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Sample records for mammalian photoreceptor transcriptional

  1. Active opsin loci adopt intrachromosomal loops that depend on the photoreceptor transcription factor network.

    PubMed

    Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming

    2011-10-25

    Rod and cone opsin genes are expressed in a mutually exclusive manner in their respective photoreceptor subtypes in the mammalian retina. Previous transgenic mouse studies showed that functional interactions between the distal enhancer and proximal promoter of rhodopsin and long/medium-wavelength (L/M) opsin genes are essential for regulating their cell-type-specific transcription. We have used chromosomal conformation capture assays in mouse retinas to investigate the molecular mechanism responsible for this interaction. Here we show that each opsin gene forms intrachromosomal loops in the appropriate photoreceptor subtype, while maintaining a linear configuration in other cell types where it is silent. The enhancer forms physical contacts not only with the promoter but also with the coding regions of each opsin locus. ChIP assays showed that cell-type-specific target binding by three key photoreceptor transcription factors-cone--rod homeobox (CRX), neural retina leucine zipper (NRL), and nuclear receptor subfamily 2, group E, member 3 (NR2E3)--is required for the appropriate local chromosomal organization and transcription of rod and cone opsins. Similar correlations between chromosomal loops and active transcription of opsin genes were also observed in human photoreceptors. Furthermore, quantitative chromosomal conformation capture on human retinas from two male donors showed that the L/M enhancer locus control region (LCR) loops with either the L or M promoter in a near 3:1 ratio, supporting distance-dependent competition between L and M for LCR. Altogether, our results suggest that the photoreceptor transcription factor network cooperatively regulates the chromosomal organization of target genes to precisely control photoreceptor subtype-specific gene expression.

  2. The Spalt family transcription factor Sall3 regulates the development of cone photoreceptors and retinal horizontal interneurons

    PubMed Central

    de Melo, Jimmy; Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming; Blackshaw, Seth

    2011-01-01

    The mammalian retina is a tractable model system for analyzing transcriptional networks that guide neural development. Spalt family zinc-finger transcription factors play a crucial role in photoreceptor specification in Drosophila, but their role in mammalian retinal development has not been investigated. In this study, we show that that the spalt homolog Sall3 is prominently expressed in developing cone photoreceptors and horizontal interneurons of the mouse retina and in a subset of cone bipolar cells. We find that Sall3 is both necessary and sufficient to activate the expression of multiple cone-specific genes, and that Sall3 protein is selectively bound to the promoter regions of these genes. Notably, Sall3 shows more prominent expression in short wavelength-sensitive cones than in medium wavelength-sensitive cones, and that Sall3 selectively activates expression of the short but not the medium wavelength-sensitive cone opsin gene. We further observe that Sall3 regulates the differentiation of horizontal interneurons, which form direct synaptic contacts with cone photoreceptors. Loss of function of Sall3 eliminates expression of the horizontal cell-specific transcription factor Lhx1, resulting in a radial displacement of horizontal cells that partially phenocopies the loss of function of Lhx1. These findings not only demonstrate that Spalt family transcription factors play a conserved role in regulating photoreceptor development in insects and mammals, but also identify Sall3 as a factor that regulates terminal differentiation of both cone photoreceptors and their postsynaptic partners. PMID:21558380

  3. Transcriptional Regulation of Rod Photoreceptor Homeostasis Revealed by In Vivo NRL Targetome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Hong; Kim, Douglas S.; Klocke, Bernward; Johnson, Kory R.; Cui, Kairong; Gotoh, Norimoto; Zang, Chongzhi; Gregorski, Janina; Gieser, Linn; Peng, Weiqun; Fann, Yang; Seifert, Martin; Zhao, Keji; Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    A stringent control of homeostasis is critical for functional maintenance and survival of neurons. In the mammalian retina, the basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor NRL determines rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate and activates the expression of many rod-specific genes. Here, we report an integrated analysis of NRL-centered gene regulatory network by coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP–Seq) data from Illumina and ABI platforms with global expression profiling and in vivo knockdown studies. We identified approximately 300 direct NRL target genes. Of these, 22 NRL targets are associated with human retinal dystrophies, whereas 95 mapped to regions of as yet uncloned retinal disease loci. In silico analysis of NRL ChIP–Seq peak sequences revealed an enrichment of distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites. Specifically, we discovered that genes involved in photoreceptor function include binding sites for both NRL and homeodomain protein CRX. Evaluation of 26 ChIP–Seq regions validated their enhancer functions in reporter assays. In vivo knockdown of 16 NRL target genes resulted in death or abnormal morphology of rod photoreceptors, suggesting their importance in maintaining retinal function. We also identified histone demethylase Kdm5b as a novel secondary node in NRL transcriptional hierarchy. Exon array analysis of flow-sorted photoreceptors in which Kdm5b was knocked down by shRNA indicated its role in regulating rod-expressed genes. Our studies identify candidate genes for retinal dystrophies, define cis-regulatory module(s) for photoreceptor-expressed genes and provide a framework for decoding transcriptional regulatory networks that dictate rod homeostasis. PMID:22511886

  4. Localization of glutamate receptors at a complex synapse. The mammalian photoreceptor synapse.

    PubMed

    Brandstätter, J H; Hack, I

    2001-01-01

    A key feature of signal processing in the mammalian retina is parallel processing, where the segregation of visual information, e.g., brightness, darkness, and color, starts at the first synapse in the retina, the photoreceptor synapse. These various aspects are transmitted in parallel from the input neurons of the retina, the photoreceptor cells, through the interconnecting bipolar cells, to the output neurons, the ganglion cells. The photoreceptors and bipolar cells release a single excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, at their synapses. This parsimony is contrasted by the expression of a plethora of glutamate receptors, receptor subunits, and isoforms. The detailed knowledge of the synaptic distribution of glutamate receptors thus is of major importance in understanding the mechanisms of retinal signal processing. This review intends to highlight recent studies on the distribution of glutamate receptors at the photoreceptor synapses of the mammalian retina.

  5. The locations of mitochondria in mammalian photoreceptors: relation to retinal vasculature.

    PubMed

    Stone, Jonathan; van Driel, Diana; Valter, Krisztina; Rees, Sandra; Provis, Jan

    2008-01-16

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sotolongo-Lopez, Mailin; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J.; Vera, Daniel L.; Fadool, James M.

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. The transcription factor Glass links eye field specification with photoreceptor differentiation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Bernardo-Garcia, F Javier; Fritsch, Cornelia; Sprecher, Simon G

    2016-04-15

    Eye development requires an evolutionarily conserved group of transcription factors, termed the retinal determination network (RDN). However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which the RDN instructs cells to differentiate into photoreceptors. We show that photoreceptor cell identity in Drosophila is critically regulated by the transcription factor Glass, which is primarily expressed in photoreceptors and whose role in this process was previously unknown. Glass is both required and sufficient for the expression of phototransduction proteins. Our results demonstrate that the RDN member Sine oculis directly activates glass expression, and that Glass activates the expression of the transcription factors Hazy and Otd. We identified hazy as a direct target of Glass. Induced expression of Hazy in the retina partially rescues the glass mutant phenotype. Together, our results provide a transcriptional link between eye field specification and photoreceptor differentiation in Drosophila, placing Glass at a central position in this developmental process.

  8. DNA replication and transcription in mammalian mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Falkenberg, Maria; Larsson, Nils-Göran; Gustafsson, Claes M

    2007-01-01

    The mitochondrion was originally a free-living prokaryotic organism, which explains the presence of a compact mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in contemporary mammalian cells. The genome encodes for key subunits of the electron transport chain and RNA components needed for mitochondrial translation. Nuclear genes encode the enzyme systems responsible for mtDNA replication and transcription. Several of the key components of these systems are related to proteins replicating and transcribing DNA in bacteriophages. This observation has led to the proposition that some genes required for DNA replication and transcription were acquired together from a phage early in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell, already at the time of the mitochondrial endosymbiosis. Recent years have seen a rapid development in our molecular understanding of these machineries, but many aspects still remain unknown.

  9. Separable transcriptional regulatory domains within Otd control photoreceptor terminal differentiation events

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Elizabeth C.; Xie, Baotong; Workman, Michael; Charlton-Perkins, Mark; Terrell, David A.; Reischl, Joachim; Wimmer, Ernst A.; Gebelein, Brian A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Orthodenticle (Otd)-related transcription factors are essential for anterior patterning and brain morphogenesis from Cnidaria to Mammals, and genetically underlie several human retinal pathologies. Despite their key developmental functions, relatively little is known regarding the molecular basis of how these factors regulate downstream effectors in a cell- or tissue-specific manner. Many invertebrate and vertebrate species encode two to three Otd proteins, whereas Drosophila encodes a single Otd protein. In the fly retina, Otd controls rhabdomere morphogenesis of all photoreceptors and regulates distinct Rhodopsin-encoding genes in a photoreceptor subtype-specific manner. Here, we performed a structure-function analysis of Otd during Drosophila eye development using in vivo rescue experiments and in vitro transcriptional regulatory assays. Our findings indicate that Otd requires at least three distinct transcriptional regulatory domains to control photoreceptor-specific rhodopsin gene expression and photoreceptor morphogenesis. Our results also uncover a previously unknown role for Otd in preventing co-expression of sensory receptors in blue vs. green-sensitive R8 photoreceptors. Sequence analysis indicates that many of the transcriptional regulatory domains identified here are conserved in multiple Diptera Otd-related proteins. Thus, these studies provide a basis for identifying shared molecular pathways involved in a wide range of developmental processes. PMID:20732315

  10. R7 Photoreceptor Specification in the Developing Drosophila Eye: The Role of the Transcription Factor Deadpan

    PubMed Central

    Mavromatakis, Yannis Emmanuel; Tomlinson, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Mammalian Transcription-Coupled Excision Repair

    PubMed Central

    Vermeulen, Wim; Fousteri, Maria

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23906714

  12. Association of Shank 1A Scaffolding Protein with Cone Photoreceptor Terminals in the Mammalian Retina

    PubMed Central

    Stella, Salvatore L.; Vila, Alejandro; Hung, Albert Y.; Rome, Michael E.; Huynh, Uyenchi; Sheng, Morgan; Kreienkamp, Hans-Juergen; Brecha, Nicholas C.

