Hsiau, Timothy H.-C.; Diaconu, Claudiu; Myers, Connie A.; Lee, Jongwoo; Cepko, Constance L.; Corbo, Joseph C.
The photoreceptor cells of the retina are subject to a greater number of genetic diseases than any other cell type in the human body. The majority of more than 120 cloned human blindness genes are highly expressed in photoreceptors. In order to establish an integrative framework in which to understand these diseases, we have undertaken an experimental and computational analysis of the network controlled by the mammalian photoreceptor transcription factors, Crx, Nrl, and Nr2e3. Using microarray and in situ hybridization datasets we have produced a model of this network which contains over 600 genes, including numerous retinal disease loci as well as previously uncharacterized photoreceptor transcription factors. To elucidate the connectivity of this network, we devised a computational algorithm to identify the photoreceptor-specific cis-regulatory elements (CREs) mediating the interactions between these transcription factors and their target genes. In vivo validation of our computational predictions resulted in the discovery of 19 novel photoreceptor-specific CREs near retinal disease genes. Examination of these CREs permitted the definition of a simple cis-regulatory grammar rule associated with high-level expression. To test the generality of this rule, we used an expanded form of it as a selection filter to evolve photoreceptor CREs from random DNA sequences in silico. When fused to fluorescent reporters, these evolved CREs drove strong, photoreceptor-specific expression in vivo. This study represents the first systematic identification and in vivo validation of CREs in a mammalian neuronal cell type and lays the groundwork for a systems biology of photoreceptor transcriptional regulation. PMID:17653270
Wang, Jin-shan; Nymark, Soile; Frederiksen, Rikard; Estevez, Maureen E.; Shen, Susan Q.; Corbo, Joseph C.; Cornwall, M. Carter
Efficient regeneration of visual pigment following its destruction by light is critical for the function of mammalian photoreceptors. Here, we show that misexpression of a subset of cone genes in the rd7 mouse hybrid rods enables them to access the normally cone-specific retina visual cycle. The rapid supply of chromophore by the retina visual cycle dramatically accelerated the mouse rod dark adaptation. At the same time, the competition between rods and cones for retina-derived chromophore slowed cone dark adaptation, indicating that the cone specificity of the retina visual cycle is key for rapid cone dark adaptation. Our findings demonstrate that mammalian photoreceptor dark adaptation is dominated by the supply of chromophore. Misexpression of cone genes in rods may represent a novel approach to treating visual disorders associated with mutations of visual cycle proteins or with reduced retinal pigment epithelium function due to aging. PMID:25143602
Hennig, Anne K.; Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming
Rod and cone photoreceptors in the mammalian retina are special types of neurons that are responsible for phototransduction, the first step of vision. Development and maintenance of photoreceptors require precisely regulated gene expression. This regulation is mediated by a network of photoreceptor transcription factors centered on Crx, an Otx-like homeodomain transcription factor. The cell type (subtype) specificity of this network is governed by factors that are preferentially expressed by rods or cones or both, including the rod-determining factors neural retina leucine zipper protein (Nrl) and the orphan nuclear receptor Nr2e3; and cone-determining factors, mostly nuclear receptor family members. The best-documented of these include thyroid hormone receptor β2 (Trβ2), retinoid related orphan receptor Rorβ, and retinoid X receptor Rxrγ. The appropriate function of this network also depends on general transcription factors and co-factors that are ubiquitously expressed, such as the Sp zinc finger transcription factors and STAGA coactivator complexes. These cell type-specific and general transcription regulators form complex interactomes; mutations that interfere with any of the interactions can cause photoreceptor development defects or degeneration. In this manuscript, we review recent progress on the roles of various photoreceptor transcription factors and interactions in photoreceptor subtype development. We also provide evidence of auto-, para-, and feedback regulation among these factors at the transcriptional level. These protein-protein and protein-promoter interactions provide precision and specificity in controlling photoreceptor subtype-specific gene expression, development and survival. Understanding these interactions may provide insights to more effective therapeutic interventions for photoreceptor diseases. PMID:17662965
Stone, Jonathan; van Driel, Diana; Valter, Krisztina; Rees, Sandra; Provis, Jan
Adult mammalian photoreceptors are elongated cells, and their mitochondria are sequestered to the ends of the cell, to the inner segments and (in some species) to axon terminals in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). We hypothesised that mitochondria migrate to these locations towards sources of oxygen, from the choroid and (in some species) from the deep capillaries of the retinal circulation. Six mammalian species were surveyed, using electron and light microscopy, including immunohistochemistry for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (CO). In all 6 species, mitochondria were absent from photoreceptor somas and were numerous in inner segments. Mitochondria were prominent in axon terminals in 3 species (mouse, rat, human) with a retinal circulation and were absent from those terminals in 3 species (wallaby, rat, guinea pig) with avascular retinas. Further, in a human developmental series, it was evident that mitochondria migrate within rods and cones, towards and eventually past the outer limiting membrane (OLM), into the inner segment. In Müller and RPE cells also, mitochondria concentrated at the external surface of the cells. Neurones located in the inner layers of avascular retinas have mitochondria, but their expression of CO is low. Mitochondrial locations in photoreceptors, Müller and RPE cells are economically explained as the result of migration within the cell towards sources of oxygen. In photoreceptors, this migration results in a separation of mitochondria from the nuclear genome; this separation may be a factor in the vulnerability of photoreceptors to mutations, toxins and environmental stresses, which other retinal neurones survive.
Carninci, P; Kasukawa, T; Katayama, S; Gough, J; Frith, M C; Maeda, N; Oyama, R; Ravasi, T; Lenhard, B; Wells, C; Kodzius, R; Shimokawa, K; Bajic, V B; Brenner, S E; Batalov, S; Forrest, A R R; Zavolan, M; Davis, M J; Wilming, L G; Aidinis, V; Allen, J E; Ambesi-Impiombato, A; Apweiler, R; Aturaliya, R N; Bailey, T L; Bansal, M; Baxter, L; Beisel, K W; Bersano, T; Bono, H; Chalk, A M; Chiu, K P; Choudhary, V; Christoffels, A; Clutterbuck, D R; Crowe, M L; Dalla, E; Dalrymple, B P; de Bono, B; Della Gatta, G; di Bernardo, D; Down, T; Engstrom, P; Fagiolini, M; Faulkner, G; Fletcher, C F; Fukushima, T; Furuno, M; Futaki, S; Gariboldi, M; Georgii-Hemming, P; Gingeras, T R; Gojobori, T; Green, R E; Gustincich, S; Harbers, M; Hayashi, Y; Hensch, T K; Hirokawa, N; Hill, D; Huminiecki, L; Iacono, M; Ikeo, K; Iwama, A; Ishikawa, T; Jakt, M; Kanapin, A; Katoh, M; Kawasawa, Y; Kelso, J; Kitamura, H; Kitano, H; Kollias, G; Krishnan, S P T; Kruger, A; Kummerfeld, S K; Kurochkin, I V; Lareau, L F; Lazarevic, D; Lipovich, L; Liu, J; Liuni, S; McWilliam, S; Madan Babu, M; Madera, M; Marchionni, L; Matsuda, H; Matsuzawa, S; Miki, H; Mignone, F; Miyake, S; Morris, K; Mottagui-Tabar, S; Mulder, N; Nakano, N; Nakauchi, H; Ng, P; Nilsson, R; Nishiguchi, S; Nishikawa, S; Nori, F; Ohara, O; Okazaki, Y; Orlando, V; Pang, K C; Pavan, W J; Pavesi, G; Pesole, G; Petrovsky, N; Piazza, S; Reed, J; Reid, J F; Ring, B Z; Ringwald, M; Rost, B; Ruan, Y; Salzberg, S L; Sandelin, A; Schneider, C; Schönbach, C; Sekiguchi, K; Semple, C A M; Seno, S; Sessa, L; Sheng, Y; Shibata, Y; Shimada, H; Shimada, K; Silva, D; Sinclair, B; Sperling, S; Stupka, E; Sugiura, K; Sultana, R; Takenaka, Y; Taki, K; Tammoja, K; Tan, S L; Tang, S; Taylor, M S; Tegner, J; Teichmann, S A; Ueda, H R; van Nimwegen, E; Verardo, R; Wei, C L; Yagi, K; Yamanishi, H; Zabarovsky, E; Zhu, S; Zimmer, A; Hide, W; Bult, C; Grimmond, S M; Teasdale, R D; Liu, E T; Brusic, V; Quackenbush, J; Wahlestedt, C; Mattick, J S; Hume, D A; Kai, C; Sasaki, D; Tomaru, Y; Fukuda, S; Kanamori-Katayama, M; Suzuki, M; Aoki, J; Arakawa, T; Iida, J; Imamura, K; Itoh, M; Kato, T; Kawaji, H; Kawagashira, N; Kawashima, T; Kojima, M; Kondo, S; Konno, H; Nakano, K; Ninomiya, N; Nishio, T; Okada, M; Plessy, C; Shibata, K; Shiraki, T; Suzuki, S; Tagami, M; Waki, K; Watahiki, A; Okamura-Oho, Y; Suzuki, H; Kawai, J; Hayashizaki, Y
This study describes comprehensive polling of transcription start and termination sites and analysis of previously unidentified full-length complementary DNAs derived from the mouse genome. We identify the 5' and 3' boundaries of 181,047 transcripts with extensive variation in transcripts arising from alternative promoter usage, splicing, and polyadenylation. There are 16,247 new mouse protein-coding transcripts, including 5154 encoding previously unidentified proteins. Genomic mapping of the transcriptome reveals transcriptional forests, with overlapping transcription on both strands, separated by deserts in which few transcripts are observed. The data provide a comprehensive platform for the comparative analysis of mammalian transcriptional regulation in differentiation and development.
Sotolongo-Lopez, Mailin; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J.; Vera, Daniel L.; Fadool, James M.
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 across species
Hennig, Anne K.; Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming
Rod and cone photoreceptor neurons in the mammalian retina possess specialized cellular architecture and functional features for converting light to a neuronal signal. Establishing and maintaining these characteristics requires appropriate expression of a specific set of genes, which is tightly regulated by a network of photoreceptor transcription factors centered on the cone-rod homeobox protein CRX. CRX recruits transcription coactivators p300 and CBP to acetylate promoter-bound histones and activate transcription of target genes. To further elucidate the role of these two coactivators, we conditionally knocked out Ep300 and/or CrebBP in differentiating rods or cones, using opsin-driven Cre recombinase. Knockout of either factor alone exerted minimal effects, but loss of both factors severely disrupted target cell morphology and function: the unique nuclear chromatin organization seen in mouse rods was reversed, accompanied by redistribution of nuclear territories associated with repressive and active histone marks. Transcription of many genes including CRX targets was severely impaired, correlating with reduced histone H3/H4 acetylation (the products of p300/CBP) on target gene promoters. Interestingly, the presence of a single wild-type allele of either coactivator prevented many of these defects, with Ep300 more effective than Cbp. These results suggest that p300 and CBP play essential roles in maintaining photoreceptor-specific structure, function and gene expression. PMID:23922782
Pan, Yi; Comiskey, Daniel F.; Kelly, Lisa E.; Chandler, Dawn S.
Purpose The photoreceptor conserved element-1 (PCE-1) sequence is found in the transcriptional regulatory regions of many genes expressed in photoreceptors. The retinal homeobox (Rx or Rax) gene product functions by binding to PCE-1 sites. However, other transcriptional regulators have also been reported to bind to PCE-1. One of these, vsx2, is expressed in retinal progenitor and bipolar cells. The purpose of this study is to identify Xenopus laevis vsx gene products and characterize vsx gene product expression and function with respect to the PCE-1 site. Methods X. laevis vsx gene products were amplified with PCR. Expression patterns were determined with in situ hybridization using whole or sectioned X. laevis embryos and digoxigenin- or fluorescein-labeled antisense riboprobes. DNA binding characteristics of the vsx gene products were analyzed with electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) using in vitro translated proteins and radiolabeled oligonucleotide probes. Gene transactivation assays were performed using luciferase-based reporters and in vitro transcribed effector gene products, injected into X. laevis embryos. Results We identified one vsx1 and two vsx2 gene products. The two vsx2 gene products are generated by alternate mRNA splicing. We verified that these gene products are expressed in the developing retina and that expression resolves into distinct cell types in the mature retina. Finally, we found that vsx gene products can bind the PCE-1 site in vitro and that the two vsx2 isoforms have different gene transactivation activities. Conclusions vsx gene products are expressed in the developing and mature neural retina. vsx gene products can bind the PCE-1 site in vitro and influence the expression of a rhodopsin promoter-luciferase reporter gene. The two isoforms of vsx have different gene transactivation activities in this reporter gene system. PMID:28003732
Mavromatakis, Yannis Emmanuel; Tomlinson, Andrew
As cells proceed along their developmental pathways they make a series of sequential cell fate decisions. Each of those decisions needs to be made in a robust manner so there is no ambiguity in the state of the cell as it proceeds to the next stage. Here we examine the decision made by the Drosophila R7 precursor cell to become a photoreceptor and ask how the robustness of that decision is achieved. The transcription factor Tramtrack (Ttk) inhibits photoreceptor assignment, and previous studies found that the RTK-induced degradation of Ttk was critically required for R7 specification. Here we find that the transcription factor Deadpan (Dpn) is also required; it is needed to silence ttk transcription, and only when Ttk protein degradation and transcriptional silencing occur together is the photoreceptor fate robustly achieved. Dpn expression needs to be tightly restricted to R7 precursors, and we describe the role played by Ttk in repressing dpn transcription. Thus, Dpn and Ttk act as mutually repressive transcription factors, with Dpn acting to ensure that Ttk is effectively removed from R7, and Ttk acting to prevent Dpn expression in other cells. Furthermore, we find that N activity is required to promote dpn transcription, and only in R7 precursors does the removal of Ttk coincide with high N activity, and only in this cell does Dpn expression result.
Mavromatakis, Yannis Emmanuel; Tomlinson, Andrew
As cells proceed along their developmental pathways they make a series of sequential cell fate decisions. Each of those decisions needs to be made in a robust manner so there is no ambiguity in the state of the cell as it proceeds to the next stage. Here we examine the decision made by the Drosophila R7 precursor cell to become a photoreceptor and ask how the robustness of that decision is achieved. The transcription factor Tramtrack (Ttk) inhibits photoreceptor assignment, and previous studies found that the RTK-induced degradation of Ttk was critically required for R7 specification. Here we find that the transcription factor Deadpan (Dpn) is also required; it is needed to silence ttk transcription, and only when Ttk protein degradation and transcriptional silencing occur together is the photoreceptor fate robustly achieved. Dpn expression needs to be tightly restricted to R7 precursors, and we describe the role played by Ttk in repressing dpn transcription. Thus, Dpn and Ttk act as mutually repressive transcription factors, with Dpn acting to ensure that Ttk is effectively removed from R7, and Ttk acting to prevent Dpn expression in other cells. Furthermore, we find that N activity is required to promote dpn transcription, and only in R7 precursors does the removal of Ttk coincide with high N activity, and only in this cell does Dpn expression result. PMID:27427987
Kast, Brigitte; Schori, Christian; Grimm, Christian
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.
Laranjeiro, Ricardo; Whitmore, David
The circadian clock is known to regulate a wide range of physiological and cellular processes, yet remarkably little is known about its role during embryo development. Zebrafish offer a unique opportunity to explore this issue, not only because a great deal is known about key developmental events in this species, but also because the clock starts on the very first day of development. In this study, we identified numerous rhythmic genes in zebrafish larvae, including the key transcriptional regulators neurod and cdx1b, which are involved in neuronal and intestinal differentiation, respectively. Rhythmic expression of neurod and several additional transcription factors was only observed in the developing retina. Surprisingly, these rhythms in expression commenced at a stage of development after these transcription factors are known to have played their essential role in photoreceptor differentiation. Furthermore, this circadian regulation was maintained in adult retina. Thus, once mature photoreceptors are formed, multiple retinal transcription factors fall under circadian clock control, at which point they appear to play a new and important role in regulating rhythmic elements in the phototransduction pathway. PMID:24924194
Taylor, Scott M.; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J.; Thomas, Jennifer L.; Thummel, Ryan; Fadool, James M.; Hitchcock, Peter F.
Purpose Photoreceptor genesis in the retina requires precise regulation of progenitor cell competence, cell cycle exit, and differentiation, although information around the mechanisms that govern these events currently is lacking. In zebrafish, the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor NeuroD governs photoreceptor genesis, but the signaling pathways through which NeuroD functions are unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify these pathways, and during photoreceptor genesis, Notch signaling was investigated as the putative mediator of NeuroD function. Methods In embryos, genetic mosaic analysis was used to determine if NeuroD functions is cell- or non–cell-autonomous. Morpholino-induced NeuroD knockdown, CRISPR/Cas9 mutation, and pharmacologic and transgenic approaches were used, followed by in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), to identify mechanisms through which NeuroD functions. In adults, following photoreceptor ablation and NeuroD knockdown, similar methods as above were used to identify NeuroD function during photoreceptor regeneration. Results In embryos, NeuroD function is non–cell-autonomous, NeuroD knockdown increases Notch pathway gene expression, Notch inhibition rescues the NeuroD knockdown-induced deficiency in cell cycle exit but not photoreceptor maturation, and Notch activation and CRISPR/Cas9 mutation of neurod recapitulate NeuroD knockdown. In adults, NeuroD knockdown prevents cell cycle exit and photoreceptor regeneration and increases Notch pathway gene expression, and Notch inhibition rescues this phenotype. Conclusions These data demonstrate that during embryonic development, NeuroD governs photoreceptor genesis via non–cell-autonomous mechanisms and that, during photoreceptor development and regeneration, Notch signaling is a mechanistic link between NeuroD and cell cycle exit. In contrast, during embryonic development, NeuroD governs photoreceptor maturation via mechanisms
Kumaramanickavel, G; Denton, M J; Legge, M
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.
Stella, Salvatore L.; Vila, Alejandro; Hung, Albert Y.; Rome, Michael E.; Huynh, Uyenchi; Sheng, Morgan; Kreienkamp, Hans-Juergen; Brecha, Nicholas C.
Photoreceptor terminals contain post-synaptic density (PSD) proteins e.g., PSD-95/PSD-93, but their role at photoreceptor synapses is not known. PSDs are generally restricted to post-synaptic boutons in central neurons and form scaffolding with multiple proteins that have structural and functional roles in neuronal signaling. The Shank family of proteins (Shank 1–3) functions as putative anchoring proteins for PSDs and is involved in the organization of cytoskeletal/signaling complexes in neurons. Specifically, Shank 1 is restricted to neurons and interacts with both receptors and signaling molecules at central neurons to regulate plasticity. However, it is not known whether Shank 1 is expressed at photoreceptor terminals. In this study we have investigated Shank 1A localization in the outer retina at photoreceptor terminals. We find that Shank 1A is expressed presynaptically in cone pedicles, but not rod spherules, and it is absent from mice in which the Shank 1 gene is deleted. Shank 1A co-localizes with PSD-95, peanut agglutinin, a marker of cone terminals, and glycogen phosphorylase, a cone specific marker. These findings provide convincing evidence for Shank 1A expression in both the inner and outer plexiform layers, and indicate a potential role for PSD-95/Shank 1 complexes at cone synapses in the outer retina. PMID:22984429
Vermeulen, Wim; Fousteri, Maria
Transcriptional arrest caused by DNA damage is detrimental for cells and organisms as it impinges on gene expression and thereby on cell growth and survival. To alleviate transcriptional arrest, cells trigger a transcription-dependent genome surveillance pathway, termed transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER) that ensures rapid removal of such transcription-impeding DNA lesions and prevents persistent stalling of transcription. Defective TC-NER is causatively linked to Cockayne syndrome, a rare severe genetic disorder with multisystem abnormalities that results in patients' death in early adulthood. Here we review recent data on how damage-arrested transcription is actively coupled to TC-NER in mammals and discuss new emerging models concerning the role of TC-NER-specific factors in this process.
Stoytcheva, Zoia R.; Berry, Marla J.
Background Selenoproteins contain the twenty-first amino acid, selenocysteine, and are involved in cellular defenses against oxidative damage, important metabolic and developmental pathways, and responses to environmental challenges. Elucidating the mechanisms regulating selenoprotein expression at the transcriptional level is key to understanding how these mechanisms are called into play to respond to the changing environment. Methods This review summarizes published studies on transcriptional regulation of selenoprotein genes, focused primarily on genes whose encoded protein functions are at least partially understood. This is followed by in silico analysis of predicted regulatory elements in selenoprotein genes, including those in the aforementioned category as well as the genes whose functions are not known. Results Our findings reveal regulatory pathways common to many selenoprotein genes, including several involved in stress-responses. In addition, tissue-specific regulatory factors are implicated in regulating many selenoprotein genes. Conclusions These studies provide new insights into how selenoprotein genes respond to environmental and other challenges, and the roles these proteins play in allowing cells to adapt to these changes. General Significance Elucidating the regulatory mechanisms affecting selenoprotein expression is essential for understanding their roles in human diseases, and for developing diagnostic and potential therapeutic approaches to address dysregulation of members of this gene family. PMID:19465084
Jin, Nan Ge
Rod photoreceptors are electrically coupled through gap junctions. Coupling is a key determinant of their light response properties, but whether rod electrical coupling is dynamically regulated remains elusive and controversial. Here, we have obtained direct measurements of the conductance between adjacent rods in mouse retina and present evidence that rod electrical coupling strength is dependent on the time of day, the lighting conditions, and the mouse strain. Specifically, we show in CBA/Ca mice that under circadian conditions, the rod junctional conductance has a median value of 98 pS during the subjective day and of 493 pS during the subjective night. In C57BL/6 mice, the median junctional conductance between dark-adapted rods is ∼140 pS, regardless of the time in the circadian cycle. Adaptation to bright light decreases the rod junctional conductance to ∼0 pS, regardless of the time of day or the mouse strain. Together, these results establish the high degree of plasticity of rod electrical coupling over the course of the day. Estimates of the rod coupling strength will provide a foundation for further investigations of rod interactions and the role of rod coupling in the ability of the visual system to anticipate, assimilate, and respond to the daily changes in ambient light intensity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many cells in the CNS communicate via gap junctions, or electrical synapses, the regulation of which remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the strength of electrical coupling between rod photoreceptors of the retina is regulated by the time of day and the lighting conditions. This mechanism may help us understand some key aspects of day and night vision as well as some visual malfunctions. PMID:26740659
Kianianmomeni, Arash; Hallmann, Armin
Photosynthetic organisms, e.g., plants including green algae, use a sophisticated light-sensing system, composed of primary photoreceptors and additional downstream signaling components, to monitor changes in the ambient light environment towards adjust their growth and development. Although a variety of cellular processes, e.g., initiation of cleavage division and final cellular differentiation, have been shown to be light-regulated in the green alga Volvox carteri, little is known about the underlying light perception and signaling pathways. This multicellular alga possesses at least 12 photoreceptors, i.e., one phototropin (VcPhot), four cryptochromes (VcCRYa, VcCRYp, VcCRYd1, and VcCRYd2), and seven members of rhodopsin-like photoreceptors (VR1, VChR1, VChR2, VcHKR1, VcHKR2, VcHKR3, and VcHKR4), which display distinct light-dependent chemical processes based on their protein architectures and associated chromophores. Gene expression analyses could show that the transcript levels of some of the photoreceptor genes (e.g., VChR1 and VcHKR1) accumulate during division cleavages, while others (e.g., VcCRYa, VcCRYp, and VcPhot) accumulate during final cellular differentiation. However, the pattern of transcript accumulation changes when the alga switches to the sexual development. Eight photoreceptor genes, e.g., VcPhot, VcCRYp, and VcHKR1, are highly expressed in the somatic cells, while only the animal-type rhodopsin VR1 was found to be highly expressed in the reproductive cells/embryos during both asexual and sexual life cycles. Moreover, accumulation of VChR1 and VcCRYa transcripts is more sensitive to light and changes in response to more than one light quality. Obviously, different regulatory mechanisms underlying gene expression control transcript accumulation of photoreceptors not only during development, but also in a cell-type specific way and in response to various external signals such as light quality. The transcriptional patterns described in this study
Cano, David A; Soria, Bernat; Martín, Francisco; Rojas, Anabel
The field of pancreas development has markedly expanded over the last decade, significantly advancing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control pancreas organogenesis. This growth has been fueled, in part, by the need to generate new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of diabetes. The creation of sophisticated genetic tools in mice has been instrumental in this progress. Genetic manipulation involving activation or inactivation of genes within specific cell types has allowed the identification of many transcription factors (TFs) that play critical roles in the organogenesis of the pancreas. Interestingly, many of these TFs act at multiple stages of pancreatic development, and adult organ function or repair. Interaction with other TFs, extrinsic signals, and epigenetic regulation are among the mechanisms by which TFs may play context-dependent roles during pancreas organogenesis. Many of the pancreatic TFs directly regulate each other and their own expression. These combinatorial interactions generate very specific gene regulatory networks that can define the different cell lineages and types in the developing pancreas. Here, we review recent progress made in understanding the role of pancreatic TFs in mouse pancreas formation. We also summarize our current knowledge of human pancreas development and discuss developmental pancreatic TFs that have been associated with human pancreatic diseases.
Friedrich, Markus; Cook, Tiffany; Zelhof, Andrew C.
The origin of the Drosophila compound eye predates the ancestor of Pancrustacea, the arthropod clade that includes insects and Crustaceans. Recent studies in emerging model systems for pancrustacean development - the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum and water flea Daphnia pulex - have begun to shed light on the evolutionary conservation of transcriptional mechanisms found for the Drosophila compound eye. Here, we discuss the conserved roles of the transcription factors Otd and Pph13, which complement each other in two terminal events of photoreceptor differentiation: rhabdomere morphogenesis and transcriptional default activation of opsin gene expression. The synthesis of these data allows us to frame an evolutionary developmental model of the earliest events that generated the wavelength-specific photoreceptor subtypes of pancrustacean compound eyes. PMID:27436551
Schanen, Brian C.; Li, Xiaoman
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are members of a growing family of non-coding transcripts, 21-23 nucleotides long, which regulate a diverse collection of biological processes and various diseases by RNA-mediated gene-silencing mechanisms. While currently many studies focus on defining the regulatory functions of miRNAs, few are directed towards how miRNA genes are themselves transcriptionally regulated. Recent studies of miRNA transcription have elucidated RNA polymerase II as the major polymerase of miRNAs, however, little is known of the structural features of miRNA promoters, especially those of mammalian miRNAs. Here, we review the current literature regarding features conserved among miRNA promoters useful for their detection and the current novel methodologies available to enable researchers to advance our understanding of the transcriptional regulation of miRNA genes. PMID:20977933
Kitajima, S; Tanaka, Y; Kawaguchi, T; Nagaoka, T; Weissman, S M; Yasukochi, Y
A general transcription factor, FC, essential for specific initiation of in vitro transcription by mammalian RNA polymerase II was identified and a procedure developed to purify it to near homogeneity from HeLa cell nuclei. Purified FC is composed of two polypeptides of apparent molecular masses 80 kDa and 30 kDa, on SDS-PAGE, and has a native size of 280 kDa estimated by gel filtration column. Both polypeptides were shown to be essential for reconstituting in vitro transcription activity. Biochemical analysis showed that the 80 kDa and 30 kDa components were present in a 1:1 molar ratio. FC was also demonstrated to interact directly or indirectly with purified RNA polymerase II. Similarities between FC and transcription factors reported by others from human, rat or Drosophila cells are discussed. Images PMID:2395645
Corton, M.; Avila-Fernández, A.; Campello, L.; Sánchez, M.; Benavides, B.; López-Molina, M. I.; Fernández-Sánchez, L.; Sánchez-Alcudia, R.; da Silva, L. R. J.; Reyes, N.; Martín-Garrido, E.; Zurita, O.; Fernández-San José, P.; Pérez-Carro, R.; García-García, F.; Dopazo, J.; García-Sandoval, B.; Cuenca, N.; Ayuso, C.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the most frequent form of inherited retinal dystrophy is characterized by progressive photoreceptor degeneration. Many genes have been implicated in RP development, but several others remain to be identified. Using a combination of homozygosity mapping, whole-exome and targeted next-generation sequencing, we found a novel homozygous nonsense mutation in SAMD11 in five individuals diagnosed with adult-onset RP from two unrelated consanguineous Spanish families. SAMD11 is ortholog to the mouse major retinal SAM domain (mr-s) protein that is implicated in CRX-mediated transcriptional regulation in the retina. Accordingly, protein-protein network analysis revealed a significant interaction of SAMD11 with CRX. Immunoblotting analysis confirmed strong expression of SAMD11 in human retina. Immunolocalization studies revealed SAMD11 was detected in the three nuclear layers of the human retina and interestingly differential expression between cone and rod photoreceptors was observed. Our study strongly implicates SAMD11 as novel cause of RP playing an important role in the pathogenesis of human degeneration of photoreceptors. PMID:27734943
Reidel, Boris; Goldmann, Tobias; Giessl, Andreas; Wolfrum, Uwe
In vertebrate rod photoreceptor cells, arrestin and the visual G-protein transducin move between the inner segment and outer segment in response to changes in light. This stimulus dependent translocation of signalling molecules is assumed to participate in long term light adaptation of photoreceptors. So far the cellular basis for the transport mechanisms underlying these intracellular movements remains largely elusive. Here we investigated the dependency of these movements on actin filaments and the microtubule cytoskeleton of photoreceptor cells. Co-cultures of mouse retina and retinal pigment epithelium were incubated with drugs stabilizing and destabilizing the cytoskeleton. The actin and microtubule cytoskeleton and the light dependent distribution of signaling molecules were subsequently analyzed by light and electron microscopy. The application of cytoskeletal drugs differentially affected the cytoskeleton in photoreceptor compartments. During dark adaptation the depolymerization of microtubules as well as actin filaments disrupted the translocation of arrestin and transducin in rod photoreceptor cells. During light adaptation only the delivery of arrestin within the outer segment was impaired after destabilization of microtubules. Movements of transducin and arrestin required intact cytoskeletal elements in dark adapting cells. However, diffusion might be sufficient for the fast molecular movements observed as cells adapt to light. These findings indicate that different molecular translocation mechanisms are responsible for the dark and light associated translocations of arrestin and transducin in rod photoreceptor cells.
Weber, Wilfried; Luzi, Stefan; Karlsson, Maria; Sanchez-Bustamante, Carlota Diaz; Frey, Urs; Hierlemann, Andreas; Fussenegger, Martin
Electric signal processing has evolved to manage rapid information transfer in neuronal networks and muscular contraction in multicellular organisms and controls the most sophisticated man-built devices. Using a synthetic biology approach to assemble electronic parts with genetic control units engineered into mammalian cells, we designed an electric power-adjustable transcription control circuit able to integrate the intensity of a direct current over time, to translate the amplitude or frequency of an alternating current into an adjustable genetic readout or to modulate the beating frequency of primary heart cells. Successful miniaturization of the electro-genetic devices may pave the way for the design of novel hybrid electro-genetic implants assembled from electronic and genetic parts.
Singh, Ratnesh K; Mallela, Ramya K; Hayes, Abigail; Dunham, Nicholas R; Hedden, Morgan E; Enke, Raymond A; Fariss, Robert N; Sternberg, Hal; West, Michael D; Nasonkin, Igor O
Characterizing the role of epigenetic regulation in the mammalian retina is critical for understanding fundamental mechanisms of retinal development and disease. DNA methylation, an epigenetic modifier of genomic DNA, plays an important role in modulating networks of tissue and cell-specific gene expression. However, the impact of DNA methylation during retinal development and homeostasis of retinal neurons remains unclear. Here, we have created a tissue-specific DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) triple mutant mouse in an effort to characterize the impact of DNA methylation in retinal development and homeostasis. An Rx-Cre transgene was used to drive targeted mutation of all three murine Dnmt genes in the mouse retina encoding major DNA methylation enzymes DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B. The triple mutant mice represent a hypomorph model since Dnmt1 catalytic activity was still present and excision of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b had only about 90% efficiency. Disruption of all three Dnmts resulted in global genomic hypomethylation and dramatic reorganization of the photoreceptor and synaptic layers within retina. Transcriptome and proteomic analyses demonstrated enrichment of dysregulated phototransduction and synaptic genes. The 5 mC signal in triple mutant retina was confined to the central heterochromatin but reduced in the peripheral heterochromatin region of photoreceptor nuclei. In addition, we found a reduction of the 5 mC signal in ganglion cell nuclei. Collectively, this data suggests cooperation of all three Dnmts in the formation and homeostasis of photoreceptors and other retinal neurons within the mammalian retina, and highlight the relevance of epigenetic regulation to sensory retinal disorders and vision loss.
Yoshioka, Yasuhide; Ly, Luong Linh; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu
The CCAAT motif-binding factor NF-Y consists of three different subunits, NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC. Knockdown of Drosophila NF-YA (dNF-YA) in eye discs with GMR-GAL4 and UAS-dNF-YAIR resulted in a rough eye phenotype and monitoring of differentiation of photoreceptor cells by LacZ expression in seven up-LacZ and deadpan-lacZ enhancer trap lines revealed associated loss of R7 photoreceptor signals. In line with differentiation of R7 being regulated by the sevenless (sev) gene and the MAPK cascade, the rough eye phenotype and loss of R7 signals in dNF-YA-knockdown flies were rescued by expression of the sev gene, or the D-raf gene, a downstream component of the MAPK cascade. The sev gene promoter contains two dNF-Y-binding consensus sequences which play positive roles in promoter activity. In chromatin immunoprecipitation assays with anti-dNF-YA antibody and S2 cells, the sev gene promoter region containing the NF-Y consensus was effectively amplified in immunoprecipitates from transgenic flies by polymerase chain reaction, indicating that dNF-Y is necessary for appropriate sev expression and involved in R7 photoreceptor cell development.
Sry (sex-determining region Y) is the sex-determining gene on the mammalian Y chromosome, which encodes a transcription factor containing a DNA-binding domain characteristic of some high mobility group proteins (HMG box). It is the founder member of the Sox (Sry-related HMG box) gene family and is therefore classified in the Sox A group. In mice, the transient expression of Sry between 10.5 and 12.5 dpc triggers the differentiation of Sertoli cells from the supporting cell precursor lineage, which would otherwise give rise to granulosa cells in ovaries. However, little was known about the target genes of SRY and molecular mechanisms how SRY leads to testis development. Recent work has provided evidence that SRY binds directly to a testis-specific enhancer of Sox9 (TES) and activates Sox9 expression in co-operation with steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1). Furthermore, this SRY action is limited to a certain time period during embryogenesis.
Campos-Sandoval, José A.; Manzanares, Elisa; Lobo, Carolina; Segura, J. A.; Alonso, Francisco J.; Matés, José M.; Márquez, Javier
Background Glutaminase is expressed in most mammalian tissues and cancer cells, but the regulation of its expression is poorly understood. An essential step to accomplish this goal is the characterization of its species- and cell-specific isoenzyme pattern of expression. Our aim was to identify and characterize transcript variants of the mammalian glutaminase Gls2 gene. Methodology/Principal Findings We demonstrate for the first time simultaneous expression of two transcript variants from the Gls2 gene in human, rat and mouse. A combination of RT-PCR, primer-extension analysis, bioinformatics, real-time PCR, in vitro transcription and translation and immunoblot analysis was applied to investigate GLS2 transcripts in mammalian tissues. Short (LGA) and long (GAB) transcript forms were isolated in brain and liver tissue of human, rat and mouse. The short LGA transcript arises by a combination of two mechanisms of transcriptional modulation: alternative transcription initiation and alternative promoter. The LGA variant contains both the transcription start site (TSS) and the alternative promoter in the first intron of the Gls2 gene. The full human LGA transcript has two in-frame ATGs in the first exon, which are missing in orthologous rat and mouse transcripts. In vitro transcription and translation of human LGA yielded two polypeptides of the predicted size, but only the canonical full-length protein displayed catalytic activity. Relative abundance of GAB and LGA transcripts showed marked variations depending on species and tissues analyzed. Conclusions/Significance This is the first report demonstrating expression of alternative transcripts of the mammalian Gls2 gene. Transcriptional mechanisms giving rise to GLS2 variants and isolation of novel GLS2 transcripts in human, rat and mouse are presented. Results were also confirmed at the protein level, where catalytic activity was demonstrated for the human LGA protein. Relative abundance of GAB and LGA transcripts was
Mitchell, Pamela J.; Tjian, Robert
The cloning of genes encoding mammalian DNA binding transcription factors for RNA polymerase II has provided the opportunity to analyze the structure and function of these proteins. This review summarizes recent studies that define structural domains for DNA binding and transcriptional activation functions in sequence-specific transcription factors. The mechanisms by which these factors may activate transcriptional initiation and by which they may be regulated to achieve differential gene expression are also discussed.
Lavender, Christopher A.; Hoffman, Jackson A.; Trotter, Kevin W.; Gilchrist, Daniel A.; Bennett, Brian D.; Burkholder, Adam B.; Fargo, David C.; Archer, Trevor K.
Antisense transcription is a prevalent feature at mammalian promoters. Previous studies have primarily focused on antisense transcription initiating upstream of genes. Here, we characterize promoter-proximal antisense transcription downstream of gene transcription starts sites in human breast cancer cells, investigating the genomic context of downstream antisense transcription. We find extensive correlations between antisense transcription and features associated with the chromatin environment at gene promoters. Antisense transcription downstream of promoters is widespread, with antisense transcription initiation observed within 2 kb of 28% of gene transcription start sites. Antisense transcription initiates between nucleosomes regularly positioned downstream of these promoters. The nucleosomes between gene and downstream antisense transcription start sites carry histone modifications associated with active promoters, such as H3K4me3 and H3K27ac. This region is bound by chromatin remodeling and histone modifying complexes including SWI/SNF subunits and HDACs, suggesting that antisense transcription or resulting RNA transcripts contribute to the creation and maintenance of a promoter-associated chromatin environment. Downstream antisense transcription overlays additional regulatory features, such as transcription factor binding, DNA accessibility, and the downstream edge of promoter-associated CpG islands. These features suggest an important role for antisense transcription in the regulation of gene expression and the maintenance of a promoter-associated chromatin environment. PMID:27487356
Wilanowski, Tomasz; Tuckfield, Annabel; Cerruti, Loretta; O'Connell, Sinead; Saint, Robert; Parekh, Vishwas; Tao, Jianning; Cunningham, John M; Jane, Stephen M
The Drosophila transcription factor Grainyhead regulates several key developmental processes. Three mammalian genes, CP2, LBP-1a and LBP-9 have been previously identified as homologues of grainyhead. We now report the cloning of two new mammalian genes (Mammalian grainyhead (MGR) and Brother-of-MGR (BOM)) and one new Drosophila gene (dCP2) that rewrite the phylogeny of this family. We demonstrate that MGR and BOM are more closely related to grh, whereas CP2, LBP-1a and LBP-9 are descendants of the dCP2 gene. MGR shares the greatest sequence homology with grh, is expressed in tissue-restricted patterns more comparable to grh and binds to and transactivates the promoter of the human Engrailed-1 gene, the mammalian homologue of the key grainyhead target gene, engrailed. This sequence and functional conservation indicates that the new mammalian members of this family play important developmental roles.
Oliva, Carlos; Molina-Fernandez, Claudia; Maureira, Miguel; Candia, Noemi; López, Estefanía; Hassan, Bassem; Aerts, Stein; Cánovas, José; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena
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.
Schröder, Sebastian; Herker, Eva; Itzen, Friederike; He, Daniel; Thomas, Sean; Gilchrist, Daniel A; Kaehlcke, Katrin; Cho, Sungyoo; Pollard, Katherine S; Capra, John A; Schnölzer, Martina; Cole, Philip A; Geyer, Matthias; Bruneau, Benoit G; Adelman, Karen; Ott, Melanie
Lysine acetylation regulates transcription by targeting histones and nonhistone proteins. Here we report that the central regulator of transcription, RNA polymerase II, is subject to acetylation in mammalian cells. Acetylation occurs at eight lysines within the C-terminal domain (CTD) of the largest polymerase subunit and is mediated by p300/KAT3B. CTD acetylation is specifically enriched downstream of the transcription start sites of polymerase-occupied genes genome-wide, indicating a role in early stages of transcription initiation or elongation. Mutation of lysines or p300 inhibitor treatment causes the loss of epidermal growth-factor-induced expression of c-Fos and Egr2, immediate-early genes with promoter-proximally paused polymerases, but does not affect expression or polymerase occupancy at housekeeping genes. Our studies identify acetylation as a new modification of the mammalian RNA polymerase II required for the induction of growth factor response genes.
Gottipati, Ponnari; Cassel, Tobias N; Savolainen, Linda; Helleday, Thomas
Transcription can enhance recombination; this is a ubiquitous phenomenon from prokaryotes to higher eukaryotes. However, the mechanism of transcription-associated recombination in mammalian cells is poorly understood. Here we have developed a construct with a recombination substrate in which levels of recombination can be studied in the presence or absence of transcription. We observed a direct enhancement in recombination when transcription levels through the substrate were increased. This increase in homologous recombination following transcription is locus specific, since homologous recombination at the unrelated hprt gene is unaffected. In addition, we have shown that transcription-associated recombination involves both short-tract and long-tract gene conversions in mammalian cells, which are different from double-strand-break-induced recombination events caused by endonucleases. Transcription fails to enhance recombination in cells that are not in the S phase of the cell cycle. Furthermore, inhibition of transcription suppresses induction of recombination at stalled replication forks, suggesting that recombination may be involved in bypassing transcription during replication.
Ziegler, Thea; Möglich, Andreas
Sensory photoreceptors not only control diverse adaptive responses in Nature, but as light-regulated actuators they also provide the foundation for optogenetics, the non-invasive and spatiotemporally precise manipulation of cellular events by light. Novel photoreceptors have been engineered that establish control by light over manifold biological processes previously inaccessible to optogenetic intervention. Recently, photoreceptor engineering has witnessed a rapid development, and light-regulated actuators for the perturbation of a plethora of cellular events are now available. Here, we review fundamental principles of photoreceptors and light-regulated allostery. Photoreceptors dichotomize into associating receptors that alter their oligomeric state as part of light-regulated allostery and non-associating receptors that do not. A survey of engineered photoreceptors pinpoints light-regulated association reactions and order-disorder transitions as particularly powerful and versatile design principles. Photochromic photoreceptors that are bidirectionally toggled by two light colors augur enhanced spatiotemporal resolution and use as photoactivatable fluorophores. By identifying desirable traits in engineered photoreceptors, we provide pointers for the design of future, light-regulated actuators. PMID:26137467
Kopp, K.; Gasiorowski, J. Z.; Chen, D.; Gilmore, R.; Norton, J. T.; Wang, C.; Leary, D. J.; Chan, E.K.L.; Dean, D. A.
Pre-rRNA synthesis and processing are key steps in ribosome biogenesis. Although recent evidence in yeast suggests that these two processes are coupled, the nature of their association is unclear. In this report, we analyze the coordination between rDNA transcription and pre-rRNA processing in mammalian cells. We found that pol I transcription factor UBF interacts with pre-rRNA processing factors as analyzed by immunoprecipitations, and the association depends on active rRNA synthesis. In addition, injections of plasmids containing the human rDNA promoter and varying lengths of 18S rDNA into HeLa nuclei show that pol I transcription machinery can be recruited to rDNA promoters regardless of the product that is transcribed, whereas subgroups of pre-rRNA processing factors are recruited to plasmids only when specific pre-rRNA fragments are produced. Our observations suggest a model for sequential recruitment of pol I transcription factors and pre-rRNA processing factors to elongating pre-rRNA on an as-needed basis rather than corecruitment to sites of active transcription. PMID:17108330
Kainate receptors mediate glutamatergic signaling through both pre- and presynaptic receptors. Here, we studied the expression of the high affinity kainate receptor GluK5 in the mouse retina. Double-immunofluoresence labeling and electron microscopic analysis revealed a presynaptic localization of GluK5 in the outer plexiform layer. Unexpectedly, we found GluK5 almost exclusively localized to the presynaptic ribbon of photoreceptor terminals. Moreover, in GluK5-deficient mutant mice the structural integrity of synaptic ribbons was severely altered pointing to a novel function of GluK5 in organizing synaptic ribbons in the presynaptic terminals of rod photoreceptors. PMID:28235022
Mendell, Joshua T; Sharifi, Neda A; Meyers, Jennifer L; Martinez-Murillo, Francisco; Dietz, Harry C
Premature termination codons induce rapid transcript degradation in eukaryotic cells through nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). This pathway can modulate phenotypes arising from nonsense or frameshift mutations, but little is known about the physiologic role of NMD in higher eukaryotes. To address this issue, we examined expression profiles in mammalian cells depleted of Rent1 (also called hUpf1), a factor essential for NMD. Upregulated transcripts included those with upstream open reading frames in the 5' untranslated region, alternative splicing that introduces nonsense codons or frameshifts, introns in the 3' untranslated region or selenocysteine codons. Transcripts derived from ancient transposons and endogenous retroviruses were also upregulated. These RNAs are unified by the presence of a spliced intron at least 50 nucleotides downstream of a termination codon, a context sufficient to initiate NMD. Consistent with direct regulation by NMD, representative upregulated transcripts decayed more slowly in cells deficient in NMD. In addition, inhibition of NMD induced by amino acid starvation upregulated transcripts that promote amino acid homeostasis. These results document that nonsense surveillance is a crucial post-transcriptional regulatory event that influences the expression of broad classes of physiologic transcripts, has been functionally incorporated into essential homeostatic mechanisms and suppresses expression of evolutionary remnants.
Fornace, A J; Alamo, I; Hollander, M C; Lamoreaux, E
Ubiquitin mRNA was found to be an abundant transcript which was induced by heat shock (HS), and certain other stresses in mammalian cells. In Chinese hamster cells, the 2 major ubiquitin transcripts of 2.6 kb and 1.7 kb were induced coordinately, while a minor ubiquitin transcript of 0.8 kb was not induced; the response was similar in human cells with induction of the 2.5 kb Ub C and 1.0 kb Ub B transcripts. A representative ubiquitin cDNA clone, isolated from a cDNA library derived from HS-treated Chinese hamster cells, coded for a typical tandem repeat polyubiquitin transcript. Only a portion of the 5' nontranslated sequence of this clone had homology with the previously published corresponding region in human Ub B mRNA. Oligonucleotide probes complementary to the portion of the 5' nontranslated sequence with homology to the human sequence and also portions with no homology hybridized only to the 1.7 kb transcript. There was coordinate induction of ubiquitin, HSP27, and HSP70 mRNA by HS as determined by both increased RNA and increased transcription. Ubiquitin mRNA was induced by certain DNA damaging agents, in particular the alkylating agent methylmethane sulfonate, or incubation in isoleucine-deficient medium under conditions where the other HSP mRNA were not. Images PMID:2537950
Gitzinger, Marc; Parsons, Juliana; Reski, Ralf; Fussenegger, Martin
Plants and mammals are separated by a huge evolutionary distance. Consequently, biotechnology and genetics have traditionally been divided into 'green' and 'red'. Here, we provide comprehensive evidence that key components of the mammalian transcription, translation and secretion machineries are functional in the model plant Physcomitrella patens. Cross-kingdom compatibility of different expression modalities originally designed for mammalian cells, such as native and synthetic promoters and polyadenylation sites, viral and cellular internal ribosome entry sites, secretion signal peptides and secreted product proteins, and synthetic transactivators and transrepressors, was established. This mammalian expression portfolio enabled constitutive, conditional and autoregulated expression of different product genes in a multicistronic expression format, optionally adjusted by various trigger molecules, such as butyrolactones, macrolide antibiotics and ethanol. Capitalizing on a cross-kingdom-compatible expression platform, we pioneered a prototype biopharmaceutical manufacturing scenario using microencapsulated transgenic P. patens protoplasts cultivated in a Wave Bioreactor. Vascular endothelial growth factor 121 (VEGF(121)) titres matched those typically achieved by standard protonema populations grown in stirred-tank bioreactors. The full compatibility of mammalian expression systems in P. patens further promotes the use of moss as a cost-effective alternative for the manufacture of complex biopharmaceuticals, and as a valuable host system to advance synthetic biology in plants.
Malphettes, Laetitia; Fussenegger, Martin
Following the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) and related phenomena, novel regulatory processes, attributable to small non-protein-coding RNAs, continue to emerge. Capitalizing on the ability of artificial short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to trigger degradation of specific target transcripts, and thereby silence desired gene expression, we designed and characterized a generic transcription-translation network in which it is possible to fine-tune heterologous protein production by coordinated transcription and translation interventions using macrolide and tetracycline antibiotics. Integration of siRNA-specific target sequences (TAGs) into the 5' or 3' untranslated regions (5'UTR, 3'UTR) of a desired constitutive transcription unit rendered transgene-encoded protein (erythropoietin, EPO; human placental alkaline phosphatase, SEAP; human vascular endothelial growth factor 121, VEGF(121)) production in mammalian cells responsive to siRNA levels that can be fine-tuned by macrolide-adjustable RNA polymerase II- or III-dependent promoters. Coupling of such macrolide-responsive siRNA-triggered translation control with tetracycline-responsive transcription of tagged transgene mRNAs created an antibiotic-adjustable two-input transcription-translation network characterized by elimination of detectable leaky expression with no reduction in maximum protein production levels. This transcription-translation network revealed transgene mRNA depletion to be dependent on siRNA and mRNA levels and that translation control was able to eliminate basal expression inherent to current transcription control modalities. Coupled transcription-translation circuitries have the potential to lead the way towards composite artificial regulatory networks, to enable complex therapeutic interventions in future biopharmaceutical manufacturing, gene therapy and tissue engineering initiatives.
Labow, M A; Baim, S B; Shenk, T; Levine, A J
A novel mammalian regulatory system was created by using the Escherichia coli lac repressor. The lac repressor was converted into a mammalian transcriptional activator by modifying the lac repressor coding region to include a nuclear localization signal from the simian virus 40 (SV40) large tumor antigen and the transcription activation domain from the herpes simplex virus type 1 virion protein 16. The lac activator protein (LAP) fusions were potent activators of several promoters containing lac operator sequences positioned either upstream or downstream of the transcription unit. A single lac operator allowed for transactivation, whereas multiple operators acted synergistically when separated by a small distance. Promoters containing 14 or 21 operator sequences were induced at least 1,000-fold in response to LAP, reaching levels of activity 20 to 30 times greater than that of the SV40 early promoter in HeLa cells. Activation was strongly inhibited by isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG), indicating that LAP retained the functions needed for allosteric regulation. LAP was bifunctional, also acting as a repressor of expression of an SV40 promoter containing an operator immediately downstream of the TATA box. Finally, genetic selection schemes were developed such that LAP-expressing cell lines can be generated at high frequency from either established or primary cells in culture. Images PMID:2162473
Ortells, M Carmen; Morancho, Beatriz; Drews-Elger, Katherine; Viollet, Benoit; Laderoute, Keith R; López-Rodríguez, Cristina; Aramburu, Jose
Although stress can suppress growth and proliferation, cells can induce adaptive responses that allow them to maintain these functions under stress. While numerous studies have focused on the inhibitory effects of stress on cell growth, less is known on how growth-promoting pathways influence stress responses. We have approached this question by analyzing the effect of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a central growth controller, on the osmotic stress response. Our results showed that mammalian cells exposed to moderate hypertonicity maintained active mTOR, which was required to sustain their cell size and proliferative capacity. Moreover, mTOR regulated the induction of diverse osmostress response genes, including targets of the tonicity-responsive transcription factor NFAT5 as well as NFAT5-independent genes. Genes sensitive to mTOR-included regulators of stress responses, growth and proliferation. Among them, we identified REDD1 and REDD2, which had been previously characterized as mTOR inhibitors in other stress contexts. We observed that mTOR facilitated transcription-permissive conditions for several osmoresponsive genes by enhancing histone H4 acetylation and the recruitment of RNA polymerase II. Altogether, these results reveal a previously unappreciated role of mTOR in regulating transcriptional mechanisms that control gene expression during cellular stress responses.
Ortells, M. Carmen; Morancho, Beatriz; Drews-Elger, Katherine; Viollet, Benoit; Laderoute, Keith R.; López-Rodríguez, Cristina; Aramburu, Jose
Although stress can suppress growth and proliferation, cells can induce adaptive responses that allow them to maintain these functions under stress. While numerous studies have focused on the inhibitory effects of stress on cell growth, less is known on how growth-promoting pathways influence stress responses. We have approached this question by analyzing the effect of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a central growth controller, on the osmotic stress response. Our results showed that mammalian cells exposed to moderate hypertonicity maintained active mTOR, which was required to sustain their cell size and proliferative capacity. Moreover, mTOR regulated the induction of diverse osmostress response genes, including targets of the tonicity-responsive transcription factor NFAT5 as well as NFAT5-independent genes. Genes sensitive to mTOR-included regulators of stress responses, growth and proliferation. Among them, we identified REDD1 and REDD2, which had been previously characterized as mTOR inhibitors in other stress contexts. We observed that mTOR facilitated transcription-permissive conditions for several osmoresponsive genes by enhancing histone H4 acetylation and the recruitment of RNA polymerase II. Altogether, these results reveal a previously unappreciated role of mTOR in regulating transcriptional mechanisms that control gene expression during cellular stress responses. PMID:22287635
Background The computational prediction of Transcription Factor Binding Sites (TFBS) remains a challenge due to their short length and low information content. Comparative genomics approaches that simultaneously consider several related species and favor sites that have been conserved throughout evolution improve the accuracy (specificity) of the predictions but are limited due to a phenomenon called binding site turnover, where sequence evolution causes one TFBS to replace another in the same region. In parallel to this development, an increasing number of mammalian genomes are now sequenced and it is becoming possible to infer, to a surprisingly high degree of accuracy, ancestral mammalian sequences. Results We propose a TFBS prediction approach that makes use of the availability of inferred ancestral mammalian genomes to improve its accuracy. This method aims to identify binding loci, which are regions of a few hundred base pairs that have preserved their potential to bind a given transcription factor over evolutionary time. After proposing a neutral evolutionary model of predicted TFBS counts in a DNA region of a given length, we use it to identify regions that have preserved the number of predicted TFBS they contain to an unexpected degree given their divergence. The approach is applied to human chromosome 1 and shows significant gains in accuracy as compared to both existing single-species and multi-species TFBS prediction approaches, in particular for transcription factors that are subject to high turnover rates. Availability The source code and predictions made by the program are available at http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~blanchem/bindingLoci. PMID:23281809
Pan, Peipei; Treat, Michael D; van Breukelen, Frank
Presumably to conserve energy, many mammals enter into hibernation during the winter. Homeostatic processes such as transcription and translation are virtually arrested. To further elucidate transcriptional regulation during hibernation, we studied the transcription factor p53. Here, we demonstrate that changes in liver mRNA and protein concentrations of known regulators of p53 are consistent with activation. p53 mRNA and protein concentrations are unrelated. Importantly, p53 protein concentration is increased ~2-fold during the interbout arousal that punctuates bouts of torpor. As a result, both the interbout arousal and the torpid state are characterized by high levels of nuclear-localized p53. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicate that p53 binds DNA during the winter. Furthermore, p53 recruits RNA polymerase II, as indicated by nuclear run-on data. However, and consistent with previous data indicating an arrest of transcriptional elongation during torpor, p53 'activity' does not result in expected changes in target gene transcripts. These data demonstrate the importance of using a systems level-approach in understanding a complex phenotype such as mammalian hibernation. Relying on interpretations of data that are based on steady-state regulation in other systems may be misleading in the context of non-steady-state conditions such as torpor.
Liu Zhangguo; Zhou Zhongwei; Chen Guohong; Bao Shilai . E-mail: email@example.com
Iws1 has been implicated in transcriptional elongation by interaction with RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) and elongation factor Spt6 in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and association with transcription factor TFIIS in mammalian cells, but its role in controlling cell growth and proliferation remains unknown. Here we report that the human homolog of Iws1, hIws1, physically interacts with protein arginine methyltransferases PRMT5 which methylates elongation factor Spt5 and regulates its interaction with RNA polymerase II. Gene-specific silencing of hIws1 by RNA interference reveals that hIws1 is essential for cell viability. GFP fusion protein expression approaches demonstrate that the hIws1 protein is located in the nucleus, subsequently, two regions harbored within the hIws1 protein are demonstrated to contain nuclear localization signals (NLSs). In addition, mouse homolog of hiws1 is found to express ubiquitously in various tissues.
Nashimoto, M; Mishima, Y
Based on recent experimental data about transcription initiation and termination, a model for regulation of mammalian ribosomal DNA transcription is developed using a simple kinetic scheme. In this model, the existence of the transition pathway from the terminator to the promoter increases the rate of ribosomal RNA precursor synthesis. In addition to this 'non-transcribed spacer' traverse of RNA polymerase I, the co-ordination of initiation and termination allows a rapid on/off switch transition from the minimum to the maximum rate of ribosomal RNA precursor synthesis. Furthermore, taking account of the participation of two factors in the termination event, we propose a plausible molecular mechanism for the co-ordination of initiation and termination. This co-ordination is emphasized by repetition of the terminator unit. PMID:3223915
Ma, Xiuquan; Burykin, Timur; James, David E.; Kuncic, Zdenka
Transcription factors (TFs) play a fundamental role in coordinating biological processes in response to stimuli. Consequently, we often seek to determine the key TFs and their regulated target genes (TGs) amidst gene expression data. This requires a knowledge-base of TF-TG interactions, which would enable us to determine the topology of the transcriptional network and predict novel regulatory interactions. To address this, we generated an Open-access Repository of Transcriptional Interactions, ORTI, by integrating available TF-TG interaction databases. These databases rely on different types of experimental evidence, including low-throughput assays, high-throughput screens, and bioinformatics predictions. We have subsequently categorised TF-TG interactions in ORTI according to the quality of this evidence. To demonstrate its capabilities, we applied ORTI to gene expression data and identified modulated TFs using an enrichment analysis. Combining this with pairwise TF-TG interactions enabled us to visualise temporal regulation of a transcriptional network. Additionally, ORTI enables the prediction of novel TF-TG interactions, based on how well candidate genes co-express with known TGs of the target TF. By filtering out known TF-TG interactions that are unlikely to occur within the experimental context, this analysis predicts context-specific TF-TG interactions. We show that this can be applied to experimental designs of varying complexities. In conclusion, ORTI is a rich and publicly available database of experimentally validated mammalian transcriptional interactions which is accompanied with tools that can identify and predict transcriptional interactions, serving as a useful resource for unravelling the topology of transcriptional networks. PMID:27723773
Gebhardt, J Christof M; Suter, David M; Roy, Rahul; Zhao, Ziqing W; Chapman, Alec R; Basu, Srinjan; Maniatis, Tom; Xie, X Sunney
Imaging single fluorescent proteins in living mammalian cells is challenging due to out-of-focus fluorescence excitation by common microscopy schemes. We report the development of a novel fluorescence microscopy method, reflected light sheet microscopy (RLSM), which allows selective plane illumination throughout the nucleus of living mammalian cells, for reducing out-of-focus fluorescence signal. Generation of a thin light sheet parallel to the imaging plane and close to the sample surface is achieved by reflecting an elliptical laser beam incident from the top by 45° with a small mirror. The thin light sheet allows for an increased signal-to-background ratio superior to previous illumination schemes and enables imaging of single fluorescent proteins with up to 100 Hz time resolution. We demonstrate the sensitivity of RLSM by measuring the DNA-bound fraction of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and determine the residence times on DNA of various oligomerization states and mutants of GR and estrogen receptor (ER), enabling us to resolve different modes of DNA binding of GR. Finally, we demonstrate two-color single molecule imaging by observing the spatio-temporal co-localization of two different protein pairs. The combination of our single molecule measurements and statistical analysis reveals dynamic properties of transcription factors in live mammalian cells. PMID:23524394
The mammalian Crx genes are highly divergent representatives of the Otx5 gene family, a gnathostome orthology class of orthodenticle-related homeogenes involved in the differentiation of retinal photoreceptors and circadian entrainment.
Plouhinec, Jean-Louis; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Germot, Agnès; Le Mentec, Chantal; Cabana, Thérèse; Harrison, Gavan; Pieau, Claude; Sire, Jean-Yves; Véron, Géraldine; Mazan, Sylvie
The mammalian Crx genes are highly divergent orthodenticle (otd)-related homeogenes that play important roles in the differentiation of retinal photoreceptors and the circadian entrainment. However, their evolutionary origin and orthological relationships with other otd-related genes remain unclear. An orthology relationship of these genes with the highly conserved Otx5 genes identified in fish and amphibians, and also expressed in the eye and epiphysis, has been proposed previously but remains controversial. To test this hypothesis, we have identified Crx genes in a wide range of mammals, including three marsupials, and Otx5-related genes in a lizard, a turtle, and two archosaurs (crocodile and chick), as well as in the pufferfish. Phylogenetic analyses of the coding sequences show that the mammalian Crx genes are orthologous to the Otx5-related genes isolated in other gnathostomes. They also indicate that a duplication event has taken place in actinopterygians, after the splitting of the Cladistia, and that a relaxation of the structural constraints acting on the gene coding region has occurred early in the mammalian lineage. This process may be linked not only to the loss of ancestral Otx5/Crx functions during gastrulation or in the retinal pigmented epithelium, but also to the evolution of photic entrainment mechanisms in mammals.
Umehara, Takashi; Horikoshi, Masami
Histones are thought to have specific roles in mammalian spermatogenesis, because several subtypes of histones emerge that are post-translationally modified during spermatogenesis. Though regular assembly of nucleosome is guaranteed by histone chaperones, their involvement in spermatogenesis is yet to be characterized. Here we identified a histone chaperone-related factor, which we designated as CCG1-interacting factor A-II (CIA-II), through interaction with bromodomains of TAFII250/CCG1, which is the largest subunit of human transcription initiation factor IID (TFIID). We found that human CIA-II (hCIA-II) localizes in HeLa nuclei and is highly expressed in testis and other proliferating cell-containing tissues. Expression of mouse CIA-II (mCIA-II) does not occur in the germ cell-lacking testes of adult WBB6F1-W/Wv mutant mice, indicating its expression in testis to be specific to germ cells. Fractionation of testicular germ cells revealed that mCIA-II transcripts accumulate in pachytene spermatocytes but not in spermatids. In addition, the mCIA-II transcripts in testis were present as early as 4 days after birth and decreased at 56 days after birth. These findings indicate that mCIA-II expression in testis is restricted to premeiotic to meiotic stages during spermatogenesis. Also, we found that hCIA-II interacts with histone H3 in vivo and with histones H3/H4 in vitro and that it facilitates supercoiling of circular DNA when it is incubated with core histones and topoisomerase I in vitro. These data suggest that CIA-II is a histone chaperone and is implicated in the regulation of mammalian spermatogenesis.
Wittig, Burghardt; Dorbic, Tomislav; Rich, Alexander
Mammalian cells have been encapsulated in agarose microbeads, and from these cells metabolically active permeabilized nuclei were prepared. Previously, we showed that biotin-labeled monoclonal antibodies against Z-DNA can be diffused into the nuclei and, over a specific concentration range, they will bind to Z-DNA within the nucleus in a concentration-independent manner. By using radiolabeled streptavidin, we showed that the amount of Z-DNA antibody bound is related to the torsional strain of the DNA in the nucleus. Relaxation of the DNA results in a decrease of Z-DNA formation, whereas increasing torsional strain through inhibiting topoisomerase I results in increased Z-DNA formation. Here we measure the influence of RNA transcription and DNA replication. Transcription is associated with a substantial increase in the binding of anti-Z-DNA antibodies, paralleling the increased level of RNA synthesized as the level of ribonucleoside triphosphate in the medium is increased. DNA replication yields smaller increases in the binding of Z-DNA antibodies. Stopping RNA transcription with inhibitors results in a large loss of Z-DNA antibody binding, whereas only a small decrease is associated with inhibition of DNA replication.
