuclide reporter gene imaging is now expected to contribute in providing evidence on the usefulness of this novel therapeutic approach, as well as in investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying neovascularisation and safety issues relevant to further progress in conventional gene therapy. (orig.)

  19. GoGene: gene annotation in the fast lane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plake, Conrad; Royer, Loic; Winnenburg, Rainer; Hakenberg, Jörg; Schroeder, Michael

    2009-07-01

    High-throughput screens such as microarrays and RNAi screens produce huge amounts of data. They typically result in hundreds of genes, which are often further explored and clustered via enriched GeneOntology terms. The strength of such analyses is that they build on high-quality manual annotations provided with the GeneOntology. However, the weakness is that annotations are restricted to process, function and location and that they do not cover all known genes in model organisms. GoGene addresses this weakness by complementing high-quality manual annotation with high-throughput text mining extracting co-occurrences of genes and ontology terms from literature. GoGene contains over 4,000,000 associations between genes and gene-related terms for 10 model organisms extracted from more than 18,000,000 PubMed entries. It does not cover only process, function and location of genes, but also biomedical categories such as diseases, compounds, techniques and mutations. By bringing it all together, GoGene provides the most recent and most complete facts about genes and can rank them according to novelty and importance. GoGene accepts keywords, gene lists, gene sequences and protein sequences as input and supports search for genes in PubMed, EntrezGene and via BLAST. Since all associations of genes to terms are supported by evidence in the literature, the results are transparent and can be verified by the user. GoGene is available at http://gopubmed.org/gogene.

  20. Genes and inheritance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middelton, L A; Peters, K F

    2001-10-01

    The information gained from the Human Genome Project and related genetic research will undoubtedly create significant changes in healthcare practice. It is becoming increasingly clear that nurses in all areas of clinical practice will require a fundamental understanding of basic genetics. This article provides the oncology nurse with an overview of basic genetic concepts, including inheritance patterns of single gene conditions, pedigree construction, chromosome aberrations, and the multifactorial basis underlying the common diseases of adulthood. Normal gene structure and function are introduced and the biochemistry of genetic errors is described.

  1. Neighboring Genes Show Correlated Evolution in Gene Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghanbarian, Avazeh T.; Hurst, Laurence D.

    2015-01-01

    When considering the evolution of a gene’s expression profile, we commonly assume that this is unaffected by its genomic neighborhood. This is, however, in contrast to what we know about the lack of autonomy between neighboring genes in gene expression profiles in extant taxa. Indeed, in all eukaryotic genomes genes of similar expression-profile tend to cluster, reflecting chromatin level dynamics. Does it follow that if a gene increases expression in a particular lineage then the genomic neighbors will also increase in their expression or is gene expression evolution autonomous? To address this here we consider evolution of human gene expression since the human-chimp common ancestor, allowing for both variation in estimation of current expression level and error in Bayesian estimation of the ancestral state. We find that in all tissues and both sexes, the change in gene expression of a focal gene on average predicts the change in gene expression of neighbors. The effect is highly pronounced in the immediate vicinity (genes increasing their expression in humans tend to avoid nuclear lamina domains and be enriched for the gene activator 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, we conclude that, most probably owing to chromatin level control of gene expression, a change in gene expression of one gene likely affects the expression evolution of neighbors, what we term expression piggybacking, an analog of hitchhiking. PMID:25743543

  2. Norrie disease gene is distinct from the monoamine oxidase genes

    OpenAIRE

    Sims, Katherine B.; Ozelius, Laurie; Corey, Timothy; Rinehart, William B.; Liberfarb, Ruth; Haines, Jonathan; Chen, Wei Jane; Norio, Reijo; Sankila, Eeva; de la Chapelle, Albert; Murphy, Dennis L.; Gusella, James; Breakefield, Xandra O.

    1989-01-01

    The genes for MAO-A and MAO-B appear to be very close to the Norrie disease gene, on the basis of loss and /or disruption of the MAO genes and activities in atypical Norrie disease patients deleted for the DXS7 locus; linkage among the MAO genes, the Norrie disease gene, and the DXS7 locus; and mapping of all these loci to the chromosomal region Xp11. The present study provides evidence that the MAO genes are not disrupted in “classic” Norrie disease patients. Genomic DNA from these “nondelet...