    2012-01-01

    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

  13. Regulation of mammalian transcription and splicing by Nuclear RNAi.

    PubMed

    Kalantari, Roya; Chiang, Cheng-Ming; Corey, David R

    2016-01-29

    RNA interference (RNAi) is well known as a mechanism for controlling mammalian mRNA translation in the cytoplasm, but what would be the consequences if it also functions in cell nuclei? Although RNAi has also been found in nuclei of plants, yeast, and other organisms, there has been relatively little progress towards understanding the potential involvement of mammalian RNAi factors in nuclear processes including transcription and splicing. This review summarizes evidence for mammalian RNAi factors in cell nuclei and mechanisms that might contribute to the control of gene expression. When RNAi factors bind small RNAs, they form ribonucleoprotein complexes that can be selective for target sequences within different classes of nuclear RNA substrates. The versatility of nuclear RNAi may supply a previously underappreciated layer of regulation to transcription, splicing, and other nuclear processes.

  14. Regulation of mammalian transcription and splicing by Nuclear RNAi

    PubMed Central

    Kalantari, Roya; Chiang, Cheng-Ming; Corey, David R.

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is well known as a mechanism for controlling mammalian mRNA translation in the cytoplasm, but what would be the consequences if it also functions in cell nuclei? Although RNAi has also been found in nuclei of plants, yeast, and other organisms, there has been relatively little progress towards understanding the potential involvement of mammalian RNAi factors in nuclear processes including transcription and splicing. This review summarizes evidence for mammalian RNAi factors in cell nuclei and mechanisms that might contribute to the control of gene expression. When RNAi factors bind small RNAs, they form ribonucleoprotein complexes that can be selective for target sequences within different classes of nuclear RNA substrates. The versatility of nuclear RNAi may supply a previously underappreciated layer of regulation to transcription, splicing, and other nuclear processes. PMID:26612865

  15. Transcriptional co-regulation of evolutionarily conserved microRNA/cone opsin gene pairs: implications for photoreceptor subtype specification.

    PubMed

    Daido, Yutaka; Hamanishi, Sakurako; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2014-08-01

    The vertebrate retina contains two types of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones, which use distinct types of opsins and phototransduction proteins. Cones can be further divided into several subtypes with differing wavelength sensitivity and morphology. Although photoreceptor development has been extensively studied in a variety of vertebrate species, the mechanism by which photoreceptor subtypes are established is still largely unknown. Here we report two microRNAs (miRNAs), miR-726 and miR-729, which are potentially involved in photoreceptor subtype specification. In the medaka Oryzias latipes, the genes encoding miR-726 and miR-729 are located upstream of the red-sensitive opsin gene LWS-A and the UV-sensitive opsin gene SWS1, respectively, and are transcribed in the opposite direction from the respective opsin genes. The miR-726/LWS pair is conserved between teleosts and tetrapods, and the miR-729/SWS1 pair is conserved among teleosts. in situ hybridization analyses and fluorescence reporter assays suggest that these miRNAs are co-expressed with the respective opsins in specific cone subtypes. Potential targets of miR-726 and miR-729 predicted in silico include several transcription factors that regulate photoreceptor development. Functional analyses of cis-regulatory sequences in vivo suggest that transcription of the paired microRNA and opsin genes is co-regulated by common cis-regulatory modules. We propose an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that controls photoreceptor subtype identity through coupling between transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulations.

  16. A mammalian neural tissue opsin (Opsin 5) is a deep brain photoreceptor in birds.

    PubMed

    Nakane, Yusuke; Ikegami, Keisuke; Ono, Hiroko; Yamamoto, Naoyuki; Yoshida, Shosei; Hirunagi, Kanjun; Ebihara, Shizufumi; Kubo, Yoshihiro; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2010-08-24

    It has been known for many decades that nonmammalian vertebrates detect light by deep brain photoreceptors that lie outside the retina and pineal organ to regulate seasonal cycle of reproduction. However, the identity of these photoreceptors has so far remained unclear. Here we report that Opsin 5 is a deep brain photoreceptive molecule in the quail brain. Expression analysis of members of the opsin superfamily identified as Opsin 5 (OPN5; also known as Gpr136, Neuropsin, PGR12, and TMEM13) mRNA in the paraventricular organ (PVO), an area long believed to be capable of phototransduction. Immunohistochemistry identified Opsin 5 in neurons that contact the cerebrospinal fluid in the PVO, as well as fibers extending to the external zone of the median eminence adjacent to the pars tuberalis of the pituitary gland, which translates photoperiodic information into neuroendocrine responses. Heterologous expression of Opsin 5 in Xenopus oocytes resulted in light-dependent activation of membrane currents, the action spectrum of which showed peak sensitivity (lambda(max)) at approximately 420 nm. We also found that short-wavelength light, i.e., between UV-B and blue light, induced photoperiodic responses in eye-patched, pinealectomized quail. Thus, Opsin 5 appears to be one of the deep brain photoreceptive molecules that regulates seasonal reproduction in birds. PMID:20679218

  17. Transcriptional control of mammalian pancreas organogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cano, David A; Soria, Bernat; Martín, Francisco; Rojas, Anabel

    2014-07-01

    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.

  18. Direct Evidence for Daily Plasticity of Electrical Coupling between Rod Photoreceptors in the Mammalian Retina

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Nan Ge

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Transcriptional analysis of Volvox photoreceptors suggests the existence of different cell-type specific light-signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Kianianmomeni, Arash; Hallmann, Armin

    2015-02-01

    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

  20. Ancient default activators of terminal photoreceptor differentiation in the pancrustacean compound eye: the homeodomain transcription factors Otd and Pph13.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, Markus; Cook, Tiffany; Zelhof, Andrew C

    2016-02-01

    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

  1. A heteromeric transcription factor required for mammalian RNA polymerase II.

    PubMed Central

    Kitajima, S; Tanaka, Y; Kawaguchi, T; Nagaoka, T; Weissman, S M; Yasukochi, Y

    1990-01-01

    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

  2. Transcriptional regulation of mammalian miRNA genes

    PubMed Central

    Schanen, Brian C.; Li, Xiaoman

    2010-01-01

    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

  3. The transcription factor GTF2IRD1 regulates the topology and function of photoreceptors by modulating photoreceptor gene expression across the retina.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Tomohiro; Zhang, Xiaodong; Berlinicke, Cindy; Wan, Jun; Yerrabelli, Anitha; Conner, Elizabeth A; Kjellstrom, Sten; Bush, Ronald; Thorgeirsson, Snorri S; Swaroop, Anand; Chen, Shiming; Zack, Donald J

    2014-11-12

    The mechanisms that specify photoreceptor cell-fate determination, especially as regards to short-wave-sensitive (S) versus medium-wave-sensitive (M) cone identity, and maintain their nature and function, are not fully understood. Here we report the importance of general transcription factor II-I repeat domain-containing protein 1 (GTF2IRD1) in maintaining M cone cell identity and function as well as rod function. In the mouse, GTF2IRD1 is expressed in cell-fate determined photoreceptors at postnatal day 10. GTF2IRD1 binds to enhancer and promoter regions in the mouse rhodopsin, M- and S-opsin genes, but regulates their expression differentially. Through interaction with the transcription factors CRX and thyroid hormone receptor β 2, it enhances M-opsin expression, whereas it suppresses S-opsin expression; and with CRX and NRL, it enhances rhodopsin expression. In an apparent paradox, although GTF2IRD1 is widely expressed in multiple cell types across the retina, knock-out of GTF2IRD1 alters the retinal expression of only a limited number of annotated genes. Interestingly, however, the null mutation leads to altered topology of cone opsin expression in the retina, with aberrant S-opsin overexpression and M-opsin underexpression in M cones. Gtf2ird1-null mice also demonstrate abnormal M cone and rod electrophysiological responses. These findings suggest an important role for GTF2IRD1 in regulating the level and topology of rod and cone gene expression, and in maintaining normal retinal function. PMID:25392503

  4. The Transcription Factor GTF2IRD1 Regulates the Topology and Function of Photoreceptors by Modulating Photoreceptor Gene Expression across the Retina

    PubMed Central

    Masuda, Tomohiro; Zhang, Xiaodong; Berlinicke, Cindy; Wan, Jun; Yerrabelli, Anitha; Conner, Elizabeth A.; Kjellstrom, Sten; Bush, Ronald; Thorgeirsson, Snorri S.; Swaroop, Anand; Chen, Shiming

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms that specify photoreceptor cell-fate determination, especially as regards to short-wave-sensitive (S) versus medium-wave-sensitive (M) cone identity, and maintain their nature and function, are not fully understood. Here we report the importance of general transcription factor II-I repeat domain-containing protein 1 (GTF2IRD1) in maintaining M cone cell identity and function as well as rod function. In the mouse, GTF2IRD1 is expressed in cell-fate determined photoreceptors at postnatal day 10. GTF2IRD1 binds to enhancer and promoter regions in the mouse rhodopsin, M- and S-opsin genes, but regulates their expression differentially. Through interaction with the transcription factors CRX and thyroid hormone receptor β 2, it enhances M-opsin expression, whereas it suppresses S-opsin expression; and with CRX and NRL, it enhances rhodopsin expression. In an apparent paradox, although GTF2IRD1 is widely expressed in multiple cell types across the retina, knock-out of GTF2IRD1 alters the retinal expression of only a limited number of annotated genes. Interestingly, however, the null mutation leads to altered topology of cone opsin expression in the retina, with aberrant S-opsin overexpression and M-opsin underexpression in M cones. Gtf2ird1-null mice also demonstrate abnormal M cone and rod electrophysiological responses. These findings suggest an important role for GTF2IRD1 in regulating the level and topology of rod and cone gene expression, and in maintaining normal retinal function. PMID:25392503