Yunger, Sharon; Rosenfeld, Liat; Garini, Yuval; Shav-Tal, Yaron
Transcription kinetics of actively transcribing genes in vivo have generally been measured using tandem gene arrays. However, tandem arrays do not reflect the endogenous state of genome organization where genes appear as single alleles. We present here a robust technique for the quantification of mRNA synthesis from a single allele in real-time, in single living mammalian cells. The protocol describes how to generate cell clones harboring a tagged allele and how to detect in vivo transcription from this tagged allele at high spatial and temporal resolution throughout the cell cycle. Quantification of nascent mRNAs produced from the single tagged allele is performed using RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and live-cell imaging. Subsequent analyses and data modeling detailed in the protocol include measurements of: transcription rates of RNA polymerase II; determining the number of polymerases recruited to the tagged allele; and measuring the spacing between polymerases. Generating the cells containing the single tagged alleles should take up to a month; RNA FISH or live-cell imaging will require an additional week. PMID:23424748
to program human stem cells directly into cones. Using RNA -seq, we identified several genes that are upregulated in advance of the earliest...reverse vision loss. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Cone photoreceptor, retina, retinal stem cell, Otx2, Onecut1, Blimp1, RNA -seq., transcription factors, and...1 Keywords: 1. Cone photoreceptor 2. Retina 3. Retinal stem cell 4. Otx2 5. Onecut1 6. Blimp1 7. RNA -seq. 8. Transcription factors 9
Kugel, Jennifer F; Goodrich, James A
Transcription by RNA Pol II is a tightly controlled process that is critical to normal cellular metabolism. Understanding how transcriptional regulation is orchestrated has mainly involved identifying and characterizing proteins that function as transcription factors. During the past decade, however, an increasing number of lncRNAs have been identified as transcriptional regulators. This revelation has spurred new discoveries, novel techniques and paradigm shifts, which together are redefining our understanding of transcriptional control and broadening our view of RNA function. Here, we summarize recent discoveries concerning the role of lncRNAs as regulators of mammalian mRNA transcription, with a focus on key concepts that are guiding current research in the field.
Khachane, Amit N.; Harrison, Paul M.
Background The role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in controlling gene expression has garnered increased interest in recent years. Sequencing projects, such as Fantom3 for mouse and H-InvDB for human, have generated abundant data on transcribed components of mammalian cells, the majority of which appear not to be protein-coding. However, much of the non-protein-coding transcriptome could merely be a consequence of ‘transcription noise’. It is therefore essential to use bioinformatic approaches to identify the likely functional candidates in a high throughput manner. Principal Findings We derived a scheme for classifying and annotating likely functional lncRNAs in mammals. Using the available experimental full-length cDNA data sets for human and mouse, we identified 78 lncRNAs that are either syntenically conserved between human and mouse, or that originate from the same protein-coding genes. Of these, 11 have significant sequence homology. We found that these lncRNAs exhibit: (i) patterns of codon substitution typical of non-coding transcripts; (ii) preservation of sequences in distant mammals such as dog and cow, (iii) significant sequence conservation relative to their corresponding flanking regions (in 50% cases, flanking regions do not have homology at all; and in the remaining, the degree of conservation is significantly less); (iv) existence mostly as single-exon forms (8/11); and, (v) presence of conserved and stable secondary structure motifs within them. We further identified orthologous protein-coding genes that are contributing to the pool of lncRNAs; of which, genes implicated in carcinogenesis are significantly over-represented. Conclusion Our comparative mammalian genomics approach coupled with evolutionary analysis identified a small population of conserved long non-protein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are potentially functional across Mammalia. Additionally, our analysis indicates that amongst the orthologous protein-coding genes that produce
Weitz, Sara H; Gong, Ming; Barr, Ian; Weiss, Shimon; Guo, Feng
DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 8 (DGCR8) is the RNA-binding partner protein of the nuclease Drosha. DGCR8 and Drosha recognize and cleave primary transcripts of microRNAs (pri-miRNAs) in the maturation of canonical microRNAs (miRNAs) in animals. We previously reported that human, frog, and starfish DGCR8 bind heme when expressed in Escherichia coli and that Fe(III) heme activates apoDGCR8 in reconstituted pri-miRNA processing assays. However, the physiological relevance of heme in miRNA maturation has not been clear. Here, we present a live-cell pri-miRNA processing assay that produces robust signals and faithfully indicates DGCR8 and Drosha activities. We demonstrate that all known heme-binding-deficient DGCR8 mutants are defective in pri-miRNA processing in HeLa cells. DGCR8 contains a previously uncharacterized heme-binding motif, "IPCL," that is also required for its activity. Heme availability and biosynthesis in HeLa cells positively affect pri-miRNA processing and production of mature miRNA. These results establish an essential function for heme in pri-miRNA processing in mammalian cells. Our study suggests that abnormal heme biosynthesis and degradation may contribute to diseases via miRNA-mediated gene regulation networks.
Huang, Cathy Chia-Yu; Ko, Michael Lee; Ko, Gladys Yi-Ping
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.
Gstaiger, M; Schaffner, W
Transcription factors often contain activation domains that interact with the basic transcription machinery. We have developed a functional screening strategy in mammalian cells to selectively isolate activation domains from a library of random DNA inserts. For this, sonicated DNA fragments are cloned next to the DNA binding domain of GAL4 factor in a plasmid that also contains the SV40 origin of replication. Pools of fusion protein clones are transfected into CV-1-5GT monkey cells containing an SV40 T antigen gene under the control of a promoter with GAL4 binding sites. Plasmids that express functional transactivating fusion proteins activate the T antigen gene, thus promoting selective amplification of the plasmid in the mammalian host cell line. Using this method, we were able to select strong enhancer-type activation domains from the immediate early regions of two herpesviruses, namely pseudorabies virus and bovine herpesvirus 1. In both cases, the activation domains selected were homologues of the ICP4 regulatory protein of herpes simplex virus. The activation domain from pseudorabies virus is four times stronger than the activation domain of herpes simplex virus protein VP16 (Vmw65), making it the strongest activation domain characterized so far. This activator trap method should be useful for precisely localizing activation domain(s) in known factors, or to identify mammalian transcriptional adaptors that do not bind DNA and which may escape conventional detection methods.
Zhu, Guangyu; Song, Lina; Lippard, Stephen J
Cisplatin is a widely used anticancer drug that acts by binding DNA and causing the formation of intrastrand and interstrand (ICL) crosslinks, but the precise downstream effects of the latter damage are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the influence of cisplatin ICLs on synthetic nucleosomes that were platinated in a site-specific manner in vitro and on gene transcription in live mammalian cells. Nucleosome core particles that we constructed contained site-specific cisplatin 5'-d(G*pC)/5'-d(G*pC) ICLs, where the asterisk denotes the platinated nucleoside, to examine the influence of platinum lesions on the dynamic behavior of nucleosomes in solution. A cisplatin ICL, but not a 1,2-d(GpG) crosslink, significantly inhibited ATP-independent histone octamer-DNA sliding. We also used a novel linearization-recircularization strategy described here to synthesize mammalian expression vectors containing site-specific cisplatin ICLs. Plasmid vectors were tested in live mammalian cells to study the transcription inhibition effects of cisplatin ICLs in the context of two different repair backgrounds. Cisplatin ICLs inhibit transcription as effectively as 1,2-d(GpG) crosslinks. We determined that nucleotide excision repair plays a key role in the removal of cisplatin ICLs, acting in a replication-independent fashion. We also found that loss of mismatch repair function dramatically attenuates the transcription inhibition effects by cisplatin ICLs but not 1,2-d(GpG) intrastrand crosslinks. Our results revealed the unique properties of cisplatin ICLs on nucleosome mobility and on transcription, and they defined how these adducts act in a manner completely different from that used for cisplatin 1,2-d(GpG) crosslinks. These new findings provide direct support for a role of ICLs in the pharmacologic activities of cisplatin, despite the lower frequency of their formation.
de Boer, Ernie; Rodriguez, Patrick; Bonte, Edgar; Krijgsveld, Jeroen; Katsantoni, Eleni; Heck, Albert; Grosveld, Frank; Strouboulis, John
Proteomic approaches require simple and efficient protein purification methodologies that are amenable to high throughput. Biotinylation is an attractive approach for protein complex purification due to the very high affinity of avidin/streptavidin for biotinylated templates. Here, we describe an approach for the single-step purification of transcription factor complex(es) based on specific in vivo biotinylation. We expressed the bacterial BirA biotin ligase in mammalian cells and demonstrated very efficient biotinylation of a hematopoietic transcription factor bearing a small (23-aa) artificial peptide tag. Biotinylation of the tagged transcription factor altered neither the factor's protein interactions or DNA binding properties in vivo nor its subnuclear distribution. Using this approach, we isolated the biotin-tagged transcription factor and at least one other known interacting protein from crude nuclear extracts by direct binding to streptavidin beads. Finally, this method works efficiently in transgenic mice, thus raising the prospect of using biotinylation tagging in protein complex purification directly from animal tissues. Therefore, BirA-mediated biotinylation of tagged proteins provides the basis for the single-step purification of proteins from mammalian cells.
Huang, Cathy Chia-Yu; Ko, Michael Lee; Ko, Gladys Yi-Ping
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. PMID:23977383
Zhang, Yichi; Aguilar, Oscar A.
Background. Mammalian hibernation in thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) is characterized by dramatic changes on a physiological and molecular level. During hibernation, mammalian hearts show a propensity to hypertrophy due to the need for increasing contractility to pump colder and more viscous blood. While cardiac hypertrophy is quite often a process characterized by decompensation, the ground squirrel studied is an excellent model of cardiac plasticity and cardioprotection under conditions of hypothermia and ischemia. The forkhead box O (Foxo) family of proteins and myogenin (MyoG) are transcription factors that control protein degradation and muscle atrophy by regulating the expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligases, MAFbx and MuRF1. These ligases are part of the ubiquitin proteasome system by transferring ubiquitin to proteins and targeting these proteins for degradation. Regulation of Foxo1 and 3a occurs through phosphorylation at different residues. The threonine-24 (Thr-24) and serine-319 (Ser-319) residues on Foxo1, and the Thr-32 residue on Foxo3a are phosphorylated by Akt, leading to cytoplasmic localization of Foxo. We propose that the described mechanism contributes to the changes taking place in cardiac muscle throughout hibernation. Methods. Total and phosphorylated protein levels of Foxo1 and Foxo3a, as well as total protein levels of MyoG, MAFbx, and MuRF1, were studied using immunoblotting. Results. Immunoblotting results demonstrated upregulations in Foxo1 and Foxo3a total protein levels (1.3- and 4.5-fold increases relative to euthermic control, for Foxo1 and 3a respectively) during late torpor, and protein levels remained elevated throughout the rest of torpor and at interbout arousal. We also observed decreases in inactive, phosphorylated Foxo1 and 3a proteins during throughout torpor, where levels of p-Foxo1 Ser319 and Thr24, as well as p-Foxo3a Thr32 decreased by at least 45% throughout torpor. MyoG was upregulated only
Wang, Haiying; Zheng, Huiru; Simpson, David; Azuaje, Francisco
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-sampling techniques were
Belenguer, P; Baldin, V; Mathieu, C; Prats, H; Bensaid, M; Bouche, G; Amalric, F
Transcription of ribosomal RNA genes is generally accepted to correlate with cell growth. Using primary cultures of adult bovine aortic endothelial (ABAE) cells, we have shown that transcription of rDNA in confluent cells falls to 5% of the transcription level in growing cells. Protein kinase NII appears to be a limiting factor to promote rDNA transcription in isolated nuclei of confluent cells. Protein kinase NII was detected by immunocytochemistry in the cytoplasm, nuclei and nucleoli of growing cells while it was no longer present in nucleoli of confluent cells. The kinase activity, in isolated nuclei, was estimated by endogenous phosphorylation of a specific substrate, nucleolin. A 10% residual activity was present in confluent cell nuclei compared to growing cell nuclei. Concomitantly, the transcription 'in vitro' of rDNA in the corresponding nuclei was also highly reduced (by 85%). Addition of exogenous protein kinase NII to confluent cell nuclei induced a strong increase in the phosphorylation of specific proteins including nucleolin. In parallel, the transcription of rDNA was increased by a factor of 5, to nearly the level observed in nuclei prepared from growing cells. These data suggest that, in confluent cells, factors necessary for rDNA transcription machinery are present but inactive in the nucleolus and that the phosphorylation of one or several of these factors (nucleolin, topoisomerase I,...) by protein kinase NII is a key event in the regulation of rDNA transcription. Images PMID:2780290
Arner, Erik; Daub, Carsten O.; Vitting-Seerup, Kristoffer; Andersson, Robin; Lilje, Berit; Drabløs, Finn; Lennartsson, Andreas; Rönnerblad, Michelle; Hrydziuszko, Olga; Vitezic, Morana; Freeman, Tom C.; Alhendi, Ahmad M. N.; Arner, Peter; Axton, Richard; Baillie, J. Kenneth; Beckhouse, Anthony; Bodega, Beatrice; Briggs, James; Brombacher, Frank; Davis, Margaret; Detmar, Michael; Ehrlund, Anna; Endoh, Mitsuhiro; Eslami, Afsaneh; Fagiolini, Michela; Fairbairn, Lynsey; Faulkner, Geoffrey J.; Ferrai, Carmelo; Fisher, Malcolm E.; Forrester, Lesley; Goldowitz, Daniel; Guler, Reto; Ha, Thomas; Hara, Mitsuko; Herlyn, Meenhard; Ikawa, Tomokatsu; Kai, Chieko; Kawamoto, Hiroshi; Khachigian, Levon M.; Klinken, S. Peter; Kojima, Soichi; Koseki, Haruhiko; Klein, Sarah; Mejhert, Niklas; Miyaguchi, Ken; Mizuno, Yosuke; Morimoto, Mitsuru; Morris, Kelly J.; Mummery, Christine; Nakachi, Yutaka; Ogishima, Soichi; Okada-Hatakeyama, Mariko; Okazaki, Yasushi; Orlando, Valerio; Ovchinnikov, Dmitry; Passier, Robert; Patrikakis, Margaret; Pombo, Ana; Qin, Xian-Yang; Roy, Sugata; Sato, Hiroki; Savvi, Suzana; Saxena, Alka; Schwegmann, Anita; Sugiyama, Daisuke; Swoboda, Rolf; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Tomoiu, Andru; Winteringham, Louise N.; Wolvetang, Ernst; Yanagi-Mizuochi, Chiyo; Yoneda, Misako; Zabierowski, Susan; Zhang, Peter; Abugessaisa, Imad; Bertin, Nicolas; Diehl, Alexander D.; Fukuda, Shiro; Furuno, Masaaki; Harshbarger, Jayson; Hasegawa, Akira; Hori, Fumi; Ishikawa-Kato, Sachi; Ishizu, Yuri; Itoh, Masayoshi; Kawashima, Tsugumi; Kojima, Miki; Kondo, Naoto; Lizio, Marina; Meehan, Terrence F.; Mungall, Christopher J.; Murata, Mitsuyoshi; Nishiyori-Sueki, Hiromi; Sahin, Serkan; Nagao-Sato, Sayaka; Severin, Jessica; de Hoon, Michiel J. L.; Kawai, Jun; Kasukawa, Takeya; Lassmann, Timo; Suzuki, Harukazu; Kawaji, Hideya; Summers, Kim M.; Wells, Christine; Hume, David A.; Forrest, Alistair R. R.; Sandelin, Albin; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide
Although it is generally accepted that cellular differentiation requires changes to transcriptional networks, dynamic regulation of promoters and enhancers at specific sets of genes has not been previously studied en masse. Exploiting the fact that active promoters and enhancers are transcribed, we simultaneously measured their activity in 19 human and 14 mouse time courses covering a wide range of cell types and biological stimuli. Enhancer RNAs, then messenger RNAs encoding transcription factors, dominated the earliest responses. Binding sites for key lineage transcription factors were simultaneously overrepresented in enhancers and promoters active in each cellular system. Our data support a highly generalizable model in which enhancer transcription is the earliest event in successive waves of transcriptional change during cellular differentiation or activation. PMID:25678556
Kulkarni, Varun; Naqvi, Afsar Raza; Uttamani, Juhi Raju; Nares, Salvador
MicroRNAs are 18–22 nucleotides long, non-coding RNAs that bind transcripts with complementary sequences leading to either mRNA degradation or translational suppression. However, the inherent differences in preferred mode of miRNA regulation among cells of different origin have not been examined. In our previous transcriptome profiling studies, we observed that post-transcriptional regulation can differ substantially depending on the cell in context. Here we examined mechanistic differences in the regulation of a let-7a targeted (wild type) or resistant (mutant) engineered renilla transcript across various mammalian cell lines of diverse origin. Dual luciferase assays show that compared to mutant (mut), the reporter gene containing wild type (wt) let-7a binding sites was efficiently suppressed upon transfection in various cell lines. Importantly, the strength of miRNA regulation varied across the cell lines. Total RNA analysis demonstrates that wt renilla mRNA was expressed to similar or higher levels compared to mut suggesting that translation repression is a predominant mode of miRNA regulation. Nonetheless, transcript degradation was observed in some cell lines. Ago-2 immunoprecipitation show that miRNA repressed renilla mRNA are associated with functional mi-RISC (miRNA-RNA induced silencing complex). Given the immense potential of miRNA as a therapeutic option, these findings highlight the necessity to thoroughly examine the mode of mRNA regulation in order to achieve the beneficial effects in targeting cells. PMID:26761000
Landin-Malt, André; Benhaddou, Ataaillah; Zider, Alain; Flagiello, Domenico
TEAD proteins constitute a family of highly conserved transcription factors, characterized by a DNA-binding domain called the TEA domain and a protein-binding domain that permits association with transcriptional co-activators. TEAD proteins are unable to induce transcription on their own. They have to interact with transcriptional cofactors to do so. Once TEADs bind their co-activators, the different complexes formed are known to regulate the expression of genes that are crucial for embryonic development, important for organ formation (heart, muscles), and involved in cell death and proliferation. In the first part of this review we describe what is known of the structure of TEAD proteins. We then focus on two members of the family: TEAD1 and TEAD2. First the different transcriptional cofactors are described. These proteins can be classified in three categories: i), cofactors regulating chromatin conformation, ii), cofactors able to bind DNA, and iii), transcriptional cofactors without DNA binding domain. Finally we discuss the recent findings that identified TEAD1 and 2 and its coactivators involved in cancer progression.
Down, Thomas A; Hubbard, Tim J P
Transcription, the process whereby RNA copies are made from sections of the DNA genome, is directed by promoter regions. These define the transcription start site, and also the set of cellular conditions under which the promoter is active. At least in more complex species, it appears to be common for genes to have several different transcription start sites, which may be active under different conditions. Eukaryotic promoters are complex and fairly diffuse structures, which have proven hard to detect in silico. We show that a novel hybrid machine-learning method is able to build useful models of promoters for >50% of human transcription start sites. We estimate specificity to be >70%, and demonstrate good positional accuracy. Based on the structure of our learned models, we conclude that a signal resembling the well known TATA box, together with flanking regions of C-G enrichment, are the most important sequence-based signals marking sites of transcriptional initiation at a large class of typical promoters.
Allen, Chris; Miller, Cheryl A; Nickoloff, Jac A
In eukaryotes, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are repaired by competing HR and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathways. DSB repair by HR is highly accurate, while NHEJ can result in deletions and insertions. Transcription enhances certain DNA repair pathways and spontaneous homologous recombination (HR). As a means to promote accurate repair in active genes, we thought it possible that the balance between HR and NHEJ would be shifted toward HR in highly transcribed regions. We tested this idea by examining products of DSB repair in integrated neo-direct repeats under conditions of low-level constitutive, or high-level induced transcription regulated by the dexamethasone (Dex)-responsive mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) promoter. DSBs were introduced into one copy of neo by expressing I-SceI nuclease, and DSB repair products were isolated and characterized with an efficient, non-selective assay. We found that transcription does not significantly change the relative frequencies of HR and NHEJ, the relative frequencies of sequence capture and gross chromosomal rearrangement, nor the average size of deletions. About one-third of DSB repair products showed large-scale rearrangements, indicating that a single DSB in a mammalian chromosome has significant mutagenic potential.
Capasso, O; Heintz, N
Mouse L cells containing integrated copies of a human histone H4 gene have been obtained by cotransfection with the herpesvirus thymidine kinase gene. Nuclease S1 assays of RNA from several independent cell lines show that the expression of the introduced H4 gene is regulated during the cell cycle. One of these cell lines (line 6-8) contains more than 60 human H4 gene copies per haploid genome and does not express the endogenous mouse histone H4 mRNA. In contrast, the expression of the mouse H2a and H3 mRNAs in this cell line is not perturbed. In cell revertants that have lost the majority of the human H4 gene copies, the expression of the mouse H4 mRNA is restored, demonstrating that the mouse genes remain functional although not expressed. The rate of transcription of the histone H4 genes in clone 6-8 is at least 10-fold greater than that of the parental cell line and it is regulated during traversal of the cell cycle. These results show that the expression of mammalian histone H4 genes involves both a trans-acting transcriptional regulatory factor and an H4-specific activity. We propose that cell cycle regulation of histone gene expression may be effected through subtype-specific transcriptional regulatory proteins. Images PMID:3862085
Wilder, Hannah K.; Raffel, Sandra J.; Barbour, Alan G.; Porcella, Stephen F.; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Vaisvil, Benjamin; Kapatral, Vinayak; Schmitt, Daniel P.; Schwan, Tom G.; Lopez, Job E.
Adaptation is key for survival as vector-borne pathogens transmit between the arthropod and vertebrate, and temperature change is an environmental signal inducing alterations in gene expression of tick-borne spirochetes. While plasmids are often associated with adaptation, complex genomes of relapsing fever spirochetes have hindered progress in understanding the mechanisms of vector colonization and transmission. We utilized recent advances in genome sequencing to generate the most complete version of the Borrelia turicatae 150 kb linear megaplasmid (lp150). Additionally, a transcriptional analysis of open reading frames (ORFs) in lp150 was conducted and identified regions that were up-regulated during in vitro cultivation at tick-like growth temperatures (22°C), relative to bacteria grown at 35°C and infected murine blood. Evaluation of the 3’ end of lp150 identified a cluster of ORFs that code for putative surface lipoproteins. With a microbe’s surface proteome serving important roles in pathogenesis, we confirmed the ORFs expression in vitro and in the tick compared to spirochetes infecting murine blood. Transcriptional evaluation of lp150 indicates the plasmid likely has essential roles in vector colonization and/or initiating mammalian infection. These results also provide a much needed transcriptional framework to delineate the molecular mechanisms utilized by relapsing fever spirochetes during their enzootic cycle. PMID:26845332
Savage, Amy F.; Cerqueira, Gustavo C.; Regmi, Sandesh; Wu, Yineng; El Sayed, Najib M.; Aksoy, Serap
Human African Trypanosomiasis is a devastating disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Trypanosomes live extracellularly in both the tsetse fly and the mammal. Trypanosome surface proteins can directly interact with the host environment, allowing parasites to effectively establish and maintain infections. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchoring is a common posttranslational modification associated with eukaryotic surface proteins. In T. brucei, three GPI-anchored major surface proteins have been identified: variant surface glycoproteins (VSGs), procyclic acidic repetitive protein (PARP or procyclins), and brucei alanine rich proteins (BARP). The objective of this study was to select genes encoding predicted GPI-anchored proteins with unknown function(s) from the T. brucei genome and characterize the expression profile of a subset during cyclical development in the tsetse and mammalian hosts. An initial in silico screen of putative T. brucei proteins by Big PI algorithm identified 163 predicted GPI-anchored proteins, 106 of which had no known functions. Application of a second GPI-anchor prediction algorithm (FragAnchor), signal peptide and trans-membrane domain prediction software resulted in the identification of 25 putative hypothetical proteins. Eighty-one gene products with hypothetical functions were analyzed for stage-regulated expression using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The expression of most of these genes were found to be upregulated in trypanosomes infecting tsetse salivary gland and proventriculus tissues, and 38% were specifically expressed only by parasites infecting salivary gland tissues. Transcripts for all of the genes specifically expressed in salivary glands were also detected in mammalian infective metacyclic trypomastigotes, suggesting a possible role for these putative proteins in invasion and/or establishment processes in the mammalian host. These results represent the first large-scale report of the differential expression of
The evolution of the eye is a matter of debate ever since Darwin's Origin of Species. While morphological comparisons of eye anatomy and photoreceptor cell types led to the view that animal eyes evolved multiple times independently, the molecular conservation of the pax6 eye-specifying cascade has indicated the contrary - that animal eyes evolved from a common, simple precursor, the proto-eye. Morphological and molecular comparative approaches are combined here in a novel Evo-Devo approach, the molecular comparison of cell types ("comparative molecular cell biology"). In the eye, the various types of photoreceptor cells, as well as pigment and lens cells, each require distinct combinations of specifying transcription factors that control their particular differentiation programmes, such as opsin expression in photoreceptors, specific neurotransmitter metabolism, or axonal outgrowth. Comparing the molecular combinatorial codes of cell types of animal extant eyes, their evolutionary histories can be reconstructed. This is exemplified here on the evolution of ciliary and rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells in bilaterian eyes and on the evolution of cell type diversity in the vertebrate retina. I propose that the retinal ganglion, amacrine and horizontal cells are evolutionary sister cell types that evolved from a common rhabdomeric photoreceptor cell precursor.
Tsunetsugu-Yokota, Yasuko; Yamamoto, Takuya
RNA silencing mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs) is a recently discovered gene regulatory mechanism involved in various aspects of biology, such as development, cell differentiation and proliferation, and innate immunity against viral infections. miRNAs, which are a class of small (21–25 nucleotides) RNAs, target messenger RNA (mRNA) through incomplete base-pairing with their target sequences resulting in mRNA degradation or translational repression. Although studies of miRNAs have led to numerous sensational discoveries in biology, many fundamental questions about their expression and function still remain. In this review, we discuss the dynamics of the mammalian miRNA machinery and the biological function of miRNAs, focusing on RNA viruses and the various therapeutic applications of miRNAs against viral infections. PMID:21607080
Park, Jong-Lyul; Lee, Yeon-Su; Kunkeaw, Nawapol; Kim, Seon-Young; Kim, In-Hoo; Lee, Yong Sun
RNA polymerase III (Pol III) synthesizes a range of medium-sized noncoding RNAs (collectively 'Pol III genes') whose early established biological roles were so essential that they were considered 'housekeeping genes'. Besides these fundamental functions, diverse unconventional roles of mammalian Pol III genes have recently been recognized and their expression must be exquisitely controlled. In this review, we summarize the epigenetic regulation of Pol III genes by chromatin structure, histone modification and CpG DNA methylation. We also recapitulate the association between dysregulation of Pol III genes and diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders. Additionally, we will discuss why in-depth molecular studies of Pol III genes have not been attempted and how nc886, a Pol III gene, may resolve this issue.
Dias, João D; Rito, Tiago; Torlai Triglia, Elena; Kukalev, Alexander; Ferrai, Carmelo; Chotalia, Mita; Brookes, Emily; Kimura, Hiroshi; Pombo, Ana
Dynamic post-translational modification of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) coordinates the co-transcriptional recruitment of enzymatic complexes that regulate chromatin states and processing of nascent RNA. Extensive phosphorylation of serine residues at the largest RNAPII subunit occurs at its structurally-disordered C-terminal domain (CTD), which is composed of multiple heptapeptide repeats with consensus sequence Y1-S2-P3-T4-S5-P6-S7. Serine-5 and Serine-7 phosphorylation mark transcription initiation, whereas Serine-2 phosphorylation coincides with productive elongation. In vertebrates, the CTD has eight non-canonical substitutions of Serine-7 into Lysine-7, which can be acetylated (K7ac). Here, we describe mono- and di-methylation of CTD Lysine-7 residues (K7me1 and K7me2). K7me1 and K7me2 are observed during the earliest transcription stages and precede or accompany Serine-5 and Serine-7 phosphorylation. In contrast, K7ac is associated with RNAPII elongation, Serine-2 phosphorylation and mRNA expression. We identify an unexpected balance between RNAPII K7 methylation and acetylation at gene promoters, which fine-tunes gene expression levels.
Descostes, Nicolas; Heidemann, Martin; Spinelli, Lionel; Schüller, Roland; Maqbool, Muhammad Ahmad; Fenouil, Romain; Koch, Frederic; Innocenti, Charlène; Gut, Marta; Gut, Ivo; Eick, Dirk; Andrau, Jean-Christophe
In mammals, the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase (Pol) II consists of 52 conserved heptapeptide repeats containing the consensus sequence Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7. Post-translational modifications of the CTD coordinate the transcription cycle and various steps of mRNA maturation. Here we describe Tyr1 phosphorylation (Tyr1P) as a hallmark of promoter (5′ associated) Pol II in mammalian cells, in contrast to what was described in yeast. Tyr1P is predominantly found in antisense orientation at promoters but is also specifically enriched at active enhancers. Mutation of Tyr1 to phenylalanine (Y1F) prevents the formation of the hyper-phosphorylated Pol IIO form, induces degradation of Pol II to the truncated Pol IIB form, and results in a lethal phenotype. Our results suggest that Tyr1P has evolved specialized and essential functions in higher eukaryotes associated with antisense promoter and enhancer transcription, and Pol II stability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02105.001 PMID:24842994
Luo, C; Lu, X; Stubbs, L; Kim, J
YY2 was originally identified due to its unusual similarity to the evolutionarily well conserved, zinc-finger gene YY1. In this study, we have determined the evolutionary origin and conservation of YY2 using comparative genomic approaches. Our results indicate that YY2 is a retroposed copy of YY1 that has been inserted into another gene locus named Mbtps2 (membrane-bound transcription factor protease site 2). This retroposition is estimated to have occurred after the divergence of placental mammals from other vertebrates based on the detection of YY2 only in the placental mammals. The N-terminal and C-terminal regions of YY2 have evolved under different selection pressures. The N-terminal region has evolved at a very fast pace with very limited functional constraints whereas the DNA-binding, C-terminal region still maintains very similar sequence structure as YY1 and is also well conserved among placental mammals. In situ hybridizations using different adult mouse tissues indicate that mouse YY2 is expressed at relatively low levels in Purkinje and granular cells of cerebellum, and neuronal cells of cerebrum, but at very high levels in testis. The expression levels of YY2 is much lower than YY1, but the overall spatial expression patterns are similar to those of Mbtps2, suggesting a possible shared transcriptional control between YY2 and Mbtps2. Taken together, the formation and evolution of YY2 represent a very unusual case where a transcription factor was first retroposed into another gene locus encoding a protease and survived with different selection schemes and expression patterns.
Kim, Jong Kyong; Estève, Pierre-Olivier; Jacobsen, Steven E.; Pradhan, Sriharsa
UHRF1 (ubiquitin-like, containing PHD and RING finger domains 1) is a multi-domain protein associated with cellular proliferation and epigenetic regulation. The UHRF1 binds to methylated CpG dinucleotides and recruits transcriptional repressors DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) through its distinct domains. However, the molecular basis of UHRF1-mediated transcriptional regulation via chromatin modifications is yet to be fully understood. Here we show that UHRF1 binds histone lysine methyltransferase G9a, and both are co-localized in the nucleus in a cell-cycle-dependent manner. Concurrent with the cell-cycle progression, gradual deposition of UHRF1 and G9a was observed, which mirrored H3K9me2 accumulation on chromatin. Murine Uhrf1-null embryonic stem (ES) cells displayed a reduced amount of G9a and H3K9me2 on chromatin. UHRF1 recruited and cooperated with G9a to inhibit the p21 promoter activity, which correlated with the elevated p21 protein level in both human UHRF1 siRNA-transfected HeLa cells and murine Uhrf1-null ES cells. Furthermore, endogenous p21 promoter remained bound to UHRF1, G9a, DNMT1 and HDAC1, and knockdown of UHRF1 impaired the association of all three chromatin modifiers with the promoter. Thus, our results suggest that UHRF1 may serve as a focal point of transcriptional regulation mediated by G9a and other chromatin modification enzymes. PMID:19056828
Kawaji, Hideya; Severin, Jessica; Lizio, Marina; Waterhouse, Andrew; Katayama, Shintaro; Irvine, Katharine M; Hume, David A; Forrest, Alistair RR; Suzuki, Harukazu; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Daub, Carsten O
In FANTOM4, an international collaborative research project, we collected a wide range of genome-scale data, including 24 million mRNA 5'-reads (CAGE tags) and microarray expression profiles along a differentiation time course of the human THP-1 cell line and under 52 systematic siRNA perturbations. In addition, data regarding chromatin status derived from ChIP-chip to elucidate the transcriptional regulatory interactions are included. Here we present these data to the research community as an integrated web resource. PMID:19374775
Kawaji, Hideya; Severin, Jessica; Lizio, Marina; Waterhouse, Andrew; Katayama, Shintaro; Irvine, Katharine M; Hume, David A; Forrest, Alistair R R; Suzuki, Harukazu; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Daub, Carsten O
In FANTOM4, an international collaborative research project, we collected a wide range of genome-scale data, including 24 million mRNA 5'-reads (CAGE tags) and microarray expression profiles along a differentiation time course of the human THP-1 cell line and under 52 systematic siRNA perturbations. In addition, data regarding chromatin status derived from ChIP-chip to elucidate the transcriptional regulatory interactions are included. Here we present these data to the research community as an integrated web resource.
Financsek, I; Mizumoto, K; Mishima, Y; Muramatsu, M
The transcription initiation site of the human ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) was located by using the single-strand specific nuclease protection method and by determining the first nucleotide of the in vitro capped 45S preribosomal RNA. The sequence of 1,211 nucleotides surrounding the initiation site was determined. The sequenced region was found to consist of 75% G and C and to contain a number of short direct and inverted repeats and palindromes. By comparison of the corresponding initiation regions of three mammalian species, several conserved sequences were found upstream and downstream from the transcription starting point. Two short A + T-rich sequences are present on human, mouse, and rat ribosomal RNA genes between the initiation site and 40 nucleotides upstream, and a C + T cluster is located at a position around -60. At and downstream from the initiation site, a common sequence, T-AG-C-T-G-A-C-A-C-G-C-T-G-T-C-C-T-CT-T, was found in the three genes from position -1 through +18. The strong conservation of these sequences suggests their functional significance in rDNA. The S1 nuclease protection experiments with cloned rDNA fragments indicated the presence in human 45S RNA of molecules several hundred nucleotides shorter than the supposed primary transcript. The first 19 nucleotides of these molecules appear identical--except for one mismatch--to the nucleotide sequence of the 5' end of a supposed early processing product of the mouse 45S RNA. Images PMID:6954460
McGrath, Monica Forero; de Bold, Adolfo J
Background Pharmacological and gene ablation studies have demonstrated the crucial role of the endocrine function of the heart as mediated by the polypeptide hormones ANF and BNP in the maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis. The importance of these studies lies on the fact that hypertension and chronic congestive heart failure are clinical entities that may be regarded as states of relative deficiency of ANF and BNP. These hormones are produced by the atrial muscle cells (cardiocytes), which display a dual secretory/muscle phenotype. In contrast, ventricular cardiocytes display mainly a muscle phenotype. Comparatively little information is available regarding the genetic background for this important phenotypic difference with particular reference to the endocrine function of the heart. We postulated that comparison of gene expression profiles between atrial and ventricular muscles would help identify gene transcripts that underlie the phenotypic differences associated with the endocrine function of the heart. Results Comparison of gene expression profiles in the rat heart revealed a total of 1415 differentially expressed genes between the atria and ventricles based on a 1.8 fold cut-off. The identification of numerous chamber specific transcripts, such as ANF for the atria and Irx4 for the ventricles among several others, support the soundness of the GeneChip data and demonstrates that the differences in gene expression profiles observed between the atrial and ventricular tissues were not spurious in nature. Pathway analysis revealed unique expression profiles in the atria for G protein signaling that included Gαo1, Gγ2 and Gγ3, AGS1, RGS2, and RGS6 and the related K+ channels GIRK1 and GIRK4. Transcripts involved in vesicle trafficking, hormone secretion as well as mechanosensors (e.g. the potassium channel TREK-1) were identified in relationship to the synthesis, storage and secretion of hormones. Conclusion The data developed in this investigation
Alam, Samer G.; Zhang, Qiao; Prasad, Nripesh; Li, Yuan; Chamala, Srikar; Kuchibhotla, Ram; KC, Birendra; Aggarwal, Varun; Shrestha, Shristi; Jones, Angela L.; Levy, Shawn E.; Roux, Kyle J.; Nickerson, Jeffrey A.; Lele, Tanmay P.
Mechanical integration of the nucleus with the extracellular matrix (ECM) is established by linkage between the cytoskeleton and the nucleus. This integration is hypothesized to mediate sensing of ECM rigidity, but parsing the function of nucleus-cytoskeleton linkage from other mechanisms has remained a central challenge. Here we took advantage of the fact that the LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complex is a known molecular linker of the nucleus to the cytoskeleton, and asked how it regulates the sensitivity of genome-wide transcription to substratum rigidity. We show that gene mechanosensitivity is preserved after LINC disruption, but reversed in direction. Combined with myosin inhibition studies, we identify genes that depend on nuclear tension for their regulation. We also show that LINC disruption does not attenuate nuclear shape sensitivity to substrate rigidity. Our results show for the first time that the LINC complex facilitates mechano-regulation of expression across the genome. PMID:27905489
Ma, Dacheng; Peng, Shuguang; Xie, Zhen
Programmable and precise regulation of dCas9 functions in response to multiple molecular signals by using synthetic gene circuits will expand the application of the CRISPR-Cas technology. However, the application of CRISPR-Cas therapeutic circuits is still challenging due to the restrictive cargo size of existing viral delivery vehicles. Here, we construct logic AND circuits by integrating multiple split dCas9 domains, which is useful to reduce the size of synthetic circuits. In addition, we engineer sensory switches by exchanging split dCas9 domains, allowing differential regulations on one gene, or activating two different genes in response to cell-type specific microRNAs. Therefore, we provide a valuable split-dCas9 toolkit to engineer complex transcription controls, which may inspire new biomedical applications. PMID:27694915
Miettinen, Teemu P.; Pessa, Heli K.J.; Caldez, Matias J.; Fuhrer, Tobias; Diril, M. Kasim; Sauer, Uwe; Kaldis, Philipp; Björklund, Mikael
Summary Background Regulation of cell size requires coordination of growth and proliferation. Conditional loss of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 in mice permits hepatocyte growth without cell division, allowing us to study cell size in vivo using transcriptomics and metabolomics. Results Larger cells displayed increased expression of cytoskeletal genes but unexpectedly repressed expression of many genes involved in mitochondrial functions. This effect appears to be cell autonomous because cultured Drosophila cells induced to increase cell size displayed a similar gene-expression pattern. Larger hepatocytes also displayed a reduction in the expression of lipogenic transcription factors, especially sterol-regulatory element binding proteins. Inhibition of mitochondrial functions and lipid biosynthesis, which is dependent on mitochondrial metabolism, increased the cell size with reciprocal effects on cell proliferation in several cell lines. Conclusions We uncover that large cell-size increase is accompanied by downregulation of mitochondrial gene expression, similar to that observed in diabetic individuals. Mitochondrial metabolism and lipid synthesis are used to couple cell size and cell proliferation. This regulatory mechanism may provide a possible mechanism for sensing metazoan cell size. PMID:24613310
Soininen, R; Schoor, M; Henseling, U; Tepe, C; Kisters-Woike, B; Rossant, J; Gossler, A
A novel mouse gene, Enhancer trap locus 1 (Etl-1), was identified in close proximity to a lacZ enhancer trap integration in the mouse genome showing a specific beta-galactosidase staining pattern during development. In situ analysis revealed a widespread but not ubiquitous expression of Etl-1 throughout development with particularly high levels in the central nervous system and epithelial cells. The amino acid sequence of the Etl-1 protein deduced from the cDNA shows strong similarity, over a stretch of 500 amino acids, to the Drosophila brahma protein involved in the regulation of homeotic genes and to the yeast transcriptional activator protein SNF2/SWI2 as well as to the RAD54 protein and the recently described helicase-related yeast proteins STH1 and MOT1. Etl-1 is the first mammalian member of this group of proteins that are implicated in gene regulation and/or influencing chromatin structure. The homology to the regulatory proteins SNF2/SWI2 and brahma and the expression pattern during embryogenesis suggest that Etl-1 protein might be involved in gene regulating pathways during mouse development.
Showalter, Aaron D; Smith, Timothy P L; Bennett, Gary L; Sloop, Kyle W; Whitsett, Julie A; Rhodes, Simon J
The Prophet of Pit-1 (PROP1) gene encodes a paired class homeodomain transcription factor that is exclusively expressed in the developing mammalian pituitary gland. PROP1 function is essential for anterior pituitary organogenesis, and heritable mutations in the gene are associated with combined pituitary hormone deficiency in human patients and animals. By cloning the bovine PROP1 gene and by comparative analysis, we demonstrate that the homeodomains and carboxyl termini of mammalian PROP1 proteins are highly conserved while the amino termini are diverged. Whereas the carboxyl termini of the human and bovine PROP1 proteins contain potent transcriptional activation domains, the amino termini and homeodomains have repressive activities. The bovine PROP1 gene has four exons and three introns and maps to a region of chromosome seven carrying a quantitative trait locus affecting ovulation rate. Two alleles of the bovine gene were found that encode distinct protein products with different DNA binding and transcriptional activities. These experiments demonstrate that mammalian PROP1 genes encode proteins with complex regulatory capacities and that modest changes in protein sequence can significantly alter the activity of this pituitary developmental transcription factor.
Song, Im-Sook; Chen, Helen H. W.; Aiba, Isamu; Hossain, Anwar; Liang, Zheng D.; Klomp, Leo W. J.; Kuo, Macus Tien
Copper is an essential metal nutrient, yet Cu overload is toxic. Here, we report that human copper transporter 1 (hCtr1) plays an important role in the maintenance of Cu homeostasis by demonstrating that expression of hCtr1 mRNA was up-regulated under Cu-depleted conditions and down-regulated under Cu-replete conditions. Overexpression of full-length hCtr1 by transfection with a recombinant hCtr1 cDNA clone reduced endogenous hCtr1 mRNA levels, whereas overexpression of N-terminus-deleted hCtr1 did not change endogenous hCtr1 mRNA levels, suggesting that increased functional hCtr1 transporter, which leads to increased intracellular Cu contents down-regulates the endogenous hCtr1 mRNA. A luciferase assay using reporter constructs containing the hCtr1 promoter sequences revealed that three Sp1-binding sites are involved in the basal and Cu concentration-dependent regulation of hCtr1 expression. Modulation of Sp1 levels affected the expression of hCtr1. We further demonstrated that zinc finger domain of Sp1 functions as a sensor of Cu that regulates hCtr1 up-and-down in response to Cu concentration variations. Our results demonstrate that mammalian Cu homeostasis is maintained at the hCtr1 mRNA level which is regulated by the Sp1 transcription factor. PMID:18483225
Li, Xinle; Montgomery, Jake; Cheng, Wesley; Noh, Jung Hyun; Hyde, David R.; Li, Lei
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. PMID:22815753
Lebar, Tina; Jerala, Roman
Transcriptional activator-like effector (TALE)- and CRISPR/Cas9-based designable recognition domains represent a technological breakthrough not only for genome editing but also for building designed genetic circuits. Both platforms are able to target rarely occurring DNA segments, even within complex genomes. TALE and dCas9 domains, genetically fused to transcriptional regulatory domains, can be used for the construction of engineered logic circuits. Here we benchmarked the performance of the two platforms, targeting the same DNA sequences, to compare their advantages for the construction of designed circuits in mammalian cells. Optimal targeting strands for repression and activation of dCas9-based designed transcription factors were identified; both platforms exhibited good orthogonality and were used to construct functionally complete NOR gates. Although the CRISPR/dCas9 system is clearly easier to construct, TALE-based activators were significantly stronger, and the TALE-based platform performed better, especially for the construction of layered circuits.
Stoimenov, Ivaylo; Gottipati, Ponnari; Schultz, Niklas; Helleday, Thomas
Transcription, replication and homologous recombination are intrinsically connected and it is well established that an increase of transcription is associated with an increase in homologous recombination. Here, we have studied how homologous recombination is affected during transcription inhibition by 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB), a compound that prevents activating phosphorylations of the RNA Pol II C-terminal domain. We identify that DRB triggers an increase in homologous recombination within the hprt gene as well as increasing RAD51 foci formation in mammalian cells. Furthermore, we find that DRB-induced transcriptional stress is associated with formation of the nuclear foci of the phosphorylated form of H2AX (γH2AX). We accounted that about 72% of RAD51 foci co-localized with the observed γH2AX foci. Interestingly, we find that XRCC3 mutated, homologous recombination defective cells are hypersensitive to the toxic effect of DRB and fail to form RAD51 foci. In conclusion, we show that DRB-induced transcription inhibition is associated with the formation of a lesion that triggers RAD51-dependent homologous recombination repair, required for survival under transcriptional stress.
Chen, Holly Yu; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Dong, Lijin
Purpose The generation of three-dimensional (3D) organoids with optic cup–like structures from pluripotent stem cells has created opportunities for investigating mammalian retinal development in vitro. However, retinal organoids in culture do not completely reflect the developmental state and in vivo architecture of the rod-dominant mouse retina. The goals of this study were to develop an efficient protocol for generating retinal organoids from stem cells and examine the morphogenesis of rods in vitro. Methods To assess rod photoreceptor differentiation in retinal organoids, we took advantage of Nrl-green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice that show rod-specific expression of GFP directed by the promoter of leucine zipper transcription factor NRL. Using embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs, respectively) derived from the Nrl-GFP mouse, we were successful in establishing long-term retinal organoid cultures using modified culture conditions (called High Efficiency Hypoxia Induced Generation of Photoreceptors in Retinal Organoids, or HIPRO). Results We demonstrated efficient differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to retinal structures. More than 70% of embryoid bodies formed optic vesicles at day (D) 7, >50% produced optic cups by D10, and most of them survived until at least D35. The HIPRO organoids included distinct inner retina neurons in a somewhat stratified architecture and mature Müller glia spanning the entire retina. Almost 70% of the cells in the retinal organoids were rod photoreceptors that exhibited elongated cilia. Transcriptome profiles of GFP+ rod photoreceptors, purified from organoids at D25–35, demonstrated a high correlation with the gene profiles of purified rods from the mouse retina at P2 to P6, indicating their early state of differentiation. Conclusions The 3D retinal organoids, generated by HIPRO method, closely mimic in vivo retinogenesis and provide an efficient in vitro model to investigate photoreceptor
You, Changjun; Ji, Debin; Dai, Xiaoxia; Wang, Yinsheng
5-methylcytosine (5-mC) is a well-characterized epigenetic regulator in mammals. Recent studies showed that Ten-eleven translocation (Tet) proteins can catalyze the stepwise oxidation of 5-mC to produce 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-HmC), 5-formylcytosine (5-FoC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5-CaC). The exciting discovery of these novel cytosine modifications has stimulated substantial research interests about their roles in epigenetic regulation. Here we systematically examined the effects of the oxidized 5-mC derivatives on the efficiency and fidelity of DNA transcription using a recently developed competitive transcription and adduct bypass assay. Our results showed that, when located on the transcribed strand, 5-FoC and 5-CaC exhibited marginal mutagenic and modest inhibitory effects on DNA transcription mediated by single-subunit T7 RNA polymerase or multi-subunit human RNA polymerase II in vitro and in human cells. 5-HmC displayed relatively milder blocking effects on transcription, and no mutant transcript could be detectable for 5-HmC in vitro or in cells. The lack of considerable mutagenic effects of the oxidized 5-mC derivatives on transcription was in agreement with their functions in epigenetic regulation. The modest blocking effects on transcription suggested that 5-FoC and 5-CaC may function in transcriptional regulation. These findings provided new evidence for the potential functional interplay between cytosine methylation status and transcription.
Muranishi, Yuki; Sato, Shigeru; Inoue, Tatsuya; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kondo, Mineo; Furukawa, Takahisa
Crx is a transcription factor which is predominantly expressed in developing and mature photoreceptor cells in the retina, and plays a crucial role in the terminal differentiation of both rods and cones. Crx is one of the earliest-expressed genes specifically in photoreceptor precursors, allowing us to trace photoreceptor precursor cells from embryonic stages to adult stage by visualizing Crx-expressing cells. In the current study, we generated a transgenic mouse line which expresses enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) in the retina driven by the Crx promoter using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis. EGFP-positive cells were observed in the presumptive photoreceptor layer in the retina at embryonic day 15.5 (E15.5), and continued to be expressed in developing and mature photoreceptor cells up to adult stage. We sorted EGFP-positive photoreceptor precursors at E17.5 using fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS), and subsequently performed microarray analysis of the FACS-sorted cells. We observed various photoreceptor genes, especially cone genes, are enriched in the EGFP-positive cells, indicating that embryonic cone photoreceptor precursors are enriched. In addition, we found that most of the EGFP-positive cells were post-mitotic cells. Thus, the transgenic line we established can serve as a useful tool to study both developing and mature photoreceptor cells, including embryonic cone precursors whose analysis has been difficult.
Multisite light-induced phosphorylation of the transcription factor PIF3 is necessary for both its rapid degradation and concomitant negative feedback modulation of photoreceptor phyB levels in Arabidopsis
Plants constantly monitor informational light signals using sensory photoreceptors, which include the phytochrome (phy) family (phyA to phyE), and adjust their growth and development accordingly. Following light-induced nuclear translocation, photoactivated phy molecules bind to and induce rapid pho...
The differential expression of alternatively polyadenylated transcripts is a common stress-induced response mechanism that modulates mammalian mRNA expression in a quantitative and qualitative fashion.
Hollerer, Ina; Curk, Tomaz; Haase, Bettina; Benes, Vladimir; Hauer, Christian; Neu-Yilik, Gabriele; Bhuvanagiri, Madhuri; Hentze, Matthias W; Kulozik, Andreas E
Stress adaptation plays a pivotal role in biological processes and requires tight regulation of gene expression. In this study, we explored the effect of cellular stress on mRNA polyadenylation and investigated the implications of regulated polyadenylation site usage on mammalian gene expression. High-confidence polyadenylation site mapping combined with global pre-mRNA and mRNA expression profiling revealed that stress induces an accumulation of genes with differentially expressed polyadenylated mRNA isoforms in human cells. Specifically, stress provokes a global trend in polyadenylation site usage toward decreased utilization of promoter-proximal poly(A) sites in introns or ORFs and increased utilization of promoter-distal polyadenylation sites in intergenic regions. This extensively affects gene expression beyond regulating mRNA abundance by changing mRNA length and by altering the configuration of open reading frames. Our study highlights the impact of post-transcriptional mechanisms on stress-dependent gene regulation and reveals the differential expression of alternatively polyadenylated transcripts as a common stress-induced mechanism in mammalian cells.
Hintermair, Corinna; Heidemann, Martin; Koch, Frederic; Descostes, Nicolas; Gut, Marta; Gut, Ivo; Fenouil, Romain; Ferrier, Pierre; Flatley, Andrew; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Chapman, Rob D; Andrau, Jean-Christophe; Eick, Dirk
Eukaryotic RNA polymerase II (Pol II) has evolved an array of heptad repeats with the consensus sequence Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7 at the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the large subunit (Rpb1). Differential phosphorylation of Ser2, Ser5, and Ser7 in the 5′ and 3′ regions of genes coordinates the binding of transcription and RNA processing factors to the initiating and elongating polymerase complexes. Here, we report phosphorylation of Thr4 by Polo-like kinase 3 in mammalian cells. ChIPseq analyses indicate an increase of Thr4-P levels in the 3′ region of genes occurring subsequently to an increase of Ser2-P levels. A Thr4/Ala mutant of Pol II displays a lethal phenotype. This mutant reveals a global defect in RNA elongation, while initiation is largely unaffected. Since Thr4 replacement mutants are viable in yeast we conclude that this amino acid has evolved an essential function(s) in the CTD of Pol II for gene transcription in mammalian cells. PMID:22549466
Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming
The homeodomain transcription factor Crx is required for expression of many photoreceptor genes in the mammalian retina. The mechanism by which Crx activates transcription remains to be determined. Using protein–protein interaction assays, Crx was found to interact with three co-activator proteins (complexes): STAGA, Cbp and p300, all of which possess histone acetyl-transferase (HAT) activity. To determine the role of Crx–HAT interactions in target gene chromatin modification and transcriptional activation, quantitative RT–PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation were performed on Crx target genes, rod and cone opsins, in developing mouse retina. Although cone opsins are transcribed earlier than rhodopsin during development, the transcription of each gene is preceded by the same sequence of events in their promoter and enhancer regions: (i) binding of Crx, followed by (ii) binding of HATs, (iii) the acetylation of histone H3, then (iv) binding of other photoreceptor transcription factors (Nrl and Nr2e3) and RNA polymerase II. In Crx knockout mice (Crx−/−), the association of HATs and AcH3 with target promoter/enhancer regions was significantly decreased, which correlates with aberrant opsin transcription and photoreceptor dysfunction in these mice. Similar changes to the opsin chromatin were seen in Y79 retinoblastoma cells, where opsin genes are barely transcribed. These defects in Y79 cells can be reversed by expressing a recombinant Crx or applying histone deacetylase inhibitors. Altogether, these results suggest that one mechanism for Crx-mediated transcriptional activation is to recruit HATs to photoreceptor gene chromatin for histone acetylation, thereby inducing and maintaining appropriate chromatin configurations for transcription. PMID:17656371
Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel
More than five decades ago it was postulated that sensory neurons detect and selectively enhance behaviourally relevant features of natural signals. Although we now know that sensory neurons are tuned to efficiently encode natural stimuli, until now it was not clear what statistical features of the stimuli they encode and how. Here we reverse-engineer the neural code of Drosophila photoreceptors and show for the first time that photoreceptors exploit nonlinear dynamics to selectively enhance and encode phase-related features of temporal stimuli, such as local phase congruency, which are invariant to changes in illumination and contrast. We demonstrate that to mitigate for the inherent sensitivity to noise of the local phase congruency measure, the nonlinear coding mechanisms of the fly photoreceptors are tuned to suppress random phase signals, which explains why photoreceptor responses to naturalistic stimuli are significantly different from their responses to white noise stimuli. PMID:27336733
Lyssimachou, Angeliki; Santos, Joana G.; André, Ana; Soares, Joana; Lima, Daniela; Guimarães, Laura; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Teixeira, Catarina; Castro, L. Filipe C.; Santos, Miguel M.
Recent findings indicate that different Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) interfere with lipid metabolic pathways in mammals and promote fat accumulation, a previously unknown site of action for these compounds. The antifoulant and environmental pollutant tributyltin (TBT), which causes imposex in gastropod snails, induces an “obesogenic” phenotype in mammals, through the activation of the nuclear receptors retinoid X receptor (RXR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). In teleosts, the effects of TBT on the lipid metabolism are poorly understood, particularly following exposure to low, environmental concentrations. In this context, the present work shows that exposure of zebrafish to 10 and 50 ng/L of TBT (as Sn) from pre-hatch to 9 months of age alters the body weight, condition factor, hepatosomatic index and hepatic triglycerides in a gender and dose related manner. Furthermore, TBT modulated the transcription of key lipid regulating factors and enzymes involved in adipogenesis, lipogenesis, glucocorticoid metabolism, growth and development in the brain and liver of exposed fish, revealing sexual dimorphic effects in the latter. Overall, the present study shows that the model mammalian obesogen TBT interferes with triglyceride accumulation and the transcriptional regulation of lipid metabolism in zebrafish and indentifies the brain lipogenic transcription profile of fish as a new target of this compound. PMID:26633012
Lyssimachou, Angeliki; Santos, Joana G; André, Ana; Soares, Joana; Lima, Daniela; Guimarães, Laura; Almeida, C Marisa R; Teixeira, Catarina; Castro, L Filipe C; Santos, Miguel M
Recent findings indicate that different Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) interfere with lipid metabolic pathways in mammals and promote fat accumulation, a previously unknown site of action for these compounds. The antifoulant and environmental pollutant tributyltin (TBT), which causes imposex in gastropod snails, induces an "obesogenic" phenotype in mammals, through the activation of the nuclear receptors retinoid X receptor (RXR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). In teleosts, the effects of TBT on the lipid metabolism are poorly understood, particularly following exposure to low, environmental concentrations. In this context, the present work shows that exposure of zebrafish to 10 and 50 ng/L of TBT (as Sn) from pre-hatch to 9 months of age alters the body weight, condition factor, hepatosomatic index and hepatic triglycerides in a gender and dose related manner. Furthermore, TBT modulated the transcription of key lipid regulating factors and enzymes involved in adipogenesis, lipogenesis, glucocorticoid metabolism, growth and development in the brain and liver of exposed fish, revealing sexual dimorphic effects in the latter. Overall, the present study shows that the model mammalian obesogen TBT interferes with triglyceride accumulation and the transcriptional regulation of lipid metabolism in zebrafish and indentifies the brain lipogenic transcription profile of fish as a new target of this compound.
Tonade, Deoye; Liu, Haitao; Kern, Timothy S.
Purpose Recent studies suggest that photoreceptor cells regulate local inflammation in the retina in diabetes. The purpose of this study was to determine if photoreceptor cells themselves produce inflammatory proteins in diabetes and if soluble factors released by photoreceptors in elevated glucose induce inflammatory changes in nearby cells. Methods Laser capture microdissection was used to isolate the outer retina (photoreceptors) from the inner retina in nondiabetic and diabetic mice. Diabetes-induced changes in the expression of inflammatory targets were assessed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Cell culture experiments were carried out to determine if photoreceptors in vitro and ex vivo release soluble mediators that can stimulate nearby cells. Photoreceptor contribution to leukocyte-mediated endothelial cell death was tested using coculture models. Results Messenger ribonucleic acid and protein expression levels for inflammatory proteins intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) were increased in photoreceptors cells in diabetes. In vitro and ex vivo studies show that photoreceptor cells in elevated glucose release mediators that can induce tumor necrosis factor-α in leukocytes and endothelial cells, but not in glia. The soluble mediators released by photoreceptor cells in elevated glucose are regulated by transforming growth factor β-activated kinase 1 and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NADPH oxidase) signaling. In contrast to enhanced leukocyte-mediated killing of endothelial cells by leukocytes from wild-type diabetic mice, leukocytes from diabetic mice lacking photoreceptor cells (opsin−/−) did not kill endothelial cells. Conclusions These data indicate that photoreceptor cells are a source of inflammatory proteins in diabetes, and their release of soluble mediators can contribute to the death of retinal capillaries
Mikolajczak, Sebastian A; Silva-Rivera, Hilda; Peng, Xinxia; Tarun, Alice S; Camargo, Nelly; Jacobs-Lorena, Vanessa; Daly, Thomas M; Bergman, Lawrence W; de la Vega, Patricia; Williams, Jack; Aly, Ahmed S I; Kappe, Stefan H I
The malaria parasite sporozoite transmission stage develops and differentiates within parasite oocysts on the Anopheles mosquito midgut. Successful inoculation of the parasite into a mammalian host is critically dependent on the sporozoite's ability to first infect the mosquito salivary glands. Remarkable changes in tissue infection competence are observed as the sporozoites transit from the midgut oocysts to the salivary glands. Our microarray analysis shows that compared to oocyst sporozoites, salivary gland sporozoites upregulate expression of at least 124 unique genes. Conversely, oocyst sporozoites show upregulation of at least 47 genes (upregulated in oocyst sporozoites [UOS genes]) before they infect the salivary glands. Targeted gene deletion of UOS3, encoding a putative transmembrane protein with a thrombospondin repeat that localizes to the sporozoite secretory organelles, rendered oocyst sporozoites unable to infect the mosquito salivary glands but maintained the parasites' liver infection competence. This phenotype demonstrates the significance of differential UOS expression. Thus, the UIS-UOS gene classification provides a framework to elucidate the infectivity and transmission success of Plasmodium sporozoites on a whole-genome scale. Genes identified herein might represent targets for vector-based transmission blocking strategies (UOS genes), as well as strategies that prevent mammalian host infection (UIS genes).
Uribe, Mary Luz; Haro, Carmen; Campello, Laura; Cruces, Jesús; Martín-Nieto, José
Purpose The POMGNT1 gene, encoding protein O-linked-mannose β-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 1, is associated with muscle-eye-brain disease (MEB) and other dystroglycanopathies. This gene’s lack of function or expression causes hypoglycosylation of α-dystroglycan (α-DG) in the muscle and the central nervous system, including the brain and the retina. The ocular symptoms of patients with MEB include retinal degeneration and detachment, glaucoma, and abnormal electroretinogram. Nevertheless, the POMGnT1 expression pattern in the healthy mammalian retina has not yet been investigated. In this work, we address the expression of the POMGNT1 gene in the healthy retina of a variety of mammals and characterize the distribution pattern of this gene in the adult mouse retina and the 661W photoreceptor cell line. Methods Using reverse transcription (RT)–PCR and immunoblotting, we studied POMGNT1 expression at the mRNA and protein levels in various mammalian species, from rodents to humans. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy analyses were performed to characterize the distribution profile of its protein product in mouse retinal sections and in 661W cultured cells. The intranuclear distribution of POMT1 and POMT2, the two enzymes preceding POMGnT1 in the α-DG O-mannosyl glycosylation pathway, was also analyzed. Results POMGNT1 mRNA and its encoded protein were expressed in the neural retina of all mammals studied. POMGnT1 was located in the cytoplasmic fraction in the mouse retina and concentrated in the myoid portion of the photoreceptor inner segments, where the protein colocalized with GM130, a Golgi complex marker. The presence of POMGnT1 in the Golgi complex was also evident in 661W cells. However, and in contrast to retinal tissue, POMGnT1 additionally accumulated in the nucleus of the 661W photoreceptors. Colocalization was found within this organelle between POMGnT1 and POMT1/2, the latter associated with euchromatic regions of the nucleus. Conclusions
Paes, Hugo Costa; Albuquerque, Patrícia; Tavares, Aldo Henrique F. P.; Fernandes, Larissa; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete; Casadevall, Arturo
Virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans for mammals, and in particular its intracellular style, was proposed to emerge from evolutionary pressures on its natural environment by protozoan predation, which promoted the selection of strategies that allow intracellular survival in macrophages. In fact, Acanthamoeba castellanii ingests yeast cells, which then can replicate intracellularly. In addition, most fungal factors needed to establish infection in the mammalian host are also important for survival within the amoeba. To better understand the origin of C. neoformans virulence, we compared the transcriptional profile of yeast cells internalized by amoebae and murine macrophages after 6 h of infection. Our results showed 656 and 293 genes whose expression changed at least 2-fold in response to the intracellular environments of amoebae and macrophages, respectively. Among the genes that were found in both groups, we focused on open reading frame (ORF) CNAG_05662, which was potentially related to sugar transport but had no determined biological function. To characterize its function, we constructed a mutant strain and evaluated its ability to grow on various carbon sources. The results showed that this gene, named PTP1 (polyol transporter protein 1), is involved in the transport of 5- and 6-carbon polyols such as mannitol and sorbitol, but its presence or absence had no effect on cryptococcal virulence for mice or moth larvae. Overall, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that the capacity for mammalian virulence originated from fungus-protozoan interactions in the environment and provide a better understanding of how C. neoformans adapts to the mammalian host. PMID:23524994
Simonte, Giacoma; Di Vicino, Umberto; Romo, Neus; Pinilla, Isabel; Nicolás, Marta
Vision impairments and blindness caused by retinitis pigmentosa result from severe neurodegeneration that leads to a loss of photoreceptors, the specialized light-sensitive neurons that enable vision. Although the mammalian nervous system is unable to replace neurons lost due to degeneration, therapeutic approaches to reprogram resident glial cells to replace retinal neurons have been proposed. Here, we demonstrate that retinal Müller glia can be reprogrammed in vivo into retinal precursors that then differentiate into photoreceptors. We transplanted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) into retinas affected by photoreceptor degeneration and observed spontaneous cell fusion events between Müller glia and the transplanted cells. Activation of Wnt signaling in the transplanted HSPCs enhanced survival and proliferation of Müller-HSPC hybrids as well as their reprogramming into intermediate photoreceptor precursors. This suggests that Wnt signaling drives the reprogrammed cells toward a photoreceptor progenitor fate. Finally, Müller-HSPC hybrids differentiated into photoreceptors. Transplantation of HSPCs with activated Wnt functionally rescued the retinal degeneration phenotype in rd10 mice, a model for inherited retinitis pigmentosa. Together, these results suggest that photoreceptors can be generated by reprogramming Müller glia and that this approach may have potential as a strategy for reversing retinal degeneration. PMID:27427986
Sato, Shigeru; Omori, Yoshihiro; Katoh, Kimiko; Kondo, Mineo; Kanagawa, Motoi; Miyata, Kentaro; Funabiki, Kazuo; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kajimura, Naoko; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime; Kobayashi, Kazuhiro; Tani, Akiko; Toda, Tatsushi; Usukura, Jiro; Tano, Yasuo; Fujikado, Takashi; Furukawa, Takahisa
Exquisitely precise synapse formation is crucial for the mammalian CNS to function correctly. Retinal photoreceptors transfer information to bipolar and horizontal cells at a specialized synapse, the ribbon synapse. We identified pikachurin, an extracellular matrix-like retinal protein, and observed that it localized to the synaptic cleft in the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. Pikachurin null-mutant mice showed improper apposition of the bipolar cell dendritic tips to the photoreceptor ribbon synapses, resulting in alterations in synaptic signal transmission and visual function. Pikachurin colocalized with both dystrophin and dystroglycan at the ribbon synapses. Furthermore, we observed direct biochemical interactions between pikachurin and dystroglycan. Together, our results identify pikachurin as a dystroglycan-interacting protein and demonstrate that it has an essential role in the precise interactions between the photoreceptor ribbon synapse and the bipolar dendrites. This may also advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the retinal electrophysiological abnormalities observed in muscular dystrophy patients.