  3. Hidden genes in birds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hron, Tomáš; Pajer, Petr; Pačes, Jan; Bartůněk, Petr; Elleder, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 16, August 18 (2015) ISSN 1465-6906 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LK11215; GA MŠk LO1419 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010005 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : REPETITIVE SEQUENCES * G/C stretches * avian genes Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 11.313, year: 2015

  4. Rhabdovirus accessory genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Peter J; Dietzgen, Ralf G; Joubert, D Albert; Blasdell, Kim R

    2011-12-01

    The Rhabdoviridae is one of the most ecologically diverse families of RNA viruses with members infecting a wide range of organisms including placental mammals, marsupials, birds, reptiles, fish, insects and plants. The availability of complete nucleotide sequences for an increasing number of rhabdoviruses has revealed that their ecological diversity is reflected in the diversity and complexity of their genomes. The five canonical rhabdovirus structural protein genes (N, P, M, G and L) that are shared by all rhabdoviruses are overprinted, overlapped and interspersed with a multitude of novel and diverse accessory genes. Although not essential for replication in cell culture, several of these genes have been shown to have roles associated with pathogenesis and apoptosis in animals, and cell-to-cell movement in plants. Others appear to be secreted or have the characteristics of membrane-anchored glycoproteins or viroporins. However, most encode proteins of unknown function that are unrelated to any other known proteins. Understanding the roles of these accessory genes and the strategies by which rhabdoviruses use them to engage, divert and re-direct cellular processes will not only present opportunities to develop new anti-viral therapies but may also reveal aspects of cellar function that have broader significance in biology, agriculture and medicine. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Targeting fumonisin biosynthetic genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The fungus Fusarium is an agricultural problem because it can cause disease on most crop plants and can contaminate crops with mycotoxins. There is considerable variation in the presence/absence and genomic location of gene clusters responsible for synthesis of mycotoxins and other secondary metabol...

  6. Radio-induced genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rigaud, O.; Kazmaier, M.

    2000-01-01

    The monitoring system of the DNA integrity of an irradiated cell does not satisfy oneself to recruit the enzymes allowing the repair of detected damages. It sends an alarm signal whom transmission leads to the activation of specific genes in charge of stopping the cell cycle, the time to make the repair works, or to lead to the elimination of a too much damaged cell. Among the numerous genes participating to the monitoring of cell response to irradiation, the target genes of the mammalian P53 protein are particularly studied. Caretaker of the genome, this protein play a central part in the cell response to ionizing radiations. this response is less studied among plants. A way to tackle it is to be interested in the radioinduced genes identification in the vegetal cell, while taking advantage of knowledge got in the animal field. The knowledge of the complete genome of the arabette (arabidopsis thaliana), the model plant and the arising of new techniques allow to lead this research at a previously unknown rhythm in vegetal biology. (N.C.)

  7. The Gene Guessing Game

    OpenAIRE

    Dunham, Ian

    2000-01-01

    A recent flurry of publications and media attention has revived interest in the question of how many genes exist in the human genome. Here, I review the estimates and use genomic sequence data from human chromosomes 21 and 22 to establish my own prediction.

  8. Targeting trichothecene biosynthetic genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wei, Songhong; Lee, van der Theo; Verstappen, Els; Gent, van Marga; Waalwijk, Cees

    2017-01-01

    Biosynthesis of trichothecenes requires the involvement of at least 15 genes, most of which have been targeted for PCR. Qualitative PCRs are used to assign chemotypes to individual isolates, e.g., the capacity to produce type A and/or type B trichothecenes. Many regions in the core cluster

  9. Silence of the Genes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srimath

    a gene in the opposite orientation in a cultured plant cell line and observed that the ..... started emerging in early 1990s from the work carried out by the. It is believed that ... cause human diseases such as cervical cancer, hepatitis, measles.

  10. Silence of the Genes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 12; Issue 4. Silence of the Genes - 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Utpal Nath Saumitra Das. General Article Volume 12 Issue 4 April 2007 pp 6-18. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  11. Suicide genes or p53 gene and p53 target genes as targets for cancer gene therapy by ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Bing; Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing; Zhang Hong

    2005-01-01

    Radiotherapy has some disadvantages due to the severe side-effect on the normal tissues at a curative dose of ionizing radiation (IR). Similarly, as a new developing approach, gene therapy also has some disadvantages, such as lack of specificity for tumors, limited expression of therapeutic gene, potential biological risk. To certain extent, above problems would be solved by the suicide genes or p53 gene and its target genes therapies targeted by ionizing radiation. This strategy not only makes up the disadvantage from radiotherapy or gene therapy alone, but also promotes success rate on the base of lower dose. By present, there have been several vectors measuring up to be reaching clinical trials. This review focused on the development of the cancer gene therapy through suicide genes or p53 and its target genes mediated by IR. (authors)

  12. Light induced apoptosis is accelerated in transgenic retina overexpressing human EAT/mcl-1, an anti-apoptotic bcl-2 related gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinoda, K; Nakamura, Y; Matsushita, K; Shimoda, K; Okita, H; Fukuma, M; Yamada, T; Ohde, H; Oguchi, Y; Hata, J; Umezawa, A