  5. Optical Control of Mammalian Endogenous Transcription and Epigenetic States

    PubMed Central

    Trevino, Alexandro; Hsu, Patrick D.; Heidenreich, Matthias; Cong, Le; Platt, Randall J.; Scott, David A.; Church, George M.; Zhang, Feng

    2013-01-01

    The dynamic nature of gene expression enables cellular programming, homeostasis, and environmental adaptation in living systems. Dissection of causal gene functions in cellular and organismal processes therefore necessitates approaches that enable spatially and temporally precise modulation of gene expression. Recently, a variety of microbial and plant-derived light-sensitive proteins have been engineered as optogenetic actuators, enabling high precision spatiotemporal control of many cellular functions1-11. However, versatile and robust technologies that enable optical modulation of transcription in the mammalian endogenous genome remain elusive. Here, we describe the development of Light-Inducible Transcriptional Effectors (LITEs), an optogenetic two-hybrid system integrating the customizable TALE DNA-binding domain12-14 with the light-sensitive cryptochrome 2 protein and its interacting partner CIB1 from Arabidopsis thaliana. LITEs do not require additional exogenous chemical co-factors, are easily customized to target many endogenous genomic loci, and can be activated within minutes with reversibility3,4,6,7,15. LITEs can be packaged into viral vectors and genetically targeted to probe specific cell populations. We have applied this system in primary mouse neurons, as well as in the brain of awake mice in vivo to mediate reversible modulation of mammalian endogenous gene expression as well as targeted epigenetic chromatin modifications. The LITE system establishes a novel mode of optogenetic control of endogenous cellular processes and enables direct testing of the causal roles of genetic and epigenetic regulation in normal biological processes and disease states. PMID:23877069

  6. Mammalian transcription factor A is a core component of the mitochondrial transcription machinery.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yonghong; Dierckx, Anke; Wanrooij, Paulina H; Wanrooij, Sjoerd; Larsson, Nils-Göran; Wilhelmsson, L Marcus; Falkenberg, Maria; Gustafsson, Claes M

    2012-10-01

    Transcription factor A (TFAM) functions as a DNA packaging factor in mammalian mitochondria. TFAM also binds sequence-specifically to sites immediately upstream of mitochondrial promoters, but there are conflicting data regarding its role as a core component of the mitochondrial transcription machinery. We here demonstrate that TFAM is required for transcription in mitochondrial extracts as well as in a reconstituted in vitro transcription system. The absolute requirement of TFAM can be relaxed by conditions that allow DNA breathing, i.e., low salt concentrations or negatively supercoiled DNA templates. The situation is thus very similar to that described in nuclear RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription, in which the free energy of supercoiling can circumvent the need for a subset of basal transcription factors at specific promoters. In agreement with these observations, we demonstrate that TFAM has the capacity to induce negative supercoils in DNA, and, using the recently developed nucleobase analog FRET-pair tC(O)-tC(nitro), we find that TFAM distorts significantly the DNA structure. Our findings differ from recent observations reporting that TFAM is not a core component of the mitochondrial transcription machinery. Instead, our findings support a model in which TFAM is absolutely required to recruit the transcription machinery during initiation of transcription. PMID:23012404

  7. Identification of the Photoreceptor Transcriptional Co-Repressor SAMD11 as Novel Cause of Autosomal Recessive Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. A synthetic mammalian electro-genetic transcription circuit.

    PubMed

    Weber, Wilfried; Luzi, Stefan; Karlsson, Maria; Sanchez-Bustamante, Carlota Diaz; Frey, Urs; Hierlemann, Andreas; Fussenegger, Martin

    2009-03-01

    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.

  9. Regulatory Divergence of Transcript Isoforms in a Mammalian Model System

    PubMed Central

    Thybert, David; Stefflova, Klara; Watt, Stephen; Flicek, Paul; Brazma, Alvis; Marioni, John C.; Odom, Duncan T.

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic differences between species are driven by changes in gene expression and, by extension, by modifications in the regulation of the transcriptome. Investigation of mammalian transcriptome divergence has been restricted to analysis of bulk gene expression levels and gene-internal splicing. Using allele-specific expression analysis in inter-strain hybrids of Mus musculus, we determined the contribution of multiple cellular regulatory systems to transcriptome divergence, including: alternative promoter usage, transcription start site selection, cassette exon usage, alternative last exon usage, and alternative polyadenylation site choice. Between mouse strains, a fifth of genes have variations in isoform usage that contribute to transcriptomic changes, half of which alter encoded amino acid sequence. Virtually all divergence in isoform usage altered the post-transcriptional regulatory instructions in gene UTRs. Furthermore, most genes with isoform differences between strains contain changes originating from multiple regulatory systems. This result indicates widespread cross-talk and coordination exists among different regulatory systems. Overall, isoform usage diverges in parallel with and independently to gene expression evolution, and the cis and trans regulatory contribution to each differs significantly. PMID:26339903

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Transcription factor NF-Y is involved in differentiation of R7 photoreceptor cell in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, Yasuhide; Ly, Luong Linh; Yamaguchi, Masamitsu

    2012-01-15

    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.

  12. Drosophila homolog of the mammalian jun oncogene is expressed during embryonic development and activates transcription in mammalian cells.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, K; Chaillet, J R; Perkins, L A; Halazonetis, T D; Perrimon, N

    1990-01-01

    By means of low-stringency cross-species hybridization to Southern DNA blots, human c-jun sequences were used to identify a unique Drosophila melanogaster locus (Djun). The predicted DJun protein is highly homologous to members of the mammalian Jun family in both the DNA binding and leucine zipper regions. Djun was mapped by in situ hybridization to position 46E of the second chromosome. It encodes a 1.7-kilobase transcript constitutively expressed at all developmental stages. Functionally, Djun in cooperation with mouse c-fos can trans-activate activator protein 1 DNA binding site when introduced into mammalian cells. Taken together, these data suggest that Djun, much like its mammalian homolog, may activate transcription of genes involved in regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and development. Furthermore, the identification of Djun allows one to exploit the genetics of Drosophila to identify genes in signal transduction pathways involving Djun and thus c-jun. Images PMID:1696724

  13. Nr2e3-directed transcriptional regulation of genes involved in photoreceptor development and cell-type specific phototransduction.

    PubMed

    Haider, Neena B; Mollema, Nissa; Gaule, Meghan; Yuan, Yang; Sachs, Andrew J; Nystuen, Arne M; Naggert, Jürgen K; Nishina, Patsy M

    2009-09-01

    The retinal transcription factor Nr2e3 plays a key role in photoreceptor development and function. In this study we examine gene expression in the retina of Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) mutants with respect to wild-type control mice, to identify genes that are misregulated and hence potentially function in the Nr2e3 transcriptional network. Quantitative candidate gene real time PCR and subtractive hybridization approaches were used to identify transcripts that were misregulated in Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) mice. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were then used to determine which of the misregulated transcripts were direct targets of NR2E3. We identified 24 potential targets of NR2E3. In the developing retina, NR2E3 targets transcription factors such as Ror1, Rorg, and the nuclear hormone receptors Nr1d1 and Nr2c1. In the mature retina NR2E3 targets several genes including the rod specific gene Gnb1 and cone specific genes blue opsin, and two of the cone transducin subunits, Gnat2 and Gnb3. In addition, we identified 5 novel transcripts that are targeted by NR2E3. While mislocalization of proteins between rods and cones was not observed, we did observe diminished concentration of GNB1 protein in adult Nr2e3(rd7/rd7) retinas. These studies identified novel transcriptional pathways that are potentially targeted by Nr2e3 in the retina and specifically demonstrate a novel role for NR2E3 in regulating genes involved in phototransduction. PMID:19379737

  14. Transcriptional Regulation in Mammalian Cells by Sequence-Specific DNA Binding Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Pamela J.; Tjian, Robert

    1989-07-01

    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.

  15. Synthetic Biology Platform for Sensing and Integrating Endogenous Transcriptional Inputs in Mammalian Cells.

    PubMed

    Angelici, Bartolomeo; Mailand, Erik; Haefliger, Benjamin; Benenson, Yaakov

    2016-08-30

    One of the goals of synthetic biology is to develop programmable artificial gene networks that can transduce multiple endogenous molecular cues to precisely control cell behavior. Realizing this vision requires interfacing natural molecular inputs with synthetic components that generate functional molecular outputs. Interfacing synthetic circuits with endogenous mammalian transcription factors has been particularly difficult. Here, we describe a systematic approach that enables integration and transduction of multiple mammalian transcription factor inputs by a synthetic network. The approach is facilitated by a proportional amplifier sensor based on synergistic positive autoregulation. The circuits efficiently transduce endogenous transcription factor levels into RNAi, transcriptional transactivation, and site-specific recombination. They also enable AND logic between pairs of arbitrary transcription factors. The results establish a framework for developing synthetic gene networks that interface with cellular processes through transcriptional regulators. PMID:27545896

  16. Downstream Antisense Transcription Predicts Genomic Features That Define the Specific Chromatin Environment at Mammalian Promoters.

    PubMed

    Lavender, Christopher A; Cannady, Kimberly R; Hoffman, Jackson A; Trotter, Kevin W; Gilchrist, Daniel A; Bennett, Brian D; Burkholder, Adam B; Burd, Craig J; Fargo, David C; Archer, Trevor K

    2016-08-01

    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

  17. Downstream Antisense Transcription Predicts Genomic Features That Define the Specific Chromatin Environment at Mammalian Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Lavender, Christopher A.; Hoffman, Jackson A.; Trotter, Kevin W.; Gilchrist, Daniel A.; Bennett, Brian D.; Burkholder, Adam B.; Fargo, David C.; Archer, Trevor K.

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Cell-Free Transcription of Mammalian Chromatin: Transcription of Globin Messenger RNA Sequences from Bone-Marrow Chromatin with Mammalian RNA Polymerase

    PubMed Central

    Steggles, A. W.; Wilson, G. N.; Kantor, J. A.; Picciano, D. J.; Falvey, A. K.; Anderson, W. F.