Morshedian, Ala; Fain, Gordon L
Photoreceptors in animals are generally of two kinds: the ciliary or c-type and the rhabdomeric or r-type. Although ciliary photoreceptors are found in many phyla, vertebrates seem to be unique in having two distinct kinds which together span the entire range of vision, from single photons to bright light. We ask why the principal photoreceptors of vertebrates are ciliary and not rhabdomeric, and how rods evolved from less sensitive cone-like photoreceptors to produce our duplex retina. We suggest that the principal advantage of vertebrate ciliary receptors is that they use less ATP than rhabdomeric photoreceptors. This difference may have provided sufficient selection pressure for the development of a completely ciliary eye. Although many of the details of rod evolution are still uncertain, present evidence indicates that (i) rods evolved very early before the split between the jawed and jawless vertebrates, (ii) outer-segment discs make no contribution to rod sensitivity but may have evolved to increase the efficiency of protein renewal, and (iii) evolution of the rod was incremental and multifaceted, produced by the formation of several novel protein isoforms and by changes in protein expression, with no one alteration having more than a few-fold effect on transduction activation or inactivation.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in dim light'.
Chen, Xianjun; Li, Ting; Wang, Xue; Du, Zengmin; Liu, Renmei; Yang, Yi
Programmable transcription factors can enable precise control of gene expression triggered by a chemical inducer or light. To obtain versatile transgene system with combined benefits of a chemical inducer and light inducer, we created various chimeric promoters through the assembly of different copies of the tet operator and Gal4 operator module, which simultaneously responded to a tetracycline-responsive transcription factor and a light-switchable transactivator. The activities of these chimeric promoters can be regulated by tetracycline and blue light synergistically or antagonistically. Further studies of the antagonistic genetic circuit exhibited high spatiotemporal resolution and extremely low leaky expression, which therefore could be used to spatially and stringently control the expression of highly toxic protein Diphtheria toxin A for light regulated gene therapy. When transferring plasmids engineered for the gene switch-driven expression of a firefly luciferase (Fluc) into mice, the Fluc expression levels of the treated animals directly correlated with the tetracycline and light input program. We suggest that dual-input genetic circuits using TET and light that serve as triggers to achieve expression profiles may enable the design of robust therapeutic gene circuits for gene- and cell-based therapies.
Morano, Annalisa; Angrisano, Tiziana; Russo, Giusi; Landi, Rosaria; Pezone, Antonio; Bartollino, Silvia; Zuchegna, Candida; Babbio, Federica; Bonapace, Ian Marc; Allen, Brittany; Muller, Mark T; Chiariotti, Lorenzo; Gottesman, Max E; Porcellini, Antonio; Avvedimento, Enrico V
We report that homology-directed repair of a DNA double-strand break within a single copy Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) gene in HeLa cells alters the methylation pattern at the site of recombination. DNA methyl transferase (DNMT)1, DNMT3a and two proteins that regulate methylation, Np95 and GADD45A, are recruited to the site of repair and are responsible for selective methylation of the promoter-distal segment of the repaired DNA. The initial methylation pattern of the locus is modified in a transcription-dependent fashion during the 15-20 days following repair, at which time no further changes in the methylation pattern occur. The variation in DNA modification generates stable clones with wide ranges of GFP expression. Collectively, our data indicate that somatic DNA methylation follows homologous repair and is subjected to remodeling by local transcription in a discrete time window during and after the damage. We propose that DNA methylation of repaired genes represents a DNA damage code and is source of variation of gene expression.
Koltsova, Svetlana V.; Trushina, Yulia; Haloui, Mounsif; Akimova, Olga A.; Tremblay, Johanne; Hamet, Pavel; Orlov, Sergei N.
Stimulus-dependent elevation of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) affects the expression of numerous genes – a phenomenon known as excitation-transcription coupling. Recently, we found that increases in [Na+]i trigger c-Fos expression via a novel Ca2+i-independent pathway. In the present study, we identified ubiquitous and tissue-specific [Na+]i/[K+]i-sensitive transcriptomes by comparative analysis of differentially expressed genes in vascular smooth muscle cells from rat aorta (RVSMC), the human adenocarcinoma cell line HeLa, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). To augment [Na+]i and reduce [K+]i, cells were treated for 3 hrs with the Na+,K+-ATPase inhibitor ouabain or placed for the same time in the K+-free medium. Employing Affymetrix-based technology, we detected changes in expression levels of 684, 737 and 1839 transcripts in HeLa, HUVEC and RVSMC, respectively, that were highly correlated between two treatments (p<0.0001; R2>0.62). Among these Na+i/K+i-sensitive genes, 80 transcripts were common for all three types of cells. To establish if changes in gene expression are dependent on increases in [Ca2+]i, we performed identical experiments in Ca2+-free media supplemented with extracellular and intracellular Ca2+ chelators. Surprisingly, this procedure elevated rather than decreased the number of ubiquitous and cell-type specific Na+i/K+i-sensitive genes. Among the ubiquitous Na+i/K+i-sensitive genes whose expression was regulated independently of the presence of Ca2+ chelators by more than 3-fold, we discovered several transcription factors (Fos, Jun, Hes1, Nfkbia), interleukin-6, protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit, dual specificity phosphatase (Dusp8), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2, cyclin L1, whereas expression of metallopeptidase Adamts1, adrenomedulin, Dups1, Dusp10 and Dusp16 was detected exclusively in Ca2+-depleted cells. Overall, our findings indicate that Ca2+i-independent mechanisms of excitation-transcription coupling are
Koltsova, Svetlana V; Trushina, Yulia; Haloui, Mounsif; Akimova, Olga A; Tremblay, Johanne; Hamet, Pavel; Orlov, Sergei N
indicate that Ca(2+) (i)-independent mechanisms of excitation-transcription coupling are involved in transcriptomic alterations triggered by elevation of the [Na(+)](i)/[K(+)](i) ratio. There results likely have profound implications for normal and pathological regulation of mammalian cells, including sustained excitation of neuronal cells, intensive exercise and ischemia-triggered disorders.
Kosmaoglou, Maria; Schwarz, Nele; Bett, John S.; Cheetham, Michael E.
Molecular chaperones facilitate and regulate protein conformational change within cells. This encompasses many fundamental cellular processes: including the correct folding of nascent chains; protein transport and translocation; signal transduction and protein quality control. Chaperones are, therefore, important in several forms of human disease, including neurodegeneration. Within the retina, the highly specialized photoreceptor cell presents a fascinating paradigm to investigate the specialization of molecular chaperone function and reveals unique chaperone requirements essential to photoreceptor function. Mutations in several photoreceptor proteins lead to protein misfolding mediated neurodegeneration. The best characterized of these are mutations in the molecular light sensor, rhodopsin, which cause autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Rhodopsin biogenesis is likely to require chaperones, while rhodopsin misfolding involves molecular chaperones in quality control and the cellular response to protein aggregation. Furthermore, the specialization of components of the chaperone machinery to photoreceptor specific roles has been revealed by the identification of mutations in molecular chaperones that cause inherited retinal dysfunction and degeneration. These chaperones are involved in several important cellular pathways and further illuminate the essential and diverse roles of molecular chaperones. PMID:18490186
Huang, Mingqian; Sage, Cyrille; Li, Huawei; Xiang, Mengquig; Heller, Stefan; Chen, Zheng-Yi
LIM-homeodomain transcription factors (LIM-HDs) are essential in tissue patterning and differentiation. But their expression patterns in the inner ear are largely unknown. Here we report on a study of twelve LIM-HDs, by their tempo-spatial patterns that imply distinct yet overlapping roles, in the developing mouse inner ear. Expression of Lmx1a and Isl1 begins in the otocyst stage, with Lmx1a exclusively in the non-sensory and Isl1 in the prosensory epithelia. The second wave of expression at E12.5 includes Lhx3, 5, 9, Isl2, and Lmx1b in the differentiating sensory epithelia with cellular specificities. With the exception of Lmx1a and Lhx3, all LIM-HDs are expressed in ganglion neurons. Expression of multiple LIM-HDs within a cell type suggests their redundant function.
Andersson, Ulf; Scarpulla, Richard C.
The thermogenic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) coactivator 1 (PGC-1) has previously been shown to activate mitochondrial biogenesis in part through a direct interaction with nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1). In order to identify related coactivators that act through NRF-1, we searched the databases for sequences with similarities to PGC-1. Here, we describe the first characterization of a 177-kDa transcriptional coactivator, designated PGC-1-related coactivator (PRC). PRC is ubiquitously expressed in murine and human tissues and cell lines; but unlike PGC-1, PRC was not dramatically up-regulated during thermogenesis in brown fat. However, its expression was down-regulated in quiescent BALB/3T3 cells and was rapidly induced by reintroduction of serum, conditions where PGC-1 was not detected. PRC activated NRF-1-dependent promoters in a manner similar to that observed for PGC-1. Moreover, NRF-1 was immunoprecipitated from cell extracts by antibodies directed against PRC, and both proteins were colocalized to the nucleoplasm by confocal laser scanning microscopy. PRC interacts in vitro with the NRF-1 DNA binding domain through two distinct recognition motifs that are separated by an unstructured proline-rich region. PRC also contains a potent transcriptional activation domain in its amino terminus adjacent to an LXXLL motif. The spatial arrangement of these functional domains coincides with those found in PGC-1, supporting the conclusion that PRC and PGC-1 are structurally and functionally related. We conclude that PRC is a functional relative of PGC-1 that operates through NRF-1 and possibly other activators in response to proliferative signals. PMID:11340167
Ohno, Misa; Tsuda, Kyoko; Sakaguchi, Masayoshi; Sugahara, Yasusato; Oyama, Fumitaka
Chitinases hydrolyze the β-1-4 glycosidic bonds of chitin, a major structural component of fungi, crustaceans and insects. Although mammals do not produce chitin or its synthase, they express two active chitinases, chitotriosidase (Chit1) and acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase). These mammalian chitinases have attracted considerable attention due to their increased expression in individuals with a number of pathological conditions, including Gaucher disease, Alzheimer's disease and asthma. However, the contribution of these enzymes to the pathophysiology of these diseases remains to be determined. The quantification of the Chit1 and AMCase mRNA levels and the comparison of those levels with the levels of well-known reference genes can generate useful and biomedically relevant information. In the beginning, we established a quantitative real-time PCR system that uses standard DNA produced by ligating the cDNA fragments of the target genes. This system enabled us to quantify and compare the expression levels of the chitinases and the reference genes on the same scale. We found that AMCase mRNA is synthesized at extraordinarily high levels in the mouse stomach. The level of this mRNA in the mouse stomach was 7- to 10-fold higher than the levels of the housekeeping genes and was comparable to that the level of the mRNA for pepsinogen C (progastricsin), a major component of the gastric mucosa. Thus, AMCase mRNA is a major transcript in mouse stomach, suggesting that AMCase functions as a digestive enzyme that breaks down polymeric chitin and as part of the host defense against chitin-containing pathogens in the gastric contents. Our methodology is applicable to the quantification of mRNAs for multiple genes across multiple specimens using the same scale.
Gerner, E W; Kurtts, T A; Fuller, D J; Casero, R A
Heat shock and diethyldithiocarbamate stimulate polyamine catabolism in animal cells by a mechanism involving the induction of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (N1-SSAT) activity. Steady-state levels of RNA encoding this enzyme remain essentially unchanged during periods after these stresses when N1-SSAT activity is increased by 3.5-10-fold or more in three different cell lines of hamster and human origin. Depletion of intracellular spermidine pools by alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) inhibits stress induction of N1-SSAT activity. Exogenous spermidine can restore stress inducibility of N1-SSAT to DFMO-treated cells, and induce this enzyme activity in non-heat-shocked but polyamine-depleted cells. Acetylation at N1 suppresses the ability of spermidine to induce N1-SSAT activity, relative to this same modification at N8. Fluorinated spermidine analogues, which decrease the pKa values of the amine groups at positions 4 and 8, neither induce nor inhibit N1-SSAT activity in DFMO-treated cells. These data demonstrate that certain stresses induce N1-SSAT by a spermidine-dependent post-transcriptional mechanism. The mode of induction is affected by both the propyl and butyl moieties of spermidine. Images Figure 2 PMID:8396915
Milo, Marta; Cacciabue-Rivolta, Daniela; Kneebone, Adam; Van Doorninck, Hikke; Johnson, Claire; Lawoko-Kerali, Grace; Niranjan, Mahesan; Rivolta, Marcelo; Holley, Matthew
We have studied the function of the zinc finger transcription factor gata3 in auditory system development by analysing temporal profiles of gene expression during differentiation of conditionally immortal cell lines derived to model specific auditory cell types and developmental stages. We tested and applied a novel probabilistic method called the gamma Model for Oligonucleotide Signals to analyse hybridization signals from Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays. Expression levels estimated by this method correlated closely (p<0.0001) across a 10-fold range with those measured by quantitative RT-PCR for a sample of 61 different genes. In an unbiased list of 26 genes whose temporal profiles clustered most closely with that of gata3 in all cell lines, 10 were linked to Insulin-like Growth Factor signalling, including the serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB. Knock-down of gata3 in vitro was associated with a decrease in expression of genes linked to IGF-signalling, including IGF1, IGF2 and several IGF-binding proteins. It also led to a small decrease in protein levels of the serine-threonine kinase Akt2/PKBβ, a dramatic increase in Akt1/PKBα protein and relocation of Akt1/PKBα from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27kip1, a known target of PKB/Akt, simultaneously decreased. In heterozygous gata3 null mice the expression of gata3 correlated with high levels of activated Akt/PKB. This functional relationship could explain the diverse function of gata3 during development, the hearing loss associated with gata3 heterozygous null mice and the broader symptoms of human patients with Hearing-Deafness-Renal anomaly syndrome. PMID:19774072
Javed, Mohammed; Solanki, Manish; Sinha, Anshika; Shukla, Lata Israni
The conserved miR168 family is evaluated for position based nucleotide preference in higher plants. The mature miRNA sequences include miR168-5p and miR168-3p, were obtained from miRBase (v21, June 2014) for 15 families (28 plants) containing a-c subfamilies. The preferred position based nucleotide sequences were obtained for miR168-5p and miR168-3p using Data Analysis in Molecular Biology and Evolution (DAMBE). miR168-5p shows same nucleotides at positions 1-6, 8-9, 11-12, 15-17 and 19. Also, miR168-3p is present in 3 families (10 plants) shows the same nucleotide at position 1-11, 13-15 and 17-21. Our work suggests that miR168 family has conserved sequence in higher plants. The miR168-5p was subjected to cross kingdom analysis using psRNATarget. The seed region position 2-8 shows 70-95% pairing and cleavage site at position 10-14 were analysed for the base preference, in which pairing with the targets showed 80-96% Watson Crick pairing. The 123 targets in human transcriptome were identified showing 58% cleavage and 41% translation repression. Earlier reported Low density lipoprotein receptor adaptor protein 1(LDLRAP1) target validated for miR168a obtained from rice origin, could also be targeted from miR168 from any other plant sources. The randomly selected 10 targets include some important genes like RPL34, ATXN1, AKAPI3 and ALS2 and is involved in transcription, cell trafficking, cell metabolism and neurodegenerative disorder. This paper provides DAMBE analysis for miR168 across the plant kingdom and identification of new cross kingdom targets for miR168 using psRNATarget.
Jia, Sheng-Nan; Lin, Cheng; Chen, Dian-Fu; Li, An-Qi; Dai, Li; Zhang, Li; Zhao, Ling-Ling; Yang, Jin-Shu; Yang, Fan; Yang, Wei-Jun
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved degradative process that allows cells to maintain homoeostasis in numerous physiological situations. This process also functions as an essential protective response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which promotes the removal and degradation of unfolded proteins. However, little is known regarding the mechanism by which autophagy is initiated and regulated in response to ER stress. In this study, different types of autophagy were identified in human gastric cancer MKN45 cells in response to the stress induced by nutrient starvation or lipotoxicity in which the regulation of these pathways is mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent or -independent, respectively. Interestingly, we found that p8, a stress-inducible transcription factor, was enhanced in MKN45 cells treated with palmitic acid to induce lipotoxicity. Furthermore, an increase in autophagy was observed in MKN45 cells stably overexpressing p8 using a lentivirus system, and autophagy induced by palmitic acid was blocked by p8 RNAi compared with the control. Western blotting analyses showed that autophagy was regulated by p8 or mTOR in response to the protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase/activating transcription factor 6-mediated ER stress of lipotoxicity or the parkin-mediated mitochondrial stress of nutrient starvation, respectively. Furthermore, our results indicated that autophagy induced by palmitic acid is mTOR-independent, but this autophagy pathway was regulated by p8 via p53- and PKCα-mediated signaling in MKN45 cells. Our findings provide insights into the role of p8 in regulating autophagy induced by the lipotoxic effects of excess fat accumulation in cells.
Welch, W J; Feramisco, J R
Mammalian cells show a complex series of transcriptional and translational switching events in response to heat shock treatment which ultimately lead to the production and accumulation of a small number of proteins, the so-called heat shock (or stress) proteins. We investigated the heat shock response in both qualitative and quantitative ways in cells that were pretreated with drugs that specifically disrupt one or more of the three major cytoskeletal networks. (These drugs alone, cytochalasin E and colcemid, do not result in induction of the heat shock response.) Our results indicated that disruption of the actin microfilaments, the vimentin-containing intermediate filaments, or the microtubules in living cells does not hinder the ability of the cell to undergo an apparently normal heat shock response. Even when all three networks were simultaneously disrupted (resulting in a loose, baglike appearance of the cells), the cells still underwent a complete heat shock response as assayed by the appearance of the heat shock proteins. In addition, the major induced 72-kilodalton heat shock protein was efficiently translocated from the cytoplasm into its proper location in the nucleus and nucleolus irrespective of the condition of the three cytoskeletal elements. Images PMID:4040602
DuVal, Michèle G.; Oel, A. Phillip; Allison, W. Ted
Functional vision restoration is within reach via stem cell therapy, but one of the largest obstacles is the derivation of colour-sensitive cone photoreceptors that are required for high-acuity daytime vision. To enhance progress made using nocturnal murine models, we instead utilize cone-rich zebrafish and herein investigate relationships between gdf6a and tbx2b in cone photoreceptor development. Growth/differentiation factor 6a (gdf6a), a bone morphogenetic protein family ligand, is an emerging factor in photoreceptor degenerative diseases. The T-box transcription factor tbx2b is required to specify UV cone photoreceptor fate instead of rod photoreceptor fate. Interactions between these factors in cone development would be unanticipated, considering the discrete phenotypes in their respective mutants. However, gdf6a positively modulates the abundance of tbx2b transcript during early eye morphogenesis, and we extended this conclusion to later stages of retinal development comprising the times when photoreceptors differentiate. Despite this, gdf6a−/− larvae possess a normal relative number of UV cones and instead present with a low abundance of blue cone photoreceptors, approximately half that of siblings (p<0.001), supporting a differential role for gdf6a amongst the spectral subtypes of cone photoreceptors. Further, gdf6a−/− larvae from breeding of compound heterozygous gdf6a+/−;tbx2b+/− mutants exhibit the recessive lots-of-rods phenotype (which also shows a paucity of UV cones) at significantly elevated rates (44% or 48% for each of two tbx2b alleles, χ2 p≤0.007 for each compared to expected Mendelian 25%). Thus the gdf6a−/− background sensitizes fish such that the recessive lots-of-rods phenotype can appear in heterozygous tbx2b+/− fish. Overall, this work establishes a novel link between tbx2b and gdf6a in determining photoreceptor fates, defining the nexus of an intricate pathway influencing the abundance of cone spectral subtypes and
Moshiri, Ala; Humpal, Devin; Leonard, Brian C.; Imai, Denise M.; Tham, Addy; Bower, Lynette; Clary, Dave; Glaser, Thomas M.; Lloyd, K. C. Kent; Murphy, Christopher J.
Purpose Small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) ADP-ribosylation factors (Arfs) regulate membrane traffic and actin reorganization under the control of GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Arap1 is an Arf-directed GAP that inhibits the trafficking of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) to the early endosome, but the diversity of its functions is incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to determine the role of Arap1 in the mammalian retina. Methods Genetically engineered Arap1 knockout mice were screened for ocular abnormalities in the National Institutes of Health Knockout Mouse Production and Phenotyping (KOMP2) Project. Arap1 knockout and wild-type eyes were imaged using optical coherence tomography and fundus photography, and analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Results Arap1−/− mice develop a normal appearing retina, but undergo photoreceptor degeneration starting at 4 weeks postnatal age. The fundus appearance of mutants is notable for pigmentary changes, optic nerve pallor, vascular attenuation, and outer retinal thinning, reminiscent of retinitis pigmentosa in humans. Immunohistochemical studies suggest the cell death is predominantly in the outer nuclear layer. Functional evaluation of the retina by electroretinography reveals amplitudes are reduced. Arap1 is detected most notably in Müller glia, and not in photoreceptors, implicating a role for Müller glia in photoreceptor survival. Conclusions Arap1 is necessary for normal photoreceptor survival in mice, and may be a novel gene relevant to human retinal degenerative processes, although its mechanism is unknown. Further studies in this mouse model of retinal degeneration will give insights into the cellular functions and signaling pathways in which Arap1 participates. PMID:28324111
Akimoto, Masayuki; Cheng, Hong; Zhu, Dongxiao; Brzezinski, Joseph A.; Khanna, Ritu; Filippova, Elena; Oh, Edwin C. T.; Jing, Yuezhou; Linares, Jose-Luis; Brooks, Matthew; Zareparsi, Sepideh; Mears, Alan J.; Hero, Alfred; Glaser, Tom; Swaroop, Anand
The Maf-family transcription factor Nrl is a key regulator of photoreceptor differentiation in mammals. Ablation of the Nrl gene in mice leads to functional cones at the expense of rods. We show that a 2.5-kb Nrl promoter segment directs the expression of enhanced GFP specifically to rod photoreceptors and the pineal gland of transgenic mice. GFP is detected shortly after terminal cell division, corresponding to the timing of rod genesis revealed by birthdating studies. In Nrl−/− retinas, the GFP+ photoreceptors express S-opsin, consistent with the transformation of rod precursors into cones. We report the gene profiles of freshly isolated flow-sorted GFP+ photoreceptors from wild-type and Nrl−/− retinas at five distinct developmental stages. Our results provide a framework for establishing gene regulatory networks that lead to mature functional photoreceptors from postmitotic precursors. Differentially expressed rod and cone genes are excellent candidates for retinopathies. PMID:16505381
Beltran, William A.; Allore, Heather G.; Johnson, Elizabeth; Towle, Virginia; Tao, Weng; Acland, Gregory M.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.
Purpose. The cAMP response element binding protein 1 (CREB1) and activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) are closely related members of the bZIP superfamily of transcription factors. Both are activated in response to a wide array of stimuli, including cellular stress. This study was conducted to assess the CREB1/ATF1 pathway in photoreceptor disease and protection. Methods. The expression levels of p-CREB1, CREB1, and ATF1 were examined by immunoblot and immunohistochemistry in normal canine retina and retinas of several canine models of retinal degeneration (rcd1, rcd2, erd, prcd, XLPRA1, XLPRA2, T4R RHO). Humans retinas affected with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were also examined. p-CREB1/ATF1 immunolabeling was assessed in normal and rcd1 dogs treated with ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), to examine the effect of a neuroprotective stimulus on activation of CREB1/ATF1. Results. Native CREB1 and ATF1 as well as phosphorylated CREB1/ATF1 was examined in normal canine retina by immunoblot. The p-CREB1 antibody identified phosphorylated CREB1 and ATF1 and labeled the inner retina only in normal dogs. In degenerate canine and human retinas, strong immunolabeling appeared in rod and cone photoreceptors, indicating increased expression of native CREB1 and ATF1, as well as increased phosphorylation of these proteins. Retinal protection by CNTF in rcd1 dogs was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of p-CREB1/ATF1-labeled photoreceptor nuclei. Conclusions. Positive association of CREB1/ATF1 phosphorylation with photoreceptor protection suggests that it may contribute to an innate protective response. These data identify a signaling mechanism in rods and cones of potential importance for therapies of RP and AMD. PMID:19643965
Eckhert, C D; Hsu, M H; Pang, N
Flavins generate oxidants during metabolism and when exposed to light. Here we report that the photoreceptor layer of retinas from black-eyed rats is reduced in size by a dietary regime containing excess riboflavin. The effect of excess riboflavin was dose-dependent and was manifested by a decrease in photoreceptor length. This decrease was due in part to a reduction in the thickness of the outer nuclear layer, a structure formed from stacked photoreceptor nuclei. These changes were accompanied by an increase in photoreceptor outer segment autofluorescence following illumination at 328 nm, a wavelength that corresponds to the excitation maxima of oxidized lipopigments of the retinal pigment epithelium.
Pan, Yi; Martinez-De Luna, Reyna I.; Lou, Chih-Hong; Nekkalapudi, Srivamsi; Kelly, Lisa E.; Sater, Amy K.; El-Hodiri, Heithem M.
The retinal homeobox (Rx) gene product is essential for eye development. However little is known about its molecular function. It has been demonstrated that Rx binds to photoreceptor conserved element (PCE-1), a highly conserved element found in the promoter region of photoreceptor-specific genes such as rhodopsin and red cone opsin. We verify that Rx is co-expressed with rhodopsin and red cone opsin in maturing photoreceptors and demonstrate that Rx binds to the rhodopsin and red cone opsin promoters in vivo. We also find that Rx can cooperate with the Xenopus analogs of Crx and Nrl, otx5b and XLMaf (respectively), to activate a Xenopus opsin promoter-dependent reporter. Finally, we demonstrate that reduction of Rx expression in tadpoles results in decreases in expression of several PCE-1 containing photoreceptor genes, abnormal photoreceptor morphology, and impaired vision. Our data suggests that Rx, in combination with other transcription factors, is necessary for normal photoreceptor gene expression, maintenance, and function. This establishes a direct role for Rx in regulation of genes expressed in a differentiated cell type. PMID:20060393
Fain, Gordon L.; Hardie, Roger; Laughlin, Simon B.
Photoreceptors in metazoans can be grouped into two classes, with their photoreceptive membrane derived either from cilia or microvilli. Both classes use some form of the visual pigment protein opsin, which together with 11-cis retinaldehyde absorbs light and activates a G-protein cascade, resulting in the opening or closing of ion channels. Considerable attention has recently been given to the molecular evolution of the opsins and other photoreceptor proteins; much is also known about transduction in the various photoreceptor types. Here we combine this knowledge in an attempt to understand why certain photoreceptors might have conferred particular selective advantages during evolution. We suggest that microvillar photoreceptors became predominant in most invertebrate species because of their single-photon sensitivity, high temporal resolution, and large dynamic range, and that rods and a duplex retina provided primitive chordates and vertebrates with similar sensitivity and dynamic range, but with a smaller expenditure of ATP. PMID:20144772
Komuta, Yukari; Ishii, Toshiyuki; Kaneda, Makoto; Ueda, Yasuji; Miyamoto, Kiyoko; Toyoda, Masashi; Umezawa, Akihiro; Seko, Yuko
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.
Kutta, Roger J.; Hardman, Samantha J. O.; Johannissen, Linus O.; Bellina, Bruno; Messiha, Hanan L.; Ortiz-Guerrero, Juan Manuel; Elías-Arnanz, Montserrat; Padmanabhan, S.; Barran, Perdita; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Jones, Alex R.
The coenzyme B12-dependent photoreceptor protein, CarH, is a bacterial transcriptional regulator that controls the biosynthesis of carotenoids in response to light. On binding of coenzyme B12 the monomeric apoprotein forms tetramers in the dark, which bind operator DNA thus blocking transcription. Under illumination the CarH tetramer dissociates, weakening its affinity for DNA and allowing transcription. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. Here we describe the photochemistry in CarH that ultimately triggers tetramer dissociation; it proceeds via a cob(III)alamin intermediate, which then forms a stable adduct with the protein. This pathway is without precedent and our data suggest it is independent of the radical chemistry common to both coenzyme B12 enzymology and its known photochemistry. It provides a mechanistic foundation for the emerging field of B12 photobiology and will serve to inform the development of a new class of optogenetic tool for the control of gene expression.
Caruccio, L; Bae, S; Liu, A Y; Chen, K Y
Osmoregulation, the cellular response to environmental changes of osmolarity and ionic strength, is important for the survival of living organisms. We have demonstrated previously that an exposure of mammalian cells to hypo-osmotic stress, either in growth medium (30% growth medium and 70% water) or in binary solution containing sorbitol and water, prominently induced the DNA-binding activity of the heat-shock transcription factor (HSF1) [Huang, Caruccio, Liu and Chen (1995) Biochem. J. 307, 347-352]. Since hyperosmotic and hypo-osmotic stress usually elicit opposite biological responses, we wondered what would be the effect of hyperosmotic stress on HSF activation. In this study we have examined the HSF DNA-binding activity in HeLa cells maintained in the sorbitol/water binary solution over a wide concentration range (0.1-0.9 M) and in Dulbecco's medium supplemented with sorbitol or NaCl. We found that HSF-binding activity could be induced prominently under both hypo-osmotic (0.1-0.25 M) and hyperosmotic conditions (0.50-0.90 M). In both cases, HSF activation was observed within 5 min after changing the osmotic pressure. The activation was accompanied by both HSF trimerization and nuclear translocation, and appeared to be independent of protein synthesis. The effects of hypo- or hyper-osmotic stress on HSF activation could be reversed once the cells were returned to iso-osmotic conditions (0.30M) with a half-life (t12) of 25 min or less. This rapid turnover of the osmotic-stress-induced HSF-binding activity was inhibited by cycloheximide, a potent inhibitor of protein synthesis. Unlike heat shock, activation of HSF by either hypo- or hyper-osmotic stress did not lead to an accumulation of heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA in HeLa cells. We propose that HSF activation during osmotic stress may serve physiological functions independent of the synthesis of heat-shock proteins.
Signorovitch, James; Raviola, Elio; Pawlyk, Basil; Li, Tiansen; Weitz, Charles J.
SUMMARY Circadian clocks are widely distributed in mammalian tissues, but little is known about the physiological functions of clocks outside the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the brain. The retina has an intrinsic circadian clock, but its importance for vision is unknown. Here we show that mice lacking Bmal1, a gene required for clock function, had abnormal retinal transcriptional responses to light and defective inner retinal electrical responses to light, but normal photoreceptor responses to light and retinas that appeared structurally normal by light and electron microscopy. We generated mice with a retina-specific genetic deletion of Bmal1, and they had defects of retinal visual physiology essentially identical to those of mice lacking Bmal1 in all tissues and lacked a circadian rhythm of inner retinal electrical responses to light. Our findings indicate that the intrinsic circadian clock of the retina regulates retinal visual processing in vivo. PMID:17719549
Holcman, David; Korenbrot, Juan I.
Detection threshold in cone photoreceptors requires the simultaneous absorption of several photons because single photon photocurrent is small in amplitude and does not exceed intrinsic fluctuations in the outer segment dark current (dark noise). To understand the mechanisms that limit light sensitivity, we characterized the molecular origin of dark noise in intact, isolated bass single cones. Dark noise is caused by continuous fluctuations in the cytoplasmic concentrations of both cGMP and Ca2+ that arise from the activity in darkness of both guanylate cyclase (GC), the enzyme that synthesizes cGMP, and phosphodiesterase (PDE), the enzyme that hydrolyzes it. In cones loaded with high concentration Ca2+ buffering agents, we demonstrate that variation in cGMP levels arise from fluctuations in the mean PDE enzymatic activity. The rates of PDE activation and inactivation determine the quantitative characteristics of the dark noise power density spectrum. We developed a mathematical model based on the dynamics of PDE activity that accurately predicts this power spectrum. Analysis of the experimental data with the theoretical model allows us to determine the rates of PDE activation and deactivation in the intact photoreceptor. In fish cones, the mean lifetime of active PDE at room temperature is ∼55 ms. In nonmammalian rods, in contrast, active PDE lifetime is ∼555 ms. This remarkable difference helps explain why cones are noisier than rods and why cone photocurrents are smaller in peak amplitude and faster in time course than those in rods. Both these features make cones less light sensitive than rods. PMID:15928405
Bhowmick, Reshma; Li, Mei; Sun, Jun; Baker, Sheila A; Insinna, Christine; Besharse, Joseph C
Intraflagellar transport (IFT) provides a mechanism for the transport of cilium-specific proteins, but the mechanisms for linkage of cargo and IFT proteins have not been identified. Using the sensory outer segments (OS) of photoreceptors, which are derived from sensory cilia, we have identified IFT-cargo complexes containing IFT proteins, kinesin 2 family proteins, two photoreceptor-specific membrane proteins, guanylyl cyclase 1 (GC1, Gucy2e) and rhodopsin (RHO), and the chaperones, mammalian relative of DNAJ, DnajB6 (MRJ), and HSC70 (Hspa8). Analysis of these complexes leads to a model in which MRJ through its binding to IFT88 and GC1 plays a critical role in formation or stabilization of the IFT-cargo complexes. Consistent with the function of MRJ in the activation of HSC70 ATPase activity, Mg-ATP enhances the co-IP of GC1, RHO, and MRJ with IFT proteins. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown of MRJ in IMCD3 cells expressing GC1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reduces cilium membrane targeting of GC1-GFP without apparent effect on cilium elongation.
Hang, Chong Yee; Kitahashi, Takashi; Parhar, Ishwar S.
Biological impacts of light beyond vision, i.e., non-visual functions of light, signify the need to better understand light detection (or photoreception) systems in vertebrates. Photopigments, which comprise light-absorbing chromophores bound to a variety of G-protein coupled receptor opsins, are responsible for visual and non-visual photoreception. Non-visual opsin photopigments in the retina of mammals and extra-retinal tissues of non-mammals play an important role in non-image-forming functions of light, e.g., biological rhythms and seasonal reproduction. This review highlights the role of opsin photoreceptors in the deep brain, which could involve conserved neurochemical systems that control different time- and light-dependent physiologies in in non-mammalian vertebrates including teleost fish. PMID:27199680
Chen, Wan-Ju; Wu, Caiying; Xu, Zhenhua; Kuse, Yoshiki; Hara, Hideaki; Duh, Elia J
Oxidative stress plays a key role in age-related macular degeneration and hereditary retinal degenerations. Light damage in rodents has been used extensively to model oxidative stress-induced photoreceptor degeneration, and photo-oxidative injury from blue light is particularly damaging to photoreceptors. The endogenous factors protecting photoreceptors from oxidative stress, including photo-oxidative stress, are continuing to be elucidated. In this study, we evaluated the effect of blue light exposure on photoreceptors and its relationship to Nrf2 using cultured murine photoreceptor (661W) cells. 661W cells were exposed to blue light at 2500 lux. Exposure to blue light for 6-24 h resulted in a significant increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and death of 661W cells in a time-dependent fashion. Blue light exposure resulted in activation of Nrf2, as indicated by an increase in nuclear translocation of Nrf2. This was associated with a significant induction of expression of Nrf2 as well as an array of Nrf2 target genes, including antioxidant genes, as indicated by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). In order to determine the functional role of Nrf2, siRNA-mediated knockdown studies were performed. Nrf2-knockdown in 661W cells resulted in significant exacerbation of blue light-induced reactive oxygen species levels as well as cell death. Taken together, these findings indicate that Nrf2 is an important endogenous protective factor against oxidative stress in photoreceptor cells. This suggests that drugs targeting Nrf2 could be considered as a neuroprotective strategy for photoreceptors in AMD and other retinal conditions.
Hayes, Scott; Velanis, Christos N.; Jenkins, Gareth I.; Franklin, Keara A.
Plants detect different facets of their radiation environment via specific photoreceptors to modulate growth and development. UV-B is perceived by the photoreceptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8). The molecular mechanisms linking UVR8 activation to plant growth are not fully understood, however. When grown in close proximity to neighboring vegetation, shade-intolerant plants initiate dramatic stem elongation to overtop competitors. Here we show that UV-B, detected by UVR8, provides an unambiguous sunlight signal that inhibits shade avoidance responses in Arabidopsis thaliana by antagonizing the phytohormones auxin and gibberellin. UV-B triggers degradation of the transcription factors PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 and PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 5 and stabilizes growth-repressing DELLA proteins, inhibiting auxin biosynthesis via a dual mechanism. Our findings show that UVR8 signaling is closely integrated with other photoreceptor pathways to regulate auxin signaling and plant growth in sunlight. PMID:25071218
SHINDE, VISHAL; PITALE, PRIYAMVADA M.; HOWSE, WAYNE; GORBATYUK, OLEG; GORBATYUK, MARINA
Neuronatin (NNAT) is a small transmembrane proteolipid that is highly expressed in the embryonic developing brain and several other peripheral tissues. This study is the first to provide evidence that NNAT is detected in the adult retina of various adult rod-dominant mammals, including wild-type (WT) rodents, transgenic rodents expressing mutant S334ter, P23H, or T17M rhodopsin, non-human primates, humans, and cone-dominant tree shrews. Immunohistochemical and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses were applied to detect NNAT. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that NNAT immunofluorescence is restricted to the outer segments (OSs) of photoreceptors without evidence of staining in other retinal cell types across all mammalian species. Moreover, in tree shrew retinas, we found NNAT to be co-localized with rhodopsin, indicating its predominant expression in rods. The rod-derived expression of NNAT was further confirmed by qRT-PCR in isolated rod photoreceptor cells. We also used these cells to mimic cellular stress in transgenic retinas by treating them with the endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer, tunicamycin. Thus, our data revealed accumulation of NNAT around the nucleus as compared to dispersed localization of NNAT within control cells. This distribution coincided with the partial intracellular mislocalization of NNAT to the outer nuclear layer observed in transgenic retinas. In addition, stressed retinas demonstrated an increase of NNAT mRNA and protein levels. Therefore, our study demonstrated that NNAT is a novel stress-responsive protein with a potential structural and/or functional role in adult mammalian retinas. PMID:27109921
Möglich, Andreas; Moffat, Keith
Cellular processes and indeed the survival of entire organisms crucially depend on precise spatiotemporal coordination of a multitude of molecular events. A new tool in cell biology is denoted "optogenetics" which describes the use of genetically encoded, light-gated proteins, i.e. photoreceptors, which perturb and control cellular and organismal behavior in a spatiotemporally exact manner. Photoreceptors resemble fluorescent reporter proteins such as GFP in being genetically encoded, non-invasive, and applicable to intact cells and organisms. They are explicitly intended to modulate activity; in contrast, fluorescent proteins generally do not disturb the processes under study. Fluorescent proteins have revolutionized cell biology because they allow the monitoring of such processes by imaging techniques that offer superb spatiotemporal resolution and sensitivity. Optogenetics extends these advantages to offer control. The scope of optogenetics has recently been expanded beyond the use of naturally occurring photoreceptors by the biologically-inspired design of engineered (or synthetic) photoreceptors. These photoreceptors are derived by fusion of one or more light-absorbing sensor domains with an output or effector domain displaying the activity to be controlled. Here, we focus on the design and application of such engineered photoreceptors. We treat basic signaling principles and discuss the two photosensor classes which are currently most widely used in fusion-based design: LOV domains and phytochromes. Based on these principles, we develop general strategies for the engineering of photoreceptors. Finally, we review recently successful examples of the design and application of engineered photoreceptors. Our perspective provides guidelines for researchers interested in developing and applying novel optogenetic tools.
Hughes, Andrew E. O.; Enright, Jennifer M.; Myers, Connie A.; Shen, Susan Q.; Corbo, Joseph C.
Rod photoreceptors are specialized neurons that mediate vision in dim light and are the predominant photoreceptor type in nocturnal mammals. The rods of nocturnal mammals are unique among vertebrate cell types in having an ‘inverted’ nuclear architecture, with a dense mass of heterochromatin in the center of the nucleus rather than dispersed clumps at the periphery. To test if this unique nuclear architecture is correlated with a unique epigenomic landscape, we performed ATAC-seq on mouse rods and their most closely related cell type, cone photoreceptors. We find that thousands of loci are selectively closed in rods relative to cones as well as >60 additional cell types. Furthermore, we find that the open chromatin profile of photoreceptors lacking the rod master regulator Nrl is nearly indistinguishable from that of native cones, indicating that Nrl is required for selective chromatin closure in rods. Finally, we identified distinct enrichments of transcription factor binding sites in rods and cones, revealing key differences in the cis-regulatory grammar of these cell types. Taken together, these data provide insight into the development and maintenance of photoreceptor identity, and highlight rods as an attractive system for studying the relationship between nuclear organization and local changes in gene regulation. PMID:28256534
Ebnet, E; Fischer, M; Deininger, W; Hegemann, P
Somatic cells of the multicellular alga Volvox carteri contain a visual rhodopsin that controls the organism's phototactic behavior via two independent photoreceptor currents. Here, we report the identification of an opsinlike gene, designated as volvoxopsin (vop). The encoded protein exhibits homologies to the opsin of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (chlamyopsin) and to the entire animal opsin family, thus providing new perspectives on opsin evolution. Volvoxopsin accumulates within the eyes of somatic cells. However, the vop transcript is detectable only in the reproductive eyeless gonidia and embryos. vop mRNA levels increase 400-fold during embryogenesis, when embryos develop in darkness, whereas the vop transcript does not accumulate when embryos develop in the light. An antisense transformant, T3, was generated. This transformant produces 10 times less volvoxopsin than does the wild type. In T3, the vop transcript is virtually absent, whereas the antisense transcript is predominant and light regulated. It follows that vop expression is under light-dependent transcriptional control but that volvoxopsin itself is not the regulatory photoreceptor. Transformant T3 is phototactic, but its phototactic sensitivity is reduced 10-fold relative to the parental wild-type strain HK10. Thus, we offer definitive genetic evidence that a rhodopsin serves as the photoreceptor for phototaxis in a green alga. PMID:10449581
Mecklenburg, Kirk L; Takemori, Nobuaki; Komori, Naoka; Chu, Brian; Hardie, Roger C; Matsumoto, Hiroyuki; O'Tousa, Joseph E
Photoreceptor cells achieve high sensitivity, reliably detecting single photons, while limiting the spontaneous activation events responsible for dark noise. We used proteomic, genetic, and electrophysiological approaches to characterize Retinophilin (RTP) (CG10233) in Drosophila photoreceptors and establish its involvement in dark-noise suppression. RTP possesses membrane occupation and recognition nexus (MORN) motifs, a structure shared with mammalian junctophilins and other membrane-associated proteins found within excitable cells. We show the MORN repeats, and both the N- and C-terminal domains, are required for RTP localization in the microvillar light-gathering organelle, the rhabdomere. RTP exists in multiple phosphorylated isoforms under dark conditions and is dephosphorylated by light exposure. An RTP deletion mutant exhibits a high rate of spontaneous membrane depolarization events in dark conditions but retains the normal kinetics of the light response. Photoreceptors lacking neither inactivation nor afterpotential C (NINAC) myosin III, a motor protein/kinase, also display a similar dark-noise phenotype as the RTP deletion. We show that NINAC mutants are depleted for RTP. These results suggest the increase in dark noise in NINAC mutants is attributable to lack of RTP and, furthermore, defines a novel role for NINAC in the rhabdomere. We propose that RTP is a light-regulated phosphoprotein that organizes rhabdomeric components to suppress random activation of the phototransduction cascade and thus increases the signaling fidelity of dark-adapted photoreceptors.
Mishima, Y; Financsek, I; Kominami, R; Muramatsu, M
Mouse and human cell extracts (S100) can support an accurate and efficient transcription initiation on homologous ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) templates. The cell extracts were fractionated with the aid of a phosphocellulose column into four fractions (termed A, B, C and D), including one containing a major part of the RNA polymerase I activity. Various reconstitution experiments indicate that fraction D is an absolute requirement for the correct and efficient transcription initiation by RNA polymerase I on both mouse and human genes. Fraction B effectively suppresses random initiation on these templates. Fraction A appears to further enhance the transcription which takes place with fractions C and D. Although fractions A, B and C are interchangeable between mouse and human extracts, fraction D is not; i.e. initiation of transcription required the presence of a homologous fraction D for both templates. The factor(s) in fraction D, however, is not literally species-specific, since mouse D fraction is capable of supporting accurate transcription initiation on a rat rDNA template in the presence of all the other fractions from human cell extract under the conditions where human D fraction is unable to support it. We conclude from these experiments that a species-dependent factor in fraction D plays an important role in the initiation of rDNA transcription in each animal species. Images PMID:7177852
Jia, Sujuan; Muto, Akira; Orisme, Wilda; Henson, Hannah E.; Parupalli, Chaithanyarani; Ju, Bensheng; Baier, Herwig; Taylor, Michael R.
Mutations in the human CACNA1F gene cause incomplete congenital stationary night blindness type 2 (CSNB2), a non-progressive, clinically heterogeneous retinal disorder. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying CSNB2 have not been fully explored. Here, we describe the positional cloning of a blind zebrafish mutant, wait until dark (wud), which encodes a zebrafish homolog of human CACNA1F. We identified two zebrafish cacna1f paralogs and showed that the cacna1fa transcript (the gene mutated in wud) is expressed exclusively in the photoreceptor layer. We demonstrated that Cacna1fa localizes at the photoreceptor synapse and is absent from wud mutants. Electroretinograms revealed abnormal cone photoreceptor responses from wud mutants, indicating a defect in synaptic transmission. Although there are no obvious morphological differences, we found that wud mutants lacked synaptic ribbons and that wud is essential for the development of synaptic ribbons. We found that Ribeye, the most prominent synaptic ribbon protein, was less abundant and mislocalized in adult wud mutants. In addition to cloning wud, we identified synaptojanin 1 (synj1) as the defective gene in slacker (slak), a blind mutant with floating synaptic ribbons. We determined that Cacna1fa was expressed in slak photoreceptors and that Synj1 was initially expressed wud photoreceptors, but was absent by 5 days postfertilization. Collectively, our data demonstrate that Cacna1fa is essential for cone photoreceptor function and synaptic ribbon formation and reveal a previously unknown yet critical role of L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels in the expression and/or distribution of synaptic ribbon proteins, providing a new model to study the clinical variability in human CSNB2 patients. PMID:24419318
Individual photoreceptor waveguiding suggests that the entire retina can be considered as a composite fiber-optic element relating a retinal image to a corresponding waveguided image. In such a scheme, a visual sensation is produced only when the latter interacts with the pigments of the outer photoreceptor segments. Here the possible consequences of photoreceptor waveguiding on vision are studied with important implications for the pupil-apodization method commonly used to incorporate directional effects of the retina. In the absence of aberrations, it is found that the two approaches give identical predictions for an effective retinal image only when the pupil apodization is chosen twice as narrow as suggested by the traditional Stiles-Crawford effect. In addition, phase variations in the retinal field due to ocular aberrations can delicately alter a waveguided image, and this may provide plausible justification for an improved visual sensation as compared with what should be expected on the grounds of a retinal image only.
Datta, Poppy; Allamargot, Chantal; Hudson, Joseph S.; Andersen, Emily K.; Bhattarai, Sajag; Drack, Arlene V.; Sheffield, Val C.; Seo, Seongjin
Compartmentalization and polarized protein trafficking are essential for many cellular functions. The photoreceptor outer segment (OS) is a sensory compartment specialized for phototransduction, and it shares many features with primary cilia. As expected, mutations disrupting protein trafficking to cilia often disrupt protein trafficking to the OS and cause photoreceptor degeneration. Bardet–Biedl syndrome (BBS) is one of the ciliopathies associated with defective ciliary trafficking and photoreceptor degeneration. However, precise roles of BBS proteins in photoreceptor cells and the underlying mechanisms of photoreceptor degeneration in BBS are not well understood. Here, we show that accumulation of non-OS proteins in the OS underlies photoreceptor degeneration in BBS. Using a newly developed BBS mouse model [Leucine zipper transcription factor-like 1 (Lztfl1)/Bbs17 mutant], isolated OSs, and quantitative proteomics, we determined 138 proteins that are enriched more than threefold in BBS mutant OS. In contrast, only eight proteins showed a more than threefold reduction. We found striking accumulation of Stx3 and Stxbp1/Munc18-1 and loss of polarized localization of Prom1 within the Lztfl1 and Bbs1 mutant OS. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that large vesicles are formed in the BBS OS, disrupting the lamellar structure of the OS. Our findings suggest that accumulation (and consequent sequestration) of non-OS proteins in the OS is likely the primary cause of photoreceptor degeneration in BBS. Our data also suggest that a major function of BBS proteins in photoreceptors is to transport proteins from the OS to the cell body or to prevent entry of non-OS proteins into the OS. PMID:26216965
Savolainen, Linda; Cassel, Tobias; Helleday, Thomas
Mutations in the XPD gene can give rise to three phenotypically distinct disorders: xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), trichothiodystrophy (TTD) or combined XP and Cockayne syndrome (CS) (XP/CS). The role of Xeroderma Pigmentosum group D protein (XPD) in nucleotide excision repair explains the increased risk of skin cancer in XP patients but not all the clinical phenotypes found in XP/CS or TTD patients. Here, we describe that the XPD-defective UV5 cell line is impaired in transcription-associated recombination (TAR), which can be reverted by the introduction of the wild-type XPD gene expressed from a vector. UV5 cells are defective in TAR, despite having intact transcription and homologous recombination (HR) repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Interestingly, we find reduced spontaneous HR in XPD-defective cells, suggesting that transcription underlies a portion of spontaneous HR events. We also report that transcription-coupled repair (TCR)-defective cells, mutated in the Cockayne syndrome B (CSB) protein, have a defect in TAR, but not in DSB-induced HR. However, the TAR defect may be associated with a general transcription defect in CSB-deficient cells. In conclusion, we show a novel role for the XPD protein in TAR, linking TAR with TCR.
Forbes-Osborne, Marie A.; Wilson, Stephen G.; Morris, Ann C.
The zinc-finger transcription factor Insulinoma-associated 1 (Insm1, previously IA-1) is expressed in the developing nervous and neuroendocrine systems, and is required for cell type specific differentiation. Expression of Insm1 is largely absent in the adult, although it is present in neurogenic regions of the adult brain and zebrafish retina. While expression of Insm1 has also been observed in the embryonic retina of numerous vertebrate species, its function during retinal development has remained unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that in the developing zebrafish retina, insm1a is required for photoreceptor differentiation. Insm1a-deficient embryos were microphthalmic and displayed defects in rod and cone photoreceptor differentiation. Rod photoreceptor cells were more sensitive to loss of insm1a expression than were cone photoreceptor cells. Additionally, we provide evidence that insm1a regulates cell cycle progression of retinoblasts, and functions upstream of the bHLH transcription factors ath5/atoh7 and neurod, and the photoreceptor specification genes crx and nr2e3. Finally, we show that insm1a is negatively regulated by Notch-Delta signaling. Taken together, our data demonstrate that Insm1 influences neuronal subtype differentiation during retinal development. PMID:23747542
O’Brien, Jennifer J.; Chen, Xiaoming; MacLeish, Peter R.; O’Brien, John; Massey, Stephen C.
Photoreceptors are coupled via gap junctions in many mammalian species. Cone-to-cone coupling is thought to improve sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio while rod-to-cone coupling provides an alternative rod pathway active under twilight or mesopic conditions (Smith et al., 1986; DeVries et al., 2002; Hornstein et al., 2005). Gap junctions are composed of connexins and Cx36, the dominant neuronal connexin, is expressed in the outer plexiform layer. Primate (Macaca mulatta) cone pedicles, labeled with an antibody against cone arrestin (7G6) were connected by a network of fine processes called telodendria and, in double-labeled material, Cx36 plaques were located precisely at telodendrial contacts between cones, suggesting strongly they are Cx36 gap junctions. Each red/green cone made non-selective connections with neighboring red/green cones. In contrast, blue cone pedicles were smaller with relatively few short telodendria and they made only rare or equivocal Cx36 contacts with adjacent cones. There were also many smaller Cx36 plaques around the periphery of every cone pedicle and along a series of very fine telodendria that were too short to reach adjacent members of the cone pedicle mosaic. These small Cx36 plaques were closely aligned with nearly every rod spherule and may identify sites of rod-to-cone coupling, even though the identity of the rod connexin has not been established. We conclude that the matrix of cone telodendria is the substrate for photoreceptor coupling. Red/green cones were coupled indiscriminately but blue cones were rarely connected with other cones. All cone types, including blue cones, made gap junctions with surrounding rod spherules. PMID:22457514
Lizio, Marina; Ishizu, Yuri; Itoh, Masayoshi; Lassmann, Timo; Hasegawa, Akira; Kubosaki, Atsutaka; Severin, Jessica; Kawaji, Hideya; Nakamura, Yukio; Suzuki, Harukazu; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Carninci, Piero; Forrest, Alistair R. R.
Mammals are composed of hundreds of different cell types with specialized functions. Each of these cellular phenotypes are controlled by different combinations of transcription factors. Using a human non islet cell insulinoma cell line (TC-YIK) which expresses insulin and the majority of known pancreatic beta cell specific genes as an example, we describe a general approach to identify key cell-type-specific transcription factors (TFs) and their direct and indirect targets. By ranking all human TFs by their level of enriched expression in TC-YIK relative to a broad collection of samples (FANTOM5), we confirmed known key regulators of pancreatic function and development. Systematic siRNA mediated perturbation of these TFs followed by qRT-PCR revealed their interconnections with NEUROD1 at the top of the regulation hierarchy and its depletion drastically reducing insulin levels. For 15 of the TF knock-downs (KD), we then used Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) to identify thousands of their targets genome-wide (KD-CAGE). The data confirm NEUROD1 as a key positive regulator in the transcriptional regulatory network (TRN), and ISL1, and PROX1 as antagonists. As a complimentary approach we used ChIP-seq on four of these factors to identify NEUROD1, LMX1A, PAX6, and RFX6 binding sites in the human genome. Examining the overlap between genes perturbed in the KD-CAGE experiments and genes with a ChIP-seq peak within 50 kb of their promoter, we identified direct transcriptional targets of these TFs. Integration of KD-CAGE and ChIP-seq data shows that both NEUROD1 and LMX1A work as the main transcriptional activators. In the core TRN (i.e., TF-TF only), NEUROD1 directly transcriptionally activates the pancreatic TFs HSF4, INSM1, MLXIPL, MYT1, NKX6-3, ONECUT2, PAX4, PROX1, RFX6, ST18, DACH1, and SHOX2, while LMX1A directly transcriptionally activates DACH1, SHOX2, PAX6, and PDX1. Analysis of these complementary datasets suggests the need for caution in interpreting Ch
Parihar, Parul; Singh, Rachana; Singh, Samiksha; Tripathi, Durgesh Kumar; Chauhan, Devendra Kumar; Singh, Vijay Pratap; Prasad, Sheo Mohan
The critical source of information in plants is light, which is perceived by receptors present in plants and animals. Receptors present in plant and animal system regulate important processes, and knowing the chromophores and signalling domains for each receptor could pave a way to trace out links between these receptors. The signalling mechanism for each receptor will give insight knowledge. This review has focussed on the photoreceptors from past history till date, that have evolved in the plant as well as in the animal system (to lesser extent). We have also focussed our attention on finding the links between the receptors by showing the commonalities as well as the differences between them, and also tried to trace out the links with the help of chromophores and signalling domain. Several photoreceptors have been traced out, which share similarity in the chromophore as well as in the signalling domain, which indicate towards the evolution of photoreceptors from one another. For instance, cryptochrome has been found to evolve three times from CPD photolyase as well as evolution of different types of phytochrome is a result of duplication and divergence. In addition, similarity between the photoreceptors suggested towards evolution from one another. This review has also discussed possible mechanism for each receptor i.e. how they regulate developmental processes and involve what kinds of regulators and also gives an insight on signalling mechanisms by these receptors. This review could also be a new initiative in the study of UVR8 associated studies.
this grant, we sought to investigate the mechanisms that regulate the earliest events in cone photoreceptor development and to exploit this knowledge ...identified 236 genes that were differentially expressed (P < 0.01, false discovery rate < 0.25) between DMSO and DAPT conditions at times that preceded
Quillien, Aurélie; Blanco-Sanchez, Bernardo; Halluin, Caroline; Moore, John C; Lawson, Nathan D; Blader, Patrick; Cau, Elise
A variety of signaling pathways have been shown to regulate specification of neuronal subtype identity. However, the mechanisms by which future neurons simultaneously process information from multiple pathways to establish their identity remain poorly understood. The zebrafish pineal gland offers a simple system with which to address questions concerning the integration of signaling pathways during neural specification as it contains only two types of neurons - photoreceptors and projection neurons. We have previously shown that Notch signaling inhibits the projection neuron fate. Here, we show that BMP signaling is both necessary and sufficient to promote the photoreceptor fate. We also demonstrate that crosstalk between BMP and Notch signaling is required for the inhibition of a projection neuron fate in future photoreceptors. In this case, BMP signaling is required as a competence factor for the efficient activation of Notch targets. Our results indicate that both the induction of a photoreceptor fate and the interaction with Notch relies on a canonical BMP/Smad5 pathway. However, the activation of Notch-dependent transcription does not require a canonical Smad5-DNA interaction. Our results provide new insights into how multiple signaling influences are integrated during cell fate specification in the vertebrate CNS.
Asaoka, Yoichi; Hata, Shoji; Namae, Misako; Furutani-Seiki, Makoto; Nishina, Hiroshi
The precise regulation of numbers and types of neurons through control of cell cycle exit and terminal differentiation is an essential aspect of neurogenesis. The Hippo signaling pathway has recently been identified as playing a crucial role in promoting cell cycle exit and terminal differentiation in multiple types of stem cells, including in retinal progenitor cells. When Hippo signaling is activated, the core Mst1/2 kinases activate the Lats1/2 kinases, which in turn phosphorylate and inhibit the transcriptional cofactor Yap. During mouse retinogenesis, overexpression of Yap prolongs progenitor cell proliferation, whereas inhibition of Yap decreases this proliferation and promotes retinal cell differentiation. However, to date, it remains unknown how the Hippo pathway affects the differentiation of distinct neuronal cell types such as photoreceptor cells. In this study, we investigated whether Hippo signaling regulates retinogenesis during early zebrafish development. Knockdown of zebrafish mst2 induced early embryonic defects, including altered retinal pigmentation and morphogenesis. Similar abnormal retinal phenotypes were observed in zebrafish embryos injected with a constitutively active form of yap [(yap (5SA)]. Loss of Yap’s TEAD-binding domain, two WW domains, or transcription activation domain attenuated the retinal abnormalities induced by yap (5SA), indicating that all of these domains contribute to normal retinal development. Remarkably, yap (5SA)-expressing zebrafish embryos displayed decreased expression of transcription factors such as otx5 and crx, which orchestrate photoreceptor cell differentiation by activating the expression of rhodopsin and other photoreceptor cell genes. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that Rx1 is a novel interacting partner of Yap that regulates photoreceptor cell differentiation. Our results suggest that Yap suppresses the differentiation of photoreceptor cells from retinal progenitor cells by repressing Rx1
Tallam, Aravind; Perumal, Thaneer M; Antony, Paul M; Jäger, Christian; Fritz, Joëlle V; Vallar, Laurent; Balling, Rudi; Del Sol, Antonio; Michelucci, Alessandro
Immunoresponsive gene 1 (IRG1) is one of the highest induced genes in macrophages under pro-inflammatory conditions. Its function has been recently described: it codes for immune-responsive gene 1 protein/cis-aconitic acid decarboxylase (IRG1/CAD), an enzyme catalysing the production of itaconic acid from cis-aconitic acid, a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediate. Itaconic acid possesses specific antimicrobial properties inhibiting isocitrate lyase, the first enzyme of the glyoxylate shunt, an anaplerotic pathway that bypasses the TCA cycle and enables bacteria to survive on limited carbon conditions. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying itaconic acid production through IRG1 induction in macrophages, we examined the transcriptional regulation of IRG1. To this end, we studied IRG1 expression in human immune cells under different inflammatory stimuli, such as TNFα and IFNγ, in addition to lipopolysaccharides. Under these conditions, as previously shown in mouse macrophages, IRG1/CAD accumulates in mitochondria. Furthermore, using literature information and transcription factor prediction models, we re-constructed raw gene regulatory networks (GRNs) for IRG1 in mouse and human macrophages. We further implemented a contextualization algorithm that relies on genome-wide gene expression data to infer putative cell type-specific gene regulatory interactions in mouse and human macrophages, which allowed us to predict potential transcriptional regulators of IRG1. Among the computationally identified regulators, siRNA-mediated gene silencing of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) in macrophages significantly decreased the expression of IRG1/CAD at the gene and protein level, which correlated with a reduced production of itaconic acid. Using a synergistic approach of both computational and experimental methods, we here shed more light on the transcriptional machinery of IRG1 expression and could pave the way to therapeutic approaches targeting itaconic acid levels.
Tallam, Aravind; Perumal, Thaneer M.; Antony, Paul M.; Jäger, Christian; Fritz, Joëlle V.; Vallar, Laurent; Balling, Rudi; del Sol, Antonio; Michelucci, Alessandro
Immunoresponsive gene 1 (IRG1) is one of the highest induced genes in macrophages under pro-inflammatory conditions. Its function has been recently described: it codes for immune-responsive gene 1 protein/cis-aconitic acid decarboxylase (IRG1/CAD), an enzyme catalysing the production of itaconic acid from cis-aconitic acid, a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediate. Itaconic acid possesses specific antimicrobial properties inhibiting isocitrate lyase, the first enzyme of the glyoxylate shunt, an anaplerotic pathway that bypasses the TCA cycle and enables bacteria to survive on limited carbon conditions. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying itaconic acid production through IRG1 induction in macrophages, we examined the transcriptional regulation of IRG1. To this end, we studied IRG1 expression in human immune cells under different inflammatory stimuli, such as TNFα and IFNγ, in addition to lipopolysaccharides. Under these conditions, as previously shown in mouse macrophages, IRG1/CAD accumulates in mitochondria. Furthermore, using literature information and transcription factor prediction models, we re-constructed raw gene regulatory networks (GRNs) for IRG1 in mouse and human macrophages. We further implemented a contextualization algorithm that relies on genome-wide gene expression data to infer putative cell type-specific gene regulatory interactions in mouse and human macrophages, which allowed us to predict potential transcriptional regulators of IRG1. Among the computationally identified regulators, siRNA-mediated gene silencing of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) in macrophages significantly decreased the expression of IRG1/CAD at the gene and protein level, which correlated with a reduced production of itaconic acid. Using a synergistic approach of both computational and experimental methods, we here shed more light on the transcriptional machinery of IRG1 expression and could pave the way to therapeutic approaches targeting itaconic acid levels
Johnson, J E; Birren, S J; Saito, T; Anderson, D J
The MASH genes are vertebrate homologues of achaete-scute, genes required for neuronal determination in Drosophila. The sequence of MASH1 and MASH2 contains a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) motif that is present in other transcriptional regulators such as MyoD and E12. In the absence of an authentic target for the MASH proteins, we examined their DNA binding and transcriptional regulatory activity by using a binding site (the E box) from the muscle creatine kinase (MCK) gene, a target of MyoD. Like myogenic bHLH proteins, the MASH proteins form heterooligomers with E12 that bind the MCK E box with high affinity in vitro. Unexpectedly, however, MASH1 and MASH2 also activate transcription of both exogenous and endogenous MCK in transfected C3H/10T1/2 fibroblasts. However, they do not induce myogenesis. Myogenic activity is not exclusively a property of the MyoD basic region, as substitution of this domain fails to confer myogenic activity on MASH1. These data suggest that different bHLH proteins may activate overlapping but distinct sets of target genes in the same cell type.
Liberles, Stephen D
Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors.
Liberles, Stephen D.
Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d ) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175
selectively label cone photoreceptors have appeared (14-18). These include ferritin (14), procion yellow (15,16), tritiated fucose (17,18), horseradish...approaches. The selectivity for specific cone types of tritiated fucose and the peroxidases has been demonstrated only for non-mammalian vertebrates (17,18...TABLE 1 CONE CLASS TECHNIQUE STRUCTURE RED GREEN BLUE Fucose Outer Seg. X X H.R.P. Outer Seg. X MicroP. Outer Seg. X X Proc. Yel. Outer Seg. X X
Kutta, Roger J.; Hardman, Samantha J. O.; Johannissen, Linus O.; Bellina, Bruno; Messiha, Hanan L.; Ortiz-Guerrero, Juan Manuel; Elías-Arnanz, Montserrat; Padmanabhan, S.; Barran, Perdita; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Jones, Alex R.