    2001-10-01

    EAT/mcl-1 (EAT), an immediate early gene, functions in a similar way to bcl-2 in neutralising Bax mediated cytotoxicity, suggesting that EAT is a blocker of cell death. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of overexpression of the human EAT gene on light induced retinal cell apoptosis. EAT transgenic mice incorporating the EF-1alpha promoter were utilised, and expression of human EAT was detected by RT-PCR. Light damage was induced by raising mice under constant illumination. Two groups of animals, EAT transgenic mice (n=14) and littermates (n=13), were examined by ERG testing and histopathology at regular time points up to 20 weeks of constant light stimulation. Electrophysiological and histopathological findings were evaluated by established systems of arbitrary scoring as scores 0-2 and scores 0-3, respectively. The mean score (SD) of ERG response was significantly lower in EAT transgenic mice (0.79 (0.89)) than in littermates (1.69 (0.48)) (pstatistical significance (p=0.1156), the estimated incidence of electrophysiological retinal damage was higher in EAT mice (0.0495/mouse/week; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.0347-0.0500) than in littermates (0. 0199/mouse/week; 95% CI 0.0035-0.0364). The mean scores (SD) for histopathological retinal degeneration were 2.31 (0.63) in littermates and 1.43 (1.22) in EAT transgenic mice (p=0.065). However, Kaplan-Meier curves for histopathological failure in two groups of mice showed that retinal photoreceptor cells were preserved significantly against constant light in the littermate compared with transgenic mice (p=0.0241). The estimated incidence of histopathological retinal damage was 0.0042/mouse/week in the littermates (95% CI 0-0.0120) and 0.0419/mouse/week in the EAT mice (95% CI 0.0286-0.0500). Retinal photoreceptor cell apoptosis under constant light stimulation is likely to be accelerated in transgenic retina overexpressing EAT.

  13. Genes2FANs: connecting genes through functional association networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Protein-protein, cell signaling, metabolic, and transcriptional interaction networks are useful for identifying connections between lists of experimentally identified genes/proteins. However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated. By systematically incorporating knowledge on shared properties of genes from diverse sources to build functional association networks (FANs), researchers may be able to identify additional functional interactions between groups of genes that are not readily apparent. Results Genes2FANs is a web based tool and a database that utilizes 14 carefully constructed FANs and a large-scale protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to build subnetworks that connect lists of human and mouse genes. The FANs are created from mammalian gene set libraries where mouse genes are converted to their human orthologs. The tool takes as input a list of human or mouse Entrez gene symbols to produce a subnetwork and a ranked list of intermediate genes that are used to connect the query input list. In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF. This gene list is then used as input to generate a subnetwork from the user’s PubMed query. As a case study, we applied Genes2FANs to connect disease genes from 90 well-studied disorders. We find an inverse correlation between the counts of links connecting disease genes through PPI and links connecting diseases genes through FANs, separating diseases into two categories. Conclusions Genes2FANs is a useful tool for interpreting the relationships between gene/protein lists in the context of their various functions and networks. Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation. Our finding that disease genes in

  14. Industrial scale gene synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notka, Frank; Liss, Michael; Wagner, Ralf

    2011-01-01

    The most recent developments in the area of deep DNA sequencing and downstream quantitative and functional analysis are rapidly adding a new dimension to understanding biochemical pathways and metabolic interdependencies. These increasing insights pave the way to designing new strategies that address public needs, including environmental applications and therapeutic inventions, or novel cell factories for sustainable and reconcilable energy or chemicals sources. Adding yet another level is building upon nonnaturally occurring networks and pathways. Recent developments in synthetic biology have created economic and reliable options for designing and synthesizing genes, operons, and eventually complete genomes. Meanwhile, high-throughput design and synthesis of extremely comprehensive DNA sequences have evolved into an enabling technology already indispensable in various life science sectors today. Here, we describe the industrial perspective of modern gene synthesis and its relationship with synthetic biology. Gene synthesis contributed significantly to the emergence of synthetic biology by not only providing the genetic material in high quality and quantity but also enabling its assembly, according to engineering design principles, in a standardized format. Synthetic biology on the other hand, added the need for assembling complex circuits and large complexes, thus fostering the development of appropriate methods and expanding the scope of applications. Synthetic biology has also stimulated interdisciplinary collaboration as well as integration of the broader public by addressing socioeconomic, philosophical, ethical, political, and legal opportunities and concerns. The demand-driven technological achievements of gene synthesis and the implemented processes are exemplified by an industrial setting of large-scale gene synthesis, describing production from order to delivery. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Genes contributing to prion pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Giles, Kurt; Glidden, David V

    2008-01-01

    incubation times, indicating that the conversion reaction may be influenced by other gene products. To identify genes that contribute to prion pathogenesis, we analysed incubation times of prions in mice in which the gene product was inactivated, knocked out or overexpressed. We tested 20 candidate genes...... show that many genes previously implicated in prion replication have no discernible effect on the pathogenesis of prion disease. While most genes tested did not significantly affect survival times, ablation of the amyloid beta (A4) precursor protein (App) or interleukin-1 receptor, type I (Il1r1...

  16. Using gene expression noise to understand gene regulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Munsky, B.; Neuert, G.; van Oudenaarden, A.

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic variation is ubiquitous i