    1974-01-01

    A mammalian cell-free transcriptional system was developed in which mammalian RNA polymerase synthesizes globin messenger RNA sequences from bone-marrow chromatin. The messenger RNA sequences are detected by measurement of the ability of the transcribed RNA to hybridize with globin complementary DNA. The globin complementary DNA is synthesized by the enzyme from avian myeloblastosis virus, RNA-directed DNA polymerase, with purified globin messenger RNA as template. The specificity of the globin complementary DNA in annealing reactions was verified by preparing DNA complementary to liver messenger RNA and showing that the globin and liver complementary DNAs are specific for their own messenger RNAs. Both DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II from sheep liver and RNA polymerase from Escherichia coli can transcribe globin messenger RNA sequences from rabbit bone-marrow chromatin; however, the mammalian enzyme appears to be more specific in that globin gene sequences represent a higher proportion of the RNA synthesized. Neither polymerase can transcribe globin messenger RNA sequences from rabbit-liver chromatin. This cell-free assay system should be useful in searching for mammalian transcriptional regulatory factors. PMID:4364529

  19. Feedback induction of a photoreceptor-specific isoform of retinoid-related orphan nuclear receptor β by the rod transcription factor NRL.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yulong; Liu, Hong; Ng, Lily; Kim, Jung-Woong; Hao, Hong; Swaroop, Anand; Forrest, Douglas

    2014-11-21

    Vision requires the generation of cone and rod photoreceptors that function in daylight and dim light, respectively. The neural retina leucine zipper factor (NRL) transcription factor critically controls photoreceptor fates as it stimulates rod differentiation and suppresses cone differentiation. However, the controls over NRL induction that balance rod and cone fates remain unclear. We have reported previously that the retinoid-related orphan receptor β gene (Rorb) is required for Nrl expression and other retinal functions. We show that Rorb differentially expresses two isoforms: RORβ2 in photoreceptors and RORβ1 in photoreceptors, progenitor cells, and other cell types. Deletion of RORβ2 or RORβ1 increased the cone:rod ratio ∼2-fold, whereas deletion of both isoforms in Rorb(-/-) mice produced almost exclusively cone-like cells at the expense of rods, suggesting that both isoforms induce Nrl. Electroporation of either RORβ isoform into retinal explants from Rorb(-/-) neonates reactivated Nrl and rod genes but, in Nrl(-/-) explants, failed to reactivate rod genes, indicating that NRL is the effector for both RORβ isoforms in rod differentiation. Unexpectedly, RORβ2 expression was lost in Nrl(-/-) mice. Moreover, NRL activated the RORβ2-specific promoter of Rorb, indicating that NRL activates Rorb, its own inducer gene. We suggest that feedback activation between Nrl and Rorb genes reinforces the commitment to rod differentiation. PMID:25296752

  20. Acetylation of RNA Polymerase II Regulates Growth-Factor-Induced Gene Transcription in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY 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. PMID:24207025

  1. CRISPR transcriptional repression devices and layered circuits in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Kiani, Samira; Beal, Jacob; Ebrahimkhani, Mohammad R; Huh, Jin; Hall, Richard N; Xie, Zhen; Li, Yinqing; Weiss, Ron

    2014-01-01

    A key obstacle to creating sophisticated genetic circuits has been the lack of scalable device libraries. Here we present a modular transcriptional repression architecture based on clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system and examine approaches for regulated expression of guide RNAs in human cells. Subsequently we demonstrate that CRISPR regulatory devices can be layered to create functional cascaded circuits, which provide a valuable toolbox for engineering purposes. PMID:24797424

  2. CRISPR transcriptional repression devices and layered circuits in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Kiani, Samira; Beal, Jacob; Ebrahimkhani, Mohammad R; Huh, Jin; Hall, Richard N; Xie, Zhen; Li, Yinqing; Weiss, Ron

    2014-07-01

    A key obstacle to creating sophisticated genetic circuits has been the lack of scalable device libraries. Here we present a modular transcriptional repression architecture based on clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system and examine approaches for regulated expression of guide RNAs in human cells. Subsequently we demonstrate that CRISPR regulatory devices can be layered to create functional cascaded circuits, which provide a valuable toolbox for engineering purposes. PMID:24797424

  3. [Transcription complexes in subnuclear fractions isolated from mammalian cells: ultrastructural study].

    PubMed

    Puvion-Dutilleul, F; Bachellerie, J P; Bernadac, A; Zalta, J P

    1977-02-21

    Miller Beatty's technique was adapted to the study of definite chromatin fractions (nucleolar and nonnucleolar chromatin) isolated from Mammalian cells. The ultrastructural organization of the transcriptional complexes obtained depended on the nuclear compartment studied. In isolated nucleoli, there were "Christmas-tree"-like figures. In nonnucleolar chromatin, the figures were different from the former by the internal structure of the RNP fibrils being synthesized.

  4. A systems approach to analyze transcription factors in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Soler, Eric; Andrieu-Soler, Charlotte; Boer, Ernie de; Bryne, Jan Christian; Thongjuea, Supat; Rijkers, Erikjan; Demmers, Jeroen; van IJcken, Wilfred; Grosveld, Frank

    2011-02-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) play a central role in the development of multicellular organisms. The sequential actions of critical TFs direct cells to adopt defined differentiation pathways leading to functional, fully differentiated tissues. Here, we describe a generic experimental pipeline that integrates biochemistry, genetics and next generation sequencing with bioinformatics to characterize TF complexes composition, function and target genes at a genome-wide scale. We show an application of this experimental pipeline which aims to unravel the molecular events taking place during hematopoietic cell differentiation. PMID:20705139

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    During axon targeting, a stereotyped pattern of connectivity is achieved by the integration of intrinsic genetic programs and the response to extrinsic long and short-range directional cues. How this coordination occurs is the subject of intense study. Transcription factors play a central role due to their ability to regulate the expression of multiple genes required to sense and respond to these cues during development. Here we show that the transcription factor HNT regulates layer-specific photoreceptor axon targeting in Drosophila through transcriptional control of jbug/Filamin and multiple genes involved in axon guidance and cytoskeleton organization.Using a microarray analysis we identified 235 genes whose expression levels were changed by HNT overexpression in the eye primordia. We analyzed nine candidate genes involved in cytoskeleton regulation and axon guidance, six of which displayed significantly altered gene expression levels in hnt mutant retinas. Functional analysis confirmed the role of OTK/PTK7 in photoreceptor axon targeting and uncovered Tiggrin, an integrin ligand, and Jbug/Filamin, a conserved actin- binding protein, as new factors that participate of photoreceptor axon targeting. Moreover, we provided in silico and molecular evidence that supports jbug/Filamin as a direct transcriptional target of HNT and that HNT acts partially through Jbug/Filamin in vivo to regulate axon guidance. Our work broadens the understanding of how HNT regulates the coordinated expression of a group of genes to achieve the correct connectivity pattern in the Drosophila visual system. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 1018-1032, 2015. PMID:25652545

  7. Environmental stress and transposon transcription in the mammalian brain

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Richard G.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Pfaff, Donald W.

    2013-01-01

    We recently reported that acute stress causes a substantial upregulation of the epigenetic mark, Histone H3 Lysine 9 Trimethyl (H3K9me3) in the rat hippocampus within an hour of acute stress exposure. To determine the function of this change we used ChIP-sequencing to determine where this silencing mark was being localized. We found that it showed a strong bias toward localization at more active classes of retrotransposable elements and away from genes. Further, we showed that the change was functional in that it reduced transcription of some of these elements (notably the endogenous retrovirus IAP and the B2 SINE). In this commentary we examine these results, which appear to describe a selective genomic stress response and relate it to human health and disease, particularly stress related maladies such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, which have recently been shown to have both epigenetic elements in their causation as well as differences in epigenetic marking of retrotransposons in human patients. PMID:23914311

  8. MLX Is a Transcriptional Repressor of the Mammalian Golgi Stress Response.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Mai; Sasaki-Osugi, Kanae; Oku, Masaya; Sawaguchi, Shogo; Tanakura, Soichiro; Kawai, Yumeto; Wakabayashi, Sadao; Yoshida, Hiderou

    2016-07-30

    The Golgi stress response is a homeostatic mechanism that controls the capacity of the Golgi apparatus in accordance with cellular demands. When the capacity of the Golgi apparatus becomes insufficient (Golgi stress), transcription levels of Golgi-related genes encoding glycosylation enzymes, a Golgi structural protein, and components of vesicular transport are upregulated through a common cis-acting enhancer-the Golgi apparatus stress response element (GASE). Here, we identified the transcription factor MLX as a GASE-binding protein. MLX resides in the cytoplasm and does not bind to GASE in normal growth conditions, whereas MLX translocates into the nucleus and specifically binds to GASE in response to Golgi stress. Suppression of MLX expression increased transcriptional induction of target genes of the Golgi stress response, whereas overexpression of MLX reduced GASE-binding of TFE3 as well as transcriptional induction from GASE, suggesting that MLX is a transcriptional repressor of the mammalian Golgi stress response.

  9. Photoreceptor engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, Thea; Möglich, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. A clustering property of highly-degenerate transcription factor binding sites in the mammalian genome.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chaolin; Xuan, Zhenyu; Otto, Stefanie; Hover, John R; McCorkle, Sean R; Mandel, Gail; Zhang, Michael Q

    2006-01-01

    Transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) are short DNA sequences interacting with transcription factors (TFs), which regulate gene expression. Due to the relatively short length of such binding sites, it is largely unclear how the specificity of protein-DNA interaction is achieved. Here, we have performed a genome-wide analysis of TFBS-like sequences for the transcriptional repressor, RE1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST), as well as for several other representative mammalian TFs (c-myc, p53, HNF-1 and CREB). We find a nonrandom distribution of inexact sites for these TFs, referred to as highly-degenerate TFBSs, that are enriched around the cognate binding sites. Comparisons among human, mouse and rat orthologous promoters reveal that these highly-degenerate sites are conserved significantly more than expected by random chance, suggesting their positive selection during evolution. We propose that this arrangement provides a favorable genomic landscape for functional target site selection.