The coenzyme B12-dependent photoreceptor protein, CarH, is a bacterial transcriptional regulator that controls the biosynthesis of carotenoids in response to light. On binding of coenzyme B12 the monomeric apoprotein forms tetramers in the dark, which bind operator DNA thus blocking transcription. Under illumination the CarH tetramer dissociates, weakening its affinity for DNA and allowing transcription. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. Here we describe the photochemistry in CarH that ultimately triggers tetramer dissociation; it proceeds via a cob(III)alamin intermediate, which then forms a stable adduct with the protein. This pathway is without precedent and our data suggest it is independent of the radical chemistry common to both coenzyme B12 enzymology and its known photochemistry. It provides a mechanistic foundation for the emerging field of B12 photobiology and will serve to inform the development of a new class of optogenetic tool for the control of gene expression. PMID:26264192
Notterman, D; Young, S; Wainger, B; Levine, A J
The tumor suppressor p53 has been identified as a component of a mitotic spindle checkpoint. When exposed to a spindle-disrupting drug such as nocodazole, fibroblasts derived from mice having wild-type p53 are blocked with a 4N content of DNA. Conversely, fibroblasts from p53-deficient mice become polyploid. To learn if transcriptional activation of downstream genes by p53 plays a role in this putative checkpoint, three cell lines were exposed to nocodazole. In one line, p53 protein is not expressed, while the other two cell lines over-express p53. In one of these two lines, the N-terminal transactivation domain is wild-type and in the second, this region contains a mutation that eliminates the ability of the protein to act as a transcription factor. Incubation with nocodazole of cells containing wild-type p53 results in accumulation of both 2N and 4N populations of cells. Under the same conditions, cells containing a transactivation-deficient mutant of p53 accumulate a 4N population of cells, but not a 2N population of cells. Cells entirely deficient in p53 protein become hyperdiploid, and display 8N to 16N DNA content. In all three cell lines, nocodazole elicited an initial increase in mitotic cells, but within 24 h the mitotic index returned to baseline. Expression patterns of cyclins B and D indicated that following entry into mitosis, the cells returned to a G1 state but with 4N DNA content. Subsequent re-duplication of DNA beyond 4N is prevented in cells containing either wild-type or transcriptionally inactive p53 protein. In cells entirely lacking p53 protein, DNA is re-duplicated (without an intervening mitosis) and the cells become hyperdiploid. These experiments indicate that p53 does not participate in the transient mitotic arrest that follows spindle disruption, but is essential to prevent subsequent reduplication of DNA and the resulting hyperdiploid state. This function is intact in a mutant that is transcriptionally inactive.
Kuenzel, Wayne J.; Kang, Seong W.; Zhou, Z. Jimmy
In the eyes of mammals, specialized photoreceptors called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) have been identified that sense photoperiodic or daylight exposure, providing them over time with seasonal information. Detectors of photoperiods are critical in vertebrates, particularly for timing the onset of reproduction each year. In birds, the eyes do not appear to monitor photoperiodic information; rather, neurons within at least 4 different brain structures have been proposed to function in this capacity. Specialized neurons, called deep brain photoreceptors (DBP), have been found in the septum and 3 hypothalamic areas. Within each of the 4 brain loci, one or more of 3 unique photopigments, including melanopsin, neuropsin, and vertebrate ancient opsin, have been identified. An experiment was designed to characterize electrophysiological responses of neurons proposed to be avian DBP following light stimulation. A second study used immature chicks raised under short-day photoperiods and transferred to long day lengths. Gene expression of photopigments was then determined in 3 septal-hypothalamic regions. Preliminary electrophysiological data obtained from patch-clamping neurons in brain slices have shown that bipolar neurons in the lateral septal organ responded to photostimulation comparable with mammalian ipRGC, particularly by showing depolarization and a delayed, slow response to directed light stimulation. Utilizing real-time reverse-transcription PCR, it was found that all 3 photopigments showed significantly increased gene expression in the septal-hypothalamic regions in chicks on the third day after being transferred to long-day photoperiods. Each dissected region contained structures previously proposed to have DBP. The highly significant increased gene expression for all 3 photopigments on the third, long-day photoperiod in brain regions proposed to contain 4 structures with DBP suggests that all 3 types of DBP (melanopsin, neuropsin
Ekström, Peter; Meissl, Hilmar
Pineal evolution is envisaged as a gradual transformation of pinealocytes (a gradual regression of pinealocyte sensory capacity within a particular cell line), the so-called sensory cell line of the pineal organ. In most non-mammals the pineal organ is a directly photosensory organ, while the pineal organ of mammals (epiphysis cerebri) is a non-sensory neuroendocrine organ under photoperiod control. The phylogenetic transformation of the pineal organ is reflected in the morphology and physiology of the main parenchymal cell type, the pinealocyte. In anamniotes, pinealocytes with retinal cone photoreceptor-like characteristics predominate, whereas in sauropsids so-called rudimentary photoreceptors predominate. These have well-developed secretory characteristics, and have been interpreted as intermediaries between the anamniote pineal photoreceptors and the mammalian non-sensory pinealocytes. We have re-examined the original studies on which the gradual transformation hypothesis of pineal evolution is based, and found that the evidence for this model of pineal evolution is ambiguous. In the light of recent advances in the understanding of neural development mechanisms, we propose a new hypothesis of pineal evolution, in which the old notion 'gradual regression within the sensory cell line' should be replaced with 'changes in fate restriction within the neural lineage of the pineal field'. PMID:14561326
Bader, Jason R.; Kusik, Brandon W.; Besharse, Joseph C.
Multiple proteins are targeted to photoreceptor outer segments (OS) where they function in phototransduction. Intraflagellar transport (IFT), a highly conserved bidirectional transport pathway occurring along the microtubules of the ciliary axoneme has been implicated in OS trafficking. The canonical anterograde motor for IFT is the heterotrimeric kinesin II or KIF3 complex. Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated a role for an additional kinesin 2 family motor, the homodimeric KIF17. To gain a better understanding of KIF17 function in photoreceptor OS we utilized transgenic zebrafish expressing zfKIF17-GFP to assess the localization and dynamics of zfKIF17. Our data indicate that both endogenous KIF17 and KIF17-GFP are associated with the axoneme of zebrafish cones at both early (5 dpf) and late (21 dfp) stages of development. Strikingly, KIF17-GFP accumulates at the OS distal tip in a phenomenon referred to as “tipping”. Tipping occurs in the large majority of photoreceptors and also occurs when mammalian KIF17-mCherry is expressed in ciliated epithelial cells in culture. In some cases KIF17-GFP is shed with the OS tip as part of the disc shedding process. We have also found that KIF17-GFP moves within the OS at rates consistent with those observed for IFT and other kinesins. PMID:23099049
Kuse, Yoshiki; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Sugitani, Sou; Izawa, Hiroshi; Ohno, Yuta; Shimazawa, Masamitsu; Hara, Hideaki
Progranulin (PGRN) is a secreted growth factor associated with embryo development, tissue repair, and inflammation. In a previous study, we showed that adipose-derived stem cell-conditioned medium (ASC-CM) is rich in PGRN. In the present study, we investigated whether PGRN is associated with retinal regeneration in the mammalian retina. We evaluated the effect of ASC-CM using the N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced retinal damage model in mice. ASC-CM promoted the differentiation of photoreceptor cells following retinal damage. PGRN increased the number of BrdU+ cells in the outer nuclear layer following retinal damage some of which were Rx (retinal precursor cell marker) positive. PGRN also increased the number of rhodopsin+ photoreceptor cells in primary retinal cell cultures. SU11274, a hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor inhibitor, attenuated the increase. These findings suggest that PGRN may affect the differentiation of retinal precursor cells to photoreceptor cells through the HGF receptor signaling pathway. PMID:27030285
Zhao, Chen; Yasumura, Douglas; Li, Xiyan; Matthes, Michael; Lloyd, Marcia; Nielsen, Gregory; Ahern, Kelly; Snyder, Michael; Bok, Dean; Dunaief, Joshua L.; LaVail, Matthew M.; Vollrath, Douglas
Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell dysfunction plays a central role in various retinal degenerative diseases, but knowledge is limited regarding the pathways responsible for adult RPE stress responses in vivo. RPE mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several forms of retinal degeneration. Here we have shown that postnatal ablation of RPE mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in mice triggers gradual epithelium dedifferentiation, typified by reduction of RPE-characteristic proteins and cellular hypertrophy. The electrical response of the retina to light decreased and photoreceptors eventually degenerated. Abnormal RPE cell behavior was associated with increased glycolysis and activation of, and dependence upon, the hepatocyte growth factor/met proto-oncogene pathway. RPE dedifferentiation and hypertrophy arose through stimulation of the AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (AKT/mTOR) pathway. Administration of an oxidant to wild-type mice also caused RPE dedifferentiation and mTOR activation. Importantly, treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin blunted key aspects of dedifferentiation and preserved photoreceptor function for both insults. These results reveal an in vivo response of the mature RPE to diverse stressors that prolongs RPE cell survival at the expense of epithelial attributes and photoreceptor function. Our findings provide a rationale for mTOR pathway inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for retinal degenerative diseases involving RPE stress. PMID:21135502
Hermann, Howard T.; Olsen, Richard E.
Crayfish caudal photoreceptor units were monitored during transient and steady-state responses to light stimuli (step on, step off). A statistical analysis of interpulse interval distributions during quasi-stationary time periods was carried out. Firing statistics during transient conditions were superposable with statistics under whatever steady stimulation produced the same firing rate, indicating that mean firing rate is a sufficient statistic. Distributions encountered formed a continuum of possible shapes. Considerable variation in shape was found with temperature and also among species, with Orconectes clarkii tending to fire more regularly than Orconectes virilis. Some properties of O. virilis statistics are described, including a linear relation between mean and standard deviation, and a tendency for intervals to be nonindependent. The data are considered as constraints on closed form models of the photoreceptor nerve pulse generator. PMID:6035125
Pearson, R. A.; Gonzalez-Cordero, A.; West, E. L.; Ribeiro, J. R.; Aghaizu, N.; Goh, D.; Sampson, R. D.; Georgiadis, A.; Waldron, P. V.; Duran, Y.; Naeem, A.; Kloc, M.; Cristante, E.; Kruczek, K.; Warre-Cornish, K.; Sowden, J. C.; Smith, A. J.; Ali, R. R.
Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a treatment for blindness. Transplantation of healthy photoreceptor precursor cells into diseased murine eyes leads to the presence of functional photoreceptors within host retinae that express an array of donor-specific proteins. The resulting improvement in visual function was understood to be due to donor cells integrating within host retinae. Here, however, we show that while integration occurs the majority of donor-reporter-labelled cells in the host arises as a result of material transfer between donor and host photoreceptors. Material transfer does not involve permanent donor–host nuclear or cell–cell fusion, or the uptake of free protein or nucleic acid from the extracellular environment. Instead, RNA and/or protein are exchanged between donor and host cells in vivo. These data require a re-evaluation of the mechanisms underlying rescue by photoreceptor transplantation and raise the possibility of material transfer as a strategy for the treatment of retinal disorders. PMID:27701378
Howlett, Marcus H C; Smith, Robert G; Kamermans, Maarten
An animal's ability to survive depends on its sensory systems being able to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions, by maximizing the information extracted and reducing the noise transmitted. The visual system does this by adapting to luminance and contrast. While luminance adaptation can begin at the retinal photoreceptors, contrast adaptation has been shown to start at later stages in the retina. Photoreceptors adapt to changes in luminance over multiple time scales ranging from tens of milliseconds to minutes, with the adaptive changes arising from processes within the phototransduction cascade. Here we show a new form of adaptation in cones that is independent of the phototransduction process. Rather, it is mediated by voltage-gated ion channels in the cone membrane and acts by changing the frequency response of cones such that their responses speed up as the membrane potential modulation depth increases and slow down as the membrane potential modulation depth decreases. This mechanism is effectively activated by high-contrast stimuli dominated by low frequencies such as natural stimuli. However, the more generally used Gaussian white noise stimuli were not effective since they did not modulate the cone membrane potential to the same extent. This new adaptive process had a time constant of less than a second. A critical component of the underlying mechanism is the hyperpolarization-activated current, Ih, as pharmacologically blocking it prevented the long- and mid- wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors (L- and M-cones) from adapting. Consistent with this, short- wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors (S-cones) did not show the adaptive response, and we found they also lacked a prominent Ih. The adaptive filtering mechanism identified here improves the information flow by removing higher-frequency noise during lower signal-to-noise ratio conditions, as occurs when contrast levels are low. Although this new adaptive mechanism can be driven by
Honkanen, Anna; Immonen, Esa-Ville; Salmela, Iikka; Heimonen, Kyösti; Weckström, Matti
Night vision is ultimately about extracting information from a noisy visual input. Several species of nocturnal insects exhibit complex visually guided behaviour in conditions where most animals are practically blind. The compound eyes of nocturnal insects produce strong responses to single photons and process them into meaningful neural signals, which are amplified by specialized neuroanatomical structures. While a lot is known about the light responses and the anatomical structures that promote pooling of responses to increase sensitivity, there is still a dearth of knowledge on the physiology of night vision. Retinal photoreceptors form the first bottleneck for the transfer of visual information. In this review, we cover the basics of what is known about physiological adaptations of insect photoreceptors for low-light vision. We will also discuss major enigmas of some of the functional properties of nocturnal photoreceptors, and describe recent advances in methodologies that may help to solve them and broaden the field of insect vision research to new model animals.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in dim light'.
Tarboush, R; Novales Flamarique, I; Chapman, G B; Connaughton, V P
Ultrastructural examination of photoreceptor inner segment ellipsoids in larval (4, 8, and 15 days postfertilization; dpf) and adult zebrafish identified morphologically different types of mitochondria. All photoreceptors had mitochondria of different sizes (large and small). At 4 dpf, rods had small, moderately stained electron-dense mitochondria (E-DM), and two cone types could be distinguished: (1) those with electron-lucent mitochondria (E-LM) and (2) those with mitochondria of moderate electron density. These distinctions were also apparent at later ages (8 and 15 dpf). Rods from adult fish had fewer mitochondria than their corresponding cones. The ellipsoids of some fully differentiated single and double cones contained large E-DM with few cristae; these were surrounded by small E-LM with typical internal morphology. The mitochondria within the ellipsoids of other single cones showed similar electron density. Microspectrophotometry of cone ellipsoids from adult fish indicated that the large E-DM had a small absorbance peak (∼0.03 OD units) and did not contain cytochrome-c, but crocetin, a carotenoid found in old world monkeys. Crocetin functions to prevent oxidative damage to photoreceptors, suggesting that the ellipsoid mitochondria in adult zebrafish cones protect against apoptosis and function metabolically, rather than as a light filter.
Sengupta, Satyaki; Lingnurkar, Raj; Carey, Timothy S.; Pomaville, Monica; Kar, Parimal; Feig, Michael; Wilson, Catherine A.; Knott, Jason G.; Arnosti, David N.; Henry, R. William
The retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor and related family of proteins play critical roles in development through their regulation of genes involved in cell fate. Multiple regulatory pathways impact RB function, including the ubiquitin-proteasome system with deregulated RB destruction frequently associated with pathogenesis. With the current study we explored the mechanisms connecting proteasome-mediated turnover of the RB family to the regulation of repressor activity. We find that steady state levels of all RB family members, RB, p107, and p130, were diminished during embryonic stem cell differentiation concomitant with their target gene acquisition. Proteasome-dependent turnover of the RB family is mediated by distinct and autonomously acting instability elements (IE) located in their C-terminal regulatory domains in a process that is sensitive to cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK4) perturbation. The IE regions include motifs that contribute to E2F-DP transcription factor interaction, and consistently, p107 and p130 repressor potency was reduced by IE deletion. The juxtaposition of degron sequences and E2F interaction motifs appears to be a conserved feature across the RB family, suggesting the potential for repressor ubiquitination and specific target gene regulation. These findings establish a mechanistic link between regulation of RB family repressor potency and the ubiquitin-proteasome system. PMID:25903125
Czekaj, Magdalena; Haas, Jochen; Gebhardt, Marlen; Müller-Reichert, Thomas; Humphries, Peter; Farrar, Jane; Bartsch, Udo; Ader, Marius
Cell transplantation to treat retinal degenerative diseases represents an option for the replacement of lost photoreceptor cells. In vitro expandable cells isolated from the developing mammalian retina have been suggested as a potential source for the generation of high numbers of donor photoreceptors. In this study we used standardized culture conditions based on the presence of the mitogens FGF-2 and EGF to generate high numbers of cells in vitro from the developing mouse retina. These presumptive 'retinal stem cells' ('RSCs') can be propagated as monolayer cultures over multiple passages, express markers of undifferentiated neural cells, and generate neuronal and glial cell types upon withdrawal of mitogens in vitro or following transplantation into the adult mouse retina. The proportion of neuronal differentiation can be significantly increased by stepwise removal of mitogens and inhibition of the notch signaling pathway. However, 'RSCs', by contrast to their primary counterparts in vivo, i.e. retinal progenitor cells, loose the expression of retina-specific progenitor markers like Rax and Chx10 after passaging and fail to differentiate into photoreceptors both in vitro or after intraretinal transplantation. Notably, 'RSCs' can be induced to differentiate into myelinating oligodendrocytes, a cell type not generated by primary retinal progenitor cells. Based on these findings we conclude that 'RSCs' expanded in high concentrations of FGF-2 and EGF loose their retinal identity and acquire features of in vitro expandable neural stem-like cells making them an inappropriate cell source for strategies aimed at replacing photoreceptor cells in the degenerated retina.
Singh, Mandeep S.; Balmer, Jasmin; Barnard, Alun R.; Aslam, Sher A.; Moralli, Daniela; Green, Catherine M.; Barnea-Cramer, Alona; Duncan, Isabel; MacLaren, Robert E.
Photoreceptor transplantation is a potential future treatment for blindness caused by retinal degeneration. Photoreceptor transplantation restores visual responses in end-stage retinal degeneration, but has also been assessed in non-degenerate retinas. In the latter scenario, subretinal transplantation places donor cells beneath an intact host outer nuclear layer (ONL) containing host photoreceptors. Here we show that host cells are labelled with the donor marker through cytoplasmic transfer—94±4.1% of apparently well-integrated donor cells containing both donor and host markers. We detect the occurrence of Cre-Lox recombination between donor and host photoreceptors, and we confirm the findings through FISH analysis of X and Y chromosomes in sex-discordant transplants. We do not find evidence of nuclear fusion of donor and host cells. The artefactual appearance of integrated donor cells in host retinas following transplantation is most commonly due to material transfer from donor cells. Understanding this novel mechanism may provide alternate therapeutic strategies at earlier stages of retinal degeneration. PMID:27901042
This review examines the biological background to the development of ideas on rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), so-called paradoxical sleep (PS), and its relation to dreaming. Aspects of the phenomenon which are discussed include physiological changes and their anatomical location, the effects of total and selective sleep deprivation in the human and animal, and REM sleep behavior disorder, the latter with its clinical manifestations in the human. Although dreaming also occurs in other sleep phases (non-REM or NREM sleep), in the human, there is a contingent relation between REM sleep and dreaming. Thus, REM is taken as a marker for dreaming and as REM is distributed ubiquitously throughout the mammalian class, it is suggested that other mammals also dream. It is suggested that the overall function of REM sleep/dreaming is more important than the content of the individual dream; its function is to place the dreamer protagonist/observer on the topographical world. This has importance for the developing infant who needs to develop a sense of self and separateness from the world which it requires to navigate and from which it is separated for long periods in sleep. Dreaming may also serve to maintain a sense of ‘I’ness or “self” in the adult, in whom a fragility of this faculty is revealed in neurological disorders.
Mitkus, Mindaugas; Olsson, Peter; Toomey, Matthew B; Corbo, Joseph C; Kelber, Almut
The retinae of many bird species contain a depression with high photoreceptor density known as the fovea. Many species of raptors have two foveae, a deep central fovea and a shallower temporal fovea. Birds have six types of photoreceptors: rods, active in dim light, double cones that are thought to mediate achromatic discrimination, and four types of single cones mediating color vision. To maximize visual acuity, the fovea should only contain photoreceptors contributing to high-resolution vision. Interestingly, it has been suggested that raptors might lack double cones in the fovea. We used transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry to evaluate this claim in five raptor species: the common buzzard (Buteo buteo), the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), the red kite (Milvus milvus) and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). We found that all species, except the Eurasian sparrowhawk, lack double cones in the center of the central fovea. The size of the double cone-free zone differed between species. Only the common buzzard had a double cone-free zone in the temporal fovea. In three species, we examined opsin expression in the central fovea and found evidence that rod opsin positive cells were absent and violet-sensitive cone and green-sensitive cone opsin positive cells were present. We conclude that not only double cones, but also single cones may contribute to high-resolution vision in birds, and that raptors may in fact possess high-resolution tetrachromatic vision in the central fovea. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Liu, Zhuolin; Kocaoglu, Omer P.; Turner, Timothy L.; Miller, Donald T.
Decades of experimental and theoretical investigations have established that photoreceptors capture light based on the principles of optical waveguiding. Yet considerable uncertainty remains, even for the most basic prediction as to whether photoreceptors support more than a single waveguide mode. To test for modal behavior in human cone photoreceptors in the near infrared, we took advantage of adaptive-optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT, λc = 785 nm) to noninvasively image in three dimensions the reflectance profile of cones. Modal content of reflections generated at the cone inner segment and outer segment junction (IS/OS) and cone outer segment tip (COST) was examined over a range of cone diameters in 1,802 cones from 0.6° to 10° retinal eccentricity. Second moment analysis in conjunction with theoretical predictions indicate cone IS and OS have optical properties consistent of waveguides, which depend on segment diameter and refractive index. Cone IS was found to support a single mode near the fovea (≤3°) and multiple modes further away (>4°). In contrast, no evidence of multiple modes was found in the cone OSs. The IS/OS and COST reflections share a common optical aperture, are most circular near the fovea, show no orientation preference, and are temporally stable. We tested mode predictions of a conventional step-index fiber model and found that in order to fit our AO-OCT results required a lower estimate of the IS refractive index and introduction of an IS focusing/tapering effect. PMID:26417509
Light-evoked membrane currents were recorded with suction electrodes from the outer segments of individual photoreceptors enzymatically dissociated from the skate retina. The intensity-response relation of dark-adapted cells closely followed a Michaelis function for which a half-saturating response was elicited by a flash intensity that produced about 36 photoisomerizations. Dim-light responses, as well as the early rising phase of the responses to a wide range of flash intensities, could be described by a reaction scheme that involved a series of four first-order delay stages. The number of delay stages required to model the rising phase of the photocurrents did not change in light adaptation. However, background illumination that reduced sensitivity by 1.5 log units, or a bleaching exposure that resulted in a nearly equivalent desensitization, shortened significantly the time scale of the responses. In both instances there were two- to threefold increases in the rate constants of the transitional delays, and almost complete suppression of the tail current that characterized the response of the dark-adapted cell. These findings suggest that although light adaptation alters the gain and kinetics of the transduction mechanism, the nature of the intervening processes is the same in dark- and light-adapted photoreceptors. Moreover, the results show clearly that there is no need to postulate the existence of a second class of cone-like rods to account for the remarkable ability of skate photoreceptors to respond to incremental stimuli presented on "saturating" background fields or after exposure to an intense bleaching light. PMID:2614369
Johnson, Ryan D.; Williams, Vesper; Summerfelt, Phyllis; Dubra, Alfredo; Weinberg, David V.; Stepien, Kimberly E.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Carroll, Joseph
Purpose 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:27936069
Nießner, Christine; Denzau, Susanne; Malkemper, Erich Pascal; Gross, Julia Christina; Burda, Hynek; Winklhofer, Michael; Peichl, Leo
Cryptochromes are a ubiquitous group of blue-light absorbing flavoproteins that in the mammalian retina have an important role in the circadian clock. In birds, cryptochrome 1a (Cry1a), localized in the UV/violet-sensitive S1 cone photoreceptors, is proposed to be the retinal receptor molecule of the light-dependent magnetic compass. The retinal localization of mammalian Cry1, homologue to avian Cry1a, is unknown, and it is open whether mammalian Cry1 is also involved in magnetic field sensing. To constrain the possible role of retinal Cry1, we immunohistochemically analysed 90 mammalian species across 48 families in 16 orders, using an antiserum against the Cry1 C-terminus that in birds labels only the photo-activated conformation. In the Carnivora families Canidae, Mustelidae and Ursidae, and in some Primates, Cry1 was consistently labeled in the outer segment of the shortwave-sensitive S1 cones. This finding would be compatible with a magnetoreceptive function of Cry1 in these taxa. In all other taxa, Cry1 was not detected by the antiserum that likely also in mammals labels the photo-activated conformation, although Western blots showed Cry1 in mouse retinal cell nuclei. We speculate that in the mouse and the other negative-tested mammals Cry1 is involved in circadian functions as a non-light-responsive protein. PMID:26898837
Nießner, Christine; Denzau, Susanne; Malkemper, Erich Pascal; Gross, Julia Christina; Burda, Hynek; Winklhofer, Michael; Peichl, Leo
Cryptochromes are a ubiquitous group of blue-light absorbing flavoproteins that in the mammalian retina have an important role in the circadian clock. In birds, cryptochrome 1a (Cry1a), localized in the UV/violet-sensitive S1 cone photoreceptors, is proposed to be the retinal receptor molecule of the light-dependent magnetic compass. The retinal localization of mammalian Cry1, homologue to avian Cry1a, is unknown, and it is open whether mammalian Cry1 is also involved in magnetic field sensing. To constrain the possible role of retinal Cry1, we immunohistochemically analysed 90 mammalian species across 48 families in 16 orders, using an antiserum against the Cry1 C-terminus that in birds labels only the photo-activated conformation. In the Carnivora families Canidae, Mustelidae and Ursidae, and in some Primates, Cry1 was consistently labeled in the outer segment of the shortwave-sensitive S1 cones. This finding would be compatible with a magnetoreceptive function of Cry1 in these taxa. In all other taxa, Cry1 was not detected by the antiserum that likely also in mammals labels the photo-activated conformation, although Western blots showed Cry1 in mouse retinal cell nuclei. We speculate that in the mouse and the other negative-tested mammals Cry1 is involved in circadian functions as a non-light-responsive protein.
Carvalho, Livia S; Vandenberghe, Luk H
Colour vision is only achieved in the presence of healthy and functional cone photoreceptors found in the retina. It is an essential component of human vision and usually the first complaint patients undergoing vision degeneration have is the loss of daylight colour vision. Therefore, an understanding of the biology and basic mechanisms behind cone death under the degenerative state of retinal dystrophies and how the activation of the apoptotic pathway is triggered will provide valuable knowledge. It will also have broader applications for a spectrum of visual disorders and will be critical for future advances in translational research.
Zrenner, E; Stett, A; Weiss, S; Aramant, R B; Guenther, E; Kohler, K; Miliczek, K D; Seiler, M J; Haemmerle, H
The idea of implanting microphotodiode arrays as visual prostheses has aroused controversy on its feasibility from the moment it appeared in print. We now present results which basically support the concept of replacing damaged photoreceptors with subretinally implanted stimulation devices. Network activity in degenerated rat retinae could be modulated through local electrical stimulation in vitro. We also investigated the long term stability and biocompatibility of the subretinal implants and their impact on retinal physiology in rats. Ganzfeld electroretinograms and histology showed no significant side effect of subretinal implants on retinal function or the architecture of the inner retina.
Simón, María V; De Genaro, Pablo; Abrahan, Carolina E; de los Santos, Beatriz; Rotstein, Nora P; Politi, Luis E
Using stem cells to replace lost neurons is a promising strategy for treating retinal neurodegenerative diseases. Among their multiple functions, Müller glial cells are retina stem cells, with a robust regenerative potential in lower vertebrates, which is much more restricted in mammals. In rodents, most retina progenitors exit the cell cycle immediately after birth, differentiate as neurons, and then cannot reenter the cell cycle. Here we demonstrate that, in mixed cultures with Müller glial cells, rat retina progenitor cells expressed stem cell properties, maintained their proliferative potential, and were able to preserve these properties and remain mitotically active after several consecutive passages. Notably, these progenitors retained the capacity to differentiate as photoreceptors, even after successive reseedings. Müller glial cells markedly stimulated differentiation of retina progenitors; these cells initially expressed Crx and then developed as mature photoreceptors that expressed characteristic markers, such as opsin and peripherin. Moreover, they were light responsive, insofar as they decreased their cGMP levels when exposed to light, and they also showed high-affinity glutamate uptake, a characteristic of mature photoreceptors. Our present findings indicate that, in addition to giving rise to new photoreceptors, Müller glial cells might instruct a pool of undifferentiated cells to develop and preserve stem cell characteristics, even after successive reseedings, and then stimulate their differentiation as functional photoreceptors. This complementary mechanism might contribute to enlarge the limited regenerative capacity of mammalian Müller cells.
Lessieur, Emma M.; Fogerty, Joseph; Gaivin, Robert J.; Song, Ping; Perkins, Brian D.
Purpose Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is an autosomal recessive ciliopathy with considerable phenotypic variability. In addition to central nervous system abnormalities, a subset of JBTS patients exhibit retinal dystrophy and/or kidney disease. Mutations in the AHI1 gene are causative for approximately 10% of all JBTS cases. The purpose of this study was to generate ahi1 mutant alleles in zebrafish and to characterize the retinal phenotypes. Methods Zebrafish ahi1 mutants were generated using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Expression analysis was performed by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Anatomic and molecular characterization of photoreceptors was investigated by histology, electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. The optokinetic response (OKR) behavior assay was used to assess visual function. Kidney cilia were evaluated by whole-mount immunostaining. Results The ahi1lri46 mutation in zebrafish resulted in shorter cone outer segments but did not affect visual behavior at 5 days after fertilization (dpf). No defects in rod morphology or rhodopsin localization were observed at 5 dpf. By 5 months of age, cone degeneration and rhodopsin mislocalization in rod photoreceptors was observed. The connecting cilium formed normally and Cc2d2a and Cep290 localized properly. Distal pronephric duct cilia were absent in mutant fish; however, only 9% of ahi1 mutants had kidney cysts by 5 dpf, suggesting that the pronephros remained largely functional. Conclusions The results indicate that Ahi1 is required for photoreceptor disc morphogenesis and outer segment maintenance in zebrafish. PMID:28118669
Garita-Hernández, Marcela; Diaz-Corrales, Francisco; Lukovic, Dunja; González-Guede, Irene; Diez-Lloret, Andrea; Valdés-Sánchez, M Lourdes; Massalini, Simone; Erceg, Slaven; Bhattacharya, Shomi S
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a genetically heterogeneous group of diseases together with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are the leading causes of permanent blindness and are characterized by the progressive dysfunction and death of the light sensing photoreceptors of the retina. Due to the limited regeneration capacity of the mammalian retina, the scientific community has invested significantly in trying to obtain retinal progenitor cells from embryonic stem cells (ESC). These represent an unlimited source of retinal cells, but it has not yet been possible to achieve specific populations, such as photoreceptors, efficiently enough to allow them to be used safely in the future as cell therapy of RP or AMD. In this study, we generated a high yield of photoreceptors from directed differentiation of mouse ESC (mESC) by recapitulating crucial phases of retinal development. We present a new protocol of differentiation, involving hypoxia and taking into account extrinsic and intrinsic cues. These include niche-specific conditions as well as the manipulation of the signaling pathways involved in retinal development. Our results show that hypoxia promotes and improves the differentiation of mESC toward photoreceptors. Different populations of retinal cells are increased in number under the hypoxic conditions applied, such as Crx-positive cells, S-Opsin-positive cells, and double positive cells for Rhodopsin and Recoverin, as shown by immunofluorescence analysis. For the first time, this manuscript reports the high efficiency of differentiation in vivo and the expression of mature rod photoreceptor markers in a large number of differentiated cells, transplanted in the subretinal space of wild-type mice.
Chiarini, Luciana B; Leal-Ferreira, Mona Lisa; de Freitas, Fabíola G; Linden, Rafael
Photoreceptor cell death occurs during both normal and pathological retinal development. We tested for selective induction and blockade of cell death in either retinal photoreceptors or their precursors. Organotypical retinal explants from rats at postnatal days 3-11 were treated in vitro for 24 hr with thapsigargin, okadaic acid, etoposide, anisomycin, or forskolin. Explant sections were examined for cell death, and identification of either photoreceptors or proliferating/immediate postmitotic cells followed imunohistochemistry for either rhodopsin or bromodeoxyuridine and proliferating cell nuclear antigen, respectively. Photoreceptor cell death was selectively induced by either thapsigargin or okadaic acid, whereas death of proliferating/immediate postmitotic cells was induced by etoposide. Prelabeling of proliferating precursors allowed direct demonstration of changing sensitivity of photoreceptors to various chemicals. Degeneration of both photoreceptors and proliferating/immediate postmitotic cells depended on protein synthesis. Increase of intracellular cyclic AMP blocked degeneration of postmitotic, but not of proliferating, photoreceptor precursors. The selective induction and blockade of cell death show that developing photoreceptors undergo progressive changes in mechanisms of programmed cell death associated with phenotypic differentiation.
Ueta, Takashi; Inoue, Tatsuya; Furukawa, Takahisa; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Nakagawa, Yasuhito; Imai, Hirotaka; Yanagi, Yasuo
Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathologies of photoreceptor cells, and the protective role of antioxidant enzymes for photoreceptor cells have been well understood. However, their essentiality has remained unknown. In this study we generated photoreceptor-specific conditional knock-out (CKO) mice of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) and showed the critical role of GPx4 for photoreceptor cells. In the wild-type retina the dominant GPx4 expression was in the mitochondria, indicating the mitochondrial variant was the major GPx4 in the retina. In the GPx4-CKO mice, although photoreceptor cells developed and differentiated into rod and cone cells by P12, they rapidly underwent drastic degeneration and completely disappeared by P21. The photoreceptor cell death in the GPx4-CKO mice was associated with the nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and TUNEL-positive cells. Photoreceptor cells before undergoing apoptosis (P11) exhibited decreased mitochondrial biomass, decreased number of connecting cilia, as well as disorganized structure of outer segments. These findings indicate that GPx4 is a critical antioxidant enzyme for the maturation and survival of photoreceptor cells. PMID:22207760
Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob
In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes.
Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob
In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON–OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341
Taub, Daniel G; Liu, Qin
The photoreceptor is a complex specialized cell in which a major component responsible for visual transduction is the photoreceptor sensory cilium (PSC). Building and maintenance of the PSC requires the transport of large proteins along microtubules that extend from the inner segments to the outer segments. A key process, termed intraflagellar transport (IFT), has been recognized as an essential phenomenon for photoreceptor development and maintenance, and exciting new studies have highlighted its importance in retinal and cilia related diseases. This review focuses on the important roles of IFT players, including motor proteins, IFT proteins, and photoreceptor-specific cargos in photoreceptor sensory cilium. In addition, specific IFT components that are involved in inherited human diseases are discussed.
Walker, E B; Lee, T Y; Song, P S
1. On the basis of chromatographic and spectroscopic (absorption, fluorescence and its polarization, fluorescence lifetime, circular dichroism) characterization of the Stentor photoreceptor (stentorin) for photophobic response, the photoreceptor chromophore released from mild acid hydrolysis has been identified as hypericin. 2. The native chromophore is apparently linked to a protein (65 K) containing Lys and several hydrophobic residues, which is soluble in acetone and n-pentane. The peptide-linked stentorin (I) chromophore exhibits circular dichroism in the visible region due to the induced optical activity provided by the peptide. 3. The sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of a 38% fraction of the sucrose density centrifugation has resolved stentorin II proteins having molecular weights of 13 000, 16 000, 65 000 and 130 000. These proteins, as well as the acetone-soluble peptide, have been spectroscopically characterized with particular emphasis on their primary photoreactivity as the photophobic receptor of Stentor coeruleus. 4. Irradiation of whole living Stentor in dilute buffer solutions induces a decrease in the pH of the medium. A strong dependence upon pH in the fluorescence spectra of both synthetic and native chromophores is also evident, showing a significant drop in the pKa of one or more hydroxyl groups in the excited state. A mechanism for the photophobic response, based on this lowering of the pKa as the primary photoprocess, has been discussed.
Ullrich-Lüter, Esther M; D'Aniello, Salvatore; Arnone, Maria I
Today's progress in molecular analysis and, in particular, the increased availability of genome sequences have enabled us to investigate photoreceptor cells (PRCs) in organisms that were formerly inaccessible to experimental manipulation. Our studies of marine non-chordate deuterostomes thus aim to bridge a gap of knowledge regarding the evolution of deuterostome PRCs prior to the emergence of vertebrates' eyes. In this contribution, we will show evidence for expression of a c-opsin photopigment, which, according to our phylogenetic analysis, is closely related to an assemblage of chordate visual c-opsins. An antibody raised against sea urchins' c-opsin protein (Sp-Opsin1) recognizes epitopes in a variety of tissues of different echinoderms. While in sea urchins this c-opsin is expressed in locomotory and buccal tube feet, spines, pedicellaria, and epidermis, in brittlestars and starfish we found the immuno-reaction to be located exclusively in cells within the animals' spines. Structural characteristics of these c-opsin+ PRC types include the close vicinity/connection to nerve strands and a, so far unexplored, conspicuous association with the animals' calcite skeleton, which previously has been hypothesized to play a role in echinoderm photobiology. These features are discussed within the context of the evolution of photoreceptors in echinoderms and in deuterostomes generally.
Yan, Jenny; Anderson, Caitlin; Viets, Kayla; Tran, Sang; Goldberg, Gregory; Small, Stephen; Johnston, Robert J
How differential levels of gene expression are controlled in post-mitotic neurons is poorly understood. In the Drosophila retina, expression of the transcription factor Defective Proventriculus (Dve) at distinct cell type-specific levels is required for terminal differentiation of color- and motion-detecting photoreceptors. Here, we find that the activities of two cis-regulatory enhancers are coordinated to drive dve expression in the fly eye. Three transcription factors act on these enhancers to determine cell-type specificity. Negative autoregulation by Dve maintains expression from each enhancer at distinct homeostatic levels. One enhancer acts as an inducible backup ('dark' shadow enhancer) that is normally repressed but becomes active in the absence of the other enhancer. Thus, two enhancers integrate combinatorial transcription factor input, feedback and redundancy to generate cell type-specific levels of dve expression and stable photoreceptor fate. This regulatory logic may represent a general paradigm for how precise levels of gene expression are established and maintained in post-mitotic neurons.
Xu, Wei-Wei; Huang, Li; Chong, Kelvin K.L.; Leung, Doreen S.Y.; Li, Benjamin F.L.; Yin, Zheng-Qin; Huang, Yi-Fei; Pang, Chi Pui
AIM To investigate the retinal photoreceptor differentiation potential of human orbital adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) generated by enzyme (EN) and explant (EX) culture methods. METHODS We investigated potentials of human orbital ADSCs to differentiate into photoreceptors through EN and EX culture methods. EN and EX orbital ADSCs were obtained from the same donor during rehabilitative orbital decompression, and then were subject to a 3-step induction using Noggin, DKK-1, IGF-1 and b-FGF at different time points for 38d. Stem cell, eye-field and photoreceptor-related gene and protein markers were measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunofluorescent (IMF) staining. RESULTS Both EX and EN orbital ADSCs expressed CD133, a marker of cell differentiation. Moreover, PAX6 and rhodopsin, markers of the retinal progenitor cells, were detected from EX and EN orbital ADSCs. In EX orbital ADSCs, PAX6 mRNA was detected on the 17th day and then the rhodopsin mRNA was detected on the 24th day. In contrast, the EN orbital ADSCs expressed PAX6 and rhodopsin mRNA on the 31st day. EX orbital ADSCs expressed rhodopsin protein on the 24th day, while EN orbital ADSCs expressed rhodopsin protein on the 31st day. CONCLUSION Orbital ADSCs isolated by direct explants culture show earlier and stronger expressions of markers towards eye field and retinal photoreceptor differentiation than those generated by conventional EN method. PMID:28149772
Schaefer, Kellie A.; Toral, Marcus A.; Velez, Gabriel; Cox, Allison J.; Baker, Sheila A.; Borcherding, Nicholas C.; Colgan, Diana F.; Bondada, Vimala; Mashburn, Charles B.; Yu, Chen-Guang; Geddes, James W.; Tsang, Stephen H.; Bassuk, Alexander G.; Mahajan, Vinit B.
Purpose We characterize calpain-5 (CAPN5) expression in retinal and neuronal subcellular compartments. Methods CAPN5 gene variants were classified using the exome variant server, and RNA-sequencing was used to compare expression of CAPN5 mRNA in the mouse and human retina and in retinoblastoma cells. Expression of CAPN5 protein was ascertained in humans and mice in silico, in mouse retina by immunohistochemistry, and in neuronal cancer cell lines and fractionated central nervous system tissue extracts by Western analysis with eight antibodies targeting different CAPN5 regions. Results Most CAPN5 genetic variation occurs outside its protease core; and searches of cancer and epilepsy/autism genetic databases found no variants similar to hyperactivating retinal disease alleles. The mouse retina expressed one transcript for CAPN5 plus those of nine other calpains, similar to the human retina. In Y79 retinoblastoma cells, the level of CAPN5 transcript was very low. Immunohistochemistry detected CAPN5 expression in the inner and outer nuclear layers and at synapses in the outer plexiform layer. Western analysis of fractionated retinal extracts confirmed CAPN5 synapse localization. Western blots of fractionated brain neuronal extracts revealed distinct subcellular patterns and the potential presence of autoproteolytic CAPN5 domains. Conclusions CAPN5 is moderately expressed in the retina and, despite higher expression in other tissues, hyperactive disease mutants of CAPN5 only manifest as eye disease. At the cellular level, CAPN5 is expressed in several different functional compartments. CAPN5 localization at the photoreceptor synapse and with mitochondria explains the neural circuitry phenotype in human CAPN5 disease alleles. PMID:27152965
Murakami, Yusuke; Notomi, Shoji; Hisatomi, Toshio; Nakazawa, Toru; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Miller, Joan W.; Vavvas, Demetrios G.
Photoreceptor cell death is the ultimate cause of vision loss in various retinal disorders, including retinal detachment (RD). Photoreceptor cell death has been thought to occur mainly through apoptosis, which is the most characterized form of programmed cell death. The caspase family of cysteine proteases plays a central role for inducing apoptosis, and in experimental models of RD, dying photoreceptor cells exhibit caspase activation; however, there is a paradox that caspase inhibition alone does not provide a sufficient protection against photoreceptor cell loss, suggesting that other mechanisms of cell death are involved. Recent accumulating evidence demonstrates that non-apoptotic forms of cell death, such as autophagy and necrosis, are also regulated by specific molecular machinery, such as those mediated by autophagy-related proteins and receptor-interacting protein kinases, respectively. Here we summarize the current knowledge of cell death signaling and its roles in photoreceptor cell death after RD and other retinal degenerative diseases. A body of studies indicate that not only apoptotic but also autophagic and necrotic signaling are involved in photoreceptor cell death, and that combined targeting of these pathways may be an effective neuroprotective strategy for retinal diseases associated with photoreceptor cell loss. PMID:23994436
Wolken, J J
By applying microspectrophotometry to the sporangiophore of Phycomyces blakesleeanus wild-type and the albino car-10(-) type II, absorption spectra were obtained for 1- to 5-day cultures. Spectra in the growing-zone of the wild-type during Stage IVb, taken from 0.1 to 3 mm below the base of the sporangium, show two distinctly different spectra: one is more characteristic of a carotene, the other of a flavin. Combined, these absorption spectra reproduce closely the action spectrum. For the albino car-10(-), which is deficient in carotenes, only the spectrum characteristic of lumichrome or a reduced flavin was found. A c-type cytochrome was isolated from both strains which, if coupled with a flavin, could permit a photoreversible oxidation-reduction system. Birefringent crystals were observed to be aligned in the growing zone in which the photoreceptor is believed to lie. Micro-spectrophotometry of these crystals shows absorption peaks similar to those of riboflavin crystals.
Kraft, T W; Schneeweis, D M; Schnapf, J L
1. Photocurrents were recorded with suction electrodes from rod photoreceptors of seven humans. 2. Brief flashes of light evoked transient outward currents of up to 20 pA. With increasing light intensity the peak response amplitude increased along an exponential saturation function. A half-saturating peak response was evoked by approximately sixty-five photoisomerizations. 3. Responses to brief dim flashes rose to a peak in about 200 ms. The waveform was roughly like the impulse response of a series of four to five low-pass filters. 4. The rising phases of the responses to flashes of increasing strength were found to fit with a biochemical model of phototransduction with an 'effective delay time' and 'characteristic time' of about 2 and 800 ms, respectively. 5. Spectral sensitivities were obtained over a wavelength range from 380 to 760 nm. The action spectrum, which peaked at 495 nm, followed the template described for photoreceptors in the macaque retina. Variation between rods in the position of the spectrum on the wavelength axis was small. 6. The scotopic luminosity function derived from human psychophysical experiments was found to agree well with the measured rod action spectrum after adjustments were made for lens absorption and photopigment self-screening in the intact eye. 7. Responses to steps of light rose monotonically to a maintained level, showing little or no relaxation. Nevertheless, the relationship between light intensity and steady-state response amplitude was shallower than that expected from simple response saturation. This is consistent with an adaptation mechanism acting on a rapid time scale. 8. Flash sensitivity fell with increasing intensities of background light according to Weber's law. Sensitivity was reduced twofold by lights evoking about 120 photoisomerizations per second. Background lights decreased the time to peak and the integration time of the flash response by up to 20%.
Chiu, Stephanie J; Lokhnygina, Yuliya; Dubis, Adam M; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph; Izatt, Joseph A; Farsiu, Sina
Geometrical analysis of the photoreceptor mosaic can reveal subclinical ocular pathologies. In this paper, we describe a fully automatic algorithm to identify and segment photoreceptors in adaptive optics ophthalmoscope images of the photoreceptor mosaic. This method is an extension of our previously described closed contour segmentation framework based on graph theory and dynamic programming (GTDP). We validated the performance of the proposed algorithm by comparing it to the state-of-the-art technique on a large data set consisting of over 200,000 cones and posted the results online. We found that the GTDP method achieved a higher detection rate, decreasing the cone miss rate by over a factor of five.
Masland, Richard H.; Mills, John W.
Photoreceptor cells of the rabbit retina accumulate choline from the extracellular environment by an overall process that has a high affinity for choline. These cells do not synthesize acetylcholine; instead, the choline taken up is incorporated into phosphorylcholine and eventually phospholipid. A mechanism for efficient choline accumulation is presumably concomitant to the photoreceptor cell's synthesis of large amounts of membrane for outer segment membrane renewal. Its existence in the photoreceptor cell supports previous evidence that high-affinity choline uptake is not confined to neurons that release acetylcholine, but may be present wherever large amounts of choline are required.
Gehring, W J
Recent experiments on the genetic control of eye development have opened up a completely new perspective on eye evolution. The demonstration that targeted expression of one and the same master control gene, that is, Pax6 can induce the formation of ectopic eyes in both insects and vertebrates, necessitates a reconsideration of the dogma of a polyphyletic origin of the various eye types in all the animal phyla. The involvement of Pax6 and six1 and six3 genes, which encode highly conserved transcription factors, in the genetic control of eye development in organisms ranging from planarians to humans argues strongly for a monophyletic origin of the eye. Because transcription factors can control the expression of any target gene provided it contains the appropriate gene regulatory elements, the conservation of the genetic control of eye development by Pax6 among all bilaterian animals is not due to functional constraints but a consequence of its evolutionary history. The prototypic eyes postulated by Darwin to consist of two cells only, a photoreceptor and a pigment cell, were accidentally controlled by Pax6 and the subsequent evolution of the various eye types occurred by building onto this original genetic program. A hypothesis of intercalary evolution is proposed that assumes that the eye morphogenetic pathway is progressively modified by intercalation of genes between the master control genes on the top of the hierarchy and the structural genes like rhodopsin at the bottom. The recruitment of novel genes into the eye morphogenetic pathway can be due to at least two different genetic mechanisms, gene duplication and enhancer fusion.In tracing back the evolution of eyes beyond bilaterians, we find highly developed eyes in some box-jellyfish as well as in some Hydrozoans. In Hydrozoans the same orthologous six genes (six1 and six3) are required for eye regeneration as in planarians, and in the box jellyfish Tripedalia a pax B gene, which may be a precursor of Pax6
Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Shemetov, Anton A.; Kaberniuk, Andrii A.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.
Genetically encoded optical tools have revolutionized modern biology by allowing detection and control of biological processes with exceptional spatiotemporal precision and sensitivity. Natural photoreceptors provide researchers with a vast source of molecular templates for engineering of fluorescent proteins, biosensors, and optogenetic tools. Here, we give a brief overview of natural photoreceptors and their mechanisms of action. We then discuss fluorescent proteins and biosensors developed from light-oxygen-voltage-sensing (LOV) domains and phytochromes, as well as their properties and applications. These fluorescent tools possess unique characteristics not achievable with green fluorescent protein–like probes, including near-infrared fluorescence, independence of oxygen, small size, and photo-sensitizer activity. We next provide an overview of available optogenetic tools of various origins, such as LOV and BLUF (blue-light-utilizing flavin adenine dinucleotide) domains, cryptochromes, and phytochromes, enabling control of versatile cellular processes. We analyze the principles of their function and practical requirements for use. We focus mainly on optical tools with demonstrated use beyond bacteria, with a specific emphasis on their applications in mammalian cells. PMID:25706899
Jost, Marco; Fernández-Zapata, Jésus; Polanco, María Carmen; Ortiz-Guerrero, Juan Manuel; Chen, Percival Yang-Ting; Kang, Gyunghoon; Padmanabhan, S.; Elías-Arnanz, Montserrat; Drennan, Catherine L.
Summary Photoreceptor proteins enable organisms to sense and respond to light. The newly discovered CarH-type photoreceptors use a vitamin B12 derivative, adenosylcobalamin, as the light-sensing chromophore to mediate light-dependent gene regulation. Here, we present crystal structures of Thermus thermophilus CarH in all three relevant states: in the dark, both free and bound to operator DNA, and after light exposure. These structures provide a visualization of how adenosylcobalamin mediates CarH tetramer formation in the dark, how this tetramer binds to the promoter −35 element to repress transcription, and how light exposure leads to a large-scale conformational change that activates transcription. In addition to the remarkable functional repurposing of adenosylcobalamin from an enzyme cofactor to a light sensor, we find that nature also repurposed two independent protein modules in assembling CarH. These results expand the biological role of vitamin B12 and provide fundamental insight into a new mode of light-dependent gene regulation. PMID:26416754
Ooe, Emi; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Kuse, Yoshiki; Kobayashi, Saori; Shimazawa, Masamitsu
Purpose Blue light is a high-energy emitting light with a short wavelength in the visible light spectrum. Blue light induces photoreceptor apoptosis and causes age-related macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. In the present study, we investigated the roles of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induced by blue light-emitting diode (LED) light exposure in murine photoreceptor cells. Methods The murine photoreceptor cell line was incubated and exposed to blue LED light (464 nm blue LED light, 450 lx, 3 to 24 h). The expression of the factors involved in the unfolded protein response pathway was examined using quantitative real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and immunoblot analysis. The aggregation of short-wavelength opsin (S-opsin) in the murine photoreceptor cells was observed with immunostaining. The effect of S-opsin knockdown on ATF4 expression in the murine photoreceptor cell line was also investigated. Results Exposure to blue LED light increased the bip, atf4, and grp94 mRNA levels, induced the expression of ATF4 protein, and increased the levels of ubiquitinated proteins. Exposure to blue LED light in combination with ER stress inducers (tunicamycin and dithiothreitol) induced the aggregation of S-opsin. S-opsin mRNA knockdown prevented the induction of ATF4 expression in response to exposure to blue LED light. Conclusions These findings indicate that the aggregation of S-opsin induced by exposure to blue LED light causes ER stress, and ATF4 activation in particular. PMID:28331281
Song, P S; Walker, E B; Auerbach, R A; Robinson, G W
Steady-state and picosecond pulse excitations of the photophobic-phototactic receptors isolated from Stentor coeruleus produced anionic species predominantly in the excited singlet state, although neutral photoreceptors in the ground state were exclusively excited. The same photoreceptor in vivo also emits fluorescence from the excited state of its anionic species, with an excitation spectrum identical to the absorption spectrum of the neutral species in the ground state. The excited state dissociation of protons from the photoreceptor chromophore (stentorin; hypericin covalently linked to protein) efficiently occurs in less than 10 ps. A possible role of the transient-proton release from the photoreceptor, in the signal transduction photoresponse of Stentor, is briefly discussed.
Nesper, Peter L.; Scarinci, Fabio
Diabetic macular ischemia (DMI) is a phenotype of diabetic retinopathy (DR) associated with chronic hypoxia of retinal tissue. The goal of this prospective observational study was to report evidence of photoreceptor abnormalities using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) in eyes with DR in the setting of deep capillary plexus (DCP) non-perfusion. Eleven eyes from 11 patients (6 women, age 31–68), diagnosed with DR without macular edema, underwent optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and AOSLO imaging. One patient without OCTA imaging underwent fluorescein angiography to characterize the enlargement of the foveal avascular zone. The parameters studied included photoreceptor heterogeneity packing index (HPi) on AOSLO, as well as DCP non-perfusion and vessel density on OCTA. Using AOSLO, OCTA and spectral domain (SD)-OCT, we observed that photoreceptor abnormalities on AOSLO and SD-OCT were found in eyes with non-perfusion of the DCP on OCTA. All eight eyes with DCP non-flow on OCTA showed photoreceptor abnormalities on AOSLO. Six of the eight eyes also had outer retinal abnormalities on SD-OCT. Three eyes with DR and robust capillary perfusion of the DCP had normal photoreceptors on SD-OCT and AOSLO. Compared to eyes with DR without DCP non-flow, the eight eyes with DCP non-flow had significantly lower HPi (P = 0.013) and parafoveal DCP vessel density (P = 0.016). We found a significant correlation between cone HPi and parafoveal DCP vessel density (r = 0.681, P = 0.030). Using a novel approach with AOSLO and OCTA, this study shows an association between capillary non-perfusion of the DCP and abnormalities in the photoreceptor layer in eyes with DR. This observation is important in confirming the significant contribution of the DCP to oxygen requirements of photoreceptors in DMI, while highlighting the ability of AOSLO to detect subtle photoreceptor changes not always visible on SD-OCT. PMID:28068435
Barber, Amanda C; Hippert, Claire; Duran, Yanai; West, Emma L; Bainbridge, James W B; Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Luhmann, Ulrich F O; Lakowski, Jorn; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R; Pearson, Rachael A
Despite different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, the loss of photoreceptors. There are few treatments and none reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. Recently, we demonstrated restoration of vision following rod-photoreceptor transplantation into a mouse model of stationary night-blindness, raising the critical question of whether photoreceptor replacement is equally effective in different types and stages of degeneration. We present a comprehensive assessment of rod-photoreceptor transplantation across six murine models of inherited photoreceptor degeneration. Transplantation is feasible in all models examined but disease type has a major impact on outcome, as assessed both by the morphology and number of integrated rod-photoreceptors. Integration can increase (Prph2(+/Δ307)), decrease (Crb1(rd8/rd8), Gnat1(-/-), Rho(-/-)), or remain constant (PDE6β(rd1/rd1), Prph2(rd2/rd2)) with disease progression, depending upon the gene defect, with no correlation with severity. Robust integration is possible even in late-stage disease. Glial scarring and outer limiting membrane integrity, features that change with degeneration, significantly affect transplanted photoreceptor integration. Combined breakdown of these barriers markedly increases integration in a model with an intact outer limiting membrane, strong gliotic response, and otherwise poor transplantation outcome (Rho(-/-)), leading to an eightfold increase in integration and restoration of visual function. Thus, it is possible to achieve robust integration across a broad range of inherited retinopathies. Moreover, transplantation outcome can be improved by administering appropriate, tailored manipulations of the recipient environment.
Hirano, Arlene A.; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut; Morgans, Catherine W.; Brecha, Nicholas C.
Horizontal cells mediate inhibitory feedforward and feedback lateral interactions in the outer retina at photoreceptor terminals and bipolar cell dendrites; however, the mechanisms that underlie synaptic transmission from mammalian horizontal cells are poorly understood. The localization of a vesicular γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter (VGAT) to horizontal cell processes in primate and rodent retinae suggested that mammalian horizontal cells release transmitter in a vesicular manner. Toward determining whether the molecular machinery for vesicular transmitter release is present in horizontal cells, we investigated the expression of SNAP25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa), a key SNARE protein, by immunocytochemistry with cell type-specific markers in the retinae of mouse, rat, rabbit, and monkey. Different commercial antibodies to SNAP25 were tested on vertical sections of retina. We report the robust expression of SNAP25 in both plexiform layers. Double labeling with SNAP25 and calbindin antibodies demonstrated that horizontal cell processes and their endings in photoreceptor triad synapses were strongly labeled for both proteins in mouse, rat, rabbit, and monkey retinae. Double labeling with parvalbumin antibodies in monkey retina verified SNAP25 immunoreactivity in all horizontal cells. Pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy in rabbit retina confirmed expression of SNAP25 in lateral elements within photoreceptor triad synapses. The SNAP25 immunoreactivity in the plexiform layers and outer nuclear layer fell into at least three patterns depending on the antibody, suggesting a differential distribution of SNAP25 isoforms. The presence of SNAP25a and SNAP25b isoforms in mouse retina was established by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. SNAP25 expression in mammalian horizontal cells along with other SNARE proteins is consistent with vesicular exocytosis. PMID:21280047
Helmlinger, Dominique; Eberlin, Adrien; Bowman, Aaron B; Gansmüller, Anne; Picaud, Serge; Zoghbi, Huda Y; Trottier, Yvon
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is one of several inherited neurodegenerative disorders caused by a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion, but it is the only one in which the retina is affected. Increasing evidence suggests that transcriptional alterations contribute to polyQ pathogenesis, although the mechanism is unclear. We previously demonstrated that theSCA7 gene product, ataxin-7 (ATXN7), is a subunit of the GCN5 histone acetyltransferase–containing coactivator complexes TFTC/STAGA. We show here that TFTC/STAGA complexes purified from SCA7 mice have normal TRRAP, GCN5, TAF12, and SPT3 levels and that their histone or nucleosomal acetylation activities are unaffected. However, rod photoreceptors from SCA7 mouse models showed severe chromatin decondensation. In agreement, polyQ-expanded ataxin-7 induced histone H3 hyperacetylation, resulting from an increased recruitment of TFTC/STAGA to specific promoters. Surprisingly, hyperacetylated genes were transcriptionally down-regulated, and expression analysis revealed that nearly all rod-specific genes were affected, leading to visual impairment in SCA7 mice. In conclusion, we describe here a set of events accounting for SCA7 pathogenesis in the retina, in which polyQ-expanded ATXN7 deregulated TFTC/STAGA recruitment to a subset of genes specifically expressed in rod photoreceptors, leading to chromatin alterations and consequent progressive loss of rod photoreceptor function. PMID:16494529
Immonen, Esa-Ville; Weckström, Matti
Voltage-activated potassium channels (Kv channels) in the microvillar photoreceptors of arthropods are responsible for repolarization and regulation of photoreceptor signaling bandwidth. On the basis of analyzing Kv channels in dipteran flies, it was suggested that diurnal, rapidly flying insects predominantly express sustained K+ conductances, whereas crepuscular and nocturnally active animals exhibit strongly inactivating Kv conductances. The latter was suggested to function for minimizing cellular energy consumption. In this study we further explore the evolutionary adaptations of the photoreceptor channelome to visual ecology and behavior by comparing K+ conductances in 15 phylogenetically diverse insects, using patch-clamp recordings from dissociated ommatidia. We show that rapid diurnal flyers such as the blowfly (Calliphora vicina) and the honeybee (Apis mellifera) express relatively large noninactivating Kv conductances, conforming to the earlier hypothesis in Diptera. Nocturnal and/or slow-moving species do not in general exhibit stronger Kv conductance inactivation in the physiological membrane voltage range, but the photoreceptors in species that are known to rely more on vision behaviorally had higher densities of sustained Kv conductances than photoreceptors of less visually guided species. No statistically significant trends related to visual performance could be identified for the rapidly inactivating Kv conductances. Counterintuitively, strong negative correlations were observed between photoreceptor capacitance and specific membrane conductance for both sustained and inactivating fractions of Kv conductance, suggesting insignificant evolutionary pressure to offset negative effects of high capacitance on membrane filtering with increased conductance. PMID:26864762
Frolov, Roman; Immonen, Esa-Ville; Weckström, Matti
Voltage-activated potassium channels (Kv channels) in the microvillar photoreceptors of arthropods are responsible for repolarization and regulation of photoreceptor signaling bandwidth. On the basis of analyzing Kv channels in dipteran flies, it was suggested that diurnal, rapidly flying insects predominantly express sustained K(+) conductances, whereas crepuscular and nocturnally active animals exhibit strongly inactivating Kv conductances. The latter was suggested to function for minimizing cellular energy consumption. In this study we further explore the evolutionary adaptations of the photoreceptor channelome to visual ecology and behavior by comparing K(+) conductances in 15 phylogenetically diverse insects, using patch-clamp recordings from dissociated ommatidia. We show that rapid diurnal flyers such as the blowfly (Calliphora vicina) and the honeybee (Apis mellifera) express relatively large noninactivating Kv conductances, conforming to the earlier hypothesis in Diptera. Nocturnal and/or slow-moving species do not in general exhibit stronger Kv conductance inactivation in the physiological membrane voltage range, but the photoreceptors in species that are known to rely more on vision behaviorally had higher densities of sustained Kv conductances than photoreceptors of less visually guided species. No statistically significant trends related to visual performance could be identified for the rapidly inactivating Kv conductances. Counterintuitively, strong negative correlations were observed between photoreceptor capacitance and specific membrane conductance for both sustained and inactivating fractions of Kv conductance, suggesting insignificant evolutionary pressure to offset negative effects of high capacitance on membrane filtering with increased conductance.
Ramsey, Michelle; Perkins, Brian D.