  11. Pol I Transcription and Pre-rRNA Processing Are Coordinated in a Transcription-dependent Manner in Mammalian Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, K.; Gasiorowski, J. Z.; Chen, D.; Gilmore, R.; Norton, J. T.; Wang, C.; Leary, D. J.; Chan, E.K.L.; Dean, D. A.

    2007-01-01

    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

  12. Evolution of the mammalian transcription factor binding repertoire via transposable elements.

    PubMed

    Bourque, Guillaume; Leong, Bernard; Vega, Vinsensius B; Chen, Xi; Lee, Yen Ling; Srinivasan, Kandhadayar G; Chew, Joon-Lin; Ruan, Yijun; Wei, Chia-Lin; Ng, Huck Hui; Liu, Edison T

    2008-11-01

    Identification of lineage-specific innovations in genomic control elements is critical for understanding transcriptional regulatory networks and phenotypic heterogeneity. We analyzed, from an evolutionary perspective, the binding regions of seven mammalian transcription factors (ESR1, TP53, MYC, RELA, POU5F1, SOX2, and CTCF) identified on a genome-wide scale by different chromatin immunoprecipitation approaches and found that only a minority of sites appear to be conserved at the sequence level. Instead, we uncovered a pervasive association with genomic repeats by showing that a large fraction of the bona fide binding sites for five of the seven transcription factors (ESR1, TP53, POU5F1, SOX2, and CTCF) are embedded in distinctive families of transposable elements. Using the age of the repeats, we established that these repeat-associated binding sites (RABS) have been associated with significant regulatory expansions throughout the mammalian phylogeny. We validated the functional significance of these RABS by showing that they are over-represented in proximity of regulated genes and that the binding motifs within these repeats have undergone evolutionary selection. Our results demonstrate that transcriptional regulatory networks are highly dynamic in eukaryotic genomes and that transposable elements play an important role in expanding the repertoire of binding sites. PMID:18682548

  13. Simian Virus 40 Deoxyribonucleic Acid Transcription In Vitro: Binding and Transcription Patterns with a Mammalian Ribonucleic Acid Polymerase 1

    PubMed Central

    Herzberg, Max; Winocour, Ernest

    1970-01-01

    The in vitro transcription pattern of simian virus 40 (SV40) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by a mammalian ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase, was studied by electron microscopy and velocity sedimentation techniques. It was found that (i) the majority of supercoiled SV40 DNA molecules displayed a single binding site for the enzyme, (ii) the supercoiled structure of SV40 DNA was frequently retained during transcription, and (iii) the majority of RNA molecules synthesized from the supercoiled SV40 DNA template showed no self-complementarity and sedimented relatively homogeneously in the 15S to 16S region of a sucrose gradient (in contrast, the RNA product synthesized from the nicked-circular SV40 DNA template showed self-complementarity and sedimented heterogeneously). RNA polymerase preparations isolated from SV40-infected monkey cells were more active than those isolated from uninfected monkey cells. Images PMID:4320700

  14. Functional cross-kingdom conservation of mammalian and moss (Physcomitrella patens) transcription, translation and secretion machineries.

    PubMed

    Gitzinger, Marc; Parsons, Juliana; Reski, Ralf; Fussenegger, Martin

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19021876

  15. Adenovirus transcriptional regulatory regions are conserved in mammalian cells and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Kornuc, M; Altman, R; Harrich, D; Garcia, J; Chao, J; Kayne, P; Gaynor, R

    1988-01-01

    The adenovirus early region 3 (E3) promoter is an early viral promoter which is strongly induced by the adenovirus transactivator protein E1A. DNase I footprinting with HeLa cell extracts has identified four factor-binding domains which appear to be involved in basal and E1A-induced transcriptional regulation. These binding domains may bind TATA region-binding factors (site I), the CREB/ATF protein (site II), the AP-1 protein (site III), and nuclear factor I/CTF (site IV). Recently, it has been shown that the DNA-binding domain of transcription factor AP-1 has homology with the yeast transcription factor GCN4 and that the yeast transactivator protein GAL4 is able to stimulate transcription in HeLa cells from promoters containing GAL4-binding sites. These results suggest an evolutionary conservation of both transcription factors and the mechanisms responsible for transcriptional activation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and higher eucaryotic organisms. To determine whether similar patterns of transcriptional regulation were seen with the E3 promoter in HeLa and yeast cells, the E3 promoter fused to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (cat) gene was cloned into a high-copy-number plasmid and stably introduced into yeast cells. S1 analysis revealed that similar E3 promoter mRNA start sites were found in yeast and HeLa cells. DNase I footprinting with partially purified yeast extracts revealed that four regions of the E3 promoter were protected. Several of these regions were similar to binding sites determined by using HeLa cell extracts. Oligonucleotide mutagenesis of these binding domains indicated their importance in the transcriptional regulation of the E3 promoter in yeast cells. These results suggest that similar cellular transcription factor-binding sites may be involved in the regulation of promoters in both yeast and mammalian cells. Images PMID:2975753

  16. Adenovirus transcriptional regulatory regions are conserved in mammalian cells and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Kornuc, M; Altman, R; Harrich, D; Garcia, J; Chao, J; Kayne, P; Gaynor, R

    1988-09-01

    The adenovirus early region 3 (E3) promoter is an early viral promoter which is strongly induced by the adenovirus transactivator protein E1A. DNase I footprinting with HeLa cell extracts has identified four factor-binding domains which appear to be involved in basal and E1A-induced transcriptional regulation. These binding domains may bind TATA region-binding factors (site I), the CREB/ATF protein (site II), the AP-1 protein (site III), and nuclear factor I/CTF (site IV). Recently, it has been shown that the DNA-binding domain of transcription factor AP-1 has homology with the yeast transcription factor GCN4 and that the yeast transactivator protein GAL4 is able to stimulate transcription in HeLa cells from promoters containing GAL4-binding sites. These results suggest an evolutionary conservation of both transcription factors and the mechanisms responsible for transcriptional activation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and higher eucaryotic organisms. To determine whether similar patterns of transcriptional regulation were seen with the E3 promoter in HeLa and yeast cells, the E3 promoter fused to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (cat) gene was cloned into a high-copy-number plasmid and stably introduced into yeast cells. S1 analysis revealed that similar E3 promoter mRNA start sites were found in yeast and HeLa cells. DNase I footprinting with partially purified yeast extracts revealed that four regions of the E3 promoter were protected. Several of these regions were similar to binding sites determined by using HeLa cell extracts. Oligonucleotide mutagenesis of these binding domains indicated their importance in the transcriptional regulation of the E3 promoter in yeast cells. These results suggest that similar cellular transcription factor-binding sites may be involved in the regulation of promoters in both yeast and mammalian cells.

  17. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression during osmotic stress responses by the mammalian target of rapamycin.

    PubMed

    Ortells, M Carmen; Morancho, Beatriz; Drews-Elger, Katherine; Viollet, Benoit; Laderoute, Keith R; López-Rodríguez, Cristina; Aramburu, Jose

    2012-05-01

    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

  18. Exploiting ancestral mammalian genomes for the prediction of human transcription factor binding sites

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    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

  19. A systems-level approach to understanding transcriptional regulation by p53 during mammalian hibernation.

    PubMed

    Pan, Peipei; Treat, Michael D; van Breukelen, Frank

    2014-07-15

    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.

  20. A putative transcriptional elongation factor hIws1 is essential for mammalian cell proliferation

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Zhangguo; Zhou Zhongwei; Chen Guohong; Bao Shilai . E-mail: slbao@genetics.ac.cn

    2007-02-02

    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.

  1. ORTI: An Open-Access Repository of Transcriptional Interactions for Interrogating Mammalian Gene Expression Data

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xiuquan; Burykin, Timur; James, David E.; Kuncic, Zdenka

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Altered subcellular localization of transcription factor TEAD4 regulates first mammalian cell lineage commitment.

    PubMed

    Home, Pratik; Saha, Biswarup; Ray, Soma; Dutta, Debasree; Gunewardena, Sumedha; Yoo, Byunggil; Pal, Arindam; Vivian, Jay L; Larson, Melissa; Petroff, Margaret; Gallagher, Patrick G; Schulz, Vincent P; White, Kenneth L; Golos, Thaddeus G; Behr, Barry; Paul, Soumen

    2012-05-01

    In the preimplantation mouse embryo, TEAD4 is critical to establishing the trophectoderm (TE)-specific transcriptional program and segregating TE from the inner cell mass (ICM). However, TEAD4 is expressed in the TE and the ICM. Thus, differential function of TEAD4 rather than expression itself regulates specification of the first two cell lineages. We used ChIP sequencing to define genomewide TEAD4 target genes and asked how transcription of TEAD4 target genes is specifically maintained in the TE. Our analyses revealed an evolutionarily conserved mechanism, in which lack of nuclear localization of TEAD4 impairs the TE-specific transcriptional program in inner blastomeres, thereby allowing their maturation toward the ICM lineage. Restoration of TEAD4 nuclear localization maintains the TE-specific transcriptional program in the inner blastomeres and prevents segregation of the TE and ICM lineages and blastocyst formation. We propose that altered subcellular localization of TEAD4 in blastomeres dictates first mammalian cell fate specification.

  3. Lineage-specific and ubiquitous biological roles of the mammalian transcription factor LSF

    PubMed Central

    Veljkovic, Jelena; Hansen, Ulla

    2012-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells is driven by a complex interplay of multiple transcription factors that respond to signals from either external or internal stimuli. A single transcription factor can control expression of distinct sets of target genes, dependent on its state of post-translational modifications, interacting partner proteins, and the chromatin environment of the cellular genome. Furthermore, many transcription factors can act as either transcriptional repressors or activators, depending on promoter and cellular contexts (Alvarez, et al., 2003). Even in this light, the versatility of LSF (Late SV40 Factor) is remarkable. A hallmark of LSF is its unusual DNA binding domain, as evidenced both by lack of homology to any other established DNA-binding domains and by its DNA recognition sequence. Although a dimer in solution, LSF requires additional multimerization with itself or partner proteins in order to interact with DNA. Transcriptionally, LSF can function as an activator or a repressor. It is a direct target of an increasing number of signal transduction pathways. Biologically, LSF plays roles in cell cycle progression and cell survival, as well as in cell lineage-specific functions, shown most strikingly to date in hematopoietic lineages. This review discusses how the unique aspects of LSF DNA-binding activity may make it particularly susceptible to regulation by signal transduction pathways and may relate to its distinct biological roles. We present current progress in elucidation of both tissue-specific and more universal cellular roles of LSF. Finally, we discuss suggestive data linking LSF to signaling by the amyloid precursor protein and to Alzheimer's disease, as well as to the regulation of latency of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). PMID:15563829

  4. Transcription initiation factor IID-interactive histone chaperone CIA-II implicated in mammalian spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Umehara, Takashi; Horikoshi, Masami

    2003-09-12

    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.