The asymmetric positioning of basal bodies, and therefore cilia, is often critical for proper cilia function. This planar polarity is critical for motile cilia function but has not been extensively investigated for non-motile cilia or for sensory cilia such as vertebrate photoreceptors. Zebrafish photoreceptors form an organized mosaic ideal for investigating cilia positioning. We report that in the adult retina, the basal bodies of red, green-, and blue-sensitive cone photoreceptors localized asymmetrically on the cell edge nearest to the optic nerve. In contrast, no patterning was seen in the basal bodies of ultraviolet-sensitive cones or in rod photoreceptors. The asymmetric localization of basal bodies was consistent in all regions of the adult retina. Basal body patterning was unaffected in the cones of the XOPS-mCFP transgenic line, which lacks rod photoreceptors. Finally, the adult pattern was not seen in 7 day post fertilization (dpf) larvae as basal bodies were randomly distributed in all the photoreceptor subtypes. These results establish the asymmetrical localization of basal bodies in red-, green-, and blue-sensitive cones in adult zebrafish retinas but not in larvae. This pattern suggests an active cellular mechanism regulated the positioning of basal bodies after the transition to the adult mosaic and that rods do not seem to be necessary for the patterning of cone basal bodies. PMID:23171982
Luo, Ling; Uehara, Hironori; Zhang, Xiaohui; Das, Subrata K; Olsen, Thomas; Holt, Derick; Simonis, Jacquelyn M; Jackman, Kyle; Singh, Nirbhai; Miya, Tadashi R; Huang, Wei; Ahmed, Faisal; Bastos-Carvalho, Ana; Le, Yun Zheng; Mamalis, Christina; Chiodo, Vince A; Hauswirth, William W; Baffi, Judit; Lacal, Pedro M; Orecchia, Angela; Ferrara, Napoleone; Gao, Guangping; Young-hee, Kim; Fu, Yingbin; Owen, Leah; Albuquerque, Romulo; Baehr, Wolfgang; Thomas, Kirk; Li, Dean Y; Chalam, Kakarla V; Shibuya, Masabumi; Grisanti, Salvatore; Wilson, David J; Ambati, Jayakrishna; Ambati, Balamurali K
Optimal phototransduction requires separation of the avascular photoreceptor layer from the adjacent vascularized inner retina and choroid. Breakdown of peri-photoreceptor vascular demarcation leads to retinal angiomatous proliferation or choroidal neovascularization, two variants of vascular invasion of the photoreceptor layer in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of irreversible blindness in industrialized nations. Here we show that sFLT-1, an endogenous inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), is synthesized by photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and is decreased in human AMD. Suppression of sFLT-1 by antibodies, adeno-associated virus-mediated RNA interference, or Cre/lox-mediated gene ablation either in the photoreceptor layer or RPE frees VEGF-A and abolishes photoreceptor avascularity. These findings help explain the vascular zoning of the retina, which is critical for vision, and advance two transgenic murine models of AMD with spontaneous vascular invasion early in life. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00324.001 PMID:23795287
Regulated transcription controls the diversity, developmental pathways and spatial organization of the hundreds of cell types that make up a mammal. Using single-molecule cDNA sequencing, we mapped transcription start sites (TSSs) and their usage in human and mouse primary cells, cell lines and tissues to produce a comprehensive overview of mammalian gene expression across the human body. We find that few genes are truly ‘housekeeping’, whereas many mammalian promoters are composite entities composed of several closely separated TSSs, with independent cell-type-specific expression profiles. TSSs specific to different cell types evolve at different rates, whereas promoters of broadly expressed genes are the most conserved. Promoter-based expression analysis reveals key transcription factors defining cell states and links them to binding-site motifs. The functions of identified novel transcripts can be predicted by coexpression and sample ontology enrichment analyses. The functional annotation of the mammalian genome 5 (FANTOM5) project provides comprehensive expression profiles and functional annotation of mammalian cell-type-specific transcriptomes with wide applications in biomedical research. PMID:24670764
Forrest, Alistair R R; Kawaji, Hideya; Rehli, Michael; Baillie, J Kenneth; de Hoon, Michiel J L; Haberle, Vanja; Lassmann, Timo; Kulakovskiy, Ivan V; Lizio, Marina; Itoh, Masayoshi; Andersson, Robin; Mungall, Christopher J; Meehan, Terrence F; Schmeier, Sebastian; Bertin, Nicolas; Jørgensen, Mette; Dimont, Emmanuel; Arner, Erik; Schmidl, Christian; Schaefer, Ulf; Medvedeva, Yulia A; Plessy, Charles; Vitezic, Morana; Severin, Jessica; Semple, Colin A; Ishizu, Yuri; Young, Robert S; Francescatto, Margherita; Alam, Intikhab; Albanese, Davide; Altschuler, Gabriel M; Arakawa, Takahiro; Archer, John A C; Arner, Peter; Babina, Magda; Rennie, Sarah; Balwierz, Piotr J; Beckhouse, Anthony G; Pradhan-Bhatt, Swati; Blake, Judith A; Blumenthal, Antje; Bodega, Beatrice; Bonetti, Alessandro; Briggs, James; Brombacher, Frank; Burroughs, A Maxwell; Califano, Andrea; Cannistraci, Carlo V; Carbajo, Daniel; Chen, Yun; Chierici, Marco; Ciani, Yari; Clevers, Hans C; Dalla, Emiliano; Davis, Carrie A; Detmar, Michael; Diehl, Alexander D; Dohi, Taeko; Drabløs, Finn; Edge, Albert S B; Edinger, Matthias; Ekwall, Karl; Endoh, Mitsuhiro; Enomoto, Hideki; Fagiolini, Michela; Fairbairn, Lynsey; Fang, Hai; Farach-Carson, Mary C; Faulkner, Geoffrey J; Favorov, Alexander V; Fisher, Malcolm E; Frith, Martin C; Fujita, Rie; Fukuda, Shiro; Furlanello, Cesare; Furino, Masaaki; Furusawa, Jun-ichi; Geijtenbeek, Teunis B; Gibson, Andrew P; Gingeras, Thomas; Goldowitz, Daniel; Gough, Julian; Guhl, Sven; Guler, Reto; Gustincich, Stefano; Ha, Thomas J; Hamaguchi, Masahide; Hara, Mitsuko; Harbers, Matthias; Harshbarger, Jayson; Hasegawa, Akira; Hasegawa, Yuki; Hashimoto, Takehiro; Herlyn, Meenhard; Hitchens, Kelly J; Ho Sui, Shannan J; Hofmann, Oliver M; Hoof, Ilka; Hori, Furni; Huminiecki, Lukasz; Iida, Kei; Ikawa, Tomokatsu; Jankovic, Boris R; Jia, Hui; Joshi, Anagha; Jurman, Giuseppe; Kaczkowski, Bogumil; Kai, Chieko; Kaida, Kaoru; Kaiho, Ai; Kajiyama, Kazuhiro; Kanamori-Katayama, Mutsumi; Kasianov, Artem S; Kasukawa, Takeya; Katayama, Shintaro; Kato, Sachi; Kawaguchi, Shuji; Kawamoto, Hiroshi; Kawamura, Yuki I; Kawashima, Tsugumi; Kempfle, Judith S; Kenna, Tony J; Kere, Juha; Khachigian, Levon M; Kitamura, Toshio; Klinken, S Peter; Knox, Alan J; Kojima, Miki; Kojima, Soichi; Kondo, Naoto; Koseki, Haruhiko; Koyasu, Shigeo; Krampitz, Sarah; Kubosaki, Atsutaka; Kwon, Andrew T; Laros, Jeroen F J; Lee, Weonju; Lennartsson, Andreas; Li, Kang; Lilje, Berit; Lipovich, Leonard; Mackay-Sim, Alan; Manabe, Ri-ichiroh; Mar, Jessica C; Marchand, Benoit; Mathelier, Anthony; Mejhert, Niklas; Meynert, Alison; Mizuno, Yosuke; de Lima Morais, David A; Morikawa, Hiromasa; Morimoto, Mitsuru; Moro, Kazuyo; Motakis, Efthymios; Motohashi, Hozumi; Mummery, Christine L; Murata, Mitsuyoshi; Nagao-Sato, Sayaka; Nakachi, Yutaka; Nakahara, Fumio; Nakamura, Toshiyuki; Nakamura, Yukio; Nakazato, Kenichi; van Nimwegen, Erik; Ninomiya, Noriko; Nishiyori, Hiromi; Noma, Shohei; Noma, Shohei; Noazaki, Tadasuke; Ogishima, Soichi; Ohkura, Naganari; Ohimiya, Hiroko; Ohno, Hiroshi; Ohshima, Mitsuhiro; Okada-Hatakeyama, Mariko; Okazaki, Yasushi; Orlando, Valerio; Ovchinnikov, Dmitry A; Pain, Arnab; Passier, Robert; Patrikakis, Margaret; Persson, Helena; Piazza, Silvano; Prendergast, James G D; Rackham, Owen J L; Ramilowski, Jordan A; Rashid, Mamoon; Ravasi, Timothy; Rizzu, Patrizia; Roncador, Marco; Roy, Sugata; Rye, Morten B; Saijyo, Eri; Sajantila, Antti; Saka, Akiko; Sakaguchi, Shimon; Sakai, Mizuho; Sato, Hiroki; Savvi, Suzana; Saxena, Alka; Schneider, Claudio; Schultes, Erik A; Schulze-Tanzil, Gundula G; Schwegmann, Anita; Sengstag, Thierry; Sheng, Guojun; Shimoji, Hisashi; Shimoni, Yishai; Shin, Jay W; Simon, Christophe; Sugiyama, Daisuke; Sugiyama, Takaai; Suzuki, Masanori; Suzuki, Naoko; Swoboda, Rolf K; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Tagami, Michihira; Takahashi, Naoko; Takai, Jun; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Tatsukawa, Hideki; Tatum, Zuotian; Thompson, Mark; Toyodo, Hiroo; Toyoda, Tetsuro; Valen, Elvind; van de Wetering, Marc; van den Berg, Linda M; Verado, Roberto; Vijayan, Dipti; Vorontsov, Ilya E; Wasserman, Wyeth W; Watanabe, Shoko; Wells, Christine A; Winteringham, Louise N; Wolvetang, Ernst; Wood, Emily J; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Yamamoto, Masayuki; Yoneda, Misako; Yonekura, Yohei; Yoshida, Shigehiro; Zabierowski, Susan E; Zhang, Peter G; Zhao, Xiaobei; Zucchelli, Silvia; Summers, Kim M; Suzuki, Harukazu; Daub, Carsten O; Kawai, Jun; Heutink, Peter; Hide, Winston; Freeman, Tom C; Lenhard, Boris; Bajic, Vladimir B; Taylor, Martin S; Makeev, Vsevolod J; Sandelin, Albin; Hume, David A; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide
Regulated transcription controls the diversity, developmental pathways and spatial organization of the hundreds of cell types that make up a mammal. Using single-molecule cDNA sequencing, we mapped transcription start sites (TSSs) and their usage in human and mouse primary cells, cell lines and tissues to produce a comprehensive overview of mammalian gene expression across the human body. We find that few genes are truly 'housekeeping', whereas many mammalian promoters are composite entities composed of several closely separated TSSs, with independent cell-type-specific expression profiles. TSSs specific to different cell types evolve at different rates, whereas promoters of broadly expressed genes are the most conserved. Promoter-based expression analysis reveals key transcription factors defining cell states and links them to binding-site motifs. The functions of identified novel transcripts can be predicted by coexpression and sample ontology enrichment analyses. The functional annotation of the mammalian genome 5 (FANTOM5) project provides comprehensive expression profiles and functional annotation of mammalian cell-type-specific transcriptomes with wide applications in biomedical research.
Pang, Ji-Jie; Gao, Fan; Lem, Janis; Bramblett, Debra E.; Paul, David L.; Wu, Samuel M.
Bipolar cells are the central neurons of the retina that transmit visual signals from rod and cone photoreceptors to third-order neurons in the inner retina and the brain. A dogma set forth by early anatomical studies is that bipolar cells in mammalian retinas receive segregated rod/cone synaptic inputs (either from rods or from cones), and here, we present evidence that challenges this traditional view. By analyzing light-evoked cation currents from morphologically identified depolarizing bipolar cells (DBCs) in the wild-type and three pathway-specific knockout mice (rod transducin knockout [Trα−/−], connexin36 knockout [Cx36−/−], and transcription factor beta4 knockout [Bhlhb4−/−]), we show that a subpopulation of rod DBCs (DBCR2s) receives substantial input directly from cones and a subpopulation of cone DBCs (DBCC1s) receives substantial input directly from rods. These results provide evidence of the existence of functional rod-DBCC and cone-DBCR synaptic pathways in the mouse retina as well as the previously proposed rod hyperpolarizing bipolar-cells pathway. This is grounds for revising the mammalian rod/cone bipolar cell dogma. PMID:20018684
ABSTRACT Certain cyanobacteria look green if grown in red light and vice versa. This dramatic color change, called complementary chromatic adaptation (CCA), is caused by alterations of the major colored light-harvesting proteins. A major controller of CCA is the cyanobacteriochrome (CBCR) RcaE, a red-green reversible photoreceptor that triggers a complex signal transduction pathway. Now, a new study demonstrates that CCA is also modulated by DpxA, a CBCR that senses yellow and teal (greenish blue) light. DpxA acts to expand the range of wavelengths that can impact CCA, by fine-tuning the process. This dual control of CCA might positively impact the fitness of cells growing in the shade of competing algae or in a water column where light levels and spectral quality change gradually with depth. This discovery adds to the growing number of light-responsive phenomena controlled by multiple CBCRs. Furthermore, the diverse CBCRs which are exclusively found in cyanobacteria have significant biotechnological potential. PMID:27353763
Marc, Robert E; Jones, Bryan W
Photoreceptor degenerations initiated in rods or the retinal pigmented epithelium usually evoke secondary cone death and sensory deafferentation of the surviving neural retina. In the mature central nervous system, deafferentation evokes atrophy and connective re-patterning. It has been assumed that the neural retina does not remodel, and that it is a passive survivor. Screening of advanced stages of human and rodent retinal degenerations with computational molecular phenotyping has exposed a prolonged period of aggressive negative remodeling in which neurons migrate along aberrant glial columns and seals, restructuring the adult neural retina (1). Many neurons die, but survivors rewire the remnant inner plexiform layer (IPL), forming thousands of novel ectopic microneuromas in the remnant inner nuclear layer (INL). Bipolar and amacrine cells engage in new circuits that are most likely corruptive. Remodeling in human and rodent retinas emerges regardless of the molecular defects that initially trigger retinal degenerations. Although remodeling may constrain therapeutic intervals for molecular, cellular, or bionic rescue, the exposure of intrinsic retinal remodeling by the removal of sensory control in retinal degenerations suggests that neuronal organization in the normal retina may be more plastic than previously believed.
Jones, Bryan W; Watt, Carl B; Frederick, Jeanne M; Baehr, Wolfgang; Chen, Ching-Kang; Levine, Edward M; Milam, Ann H; Lavail, Matthew M; Marc, Robert E
Many photoreceptor degenerations initially affect rods, secondarily leading to cone death. It has long been assumed that the surviving neural retina is largely resistant to this sensory deafferentation. New evidence from fast retinal degenerations reveals that subtle plasticities in neuronal form and connectivity emerge early in disease. By screening mature natural, transgenic, and knockout retinal degeneration models with computational molecular phenotyping, we have found an extended late phase of negative remodeling that radically changes retinal structure. Three major transformations emerge: 1) Müller cell hypertrophy and elaboration of a distal glial seal between retina and the choroid/retinal pigmented epithelium; 2) apparent neuronal migration along glial surfaces to ectopic sites; and 3) rewiring through evolution of complex neurite fascicles, new synaptic foci in the remnant inner nuclear layer, and new connections throughout the retina. Although some neurons die, survivors express molecular signatures characteristic of normal bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells. Remodeling in human and rodent retinas is independent of the initial molecular targets of retinal degenerations, including defects in the retinal pigmented epithelium, rhodopsin, or downstream phototransduction elements. Although remodeling may constrain therapeutic intervals for molecular, cellular, or bionic rescue, it suggests that the neural retina may be more plastic than previously believed.
Crepy, María A; Casal, Jorge J
Although cooperative interactions among kin have been established in a variety of biological systems, their occurrence in plants remains controversial. Plants of Arabidopsis thaliana were grown in rows of either a single or multiple accessions. Plants recognized kin neighbours and horizontally reoriented leaf growth, a response not observed when plants were grown with nonkin. Plant kin recognition involved the perception of the vertical red/far-red light and blue light profiles. Disruption of the light profiles, mutations at the PHYTOCHROME B, CRYPTOCHROME 1 or 2, or PHOTOTROPIN 1 or 2 photoreceptor genes or mutations at the TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS1 gene required for auxin (growth hormone) synthesis impaired the response. The leaf-position response increases plant self-shading, decreases mutual shading between neighbours and increases fitness. Light signals from neighbours are known to shape a more competitive plant body. Here we show that photosensory receptors mediate cooperative rather than competitive interactions among kin neighbours by reducing the competition for local pools of resources.
Ooto, Sotaro; Akagi, Tadamichi; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Akita, Joe; Mandai, Michiko; Honda, Yoshihito; Takahashi, Masayo
It has long been believed that the retina of mature mammals is incapable of regeneration. In this study, using the N-methyl-D-aspartate neurotoxicity model of adult rat retina, we observed that some Müller glial cells were stimulated to proliferate in response to a toxic injury and produce bipolar cells and rod photoreceptors. Although these newly produced neurons were limited in number, retinoic acid treatment promoted the number of regenerated bipolar cells. Moreover, misexpression of basic helix-loop-helix and homeobox genes promoted the induction of amacrine, horizontal, and rod photoreceptor specific phenotypes. These findings demonstrated that retinal neurons regenerated even in adult mammalian retina after toxic injury. Furthermore, we could partially control the fate of the regenerated neurons with extrinsic factors or intrinsic genes. The Müller glial cells constitute a potential source for the regeneration of adult mammalian retina and can be a target for drug delivery and gene therapy in retinal degenerative diseases.
Partch, Carrie L; Green, Carla B; Takahashi, Joseph S
Circadian clocks coordinate physiology and behavior with the 24h solar day to provide temporal homeostasis with the external environment. The molecular clocks that drive these intrinsic rhythmic changes are based on interlocked transcription/translation feedback loops that integrate with diverse environmental and metabolic stimuli to generate internal 24h timing. In this review we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the core molecular clock and how it utilizes diverse transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms to impart temporal control onto mammalian physiology. Understanding the way in which biological rhythms are generated throughout the body may provide avenues for temporally directed therapeutics to improve health and prevent disease.
Hypoxia prevents induction of aromatase expression in human trophoblast cells in culture: potential inhibitory role of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor Mash-2 (mammalian achaete-scute homologous protein-2).
Jiang, B; Kamat, A; Mendelson, C R
The human placenta has a remarkable capacity to aromatize C19-steroids, produced by the fetal adrenals, to estrogens. This reaction is catalyzed by aromatase P450 (P450arom), encoded by the CYP19 gene. In placenta, CYP19 gene expression is restricted to the syncytiotrophoblast layer. Cytotrophoblasts isolated from human placenta, when placed in monolayer culture in 20% O2, spontaneously fuse to form syncytiotrophoblast. These morphological changes are associated with a marked induction of aromatase activity and CYP19 gene expression. When cytotrophoblasts are cultured in an atmosphere containing 2% O2, they manifest increased rates of DNA synthesis and fail to fuse and form syncytiotrophoblast. The objective of the present study was to utilize cytotrophoblasts isolated from midterm human placenta to analyze the effects of O2 on CYP19 gene expression and the molecular mechanisms that mediate these effects. We observed that when trophoblast cells were maintained in 2% O2, there was only a modest induction of CYP19 expression as a function of time in culture, and aromatase activity was barely detectable. However, when cytotrophoblasts that had been maintained in 2% O2 for 3 days were placed in a 20% O2 environment, there was a rapid onset of cell fusion and induction of P450arom mRNA and aromatase activity. In addition, mRNAs for the helix-loop-helix factors Mash-2 (mammalian achaete-scute homologous protein-2) and Id1 (inhibitor of differentiation 1) were readily detectable in freshly isolated cytotrophoblasts and were markedly decreased upon differentiation to syncytiotrophoblast in 20% O2. By contrast, when cytotrophoblasts were cultured in 2% O2, mRNA levels for Mash-2 and Id1 remained elevated. Interestingly, overexpression of Mash-2 in primary cultures of human trophoblast cells markedly inhibited cell fusion and the spontaneous induction of P450arom mRNA levels and caused a marked decrease in expression of co-transfected fusion gene constructs containing either
Mocko-Strand, Julie A.; Wang, Jing; Ullrich-Lüter, Esther; Pan, Ping; Wang, Steven W.; Arnone, Maria Ina; Frishman, Laura J.; Klein, William H.
Pou domain transcription factor Pou4f2 is essential for the development of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the vertebrate retina. A distant orthologue of Pou4f2 exists in the genome of the sea urchin (class Echinoidea) Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (SpPou4f1/2), yet the photosensory structure of sea urchins is strikingly different from that of the mammalian retina. Sea urchins have no obvious eyes, but have photoreceptors clustered around their tube feet disc. The mechanisms that are associated with the development and function of photoreception in sea urchins are largely unexplored. As an initial approach to better understand the sea urchin photosensory structure and relate it to the mammalian retina, we asked whether SpPou4f1/2 could support RGC development in the absence of Pou4f2. To answer this question, we replaced genomic Pou4f2 with an SpPou4f1/2 cDNA. In Pou4f2-null mice, retinas expressing SpPou4f1/2 were outwardly identical to those of wild-type mice. SpPou4f1/2 retinas exhibited dark-adapted electroretinogram scotopic threshold responses, indicating functionally active RGCs. During retinal development, SpPou4f1/2 activated RGC-specific genes and in S. purpuratus, SpPou4f2 was expressed in photoreceptor cells of tube feet in a pattern distinct from Opsin4 and Pax6. Our results suggest that SpPou4f1/2 and Pou4f2 share conserved components of a gene network for photosensory development and they maintain their conserved intrinsic functions despite vast morphological differences in mouse and sea urchin photosensory structures. PMID:26962139
Mao, Chai-An; Agca, Cavit; Mocko-Strand, Julie A; Wang, Jing; Ullrich-Lüter, Esther; Pan, Ping; Wang, Steven W; Arnone, Maria Ina; Frishman, Laura J; Klein, William H
Pou domain transcription factor Pou4f2 is essential for the development of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the vertebrate retina. A distant orthologue of Pou4f2 exists in the genome of the sea urchin (class Echinoidea) Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (SpPou4f1/2), yet the photosensory structure of sea urchins is strikingly different from that of the mammalian retina. Sea urchins have no obvious eyes, but have photoreceptors clustered around their tube feet disc. The mechanisms that are associated with the development and function of photoreception in sea urchins are largely unexplored. As an initial approach to better understand the sea urchin photosensory structure and relate it to the mammalian retina, we asked whether SpPou4f1/2 could support RGC development in the absence of Pou4f2. To answer this question, we replaced genomic Pou4f2 with an SpPou4f1/2 cDNA. In Pou4f2-null mice, retinas expressing SpPou4f1/2 were outwardly identical to those of wild-type mice. SpPou4f1/2 retinas exhibited dark-adapted electroretinogram scotopic threshold responses, indicating functionally active RGCs. During retinal development, SpPou4f1/2 activated RGC-specific genes and in S. purpuratus, SpPou4f2 was expressed in photoreceptor cells of tube feet in a pattern distinct from Opsin4 and Pax6. Our results suggest that SpPou4f1/2 and Pou4f2 share conserved components of a gene network for photosensory development and they maintain their conserved intrinsic functions despite vast morphological differences in mouse and sea urchin photosensory structures.
Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.
Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654
Guziewicz, Karina E; Sinha, Divya; Gómez, Néstor M; Zorych, Kathryn; Dutrow, Emily V; Dhingra, Anuradha; Mullins, Robert F; Stone, Edwin M; Gamm, David M; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Aguirre, Gustavo D
Bestrophinopathies, one of the most common forms of inherited macular degenerations, are caused by mutations in the BEST1 gene expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Both human and canine BEST1-linked maculopathies are characterized by abnormal accumulation of autofluorescent material within RPE cells and bilateral macular or multifocal lesions; however, the specific mechanism leading to the formation of these lesions remains unclear. We now provide an overview of the current state of knowledge on the molecular pathology of bestrophinopathies, and explore factors promoting formation of RPE-neuroretinal separations, using the first spontaneous animal model of BEST1-associated retinopathies, canine Best (cBest). Here, we characterize the nature of the autofluorescent RPE cell inclusions and report matching spectral signatures of RPE-associated fluorophores between human and canine retinae, indicating an analogous composition of endogenous RPE deposits in Best Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy (BVMD) patients and its canine disease model. This study also exposes a range of biochemical and structural abnormalities at the RPE-photoreceptor interface related to the impaired cone-associated microvillar ensheathment and compromised insoluble interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM), the major pathological culprits responsible for weakening of the RPE-neuroretina interactions, and consequently, formation of vitelliform lesions. These salient alterations detected at the RPE apical domain in cBest as well as in BVMD- and ARB-hiPSC-RPE model systems provide novel insights into the pathological mechanism of BEST1-linked disorders that will allow for development of critical outcome measures guiding therapeutic strategies for bestrophinopathies.
Santos-Ferreira, Tiago F.; Borsch, Oliver; Ader, Marius
Vision represents one of the main senses for humans to interact with their environment. Our sight relies on the presence of fully functional light sensitive cells – rod and cone photoreceptors — allowing us to see under dim (rods) and bright (cones) light conditions. Photoreceptor degeneration is one of the major causes for vision impairment in industrialized countries and it is highly predominant in the population above the age of 50. Thus, with the continuous increase in life expectancy it will make retinal degeneration reach an epidemic proportion. To date, there is no cure established for photoreceptor loss, but several therapeutic approaches, spanning from neuroprotection, pharmacological drugs, gene therapy, retinal prosthesis, and cell (RPE or photoreceptor) transplantation, have been developed over the last decade with some already introduced in clinical trials. In this review, we focus on current developments in photoreceptor transplantation strategies, its major breakthroughs, current limitations and the next challenges to translate such cell-based approaches toward clinical application. PMID:28105007
Shen, Wen; Jiang, Zheng; Li, Baoqin
Glycinergic synapses in photoreceptors are made by centrifugal feedback neurons in the network, but the function of the synapses is largely unknown. Here we report that glycinergic input enhances photoreceptor synapses in amphibian retinas. Using specific antibodies against a glycine transporter (GlyT2) and glycine receptor beta subunit, we identified the morphology of glycinergic input in photoreceptor terminals. Electrophysiological recordings indicated that 10 muM glycine depolarized rods and activated voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in the neurons. The effects facilitated glutamate vesicle release in photoreceptors, meanwhile increased the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in Off-bipolar cells. Endogenous glycine feedback also enhanced glutamate transmission in photoreceptors. Additionally, inhibition of a Cl(-) uptake transporter NKCC1 with bumetanid effectively eliminated glycine-evoked a weak depolarization in rods, suggesting that NKCC1 maintains a high Cl(-) level in rods, which causes to depolarize in responding to glycine input. This study reveals a new function of glycine in retinal synaptic transmission.
Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng
Oblique light stimulation evoked transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently detected in frog and mouse retinas. High resolution microscopy of freshly isolated retinas indicated that the TRP is predominated by rod photoreceptors. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed that the TRP predominantly occurred from the photoreceptor outer segment (OS). However, biophysical mechanism of rod OS change is still unknown. In this study, frog retinal slices, which open a cross section of retinal photoreceptor and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OS. Near infrared light microscopy was employed to monitor photoreceptor changes in retinal slices stimulated by a rectangular-shaped visible light flash. Rapid rod OS length change was observed after the stimulation delivery. The magnitude and direction of the rod OS change varied with the position of the rods within the stimulated area. In the center of stimulated region the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region the rod OS tip swung towards center region in the plane perpendicular to the incident stimulus light. Our experimental result and theoretical analysis suggest that the observed TRP may reflect unbalanced disc-shape change due to localized pigment bleaching. Further investigation is required to understand biochemical mechanism of the observed rod OS kinetics. Better study of the TRP may provide a noninvasive biomarker to enable early detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases that are known to produce retinal photoreceptor dysfunctions.
Acharya, Jairaj K.; Dasgupta, Ujjaini; Rawat, Satinder S.; Yuan, Changqing; Sanxaridis, Parthena D.; Yonamine, Ikuko; Karim, Pusha; Nagashima, Kunio; Brodsky, Michael H.; Tsunoda, Susan; Acharya, Usha
SUMMARY Neutral Ceramidase, a key enzyme of sphingolipid metabolism, hydrolyzes ceramide to sphingosine. These sphingolipids are critical structural components of cell membranes and act as second messengers in diverse signal transduction cascades. Here, we have isolated and characterized functional null mutants of Drosophila Ceramidase. We show that secreted Ceramidase functions in a cell non-autonomous manner to maintain photoreceptor homeostasis. In the absence of Ceramidase, photoreceptors degenerate in a light-dependent manner, are defective in normal endocytic turnover of Rhodopsin, and do not respond to light stimulus. Consistent with a cell non-autonomous function, our studies show that over expression of Ceramidase in a tissue distant from the photoreceptors can suppress photoreceptor degeneration in an Arrestin mutant and facilitate membrane turnover in a Rhodopsin null mutant. Furthermore, our results show that secreted CDase is internalized and localizes to endosomes. Our findings are the first to establish a role for a secreted sphingolipid enzyme in the regulation of photoreceptor structure and function. PMID:18184565
Cell polarity genes have important functions in photoreceptor morphogenesis. Based on recent discovery of stabilized microtubule cytoskeleton in developing photoreceptors and its role in photoreceptor cell polarity, microtubule associated proteins might have important roles in controlling cell polarity proteins' localizations in developing photoreceptors. Here, Tau, a microtubule associated protein, was analyzed to find its potential role in photoreceptor cell polarity. Tau colocalizes with acetylated/stabilized microtubules in developing pupal photoreceptors. Although it is known that tau mutant photoreceptor has no defects in early eye differentiation and development, it shows dramatic disruptions of cell polarity proteins, adherens junctions, and the stable microtubules in developing pupal photoreceptors. This role of Tau in cell polarity proteins' localization in photoreceptor cells during the photoreceptor morphogenesis was further supported by Tau's overexpression studies. Tau overexpression caused dramatic expansions of apical membrane domains where the polarity proteins localize in the developing pupal photoreceptors. It is also found that Tau's role in photoreceptor cell polarity depends on Par-1 kinase. Furthermore, a strong genetic interaction between tau and crumbs was found. It is found that Tau has a crucial role in cell polarity protein localization during pupal photoreceptor morphogenesis stage, but not in early eye development including eye cell differentiation.
Arroba, Ana I; Wallace, Deborah; Mackey, Ashley; de la Rosa, Enrique J; Cotter, Thomas G
Retinitis pigmentosa is a heterogeneous group of inherited retinal dystrophies in which the loss of photoreceptor cells via apoptosis leads to blindness. In this study we have experimentally mimicked this condition by treating 661W cells and wild-type mouse retinal explants with a Ca(2+) ionophore. Ca(2+) overload induced apoptosis, which was correlated with calpain-2 activation, loss of calpastatin, its endogenous inhibitor, as well as the loss of its transcriptional activator, phospho-cAMP response element binding (CREB). All are similar changes to those observed in the rd1 mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. Insulin like-growth factor-I (IGF-I) attenuated this Ca(2+)-induced apoptosis, as well as decreased the activation of calpain-2 and maintained calpastatin levels through the activation of the Akt-CREB pathway. Similarly, IGF-I decreased photoreceptor apoptosis in rd1 mouse retinal explants in parallel with reduced activation of calpain-2 and increased levels of calpastatin and activation of phospho-CREB. In conclusion, IGF-I seems to protect neural cells following a physiopathological or an experimental increase in intracellular Ca(2+), an observation that may have therapeutic consequences in neurodegenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Transcriptome Dynamics of Developing Photoreceptors in Three-Dimensional Retina Cultures Recapitulates Temporal Sequence of Human Cone and Rod Differentiation Revealing Cell Surface Markers and Gene Networks.
Kaewkhaw, Rossukon; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Brooks, Matthew; Homma, Kohei; Zou, Jizhong; Chaitankar, Vijender; Rao, Mahendra; Swaroop, Anand
The derivation of three-dimensional (3D) stratified neural retina from pluripotent stem cells has permitted investigations of human photoreceptors. We have generated a H9 human embryonic stem cell subclone that carries a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter under the control of the promoter of cone-rod homeobox (CRX), an established marker of postmitotic photoreceptor precursors. The CRXp-GFP reporter replicates endogenous CRX expression in vitro when the H9 subclone is induced to form self-organizing 3D retina-like tissue. At day 37, CRX+ photoreceptors appear in the basal or middle part of neural retina and migrate to apical side by day 67. Temporal and spatial patterns of retinal cell type markers recapitulate the predicted sequence of development. Cone gene expression is concomitant with CRX, whereas rod differentiation factor neural retina leucine zipper protein (NRL) is first observed at day 67. At day 90, robust expression of NRL and its target nuclear receptor NR2E3 is evident in many CRX+ cells, while minimal S-opsin and no rhodopsin or L/M-opsin is present. The transcriptome profile, by RNA-seq, of developing human photoreceptors is remarkably concordant with mRNA and immunohistochemistry data available for human fetal retina although many targets of CRX, including phototransduction genes, exhibit a significant delay in expression. We report on temporal changes in gene signatures, including expression of cell surface markers and transcription factors; these expression changes should assist in isolation of photoreceptors at distinct stages of differentiation and in delineating coexpression networks. Our studies establish the first global expression database of developing human photoreceptors, providing a reference map for functional studies in retinal cultures.
Endo, Motomu; Araki, Takashi; Nagatani, Akira
Plants use various kinds of environmental signals to adjust the timing of the transition from the vegetative to reproductive phase (flowering). Since flowering at the appropriate time is crucial for plant reproductive strategy, several kinds of photoreceptors are deployed to sense environmental light conditions. In this review, we will update our current understanding of light signaling pathways in flowering regulation, especially, in which tissue do photoreceptors regulate flowering in response to light quality and photoperiod. Since light signaling is also integrated into other flowering pathways, we also introduce recent progress on how photoreceptors are involved in tissue-specific thermosensation and the gibberellin pathway. Finally, we discuss the importance of cell-type-specific analyses for future plant studies.
Zhou, Z; Doggett, T A; Sene, A; Apte, R S; Ferguson, T A
Damage and loss of the postmitotic photoreceptors is a leading cause of blindness in many diseases of the eye. Although the mechanisms of photoreceptor death have been extensively studied, few studies have addressed mechanisms that help sustain these non-replicating neurons for the life of an organism. Autophagy is an intracellular pathway where cytoplasmic constituents are delivered to the lysosomal pathway for degradation. It is not only a major pathway activated in response to cellular stress, but is also important for cytoplasmic turnover and to supply the structural and energy needs of cells. We examined the importance of autophagy in photoreceptors by deleting the essential autophagy gene Atg5 specifically in rods. Loss of autophagy led to progressive degeneration of rod photoreceptors beginning at 8 weeks of age such that by 44 weeks few rods remained. Cone photoreceptor numbers were only slightly diminished following rod degeneration but their function was significantly decreased. Rod cell death was apoptotic but was not dependent on daily light exposure or accelerated by intense light. Although the light-regulated translocation of the phototransduction proteins arrestin and transducin were unaffected in rods lacking autophagy, Atg5-deficient rods accumulated transducin-α as they degenerated suggesting autophagy might regulate the level of this protein. This was confirmed when the light-induced decrease in transducin was abolished in Atg5-deficient rods and the inhibition of autophagy in retinal explants cultures prevented its degradation. These results demonstrate that basal autophagy is essential to the long-term health of rod photoreceptors and a critical process for maintaining optimal levels of the phototransduction protein transducin-α. As the lack of autophagy is associated with retinal degeneration and altered phototransduction protein degradation in the absence of harmful gene products, this process may be a viable therapeutic target where rod
Chui, Toco Yuen Ping; Song, HongXin; Burns, Stephen A.
PURPOSE To measure the variation in human cone photoreceptor packing density across the retina both within an individual and between individuals with different refractive errors. METHODS A high resolution adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope was used to image the cones of eleven human eyes. Five emmetropes and six myopes were tested (+0.50D to -7.50D). For each subject we obtained four approximately 10 degree by 1.5 degree strips of cone images. Each strip started at the fovea, and proceeded towards the periphery along the four primary meridians. The position of each cone within the sampling windows was digitized manually by the investigator. From these cone counts, the density of cones was calculated for a set of fixed distances from the fovea for locations throughout the image. RESULTS Cone photoreceptor packing density decreased from 27,712 cells/mm2 to 7,070 cells/mm2 from the retinal eccentricity of 0.30mm to 3.40mm along the superior meridian in five emmetropic eyes. Cone photoreceptor packing density in cells/mm2 was significantly lower in myopic eyes than in emmetropic eyes. At a given location, there was considerable individual variation in cone photoreceptor packing density, although more than 20% of the variance could be accounted for by differences in axial length. CONCLUSIONS Our results provide a baseline analysis of individual difference in cone photoreceptor packing density in healthy human eyes. As predicted by retinal stretching models, cone photoreceptor packing density is lower in highly myopic eyes than in emmetropic eyes. PMID:18552378
Wen, Yuquan; Locke, Kirsten G.; Hood, Donald C.; Birch, David G.
One of the characteristic signs of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the progressive loss of night vision. We have previously shown that the gain of rod photoreceptor activation is moderately reduced in some patients with RP, but this decrease in activation kinetics is not sufficient to account for the night blindness. Recently, single rod recording from animal models of RP showed rods under degeneration remain saturated for shorter periods than normal rods; i.e. are less able to sustain the rod photoresponse. Using paired-flash ERG, here we determine whether rod phototransduction inactivation parameters might also be abnormal in patients with RP. Inactivation parameters were derived from 13 subjects with normal vision, 16 patients with adRP, and 16 patients with autosomal recessive/isolate (rec/iso) RP. The adRP cases included 9 patients with rhodopsin mutations and 7 patients with peripherin/RDS mutations. The inactivation phase was derived using a double-flash paradigm, with a test flash of 2.7 log scot td-sec followed at varying intervals by a 4.2 log scot td-sec probe flash. Derived rod photoresponses to this just-saturating test flash in normal subjects exhibit a critical time to the initiation of recovery (Tsat) of 525±90 (SD) msec. The values of Tsat were 336±104 (SD) msec in patients with adRP (P<0.001) and 271±45 (SD) msec (P<0.001) in patients with rec/iso RP. When Tsat values were categorized by mutations, the values were 294±91 (SD) msec (P<0.001) for rhodopsin mutations, and 389±100 (SD) msec (p=0.01) for peripherin/RDS mutations. Overall, Tsat in patients with RP was significantly correlated with the amplitude of ISCEV standard rod response (r = 0.56; P < 0.001) and the gain of the activation phase of phototransduction (r=0.6, P<0.001). Tsat may be a useful marker for therapeutic efficacy in future clinical trials in RP. PMID:21219898
DiSalvo, Andrew R; Reilly, Christopher M; Wiggans, K Tomo; Woods, Leslie W; Wack, Ray F; Clifford, Deana L
An orphaned 4-mo-old female mountain lion cub ( Puma concolor ) was captured along the coastline in Montaña de Oro State Park in Los Osos, California, USA. Following suspicion that the cub was visually impaired, ophthalmic examination revealed diffuse bilateral retinal atrophy. Due to a poor prognosis, humane euthanasia was elected. Necropsy and histopathological findings were consistent with photoreceptor degeneration. Based on the cub's signalment, history, and histopathology, a genetic or nutritional etiology was suspected, with the former etiology more strongly supported. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of photoreceptor degeneration in a wild felid and should be considered in cases of blindness.
Brainard, George (Inventor); Glickman, Gena (Inventor)
The present invention involves a light system for stimulating or regulating neuroendocrine, circadian, and photoneural systems in mammals based upon the discovery of peak sensitivity ranging from 425-505 nm; a light meter system for quantifying light which stimulates or regulates mammalian circadian, photoneural, and neuroendocrine systems. The present invention also relates to translucent and transparent materials, and lamps or other light sources with or without filters capable of stimulating or regulating neuroendocrine, circadian, and photoneural systems in mammals. Additionally, the present invention involves treatment of mammals with a wide variety of disorders or deficits, including light responsive disorders, eating disorders, menstrual cycle disorders, non-specific alerting and performance deficits, hormone-sensitive cancers, and cardiovascular disorders.
Halpern, Keren Bahar; Tanami, Sivan; Landen, Shanie; Chapal, Michal; Szlak, Liran; Hutzler, Anat; Nizhberg, Anna; Itzkovitz, Shalev
Summary Bursts of nascent mRNA have been shown to lead to substantial cell-cell variation in unicellular organisms, facilitating diverse responses to environmental challenges. It is unknown whether similar bursts and gene-expression noise occur in mammalian tissues. To address this, we combine single molecule transcript counting with dual-color labeling and quantification of nascent mRNA to characterize promoter states, transcription rates and transcript lifetimes in the intact mouse liver. We find that liver gene expression is highly bursty, with promoters stochastically switching between transcriptionally active and inactive states. Promoters of genes with short mRNA lifetimes are active longer, facilitating rapid response while reducing burst-associated noise. Moreover, polyploid hepatocytes exhibit less noise than diploid hepatocytes, suggesting a possible benefit to liver polyploidy. Thus temporal averaging and liver polyploidy dampen the intrinsic variability associated with transcriptional bursts. Our approach can be used to study transcriptional bursting in diverse mammalian tissues. PMID:25728770
Juusola, Mikko; Song, Zhuoyi
A photoreceptor's information capture is constrained by the structure and function of its light-sensitive parts. Specifically, in a fly photoreceptor, this limit is set by the number of its photon sampling units (microvilli), constituting its light-sensor (the rhabdomere), and the speed and recoverability of their phototransduction reactions. In this mini-review, using an insightful constructionist viewpoint of a fly photoreceptor being an "imperfect" photon counting machine, we explain how these constraints give rise to adaptive quantal information sampling in time, which maximises information in responses to salient light changes while antialiasing visual signals. Interestingly, such sampling innately determines also why photoreceptors extract more information, and more economically, from naturalistic light contrast changes than Gaussian white-noise stimuli, and we explicate why this is so. Our main message is that stochasticity in quantal information sampling is less noise and more processing, representing an "evolutionary adaptation" to generate a reliable neural estimate of the variable world. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Wilby, David; Toomey, Matthew B.; Olsson, Peter; Frederiksen, Rikard; Cornwall, M. Carter; Oulton, Ruth; Kelber, Almut; Corbo, Joseph C.; Roberts, Nicholas W.
Vision is the primary sensory modality of birds, and its importance is evident in the sophistication of their visual systems. Coloured oil droplets in the cone photoreceptors represent an adaptation in the avian retina, acting as long-pass colour filters. However, we currently lack understanding of how the optical properties and morphology of component structures (e.g. oil droplet, mitochondrial ellipsoid and outer segment) of the cone photoreceptor influence the transmission of light into the outer segment and the ultimate effect they have on receptor sensitivity. In this study, we use data from microspectrophotometry, digital holographic microscopy and electron microscopy to inform electromagnetic models of avian cone photoreceptors to quantitatively investigate the integrated optical function of the cell. We find that pigmented oil droplets primarily function as spectral filters, not light collection devices, although the mitochondrial ellipsoid improves optical coupling between the inner segment and oil droplet. In contrast, unpigmented droplets found in violet-sensitive cones double sensitivity at its peak relative to other cone types. Oil droplets and ellipsoids both narrow the angular sensitivity of single cone photoreceptors, but not as strongly as those in human cones. PMID:26423439
Wilby, David; Toomey, Matthew B; Olsson, Peter; Frederiksen, Rikard; Cornwall, M Carter; Oulton, Ruth; Kelber, Almut; Corbo, Joseph C; Roberts, Nicholas W
Vision is the primary sensory modality of birds, and its importance is evident in the sophistication of their visual systems. Coloured oil droplets in the cone photoreceptors represent an adaptation in the avian retina, acting as long-pass colour filters. However, we currently lack understanding of how the optical properties and morphology of component structures (e.g. oil droplet, mitochondrial ellipsoid and outer segment) of the cone photoreceptor influence the transmission of light into the outer segment and the ultimate effect they have on receptor sensitivity. In this study, we use data from microspectrophotometry, digital holographic microscopy and electron microscopy to inform electromagnetic models of avian cone photoreceptors to quantitatively investigate the integrated optical function of the cell. We find that pigmented oil droplets primarily function as spectral filters, not light collection devices, although the mitochondrial ellipsoid improves optical coupling between the inner segment and oil droplet. In contrast, unpigmented droplets found in violet-sensitive cones double sensitivity at its peak relative to other cone types. Oil droplets and ellipsoids both narrow the angular sensitivity of single cone photoreceptors, but not as strongly as those in human cones.
Srebro, Richard; Behbehani, Michael
Light adaptation in both the ventral photoreceptor and the lateral eye photoreceptor is a complex process consisting of at least two phases. One phase, which we call the rapid phase of adaptation, occurs whenever there is temporal overlap of the discrete waves that compose a light response. The recovery from the rapid phase of adaptation follows an exponential time-course with a time constant of approximately 75 ms at 21°C. The rapid phase of adaptation occurs at light intensities barely above discrete wave threshold as well as at substantially higher light intensities with the same recovery time-course at all intensities. It occurs in voltage-clamped and unclamped photoreceptors. The kinetics of the rapid phase of adaptation is closely correlated to the photocurrent which appears to initiate it after a short delay. The rapid phase of adaptation is probably identical to what is called the "adapting bump" process. At light intensities greater than about 10 times discrete wave threshold another phase of light adaptation occurs. It develops slowly over a period of ½ s or so, and decays even more slowly over a period of several seconds. It is graded with light intensity and occurs in both voltage-clamped and unclamped photoreceptors. We call this the slow phase of light adaptation. PMID:4846765
EXP3: CONTRAST SENSITIVITY FOR GABORS .............................................................21 4.1 Rationale...shown 23 Figure 12 Threshold u’v’ distances for the Experiment 3 gabors 25 Figure 13 Correlations between photoreceptor projection and threshold u’v... GABORS 4.1 Rationale Acuity is typically measured with letters or sinusoidal gratings. Both types of stimuli have hard edges (even at low
Tsuboi, Hidenori; Wada, Masamitsu
Under low light conditions, chloroplasts gather at a cell surface to maximize light absorption for efficient photosynthesis, which is called the accumulation response. Phototropin1 (phot1) and phototropin2 (phot2) were identified as blue light photoreceptors in the accumulation response that occurs in Arabidopsis thaliana and Adiantum capillus-veneris with neochrome1 (neo1) as a red light photoreceptor in A. capillus-veneris. However, the signal molecule that is emitted from the photoreceptors and transmitted to the chloroplasts is not known. To investigate this topic, the accumulation response was induced by partial cell irradiation with a microbeam of red, blue and far-red light in A. capillus-veneris gametophyte cells. Chloroplasts moved towards the irradiated region and were able to sense the signal as long as its signal flowed. The signal from neo1 had a longer life than the signal that came from phototropins. When two microbeams with the same wavelength and the same fluence rate were placed 20 μm apart from each other and were applied to a dark-adapted cell, chloroplasts at an equidistant position always moved towards the center (midpoint) of the two microbeams, but not towards either one. This result indicates that chloroplasts are detecting the concentration of the signal but not the direction of signal flow. Chloroplasts repeatedly move and stop at roughly 10 s intervals during the accumulation response, suggesting that they monitor the intermittent signal waves from photoreceptors.
Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M.
Ants are thought to be special among Hymenopterans in having only dichromatic colour vision based on two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. Many ants are highly visual animals, however, and use vision extensively for navigation. We show here that two congeneric day- and night-active Australian ants have three spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, potentially supporting trichromatic colour vision. Electroretinogram recordings show the presence of three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 450 and 550 nm in the night-active Myrmecia vindex and peaks at 370, 470 and 510 nm in the day-active Myrmecia croslandi. Intracellular electrophysiology on individual photoreceptors confirmed that the night-active M. vindex has three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 430 and 550 nm. A large number of the intracellular recordings in the night-active M. vindex show unusually broad-band spectral sensitivities, suggesting that photoreceptors may be coupled. Spectral measurements at different temporal frequencies revealed that the ultraviolet receptors are comparatively slow. We discuss the adaptive significance and the probability of trichromacy in Myrmecia ants in the context of dim light vision and visual navigation. PMID:25994678
Martín-Oliva, David; de la Villa, Pedro; Cuadros, Miguel A.; Frade, José M.
Both proNGF and the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR) are known to regulate photoreceptor cell death caused by exposure of albino mice to intense illumination. ProNGF-induced apoptosis requires the participation of sortilin as a necessary p75NTR co-receptor, suggesting that sortilin may participate in the photoreceptor degeneration triggered by intense lighting. We report here that light-exposed albino mice showed sortilin, p75NTR, and proNGF expression in the outer nuclear layer, the retinal layer where photoreceptor cell bodies are located. In addition, cone progenitor-derived 661W cells subjected to intense illumination expressed sortilin and p75NTR and released proNGF into the culture medium. Pharmacological blockade of sortilin with either neurotensin or the “pro” domain of proNGF (pro-peptide) favored the survival of 661W cells subjected to intense light. In vivo, the pro-peptide attenuated retinal cell death in light-exposed albino mice. We propose that an auto/paracrine proapoptotic mechanism based on the interaction of proNGF with the receptor complex p75NTR/sortilin participates in intense light-dependent photoreceptor cell death. We therefore propose sortilin as a putative target for intervention in hereditary retinal dystrophies. PMID:22558402
Liegertová, Michaela; Pergner, Jiří; Kozmiková, Iryna; Fabian, Peter; Pombinho, Antonio R; Strnad, Hynek; Pačes, Jan; Vlček, Čestmír; Bartůněk, Petr; Kozmik, Zbyněk
Animals sense light primarily by an opsin-based photopigment present in a photoreceptor cell. Cnidaria are arguably the most basal phylum containing a well-developed visual system. The evolutionary history of opsins in the animal kingdom has not yet been resolved. Here, we study the evolution of animal opsins by genome-wide analysis of the cubozoan jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora, a cnidarian possessing complex lens-containing eyes and minor photoreceptors. A large number of opsin genes with distinct tissue- and stage-specific expression were identified. Our phylogenetic analysis unequivocally classifies cubozoan opsins as a sister group to c-opsins and documents lineage-specific expansion of the opsin gene repertoire in the cubozoan genome. Functional analyses provided evidence for the use of the Gs-cAMP signaling pathway in a small set of cubozoan opsins, indicating the possibility that the majority of other cubozoan opsins signal via distinct pathways. Additionally, these tests uncovered subtle differences among individual opsins, suggesting possible fine-tuning for specific photoreceptor tasks. Based on phylogenetic, expression and biochemical analysis we propose that rapid lineage- and species-specific duplications of the intron-less opsin genes and their subsequent functional diversification promoted evolution of a large repertoire of both visual and extraocular photoreceptors in cubozoans.
Liegertová, Michaela; Pergner, Jiří; Kozmiková, Iryna; Fabian, Peter; Pombinho, Antonio R.; Strnad, Hynek; Pačes, Jan; Vlček, Čestmír; Bartůněk, Petr; Kozmik, Zbyněk
Animals sense light primarily by an opsin-based photopigment present in a photoreceptor cell. Cnidaria are arguably the most basal phylum containing a well-developed visual system. The evolutionary history of opsins in the animal kingdom has not yet been resolved. Here, we study the evolution of animal opsins by genome-wide analysis of the cubozoan jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora, a cnidarian possessing complex lens-containing eyes and minor photoreceptors. A large number of opsin genes with distinct tissue- and stage-specific expression were identified. Our phylogenetic analysis unequivocally classifies cubozoan opsins as a sister group to c-opsins and documents lineage-specific expansion of the opsin gene repertoire in the cubozoan genome. Functional analyses provided evidence for the use of the Gs-cAMP signaling pathway in a small set of cubozoan opsins, indicating the possibility that the majority of other cubozoan opsins signal via distinct pathways. Additionally, these tests uncovered subtle differences among individual opsins, suggesting possible fine-tuning for specific photoreceptor tasks. Based on phylogenetic, expression and biochemical analysis we propose that rapid lineage- and species-specific duplications of the intron-less opsin genes and their subsequent functional diversification promoted evolution of a large repertoire of both visual and extraocular photoreceptors in cubozoans. PMID:26154478
Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M
Ants are thought to be special among Hymenopterans in having only dichromatic colour vision based on two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. Many ants are highly visual animals, however, and use vision extensively for navigation. We show here that two congeneric day- and night-active Australian ants have three spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, potentially supporting trichromatic colour vision. Electroretinogram recordings show the presence of three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 450 and 550 nm in the night-active Myrmecia vindex and peaks at 370, 470 and 510 nm in the day-active Myrmecia croslandi. Intracellular electrophysiology on individual photoreceptors confirmed that the night-active M. vindex has three spectral sensitivities with peaks (λmax) at 370, 430 and 550 nm. A large number of the intracellular recordings in the night-active M. vindex show unusually broad-band spectral sensitivities, suggesting that photoreceptors may be coupled. Spectral measurements at different temporal frequencies revealed that the ultraviolet receptors are comparatively slow. We discuss the adaptive significance and the probability of trichromacy in Myrmecia ants in the context of dim light vision and visual navigation.
Muranishi, Yuki; Terada, Koji; Inoue, Tatsuya; Katoh, Kimiko; Tsujii, Toshinori; Sanuki, Rikako; Kurokawa, Daisuke; Aizawa, Shinichi; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Furukawa, Takahisa
The molecular mechanisms underlying cell fate determination from common progenitors in the vertebrate CNS remain elusive. We previously reported that the OTX2 homeoprotein regulates retinal photoreceptor cell fate determination. While Otx2 transactivation is a pivotal process for photoreceptor cell fate determination, its transactivation mechanism in the retina is unknown. Here, we identified an evolutionarily conserved Otx2 enhancer of ∼500 bp, named embryonic enhancer locus for photoreceptor Otx2 transcription (EELPOT), which can recapitulate initial Otx2 expression in the embryonic mouse retina. We found that the RAX homeoprotein interacts with EELPOT to transactivate Otx2, mainly in the final cell cycle of retinal progenitors. Conditional inactivation of Rax results in downregulation of Otx2 expression in vivo. We also showed that NOTCH-HES signaling negatively regulates EELPOT to suppress Otx2 expression. These results suggest that the integrated activity of cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors on EELPOT underlies the molecular basis of photoreceptor cell fate determination in the embryonic retina.
The phytochrome (phy) family of sensory photoreceptors (phyA–E in Arabidopsis) elicit changes in gene expression after light-induced migration to the nucleus, where they interact with basic helix–loop–helix transcription factors, such as phytochrome-interacting factor 3 (PIF3). The mechanism by whic...
Berta, Ágnes I; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Genini, Sem; Goldstein, Orly; O'Brien, Paul J; Szél, Ágoston; Acland, Gregory M; Beltran, William A; Aguirre, Gustavo D
A homozygous mutation in STK38L in dogs impairs the late phase of photoreceptor development, and is followed by photoreceptor cell death (TUNEL) and proliferation (PCNA, PHH3) events that occur independently in different cells between 7-14 weeks of age. During this period, the outer nuclear layer (ONL) cell number is unchanged. The dividing cells are of photoreceptor origin, have rod opsin labeling, and do not label with markers specific for macrophages/microglia (CD18) or Müller cells (glutamine synthetase, PAX6). Nestin labeling is absent from the ONL although it labels the peripheral retina and ciliary marginal zone equally in normals and mutants. Cell proliferation is associated with increased cyclin A1 and LATS1 mRNA expression, but CRX protein expression is unchanged. Coincident with photoreceptor proliferation is a change in the photoreceptor population. Prior to cell death the photoreceptor mosaic is composed of L/M- and S-cones, and rods. After proliferation, both cone types remain, but the majority of rods are now hybrid photoreceptors that express rod opsin and, to a lesser extent, cone S-opsin, and lack NR2E3 expression. The hybrid photoreceptors renew their outer segments diffusely, a characteristic of cones. The results indicate the capacity for terminally differentiated, albeit mutant, photoreceptors to divide with mutations in this novel retinal degeneration gene.
Berta, Ágnes I.; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Genini, Sem; Goldstein, Orly; O'Brien, Paul J.; Szél, Ágoston; Acland, Gregory M.; Beltran, William A.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.
A homozygous mutation in STK38L in dogs impairs the late phase of photoreceptor development, and is followed by photoreceptor cell death (TUNEL) and proliferation (PCNA, PHH3) events that occur independently in different cells between 7–14 weeks of age. During this period, the outer nuclear layer (ONL) cell number is unchanged. The dividing cells are of photoreceptor origin, have rod opsin labeling, and do not label with markers specific for macrophages/microglia (CD18) or Müller cells (glutamine synthetase, PAX6). Nestin labeling is absent from the ONL although it labels the peripheral retina and ciliary marginal zone equally in normals and mutants. Cell proliferation is associated with increased cyclin A1 and LATS1 mRNA expression, but CRX protein expression is unchanged. Coincident with photoreceptor proliferation is a change in the photoreceptor population. Prior to cell death the photoreceptor mosaic is composed of L/M- and S-cones, and rods. After proliferation, both cone types remain, but the majority of rods are now hybrid photoreceptors that express rod opsin and, to a lesser extent, cone S-opsin, and lack NR2E3 expression. The hybrid photoreceptors renew their outer segments diffusely, a characteristic of cones. The results indicate the capacity for terminally differentiated, albeit mutant, photoreceptors to divide with mutations in this novel retinal degeneration gene. PMID:21980341
Costa, Belmira Lara da Silveira Andrade da; Fawcett, Rebecca; Li, Guang-Yu; Safa, Rukhsana; Osborne, Neville N
EGCG, a major component of green tea, has a number of properties which includes it being a powerful antioxidant. The purpose of this investigation was to deduce whether inclusion of EGCG in the drinking water of albino rats attenuates the effect of a light insult (2200lx, for 24h) to the retina. TUNEL-positive cells were detected in the outer nuclear layer of the retina, indicating the efficacy of the light insult in inducing photoreceptor degeneration. Moreover, Ret-P1 and the mRNA for rhodopsin located at photoreceptors were also significantly reduced as well as the amplitude of both the a- and b-waves of the electroretinogram was also reduced showing that photoreceptors in particular are affected by light. An increase in protein/mRNA of GFAP located primarily to Müller cells caused by light shows that other retinal components are also influenced by the light insult. However, antigens associated with bipolar (alpha-PKC), ganglion (Thy-1) and amacrine (GABA) cells, in contrast, appeared unaffected. The light insult also caused a change in the content of various proteins (caspase-3, caspase-8, PARP, Bad, and Bcl-2) involved in apoptosis. A number of the changes to the retina caused by a light insult were significantly attenuated when EGCG was in the drinking water. The reduction of the a- and b-waves and photoreceptor specific mRNAs/protein caused by light were significantly less. In addition, EGCG attenuated the changes caused by light to certain apoptotic proteins (especially at after 2 days) but did not appear to significantly influence the light-induced up-regulation of GFAP protein/mRNA. It is concluded that orally administered EGCG blunts the detrimental effect of light to the retina of albino rats where the photoreceptors are primarily affected.
Genead, Mohamed A.; Rha, Jungtae; Dubis, Adam M.; Bonci, Daniela Maria O.; Dubra, Alfredo; Stone, Edwin M.; Neitz, Maureen; Carroll, Joseph
Purpose. To assess photoreceptor structure and function in patients with congenital achromatopsia. Methods. Twelve patients were enrolled. All patients underwent a complete ocular examination, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), full-field electroretinographic (ERG), and color vision testing. Macular microperimetry (MP; in four patients) and adaptive optics (AO) imaging (in nine patients) were also performed. Blood was drawn for screening of disease-causing genetic mutations. Results. Mean (±SD) age was 30.8 (±16.6) years. Mean best-corrected visual acuity was 0.85 (±0.14) logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) units. Seven patients (58.3%) showed either an absent foveal reflex or nonspecific retinal pigment epithelium mottling to mild hypopigmentary changes on fundus examination. Two patients showed an atrophic-appearing macular lesion. On anomaloscopy, only 5 patients matched over the entire range from 0 to 73. SD-OCT examination showed a disruption or loss of the macular inner/outer segments (IS/OS) junction of the photoreceptors in 10 patients (83.3%). Seven of these patients showed an optically empty space at the level of the photoreceptors in the fovea. AO images of the photoreceptor mosaic were highly variable but significantly disrupted from normal. On ERG testing, 10 patients (83.3%) showed evidence of residual cone responses to a single-flash stimulus response. The macular MP testing showed that the overall mean retinal sensitivity was significantly lower than normal (12.0 vs. 16.9 dB, P < 0.0001). Conclusions. The current approach of using high-resolution techniques to assess photoreceptor structure and function in patients with achromatopsia should be useful in guiding selection of patients for future therapeutic trials as well as monitoring therapeutic response in these trials. PMID:21778272
Nakao, Takeshi; Tsujikawa, Motokazu; Notomi, Shoji; Ikeda, Yasuhiro; Nishida, Kohji
Most of inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) cause photoreceptor cell death resulting in blindness. RP is a large family of diseases in which the photoreceptor cell death can be caused by a number of pathways. Among them, light exposure has been reported to induce photoreceptor cell death. However, the detailed mechanism by which photoreceptor cell death is caused by light exposure is unclear. In this study, we have shown that even a mild light exposure can induce ectopic phototransduction and result in the acceleration of rod photoreceptor cell death in some vertebrate models. In ovl, a zebrafish model of outer segment deficiency, photoreceptor cell death is associated with light exposure. The ovl larvae show ectopic accumulation of rhodopsin and knockdown of ectopic rhodopsin and transducin rescue rod photoreceptor cell death. However, knockdown of phosphodiesterase, the enzyme that mediates the next step of phototransduction, does not. So, ectopic phototransduction activated by light exposure, which leads to rod photoreceptor cell death, is through the action of transducin. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that forced activation of adenylyl cyclase in the inner segment leads to rod photoreceptor cell death. For further confirmation, we have also generated a transgenic fish which possesses a human rhodopsin mutation, Q344X. This fish and rd10 model mice show photoreceptor cell death caused by adenylyl cyclase. In short, our study indicates that in some RP, adenylyl cyclase is involved in photoreceptor cell death pathway; its inhibition is potentially a logical approach for a novel RP therapy. PMID:22485131
Prakash, Saurabh; Caldwell, Jason C; Eberl, Daniel F; Clandinin, Thomas R
Classical cadherins have been proposed to mediate interactions between pre- and postsynaptic cells that are necessary for synapse formation. We provide the first direct, genetic evidence in favor of this model by examining the role of N-cadherin in controlling the pattern of synaptic connections made by photoreceptor axons in Drosophila. N-cadherin is required in both individual photoreceptors and their target neurons for photoreceptor axon extension. Cell-by-cell reconstruction of wild-type photoreceptor axons extending within mosaic patches of mutant target cells shows that N-cadherin mediates attractive interactions between photoreceptors and their targets. This interaction is not limited to those cells that will become the synaptic partners of photoreceptors. Multiple N-cadherin isoforms are produced, but single isoforms can substitute for endogenous N-cadherin activity. We propose that N-cadherin mediates a homophilic, attractive interaction between photoreceptor growth cones and their targets that precedes synaptic partner choice. PMID:15735641
Liu, Yuan; Chen, Xue; Qin, Bing; Zhao, Kanxing; Zhao, Qingshun; Staley, Jonathan P; Zhao, Chen
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.
Liu, Yuan; Chen, Xue; Qin, Bing; Zhao, Kanxing; Zhao, Qingshun; Staley, Jonathan P.; Zhao, Chen
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. PMID:26137319
Márquez, Javier; Cardona, Carolina; Campos-Sandoval, José A; Peñalver, Ana; Tosina, Marta; Matés, José M; Martín-Rufián, Mercedes
Glutamine/glutamate homeostasis must be exquisitely regulated in mammalian brain and glutaminase (GA, E.C. 22.214.171.124) is one of the main enzymes involved. The products of GA reaction, glutamate and ammonia, are essential metabolites for energy and biosynthetic purposes but they are also hazardous compounds at concentrations beyond their normal physiological thresholds. The classical pattern of GA expression in mammals has been recently challenged by the discovery of novel transcript variants and protein isoforms. Furthermore, the interactome of brain GA is also starting to be uncovered adding a new level of regulatory complexity. GA may traffic in brain and unexpected locations, like cytosol and nucleus, have been found for GA isoforms. Finally, the expression of GA in glial cells has been reported and its potential implications in ammonia homeostasis are discussed.
Li, Tianqing; Lewallen, Michelle; Chen, Shuyi; Yu, Wei; Zhang, Nian; Xie, Ting
Various stem cell types have been tested for their potential application in treating photoreceptor degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Only embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have so far been shown to generate functional photoreceptor cells restoring light response of photoreceptor-deficient mice, but there is still some concern of tumor formation. In this study, we have successfully cultured Nestin(+)Sox2(+)Pax6(+) multipotent retinal stem cells (RSCs) from the adult mouse retina, which are capable of producing functional photoreceptor cells that restore the light response of photoreceptor-deficient rd1 mutant mice following transplantation. After they have been expanded for over 35 passages in the presence of FGF and EGF, the cultured RSCs still maintain stable proliferation and differentiation potential. Under proper differentiation conditions, they can differentiate into all the major retinal cell types found in the adult retina. More importantly, they can efficiently differentiate into photoreceptor cells under optimized differentiation conditions. Following transplantation into the subretinal space of slowly degenerating rd7 mutant eyes, RSC-derived photoreceptor cells integrate into the retina, morphologically resembling endogenous photoreceptors and forming synapases with resident retinal neurons. When transplanted into eyes of photoreceptor-deficient rd1 mutant mice, a RP model, RSC-derived photoreceptors can partially restore light response, indicating that those RSC-derived photoreceptors are functional. Finally, there is no evidence for tumor formation in the photoreceptor-transplanted eyes. Therefore, this study has demonstrated that RSCs isolated from the adult retina have the potential of producing functional photoreceptor cells that can potentially restore lost vision caused by loss of photoreceptor cells in RP and AMD.
Liu, Haitao; Tang, Jie; Du, Yunpeng; Saadane, Aicha; Tonade, Deoye; Samuels, Ivy; Veenstra, Alex; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kern, Timothy S.
Purpose Loss of photoreceptor cells is associated with retinal vascular degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa, whereas the presence of photoreceptor cells is implicated in vascular degeneration in diabetic retinopathy. To investigate how both the absence and presence of photoreceptors could damage the retinal vasculature, we compared two mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration (opsin−/− and RhoP23H/P23H ) and control C57Bl/5J mice, each with and without diabetes. Methods Retinal thickness, superoxide, expression of inflammatory proteins, ERG and optokinetic responses, leukocyte cytotoxicity, and capillary degeneration were evaluated at 1 to 10 months of age using published methods. Results Retinal photoreceptor cells degenerated completely in the opsin mutants by 2 to 4 months of age, and visual function subsided correspondingly. Retinal capillary degeneration was substantial while photoreceptors were still present, but slowed after the photoreceptors degenerated. Diabetes did not further exacerbate capillary degeneration in these models of photoreceptor degeneration, but did cause capillary degeneration in wild-type animals. Photoreceptor cells, however, did not degenerate in wild-type diabetic mice, presumably because the stress responses in these cells were less than in the opsin mutants. Retinal superoxide and leukocyte damage to retinal endothelium contributed to the degeneration of retinal capillaries in diabetes, and leukocyte-mediated damage was increased in both opsin mutants during photoreceptor cell degeneration. Conclusions Photoreceptor cells affect the integrity of the retinal microvasculature. Deterioration of retinal capillaries in opsin mutants was appreciable while photoreceptor cells were present and stressed, but was less after photoreceptors degenerated. This finding proves relevant to diabetes, where persistent stress in photoreceptors likewise contributes to capillary degeneration. PMID:27548901
Frolov, Roman V; Immonen, Esa-Ville; Weckström, Matti
The compound eye of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus contains a specialized dorsal rim area (DRA) populated by distinct blue-sensitive photoreceptors responsible for perception of polarized light. The rest of the eye is dominated by green-sensitive photoreceptors. Using patch clamp we studied dissociated ommatidia of nocturnal adults and diurnal eight-instar nymphs with the goals (1) of characterizing the biophysical properties of cricket photoreceptors in general and (2) describing the functionally dissimilar blue- and green-sensitive photoreceptors in terms of voltage-gated channel composition and signal coding. Despite different lifestyles, adult and nymph photoreceptors were indistinguishable. No significant circadian changes were observed in K⁺ currents. In contrast, prominent differences were seen between blue- and green-sensitive photoreceptors. The former were characterized by relatively low absolute sensitivity, high input resistance, slow quantum bumps with long latencies, small light-induced and K⁺ currents and low steady-state depolarization. Information rate, a measure of photoreceptor performance calculated from voltage responses to bandwidth-limited white noise-modulated light contrast, was 87 ± 8 bits s⁻¹ in green-sensitive photoreceptors vs. 59 ± 14 bits s⁻¹ in blue-sensitive photoreceptors, implying a limited role of DRA in the perception of visual contrasts. In addition, evidence of electrical coupling between photoreceptors is presented.
Sweigard, J. Harry; Matsumoto, Hidetaka; Smith, Kaylee E.; Kim, Leo A.; Paschalis, Eleftherios I.; Okonuki, Yoko; Castillejos, Alexandra; Kataoka, Keiko; Hasegawa, Eiichi; Yanai, Ryoji; Husain, Deeba; Lambris, John D.; Vavvas, Demetrios; Miller, Joan W.; Connor, Kip M.
Degeneration of photoreceptors is a primary cause of vision loss worldwide, making the underlying mechanisms surrounding photoreceptor cell death critical to developing new treatment strategies. Retinal detachment, characterized by the separation of photoreceptors from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium, is a sight-threatening event that can happen in a number of retinal diseases. The detached photoreceptors undergo apoptosis and programmed necrosis. Given that photoreceptors are nondividing cells, their loss leads to irreversible visual impairment even after successful retinal reattachment surgery. To better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we analyzed innate immune system regulators in the vitreous of human patients with retinal detachment and correlated the results with findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment. We identified the alternative complement pathway as promoting early photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Photoreceptors down-regulate membrane-bound inhibitors of complement, allowing for selective targeting by the alternative complement pathway. When photoreceptors in the detached retina were removed from the primary source of oxygen and nutrients (choroidal vascular bed), the retina became hypoxic, leading to an up-regulation of complement factor B, a key mediator of the alternative pathway. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway in knockout mice or through pharmacological means ameliorated photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Our current study begins to outline the mechanism by which the alternative complement pathway facilitates photoreceptor cell death in the damaged retina. PMID:26203084
Laver, Christopher R J; Matsubara, Joanne A
"homing" factor for bipolar cell dendrite migration. Tertiary structural models mirrored the conformational divergence predicted by selection analysis. With human and mouse pikachurin (as well as other TRS proteins) likely to diverge considerably in structure among placental mammals - alongside known inter-mammalian variation in TRS phenotype and protein repertoire, high levels of diversifying selection acting on genes involving sensation, considerable timespans allowing for genetic drift that can create xenogeneic epistasis, and uncertainty surrounding the extent of xenosynaptogenesis in PPC transplant studies to date - use of distantly related hosts to test human photoreceptor graft therapeutic efficacy should be considered with caution.
Vandenbussche, Filip; Tilbrook, Kimberley; Fierro, Ana Carolina; Marchal, Kathleen; Poelman, Dirk; Van Der Straeten, Dominique; Ulm, Roman
Plants reorient their growth towards light to optimize photosynthetic light capture--a process known as phototropism. Phototropins are the photoreceptors essential for phototropic growth towards blue and ultraviolet-A (UV-A) light. Here we detail a phototropic response towards UV-B in etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings. We report that early differential growth is mediated by phototropins but clear phototropic bending to UV-B is maintained in phot1 phot2 double mutants. We further show that this phototropin-independent phototropic response to UV-B requires the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8. Broad UV-B-mediated repression of auxin-responsive genes suggests that UVR8 regulates directional bending by affecting auxin signaling. Kinetic analysis shows that UVR8-dependent directional bending occurs later than the phototropin response. We conclude that plants may use the full short-wavelength spectrum of sunlight to efficiently reorient photosynthetic tissue with incoming light.
Kamoshita, Mamoru; Ozawa, Yoko; Kubota, Shunsuke; Miyake, Seiji; Tsuda, Chiduru; Nagai, Norihiro; Yuki, Kenya; Shimmura, Shigeto; Umezawa, Kazuo; Tsubota, Kazuo
Recent progress in molecular analysis has revealed the possible involvement of multiple inflammatory signaling pathways in pathogenesis of retinal degeneration. However, how aberrant signaling pathways cause tissue damage and dysfunction is still being elucidated. Here, we focus on 5′-adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK), originally recognized as a key regulator of energy homeostasis. AMPK is also modulated in response to inflammatory signals, although its functions in inflamed tissue are obscure. We investigated the role of activated AMPK in the retinal neural damage and visual function impairment caused by inflammation. For this purpose, we used a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in the retina, and examined the effects of an AMPK activator, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR). During inflammation, activated AMPK in the neural retina was decreased, but AICAR treatment prevented this change. Moreover, the electroretinogram (ERG) a-wave response, representing photoreceptor function, showed visual dysfunction in this model that was prevented by AICAR. Consistently, the model showed shortened photoreceptor outer segments (OSs) with reduced levels of rhodopsin, a visual pigment concentrated in the OSs, in a post-transcriptional manner, and these effects were also prevented by AICAR. In parallel, the level of activated NF-κB increased in the retina during inflammation, and this increase was suppressed by AICAR. Treatment with an NF-κB inhibitor, dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin (DHMEQ) preserved the rhodopsin level during inflammation, suppressing NF-κB. These findings indicated that AMPK activation by AICAR and subsequent NF-κB inhibition had a protective effect on visual function, and that AMPK activation played a neuroprotective role during retinal inflammation. PMID:25048039
Peng, Rong-mei; Jin, Ying; Sun, Yu-zhao; Sun, Yi-qian; Zhang, Pei
Background Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are multipotential stem cells that have been used for a broad spectrum of indications. Several investigations have used BM-MSCs to promote photoreceptor survival and suggested that BM-MSCs are a potential source of cell replacement therapy for some forms of retinal degeneration. Purpose To investigate the expression of the MER proto-oncogene, tyrosine kinase (Mertk), involved in the disruption of RPE phagocytosis and the onset of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in rat BM-MSCs and to compare phagocytosis of the photoreceptor outer segment (POS) by BM-MSCs and RPE cells in vitro. Methods MSCs were isolated from the bone marrow of Brown Norway rats. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT–PCR) and western blot analyses were used to examine the expression of Mertk. The phagocytized POS was detected with double fluorescent labeling, transmission electron microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Results Mertk expression did not differ among the first three passages of BM-MSCs. Mertk gene expression was greater in the BM-MSCs than the RPE cells. Mertk protein expression in the BM-MSCs was similar to that in the RPE cells in the primary passage and was greater than that in the RPE cells in the other two passages. BM-MSCs at the first three passages phagocytized the POS more strongly than the RPE cells. The process of BM-MSC phagocytosis was similar to that of the RPE cells. Conclusions BM-MSCs may be an effective cell source for treating retinal degeneration in terms of phagocytosis of the POS. PMID:28210098
Korenbrot, Juan I.
The light responses of rod and cone photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina are quantitatively different, yet extremely stable and reproducible because of the extraordinary regulation of the cascade of enzymatic reactions that link photon absorption and visual pigment excitation to the gating of cGMP-gated ion channels in the outer segment plasma membrane. While the molecular scheme of the phototransduction pathway is essentially the same in rods and cones, the enzymes and protein regulators that constitute the pathway are distinct. These enzymes and regulators can differ in the quantitative features of their functions or in concentration if their functions are similar or both can be true. The molecular identity and distinct function of the molecules of the transduction cascade in rods and cones are summarized. The functional significance of these molecular differences is examined with a mathematical model of the signal-transducing enzymatic cascade. Constrained by available electrophysiological, biochemical and biophysical data, the model simulates photocurrents that match well the electrical photoresponses measured in both rods and cones. Using simulation computed with the mathematical model, the time course of light-dependent changes in enzymatic activities and second messenger concentrations in non-mammalian rods and cones are compared side by side. PMID:22658984
Sodhi, Puneet; Hartwick, Andrew T E
Melanopsin-dependent phototransduction in intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) involves a Gq-coupled phospholipase C (PLC) signaling cascade. Acetylcholine, released in the mammalian retina by starburst amacrine cells, can also activate Gq-PLC pathways through certain muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs). Using multielectrode array recordings of rat retinas, we demonstrate that robust spiking responses can be evoked in neonatal and adult ipRGCs after bath application of the muscarinic agonist carbachol. The stimulatory action of carbachol on ipRGCs was a direct effect, as confirmed through calcium imaging experiments on isolated ipRGCs in purified cultures. Using flickering (6 Hz) yellow light stimuli at irradiances below the threshold for melanopsin activation, spiking responses could be elicited in ipRGCs that were suppressed by mAChR antagonism. Therefore, this work identified a novel melanopsin-independent pathway for stimulating sustained spiking in ganglion cell photoreceptors. This mAChR-mediated pathway could enhance ipRGC spiking responses in conditions known to evoke retinal acetylcholine release, such as those involving flickering or moving visual stimuli. Furthermore, this work identifies a pharmacological approach for light-independent ipRGC stimulation that could be targeted by mAChR agonists.
Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M
In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recovering antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina.
McKeown, Alex S; Kraft, Timothy W
Photoreceptors adapt to changes in illumination by altering transduction kinetics and sensitivity, thereby extending their working range. We describe a previously unknown form of rod photoreceptor adaptation in wild-type (WT) mice that manifests as a potentiation of the light response after periods of conditioning light exposure. We characterize the stimulus conditions that evoke this graded hypersensitivity and examine the molecular mechanisms of adaptation underlying the phenomenon. After exposure to periods of saturating illumination, rods show a 10-35% increase in circulating dark current, an adaptive potentiation (AP) to light exposure. This potentiation grows as exposure to light is extended up to 3 min and decreases with longer exposures. Cells return to their initial dark-adapted sensitivity with a time constant of recovery of ∼7 s. Halving the extracellular Mg concentration prolongs the adaptation, increasing the time constant of recovery to 13.3 s, but does not affect the magnitude of potentiation. In rods lacking guanylate cyclase activating proteins 1 and 2 (GCAP(-/-)), AP is more than doubled compared with WT rods, and halving the extracellular Mg concentration does not affect the recovery time constant. Rods from a mouse expressing cyclic nucleotide-gated channels incapable of binding calmodulin also showed a marked increase in the amplitude of AP. Application of an insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) kinase inhibitor (Tyrphostin AG1024) blocked AP, whereas application of an insulin receptor kinase inhibitor (HNMPA(AM)3) failed to do so. A broad-acting tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor (orthovanadate) also blocked AP. Our findings identify a unique form of adaptation in photoreceptors, so that they show transient hypersensitivity to light, and are consistent with a model in which light history, acting via the IGF-1R, can increase the sensitivity of rod photoreceptors, whereas the photocurrent overshoot is regulated by Ca-calmodulin and Ca(2
Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Stefano, Frank P; Fitzgerald, Catherine; Muller-Weeks, Susan
Photoreceptor outer segment (OS) renewal requires a series of tightly regulated membrane fusion events which are mediated by a fusion complex containing protein and lipid components. The best characterized of these components, is a unique photoreceptor specific tetraspanin, peripherin/rds (P/rds, a.k.a., peripherin-2, Rds and Prph). In these studies we investigated the role of peripherin's non-glycosylated homolog, ROM-1, in OS fusion using a COS cell heterologous expression system and a well characterized cell free fusion assay system. Membranes isolated from COS-7 cells transfected with either FLAG-tagged P/rds or HA-tagged ROM-1 or both proteins were assayed for their ability to merge with fluorescently labeled OS plasma membrane (PM). Such membrane merger is one measure of membrane fusogenicity. The highest percent fusion was observed when the proteins were co-expressed. Furthermore detailed analysis of the fusion kinetics between fluorescently labeled PM and proteo-liposomes containing either, pure P/rds, pure ROM-1 or the ROM-1-P/rds complex clearly demonstrated that optimal fusion requires an ROM-1/P/rds complex. Proteo-liposomes composed of ROM-1 alone were not fusogenic. Peptide competition studies suggest that optimization of fusion may be due to the formation of a fusion competent peripherin/rds C-terminus in the presence of ROM-1. These studies provide further support for the hypothesis that a P/rds dependent membrane fusion complex is involved in photoreceptor renewal processes.
Kocaoglu, Omer P.; Liu, Zhuolin; Zhang, Furu; Kurokawa, Kazuhiro; Jonnal, Ravi S.; Miller, Donald T.
Cone photoreceptors undergo a daily cycle of renewal and shedding of membranous discs in their outer segments (OS), the portion responsible for light capture. These physiological processes are fundamental to maintaining photoreceptor health, and their dysfunction is associated with numerous retinal diseases. While both processes have been extensively studied in animal models and postmortem eyes, little is known about them in the living eye, in particular human. In this study, we report discovery of the optical signature associated with disc shedding using a method based on adaptive optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT) in conjunction with post-processing methods to track and monitor individual cone cells in 4D. The optical signature of disc shedding is characterized by an abrupt transient loss in the cone outer segment tip (COST) reflection followed by its return that is axially displaced anteriorly. Using this signature, we measured the temporal and spatial properties of shedding events in three normal subjects. Average duration of the shedding event was 8.8 ± 13.4 minutes, and average length loss of the OS was 2.1 μm (7.0% of OS length). Prevalence of cone shedding was highest in the morning (14.3%) followed by the afternoon (5.7%) and evening (4.0%), with load distributed across the imaged patch. To the best of our knowledge these are the first images of photoreceptor disc shedding in the living retina. PMID:27895995
Duncan, Gabriel; Rabl, Katalin; Gemp, Ian; Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B.
Abstract Exocytosis from the rod photoreceptor is stimulated by submicromolar Ca2+ and exhibits an unusually shallow dependence on presynaptic Ca2+. To provide a quantitative description of the photoreceptor Ca2+ sensor for exocytosis, we tested a family of conventional and allosteric computational models describing the final Ca2+-binding steps leading to exocytosis. Simulations were fit to two measures of release, evoked by flash-photolysis of caged Ca2+: exocytotic capacitance changes from individual rods and postsynaptic currents of second-order neurons. The best simulations supported the occupancy of only two Ca2+ binding sites on the rod Ca2+ sensor rather than the typical four or five. For most models, the on-rates for Ca2+ binding and maximal fusion rate were comparable to those of other neurons. However, the off-rates for Ca2+ unbinding were unexpectedly slow. In addition to contributing to the high-affinity of the photoreceptor Ca2+ sensor, slow Ca2+ unbinding may support the fusion of vesicles located at a distance from Ca2+ channels. In addition, partial sensor occupancy due to slow unbinding may contribute to the linearization of the first synapse in vision. PMID:20483317
Jimeno, David; Gómez, Carmela; Calzada, Nuria; de la Villa, Pedro; Lillo, Concepción; Santos, Eugenio
Detailed immunocytochemical analyses comparing wild-type (WT), GRF1-knockout (KO), GRF2-KO and GRF1/2 double-knockout (DKO) mouse retinas uncovered the specific accumulation of misplaced, 'ectopic' cone photoreceptor nuclei in the photoreceptor segment (PS) area of retinas from GRF2-KO and GRF1/2-DKO, but not of WT or GRF1-KO mice. Localization of ectopic nuclei in the PS area of GRF2-depleted retinas occurred postnatally and peaked between postnatal day (P)11 and P15. Mechanistically, the generation of this phenotype involved disruption of the outer limiting membrane and intrusion into the PS layer by cone nuclei displaying significant perinuclear accumulation of signaling molecules known to participate in nuclear migration and cytoskeletal reorganization, such as PAR3, PAR6 and activated, phosphorylated forms of PAK, MLC2 and VASP. Electroretinographic recordings showed specific impairment of cone-mediated retinal function in GRF2-KO and GRF1/2-DKO retinas compared with WT controls. These data identify defective cone nuclear migration as a novel phenotype in mouse retinas lacking GRF2 and support a crucial role of GRF2 in control of the nuclear migration processes required for proper postnatal development and function of retinal cone photoreceptors.
Feller, Kathryn D; Cronin, Thomas W
Larval stomatopod eyes appear to be much simpler versions of adult compound eyes, lacking most of the visual pigment diversity and photoreceptor specializations. Our understanding of the visual pigment diversity of larval stomatopods, however, is based on four species, which severely limits our understanding of stomatopod eye ontogeny. To investigate several poorly understood aspects of stomatopod larval eye function, we tested two hypotheses surrounding the spectral absorption of larval visual pigments. First, we examined a broad range of species to determine if stomatopod larvae generally express a single, spectral class of photoreceptor. Using microspectrophotometry (MSP) on larvae captured in the field, we found data which further support this long-standing hypothesis. MSP was also used to test whether larval species from the same geographical region express visual pigments with similar absorption spectra. Interestingly, despite occupation of the same geographical location, we did not find evidence to support our second hypothesis. Rather, there was significant variation in visual pigment absorption spectra among sympatric species. These data are important to further our understanding of larval photoreceptor spectral diversity, which is beneficial to ongoing investigations into the ontogeny, physiology, and molecular evolution of stomatopod eyes.
Zhang, Qi; Acland, Gregory M; Wu, Wen X; Johnson, Jennifer L; Pearce-Kelling, Sue; Tulloch, Brian; Vervoort, Raf; Wright, Alan F; Aguirre, Gustavo D
The canine disease, X-linked progressive retinal atrophy (XLPRA), is similar to human RP3, an X-linked form of retinitis pigmentosa, and maps to the same region in the X chromosome. Analysis of the physical map of the XLPRA and RP3 intervals shows a high degree of conservation in terms of genes and their order. We have found different mutations in exon ORF15 of the RPGR gene in two distinct mutant dog strains (XLPRA1, XLPRA2). Microdeletions resulting in a premature stop or a frameshift mutation result in very different retinal phenotypes, which are allele-specific and consistent for each mutation. The phenotype associated with the frameshift mutation in XLPRA2 is very severe and manifests during retinal development; the phenotype resulting from the XLPRA1 nonsense mutation is expressed only after normal photoreceptor morphogenesis. Splicing of RPGR mRNA transcripts in retina is complex, and either exon ORF15 or exon 19 can be a terminal exon. The retina-predominant transcript contains ORF15 as a terminal exon, and is expressed in normal and mutant retinas. The frameshift mutation dramatically alters the deduced amino acid sequence, and the protein aggregates in the endoplasmic reticulum of transfected cells. The cellular and molecular results in the two canine RPGR exon ORF15 mutations have implications for understanding the phenotypic variability found in human RP3 families that carry similar mutations.
Vancura, Patrick; Wolloscheck, Tanja; Baba, Kenkichi; Tosini, Gianluca; Iuvone, P. Michael; Spessert, Rainer
The energy metabolism of the retina might comply with daily changes in energy demand and is impaired in diabetic retinopathy—one of the most common causes of blindness in Europe and the USA. The aim of this study was to investigate putative adaptation of energy metabolism in healthy and diabetic retina. Hence expression analysis of metabolic pathway genes was performed using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, semi-quantitative western blot and immunohistochemistry. Transcriptional profiling of key enzymes of energy metabolism identified transcripts of mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation enzymes, i.e. carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1α (Cpt-1α) and medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (Acadm) to display daily rhythms with peak values during daytime in preparations of the whole retina and microdissected photoreceptors. The cycling of both enzymes persisted in constant darkness, was dampened in mice deficient for dopamine D4 (D4) receptors and was altered in db/db mice—a model of diabetic retinopathy. The data of the present study are consistent with circadian clock-dependent and dopaminergic regulation of fatty acid oxidation in retina and its putative disturbance in diabetic retina. PMID:27727308
New, Shaun T D; Hemmi, Jan M; Kerr, Gregory D; Bull, C Michael
The Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) is a large day-active skink which occupies stable overlapping home ranges and maintains long-term monogamous relationships. Its behavioral ecology has been extensively studied, making the sleepy lizard an ideal model for investigation of the lizard visual system and its specializations, for which relatively little is known. We examine the morphology, density, and distribution of retinal photoreceptors and describe the anatomy of the sleepy lizard eye. The sleepy lizard retina is composed solely of photoreceptors containing oil droplets, a characteristic of cones. Two groups could be distinguished; single cones and double cones, consistent with morphological descriptions of photoreceptors in other diurnal lizards. Although all photoreceptors were cone-like in morphology, a subset of photoreceptors displayed immunoreactivity to rhodopsin-the visual pigment of rods. This finding suggests that while the morphological properties of rod photoreceptors have been lost, photopigment protein composition has been conserved during evolutionary history.
Rocco, Maria Luisa; Balzamino, Bijorn Omar; Petrocchi Passeri, Pamela; Micera, Alessandra; Aloe, Luigi
A number of different studies have shown that neurotrophins, including nerve growth factor (NGF) support the survival of retinal ganglion neurons during a variety if insults. Recently, we have reported that that eye NGF administration can protect also photoreceptor degeneration in a mice and rat with inherited retinitis pigmentosa. However, the evidence that NGF acts directly on photoreceptors and that other retinal cells mediate the NGF effect could not be excluded. In the present study we have isolated retinal cells from rats with inherited retinitis pigmentosa (RP) during the post-natal stage of photoreceptor degenerative. In presence of NGF, these cells are characterized by enhanced expression of NGF-receptors and rhodopsin, the specific marker of photoreceptor and better cell survival, as well as neuritis outgrowth. Together these observations support the hypothesis that NGF that NGF acts directly on photoreceptors survival and prevents photoreceptor degeneration as previously suggested by in vivo studies. PMID:25897972
Barsanti, Laura; Coltelli, Primo; Evangelista, Valtere; Passarelli, Vincenzo; Frassanito, Anna Maria; Vesentini, Nicoletta; Santoro, Fabrizio; Gualtieri, Paolo
Euglena gracilis possesses a simple but sophisticated light detecting system, consisting of an eyespot formed by carotenoids globules and a photoreceptor. The photoreceptor of Euglena is characterized by optical bistability, with two stable states. In order to provide important and discriminating information on the series of structural changes that Euglena photoreceptive protein(s) undergoes inside the photoreceptor in response to light, we measured the in vivo absorption spectra of the two stable states A and B of photoreceptor photocycle. Data were collected using two different devices, i.e. a microspectrophotometer and a digital microscope. Our results show that the photocycle and the absorption spectra of the photoreceptor possess strong spectroscopic similarities with a rhodopsin-like protein. Moreover, the analysis of the absorption spectra of the two stable states of the photoreceptor and the absorption spectrum of the eyespot suggests an intriguing hypothesis for the orientation of microalgae toward light.
Chen, Jeannie; Flannery, John G.; Lavail, Matthew M.; Steinberg, Roy H.; Xu, Jun; Simon, Melvin I.
Apoptosis of photoreceptors occurs infrequently in adult retina but can be triggered in inherited and environmentally induced retinal degenerations. The protooncogene bcl-2 is known to be a potent regulator of cell survival in neurons. We created lines of transgenic mice overexpressing bcl-2 to test for its ability to increase photoreceptor survival. Bcl-2 increased photoreceptor survival in mice with retinal degeneration caused by a defective opsin or cGMP phosphodiesterase. Overexpression of Bcl-2 in normal photoreceptors also decreased the damaging effects of constant light exposure. Apoptosis was induced in normal photoreceptors by very high levels of bcl-2. We conclude that bcl-2 is an important regulator of photoreceptor cell death in retinal degenerations.
Heesy, Christopher P; Hall, Margaret I
Evidence from the early paleontological record of mammalian evolution has often been interpreted as supporting the idea that mammals were nocturnal for most of their early history. Multiple features of extant mammal sensory systems, such as evolutionary modifications to the light-regulated circadian system, photoreceptor complement, and retinal morphology, support this nocturnal hypothesis for mammalian evolution. Here, we synthesize data on eye shape and orbit orientation in mammals as these data compare to other amniotes. Most mammals differ from other amniotes in retaining an eye design optimized for high visual sensitivity, with the requisite reduction in acuity, which is typically restricted to scotopically (i.e. low light) adapted amniotes. Mammals also possess the more convergent (similarly facing) orbits and, on average, the largest binocular visual fields among amniotes. Based on our analyses, we propose that extant mammals retain a scotopic eye design as well as expanded binocular zones as a result of their nocturnal origin. Only anthropoid primates notably differ from general mammalian patterns, and possibly have evolved an eye shape more typical of the ancestral amniote condition.
Kim, I H; Rhee, J S; Huh, J W; Florell, S; Faure, B; Lee, K W; Kahsai, T; Song, P S; Tamai, N; Yamazaki, T
The unicellular ciliary protozoan, Stentor coeruleus, exhibits photophobic and phototactic responses to visible light stimuli. The pigment granule contains the photoreceptor chromoproteins (stentorins). Stentorin localized in the pigment granules of the cell serves as the primary photoreceptor for the photophobic and phototactic responses in this organism. An initial characterization of the pigment granules has been described in terms of size, absorbance spectra and ATPase activity. Two forms of the stentorin pigments have been isolated from the pigment granules. Stentorin I has an apparent molecular weight of 68,600 and 52,000 by SDS-PAGE (at 10 and 13% gel, respectively) or 102,000 by steric exclusion HPLC, whereas stentorin II is a larger molecular assembly probably composed of several proteins (mol. wt. greater than 500,000). Stentorin I is composed of at least two heterologous subunits corresponding to apparent mol. wts. of 46,000 (fluorescent, Coomassie blue negative) and 52,000 (fluorescent, Coomassie blue positive) on SDS-PAGE (13% gel). However, these values were found to be strongly dependent on the degree of crosslinking in the acrylamide gel. Stentorin II appears to be the primary photoreceptor whose absorption and fluorescence properties are consistent with the action spectra for the photoresponses of the ciliate to visible light.
Medvedev, I V; Gremiachikh, V A; Zheltov, S V; Bogdanenko, O V; Aksenova, I A
The effects of natural methylmercury compounds on regeneration of photoreceptor organs were studied in three freshwater planarians: Polycelis tenuis, Dugesia lugubris, and D. tigrina. Accumulation of methyl mercury in the planarian body suppressed regeneration of P. tenuis with numerous photoreceptor organs to a greater extent than in two other planarians that have only two eyes. High methyl mercury concentrations inhibited the restoration of photoreceptor organs in asexual and sexual D. tigrina races.
Qin, Zhao; Kidd, Ambrose R.; Thomas, Jennifer L.; Poss, Kenneth D.; Hyde, David R.; Raymond, Pamela A.; Thummel, Ryan
Fgf signaling is required for many biological processes involving the regulation of cell proliferation and maintenance, including embryonic patterning, tissue homeostasis, wound healing, and cancer progression. Although the function of Fgf signaling is suggested in several different regeneration models, including appendage regeneration in amphibians and fin and heart regeneration in zebrafish, it has not yet been studied during zebrafish photoreceptor cell regeneration. Here we demonstrate that intravitreal injections of FGF-2 induced rod precursor cell proliferation and photoreceptor cell neuroprotection during intense light damage. Using the dominant-negative Tg(hsp70:dn-fgfr1) transgenic line, we found that Fgf signaling was required for homeostasis of rod, but not cone, photoreceptors. Even though fgfr1 is expressed in both rod and cone photoreceptors, we found that Fgf signaling differentially affected the regeneration of cone and rod photoreceptors in the light-damaged retina, with the dominant-negative hsp70:dn-fgfr1 transgene significantly repressing rod photoreceptor regeneration without affecting cone photoreceptors. These data suggest that rod photoreceptor homeostasis and regeneration is Fgf-dependent and that rod and cone photoreceptors in adult zebrafish are regulated by different signaling pathways. PMID:21945172
Ronca, April E.
Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all extant species and their ancestors, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's l g gravitational field. These considerations raise important questions about the ability of mammals to reproduce and develop in space. In this chapter, I review the current state of our knowledge of spaceflight effects on developing mammals. Recent studies are revealing the first insights into how the space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, viz., those events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation and parental care. This review emphasizes fetal and early postnatal life, the developmental epochs for which the greatest amounts of mammalian spaceflight data have been amassed. The maternal-offspring system, the coordinated aggregate of mother and young comprising mammalian development, is of primary importance during these early, formative developmental phases. The existing research supports the view that biologically meaningful interactions between mothers and offspring are changed in the weightlessness of space. These changes may, in turn, cloud interpretations of spaceflight effects on developing offspring. Whereas studies of mid-pregnant rats in space have been extraordinarily successful, studies of young rat litters launched at 9 days of postnatal age or earlier, have been encumbered with problems related to the design of in-flight caging and compromised maternal-offspring interactions. Possibilities for mammalian birth in space, an event that has not yet transpired, are considered. In the aggregate, the results indicate a strong need for new studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space. Habitat development and systematic ground-based testing are important prerequisites to future research with young postnatal rodents in space. Together, the findings support the view that the environment within which young
Ronca, April E
Life on Earth, and thus the reproductive and ontogenetic processes of all extant species and their ancestors, evolved under the constant influence of the Earth's l g gravitational field. These considerations raise important questions about the ability of mammals to reproduce and develop in space. In this chapter, I review the current state of our knowledge of spaceflight effects on developing mammals. Recent studies are revealing the first insights into how the space environment affects critical phases of mammalian reproduction and development, viz., those events surrounding fertilization, embryogenesis, pregnancy, birth, postnatal maturation and parental care. This review emphasizes fetal and early postnatal life, the developmental epochs for which the greatest amounts of mammalian spaceflight data have been amassed. The maternal-offspring system, the coordinated aggregate of mother and young comprising mammalian development, is of primary importance during these early, formative developmental phases. The existing research supports the view that biologically meaningful interactions between mothers and offspring are changed in the weightlessness of space. These changes may, in turn, cloud interpretations of spaceflight effects on developing offspring. Whereas studies of mid-pregnant rats in space have been extraordinarily successful, studies of young rat litters launched at 9 days of postnatal age or earlier, have been encumbered with problems related to the design of in-flight caging and compromised maternal-offspring interactions. Possibilities for mammalian birth in space, an event that has not yet transpired, are considered. In the aggregate, the results indicate a strong need for new studies of mammalian reproduction and development in space. Habitat development and systematic ground-based testing are important prerequisites to future research with young postnatal rodents in space. Together, the findings support the view that the environment within which young
Finotti, Alessia; Bianchi, Nicoletta; Fabbri, Enrica; Borgatti, Monica; Breveglieri, Giulia; Gasparello, Jessica; Gambari, Roberto
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR activity, is a potent inducer of erythroid differentiation and fetal hemoglobin production in β-thalassemic patients. Mithramycin (MTH) was studied to see if this inducer of K562 differentiation also operates through inhibition of mTOR. We can conclude from the study that the mTOR pathway is among the major transcript classes affected by mithramycin-treatment in K562 cells and a sharp decrease of raptor protein production and p70S6 kinase is detectable in mithramycin treated K562 cells. The promoter sequence of the raptor gene contains several Sp1 binding sites which may explain its mechanism of action. We hypothesize that the G+C-selective DNA-binding drug mithramycin is able to interact with these sequences and to inhibit the binding of Sp1 to the raptor promoter due to the following results: (a) MTH strongly inhibits the interactions between Sp1 and Sp1-binding sites of the raptor promoter (studied by electrophoretic mobility shift assays, EMSA); (b) MTH strongly reduces the recruitment of Sp1 transcription factor to the raptor promoter in intact K562 cells (studied by chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, ChIP); (c) Sp1 decoy oligonucleotides are able to specifically inhibit raptor mRNA accumulation in K562 cells. In conclusion, raptor gene expression is involved in mithramycin-mediated induction of erythroid differentiation of K562 cells and one of its mechanism of action is the inhibition of Sp1 binding to the raptor promoter.
Finotti, Alessia; Bianchi, Nicoletta; Fabbri, Enrica; Borgatti, Monica; Breveglieri, Giulia; Gasparello, Jessica; Gambari, Roberto
Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR activity, is a potent inducer of erythroid differentiation and fetal hemoglobin production in β-thalassemic patients. Mithramycin (MTH) was studied to see if this inducer of K562 differentiation also operates through inhibition of mTOR. We can conclude from the study that the mTOR pathway is among the major transcript classes affected by mithramycin-treatment in K562 cells and a sharp decrease of raptor protein production and p70S6 kinase is detectable in mithramycin treated K562 cells. The promoter sequence of the raptor gene contains several Sp1 binding sites which may explain its mechanism of action. We hypothesize that the G + C-selective DNA-binding drug mithramycin is able to interact with these sequences and to inhibit the binding of Sp1 to the raptor promoter due to the following results: (a) MTH strongly inhibits the interactions between Sp1 and Sp1-binding sites of the raptor promoter (studied by electrophoretic mobility shift assays, EMSA); (b) MTH strongly reduces the recruitment of Sp1 transcription factor to the raptor promoter in intact K562 cells (studied by chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, ChIP); (c) Sp1 decoy oligonucleotides are able to specifically inhibit raptor mRNA accumulation in K562 cells. In conclusion, raptor gene expression is involved in mithramycin-mediated induction of erythroid differentiation of K562 cells and one of its mechanism of action is the inhibition of Sp1 binding to the raptor promoter. PMID:25478892
Stees, Jared S.; Varn, Fred; Huang, Suming; Strouboulis, John; Bungert, Jörg
Enhancer elements regulate the tissue- and developmental-stage-specific expression of genes. Recent estimates suggest that there are more than 50,000 enhancers in mammalian cells. At least a subset of enhancers has been shown to recruit RNA polymerase II transcription complexes and to generate enhancer transcripts. Here, we provide an overview of enhancer function and discuss how transcription of enhancers or enhancer-generated transcripts could contribute to the regulation of gene expression during development and differentiation. PMID:23919179
Bai, Shi; Sheline, Christian T.
Light-induced retinal damage (LD) occurs after surgery or sun exposure. We previously showed that zinc (Zn2+) accumulated in photoreceptors and RPE cells after LD but prior to cell death, and pyruvate or nicotinamide attenuated the resultant death perhaps by restoring nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels. We first examined the levels of NAD+ and the efficacy of pyruvate or nicotinamide in oxidative toxicities using primary retinal cultures. We next manipulated NAD+ levels in vivo and tested the affect on LD to photoreceptors and RPE. NAD+ levels cycle with a 24-h rhythm in mammals, which is affected by the feeding schedule. Therefore, we tested the affect of increasing NAD+ levels on LD by giving nicotinamide, inverting the feeding schedule, or using transgenic mice which overexpress cytoplasmic nicotinamide mononucleotide adenyl-transferase-1 (cytNMNAT1), an NAD+ synthetic enzyme. Zn2+ accumulation was also assessed in culture and in retinal sections. Retinas of light damaged animals were examined by OCT and plastic sectioning, and retinal NAD levels were measured. Day fed, or nicotinamide treated rats showed less NAD+ loss, and LD compared to night fed rats or untreated rats without changing the Zn2+ staining pattern. CytNMNAT1 showed less Zn2+ staining, NAD+ loss, and cell death after LD. In conclusion, intense light, Zn2+ and oxidative toxicities caused an increase in Zn2+, NAD+ loss, and cell death which were attenuated by NAD+ restoration. Therefore, NAD+ levels play a protective role in LD-induced death of photoreceptors and RPE cells. PMID:23274583
Razeen, Moataz M.; Cooper, Robert F.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Goldberg, Mara R.; Wilk, Melissa A.; Han, Dennis P.; Connor, Thomas B.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Collison, Frederick T.; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph; Stepien, Kimberly E.
Purpose To demonstrate a method for correlating photoreceptor mosaic structure with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and microperimetry findings in patients with Stargardt disease. Methods A total of 14 patients with clinically diagnosed Stargardt disease were imaged using confocal and split-detection adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy. Cone photoreceptors were identified manually in a band along the temporal meridian. Resulting values were compared to a normative database (n = 9) to generate cone density deviation (CDD) maps. Manual measurement of outer nuclear layer plus Henle fiber layer (ONL+HFL) thickness was performed, in addition to determination of the presence of ellipsoid zone (EZ) and interdigitation zone (IZ) bands on OCT. These results, along with microperimetry data, were overlaid with the CDD maps. Results Wide variation in foveal structure and CDD maps was seen within this small group. Disruption of ONL+HFL and/or IZ band was seen in all patients, with EZ band preservation in regions with low cone density in 38% of locations analyzed. Normality of retinal lamellar structure on OCT corresponded with cone density and visual function at 50/78 locations analyzed. Outer retinal tubulations containing photoreceptor-like structures were observed in 3 patients. Conclusions The use of CDD color-coded maps enables direct comparison of cone mosaic local density with other measures of retinal structure and function. Larger normative datasets and improved tools for automation of image alignment are needed. Translational Relevance The approach described facilitates comparison of complex multimodal data sets from patients with inherited retinal degeneration, and can be expanded to incorporate other structural imaging or functional testing. PMID:26981328
Hárosi, Ferenc I.
Vertebrate photoreceptors are commonly distinguished based on the shape of their outer segments: those of cones taper, whereas the ones from rods do not. The functional advantages of cone taper, a common occurrence in vertebrate retinas, remain elusive. In this study, we investigate this topic using theoretical analyses aimed at revealing structure–function relationships in photoreceptors. Geometrical optics combined with spectrophotometric and morphological data are used to support the analyses and to test predictions. Three functions are considered for correlations between taper and functionality. The first function proposes that outer segment taper serves to compensate for self-screening of the visual pigment contained within. The second function links outer segment taper to compensation for a signal-to-noise ratio decline along the longitudinal dimension. Both functions are supported by the data: real cones taper more than required for these compensatory roles. The third function relates outer segment taper to the optical properties of the inner compartment whereby the primary determinant is the inner segment’s ability to concentrate light via its ellipsoid. In support of this idea, the rod/cone ratios of primarily diurnal animals are predicted based on a principle of equal light flux gathering between photoreceptors. In addition, ellipsoid concentration factor, a measure of ellipsoid ability to concentrate light onto the outer segment, correlates positively with outer segment taper expressed as a ratio of characteristic lengths, where critical taper is the yardstick. Depending on a light-funneling property and the presence of focusing organelles such as oil droplets, cone outer segments can be reduced in size to various degrees. We conclude that outer segment taper is but one component of a miniaturization process that reduces metabolic costs while improving signal detection. Compromise solutions in the various retinas and retinal regions occur between
Morris, Hugh J.; Blanco, Leonardo; Codona, Johanan L.; Li, Simone; Choi, Stacey S.; Doble, Nathan
The pointing direction of cone photoreceptors can be inferred from the Stiles-Crawford Effect of the First Kind (SCE-I) measurement. Healthy retinas have tightly packed cones with a SCE-I function peak either centered in the pupil or with a slight nasal bias. Various retinal pathologies can change the profile of the SCE-I function implying that the arrangement or the light capturing properties of the cone photoreceptors are affected. Measuring the SCE-I may reveal early signs of photoreceptor change before actual cell apoptosis occurs. In vivo retinal imaging with adaptive optics (AO) was used to measure the pointing direction of individual cones at eight retinal locations in four control human subjects. Retinal images were acquired by translating an aperture in the light delivery arm through 19 different locations across a subject’s entrance pupil. Angular tuning properties of individual cones were calculated by fitting a Gaussian to the reflected intensity profile of each cone projected onto the pupil. Results were compared to those from an accepted psychophysical SCE-I measurement technique. The maximal difference in cone directionality of an ensemble of cones, ρ̄, between the major and minor axes of the Gaussian fit was 0.05 versus 0.29 mm−2 in one subject. All four subjects were found to have a mean nasal bias of 0.81 mm with a standard deviation of ±0.30 mm in the peak position at all retinal locations with mean ρ̄ value decreasing by 23% with increasing retinal eccentricity. Results show that cones in the parafoveal region converge towards the center of the pupillary aperture, confirming the anterior pointing alignment hypothesis. PMID:26494187
Bennett, Lea D.; Hopiavuori, Blake R.; Brush, Richard S.; Chan, Michael; Van Hook, Matthew J.; Thoreson, Wallace B.; Anderson, Robert E.
Purpose. Juvenile-onset autosomal dominant Stargardt-like macular dystrophy (STGD3) is caused by mutations in ELOVL4 (elongation of very long fatty acids-4), an elongase necessary for the biosynthesis of very long chain fatty acids (VLC-FAs ≥ C26). Photoreceptors are enriched with VLC polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs), which are necessary for long-term survival of rod photoreceptors. The purpose of these studies was to determine the effect of deletion of VLC-PUFAs on rod synaptic function in retinas of mice conditionally depleted (KO) of Elovl4. Methods. Retina function was assessed in wild-type (WT) and KO by electroretinography. Outer plexiform structure was evaluated by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. Single-cell recordings measured rod ion channel operation and rod bipolar glutamate signaling. Sucrose gradient centrifugation was used to isolate synaptosomes from bovine retina. Proteins and lipids were analyzed by Western blotting and tandem mass spectroscopy, respectively. Results. Inner retinal responses (b-wave, oscillatory potentials, and scotopic threshold responses) of the ERG were decreased in the KO mice compared to controls. However the rod ion channel operation and bipolar glutamate responses were comparable between groups. Biochemical analysis revealed that conventional and ribbon synapses have VLC-PUFAs. Ultrastructural analysis showed that the outer plexiform layer was disorganized and the diameter of vesicles in rod terminals was smaller in the KO mice. Conclusions. Very long chain PUFAs affect rod function by contributing to synaptic vesicle size, which may alter the dynamics of synaptic transmission, ultimately resulting in a loss of neuronal connectivity and death of rod photoreceptors. PMID:24764063
Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Kempler, Karen E.; Saraf, Spencer R.; Marten, Catherine E.; Dugger, Donald R.; Speiser, Daniel I.; Oakley, Todd H.
The eyes of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus have long been used for studies of basic mechanisms of vision, and the structure and physiology of Limulus photoreceptors have been examined in detail. Less is known about the opsins Limulus photoreceptors express. We previously characterized a UV opsin (LpUVOps1) that is expressed in all three types of Limulus eyes (lateral compound eyes, median ocelli and larval eyes) and three visible light-sensitive rhabdomeric opsins (LpOps1, -2 and -5) that are expressed in Limulus lateral compound and larval eyes. Physiological studies showed that visible light-sensitive photoreceptors are also present in median ocelli, but the visible light-sensitive opsins they express were unknown. In the current study we characterize three newly identified, visible light-sensitive rhabdomeric opsins (LpOps6, -7 and -8) that are expressed in median ocelli. We show that they are ocellar specific and that all three are co-expressed in photoreceptors distinct from those expressing LpUVOps1. Our current findings show that the pattern of opsin expression in Limulus eyes is much more complex than previously thought and extend our previous observations of opsin co-expression in visible light-sensitive Limulus photoreceptors. We also characterize a Limulus peropsin/RGR (LpPerOps1). We examine the phylogenetic relationship of LpPerOps1 with other peropsins and RGRs, demonstrate that LpPerOps1 transcripts are expressed in each of the three types of Limulus eyes and show that the encoded protein is expressed in membranes of cells closely associated with photoreceptors in each eye type. These finding suggest that peropsin was in the opsin repertoire of euchelicerates. PMID:25524988
Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Kempler, Karen E; Saraf, Spencer R; Marten, Catherine E; Dugger, Donald R; Speiser, Daniel I; Oakley, Todd H
The eyes of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus have long been used for studies of basic mechanisms of vision, and the structure and physiology of Limulus photoreceptors have been examined in detail. Less is known about the opsins Limulus photoreceptors express. We previously characterized a UV opsin (LpUVOps1) that is expressed in all three types of Limulus eyes (lateral compound eyes, median ocelli and larval eyes) and three visible light-sensitive rhabdomeric opsins (LpOps1, -2 and -5) that are expressed in Limulus lateral compound and larval eyes. Physiological studies showed that visible light-sensitive photoreceptors are also present in median ocelli, but the visible light-sensitive opsins they express were unknown. In the current study we characterize three newly identified, visible light-sensitive rhabdomeric opsins (LpOps6, -7 and -8) that are expressed in median ocelli. We show that they are ocellar specific and that all three are co-expressed in photoreceptors distinct from those expressing LpUVOps1. Our current findings show that the pattern of opsin expression in Limulus eyes is much more complex than previously thought and extend our previous observations of opsin co-expression in visible light-sensitive Limulus photoreceptors. We also characterize a Limulus peropsin/RGR (LpPerOps1). We examine the phylogenetic relationship of LpPerOps1 with other peropsins and RGRs, demonstrate that LpPerOps1 transcripts are expressed in each of the three types of Limulus eyes and show that the encoded protein is expressed in membranes of cells closely associated with photoreceptors in each eye type. These finding suggest that peropsin was in the opsin repertoire of euchelicerates.
Sim, Nigel; Cheng, Mei Fun; Bessarab, Dmitri; Jones, C. Michael; Krivitsky, Leonid A.
We analyzed the electrophysiological response of an isolated rod photoreceptor of Xenopus laevis under stimulation by coherent and pseudothermal light sources. Using the suction-electrode technique for single cell recordings and a fiber optics setup for light delivery allowed measurements of the major statistical characteristics of the rod response. The results indicate differences in average responses of rod cells to coherent and pseudothermal light of the same intensity and also differences in signal-to-noise ratios and second-order intensity correlation functions. These findings should be relevant for interdisciplinary studies seeking applications of quantum optics in biology.
Morris, Hugh J.; Codona, Johanan L.; Blanco, Leonardo; Doble, Nathan
A novel method is presented to rapidly measure the pointing direction of individual human cone photoreceptors using adaptive optics (AO) retinal imaging. For a fixed entrance pupil position, the focal plane is rapidly modulated to image the guided light in various axial planes. For cones with different pointing directions, this focus diversity will cause a shift in their apparent position, allowing for their relative pointing to be determined. For four normal human subjects, retinal images were acquired, registered and the positions of individual cones tracked throughout the dataset. Variation in cone tilt was 0.02 radians, agreeing with other objective measurements on the same subjects at the same retinal locations. PMID:26368692
Novales Flamarique, Iñigo
In contrast to other vertebrates, some anchovies have cone photoreceptors with longitudinally oriented outer segment lamellae. These photoreceptors are axially dichroic (i.e., they are sensitive to the polarization of axially incident light) and form the basis of a polarization detection system in the northern anchovy, Engraulis mordax. Whether other cone types exist in the retina of this animal, and whether multiple cone opsins are expressed in the retinas of anchovies, is unknown. Likewise, a detailed examination of photoreceptor ultrastructure in nondichroic photoreceptors has not been carried out despite its importance to understand visual specializations within the retina and its use in the formulation of models to explain cellular structure. Here, I combined light and electron microscopy with immunohistochemical studies of opsin expression to infer mechanisms of lamellar formation and to evaluate the potential for color vision in the northern anchovy retina. Morphological observations revealed three cone formations: 1) continuous rows made up of alternating long and short (bilobed) cones with longitudinally oriented lamellae that are orthogonal between cone types; 2) continuous rows of alternating long and short cones in which only the short cones have longitudinally oriented lamellae; and 3) rows of triple cones with transversely oriented lamellae, each triple cone consisting of two lateral cones flanking a small central cone. Ultrastructure investigations supported two models of outer segment formation resulting in the longitudinally oriented lamellae of long and short cones. In the case of the long cone, lateral compression of the outer segment, potentially via the formation of guanine platelet stacks in neighboring pigment epithelium cells, results in a shape transformation from conical to cunate and a tilt from transverse to longitudinal lamellae. In the case of the short (bilobed) cone, membrane invaginations from the connecting ciliary structure grow
Small potential fluctuations ("bumps"), boyh spontaneous and light induced, can be recorded intracellularly from the photoreceptors of Drosophila melanogaster. Statistical analyses of these bumps in the spectral range, 400-600 nm, lead to the following interpretations; (a) For weak stimuli at least, these bumps are the quantal units of the receptor potential. (b) Quanta of various wavelengths, when effectively absorbed, will elicit bumps of the same average size. (c) The spectral sensitivity of the receptor potential appears to have its origin in the relative efficiency of quantum bump production at different wavelengths, and not in the intrinsic difference in the properties of bumps produced by quanta of differenct wavelengths. PMID:809537
Coleman, Annette W.
Nuclear rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacers, ITS1 and ITS2, are widely used for eukaryote phylogenetic studies from the ordinal level to the species level, and there is even a database for ITS2 sequences. However, ITS regions have been ignored in mammalian phylogenetic studies, and only a few rodent and ape sequences are represented in GenBank. The reasons for this dearth, and the remedies, are described here. We have recovered these sequences, mostly >1 kb in length, for 36 mammalian species. Sequence alignment and transcript folding comparisons reveal the rRNA transcript secondary structure. Mammalian ITS regions, though quite long, still fold into the recognizable secondary structure of other eukaryotes. The ITS2 in particular bears the four standard helix loops, and loops II and III have the hallmark characters universal to eukaryotes. Both sequence and insertions/deletions of transcript secondary structure helices observed here support the four superorder taxonomy of Placentalia. On the family level, major unique indels, neatly excising entire helices, will be useful when additional species are represented, resulting in significant further understanding of the details of mammalian evolutionary history. Furthermore, the identification of a highly conserved element of ITS1 common to warm-blooded vertebrates may aid in deciphering the complex mechanism of RNA transcript processing. This is the last major group of terrestrial vertebrates for which rRNA ITS secondary structure has been resolved. PMID:24260162
Virgin, Herbert W.
The virome contains the most abundant and fastest-mutating genetic elements on Earth. The mammalian virome is constituted of viruses that infect host cells, virus-derived elements in our chromosomes, and viruses that infect the broad array of other types of organisms that inhabit us. Virome interactions with the host cannot be encompassed by a monotheistic view of viruses as pathogens. Instead, the genetic and transcriptional identity of mammals is defined in part by our co-evolved virome, a concept with profound implications for understanding health and disease. PMID:24679532
Olmedo, María; Ruger-Herreros, Carmen; Luque, Eva M; Corrochano, Luis M
Genes con-10 and con-6 in Neurospora crassa are activated during conidiation or after illumination of vegetative mycelia. Light activation requires the white-collar complex (WCC), a transcription factor complex composed of the photoreceptor WC-1 and its partner WC-2. We have characterized the photoactivation of con-10 and con-6, and we have identified 300bp required for photoactivation in the con-10 promoter. A complex stimulus-response relationship for con-10 and con-6 photoactivation suggested the activity of a complex photoreceptor system. The WCC is the key element for con-10 activation by light, but we suggest that other photoreceptors, the cryptochrome CRY-1, the rhodopsin NOP-1, and the phytochrome PHY-2, modify the activity of the WCC for con-10 photoactivation, presumably through a repressor. In addition we show that the regulatory protein VE-1 is required for full photocarotenogenesis. We propose that these proteins may modulate the WCC in a gene-specific way.
Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman
The common backswimmer, Notonecta glauca, uses vision by day and night for functions such as underwater prey animal capture and flight in search of new habitats. Although previous studies have identified some of the physiological mechanisms facilitating such flexibility in the animal's vision, neither the biophysics of Notonecta photoreceptors nor possible cellular adaptations are known. Here, we studied Notonecta photoreceptors using patch-clamp and intracellular recording methods. Photoreceptor size (approximated by capacitance) was positively correlated with absolute sensitivity and acceptance angles. Information rate measurements indicated that large and more sensitive photoreceptors performed better than small ones. Our results suggest that backswimmers are adapted for vision in both dim and well-illuminated environments by having open-rhabdom eyes with large intrinsic variation in absolute sensitivity among photoreceptors, exceeding those found in purely diurnal or nocturnal species. Both electrophysiology and microscopic analysis of retinal structure suggest two retinal subsystems: the largest peripheral photoreceptors provide vision in dim light and the smaller peripheral and central photoreceptors function primarily in sunlight, with light-dependent pigment screening further contributing to adaptation in this system by dynamically recruiting photoreceptors with varying sensitivity into the operational pool.
Simón, María Victoria; Agnolazza, Daniela L.; German, Olga Lorena; Garelli, Andrés; Politi, Luis E.; Agbaga, Martin-Paul; Anderson, Robert E.; Rotstein, Nora P.
Oxidative stress is involved in activating photoreceptor death in several retinal degenerations. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid in the retina, protects cultured retina photoreceptors from apoptosis induced by oxidative stress and promotes photoreceptor differentiation. Here we investigated whether eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a metabolic precursor to DHA, had similar effects and whether retinal neurons could metabolize EPA to DHA. Adding EPA to rat retina neuronal cultures increased opsin expression and protected photoreceptors from apoptosis induced by the oxidants paraquat (PQ) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Palmitic, oleic, and arachidonic acids had no protective effect, showing the specificity for DHA. We found that EPA supplementation significantly increased DHA percentage in retinal neurons, but not EPA percentage. Photoreceptors and glial cells expressed Δ6 desaturase (FADS2), which introduces the last double bond in DHA biosynthetic pathway. Pre-treatment of neuronal cultures with CP-24879 hydrochloride, a Δ5/Δ6 desaturase inhibitor, prevented EPA-induced increase in DHA percentage and completely blocked EPA protection and its effect on photoreceptor differentiation. These results suggest that EPA promoted photoreceptor differentiation and rescued photoreceptors from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis through its elongation and desaturation to DHA. Our data show, for the first time, that isolated retinal neurons can synthesize DHA in culture. PMID:26662863
Dau, An; Friederich, Uwe; Dongre, Sidhartha; Li, Xiaofeng; Bollepalli, Murali K; Hardie, Roger C; Juusola, Mikko
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 hdc (JK910) mutant, which lacks the neurotransmitter histamine and therefore cannot transmit information to interneurons. Recordings show that hdc (JK910) 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 hdc (JK910) 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 hdc (JK910) R1-R6s. This tonic excitation depolarized the photoreceptors to artificially high potentials, reducing their operational range. Second, rescuing histamine input to interneurons in hdc (JK910) 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.
Scoles, Drew; Flatter, John A.; Cooper, Robert F.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Robison, Scott; Neitz, Maureen; Weinberg, David V.; Pennesi, Mark E.; Han, Dennis P.; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph
Purpose To compare images of photoreceptor layer disruptions obtained with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) in a variety of pathologic states. Methods Five subjects with photoreceptor ellipsoid zone disruption as per OCT and clinical diagnoses of closed-globe blunt ocular trauma (cg-BOT; n = 2), macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel; n = 1), blue cone monochromacy (BCM; n = 1) or cone-rod dystrophy (CRD; n = 1) were included. Images were acquired within and around photoreceptor lesions using spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT), confocal AOSLO and split-detector AOSLO. Results There were substantial differences in the extent and appearance of the photoreceptor mosaic as revealed by confocal AOSLO, split-detector AOSLO and SD-OCT en face view of the ellipsoid zone (EZ). Conclusions Clinically available SD-OCT, viewed en face or as B-scan, may lead to misinterpretation of photoreceptor anatomy in a variety of diseases and injuries. This was demonstrated using split-detector AOSLO to reveal substantial populations of photoreceptors in areas of no, low, or ambiguous EZ reflectivity with en face OCT and confocal AOSLO. While it is unclear if these photoreceptors are functional, their presence offers hope for therapeutic strategies aimed at preserving or restoring photoreceptor function. PMID:26166796
Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman
The common backswimmer, Notonecta glauca, uses vision by day and night for functions such as underwater prey animal capture and flight in search of new habitats. Although previous studies have identified some of the physiological mechanisms facilitating such flexibility in the animal's vision, neither the biophysics of Notonecta photoreceptors nor possible cellular adaptations are known. Here, we studied Notonecta photoreceptors using patch-clamp and intracellular recording methods. Photoreceptor size (approximated by capacitance) was positively correlated with absolute sensitivity and acceptance angles. Information rate measurements indicated that large and more sensitive photoreceptors performed better than small ones. Our results suggest that backswimmers are adapted for vision in both dim and well-illuminated environments by having open-rhabdom eyes with large intrinsic variation in absolute sensitivity among photoreceptors, exceeding those found in purely diurnal or nocturnal species. Both electrophysiology and microscopic analysis of retinal structure suggest two retinal subsystems: the largest peripheral photoreceptors provide vision in dim light and the smaller peripheral and central photoreceptors function primarily in sunlight, with light-dependent pigment screening further contributing to adaptation in this system by dynamically recruiting photoreceptors with varying sensitivity into the operational pool. PMID:25274359
Blackwell, K T
In Hermissenda crassicornis, the memory of light associated with turbulence is stored as changes in intrinsic and synaptic currents in both type A and type B photoreceptors. These photoreceptor types exhibit qualitatively different responses to light and current injection, and these differences shape the spatiotemporal firing patterns that control behavior. Thus the objective of the study was to identify the mechanisms underlying these differences. The approach was to develop a type B model that reproduced characteristics of type B photoreceptors recorded in vitro, and then to create a type A model by modifying a select number of ionic currents. Comparison of type A models with characteristics of type A photoreceptors recorded in vitro revealed that type A and type B photoreceptors have five main differences, three that have been characterized experimentally and two that constitute hypotheses to be tested with experiments in the future. The three differences between type A and type B photoreceptors previously characterized include the inward rectifier current, the fast sodium current, and conductance of calcium-dependent and transient potassium channels. Two additional changes were required to produce a type A photoreceptor model. The very fast firing frequency observed during the first second after light onset required a faster time constant of activation of the delayed rectifier. The fast spike adaptation required a fast, noninactivating calcium-dependent potassium current. Because these differences between type A and type B photoreceptors have not been confirmed in comparative experiments, they constitute hypotheses to be tested with future experiments.
Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars
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. We suggest that the
Silverman, M S; Hughes, S E
In conclusion, we have shown that photoreceptors can be transplanted to retina in which the host's photoreceptors are lost by environmental (constant light) or inherited deficits. Furthermore transplanted photoreceptor cells maintain basic characteristics of normal photoreceptor cells by producing opsin and maintaining an intercellular organization and apposition to the host retina that is similar to that seen in the normal outer nuclear layer. To accomplish this we have devised a method to isolate the intact photoreceptor layer. This is significant because it will be necessary to maintain tight matrix organization if coherent vision is to be restored to the retina compromised by the loss of photoreceptors. We have further developed a surgical approach which minimizes trauma to the eye and allows controlled positioning of sheets of transplanted photoreceptors to their homotopic location within the eye. In addition these methods for transplantation and isolation of photoreceptors could be utilized to prepare and transplant other retinal layers so that selected populations of retinal cells can be used in other neurobiological investigations. Photoreceptors can be transplanted when developing or when mature. Not only can mature rat photoreceptors can be transplanted, but we have shown that mature photoreceptors from human donors can be transplanted as well. This is significantly different from neurons which must be immature in order to be transplanted. At present the reason for this difference is not known but has obvious importance for retinal and neural transplantation research in general. Finally, we have shown that transplanted photoreceptors activate the host's dystrophic retina in a light dependent manner that closely resembles the activation pattern seen in normal retina. This finding taken together with our results showing that human photoreceptors can be transplanted presents the possibility that some forms of human blindness might eventually be ameliorated
Tummala, Padmaja; Mali, Raghuveer S.; Guzman, Eduardo; Zhang, Xiao
Purpose During retinal development, post-mitotic neural progenitor cells must activate thousands of genes to complete synaptogenesis and terminal maturation. While many of these genes are known, others remain beyond the sensitivity of expression microarray analysis. Some of these elusive gene activation events can be detected by mapping changes in RNA polymerase-II (Pol-II) association around transcription start sites. Methods High-resolution (35 bp) chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-on-chip was used to map changes in Pol-II binding surrounding 26,000 gene transcription start sites during photoreceptor maturation of the mouse neural retina, comparing postnatal age 25 (P25) to P2. Coverage was 10–12 kb per transcription start site, including 2.5 kb downstream. Pol-II-active regions were mapped to the mouse genomic DNA sequence by using computational methods (Tiling Analysis Software-TAS program), and the ratio of maximum Pol-II binding (P25/P2) was calculated for each gene. A validation set of 36 genes (3%), representing a full range of Pol-II signal ratios (P25/P2), were examined with quantitative ChIP assays for transcriptionally active Pol-II. Gene expression assays were also performed for 19 genes of the validation set, again on independent samples. FLT-3 Interacting Zinc-finger-1 (FIZ1), a zinc-finger protein that associates with active promoter complexes of photoreceptor-specific genes, provided an additional ChIP marker to highlight genes activated in the mature neural retina. To demonstrate the use of ChIP-on-chip predictions to find novel gene activation events, four additional genes were selected for quantitative PCR analysis (qRT–PCR analysis); these four genes have human homologs located in unidentified retinal disease regions: Solute carrier family 25 member 33 (Slc25a33), Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 (Lpcat1), Coiled-coil domain-containing 126 (Ccdc126), and ADP-ribosylation factor-like 4D (Arl4d). Results ChIP-on-chip Pol-II peak
Yu, Miao; Liu, Yu; Li, Jing; Natale, Brianna N.; Cao, Shuqin; Wang, Dongliang; Amack, Jeffrey D.
ABSTRACT Mutations in the extracellular matrix protein eyes shut homolog (EYS) cause photoreceptor degeneration in patients with retinitis pigmentosa 25 (RP25). Functions of EYS remain poorly understood, due in part to the lack of an EYS gene in mouse. We investigated the localization of vertebrate EYS proteins and engineered loss-of-function alleles in zebrafish. Immunostaining indicated that EYS localized near the connecting cilium/transition zone in photoreceptors. EYS also strongly localized to the cone outer segments and weakly to the rod outer segments and cone terminals in primate retinas. Analysis of mutant EYS zebrafish revealed disruption of the ciliary pocket in cone photoreceptors, indicating that EYS is required for maintaining the integrity of the ciliary pocket lumen. Mutant zebrafish exhibited progressive loss of cone and rod photoreceptors. Our results indicate that EYS protein localization is species-dependent and that EYS is required for maintaining ciliary pocket morphology and survival of photoreceptors in zebrafish. PMID:27737822
Peichl, L; Künzle, H; Vogel, P
The retinae of insectivores have been rarely studied, and their photoreceptor arrangements and expression patterns of visual pigments are largely unknown. We have determined the presence and distribution of cones in three species of shrews (common shrew Sorex araneus, greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, dark forest shrew Crocidura poensis; Soricidae) and in the lesser hedgehog tenrec Echinops telfairi (Tenrecidae). Special cone types were identified and quantified in flattened whole retinae by antisera/antibodies recognizing the middle-to-long-wavelength-sensitive (M/L-)cone opsin and the short-wavelength-sensitive (S-)cone opsin, respectively. A combination of immunocytochemistry with conventional histology was used to assess rod densities and cone/rod ratios. In all four species the rods dominate at densities of about 230,000-260,000/mm2. M/L- and S-cones are present, comprising between 2% of the photoreceptors in the nocturnal Echinops telfairi and 13% in Sorex araneus that has equal diurnal and nocturnal activity phases. This suggests dichromatic color vision like in many other mammals. A striking feature in all four species are dramatically higher S-cone proportions in ventral than in dorsal retina (0.5% vs. 2.5-12% in Sorex, 5-15% vs. 30-45% in Crocidura poensis, 3-12% vs. 20-50% in Crocidura russula, 10-30% vs. 40-70% in Echinops). The functional and comparative aspects of these structural findings are discussed.