  5. Transcription is Associated with Z-DNA Formation in Metabolically Active Permeabilized Mammalian Cell Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittig, Burghardt; Dorbic, Tomislav; Rich, Alexander

    1991-03-01

    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.

  6. Quantifying the transcriptional output of single alleles in single living mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Yunger, Sharon; Rosenfeld, Liat; Garini, Yuval; Shav-Tal, Yaron

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. Isolation of the protein and RNA content of active sites of transcription from mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Melnik, Svitlana; Caudron-Herger, Maïwen; Brant, Lilija; Carr, Ian M; Rippe, Karsten; Cook, Peter R; Papantonis, Argyris

    2016-03-01

    Mammalian cell nuclei contain three RNA polymerases (RNAP I, RNAP II and RNAP III), which transcribe different gene subsets, and whose active forms are contained in supramolecular complexes known as 'transcription factories.' These complexes are difficult to isolate because they are embedded in the 3D structure of the nucleus. Factories exchange components with the soluble nucleoplasmic pool over time as gene expression programs change during development or disease. Analysis of their content can provide information on the nascent transcriptome and its regulators. Here we describe a protocol for the isolation of large factory fragments under isotonic salt concentrations in <72 h. It relies on DNase I-mediated detachment of chromatin from the nuclear substructure of freshly isolated, unfixed cells, followed by caspase treatment to release multi-megadalton factory complexes. These complexes retain transcriptional activity, and isolation of their contents is compatible with downstream analyses by mass spectrometry (MS) or RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) to catalog the proteins and RNA associated with sites of active transcription. PMID:26914315

  8. Abundant and broad expression of transcription-induced chimeras and protein products in mammalian genomes.

    PubMed

    Lu, Guanting; Wu, Jin; Zhao, Gangbin; Wang, Zhiqiang; Chen, Weihua; Mu, Shijie

    2016-02-12

    The expression of transcription-induced chimeras (TICs) was underestimated due to strategic and logical reasons. In order to thoroughly examine TICs, systematic survey of TIC events was conducted in mammalian genomes using ESTs, followed by experimental validation using RT-PCR and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The expression of ∼98% TIC events in at least one tissue or cell line from both mouse and human was verified. Besides, ∼40% TICs were broadly expressed, and ∼33% of TICs showed expression levels comparable to or higher than their upstream parental genes. We further identified putative chimeric proteins in public databases and validated two using Western blotting. GO analysis revealed that proteins resided in one multi-protein complex or functioning in metabolic or signaling pathway tended to produce fused products. Taken together, we have shown substantial evidence for the underestimated TIC events; and TICs could be a novel regulated way to further increases the proteome complexity in mammalian genomes. Possible regulation mechanisms and evolution of TICs were also discussed. PMID:26718406

  9. Photoreceptor cell fate specification in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Brzezinski, Joseph A.; Reh, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptors – the light-sensitive cells in the vertebrate retina – have been extremely well-characterized with regards to their biochemistry, cell biology and physiology. They therefore provide an excellent model for exploring the factors and mechanisms that drive neural progenitors into a differentiated cell fate in the nervous system. As a result, great progress in understanding the transcriptional network that controls photoreceptor specification and differentiation has been made over the last 20 years. This progress has also enabled the production of photoreceptors from pluripotent stem cells, thereby aiding the development of regenerative medical approaches to eye disease. In this Review, we outline the signaling and transcription factors that drive vertebrate photoreceptor development and discuss how these function together in gene regulatory networks to control photoreceptor cell fate specification. PMID:26443631

  10. Post-transcriptional control of the mammalian circadian clock: implications for health and disease.

    PubMed

    Preußner, Marco; Heyd, Florian

    2016-06-01

    Many aspects of human physiology and behavior display rhythmicity with a period of approximately 24 h. Rhythmic changes are controlled by an endogenous time keeper, the circadian clock, and include sleep-wake cycles, physical and mental performance capability, blood pressure, and body temperature. Consequently, many diseases, such as metabolic, sleep, autoimmune and mental disorders and cancer, are connected to the circadian rhythm. The development of therapies that take circadian biology into account is thus a promising strategy to improve treatments of diverse disorders, ranging from allergic syndromes to cancer. Circadian alteration of body functions and behavior are, at the molecular level, controlled and mediated by widespread changes in gene expression that happen in anticipation of predictably changing requirements during the day. At the core of the molecular clockwork is a well-studied transcription-translation negative feedback loop. However, evidence is emerging that additional post-transcriptional, RNA-based mechanisms are required to maintain proper clock function. Here, we will discuss recent work implicating regulated mRNA stability, translation and alternative splicing in the control of the mammalian circadian clock, and its role in health and disease.

  11. Post-transcriptional control of the mammalian circadian clock: implications for health and disease.

    PubMed

    Preußner, Marco; Heyd, Florian

    2016-06-01

    Many aspects of human physiology and behavior display rhythmicity with a period of approximately 24 h. Rhythmic changes are controlled by an endogenous time keeper, the circadian clock, and include sleep-wake cycles, physical and mental performance capability, blood pressure, and body temperature. Consequently, many diseases, such as metabolic, sleep, autoimmune and mental disorders and cancer, are connected to the circadian rhythm. The development of therapies that take circadian biology into account is thus a promising strategy to improve treatments of diverse disorders, ranging from allergic syndromes to cancer. Circadian alteration of body functions and behavior are, at the molecular level, controlled and mediated by widespread changes in gene expression that happen in anticipation of predictably changing requirements during the day. At the core of the molecular clockwork is a well-studied transcription-translation negative feedback loop. However, evidence is emerging that additional post-transcriptional, RNA-based mechanisms are required to maintain proper clock function. Here, we will discuss recent work implicating regulated mRNA stability, translation and alternative splicing in the control of the mammalian circadian clock, and its role in health and disease. PMID:27108448

  12. Single mammalian cells compensate for differences in cellular volume and DNA copy number through independent global transcriptional mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Padovan-Merhar, Olivia; Nair, Gautham P.; Biaesch, Andrew; Mayer, Andreas; Scarfone, Steven; Foley, Shawn W.; Wu, Angela R.; Churchman, L. Stirling; Singh, Abhyudai; Raj, Arjun

    2015-01-01

    Summary Individual mammalian cells exhibit large variability in cellular volume even with the same absolute DNA content and so must compensate for differences in DNA concentration in order to maintain constant concentration of gene expression products. Using single molecule counting and computational image analysis, we show that transcript abundance correlates with cellular volume at the single cell level due to increased global transcription in larger cells. Cell fusion experiments establish that increased cellular content itself can directly increase transcription. Quantitative analysis shows that this mechanism measures the ratio of cellular volume to DNA content, mostly likely through sequestration of a transcriptional factor to DNA. Analysis of transcriptional bursts reveals a separate mechanism for gene dosage compensation after DNA replication that enables proper transcriptional output during early and late S-phase. Our results provide a framework for quantitatively understanding the relationships between DNA content, cell size and gene expression variability in single cells. PMID:25866248

  13. Essential role of the zinc finger transcription factor Casz1 for mammalian cardiac morphogenesis and development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhihui; Li, Wenling; Ma, Xuefei; Ding, Nancy; Spallotta, Francesco; Southon, Eileen; Tessarollo, Lino; Gaetano, Carlo; Mukouyama, Yoh-Suke; Thiele, Carol J

    2014-10-24

    Chromosome 1p36 deletion syndrome is one of the most common terminal deletions observed in humans and is related to congenital heart disease (CHD). However, the 1p36 genes that contribute to heart disease have not been clearly delineated. Human CASZ1 gene localizes to 1p36 and encodes a zinc finger transcription factor. Casz1 is required for Xenopus heart ventral midline progenitor cell differentiation. Whether Casz1 plays a role during mammalian heart development is unknown. Our aim is to determine 1p36 gene CASZ1 function at regulating heart development in mammals. We generated a Casz1 knock-out mouse using Casz1-trapped embryonic stem cells. Casz1 deletion in mice resulted in abnormal heart development including hypoplasia of myocardium, ventricular septal defect, and disorganized morphology. Hypoplasia of myocardium was caused by decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation. Comparative genome-wide RNA transcriptome analysis of Casz1 depleted embryonic hearts identifies abnormal expression of genes that are critical for muscular system development and function, such as muscle contraction genes TNNI2, TNNT1, and CKM; contractile fiber gene ACTA1; and cardiac arrhythmia associated ion channel coding genes ABCC9 and CACNA1D. The transcriptional regulation of some of these genes by Casz1 was also found in cellular models. Our results showed that loss of Casz1 during mouse development led to heart defect including cardiac noncompaction and ventricular septal defect, which phenocopies 1p36 deletion syndrome related CHD. This suggests that CASZ1 is a novel 1p36 CHD gene and that the abnormal expression of cardiac morphogenesis and contraction genes induced by loss of Casz1 contributes to the heart defect.