Wilby, David; Roberts, Nicholas W
Oil droplets are spherical organelles found in the cone photoreceptors of vertebrates. They are generally assumed to focus incident light into the outer segment, and thereby improve light catch because of the droplets' spherical lens-like shape. However, using full-wave optical simulations of physiologically realistic cone photoreceptors from birds, frogs and turtles we find that pigmented oil droplets actually drastically reduce the transmission of light into the outer segment integrated across the full visible wavelength range of each species. Only transparent oil droplets improve light catch into the outer segments, and any enhancement is critically dependent on the refractive index, diameter of the oil droplet, and diameter and length of the outer segment. Furthermore, oil droplets are not the only optical elements found in cone inner segments. The ellipsoid, a dense aggregation of mitochondria situated immediately prior to the oil droplet, mitigates the loss of light at oil droplet surface. We describe a framework for integrating these optical phenomena into simple models of receptor sensitivity and the relevance of these observations to evolutionary appearance and loss of oil droplets is discussed.
Breite, Sally; Bahar, Sonya; Neiman, Alexander; Moss, Frank
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.
Bahar, Sonya; Moss, Frank
The crayfish possesses two light-sensitive neurons in its abdominal 6th ganglion ("caudal photoreceptors", or CPRs). The CPRs are also mechanosensory interneurons. Pei et al. (1996) showed that light enhances the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of weak, periodic hydrodynamic stimuli. This has been interpreted as a stochastic resonance effect, in which added light increases the noise intensity in the input signal to the photoreceptor. Here, we examine this effect from the vantage point of stochastic phase synchronization. Various locking regions (Arnol'd tongues) are observed as the stimulus frequency is varied. The 1:1 synchronization index increases as the SNR of the periodic drive. We also observe a novel "second harmonic effect", in which the SNR of the second higher harmonic of the hyndrodynamic input is increased by light. This effect correlates with an increase in the 1:2 synchronization index, and may be explained, effectively rectifying the input signal. We will discuss an interpretation of this effect as a full-wave rectification of the input signal.
Fernandes, António M.; Fero, Kandice; Arrenberg, Aristides B.; Bergeron, Sadie A.; Driever, Wolfgang; Burgess, Harold A.
Summary Most vertebrates process visual information using elaborately structured photosensory tissues including the eyes and pineal. However there is strong evidence that other tissues can detect and respond to photic stimuli [1, 2, 3]. Many reports suggest that photosensitive elements exist within the brain itself and influence physiology and behavior, however a long standing puzzle has been the identity of the neurons and photoreceptor molecules involved [4, 5]. We tested whether light cues influence behavior in zebrafish larvae through deep brain photosensors. We found that larvae lacking eyes and pineal perform a simple light-seeking behavior triggered by loss of illumination (`dark photokinesis'). Neuroanatomical considerations prompted us to test orthopedia (otpa) deficient fish which showed a profound reduction in dark photokinesis. Using targeted genetic ablations, we narrowed the photosensitive region to neurons in the preoptic area. Neurons in this region express several photoreceptive molecules, but expression of the melanopsin opn4a is selectively lost in otpa mutants, suggesting that opn4a mediates dark photokinesis. Our findings shed light on the identity and function of deep brain photoreceptors and suggest that otpa specifies an ancient population of sensory neurons that mediate behavioral responses to light. PMID:23000151
Xie, Bin-Bin; Zhang, Xiang-Mei; Hashimoto, Takao; Tien, Amy H; Chen, Andrew; Ge, Jian; Yang, Xian-Jie
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.
Davies, A; Gowen, B E; Krebs, A M; Schertler, G F; Saibil, H R
Invertebrate rhodopsins activate a G-protein signalling pathway in microvillar photoreceptors. In contrast to the transducin-cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase pathway found in vertebrate rods and cones, visual transduction in cephalopod (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) invertebrates is signalled via Gq and phospholipase C. Squid rhodopsin contains the conserved residues of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family, but has only 35% identity with mammalian rhodopsins. Unlike vertebrate rhodopsins, cephalopod rhodopsin is arranged in an ordered lattice in the photoreceptor membranes. This organization confers sensitivity to the plane of polarized light and also provides the optimal orientation of the linear retinal chromophores in the cylindrical microvillar membranes for light capture. Two-dimensional crystals of squid rhodopsin show a rectilinear arrangement that is likely to be related to the alignment of rhodopsins in vivo.Here, we present a three-dimensional structure of squid rhodopsin determined by cryo-electron microscopy of two-dimensional crystals. Docking the atomic structure of bovine rhodopsin into the squid density map shows that the helix packing and extracellular plug structure are conserved. In addition, there are two novel structural features revealed by our map. The linear lattice contact appears to be made by the transverse C-terminal helix lying on the cytoplasmic surface of the membrane. Also at the cytoplasmic surface, additional density may correspond to a helix 5-6 loop insertion found in most GPCRs relative to vertebrate rhodopsins. The similarity supports the conservation in structure of rhodopsins (and other G-protein-coupled receptors) from phylogenetically distant organisms. The map provides the first indication of the structural basis for rhodopsin alignment in the microvillar membrane.
Simón, María Victoria; Agnolazza, Daniela L; German, Olga Lorena; Garelli, Andrés; Politi, Luis E; Agbaga, Martin-Paul; Anderson, Robert E; Rotstein, Nora P
Oxidative stress is involved in activating photoreceptor death in several retinal degenerations. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid in the retina, protects cultured retina photoreceptors from apoptosis induced by oxidative stress and promotes photoreceptor differentiation. Here, we investigated whether eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a metabolic precursor to DHA, had similar effects and whether retinal neurons could metabolize EPA to DHA. Adding EPA to rat retina neuronal cultures increased opsin expression and protected photoreceptors from apoptosis induced by the oxidants paraquat and hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ). Palmitic, oleic, and arachidonic acids had no protective effect, showing the specificity for DHA. We found that EPA supplementation significantly increased DHA percentage in retinal neurons, but not EPA percentage. Photoreceptors and glial cells expressed Δ6 desaturase (FADS2), which introduces the last double bond in DHA biosynthetic pathway. Pre-treatment of neuronal cultures with CP-24879 hydrochloride, a Δ5/Δ6 desaturase inhibitor, prevented EPA-induced increase in DHA percentage and completely blocked EPA protection and its effect on photoreceptor differentiation. These results suggest that EPA promoted photoreceptor differentiation and rescued photoreceptors from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis through its elongation and desaturation to DHA. Our data show, for the first time, that isolated retinal neurons can synthesize DHA in culture. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid in retina photoreceptors, and its precursor, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have multiple beneficial effects. Here, we show that retina neurons in vitro express the desaturase FADS2 and can synthesize DHA from EPA. Moreover, addition of EPA to these cultures protects photoreceptors from oxidative stress and promotes their differentiation through its metabolization to DHA.
Wang, Xu; Zhao, Lian; Zhang, Yikui; Ma, Wenxin; Gonzalez, Shaimar R; Fan, Jianguo; Kretschmer, Friedrich; Badea, Tudor C; Qian, Hao-Hua; Wong, Wai T
Photoreceptor degeneration is a cause of irreversible vision loss in incurable blinding retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and atrophic age-related macular degeneration. We found in two separate mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration that tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator and a drug previously linked with retinal toxicity, paradoxically provided potent neuroprotective effects. In a light-induced degeneration model, tamoxifen prevented onset of photoreceptor apoptosis and atrophy and maintained near-normal levels of electroretinographic responses. Rescue effects were correlated with decreased microglial activation and inflammatory cytokine production in the retina in vivo and a reduction of microglia-mediated toxicity to photoreceptors in vitro, indicating a microglia-mediated mechanism of rescue. Tamoxifen also rescued degeneration in a genetic (Pde6b(rd10)) model of RP, significantly improving retinal structure, electrophysiological responses, and visual behavior. These prominent neuroprotective effects warrant the consideration of tamoxifen as a drug suitable for being repurposed to treat photoreceptor degenerative disease.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Photoreceptor degeneration is a cause of irreversible blindness in a number of retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and atrophic age-related macular degeneration. Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator approved for the treatment of breast cancer and previously linked to a low incidence of retinal toxicity, was unexpectedly found to exert marked protective effects against photoreceptor degeneration. Structural and functional protective effects were found for an acute model of light-induced photoreceptor injury and for a genetic model for RP. The mechanism of protection involved the modulation of microglial activation and the production of inflammatory cytokines, highlighting the role of inflammatory mechanisms in photoreceptor degeneration. Tamoxifen may be
Abstract Regeneration involves precise control of cell fate to produce an appropriate complement of tissues formed within a blastema. Several chromatin‐modifying complexes have been identified as required for regeneration in planarians, but it is unclear whether this class of molecules uniformly promotes the production of differentiated cells. We identify a function for p66, encoding a DNA‐binding protein component of the NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) complex, as well as the chromodomain helicase chd4, in suppressing production of photoreceptor neurons (PRNs) in planarians. This suppressive effect appeared restricted to PRNs because p66 inhibition did not influence numbers of eye pigment cup cells (PCCs) and decreased numbers of brain neurons and epidermal progenitors. PRNs from p66(RNAi) animals differentiated with some abnormalities but nonetheless produced arrestin+ projections to the brain. p66 inhibition produced excess ovo+otxA+ PRN progenitors without affecting numbers of ovo+otxA− PCC progenitors, and ovo and otxA were each required for the p66(RNAi) excess PRN phenotype. Together these results suggest that p66 acts through the NuRD complex to suppress PRN production by limiting expression of lineage‐specific transcription factors. PMID:27606067
Bonomi, Hernán R; Toum, Laila; Sycz, Gabriela; Sieira, Rodrigo; Toscani, Andrés M; Gudesblat, Gustavo E; Leskow, Federico C; Goldbaum, Fernando A; Vojnov, Adrián A; Malamud, Florencia
Phytochromes constitute a major photoreceptor family found in plants, algae, fungi, and prokaryotes, including pathogens. Here, we report that Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), the causal agent of black rot disease which affects cruciferous crops worldwide, codes for a functional bacteriophytochrome (XccBphP). XccBphP possesses an N-terminal PAS2-GAF-PHY photosensory domain triad and a C-terminal PAS9 domain as its output module. Our results show that illumination of Xcc, prior to plant infection, attenuates its virulence in an XccBphP-dependent manner. Moreover, in response to light, XccBphP downregulates xanthan exopolysaccharide production and biofilm formation, two known Xcc virulence factors. Furthermore, the XccbphP null mutant shows enhanced virulence, similar to that of dark-adapted Xcc cultures. Stomatal aperture regulation and callose deposition, both well-established plant defense mechanisms against bacterial pathogens, are overridden by the XccbphP strain. Additionally, an RNA-Seq analysis reveals that far-red light or XccBphP overexpression produces genomewide transcriptional changes, including the inhibition of several Xcc virulence systems. Our findings indicate that Xcc senses light through XccBphP, eliciting bacterial virulence attenuation via downregulation of bacterial virulence factors. The capacity of XccBphP to respond to light both in vitro and in vivo was abolished by a mutation on the conserved Cys13 residue. These results provide evidence for a novel bacteriophytochrome function affecting an infectious process.
Gutternigg, Martin; Rendić, Dubravko; Voglauer, Regina; Iskratsch, Thomas; Wilson, Iain B. H.
Some thirty years ago, work on mammalian tissues suggested the presence of two cytosolic hexosaminidases in mammalian cells; one of these has been more recently characterised in recombinant form and has an important role in cellular function due to its ability to cleave β-N-acetylglucosamine residues from a variety of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. However, the molecular nature of the second cytosolic hexosaminidase, named hexosaminidase D, has remained obscure. In the present study, we molecularly characterise for the first time the human and murine recombinant forms of enzymes, encoded by HEXDC genes, which appear to correspond to hexosaminidase D in terms of substrate specificity, pH dependency and temperature stability; furthermore, a myc-tagged form of this novel hexosaminidase displays a nucleocytoplasmic localisation. Transcripts of the corresponding gene are expressed in a number of murine tissues. Based on its sequence, this enzyme represents, along with the lysosomal hexosaminidase subunits encoded by the HEXA and HEXB genes, the third class 20 glycosidase to be found from mammalian sources. PMID:19040401
Marth, Jamey D; Grewal, Prabhjit K
Glycosylation produces a diverse and abundant repertoire of glycans, which are collectively known as the glycome. Glycans are one of the four fundamental macromolecular components of all cells, and are highly regulated in the immune system. Their diversity reflects their multiple biological functions that encompass ligands for proteinaceous receptors known as lectins. Since the discovery that selectins and their glycan ligands are important for the regulation of leukocyte trafficking, it has been shown that additional features of the vertebrate immune system are also controlled by endogenous cellular glycosylation. This Review focuses on the emerging immunological roles of the mammalian glycome.
Mazzeo, Aurora; Cazzoni, Daniele; Beltramo, Elena; Hernández, Cristina; Porta, Massimo; Simó, Rafael; Valverde, Ángela M.
Purpose Many cellular and molecular studies in experimental animals and early retinal function tests in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) have shown that retinal neurodegeneration is an early event in the pathogenesis of the disease. Somatostatin (SST) is one of the most important neuroprotective factors synthesized by the retina: SST levels are decreased in parallel to retinal neurodegeneration in early stages of DR. In this study, we characterized the induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in a 661W photoreceptor-like cell line cultured under high glucose (HG) conditions and the effect of SST. Methods A 661W photoreceptor-like cell line and retinal explants from 10-week-old male C57BL/6 mice were cultured under HG conditions and treated with SST. Results Hyperglycemia significantly reduced the cellular viability by increasing the percentage of apoptotic cells, and this effect was ameliorated by SST (p˂0.05). Activation of caspase-8 by hyperglycemia was found in the 661W cells and retinal explants and decreased in the presence of SST (p˂0.05). Moreover, we detected activation of calpain-2 associated with hyperglycemia-induced cell death, as well as increased protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) protein levels; both had a pattern of cleavage that was absent in the presence of SST (p˂0.05). Treatment of the 661W cells and retinal explants with SST for 24 h increased the phosphorylation of type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR; tyrosine 1165/1166) and protein kinase B (Akt; serine 473), suggesting this survival signaling is activated in the neuroretina by SST (p˂0.05). Conclusions This study has provided new mechanistic insights first into the involvement of calpain-2 and PTP1B in the loss of cell survival and increased caspase-8-dependent apoptosis induced by hyperglycemia in photoreceptor cells and second, on the protective effect of SST against apoptosis by the enhancement of IGF-IR-mediated Akt phosphorylation. PMID:28050125
Gage, M J
Understanding the adaptive significance of sperm form and function has been a challenge to biologists because sperm are highly specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. A fruitful course of investigation has been to use the comparative approach. This comparative study attempts to address some fundamental questions of the evolution of mammalian sperm morphometry. Data on sperm morphometry for 445 mammalian species were collated from published sources. I use contemporary phylogenetic analysis to control for the inherent non-independence of species and explore relationships between the morphometric dimensions of the three essential spermatozoal components: head, mid-piece and flagellum. Energy for flagellar action is metabolized by the mitochondrial-dense mid-piece and these combine to propel the sperm head, carrying the male haplotype, to the ovum. I therefore search for evolutionary associations between sperm morphometry and body mass, karyotype and the duration of oestrus. In contrast to previous findings, there is no inverse correlation between body weight and sperm length. Sperm mid-piece and flagellum lengths are positively associated with both head length and area, and the slopes of these relationships are discussed. Flagellum length is positively associated with mid-piece length but, in contrast to previous research and after phylogenetic control, I find no relationship between flagellum length and the volume of the mitochondrial sheath. Sperm head dimensions are not related to either genome mass or chromosome number, and there are no relationships between sperm morphometry and the duration of oestrus. PMID:9474794
Kataoka, K; Matsumoto, H; Kaneko, H; Notomi, S; Takeuchi, K; Sweigard, J H; Atik, A; Murakami, Y; Connor, K M; Terasaki, H; Miller, J W; Vavvas, D G
Detachment of photoreceptors from the retinal pigment epithelium is seen in various retinal disorders, resulting in photoreceptor death and subsequent vision loss. Cell death results in the release of endogenous molecules that activate molecular platforms containing caspase-1, termed inflammasomes. Inflammasome activation in retinal diseases has been reported in some cases to be protective and in others to be detrimental, causing neuronal cell death. Moreover, the cellular source of inflammasomes in retinal disorders is not clear. Here, we demonstrate that patients with photoreceptor injury by retinal detachment (RD) have increased levels of cleaved IL-1β, an end product of inflammasome activation. In an animal model of RD, photoreceptor cell death led to activation of endogenous inflammasomes, and this activation was diminished by Rip3 deletion. The major source of Il1b expression was found to be infiltrating macrophages in the subretinal space, rather than dying photoreceptors. Inflammasome inhibition attenuated photoreceptor death after RD. Our data implicate the infiltrating macrophages as a source of damaging inflammasomes after photoreceptor detachment in a RIP3-dependent manner and suggest a novel therapeutic target for treatment of retinal diseases. PMID:25906154
Xu, Ying; An, Futing; Borycz, Jolanta A.; Borycz, Janusz; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.; Wang, Tao
Histamine is an important chemical messenger that regulates multiple physiological processes in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Even so, how glial cells and neurons recycle histamine remains to be elucidated. Drosophila photoreceptor neurons use histamine as a neurotransmitter, and the released histamine is recycled through neighboring glia, where it is conjugated to β-alanine to form carcinine. However, how carcinine is then returned to the photoreceptor remains unclear. In an mRNA-seq screen for photoreceptor cell-enriched transporters, we identified CG9317, an SLC22 transporter family protein, and named it CarT (Carcinine Transporter). S2 cells that express CarT are able to take up carcinine in vitro. In the compound eye, CarT is exclusively localized to photoreceptor terminals. Null mutations of cart alter the content of histamine and its metabolites. Moreover, null cart mutants are defective in photoreceptor synaptic transmission and lack phototaxis. These findings reveal that CarT is required for histamine recycling at histaminergic photoreceptors and provide evidence for a CarT-dependent neurotransmitter trafficking pathway between glial cells and photoreceptor terminals. PMID:26713872
Straiker, Alex; Sullivan, Jane M
Cannabinoid CB1 receptors have been detected in retinas of numerous species, with prominent labeling in photoreceptor terminals of the chick and monkey. CB1 labeling is well-conserved across species, suggesting that CB1 receptors might also be present in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. Synaptic transmission in vertebrate photoreceptors is mediated by L-type calcium currents-currents that are modulated by CB1 receptors in bipolar cells of the tiger salamander. Presence of CB1 receptors in photoreceptor terminals would therefore be consistent with presynaptic modulation of synaptic transmission, a role seen for cannabinoids in other parts of the brain. Here we report immunohistochemical and electrophysiological evidence for the presence of functional CB1 receptors in rod and cone photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55212-2 enhances calcium currents of rod photoreceptors by 39% but decreases calcium currents of large single cones by 50%. In addition, WIN 55212-2 suppresses potassium currents of rods and large single cones by 44 and 48%, respectively. Thus functional CB1 receptors, present in the terminals of rod and cone photoreceptors, differentially modulate calcium and potassium currents in rods and large single cones. CB1 receptors are therefore well positioned to modulate neurotransmitter release at the first synapse of the visual system.
Xu, Ying; An, Futing; Borycz, Jolanta A; Borycz, Janusz; Meinertzhagen, Ian A; Wang, Tao
Histamine is an important chemical messenger that regulates multiple physiological processes in both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Even so, how glial cells and neurons recycle histamine remains to be elucidated. Drosophila photoreceptor neurons use histamine as a neurotransmitter, and the released histamine is recycled through neighboring glia, where it is conjugated to β-alanine to form carcinine. However, how carcinine is then returned to the photoreceptor remains unclear. In an mRNA-seq screen for photoreceptor cell-enriched transporters, we identified CG9317, an SLC22 transporter family protein, and named it CarT (Carcinine Transporter). S2 cells that express CarT are able to take up carcinine in vitro. In the compound eye, CarT is exclusively localized to photoreceptor terminals. Null mutations of cart alter the content of histamine and its metabolites. Moreover, null cart mutants are defective in photoreceptor synaptic transmission and lack phototaxis. These findings reveal that CarT is required for histamine recycling at histaminergic photoreceptors and provide evidence for a CarT-dependent neurotransmitter trafficking pathway between glial cells and photoreceptor terminals.
Thomas, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Craig M.; Luo, Xixia; Hyde, David R.; Thummel, Ryan
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. PMID:22425727
Boucherie, Cédric; Mukherjee, Sayandip; Henckaerts, Els; Thrasher, Adrian J; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R
Retinitis pigmentosa, other inherited retinal diseases, and age-related macular degeneration lead to untreatable blindness because of the loss of photoreceptors. We have recently shown that transplantation of mouse photoreceptors can result in improved vision. It is therefore timely to develop protocols for efficient derivation of photoreceptors from human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells. Current methods for photoreceptor derivation from hPS cells require long periods of culture and are rather inefficient. Here, we report that formation of a transient self-organized neuroepithelium from human embryonic stem cells cultured together with extracellular matrix is sufficient to induce a rapid conversion into retinal progenitors in 5 days. These retinal progenitors have the ability to differentiate very efficiently into Crx(+) photoreceptor precursors after only 10 days and subsequently acquire rod photoreceptor identity within 4 weeks. Directed differentiation into photoreceptors using this protocol is also possible with human-induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells, facilitating the use of patient-specific hiPS cell lines for regenerative medicine and disease modeling.
Jacobson, Samuel G; Aleman, Tomas S; Cideciyan, Artur V; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Windsor, Elizabeth A M; Traboulsi, Elias I; Heon, Elise; Pittler, Steven J; Milam, Ann H; Maguire, Albert M; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Stone, Edwin M; Bennett, Jean
Mutations in RPE65, a gene essential to normal operation of the visual (retinoid) cycle, cause the childhood blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Retinal gene therapy restores vision to blind canine and murine models of LCA. Gene therapy in blind humans with LCA from RPE65 mutations may also have potential for success but only if the retinal photoreceptor layer is intact, as in the early-disease stage-treated animals. Here, we use high-resolution in vivo microscopy to quantify photoreceptor layer thickness in the human disease to define the relationship of retinal structure to vision and determine the potential for gene therapy success. The normally cone photoreceptor-rich central retina and rod-rich regions were studied. Despite severely reduced cone vision, many RPE65-mutant retinas had near-normal central microstructure. Absent rod vision was associated with a detectable but thinned photoreceptor layer. We asked whether abnormally thinned RPE65-mutant retina with photoreceptor loss would respond to treatment. Gene therapy in Rpe65(-/-) mice at advanced-disease stages, a more faithful mimic of the humans we studied, showed success but only in animals with better-preserved photoreceptor structure. The results indicate that identifying and then targeting retinal locations with retained photoreceptors will be a prerequisite for successful gene therapy in humans with RPE65 mutations and in other retinal degenerative disorders now moving from proof-of-concept studies toward clinical trials.
Rice, Dennis S.; Calandria, Jorgelina M.; Gordon, William C.; Jun, Bokkyoo; Zhou, Yongdong; Gelfman, Claire M.; Li, Songhua; Jin, Minghao; Knott, Eric J.; Chang, Bo; Abuin, Alex; Issa, Tawfik; Potter, David; Platt, Kenneth A.; Bazan, Nicolas G.
The identification of pathways necessary for photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) function is critical to uncover therapies for blindness. Here we report the discovery of adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1) as a regulator of these cells’ functions. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is avidly retained in photoreceptors, while mechanisms controlling DHA uptake and retention are unknown. Thus, we demonstrate that AdipoR1 ablation results in DHA reduction. In situ hybridization reveals photoreceptor and RPE cell AdipoR1 expression, blunted in AdipoR1−/− mice. We also find decreased photoreceptor-specific phosphatidylcholine containing very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and severely attenuated electroretinograms. These changes precede progressive photoreceptor degeneration in AdipoR1−/− mice. RPE-rich eyecup cultures from AdipoR1−/− reveal impaired DHA uptake. AdipoR1 overexpression in RPE cells enhances DHA uptake, whereas AdipoR1 silencing has the opposite effect. These results establish AdipoR1 as a regulatory switch of DHA uptake, retention, conservation and elongation in photoreceptors and RPE, thus preserving photoreceptor cell integrity. PMID:25736573
Barnea-Cramer, Alona O.; Wang, Wei; Lu, Shi-Jiang; Singh, Mandeep S.; Luo, Chenmei; Huo, Hongguang; McClements, Michelle E.; Barnard, Alun R.; MacLaren, Robert E.; Lanza, Robert
Photoreceptor degeneration due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a primary cause of inherited retinal blindness. Photoreceptor cell-replacement may hold the potential for repair in a completely degenerate retina by reinstating light sensitive cells to form connections that relay information to downstream retinal layers. This study assessed the therapeutic potential of photoreceptor progenitors derived from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs) using a protocol that is suitable for future clinical trials. ESCs and iPSCs were cultured in four specific stages under defined conditions, resulting in generation of a near-homogeneous population of photoreceptor-like progenitors. Following transplantation into mice with end-stage retinal degeneration, these cells differentiated into photoreceptors and formed a cell layer connected with host retinal neurons. Visual function was partially restored in treated animals, as evidenced by two visual behavioral tests. Furthermore, the magnitude of functional improvement was positively correlated with the number of engrafted cells. Similar efficacy was observed using either ESCs or iPSCs as source material. These data validate the potential of human pluripotent stem cells for photoreceptor replacement therapies aimed at photoreceptor regeneration in retinal disease. PMID:27405580
Sahaboglu, Ayse; Barth, Melanie; Secer, Enver; Amo, Eva M. del; Urtti, Arto; Arsenijevic, Yvan; Zrenner, Eberhart; Paquet-Durand, François
The enzyme poly-ADP-ribose-polymerase (PARP) mediates DNA-repair and rearrangements of the nuclear chromatin. Generally, PARP activity is thought to promote cell survival and in recent years a number of PARP inhibitors have been clinically developed for cancer treatment. Paradoxically, PARP activity is also connected to many diseases including the untreatable blinding disease Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), where PARP activity appears to drive the pathogenesis of photoreceptor loss. We tested the efficacy of three different PARP inhibitors to prevent photoreceptor loss in the rd1 mouse model for RP. In retinal explant cultures in vitro, olaparib had strong and long-lasting photoreceptor neuroprotective capacities. We demonstrated target engagement by showing that olaparib reduced photoreceptor accumulation of poly-ADP-ribosylated proteins. Remarkably, olaparib also reduced accumulation of cyclic-guanosine-monophosphate (cGMP), a characteristic marker for photoreceptor degeneration. Moreover, intravitreal injection of olaparib in rd1 animals diminished PARP activity and increased photoreceptor survival, confirming in vivo neuroprotection. This study affirms the role of PARP in inherited retinal degeneration and for the first time shows that a clinically approved PARP inhibitor can prevent photoreceptor degeneration in an RP model. The wealth of human clinical data available for olaparib highlights its strong potential for a rapid clinical translation into a novel RP treatment. PMID:28004814
Drexler, Wolfgang; Hermann, Boris; Unterhuber, Angelika; Sattmann, Harald; Wirtitsch, Matthias; Stur, Michael; Scholda, Christoph; Ergun, Erdem; Anger, Elisabeth; Ko, Tony H.; Schubert, Christian; Ahnelt, Peter K.; Fujimoto, James G.; Fercher, Adolf F.
In vivo ultrahigh resolution ophthalmic OCT has been performed in more than 300 eyes of 200 patients with several retinal pathologies, demonstrating unprecedented visualization of all major intraretinal layers, in particular the photoreceptor layer. Visualization as well as quantification of the inner and outer segment of the photoreceptor layer especially in the foveal region has been acvhieved. In normal subjects the photoreceptor layer thickness in the center of the fovea is about of 90 μm, approximately equally distributed to the inner and the outer photoreceptor segment. In the parafoveal region this thickness is reduced to ~50 μm (~30 μm for the inner and ~20 μm for the outer segment). This is in good agreement with well known increase of cone outer segments in the central foveal region. Photoreceptor layer impairment in different macular pathologies like macular hole, central serous chorioretinopathy, age related macular degeneration, foveomacular dystrophies, Stargardt dystrophy as well as retinitis pigmentosa has been investigated. Photoreceptor layer loss significantly correlated with visual acuity (R2 = 0.6, p < 0.001) and microperimetry findings for the first time in 22 eyes with Stargardt dystrophy. Visualization and quantification of photoreceptor inner and outer segment using ultrahigh resolution OCT has the potential to improve early ophthalmic diagnosis, contributes to a better understanding of pathogenesis of retinal diseases as well as might have impact in the development and monitoring of novel therapy approaches.
Pathak, Gopal P; Vrana, Justin D; Tucker, Chandra L
Over the past decades, there has been growing recognition that light can provide a powerful stimulus for biological interrogation. Light-actuated tools allow manipulation of molecular events with ultra-fine spatial and fast temporal resolution, as light can be rapidly delivered and focused with sub-micrometre precision within cells. While light-actuated chemicals such as photolabile 'caged' compounds have been in existence for decades, the use of genetically encoded natural photoreceptors for optical control of biological processes has recently emerged as a powerful new approach with several advantages over traditional methods. Here, we review recent advances using light to control basic cellular functions and discuss the engineering challenges that lie ahead for improving and expanding the ever-growing optogenetic toolkit.
Błaszczak, Zuzanna; Kreysing, Moritz; Guck, Jochen
The vertebrate retina is inverted with respect to its optical function, which requires light to pass through the entire tissue prior to detection. The last significant barrier for photons to overcome is the outer nuclear layer formed by photoreceptor cell (PRC) nuclei. Here we experimentally characterise the optical properties of PRC nuclei using bright-field defocusing microscopy to capture near-field intensity distributions behind individual nuclei. We find that some nuclei efficiently focus incident light confirming earlier predictions based on comparative studies of chromatin organisation in nocturnal and diurnal mammals. The emergence of light focusing during the development of mouse nuclei highlights the acquired nature of the observed lens-like behaviour. Optical characterisation of these nuclei is an important first step towards an improved understanding of how light transmission through the retina is influenced by its constituents.
Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Lu, Yiming; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng
Rod-dominated transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently observed in freshly isolated mouse and frog retinas. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography revealed that the TRP was predominantly elicited from the rod outer segment (OS). However, the biophysical mechanism of rod OS dynamics is still unknown. Mouse and frog retinal slices, which displayed a cross-section of retinal photoreceptors and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OSs. Time-lapse microscopy revealed stimulus-evoked conformational changes of rod OSs. In the center of the stimulated region, the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region, the rod OS swung toward the center region. Our experimental observation and theoretical analysis suggest that the TRP may reflect unbalanced rod disc-shape changes due to localized visible light stimulation.
Camacho, Erika T.; Radulescu, Anca; Wirkus, Stephen
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.
Eberle, Dominic; Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Grahl, Sandra; Ader, Marius
Vision impairment and blindness due to the loss of the light-sensing cells of the retina, i.e. photoreceptors, represents the main reason for disability in industrialized countries. Replacement of degenerated photoreceptors by cell transplantation represents a possible treatment option in future clinical applications. Indeed, recent preclinical studies demonstrated that immature photoreceptors, isolated from the neonatal mouse retina at postnatal day 4, have the potential to integrate into the adult mouse retina following subretinal transplantation. Donor cells generated a mature photoreceptor morphology including inner and outer segments, a round cell body located at the outer nuclear layer, and synaptic terminals in close proximity to endogenous bipolar cells. Indeed, recent reports demonstrated that donor photoreceptors functionally integrate into the neural circuitry of host mice. For a future clinical application of such cell replacement approach, purified suspensions of the cells of choice have to be generated and placed at the correct position for proper integration into the eye. For the enrichment of photoreceptor precursors, sorting should be based on specific cell surface antigens to avoid genetic reporter modification of donor cells. Here we show magnetic-associated cell sorting (MACS) - enrichment of transplantable rod photoreceptor precursors isolated from the neonatal retina of photoreceptor-specific reporter mice based on the cell surface marker CD73. Incubation with anti-CD73 antibodies followed by micro-bead conjugated secondary antibodies allowed the enrichment of rod photoreceptor precursors by MACS to approximately 90%. In comparison to flow cytometry, MACS has the advantage that it can be easier applied to GMP standards and that high amounts of cells can be sorted in relative short time periods. Injection of enriched cell suspensions into the subretinal space of adult wild-type mice resulted in a 3-fold higher integration rate compared to
Mussolino, C; della Corte, M; Rossi, S; Viola, F; Di Vicino, U; Marrocco, E; Neglia, S; Doria, M; Testa, F; Giovannoni, R; Crasta, M; Giunti, M; Villani, E; Lavitrano, M; Bacci, M L; Ratiglia, R; Simonelli, F; Auricchio, A; Surace, E M
Recent success in clinical trials supports the use of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy of retinal diseases caused by defects in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In contrast, evidence of the efficacy of AAV-mediated gene transfer to retinal photoreceptors, the major site of inherited retinal diseases, is less robust. In addition, although AAV-mediated RPE transduction appears efficient, independently of the serotype used and species treated, AAV-mediated photoreceptor gene transfer has not been systematically investigated thus so far in large animal models, which also may allow identifying relevant species-specific differences in AAV-mediated retinal transduction. In the present study, we used the porcine retina, which has a high cone/rod ratio. This feature allows to properly evaluate both cone and rod photoreceptors transduction and compare the transduction characteristics of AAV2/5 and 2/8, the two most efficient AAV vector serotypes for photoreceptor targeting. Here we show that AAV2/5 and 2/8 transduces both RPE and photoreceptors. AAV2/8 infects and transduces photoreceptor more efficiently than AAV2/5, similarly to what we have observed in the murine retina. The use of the photoreceptor-specific rhodopsin promoter restricts transgene expression to porcine rods and cones, and results in photoreceptor transduction levels similar to those obtained with the ubiquitous promoters tested. Finally, immunological, toxicological and biodistribution studies support the safety of AAV subretinal administration to the large porcine retina. The data presented here on AAV-mediated transduction of the cone-enriched porcine retina may affect the development of gene-based therapies for rare and common severe photoreceptor diseases. PMID:21412286
Ullrich-Lüter, Esther M; Dupont, Sam; Arboleda, Enrique; Hausen, Harald; Arnone, Maria Ina
Different sea urchin species show a vast variety of responses to variations in light intensity; however, despite this behavioral evidence for photosensitivity, light sensing in these animals has remained an enigma. Genome information of the recently sequenced purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) allowed us to address this question from a previously unexplored molecular perspective by localizing expression of the rhabdomeric opsin Sp-opsin4 and Sp-pax6, two genes essential for photoreceptor function and development, respectively. Using a specifically designed antibody against Sp-Opsin4 and in situ hybridization for both genes, we detected expression in two distinct groups of photoreceptor cells (PRCs) located in the animal's numerous tube feet. Specific reactivity of the Sp-Opsin4 antibody with sea star optic cushions, which regulate phototaxis, suggests a similar visual function in sea urchins. Ultrastructural characterization of the sea urchin PRCs revealed them to be of a microvillar receptor type. Our data suggest that echinoderms, in contrast to chordates, deploy a microvillar, r-opsin–expressing PRC type for vision, a feature that has been so far documented only in protostome animals. Surprisingly, sea urchin PRCs lack any associated screening pigment. Indeed, one of the tube foot PRC clusters may account for directional vision by being shaded through the opaque calcite skeleton. The PRC axons connect to the animal internal nervous system, suggesting an integrative function beyond local short circuits. Because juveniles display no phototaxis until skeleton completion, we suggest a model in which the entire sea urchin, deploying its skeleton as PRC screening device, functions as a huge compound eye. PMID:21536888
Korenyak, Darya A.; Shukolyukov, Sergei A.; Zueva, Lidia V.
Purpose In a series of works between 1972 and 1984, it was established that rhodopsin undergoes rotational and lateral Brownian motion in the plane of photoreceptor membrane. The concept of free movement of proteins of phototransduction cascade is an essential principle of the present scheme of vertebrate phototransduction. This has recently been challenged by findings that show that in certain conditions rhodopsin in the membrane may be dimeric and form extended areas of paracrystalline organization. Such organization seems incompatible with earlier data on free rhodopsin diffusion. Thus we decided to reinvestigate lateral diffusion of rhodopsin and products of its photolysis in photoreceptor membrane specifically looking for indications of possible oligomeric organization. Methods Diffusion exchange by rhodopsin and its photoproducts between bleached and unbleached halves of rod outer segment was traced using high-speed dichroic microspectrophotometer. Measurements were conducted on amphibian (frog, toad, and salamander) and gecko rods. Results We found that the curves that are supposed to reflect the process of diffusion equilibration of rhodopsin in nonuniformly bleached outer segment largely show production of long-lived bleaching intermediate, metarhodopsin III (Meta III). After experimental elimination of Meta III contribution, we observed rhodopsin equilibration time constant was threefold to tenfold longer than estimated previously. However, after proper correction for the geometry of rod discs, it translates into generally accepted value of diffusion constant of approximately 5×10−9 cm2 s−1. Yet, we found that there exists an immobile rhodopsin fraction whose size can vary from virtually zero to 100%, depending on poorly defined factors. Controls suggest that the formation of the immobile fraction is not due to fragmentation of rod outer segment discs but supposedly reflects oligomerization of rhodopsin. Conclusions Implications of the new findings
Stadler, Andreas M.; Knieps-Grünhagen, Esther; Bocola, Marco; Lohstroh, Wiebke; Zamponi, Michaela; Krauss, Ulrich
We used neutron-scattering experiments to probe the conformational dynamics of the light, oxygen, voltage (LOV) photoreceptor PpSB1-LOV from Pseudomonas putida in both the dark and light states. Global protein diffusion and internal macromolecular dynamics were measured using incoherent neutron time-of-flight and backscattering spectroscopy on the picosecond to nanosecond timescales. Global protein diffusion of PpSB1-LOV is not influenced by photoactivation. Observation-time-dependent global diffusion coefficients were found, which converge on the nanosecond timescale toward diffusion coefficients determined by dynamic light scattering. Mean-square displacements of localized internal motions and effective force constants,
Lieu, Minh-Ha; Vallejos, Maximiliano J.; Michael, Emily; Tsunoda, Susan
Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions/Significance 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
Ooto, Sotaro; Akagi, Tadamichi; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Akita, Joe; Mandai, Michiko; Honda, Yoshihito; Takahashi, Masayo
It has long been believed that the retina of mature mammals is incapable of regeneration. In this study, using the N-methyl-d-aspartate neurotoxicity model of adult rat retina, we observed that some Müller glial cells were stimulated to proliferate in response to a toxic injury and produce bipolar cells and rod photoreceptors. Although these newly produced neurons were limited in number, retinoic acid treatment promoted the number of regenerated bipolar cells. Moreover, misexpression of basic helix–loop–helix and homeobox genes promoted the induction of amacrine, horizontal, and rod photoreceptor specific phenotypes. These findings demonstrated that retinal neurons regenerated even in adult mammalian retina after toxic injury. Furthermore, we could partially control the fate of the regenerated neurons with extrinsic factors or intrinsic genes. The Müller glial cells constitute a potential source for the regeneration of adult mammalian retina and can be a target for drug delivery and gene therapy in retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:15353594
Qiao, Xiaoxi; Pennesi, Mark; Seong, Eunju; Gao, Hua; Burmeister, Margit; Wu, Samuel M
The mocha mouse is a spontaneous mutant carrying a defective adaptor-like protein complex AP-3delta subunit. We examined retinal function and histology of the mocha mutant. We found that not only mocha homozygotes but also other littermates in the inbred strain are blind due to severe defects in both rod and cone photoreceptors on electroretinogram recordings. The functional deficit was caused by rapid, early postnatal photoreceptor degeneration. Genotyping confirmed the presence of a viral insertion of rd1 gene in the mocha strain. We conclude that rd1 allele contamination is primarily responsible for photoreceptor degeneration, and caution against behavioral tests with visual cues in the present stocks.
Sajdak, Benjamin; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K.; Merriman, Dana K.; Dubra, Alfredo
Ground squirrels are an increasingly important model for studying visual processing, retinal circuitry, and cone photoreceptor function. Here, we demonstrate that the photoreceptor mosaic can be longitudinally imaged noninvasively in the 13-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) using confocal and nonconfocal split-detection adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopy using 790 nm light. Photoreceptor density, spacing, and Voronoi analysis are consistent with that of the human cone mosaic. The high imaging success rate and consistent image quality in this study reinforce the ground squirrel as a practical model to aid drug discovery and testing through longitudinal imaging on the cellular scale. PMID:26923645
Sajdak, Benjamin; Sulai, Yusufu N; Langlo, Christopher S; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K; Merriman, Dana K; Dubra, Alfredo
Ground squirrels are an increasingly important model for studying visual processing, retinal circuitry, and cone photoreceptor function. Here, we demonstrate that the photoreceptor mosaic can be longitudinally imaged noninvasively in the 13-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) using confocal and nonconfocal split-detection adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopy using 790 nm light. Photoreceptor density, spacing, and Voronoi analysis are consistent with that of the human cone mosaic. The high imaging success rate and consistent image quality in this study reinforce the ground squirrel as a practical model to aid drug discovery and testing through longitudinal imaging on the cellular scale.
Frankenberg, Stephen R; de Barros, Flavia R O; Rossant, Janet; Renfree, Marilyn B
The blastocyst is a mammalian invention that carries the embryo from cleavage to gastrulation. For such a simple structure, it exhibits remarkable diversity in its mode of formation, morphology, longevity, and intimacy with the uterine endometrium. This review explores this diversity in the light of the evolution of viviparity, comparing the three main groups of mammals: monotremes, marsupials, and eutherians. The principal drivers in blastocyst evolution were loss of yolk coupled with evolution of the placenta. An important outcome of blastocyst development is differentiation of two extraembryonic lineages (trophoblast and hypoblast) that contribute to the placenta. While in many species trophoblast segregation is often coupled with blastocyst formation, in marsupials and at least some Afrotherians, these events do not coincide. Thus, many questions regarding the conservation of molecular mechanisms controlling these events are of great interest but currently unresolved. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.
Lu, Yiming; Wang, Benquan; Pepperberg, David R.; Yao, Xincheng
Transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been predominantly observed in rod photoreceptors activated by oblique visible light stimulation. Dynamic confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) have revealed rod outer segment (ROS) movement as the physical source of TRP. However, the physiological source of ROS movement is still not well understood. In this study, concurrent near-infrared imaging of TRP and electroretinogram (ERG) measurement of retinal electrophysiology revealed that ROS movement occurs before the onset of the ERG a-wave, which is known to reflect the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors. Moreover, substitution of normal superfusing medium with low-sodium medium reversibly blocked the photoreceptor ERG a-wave, but largely preserved the stimulus-evoked ROS movements. Our experimental results and theoretical analysis indicate that early, disc-based stages of the phototransduction cascade, which occur before the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors, contribute to the TRP associated ROS movement. PMID:28101399
Nozue, Kazunari; Kanegae, Takeshi; Imaizumi, Takato; Fukuda, Shunsuke; Okamoto, Haruko; Yeh, Kuo-Chen; Lagarias, J. Clark; Wada, Masamitsu
In plant photomorphogenesis, it is well accepted that the perception of red/far-red and blue light is mediated by distinct photoreceptor families, i.e., the phytochromes and blue-light photoreceptors, respectively. Here we describe the discovery of a photoreceptor gene from the fern Adiantum that encodes a protein with features of both phytochrome and NPH1, the putative blue-light receptor for second-positive phototropism in seed plants. The fusion of a functional photosensory domain of phytochrome with a nearly full-length NPH1 homolog suggests that this polypeptide could mediate both red/far-red and blue-light responses in Adiantum normally ascribed to distinct photoreceptors. PMID:9861055
Nguyen-Kuok, Shi; Malakhov, Yury; Korotkikh, Ivan
A spectrum response of a photoreceptor to the RF plasma radiation is determined in the present work by means of a spectrophotometer utilizing a gas-filled photoreceptor. A continuous radiation spectrum was observed in the wavelength interval of 190 - 270 nm. The photoreceptor allows measuring of absolute radiation taking into account the spectral sensitivity of the photoreceptor and the values of quantum output for the given wavelength. A continuous spectrum was observed in all three orders of magnitude of diffraction. Develop and test a technique for measuring the intensity of the plasma radiation in the UV wavelength range measured amount of discharge pulses can be used to determine the spectral sensitivity range of UV radiation receivers. Professor.
Jagadish, Smitha; Barnea, Gilad; Clandinin, Thomas R; Axel, Richard
In Drosophila, the four inner photoreceptor neurons exhibit overlapping but distinct spectral sensitivities and mediate behaviors that reflect spectral preference. We developed a genetic strategy, Tango-Trace, that has permitted the identification of the connections of the four chromatic photoreceptors. Each of the four stochastically distributed chromatic photoreceptor subtypes make distinct connections in the medulla with four different TmY cells. Moreover, each class of TmY cells forms a retinotopic map in both the medulla and the lobula complex, generating four overlapping topographic maps that could carry different color information. Thus, the four inner photoreceptors transmit spectral information through distinct channels that may converge in both the medulla and lobula complex. These projections could provide an anatomic basis for color vision and may relay information about color to motion sensitive areas. Moreover, the Tango-Trace strategy we used may be applied more generally to identify neural circuits in the fly brain.
Zhang, Qiuxiang; Lu, Rongwen; Wang, Benquan; Messinger, Jeffrey D.; Curcio, Christine A.; Yao, Xincheng
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 (<4 ms) after 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.
Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z.; O’Brien, John
Electrical coupling of photoreceptors through gap junctions suppresses voltage noise, routes rod signals into cone pathways, expands the dynamic range of rod photoreceptors in high scotopic and mesopic illumination, and improves detection of contrast and small stimuli. In essentially all vertebrates, connexin 35/36 (gene homologues Cx36 in mammals, Cx35 in other vertebrates) is the major gap junction protein observed in photoreceptors, mediating rod-cone, cone-cone, and possibly rod-rod communication. Photoreceptor coupling is dynamically controlled by the day/night cycle and light/dark adaptation, and is directly correlated with phosphorylation of Cx35/36 at two sites, serine110 and serine 276/293 (homologous sites in teleost fish and mammals respectively). Activity of protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role during this process. Previous studies have shown that activation of dopamine D4 receptors on photoreceptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase, down-regulates cAMP and PKA activity, and leads to photoreceptor uncoupling, imposing the daytime/light condition. In this study we explored the role of adenosine, a nighttime signal with a high extracellular concentration at night and a low concentration in the day, in regulating photoreceptor coupling by examining photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. Adenosine enhanced photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in daytime, but with a complex dose-response curve. Selective pharmacological manipulations revealed that adenosine A2a receptors provide a potent positive drive to phosphorylate photoreceptor Cx35 under the influence of endogenous adenosine at night. A2a receptors can be activated in the daytime as well by micromolar exogenous adenosine. However, the higher affinity adenosine A1 receptors are also present and have an antagonistic though less potent effect. Thus the nighttime/darkness signal adenosine provides a net positive drive on Cx35 phosphorylation at night, working in opposition to dopamine to
Huang, Cathy C Y; Shi, Liheng; Lin, Chia-Hung; Kim, Andy Jeesu; Ko, Michael L; Ko, Gladys Y-P
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cellular energy sensor, which is activated when the intracellular ATP production decreases. The activities of AMPK display circadian rhythms in various organs and tissues, indicating that AMPK is involved in the circadian regulation of cellular metabolism. In vertebrate retina, the circadian clocks regulate many aspects of retinal function and physiology, including light/dark adaption, but whether and how AMPK was involved in the retinal circadian rhythm was not known. We hypothesized that the activation of AMPK (measured as phosphorylated AMPK) in the retina was under circadian control, and AMPK might interact with other intracellular signaling molecules to regulate photoreceptor physiology. We combined ATP assays, western blots, immunostaining, patch-clamp recordings, and pharmacological treatments to decipher the role of AMPK in the circadian regulation of photoreceptor physiology. We found that the overall retinal ATP content displayed a diurnal rhythm that peaked at early night, which was nearly anti-phase to the diurnal and circadian rhythms of AMPK phosphorylation. AMPK was also involved in the circadian phase-dependent regulation of photoreceptor L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (L-VGCCs), the ion channel essential for sustained neurotransmitter release. The activation of AMPK dampened the L-VGCC currents at night with a corresponding decrease in protein expression of the L-VGCCα1 pore-forming subunit, while inhibition of AMPK increased the L-VGCC current during the day. AMPK appeared to be upstream of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase and mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) but downstream of adenylyl cyclase in regulating the circadian rhythm of L-VGCCs. Hence, as a cellular energy sensor, AMPK integrates into the cell signaling network to regulate the circadian rhythm of photoreceptor physiology. We found that in chicken embryonic retina, the activation of AMP-activated protein
Golson, Maria L; Kaestner, Klaus H
Forkhead box (Fox) transcription factors are evolutionarily conserved in organisms ranging from yeast to humans. They regulate diverse biological processes both during development and throughout adult life. Mutations in many Fox genes are associated with human disease and, as such, various animal models have been generated to study the function of these transcription factors in mechanistic detail. In many cases, the absence of even a single Fox transcription factor is lethal. In this Primer, we provide an overview of the Fox family, highlighting several key Fox transcription factor families that are important for mammalian development.
Li, Hongyan; Zhang, Zhijing; Blackburn, Michael R.; Wang, Steven W.; Ribelayga, Christophe P.; O’Brien, John
Gap junctions in retinal photoreceptors suppress voltage noise and facilitate input of rod signals into the cone pathway during mesopic vision. These synapses are highly plastic and regulated by light and circadian clocks. Recent studies have revealed an important role for connexin36 (Cx36) phosphorylation by protein kinase A (PKA) in regulating cell-cell coupling. Dopamine is a light-adaptive signal in the retina, causing uncoupling of photoreceptors via D4 receptors (D4R), which inhibits adenylyl cyclase (AC) and reduces PKA activity. We hypothesized that adenosine, with its extracellular levels increasing in darkness, may serve as a dark signal to co-regulate photoreceptor coupling through modulation of gap junction phosphorylation. Both D4R and A2a receptor (A2aR) mRNAs were present in photoreceptors, inner nuclear layer neurons, and ganglion cells in C57BL/6 mouse retina, and showed cyclic expression with partially overlapping rhythms. Pharmacologically activating A2aR or inhibiting D4R in light-adapted daytime retina increased photoreceptor coupling. Cx36 among photoreceptor terminals, representing predominantly rod-cone gap junctions but possibly including some rod-rod and cone-cone gap junctions, was phosphorylated in a PKA-dependent manner by the same treatments. Conversely, inhibiting A2aR or activating D4R in daytime dark-adapted retina decreased Cx36 phosphorylation with similar PKA dependence. A2a-deficient mouse retina showed defective regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation, fairly regular dopamine release, and moderately down-regulated expression of D4R and AC type I mRNA. We conclude that adenosine and dopamine co-regulate photoreceptor coupling through opposite action on the PKA pathway and Cx36 phosphorylation. In addition, loss of the A2aR hampered D4R gene expression and function. PMID:23407968
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 decision. The RARαb receptor
de Busserolles, Fanny; Fitzpatrick, John L.; Marshall, N. Justin; Collin, Shaun P.
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
Dau, An; Friederich, Uwe; Dongre, Sidhartha; Li, Xiaofeng; Bollepalli, Murali K.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko
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. PMID:27047343
Sturgill, Gwen M.; Grossman, Gregory H.; Rayborn, Mary E.; Hollyfield, Joe G.; Peachey, Neal S.
Mutations in genes expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) underlie a number of human inherited retinal disorders that manifest with photoreceptor degeneration. Because light-evoked responses of the RPE are generated secondary to rod photoreceptor activity, RPE response reductions observed in human patients or animal models may simply reflect decreased photoreceptor input. The purpose of this study was to define how the electrophysiological characteristics of the RPE change when the complement of rod photoreceptors is decreased. To measure RPE function, we used an electroretinogram (dc-ERG)-based technique. We studied a slowly progressive mouse model of photoreceptor degeneration (PrphRd2/+), which was crossed onto a Nyxnob background to eliminate the b-wave and most other postreceptoral ERG components. On this background, PrphRd2/+ mice display characteristic reductions in a-wave amplitude, which parallel those in slow PIII amplitude and the loss of rod photoreceptors. At 2 and 4 mo of age, the amplitude of each dc-ERG component (c-wave, fast oscillation, light peak, and off response) was larger in PrphRd2/+ mice than predicted by rod photoreceptor activity (RmP3) or anatomical analysis. At 4 mo of age, the RPE in PrphRd2/+ mice showed several structural abnormalities including vacuoles and swollen, hypertrophic cells. These data demonstrate that insights into RPE function can be gained despite a loss of photoreceptors and structural changes in RPE cells and, moreover, that RPE function can be evaluated in a broader range of mouse models of human retinal disease. PMID:20484527
Jiao, Yang; Lau, Timothy; Hatzikirou, Haralampos; Meyer-Hermann, Michael; Corbo, Joseph C.; Torquato, Salvatore
Optimal spatial sampling of light rigorously requires that identical photoreceptors be arranged in perfectly regular arrays in two dimensions. Examples of such perfect arrays in nature include the compound eyes of insects and the nearly crystalline photoreceptor patterns of some fish and reptiles. Birds are highly visual animals with five different cone photoreceptor subtypes, yet their photoreceptor patterns are not perfectly regular. By analyzing the chicken cone photoreceptor system consisting of five different cell types using a variety of sensitive microstructural descriptors, we find that the disordered photoreceptor patterns are "hyperuniform" (exhibiting vanishing infinite-wavelength density fluctuations), a property that had heretofore been identified in a unique subset of physical systems, but had never been observed in any living organism. Remarkably, the patterns of both the total population and the individual cell types are simultaneously hyperuniform. We term such patterns "multihyperuniform" because multiple distinct subsets of the overall point pattern are themselves hyperuniform. We have devised a unique multiscale cell packing model in two dimensions that suggests that photoreceptor types interact with both short- and long-ranged repulsive forces and that the resultant competition between the types gives rise to the aforementioned singular spatial features characterizing the system, including multihyperuniformity. These findings suggest that a disordered hyperuniform pattern may represent the most uniform sampling arrangement attainable in the avian system, given intrinsic packing constraints within the photoreceptor epithelium. In addition, they show how fundamental physical constraints can change the course of a biological optimization process. Our results suggest that multihyperuniform disordered structures have implications for the design of materials with novel physical properties and therefore may represent a fruitful area for future
Boyd, RF; Sledge, DG; Boye, SL; Boye, SE; Hauswirth, WW; Komáromy, AM; Petersen-Jones, SM; Bartoe, JT
Delivery of therapeutic transgenes to retinal photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors has traditionally required subretinal injection. Recently, photoreceptor transduction efficiency following intravitreal injection (IVT) has improved in rodent models through use of capsid-mutant AAV vectors; but remains limited in large animal models. Thickness of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in large animals is thought to impair retinal penetration by AAV. Our study compared two newly developed AAV vectors containing multiple capsid amino acid substitutions following IVT in dogs. The ability of two promoter constructs to restrict reporter transgene expression to photoreceptors was also evaluated. AAV vectors containing the interphotoreceptor-binding protein (IRBP) promoter drove expression exclusively in rod and cone photoreceptors, with transduction efficiencies of ~ 4% of cones and 2% of rods. Notably, in the central region containing the cone-rich visual streak, 15.6% of cones were transduced. Significant regional variation existed, with lower transduction efficiencies in the temporal regions of all eyes. This variation did not correlate with ILM thickness. Vectors carrying a cone-specific promoter failed to transduce a quantifiable percentage of cone photoreceptors. The newly developed AAV vectors containing the IRBP promoter were capable of producing photoreceptor-specific transgene expression following IVT in the dog. PMID:26467396
Kirk, Diana K.; Gopalakrishnan, Sandeep; Schmitt, Heather; Abroe, Betsy; Stoehr, Michele; Dubis, Adam; Carroll, Joseph; Stone, Jonathan; Valter, Krisztina; Eells, Janis
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.
Castro, Antonio; Becerra, Manuela; Manso, María Jesús; Sherwood, Nancy M; Anadón, Ramón
The present study reports the organization of the Hesse cell axonal system in the central nervous system of the amphioxus, with the use of a polyclonal antiserum raised against lamprey gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I). In the spinal cord, the rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells of the bicellular organs were well labeled with this antibody. These cells sent smooth, straight, lateral processes that bent and became beaded as they passed ventrally and crossed to the contralateral side of the cord. There, the processes of several cells aggregated to give rise to a longitudinal fiber bundle. Beaded collaterals of these processes were directed to ventral neuropil and did not appear to contact giant Rohde cell axons. The crossed projections of the Hesse photoreceptors are compared with those of vertebrate retinal ganglion cells. Other antisera raised against GnRH weakly labeled rhabdomeric photoreceptors located dorsally in the brain, the Joseph cells. The finding that GnRH antibodies label amphioxus photoreceptor cells and axons is not definitive proof that the photoreceptors contain GnRH. Regardless of whether the antibody recognizes amphioxus GnRH, which has not yet been identified by structure, the antibody has revealed the processes of the Hesse photoreceptor cells.
Boyd, R F; Sledge, D G; Boye, S L; Boye, S E; Hauswirth, W W; Komáromy, A M; Petersen-Jones, S M; Bartoe, J T
Delivery of therapeutic transgenes to retinal photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors has traditionally required subretinal injection. Recently, photoreceptor transduction efficiency following intravitreal injection (IVT) has improved in rodent models through use of capsid-mutant AAV vectors; but remains limited in large animal models. Thickness of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in large animals is thought to impair retinal penetration by AAV. Our study compared two newly developed AAV vectors containing multiple capsid amino acid substitutions following IVT in dogs. The ability of two promoter constructs to restrict reporter transgene expression to photoreceptors was also evaluated. AAV vectors containing the interphotoreceptor-binding protein (IRBP) promoter drove expression exclusively in rod and cone photoreceptors, with transduction efficiencies of ~4% of cones and 2% of rods. Notably, in the central region containing the cone-rich visual streak, 15.6% of cones were transduced. Significant regional variation existed, with lower transduction efficiencies in the temporal regions of all eyes. This variation did not correlate with ILM thickness. Vectors carrying a cone-specific promoter failed to transduce a quantifiable percentage of cone photoreceptors. The newly developed AAV vectors containing the IRBP promoter were capable of producing photoreceptor-specific transgene expression following IVT in the dog.
Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Barber, Amanda C; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R; Pearson, Rachael A
Retinal degeneration leading to loss of photoreceptors is a major cause of untreatable blindness. Recent research has yielded definitive evidence for restoration of vision following the transplantation of rod photoreceptors in murine models of blindness, while advances in stem cell biology have enabled the generation of transplantable photoreceptors from embryonic stem cells. Importantly, the amount of visual function restored is dependent upon the number of photoreceptors that migrate correctly into the recipient retina. The developmental stage of the donor cells is important for their ability to migrate; they must be immature photoreceptor precursors. Little is known about how and when donor cell migration, integration, and maturation occurs. Here, we have performed a comprehensive histological analysis of the 6-week period following rod transplantation in mice. Donor cells migrate predominately as single entities during the first week undergoing a stereotyped sequence of morphological changes in their translocation from the site of transplantation, through the interphotoreceptor matrix and into the recipient retina. This includes initial polarization toward the outer nuclear layer (ONL), followed by formation of an apical attachment and rudimentary segment during migration into the ONL. Strikingly, acquisition of a nuclear architecture typical of mature rods was accelerated compared with normal development and a feature of migrating cells. Once within the ONL, precursors formed synaptic-like structures and outer segments in accordance with normal maturation. The restoration of visual function mediated by transplanted photoreceptors correlated with the later expression of rod α-transducin, achieving maximal function by 5 weeks.
Shin, Hyun Suk; Choi, Cheol Young
This study aimed to assess differences in genes related to skin color of goldfish (Carassius auratus) exposed to light-emitting diodes (LEDs): red, green, and purple. We investigated differences in the expression of mammalian-like melanopsin (Opn4m), rhodopsin (RH), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), melanin-concentrating hormone receptor (MCH-R), and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) in goldfish exposed to different LED light spectra. Opn4m, RH, MCH, and MCH-R mRNA levels were significantly higher in the green and purple LED groups than in the white fluorescent bulb (control) and red LED groups. Furthermore, skin cells were isolated to measure the MCH-R mRNA expression levels. The results show that the mRNA expression levels were significantly higher in the green and purple LED groups than in the control and red LED groups. In addition, body weights in the green and purple LED groups were significantly higher than those in the control and red LED groups. However, POMC mRNA expression levels in the green and purple LED groups were significantly lower than those in the control and red LED groups. These results suggest that specific wavelengths regulate fish skin color through neuropeptide hormones and photoreceptors, and POMC, which is related to stress hormones and melatonin, is associated with stress levels as well as skin color.
Sakakibara, M.; Ikeno, H.; Usui, S.; Collin, C.; Alkon, D. L.
Two-microelectrode voltage-clamp measurements were made to determine the kinetics and voltage dependence of ionic currents across the soma membrane of the Hermissenda type B photoreceptor. The voltage-dependent outward potassium currents, IA and ICa(2+)-K+, the inward voltage-dependent calcium current, ICa2+ and the light-induced current, IIgt, were then described with Hodgkin-Huxley-type equations. The fast-activating and inactivating potassium current, IA, was described by the equation; IA(t) = gA(max)(ma infinity[1-exp(-t/tau ma)])3 x (ha infinity [1-exp(-t/tau ha)] + exp(-t/tau ha)) (Vm-EK), where the parameters ma infinity, ha infinity, tau ma, and tau ha are functions of membrane potential, Vm, and ma infinity and ha infinity are steady-state activation and inactivation parameters. Similarly, the calcium-dependent outward potassium current, ICa(2+)-K+, was described by the equation, ICa(2+)-K+ (t) = gc(max)(mc infinity(VC)(1-exp[-t/tau mc (VC)]))pc (hc infinity(VC) [1-exp(-t/tau hc)] + exp(-t/tau hc(VC)])pc(VC-EK). In high external potassium, ICa(2+)-K+ could be measured in approximate isolation from other currents as a voltage-dependent inward tail current following a depolarizing command pulse from a holding potential of -60 mV. A voltage-dependent inward calcium current across the type B soma membrane, ICa2+, activated rapidly, showed little inactivation, and was described by the equation: ICa2+ = gCa(max) [1 + exp](-Vm-5)/7]-1 (Vm-ECa), where gCa(max) was 0.5 microS. The light-induced current with both fast and slow phases was described by: IIgt(t) = IIgt1 + IIgt2 + IIgt3, IIgti = gIgti [1-exp(- ton/tau mi)] exp(-ton/tau hi)(Vm-EIgti) (i = 1, 2). For i = 3, /Igt(t) = gigt3m33h3(Vm - Eigt3)exp(-ton/Ton) x exp(-tfoff/t Off). Based on these reconstructions of ionic currents, learning-induced enhancement of the long lasting depolarization (LLD) of the photoreceptor'slight response was shown to arise from progressive inactivation of /A, lca2+ -K+, and lCa2
Kalsbeek, Andries; Yi, Chun-Xia; Cailotto, Cathy; la Fleur, Susanne E; Fliers, Eric; Buijs, Ruud M
In mammals many behaviours (e.g. sleep-wake, feeding) as well as physiological (e.g. body temperature, blood pressure) and endocrine (e.g. plasma corticosterone concentration) events display a 24 h rhythmicity. These 24 h rhythms are induced by a timing system that is composed of central and peripheral clocks. The highly co-ordinated output of the hypothalamic biological clock not only controls the daily rhythm in sleep-wake (or feeding-fasting) behaviour, but also exerts a direct control over many aspects of hormone release and energy metabolism. First, we present the anatomical connections used by the mammalian biological clock to enforce its endogenous rhythmicity on the rest of the body, especially the neuro-endocrine and energy homoeostatic systems. Subsequently, we review a number of physiological experiments investigating the functional significance of this neuro-anatomical substrate. Together, this overview of experimental data reveals a highly specialized organization of connections between the hypothalamic pacemaker and neuro-endocrine system as well as the pre-sympathetic and pre-parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.