  14. The leucine-rich pentatricopeptide repeat-containing protein (LRPPRC) does not activate transcription in mammalian mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Harmel, Julia; Ruzzenente, Benedetta; Terzioglu, Mügen; Spåhr, Henrik; Falkenberg, Maria; Larsson, Nils-Göran

    2013-05-31

    Regulation of mtDNA expression is critical for controlling oxidative phosphorylation capacity and has been reported to occur at several different levels in mammalian mitochondria. LRPPRC (leucine-rich pentatricopeptide repeat-containing protein) has a key role in this regulation and acts at the post-transcriptional level to stabilize mitochondrial mRNAs, to promote mitochondrial mRNA polyadenylation, and to coordinate mitochondrial translation. However, recent studies have suggested that LRPPRC may have an additional intramitochondrial role by directly interacting with the mitochondrial RNA polymerase POLRMT to stimulate mtDNA transcription. In this study, we have further examined the intramitochondrial roles for LRPPRC by creating bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice with moderately increased LRPPRC expression and heterozygous Lrpprc knock-out mice with moderately decreased LRPPRC expression. Variation of LRPPRC levels in mice in vivo, occurring within a predicted normal physiological range, strongly affected the levels of an unprocessed mitochondrial precursor transcript (ND5-cytochrome b) but had no effect on steady-state levels of mitochondrial transcripts or de novo transcription of mtDNA. We further assessed the role of LRPPRC in mitochondrial transcription by performing size exclusion chromatography and immunoprecipitation experiments in human cell lines and mice, but we found no interaction between LRPPRC and POLRMT. Furthermore, addition of purified LRPPRC to a recombinant human in vitro transcription system did not activate mtDNA transcription. On the basis of these data, we conclude that LRPPRC does not directly regulate mtDNA transcription but rather acts as a post-transcriptional regulator of mammalian mtDNA expression. PMID:23599432

  15. Distinct transcriptional responses elicited by unfolded nuclear or cytoplasmic protein in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Yusuke; Chen, Ling-chun; Chu, Bernard W; Swigut, Tomek; Wandless, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells possess a variety of signaling pathways that prevent accumulation of unfolded and misfolded proteins. Chief among these is the heat shock response (HSR), which is assumed to respond to unfolded proteins in the cytosol and nucleus alike. In this study, we probe this axiom further using engineered proteins called ‘destabilizing domains’, whose folding state we control with a small molecule. The sudden appearance of unfolded protein in mammalian cells elicits a robust transcriptional response, which is distinct from the HSR and other known pathways that respond to unfolded proteins. The cellular response to unfolded protein is strikingly different in the nucleus and the cytosol, although unfolded protein in either compartment engages the p53 network. This response provides cross-protection during subsequent proteotoxic stress, suggesting that it is a central component of protein quality control networks, and like the HSR, is likely to influence the initiation and progression of human pathologies. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07687.001 PMID:26314864

  16. Transcription factor HIF-1 is a necessary mediator of the pasteur effect in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Seagroves, T N; Ryan, H E; Lu, H; Wouters, B G; Knapp, M; Thibault, P; Laderoute, K; Johnson, R S

    2001-05-01

    The ability to respond to differential levels of oxygen is important to all respiring cells. The response to oxygen deficiency, or hypoxia, takes many forms and ranges from systemic adaptations to those that are cell autonomous. Perhaps the most ancient of the cell-autonomous adaptations to hypoxia is a metabolic one: the Pasteur effect, which includes decreased oxidative phosphorylation and an increase in anaerobic fermentation. Because anaerobic fermentation produces far less ATP than oxidative phosphorylation per molecule of glucose, increased activity of the glycolytic pathway is necessary to maintain free ATP levels in the hypoxic cell. Here, we present genetic and biochemical evidence that, in mammalian cells, this metabolic switch is regulated by the transcription factor HIF-1. As a result, cells lacking HIF-1alpha exhibit decreased growth rates during hypoxia, as well as decreased levels of lactic acid production and decreased acidosis. We show that this decrease in glycolytic capacity results in dramatically lowered free ATP levels in HIF-1alpha-deficient hypoxic cells. Thus, HIF-1 activation is an essential control element of the metabolic state during hypoxia; this requirement has important implications for the regulation of cell growth during development, angiogenesis, and vascular injury.

  17. Efficient biotinylation and single-step purification of tagged transcription factors in mammalian cells and transgenic mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boer, Ernie; Rodriguez, Patrick; Bonte, Edgar; Krijgsveld, Jeroen; Katsantoni, Eleni; Heck, Albert; Grosveld, Frank; Strouboulis, John

    2003-06-01

    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.

  18. Transcriptional activation of muscle atrophy promotes cardiac muscle remodeling during mammalian hibernation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yichi; Aguilar, Oscar A; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-01-01

    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 Ser(319) and Thr(24), as well as p-Foxo3a Thr(32) decreased by at least 45% throughout torpor. MyoG was

  19. Transcriptional activation of muscle atrophy promotes cardiac muscle remodeling during mammalian hibernation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yichi; Aguilar, Oscar A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. Transcriptional activation of muscle atrophy promotes cardiac muscle remodeling during mammalian hibernation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yichi; Aguilar, Oscar A.

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Transcriptional activation of muscle atrophy promotes cardiac muscle remodeling during mammalian hibernation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yichi; Aguilar, Oscar A; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-01-01

    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 Ser(319) and Thr(24), as well as p-Foxo3a Thr(32) decreased by at least 45% throughout torpor. MyoG was

  2. Mammalian cAMP-responsive element can activate transcription in yeast and binds a yeast factor(s) that resembles the mammalian transcription factor ANF.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, R H; Jones, N C

    1989-01-01

    The human ATF and AP1 transcription factors bind to highly related DNA sequences. Their consensus binding sites differ by a single nucleotide, but this single change is crucial in determining factor binding specificity. We have previously identified an AP1 (yAP1) binding activity in yeast. In this report we identify a yeast ATF (yATF) binding activity whose specificity can be distinguished from that of yAP1 by the same crucial nucleotide that distinguishes binding of human ATF and AP1. The ATF binding site can act as an efficient upstream activating sequence in vivo, suggesting that yATF is a transcriptional activator. The yATF DNA-binding complex is phosphorylated and the binding activity of partially purified yATF can be enhanced in vitro by the addition of protein kinase A, indicating that the phosphorylation state of yATF may be important in determining its ability to bind DNA. Images PMID:2538834

  3. 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.

    PubMed

    Ni, Weimin; Xu, Shou-Ling; Chalkley, Robert J; Pham, Thao Nguyen D; Guan, Shenheng; Maltby, Dave A; Burlingame, Alma L; Wang, Zhi-Yong; Quail, Peter H

    2013-07-01

    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 phosphorylation and degradation of phy-interacting basic Helix Loop Helix (bHLH) transcription factors (PIFs), such as PIF3, thereby regulating the expression of target genes. However, the mechanisms underlying the signal-relay process are still not fully understood. Here, using mass spectrometry, we identify multiple, in vivo, light-induced Ser/Thr phosphorylation sites in PIF3. Using transgenic expression of site-directed mutants of PIF3, we provide evidence that a set of these phosphorylation events acts collectively to trigger rapid degradation of the PIF3 protein in response to initial exposure of dark-grown seedlings to light. In addition, we show that phyB-induced PIF3 phosphorylation is also required for the known negative feedback modulation of phyB levels in prolonged light, potentially through codegradation of phyB and PIF3. This mutually regulatory intermolecular transaction thus provides a mechanism with the dual capacity to promote early, graded, or threshold regulation of the primary, PIF3-controlled transcriptional network in response to initial light exposure, and later, to attenuate global sensitivity to the light signal through reductions in photoreceptor levels upon prolonged exposure. PMID:23903316

  4. Accurate transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II in a soluble extract from isolated mammalian nuclei.

    PubMed Central

    Dignam, J D; Lebovitz, R M; Roeder, R G

    1983-01-01

    We have developed a procedure for preparing extracts from nuclei of human tissue culture cells that directs accurate transcription initiation in vitro from class II promoters. Conditions of extraction and assay have been optimized for maximum activity using the major late promoter of adenovirus 2. The extract also directs accurate transcription initiation from other adenovirus promoters and cellular promoters. The extract also directs accurate transcription initiation from class III promoters (tRNA and Ad 2 VA). Images PMID:6828386

  5. An engineered l-arginine sensor of Chlamydia pneumoniae enables arginine-adjustable transcription control in mammalian cells and mice

    PubMed Central

    Hartenbach, Shizuka; Daoud-El Baba, Marie; Weber, Wilfried; Fussenegger, Martin

    2007-01-01

    For optimal compatibility with biopharmaceutical manufacturing and gene therapy, heterologous transgene control systems must be responsive to side-effect-free physiologic inducer molecules. The arginine-inducible interaction of the ArgR repressor and the ArgR-specific ARG box, which synchronize arginine import and synthesis in the intracellular human pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae, was engineered for arginine-regulated transgene (ART) expression in mammalian cells. A synthetic arginine-responsive transactivator (ARG), consisting of ArgR fused to the Herpes simplex VP16 transactivation domain, reversibly adjusted transgene transcription of chimeric ARG box-containing mammalian minimal promoters (PART) in an arginine-inducible manner. Arginine-controlled transgene expression showed rapid induction kinetics in a variety of mammalian cell lines and was adjustable and reversible at concentrations which were compatible with host cell physiology. ART variants containing different transactivation domains, variable spacing between ARG box and minimal promoter and several tandem ARG boxes showed modified regulation performance tailored for specific expression scenarios and cell types. Mice implanted with microencapsulated cells engineered for ART-inducible expression of the human placental secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) exhibited adjustable serum phosphatase levels after treatment with different arginine doses. Using a physiologic inducer, such as the amino acid l-arginine, to control heterologous transgenes in a seamless manner which is devoid of noticeable metabolic interference will foster novel opportunities for precise expression dosing in future gene therapy scenarios as well as the manufacturing of difficult-to-produce protein pharmaceuticals. PMID:17947334

  6. Transcribed enhancers lead waves of coordinated transcription in transitioning mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. [Visualization of transcription complexes in spread chromatin from mammalian cells: high resolution autoradiographic study].