Neubauer, Katharina; Zieger, Barbara
Septins are GTP-binding and membrane-interacting proteins with a highly conserved domain structure involved in various cellular processes, including cytoskeleton organization, cytokinesis, and membrane dynamics. To date, 13 different septin genes have been identified in mammals (SEPT1 to SEPT12 and SEPT14), which can be classified into four distinct subgroups based on the sequence homology of their domain structure (SEPT2, SEPT3, SEPT6, and SEPT7 subgroup). The family members of these subgroups have a strong affinity for other septins and form apolar tri-, hexa-, or octameric complexes consisting of multiple septin polypeptides. The first characterized core complex is the hetero-trimer SEPT2-6-7. Within these complexes single septins can be exchanged in a subgroup-specific manner. Hexamers contain SEPT2 and SEPT6 subgroup members and SEPT7 in two copies each whereas the octamers additionally comprise two SEPT9 subgroup septins. The various isoforms seem to determine the function and regulation of the septin complex. Septins self-assemble into higher-order structures, including filaments and rings in orders, which are typical for different cell types. Misregulation of septins leads to human diseases such as neurodegenerative and bleeding disorders. In non-dividing cells such as neuronal tissue and platelets septins have been associated with exocytosis. However, many mechanistic details and roles attributed to septins are poorly understood. We describe here some important mammalian septin interactions with a special focus on the clinically relevant septin interactions. PMID:28224124
Nadeau, J H; Grant, P L; Mankala, S; Reiner, A H; Richardson, J E; Eppig, J T
The Mammalian Comparative Database provides genetic maps of mammalian species. Comparative maps are valuable aids for predicting linkages, developing animal models and studying genome organization and evolution.
Wu, Ji; Ding, Xinbao; Wang, Jian
Stem cells have great value in clinical application because of their ability to self-renew and their potential to differentiate into many different cell types. Mammalian gonads, including testes for males and ovaries for females, are composed of germline and somatic cells. In male mammals, spermatogonial stem cells maintain spermatogenesis which occurs continuously in adult testis. Likewise, a growing body of evidence demonstrated that female germline stem cells could be found in mammalian ovaries. Meanwhile, prior studies have shown that somatic stem cells exist in both testes and ovaries. In this chapter, we focus on mammalian gonad stem cells and discuss their characteristics as well as differentiation potentials.
Mao, Chai-An; Cho, Jang-Hyeon; Wang, Jing; Gao, Zhiguang; Pan, Ping; Tsai, Wen-Wei; Frishman, Laura J; Klein, William H
The specification of the seven retinal cell types from a common pool of retina progenitor cells (RPCs) involves complex interactions between the intrinsic program and the environment. The proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional regulators are key components for the intrinsic programming of RPCs and are essential for the formation of the diverse retinal cell types. However, the extent to which an RPC can re-adjust its inherent program and the mechanisms through which the expression of a particular bHLH factor influences RPC fate is unclear. Previously, we have shown that Neurod1 inserted into the Atoh7 locus activates the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) program in Atoh7-expressing RPCs but not in Neurod1-expressing RPCs, suggesting that Atoh7-expressing RPCs are not able to adopt the cell fate determined by Neurod1, but rather are pre-programmed to produce RGCs. Here, we show that Neurod1-expressing RPCs, which are destined to produce amacrine and photoreceptor cells, can be re-programmed into RGCs when Atoh7 is inserted into the Neurod1 locus. These results suggest that Atoh7 acts dominantly to convert a RPC subpopulation not destined for an RGC fate to adopt that fate. Thus, Atoh7-expressing and Neurod1-expressing RPCs are intrinsically different in their behavior. Additionally, ChIP-Seq analysis identified an Atoh7-dependent enhancer within the intronic region of Nrxn3. The enhancer recognized and used Atoh7 in the developing retina to regulate expression of Nrxn3, but could be forced to use Neurod1 when placed in a different regulatory context. The results indicate that Atoh7 and Neurod1 activate distinct sets of genes in vivo, despite their common DNA-binding element.
Duda, Teresa; Wen, Xiao-Hong; Isayama, Tomoki; Sharma, Rameshwar K; Makino, Clint L
By generating the second messenger cGMP in retinal rods and cones, ROS-GC plays a central role in visual transduction. Guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) link cGMP synthesis to the light-induced fall in [Ca(2+)]i to help set absolute sensitivity and assure prompt recovery of the response to light. The present report discloses a surprising feature of this system: ROS-GC is a sensor of bicarbonate. Recombinant ROS-GCs synthesized cGMP from GTP at faster rates in the presence of bicarbonate with an ED50 of 27 mM for ROS-GC1 and 39 mM for ROS-GC2. The effect required neither Ca(2+) nor use of the GCAPs domains; however, stimulation of ROS-GC1 was more powerful in the presence of GCAP1 or GCAP2 at low [Ca(2+)]. When applied to retinal photoreceptors, bicarbonate enhanced the circulating current, decreased sensitivity to flashes, and accelerated flash response kinetics. Bicarbonate was effective when applied either to the outer or inner segment of red-sensitive cones. In contrast, bicarbonate exerted an effect when applied to the inner segment of rods but had little efficacy when applied to the outer segment. The findings define a new regulatory mechanism of the ROS-GC system that affects visual transduction and is likely to affect the course of retinal diseases caused by cGMP toxicity.
Duda, Teresa; Wen, Xiao-Hong; Isayama, Tomoki; Sharma, Rameshwar K.; Makino, Clint L.
By generating the second messenger cGMP in retinal rods and cones, ROS-GC plays a central role in visual transduction. Guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) link cGMP synthesis to the light-induced fall in [Ca2+]i to help set absolute sensitivity and assure prompt recovery of the response to light. The present report discloses a surprising feature of this system: ROS-GC is a sensor of bicarbonate. Recombinant ROS-GCs synthesized cGMP from GTP at faster rates in the presence of bicarbonate with an ED50 of 27 mm for ROS-GC1 and 39 mm for ROS-GC2. The effect required neither Ca2+ nor use of the GCAPs domains; however, stimulation of ROS-GC1 was more powerful in the presence of GCAP1 or GCAP2 at low [Ca2+]. When applied to retinal photoreceptors, bicarbonate enhanced the circulating current, decreased sensitivity to flashes, and accelerated flash response kinetics. Bicarbonate was effective when applied either to the outer or inner segment of red-sensitive cones. In contrast, bicarbonate exerted an effect when applied to the inner segment of rods but had little efficacy when applied to the outer segment. The findings define a new regulatory mechanism of the ROS-GC system that affects visual transduction and is likely to affect the course of retinal diseases caused by cGMP toxicity. PMID:25767116
Briggs, Winslow R
Three different families of blue-light receptors have been characterized from higher plants: three cryptochromes, two phototropins, and the three members of the ZTL/ADO family. Phototropins and the ZTL/ADO proteins have chromophore modules, designated LOV domains, that bind flavin mononucleotide and undergo formation of a C(4a) flavin-cysteinyl adduct. All contain the highly conserved amino acid motif GXNCRFLQ. Over 90 prokaryote proteins also contain LOV domains with this motif upstream from one of several different functional groups. All of these that have been investigated to date act as photoreceptors in vitro and form the adduct upon irradiation. Four members of the class LOV-histidine kinase, one from a plant pathogen (Pseudomonas syringae), one from an animal pathogen Brucella melitensis), and two from a marine bacterium (Erythrobacter litoralis) respectively, mediate light-activated histidine phosphorylation. Decay of the adduct in darkness after a blue light pulse coincides with loss of the capacity for phosphorylation upon addition of ATP. At present, the biological role(s) of these light-sensitive proteins is under investigation.
Koremiak, D A; Govardovskiĭ, V I
Photoreceptor complement and retinal visual pigments in three newt (Caudata, Salamandridae, Pleurodelinae) species (Pleurodeles waltl, Lissotriton (Triturus) vulgaris and Cynops orientalis) were studied by light mucroscopy and microspectrophotometry. Retinas of all three species contain "red" (rhodopsin/porphyropsin) rods, large and small single cones, and double cones. Large single cones and both components of double cones contain red-sensitive (presumably LWS) visual pigment whose absorbance spectrum peaks between 593 and 611 nm. Small single cones are either blue- (SWS2, maximum absorbance between 470 and 489 nm) or UV-sensitive (SWS1, maximum absorbance between 340 and 359 nm). Chromophore composition of visual pigments (A1 vs. A2) was assessed both from template fitting of absorption spectra and by the method of selective bleaching. All pigments contained a mixture of A1 (11-cis retinal) and A2 (11-cis-3,4-dehydroretinal) chromophore in the proportion depending on the species and cell type. In all cases, A2 was dominant. However, in C. orientalis rods the fraction of A1 could reach 45%, while in P. waltl and L. vulgaris cones it did not exceed 5%. Remarkably, the absorbance of the newt blue-sensitive visual pigment was shifted by up to 45 nm toward the longer wavelength, as compared with all other amphibian SWS2-pigments. We found no "green" rods typical of retinas of Anura and some Caudata (ambystomas) in the three newt species studied.
Roy, Sukhdev; Kulshrestha, Kapil
We theoretically analyze all-optical switching in the recently characterized LOV2 domain from Avena sativa (oat) phot1 phototropin, a blue-light plant photoreceptor, based on nonlinear intensity-induced excited-state absorption. The transmission of a cw probe laser beam at 660 nm corresponding to the peak absorption of the first excited L-state, through the LOV2 sample, is switched by a pulsed pump laser beam at 442 nm that corresponds to the maximum initial D state absorption. The switching characteristics have been analyzed using the rate equation approach, considering all the three intermediate states and transitions in the LOV2 photocycle. It is shown that for a given pump pulse intensity, there is an optimum pump pulsewidth for which the switching contrast is maximum. It is shown that the probe laser beam can be completely switched off (100% modulation) by the pump laser beam at 50 kW/cm2 for a concentration of 1 mM with sample thickness of 5.5 mm. The switching characteristics are sensitive to various parameters such as concentration, rate constant of L-state, peak pump intensity and pump pulse width. At typical values, the switch-off and switch-on time is 1.6 and 22.3 micros, respectively. The switching characteristics have also been used to design all-optical NOT and the universal NOR and NAND logic gates.
Koenig, Kristen M; Sun, Peter; Meyer, Eli; Gross, Jeffrey M
Photoreception is a ubiquitous sensory ability found across the Metazoa, and photoreceptive organs are intricate and diverse in their structure. Although the morphology of the compound eye in Drosophila and the single-chambered eye in vertebrates have elaborated independently, the amount of conservation within the 'eye' gene regulatory network remains controversial, with few taxa studied. To better understand the evolution of photoreceptive organs, we established the cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii as a lophotrochozoan model for eye development. Utilizing histological, transcriptomic and molecular assays, we characterize eye formation in Doryteuthis pealeii Through lineage tracing and gene expression analyses, we demonstrate that cells expressing Pax and Six genes incorporate into the lens, cornea and iris, and the eye placode is the sole source of retinal tissue. Functional assays demonstrate that Notch signaling is required for photoreceptor cell differentiation and retinal organization. This comparative approach places the canon of eye research in traditional models into perspective, highlighting complexity as a result of both conserved and convergent mechanisms.
Xu, Zuyuan; Chikka, Madhusudana Rao; Xia, Hongai; Ready, Donald F.
ABSTRACT The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) serves virtually all aspects of cell physiology and, by pathways that are incompletely understood, is dynamically remodeled to meet changing cell needs. Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (Ire1), a conserved core protein of the unfolded protein response (UPR), participates in ER remodeling and is particularly required during the differentiation of cells devoted to intense secretory activity, so-called ‘professional’ secretory cells. Here, we characterize the role of Ire1 in ER differentiation in the developing Drosophila compound eye photoreceptors (R cells). As part of normal development, R cells take a turn as professional secretory cells with a massive secretory effort that builds the photosensitive membrane organelle, the rhabdomere. We find rough ER sheets proliferate as rhabdomere biogenesis culminates, and Ire1 is required for normal ER differentiation. Ire1 is active early in R cell development and is required in anticipation of peak biosynthesis. Without Ire1, the amount of rough ER sheets is strongly reduced and the extensive cortical ER network at the rhabdomere base, the subrhabdomere cisterna (SRC), fails. Instead, ER proliferates in persistent and ribosome-poor tubular tangles. A phase of Ire1 activity early in R cell development thus shapes dynamic ER. PMID:26787744
Bolsover, S R
When barnacle lateral eye photoreceptors are depolarized to membrane potentials of 0 to +50 mV in the dark, the plot of outward current through the cell membrane against time has two distinct maxima. The first maximum occurs 5-10 ms after the depolarization began. The current then decays to a minimum at approximately 500 ms after the onset of depolarization, and then increases to a second maximum 4-6 s after the depolarization began. If depolarization is maintained, the current again decays to reach a steady value approximately 1 min after depolarization began. The increase in current to the maximum at 4-6s from the minimum at approximately 500 ms is termed the "late current." It is maximum for depolarizations to around +25 mV and is reduced in amplitude at more positive potentials. It is not observed when the membrane is depolarized to potentials more positive than +60 mV. The late current is inhibited by external cobaltous ion and external tetraethylammonium ion, and shows a requirement for external calcium ion. When the calcium-sequestering agent EGTA is injected, the late current is abolished. Illumination of a cell under voltage clamp reduces the amplitude of the late current recorded subsequently in the dark. On the basis of the voltage dependence and pharmacology of the late current, it is proposed that the current is a calcium-dependent potassium current.
Botta, Salvatore; Marrocco, Elena; de Prisco, Nicola; Curion, Fabiola; Renda, Mario; Sofia, Martina; Lupo, Mariangela; Carissimo, Annamaria; Bacci, Maria Laura; Gesualdo, Carlo; Rossi, Settimio; Simonelli, Francesca; Surace, Enrico Maria
Transcription factors (TFs) operate by the combined activity of their DNA-binding domains (DBDs) and effector domains (EDs) enabling the coordination of gene expression on a genomic scale. Here we show that in vivo delivery of an engineered DNA-binding protein uncoupled from the repressor domain can produce efficient and gene-specific transcriptional silencing. To interfere with RHODOPSIN (RHO) gain-of-function mutations we engineered the ZF6-DNA-binding protein (ZF6-DB) that targets 20 base pairs (bp) of a RHOcis-regulatory element (CRE) and demonstrate Rho specific transcriptional silencing upon adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-mediated expression in photoreceptors. The data show that the 20 bp-long genomic DNA sequence is necessary for RHO expression and that photoreceptor delivery of the corresponding cognate synthetic trans-acting factor ZF6-DB without the intrinsic transcriptional repression properties of the canonical ED blocks Rho expression with negligible genome-wide transcript perturbations. The data support DNA-binding-mediated silencing as a novel mode to treat gain-of-function mutations.
Botta, Salvatore; Marrocco, Elena; de Prisco, Nicola; Curion, Fabiola; Renda, Mario; Sofia, Martina; Lupo, Mariangela; Carissimo, Annamaria; Bacci, Maria Laura; Gesualdo, Carlo; Rossi, Settimio; Simonelli, Francesca; Surace, Enrico Maria
Transcription factors (TFs) operate by the combined activity of their DNA-binding domains (DBDs) and effector domains (EDs) enabling the coordination of gene expression on a genomic scale. Here we show that in vivo delivery of an engineered DNA-binding protein uncoupled from the repressor domain can produce efficient and gene-specific transcriptional silencing. To interfere with RHODOPSIN (RHO) gain-of-function mutations we engineered the ZF6-DNA-binding protein (ZF6-DB) that targets 20 base pairs (bp) of a RHOcis-regulatory element (CRE) and demonstrate Rho specific transcriptional silencing upon adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-mediated expression in photoreceptors. The data show that the 20 bp-long genomic DNA sequence is necessary for RHO expression and that photoreceptor delivery of the corresponding cognate synthetic trans-acting factor ZF6-DB without the intrinsic transcriptional repression properties of the canonical ED blocks Rho expression with negligible genome-wide transcript perturbations. The data support DNA-binding-mediated silencing as a novel mode to treat gain-of-function mutations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12242.001 PMID:26974343
Simpson, Jeremy C; Mateos, Alvaro; Pepperkok, Rainer
A recent use of quantitative proteomics to determine the constituents of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex is discussed in the light of other available methodologies for cataloging the proteins associated with the mammalian secretory pathway. PMID:17472737
The Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Mammalian DNA Repair was held at Harbortown Resort, Ventura Beach, CA. Emphasis was placed on current unpublished research and discussion of the future target areas in this field.
Zhang, Yuhua; Wang, Xiaolin; Rivero, Ernesto Blanco; Clark, Mark E; Witherspoon, Clark Douglas; Spaide, Richard F; Girkin, Christopher A.; Owsley, Cynthia; Curcio, Christine A.
Purpose To describe the microscopic structure of photoreceptors impacted by subretinal drusenoid deposits, also called pseudodrusen, an extracellular lesion associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO). Design Observational case series. Methods Fifty-three patients with AMD and 10 age-similar subjects in normal retinal health were recruited. All subjects underwent color fundus photography, infrared reflectance, red-free reflectance, autofluorescence, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Subretinal drusenoid deposits were classified with a 3-stage OCT-based grading system. Lesions and surrounding photoreceptors were examined with AOSLO. Results Subretinal drusenoid deposits were found in 26 eyes of 13 patients with AMD and imaged by AOSLO and SD-OCT in 18 eyes (n=342 lesions). SD-OCT showed subretinal drusenoid deposits as highly reflective material accumulated internal to the retinal pigment epithelium. AOSLO revealed that photoreceptor reflectivity was qualitatively reduced by stage 1 subretinal drusenoid deposits and greatly reduced by stage 2. AOSLO presented a distinct structure in stage 3, a hyporeflective annulus consisting of deflected, degenerated or absent photoreceptors. A central core with a reflectivity superficially resembling photoreceptors is formed by the lesion material itself. A hyporeflective gap in the photoreceptor ellipsoid zone on either side of this core shown in SD-OCT corresponded to the hyporeflective annulus seen by AOSLO. Conclusions AOSLO and multimodal imaging of subretinal drusenoid deposits indicate solid, space filling lesions in the subretinal space. Associated retinal reflectivity changes are related to lesion stages and are consistent with perturbations to photoreceptors, as suggested by histology. PMID:24907433
D'Autilia, Silvia; Broccoli, Vania; Barsacchi, Giuseppina; Andreazzoli, Massimiliano
In the developing central nervous system, the cell cycle clock plays a crucial role in determining cell fate specification. A second clock, the circadian oscillator, generates daily rhythms of cell cycle progression. Although these two clocks interact, the mechanisms linking circadian cell cycle progression and cell fate determination are still poorly understood. A convenient system to address this issue is the pineal organ of lower vertebrates, which contains only two neuronal types, photoreceptors and projection neurons. In particular, photoreceptors constitute the core of the pineal circadian system, being able to transduce daily light inputs into the rhythmical production of melatonin. However, the genetic program leading to photoreceptor fate largely remains to be deciphered. Here, we report a previously undescribed function for the homeobox gene Bsx in controlling pineal proliferation and photoreceptor fate in Xenopus. We show that Xenopus Bsx (Xbsx) is expressed rhythmically in postmitotic photoreceptor precursors, reaching a peak during the night, with a cycle that is complementary to the daily rhythms of S-phase entry displayed by pineal cells. Xbsx knockdown results in increased night levels of pineal proliferation, whereas activation of a GR-Xbsx protein flattens the daily rhythms of S-phase entry to the lowest level. Furthermore, evidence is presented that Xbsx is necessary and sufficient to promote a photoreceptor fate. Altogether, these data indicate that Xbsx plays a dual role in contributing to shape the profile of the circadian cell cycle progression and in the specification of pineal photoreceptors, thus acting as a unique link between these two events.
Jiang, Li; Tam, Beatrice M.; Ying, Guoxing; Wu, Sen; Hauswirth, William W.; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Moritz, Orson L.; Baehr, Wolfgang
In Caenorhabditis elegans, homodimeric [kinesin family (KIF) 17, osmotic avoidance abnormal-3 (OSM-3)] and heterotrimeric (KIF3) kinesin-2 motors are required to establish sensory cilia by intraflagellar transport (IFT) where KIF3 and KIF17 cooperate to build the axoneme core and KIF17 builds the distal segments. However, the function of KIF17 in vertebrates is unresolved. We expressed full-length and motorless KIF17 constructs in mouse rod photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus in Xenopus laevis rod photoreceptors using a transgene and in ciliated IMCD3 cells. We found that tagged KIF17 localized along the rod outer segment axoneme when expressed in mouse and X. laevis photoreceptors, whereas KIF3A was restricted to the proximal axoneme. Motorless KIF3A and KIF17 mutants caused photoreceptor degeneration, likely through dominant negative effects on IFT. KIF17 mutant lacking the motor domain translocated to nuclei after exposure of a C-terminal nuclear localization signal. Germ-line deletion of Kif17 in mouse did not affect photoreceptor function. A rod-specific Kif3/Kif17 double knockout mouse demonstrated that KIF17 and KIF3 do not act synergistically and did not prevent rhodopsin trafficking to rod outer segments. In summary, the nematode model of KIF3/KIF17 cooperation apparently does not apply to mouse photoreceptors in which the photosensory cilium is built exclusively by KIF3.—Jiang, L., Tam, B. M., Ying, G., Wu, S., Hauswirth, W. W., Frederick, J. M., Moritz, O. L., Baehr, W. Kinesin family 17 (osmotic avoidance abnormal-3) is dispensable for photoreceptor morphology and function. PMID:26229057
Sundermeier, Thomas R.; Zhang, Ning; Vinberg, Frans; Mustafi, Debarshi; Kohno, Hideo; Golczak, Marcin; Bai, Xiaodong; Maeda, Akiko; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Palczewski, Krzysztof
Photoreceptor cell death is the proximal cause of blindness in many retinal degenerative disorders; hence, understanding the gene regulatory networks that promote photoreceptor survival is at the forefront of efforts to combat blindness. Down-regulation of the microRNA (miRNA)-processing enzyme DICER1 in the retinal pigmented epithelium has been implicated in geographic atrophy, an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, little is known about the function of DICER1 in mature rod photoreceptor cells, another retinal cell type that is severely affected in AMD. Using a conditional-knockout (cKO) mouse model, we report that loss of DICER1 in mature postmitotic rods leads to robust retinal degeneration accompanied by loss of visual function. At 14 wk of age, cKO mice exhibit a 90% reduction in photoreceptor nuclei and a 97% reduction in visual chromophore compared with those in control littermates. Before degeneration, cKO mice do not exhibit significant defects in either phototransduction or the visual cycle, suggesting that miRNAs play a primary role in rod photoreceptor survival. Using comparative small RNA sequencing analysis, we identified rod photoreceptor miRNAs of the miR-22, miR-26, miR-30, miR-92, miR-124, and let-7 families as potential factors involved in regulating the survival of rods.—Sundermeier, T. R., Zhang, N., Vinberg, F., Mustafi, D., Kohno, H., Golczak, M., Bai, X., Maeda, A., Kefalov, V. J., Palczewski, K. DICER1 is essential for survival of postmitotic rod photoreceptor cells in mice. PMID:24812086
Saint-Charles, Alexandra; Michard-Vanhée, Christine; Alejevski, Faredin; Chélot, Elisabeth; Boivin, Antoine; Rouyer, François
Light is the major stimulus for the synchronization of circadian clocks with day-night cycles. The light-driven entrainment of the clock that controls rest-activity rhythms in Drosophila relies on different photoreceptive molecules. Cryptochrome (CRY) is expressed in most brain clock neurons, whereas six different rhodopsins (RH) are present in the light-sensing organs. The compound eye includes outer photoreceptors that express RH1 and inner photoreceptors that each express one of the four rhodopsins RH3-RH6. RH6 is also expressed in the extraretinal Hofbauer-Buchner eyelet, whereas RH2 is only found in the ocelli. In low light, the synchronization of behavioral rhythms relies on either CRY or the canonical rhodopsin phototransduction pathway, which requires the phospholipase C-β encoded by norpA (no receptor potential A). We used norpA(P24) cry(02) double mutants that are circadianly blind in low light and restored NORPA function in each of the six types of photoreceptors, defined as expressing a particular rhodopsin. We first show that the NORPA pathway is less efficient than CRY for synchronizing rest-activity rhythms with delayed light-dark cycles but is important for proper phasing, whereas the two light-sensing pathways can mediate efficient adjustments to phase advances. Four of the six rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptors can mediate circadian entrainment, and all are more efficient for advancing than for delaying the behavioral clock. In contrast, neither RH5-expressing retinal photoreceptors nor RH2-expressing ocellar photoreceptors are sufficient to mediate synchronization through the NORPA pathway. Our results thus reveal different contributions of rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptors and suggest the existence of several circuits for rhodopsin-dependent circadian entrainment. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2828-2844, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Blixt, Maria K. E.
Purpose Combining techniques of episomal vector gene-specific Cre expression and genomic integration using the piggyBac transposon system enables studies of gene expression–specific cell lineage tracing in the chicken retina. In this work, we aimed to target the retinal horizontal cell progenitors. Methods A 208 bp gene regulatory sequence from the chicken retinoid X receptor γ gene (RXRγ208) was used to drive Cre expression. RXRγ is expressed in progenitors and photoreceptors during development. The vector was combined with a piggyBac “donor” vector containing a floxed STOP sequence followed by enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), as well as a piggyBac helper vector for efficient integration into the host cell genome. The vectors were introduced into the embryonic chicken retina with in ovo electroporation. Tissue electroporation targets specific developmental time points and in specific structures. Results Cells that drove Cre expression from the regulatory RXRγ208 sequence excised the floxed STOP-sequence and expressed GFP. The approach generated a stable lineage with robust expression of GFP in retinal cells that have activated transcription from the RXRγ208 sequence. Furthermore, GFP was expressed in cells that express horizontal or photoreceptor markers when electroporation was performed between developmental stages 22 and 28. Electroporation of a stage 12 optic cup gave multiple cell types in accordance with RXRγ gene expression in the early retina. Conclusions In this study, we describe an easy, cost-effective, and time-efficient method for testing regulatory sequences in general. More specifically, our results open up the possibility for further studies of the RXRγ-gene regulatory network governing the formation of photoreceptor and horizontal cells. In addition, the method presents approaches to target the expression of effector genes, such as regulators of cell fate or cell cycle progression, to these cells and their progenitor. PMID
Cho, Kyoung-in; Yu, Minzhong; Hao, Ying; Qiu, Sunny; Pillai, Indulekha C. L.; Peachey, Neal S.; Ferreira, Paulo A.
Non-autonomous cell-death is a cardinal feature of the disintegration of neural networks in neurodegenerative diseases, but the molecular bases of this process are poorly understood. The neural retina comprises a mosaic of rod and cone photoreceptors. Cone and rod photoreceptors degenerate upon rod-specific expression of heterogeneous mutations in functionally distinct genes, whereas cone-specific mutations are thought to cause only cone demise. Here we show that conditional ablation in cone photoreceptors of Ran-binding protein-2 (Ranbp2), a cell context-dependent pleiotropic protein linked to neuroprotection, familial necrotic encephalopathies, acute transverse myelitis and tumor-suppression, promotes early electrophysiological deficits, subcellular erosive destruction and non-apoptotic death of cones, whereas rod photoreceptors undergo cone-dependent non-autonomous apoptosis. Cone-specific Ranbp2 ablation causes the temporal activation of a cone-intrinsic molecular cascade highlighted by the early activation of metalloproteinase 11/stromelysin-3 and up-regulation of Crx and CoREST, followed by the down-modulation of cone-specific phototransduction genes, transient up-regulation of regulatory/survival genes and activation of caspase-7 without apoptosis. Conversely, PARP1+-apoptotic rods develop upon sequential activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and loss of membrane permeability. Rod photoreceptor demise ceases upon cone degeneration. These findings reveal novel roles of Ranbp2 in the modulation of intrinsic and extrinsic cell death mechanisms and pathways. They also unveil a novel spatiotemporal paradigm of progression of neurodegeneration upon cell-specific genetic damage whereby a cone to rod non-autonomous death pathway with intrinsically distinct cell-type death manifestations is triggered by cell-specific loss of Ranbp2. Finally, this study casts new light onto cell-death mechanisms that may be shared by human dystrophies with distinct retinal spatial
Shema, Efrat; Oren, Moshe; Minsky, Neri
Histone H2B ubiquitylation was shown to be associated with actively transcribed genes in mammalian cells and has been suggested to be involved in transcriptional regulation. Despite the limited applicability of genetic tools to analyze H2B ubiquitylation in mammals, several biochemical and immunological approaches have been successfully implemented to study this modification. Here we describe several techniques to detect ubiquitylated H2B in mammalian cells and to dissect its genomic localization.
Glantz, Spencer T.; Carpenter, Eric J.; Melkonian, Michael; Boyden, Edward S.; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Chow, Brian Y.
Light–oxygen–voltage sensitive (LOV) flavoproteins are ubiquitous photoreceptors that mediate responses to environmental cues. Photosensory inputs are transduced into signaling outputs via structural rearrangements in sensor domains that consequently modulate the activity of an effector domain or multidomain clusters. Establishing the diversity in effector function and sensor–effector topology will inform what signaling mechanisms govern light-responsive behaviors across multiple kingdoms of life and how these signals are transduced. Here, we report the bioinformatics identification of over 6,700 candidate LOV domains (including over 4,000 previously unidentified sequences from plants and protists), and insights from their annotations for ontological function and structural arrangements. Motif analysis identified the sensors from ∼42 million ORFs, with strong statistical separation from other flavoproteins and non-LOV members of the structurally related Per-aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT)-Sim family. Conserved-domain analysis determined putative light-regulated function and multidomain topologies. We found that for certain effectors, sensor–effector linker length is discretized based on both phylogeny and the preservation of α-helical heptad repeats within an extended coiled-coil linker structure. This finding suggests that preserving sensor–effector orientation is a key determinant of linker length, in addition to ancestry, in LOV signaling structure–function. We found a surprisingly high prevalence of effectors with functions previously thought to be rare among LOV proteins, such as regulators of G protein signaling, and discovered several previously unidentified effectors, such as lipases. This work highlights the value of applying genomic and transcriptomic technologies to diverse organisms to capture the structural and functional variation in photosensory proteins that are vastly important in adaptation, photobiology, and
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
Purpose 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). Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:27145477
Glantz, Spencer T; Carpenter, Eric J; Melkonian, Michael; Gardner, Kevin H; Boyden, Edward S; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Chow, Brian Y
Light-oxygen-voltage sensitive (LOV) flavoproteins are ubiquitous photoreceptors that mediate responses to environmental cues. Photosensory inputs are transduced into signaling outputs via structural rearrangements in sensor domains that consequently modulate the activity of an effector domain or multidomain clusters. Establishing the diversity in effector function and sensor-effector topology will inform what signaling mechanisms govern light-responsive behaviors across multiple kingdoms of life and how these signals are transduced. Here, we report the bioinformatics identification of over 6,700 candidate LOV domains (including over 4,000 previously unidentified sequences from plants and protists), and insights from their annotations for ontological function and structural arrangements. Motif analysis identified the sensors from ∼42 million ORFs, with strong statistical separation from other flavoproteins and non-LOV members of the structurally related Per-aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT)-Sim family. Conserved-domain analysis determined putative light-regulated function and multidomain topologies. We found that for certain effectors, sensor-effector linker length is discretized based on both phylogeny and the preservation of α-helical heptad repeats within an extended coiled-coil linker structure. This finding suggests that preserving sensor-effector orientation is a key determinant of linker length, in addition to ancestry, in LOV signaling structure-function. We found a surprisingly high prevalence of effectors with functions previously thought to be rare among LOV proteins, such as regulators of G protein signaling, and discovered several previously unidentified effectors, such as lipases. This work highlights the value of applying genomic and transcriptomic technologies to diverse organisms to capture the structural and functional variation in photosensory proteins that are vastly important in adaptation, photobiology, and optogenetics.
Cao, Dingcai; Barrionuevo, Pablo A
The intrinsic circadian clock requires photoentrainment to synchronize the 24-hour solar day. Therefore, light stimulation is an important component of chronobiological research. Currently, the chronobiological research field overwhelmingly uses photopic illuminance that is based on the luminous efficiency function, V(λ), to quantify light levels. However, recent discovery of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which are activated by self-contained melanopsin photopigment and also by inputs from rods and cones, makes light specification using a one-dimensional unit inadequate. Since the current understanding of how different photoreceptor inputs contribute to the circadian system through ipRGCs is limited, it is recommended to specify light in terms of the excitations of five photoreceptors (S-, M-, L-cones, rods and ipRGCs; Lucas et al., 2014). In the current study, we assessed whether the spectral outputs from a commercially available spectral watch (i.e. Actiwatch Spectrum) could be used to estimate photoreceptor excitations. Based on the color sensor spectral sensitivity functions from a previously published work, as well as from our measurements, we computed spectral outputs in the long-wavelength range (R), middle-wavelength range (G), short-wavelength range (B) and broadband range (W) under 52 CIE illuminants (25 daylight illuminants, 27 fluorescent lights). We also computed the photoreceptor excitations for each illuminant using human photoreceptor spectral sensitivity functions. Linear regression analyses indicated that the Actiwatch spectral outputs could predict photoreceptor excitations reliably, under the assumption of linear responses of the Actiwatch color sensors. In addition, R, G, B outputs could classify illuminant types (fluorescent versus daylight illuminants) satisfactorily. However, the assessment of actual Actiwatch recording under several testing light sources showed that the spectral outputs were subject to
Rodriguez-Osorio, N; Urrego, R; Cibelli, J B; Eilertsen, K; Memili, E
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), the technique commonly known as cloning, permits transformation of a somatic cell into an undifferentiated zygote with the potential to develop into a newborn animal (i.e., a clone). In somatic cells, chromatin is programmed to repress most genes and express some, depending on the tissue. It is evident that the enucleated oocyte provides the environment in which embryonic genes in a somatic cell can be expressed. This process is controlled by a series of epigenetic modifications, generally referred to as "nuclear reprogramming," which are thought to involve the removal of reversible epigenetic changes acquired during cell differentiation. A similar process is thought to occur by overexpression of key transcription factors to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), bypassing the need for SCNT. Despite its obvious scientific and medical importance, and the great number of studies addressing the subject, the molecular basis of reprogramming in both reprogramming strategies is largely unknown. The present review focuses on the cellular and molecular events that occur during nuclear reprogramming in the context of SCNT and the various approaches currently being used to improve nuclear reprogramming. A better understanding of the reprogramming mechanism will have a direct impact on the efficiency of current SCNT procedures, as well as iPSC derivation.
Heiduschka, Peter; Renninger, Daniel; Fischer, Dietmar; Müller, Adrienne; Hofmeister, Sabine; Schraermeyer, Ulrich
Lens injury induced activation of retinal glia, and subsequent release of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) potently protect axotomised retinal ganglion cells from apoptosis and promotes axon regeneration in the injured optic nerve. The goal of the current study was to investigate if similar effects may also be applicable to rescue photoreceptors from degeneration in a model of retinitis pigmentosa. Lens injury was performed in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats at the age of one month. The survival of photoreceptors was evaluated histologically, and retinal function was analysed by electroretinography (ERG). Expression of CNTF was also analysed. Lens injury significantly enhanced the survival of photoreceptors 1 month after surgery compared to untreated controls, which was associated with an enhanced ERG response. In addition, lens injury significantly protected photoreceptors from degeneration in the contralateral eye, although to a much lesser extent. We could show that lens injury is sufficient to transiently delay the degeneration of photoreceptors in the RCS rat. The observed neuroprotective effects may be at least partially mediated by an upregulation of CNTF expression seen after lens injury.
Mustafi, Debarshi; Avishai, Amir; Avishai, Nanthawan; Engel, Andreas; Heuer, Arthur; Palczewski, Krzysztof
Structurally deciphering complex neural networks requires technology with sufficient resolution to allow visualization of single cells and their intimate surrounding connections. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), coupled with serial ion ablation (SIA) technology, presents a new avenue to study these networks. SIA allows ion ablation to remove nanometer sections of tissue for SEM imaging, resulting in serial section data collection for three-dimensional reconstruction. Here we highlight a method for preparing retinal tissues for imaging of photoreceptors by SIA-SEM technology. We show that this technique can be used to visualize whole rod photoreceptors and the internal disc elements from wild-type (wt) mice. The distance parameters of the discs and photoreceptors are in good agreement with previous work with other methods. Moreover, we show that large planes of retinal tissue can be imaged at high resolution to display the packing of normal rods. Finally, SIA-SEM imaging of retinal tissue from a mouse model (Nrl⁻/⁻) with phenotypic changes akin to the human disease enhanced S-cone syndrome (ESCS) revealed a structural profile of overall photoreceptor ultrastructure and internal elements that accompany this disease. Overall, this work presents a new method to study photoreceptor cells at high structural resolution that has a broad applicability to the visual neuroscience field.
Insinna, Christine; Luby-Phelps, Katherine; Link, Brian A; Besharse, Joseph C
The photoreceptor outer segment (OS), a well-defined sensory cilium, provides an important context for the study of intraflagellar transport (IFT). The early phases of OS development involve successive events that are common to virtually all cilia. Additionally, intense protein trafficking occurs through the cilium and relies on IFT to maintain proper cellular morphology and optimize the photosensitive function. In the past decade, progress has been made in the characterization of photoreceptor OS trafficking in murine and amphibian models. Recently, powerful and cost-effective molecular tools and techniques for zebrafish have opened new opportunities to study photoreceptor IFT. Studies using zebrafish take advantage of its rapid embryogenesis to characterize the early events involved in photoreceptor ciliogenesis and OS assembly. In this overview, we describe phenotypes associated with knockdown strategies or genetic mutations of IFT components in zebrafish and detail a general experimental approach that has enabled us to study the function of the two anterograde IFT motors, KIF17 and kinesin II, in zebrafish cone photoreceptors.
Tao, Ye; Geng, Lei; Wang, Liqiang; Xu, Weiwei; Qin, Limin; Peng, Guanghua; Huang, Yi Fei; Yang, Ji xue
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of inherited retinal dystrophies characterized by progressive photoreceptor apoptosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been recognized as critical initiators of the photoreceptor apoptosis in RP. Photoreceptor survival in RP mutants will not only require the inhibition of effectors of apoptotic machinery, but also the elimination of the initiating upstream signals, such as ROS. These cytotoxic ROS should be neutralized by the antioxidant defense system, otherwise they would interact with the macromolecules essential for photoreceptor survival. Hydrogen is a promising gaseous agent that has come to the forefront of therapeutic research over the last few years. It has been verified that hydrogen is capable of neutralizing the cytotoxic ROS selectively, rectifying abnormities in the apoptotic cascades, and attenuating the related inflammatory response. Hydrogen is so mild that it does not disturb the metabolic oxidation-reduction reactions or disrupt the physiologic ROS involved in cell signaling. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that hydrogen might be an effective therapeutic agent to slow or prevent photoreceptor degeneration in RP retinas. It is a logical step to test hydrogen for therapeutic use in multiple RP animal models, and ultimately in human RP patients.
Shen, Weiyong; Yau, Belinda; Lee, So-Ra; Zhu, Ling; Yam, Michelle; Gillies, Mark C.
Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy has revolutionized the treatment of retinal vascular diseases. However, constitutive VEGF also acts as a trophic factor on retinal non-vascular cells. We have studied the effects of aflibercept and ranibizumab on human Müller cells and photoreceptors exposed to starvation media containing various concentrations of glucose, with or without CoCl2-induced hypoxia. Cell survival was assessed by calcein-AM cell viability assays. Expression of heat shock proteins (Hsp) and redox proteins thioredoxin 1 and 2 (TRX1, TRX2) was studied by Western blots. The production of neurotrophic factors in Müller cells and interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) in photoreceptors was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Aflibercept and ranibizumab did not affect the viability of both types of cells. Neither aflibercept nor ranibizumab affected the production of neurotrophic factors or expression of Hsp60 and Hsp90 in Müller cells. However, aflibercept but not ranibizumab affected the expression of Hsp60, Hsp9, TRX1 and TRX2 in photoreceptors. Aflibercept and ranibizumab both inhibited the production of IRBP in photoreceptors, aflibercept more so than ranibizumab. Our data indicates that the potential influence of aflibercept and ranibizumab on photoreceptors should be specifically monitored in clinical studies. PMID:28257068
Jacobson, Samuel G.; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Aleman, Tomas S.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Windsor, Elizabeth A. M.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Heon, Elise; Stone, Edwin M.
PURPOSE To study the topography of photoreceptor loss early in the course of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) caused by RPE65 mutations. METHODS Young patients with RPE65-LCA (n = 9; ages, 6–17 years) were studied with optical coherence tomography (OCT) in a wide region of central retina. Outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness was mapped topographically and compared with that in normal subjects and in older patients with RPE65-LCA. RESULTS Photoreceptor layer topography was abnormal in all young patients with RPE65-LCA. Foveal and extrafoveal ONL was reduced in most patients. There were interindividual differences, with ONL thicknesses at most retinal locations ranging from near the detectability limit to a significant fraction of normal. These differences were not clearly related to age. In most patients, there was a thinner ONL inferior to the fovea compared with that in the superior retina. Summary maps obtained by aligning and averaging photoreceptor topography across all young patients showed a relative preservation of ONL in the superior-temporal and temporal pericentral retina. These retinal regions also showed the greatest magnitude of interindividual variation. CONCLUSIONS Photoreceptor loss in the foveal and extrafoveal retina was prominent, even in the youngest patients studied. Differences in the topography of residual photoreceptors in children with RPE65-LCA suggest that it may be advisable to use individualized ONL mapping to guide the location of sub-retinal injections for gene therapy and thereby maximize the potential for efficacy. PMID:18539930
Zhang, Conghui; Zhang, Qi; Wang, Fang; Liu, Qin
Proteomic analysis of the mouse photoreceptor sensory cilium identified a set of cilia proteins, including Poc1 centriolar protein b (Poc1b). Previous functional studies in human cells and zebrafish embryos implicated that Poc1b plays important roles in centriole duplication and length control, as well as ciliogenesis. To study the function of Poc1b in photoreceptor sensory cilia and other primary cilia, we expressed a tagged recombinant Poc1b protein in cultured renal epithelial cells and rat retina. Poc1b was localized to the centrioles and spindle bundles during cell cycle progression, and to the basal body of photoreceptor sensory cilia. A morpholino knockdown and complementation assay of poc1b in zebrafish showed that loss of poc1b led to a range of morphological anomalies of cilia commonly associated with human ciliopathies. In the retina, the development of retinal laminae was significantly delayed and the length of photoreceptor outer segments was shortened. Visual behavior studies revealed impaired visual function in the poc1b morphants. In addition, ciliopathy-associated developmental defects, such as small eyes, curved body axis, heart defects, and shortened cilia in Kupffer's vesicle, were observed as well. These data suggest that poc1b is required for normal development and ciliogenesis of retinal photoreceptor sensory cilia and other cilia. Furthermore, this conclusion is supported by recent findings that mutations in POC1B gene have been identified in patients with inherited retinal dystrophy and syndromic retinal ciliopathy.
Rudolf, Jerneja; Meglič, Andrej; Zupančič, Gregor; Belušič, Gregor
Blowfly photoreceptors are highly energy demanding sensory systems. Their information processing efficiency is enabled by the high temporal resolution of the cell membrane, requiring heavy metabolic support by the mitochondria. We studied the developmental changes of the mitochondrial apparatus and electrical properties of the photoreceptor membrane in the white eyed Calliphora vicina Chalky. Using in vivo microspectrophotometry and Western blot analysis, we found an age-dependent increase in the concentration of mitochondrial pigments. The maximal change occurred during the first week. The age-related changes were smaller in dark-bred than in light-bred flies. The mitochondrial pigment content increased after the switch from dark to light rearing and decreased after the switch from light to dark rearing. The electrical parameters of the photoreceptors were investigated with intracellular recordings. The resting membrane resistance and time constant decreased significantly after eclosion. The decrease was again most significant during the first week of adult life, paralleled with changes in the Na/K pump-dependent hyperpolarizing afterpotential. We conclude that the photoreceptor mitochondria exhibit remarkable ontogenetic and phenotypic plasticity, because the quantity of mitochondrial pigments tightly follows the development of the cell membrane as well as the energy demands of the photoreceptors under different rearing conditions.
Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z.; O'Brien, John
Electrical coupling of neurons is widespread throughout the central nervous system and is observed among retinal photoreceptors from essentially all vertebrates. Coupling dampens voltage noise in photoreceptors and rod-cone coupling provides a means for rod signals to enter the cone pathway, extending the dynamic range of rod-mediated vision. This coupling is dynamically regulated by a circadian rhythm and light adaptation. We examined the molecular mechanism that controls photoreceptor coupling in zebrafish retina. Connexin 35 (homologous to Cx36 of mammals) was found at both cone-cone and rod-cone gap junctions. Photoreceptors showed strong Neurobiotin tracer coupling at night, extensively labeling the network of cones. Tracer coupling was significantly reduced in the daytime, showing a 20-fold lower diffusion coefficient for Neurobiotin transfer. The phosphorylation state of Cx35 at two regulatory phosphorylation sites, Ser110 and Ser276, was directly related to tracer coupling. Phosphorylation was high at night and low during the day. Protein kinase A (PKA) activity directly controlled both phosphorylation state and tracer coupling. Both were significantly increased in the day by pharmacological activation of PKA and significantly reduced at night by inhibition of PKA. The data are consistent with direct phosphorylation of Cx35 by PKA. We conclude that the magnitude of photoreceptor coupling is controlled by the dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Cx35. Furthermore, the nighttime state is characterized by extensive coupling that results in a well-connected cone network. PMID:19955370
Kurihara, Toshihide; Westenskow, Peter D; Gantner, Marin L; Usui, Yoshihiko; Schultz, Andrew; Bravo, Stephen; Aguilar, Edith; Wittgrove, Carli; Friedlander, Mollie SH; Paris, Liliana P; Chew, Emily; Siuzdak, Gary; Friedlander, Martin
Photoreceptors are the most numerous and metabolically demanding cells in the retina. Their primary nutrient source is the choriocapillaris, and both the choriocapillaris and photoreceptors require trophic and functional support from retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Defects in RPE, photoreceptors, and the choriocapillaris are characteristic of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common vision-threatening disease. RPE dysfunction or death is a primary event in AMD, but the combination(s) of cellular stresses that affect the function and survival of RPE are incompletely understood. Here, using mouse models in which hypoxia can be genetically triggered in RPE, we show that hypoxia-induced metabolic stress alone leads to photoreceptor atrophy. Glucose and lipid metabolism are radically altered in hypoxic RPE cells; these changes impact nutrient availability for the sensory retina and promote progressive photoreceptor degeneration. Understanding the molecular pathways that control these responses may provide important clues about AMD pathogenesis and inform future therapies. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14319.001 PMID:26978795
Emoto, Yuko; Yoshizawa, Katsuhiko; Kinoshita, Yuichi; Yuki, Michiko; Yuri, Takashi; Tsubura, Airo
The effects of green tea extract (GTE) on N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced photoreceptor cell apoptosis were examined, and the possible mechanisms of action of GTE were assessed. Alterations in the retinal morphological architecture were determined by hematoxylin-eosin staining, vimentin immunoreactivity, and photoreceptor cell apoptosis (TUNEL labeling). Expression of oxidant marker, heme oxygenase (HO)-1, mRNA levels in outer nuclear cells was assessed by laser capture microdissection (LCM). Sprague-Dawley rats were given 40 mg/kg MNU at 7 weeks of age in the absence and presence of 250 mg/kg GTE treatment (once daily from 3 days prior to MNU for a maximum 10 days). Although photoreceptor cell degeneration began 24 hr after MNU, the morphological effects of GTE at the time point were not definitive. However, GTE lowered TUNEL labeling and HO-1 mRNA expression. At 7 days after MNU, photoreceptor damage was attenuated by GTE treatment. Therefore, the ability of GTE to reduce MNU-induced photoreceptor cell apoptosis may be due to its antioxidant properties.
Fang, Wei; Guo, Chuanyu; Wei, Xiangyun
Photoreceptor-specific transcription of individual genes collectively constitutes the transcriptional profile that orchestrates the structural and functional characteristics of each photoreceptor type. It is challenging, however, to study the transcriptional specificity of individual photoreceptor genes because each gene's distinct spatiotemporal transcription patterns are determined by the unique interactions between a specific set of transcription factors and the gene's own cis-regulatory elements (CREs), which remain unknown for most of the genes. For example, it is unknown what CREs underlie the zebrafish mpp5b(ponli) (ponli) and crumbs2b (crb2b) apical polarity genes' restrictive transcription in the red, green, and blue (RGB) cones in the retina, but not in other retinal cell types. Here we show that the intronic enhancers of both the ponli and crb2b genes are conserved among teleost species and that they share sequence motifs that are critical for RGB cone-specific transcription. Given their similarities in sequences and functions, we name the ponli and crb2b enhancers collectively rainbow enhancers. Rainbow enhancers may represent a cis-regulatory mechanism to turn on a group of genes that are commonly and restrictively expressed in RGB cones, which largely define the beginning of the color vision pathway.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dim-light achromatic vision and bright-light color vision are initiated in rod and several types of cone photoreceptors, respectively; these photoreceptors are structurally distinct from each other. In zebrafish, although quite different from rods and UV cones, RGB cones (red, green, and blue cones) are structurally similar and unite into mirror-symmetric pentamers (G-R-B-R-G) by adhesion. This structural commonality and unity suggest that a set of genes is commonly expressed only in RGB cones but not in other cells. Here, we report that the rainbow enhancers activate RGB cone-specific transcription of the ponli and crb2b genes. This
Clark, Damon A; Demb, Jonathan B
Sensory systems use receptors to extract information from the environment and neural circuits to perform subsequent computations. These computations may be described as algorithms composed of sequential mathematical operations. Comparing these operations across taxa reveals how different neural circuits have evolved to solve the same problem, even when using different mechanisms to implement the underlying math. In this review, we compare how insect and mammalian neural circuits have solved the problem of motion estimation, focusing on the fruit fly Drosophila and the mouse retina. Although the two systems implement computations with grossly different anatomy and molecular mechanisms, the underlying circuits transform light into motion signals with strikingly similar processing steps. These similarities run from photoreceptor gain control and spatiotemporal tuning to ON and OFF pathway structures, motion detection, and computed motion signals. The parallels between the two systems suggest that a limited set of algorithms for estimating motion satisfies both the needs of sighted creatures and the constraints imposed on them by metabolism, anatomy, and the structure and regularities of the visual world.
Di Polo, A; Farber, D B
Retinoblastoma cells in culture have previously been shown to express cone-specific genes but not their rod counterparts. We have detected the messages for the rod alpha, beta, and gamma subunits of cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE), the rod alpha subunit of transducin, rod opsin, and the cone alpha' subunit of PDE in RNA of human Y-79 retinoblastoma cells by reverse transcription-PCR. Quantitative analysis of the mRNAs for the rod alpha and cone alpha' PDE subunits revealed that they were expressed at comparable levels; however, the transcript encoding the rod beta PDE subunit was 10 times more abundant in these cells. Northern hybridization analysis of Y-79 cell RNA confirmed the presence of the transcripts for rod and cone PDE catalytic subunits. To test whether the transcriptional machinery required for the expression of rod-specific genes was endogenous in Y-79 retinoblastoma cells, cultures were transfected with a construct containing the promoter region of the rod beta PDE subunit gene attached to the firefly luciferase reporter vector. Significant levels of reporter enzyme activity were observed in the cell lysates. Our results demonstrate that the Y-79 retinoblastoma cell line is a good model system for the study of transcriptional regulation of rod-specific genes. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:7732024
Korenčič, Anja; Košir, Rok; Bordyugov, Grigory; Lehmann, Robert; Rozman, Damjana; Herzel, Hanspeter
Circadian clocks are endogenous oscillators driving daily rhythms in physiology. The cell-autonomous clock is governed by an interlocked network of transcriptional feedback loops. Hundreds of clock-controlled genes (CCGs) regulate tissue specific functions. Transcriptome studies reveal that different organs (e.g. liver, heart, adrenal gland) feature substantially varying sets of CCGs with different peak phase distributions. To study the phase variability of CCGs in mammalian peripheral tissues, we develop a core clock model for mouse liver and adrenal gland based on expression profiles and known cis-regulatory sites. ‘Modulation factors’ associated with E-boxes, ROR-elements, and D-boxes can explain variable rhythms of CCGs, which is demonstrated for differential regulation of cytochromes P450 and 12 h harmonics. By varying model parameters we explore how tissue-specific peak phase distributions can be generated. The central role of E-boxes and ROR-elements is confirmed by analysing ChIP-seq data of BMAL1 and REV-ERB transcription factors. PMID:25048020
Hume, David A
The development of a genome-scale approach to identification of the 5' ends of capped mRNAs (CAGE) has given new insights into many aspects of mammalian RNApolII transcription control. They include the identification of the minimal initiator motif, the different types of proximal promoter architecture, the promoters of noncoding RNAs, the transcription of retrotransposons, and the extensive impact of alternative promoters on the proteome. CAGE also offers applications as a form of expression profiling that measures promoter use, allowing more precise development of transcriptional network models.
Corcoran, David L.; Feingold, Eleanor; Benos, Panayiotis V.
FOOTER is a newly developed algorithm that analyzes homologous mammalian promoter sequences in order to identify transcriptional DNA regulatory ‘signals’. FOOTER uses prior knowledge about the binding site preferences of the transcription factors (TFs) in the form of position-specific scoring matrices (PSSMs). The PSSM models are generated from known mammalian binding sites from the TRANSFAC database. In a test set of 72 confirmed binding sites (most of them not present in TRANSFAC) of 19 TFs, it exhibited 83% sensitivity and 72% specificity. FOOTER is accessible over the web at . PMID:15980508
Nomura, Tadashi; Takahashi, Masanori; Osumi, Noriko
Over the last century, mammalian embryos have been used extensively as a common animal model to investigate fundamental questions in the field of developmental biology. More recently, the establishment of transgenic and gene-targeting systems in laboratory mice has enabled researchers to unveil the genetic mechanisms under lying complex developmental processes (Mak, 2007). However, our understanding of cell—cell interactions and their molecular basis in the early stages of mammalian embryogenesis is still very fragmentary. One of the major problems is the difficulty of precise manipulation and limited accessibility to mammalian embryos via uterus wall. Unfortunately, existing tissue and organotypic culture systems per se do not fully recapitulate three-dimensional, dynamic processes of organogenesis observed in vivo. Although transgenic animal technology and virus-mediated gene delivery are useful to manipulate gene expression, these techniques take much time and financial costs, which limit their use.
Kmoch, S.; Majewski, J.; Ramamurthy, V.; Cao, S.; Fahiminiya, S.; Ren, H.; MacDonald, I.M.; Lopez, I.; Sun, V.; Keser, V.; Khan, A.; Stránecký, V.; Hartmannová, H.; Přistoupilová, A.; Hodaňová, K.; Piherová, L.; Kuchař, L.; Baxová, A.; Chen, R.; Barsottini, O.G.P.; Pyle, A.; Griffin, H.; Splitt, M.; Sallum, J.; Tolmie, J.L.; Sampson, J.R.; Chinnery, P.; Canada, Care4Rare; Banin, E.; Sharon, D.; Dutta, S.; Grebler, R.; Helfrich-Foerster, C.; Pedroso, J.L.; Kretzschmar, D.; Cayouette, M.; Koenekoop, R.K.
Blindness due to retinal degeneration affects millions of people worldwide, but many disease-causing mutations remain unknown. PNPLA6 encodes the patatin-like phospholipase domain containing protein 6, also known as neuropathy target esterase (NTE), which is the target of toxic organophosphates that induce human paralysis due to severe axonopathy of large neurons. Mutations in PNPLA6 also cause human spastic paraplegia characterized by motor neuron degeneration. Here we identify PNPLA6 mutations in childhood blindness in seven families with retinal degeneration, including Leber congenital amaurosis and Oliver McFarlane syndrome. PNPLA6 localizes mostly at the inner segment plasma membrane in photo-receptors and mutations in Drosophila PNPLA6 lead to photoreceptor cell death. We also report that lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidic acid levels are elevated in mutant Drosophila. These findings show a role for PNPLA6 in photoreceptor survival and identify phospholipid metabolism as a potential therapeutic target for some forms of blindness. PMID:25574898
Altimus, C.M.; Güler, A.D.; Alam, N.M.; Arman, A.C.; Prusky, G.T.; Sampath, A.P.; Hattar, S
In mammals, synchronization of the circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus is achieved through direct input from the eyes conveyed by intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Circadian photoentrainment can be maintained by rod and cone photoreceptors, but their functional contributions and their retinal circuits that impinge on ipRGCs are not well understood. We demonstrate in genetic mouse models lacking functional rods, or where rods are the only functional photoreceptors, that rods are solely responsible for photoentrainment at scotopic light intensities. Surprisingly, rods were also capable of driving circadian photoentrainment at photopic intensities where they were incapable of supporting a visually–guided behavior. Using animals in which cone photoreceptors were ablated, we demonstrate that rods signal through cones at high light intensities, but not low light intensities. Thus two distinct retinal circuits drive ipRGC function to support circadian photoentrainment across a wide range of light intensities. PMID:20711184
Xiang, Yang; Yuan, Quan; Vogt, Nina; Looger, Loren L.; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung
Photoreceptors for visual perception, phototaxis or light avoidance are typically clustered in eyes or related structures such as the Bolwig organ of Drosophila larvae. Unexpectedly, we found that the class IV dendritic arborization neurons of Drosophila melanogaster larvae respond to ultraviolet, violet and blue light, and are major mediators of light avoidance, particularly at high intensities. These class IV dendritic arborization neurons, which are present in every body segment, have dendrites tiling the larval body wall nearly completely without redundancy. Dendritic illumination activates class IV dendritic arborization neurons. These novel photoreceptors use phototransduction machinery distinct from other photoreceptors in Drosophila and enable larvae to sense light exposure over their entire bodies and move out of danger. PMID:21068723
Becirovic, Elvir; Böhm, Sybille; Nguyen, Ong N. P.; Riedmayr, Lisa M.; Hammelmann, Verena; Schön, Christian; Butz, Elisabeth S.; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Biel, Martin; Michalakis, Stylianos
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful method for the detection and quantification of stationary and dynamic protein-protein interactions. Technical limitations have hampered systematic in vivo FRET experiments to study protein-protein interactions in their native environment. Here, we describe a rapid and robust protocol that combines adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated in vivo delivery of genetically encoded FRET partners with ex vivo FRET measurements. The method was established on acutely isolated outer segments of murine rod and cone photoreceptors and relies on the high co-transduction efficiency of retinal photoreceptors by co-delivered AAV vectors. The procedure can be used for the systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions of wild type or mutant outer segment proteins in their native environment. Conclusively, our protocol can help to characterize the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of photoreceptor specific proteins and, in principle, should also be transferable to other cell types. PMID:27516733
Salem, Kavitha; van Waasbergen, Lorraine G
The high-light-inducible proteins (HLIPs) of cyanobacteria are polypeptides involved in protecting the cells from high-intensity light (HL). The hliA gene encoding the HLIP from Synechococcus elongatus strain PCC 7942 is expressed in response to HL or low-intensity blue or UV-A light. In this study, we explore via Northern analysis details of the transcriptional regulation and transcript stability of the hliA gene under various light conditions. Transcript levels of the hliA gene increased dramatically upon a shift to HL or UV-A light to similar levels, followed by a rapid decrease in UV-A light, but not in HL, consistent with blue/UV-A light involvement in early stages of HL-mediated expression. A 3-min pulse of low-intensity UV-A light was enough to trigger hliA mRNA accumulation, indicating that a blue/UV-A photoreceptor is involved in upregulation of the gene. Low-intensity red light was found to cause a slight, transient increase in transcript levels (raising the possibility of red-light photoreceptor involvement), while light of other qualities had no apparent effect. No evidence was found for wavelength-specific attenuation of hliA transcript levels induced by HL or UV-A light. Transcript decay was slowed somewhat in darkness, and when photosynthetic electron transport was inhibited by darkness or treatment with DCMU, there appeared a smaller mRNA species that may represent a decay intermediate that accumulates when mRNA decay is slowed. Evidence suggests that upregulation of hliA by light is primarily a transcriptional response but conditions that cause ribosomes to stall on the transcript (e.g., a shift to darkness) can help stabilize hliA mRNA and affect expression levels.
Dhir, Ashish; Dhir, Somdutta; Proudfoot, Nick J; Jopling, Catherine L
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a major part in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Mammalian miRNA biogenesis begins with cotranscriptional cleavage of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcripts by the Microprocessor complex. Although most miRNAs are located within introns of protein-coding transcripts, a substantial minority of miRNAs originate from long noncoding (lnc) RNAs, for which transcript processing is largely uncharacterized. We show, by detailed characterization of liver-specific lnc-pri-miR-122 and genome-wide analysis in human cell lines, that most lncRNA transcripts containing miRNAs (lnc-pri-miRNAs) do not use the canonical cleavage-and-polyadenylation pathway but instead use Microprocessor cleavage to terminate transcription. Microprocessor inactivation leads to extensive transcriptional readthrough of lnc-pri-miRNA and transcriptional interference with downstream genes. Consequently we define a new RNase III-mediated, polyadenylation-independent mechanism of Pol II transcription termination in mammalian cells.
Saari, Paulus; French, Andrew S; Torkkeli, Päivi H; Liu, Hongxia; Immonen, Esa-Ville; Frolov, Roman V
Electrophysiological studies in Drosophila melanogaster and Periplaneta americana have found that the receptor current in their microvillar photoreceptors is generated by two light-activated cationic channels, TRP (transient receptor potential) and TRPL (TRP-like), each having distinct properties. However, the relative contribution of the two channel types to sensory information coding by photoreceptors remains unclear. We recently showed that, in contrast to the diurnal Drosophila in which TRP is the principal phototransduction channel, photoreceptors of the nocturnal P. americana strongly depend on TRPL. Here, we perform a functional analysis, using patch-clamp and intracellular recordings, of P. americana photoreceptors after RNA interference to knock down TRP (TRPkd) and TRPL (TRPLkd). Several functional properties were changed in both knockdown phenotypes: cell membrane capacitance was reduced 1.7-fold, light sensitivity was greatly reduced, and amplitudes of sustained light-induced currents and voltage responses decreased more than twofold over the entire range of light intensities. The information rate (IR) was tested using a Gaussian white-noise modulated light stimulus and was lower in TRPkd photoreceptors (28 ± 21 bits/s) than in controls (52 ± 13 bits/s) because of high levels of bump noise. In contrast, although signal amplitudes were smaller than in controls, the mean IR of TRPLkd photoreceptors was unchanged at 54 ± 29 bits/s(1) because of proportionally lower noise. We conclude that TRPL channels provide high-gain/high-noise transduction, suitable for vision in dim light, whereas transduction by TRP channels is relatively low-gain/low-noise and allows better information transfer in bright light.
Lee, Chanjae; Wallingford, John B.; Gross, Jeffrey M.
Purpose. To identify the mutation and cell biological underpinnings of photoreceptor defects in zebrafish au5 mutants. Methods. Whole genome sequencing and SNP mapping were used to determine the genomic interval that harbors the au5 mutation. A candidate mutation was cloned and sequenced, and mRNA rescue used to validate that the affected gene was correctly identified. In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and confocal imaging were used to determine the effects on photoreceptor development and maintenance in mutant retinae, and to determine if ciliogenesis or cilia-dependent development was affected in mutant embryos. Expression of tagged proteins and high-speed in vivo confocal imaging was used to quantify intraflagellar transport (IFT) and IFT particle localization within multiciliated cells of the Xenopus epidermis. Results. The au5 mutants possess a nonsense mutation in cluap1, which encodes a component of the IFT machinery. Photoreceptor defects result from degeneration of photoreceptors, and defects in ciliogenesis precede degeneration. Cilia in the olfactory pit are absent, and left-right heart positioning is aberrant, consistent with a role for cluap1 during ciliogenesis and cilia-dependent development. High-speed in vivo imaging demonstrates that cluap1 undergoes IFT and that it moves along the cilium bidirectionally, with similar localization and kinetics as IFT20, an IFT-B complex component. Conclusions. We identified a novel mutation in cluap1 and determined that photoreceptor maintenance is dependent on cluap1. Imaging data support a model in which cluap1 is a component of the IFT-B complex, and cilia formation requires cluap1 function. These data may provide new insights into the mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration in retinal ciliopathies. PMID:24970261
Viringipurampeer, I A; Shan, X; Gregory-Evans, K; Zhang, J P; Mohammadi, Z; Gregory-Evans, C Y
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 pde6cw59 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 pde6cw59 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 pde6cw59 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. PMID:24413151
Thompson, Stewart; Blodi, Frederick R.; Lee, Swan; Welder, Chris R.; Mullins, Robert F.; Tucker, Budd A.; Stasheff, Steven F.; Stone, Edwin M.
Purpose. 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. Methods. Retinal and visual function was tested in wild-type and Rds mice at 90 days of age (RdsP90). 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. Results. RdsP90 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 dis