    PubMed

    Villard, D; Fakan, S

    1978-03-13

    RNA transcription processes were visualized within chromatin from cultured Mouse cells, spread according to Miller, and Bakken (3), by high resolution autoradiography. The cells were labelled for a short time with 3H-uridine and lysed using the detergent Nonidet P 40. Transcription complexes of both ribosomal ("Christmas tree"-like forms) and non-ribosomal types were revealed and their structure is described.

  8. An evolutionary, structural and functional overview of the mammalian TEAD1 and TEAD2 transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Landin-Malt, André; Benhaddou, Ataaillah; Zider, Alain; Flagiello, Domenico

    2016-10-10

    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. PMID:27421669

  9. An evolutionary, structural and functional overview of the mammalian TEAD1 and TEAD2 transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Landin-Malt, André; Benhaddou, Ataaillah; Zider, Alain; Flagiello, Domenico

    2016-10-10

    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.

  10. Transcriptional Profiling the 150 kb Linear Megaplasmid of Borrelia turicatae Suggests a Role in Vector Colonization and Initiating Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Spatio-temporal dynamics of replication and transcription sites in the mammalian cell nucleus.

    PubMed

    Malyavantham, Kishore S; Bhattacharya, Sambit; Alonso, William D; Acharya, Raj; Berezney, Ronald

    2008-12-01

    To study when and where active genes replicated in early S phase are transcribed, a series of pulse-chase experiments are performed to label replicating chromatin domains (RS) in early S phase and subsequently transcription sites (TS) after chase periods of 0 to 24 h. Surprisingly, transcription activity throughout these chase periods did not show significant colocalization with early RS chromatin domains. Application of novel image segmentation and proximity algorithms, however, revealed close proximity of TS with the labeled chromatin domains independent of chase time. In addition, RNA polymerase II was highly proximal and showed significant colocalization with both TS and the chromatin domains. Based on these findings, we propose that chromatin activated for transcription dynamically unfolds or "loops out" of early RS chromatin domains where it can interact with RNA polymerase II and other components of the transcriptional machinery. Our results further suggest that the early RS chromatin domains are transcribing genes throughout the cell cycle and that multiple chromatin domains are organized around the same transcription factory.

  12. Photoreceptor phagocytosis is mediated by phosphoinositide signaling.

    PubMed

    Mustafi, Debarshi; Kevany, Brian M; Genoud, Christel; Bai, Xiaodong; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2013-11-01

    Circadian oscillations in peripheral tissues, such as the retinal compartment of the eye, are critical to anticipating changing metabolic demands. Circadian shedding of retinal photoreceptor cell discs with subsequent phagocytosis by the neighboring retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is essential for removal of toxic metabolites and lifelong survival of these postmitotic neurons. Defects in photoreceptor phagocytosis can lead to severe retinal pathology, but the biochemical mechanisms remain poorly defined. By first documenting a 2.8-fold burst of photoreceptor phagocytosis events in the mouse eye in the morning compared with the afternoon by serial block face imaging, we established time points to assess transcriptional readouts by RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). We identified 365 oscillating protein-coding transcripts that implicated the phosphoinositide lipid signaling network mediating the discrete steps of photoreceptor phagocytosis. Moreover, examination of overlapping cistromic sites by core clock transcription factors and promoter elements of these effector genes provided a functional basis for the circadian cycling of these transcripts. RNA-Seq also revealed oscillating expression of 16 long intergenic noncoding RNAs and key histone modifying enzymes critical for circadian gene expression. Our phenotypic and genotypic characterization reveals a complex global landscape of overlapping and temporally controlled networks driving the essential circadian process in the eye.

  13. Transcript Expression Analysis of Putative Trypanosoma brucei GPI-Anchored Surface Proteins during Development in the Tsetse and Mammalian Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Amy F.; Cerqueira, Gustavo C.; Regmi, Sandesh; Wu, Yineng; El Sayed, Najib M.; Aksoy, Serap

    2012-01-01

    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

  14. Synthesis of reinitiated transcripts by mammalian RNA polymerase II is controlled by elongation factor SII.

    PubMed Central

    Szentirmay, M N; Sawadogo, M

    1993-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed that the in vitro synthesis of reinitiated transcripts by RNA polymerase II requires an additional activity, designated reinitiation transcription factor (RTF), which is distinct from all of the general class II initiation factors. While further characterizing this activity, it was found that RTF displays properties indistinguishable from those of the RNA polymerase II elongation factor SII. In addition, Western blot analysis using SII-specific antibodies revealed that human SII is a major component in purified RTF preparations. The functional equivalence of the two proteins was established using recombinant SII, which proved fully capable of substituting for RTF in the reinitiation assay. In these reconstituted reactions, transcription complexes resulting from reinitiation events required SII to proceed through a 400 bp G-free cassette, while complexes resulting from the first round of initiations were SII-independent. Reinitiations can take place in the absence of SII; however, addition of the elongation factor is essential for full extension of the reinitiated transcripts. These results suggest that events taking place at the promoter (e.g. first-round initiations versus reinitiations) can create marked differences in the properties of RNA polymerase II elongation complexes. Images PMID:8223477

  15. Recruitment of Rod Photoreceptors from Short-Wavelength-Sensitive Cones during the Evolution of Nocturnal Vision in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Oel, Adam Phillip; Brooks, Matthew John; Jia, Li; Plachetzki, David Charles; Li, Wei; Allison, William Ted; Swaroop, Anand

    2016-06-20

    Vertebrate ancestors had only cone-like photoreceptors. The duplex retina evolved in jawless vertebrates with the advent of highly photosensitive rod-like photoreceptors. Despite cones being the arbiters of high-resolution color vision, rods emerged as the dominant photoreceptor in mammals during a nocturnal phase early in their evolution. We investigated the evolutionary and developmental origins of rods in two divergent vertebrate retinas. In mice, we discovered genetic and epigenetic vestiges of short-wavelength cones in developing rods, and cell-lineage tracing validated the genesis of rods from S cones. Curiously, rods did not derive from S cones in zebrafish. Our study illuminates several questions regarding the evolution of duplex retina and supports the hypothesis that, in mammals, the S-cone lineage was recruited via the Maf-family transcription factor NRL to augment rod photoreceptors. We propose that this developmental mechanism allowed the adaptive exploitation of scotopic niches during the nocturnal bottleneck early in mammalian evolution.

  16. Recruitment of Rod Photoreceptors from Short-Wavelength-Sensitive Cones during the Evolution of Nocturnal Vision in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Oel, Adam Phillip; Brooks, Matthew John; Jia, Li; Plachetzki, David Charles; Li, Wei; Allison, William Ted; Swaroop, Anand

    2016-06-20

    Vertebrate ancestors had only cone-like photoreceptors. The duplex retina evolved in jawless vertebrates with the advent of highly photosensitive rod-like photoreceptors. Despite cones being the arbiters of high-resolution color vision, rods emerged as the dominant photoreceptor in mammals during a nocturnal phase early in their evolution. We investigated the evolutionary and developmental origins of rods in two divergent vertebrate retinas. In mice, we discovered genetic and epigenetic vestiges of short-wavelength cones in developing rods, and cell-lineage tracing validated the genesis of rods from S cones. Curiously, rods did not derive from S cones in zebrafish. Our study illuminates several questions regarding the evolution of duplex retina and supports the hypothesis that, in mammals, the S-cone lineage was recruited via the Maf-family transcription factor NRL to augment rod photoreceptors. We propose that this developmental mechanism allowed the adaptive exploitation of scotopic niches during the nocturnal bottleneck early in mammalian evolution. PMID:27326930

  17. Increasing the dynamic control space of mammalian transcription devices by combinatorial assembly of homologous regulatory elements from different bacterial species.

    PubMed

    Bacchus, William; Weber, Wilfried; Fussenegger, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Prokaryotic transcriptional regulatory elements are widely utilized building blocks for constructing regulatory genetic circuits adapted for mammalian cells and have found their way into a broad range of biotechnological applications. Prokaryotic transcriptional repressors, fused to eukaryotic transactivation or repression domains, compose the transcription factor, which binds and adjusts transcription from chimeric promoters containing the repressor-specific operator sequence. Escherichia coli and Chlamydia trachomatis share common features in the regulatory mechanism of the biosynthesis of l-tryptophan. The repressor protein TrpR of C. trachomatis regulates the trpRBA operon and the TrpR of E. coli regulates the trpEDCBA operon, both requiring l-tryptophan as a co-repressor. Fusion of these bacterial repressors to the VP16 transactivation domain of Herpes simplex virus creates synthetic transactivators that could bind and activate chimeric promoters, assembled by placing repressor-specific operator modules adjacent to a minimal promoter, in an l-tryptophan-adjustable manner. Combinations of different transactivator and promoter variants from the same or different bacterial species resulted in a multitude of regulatory systems where l-tryptophan regulation properties, background noise, and maximal gene expression levels were significantly diverse. Different l-tryptophan analogues showed diverse regulatory capacity depending on the promoter/transactivator combination. We believe the systems approach to rationally choose promoters, transactivators and inducer molecules, to obtain desired and predefined genetic expression dynamics and control profiles, will significantly advance the design of new regulatory circuits as well as improving already existing ones. PMID:23178502

  18. The Arabidopsis NIM1 protein shows homology to the mammalian transcription factor inhibitor I kappa B.

    PubMed Central

    Ryals, J; Weymann, K; Lawton, K; Friedrich, L; Ellis, D; Steiner, H Y; Johnson, J; Delaney, T P; Jesse, T; Vos, P; Uknes, S

    1997-01-01

    The NIM1 (for noninducible immunity) gene product is involved in the signal transduction cascade leading to both systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and gene-for-gene disease resistance in Arabidopsis. We have isolated and characterized five new alleles of nim1 that show a range of phenotypes from weakly impaired in chemically induced pathogenesis-related protein-1 gene expression and fungal resistance to very strongly blocked. We have isolated the NIM1 gene by using a map-based cloning procedure. Interestingly, the NIM1 protein shows sequence homology to the mammalian signal transduction factor I kappa B subclass alpha. NF-kappa B/I kappa B signaling pathways are implicated in disease resistance responses in a range of organisms from Drosophila to mammals, suggesting that the SAR signaling pathway in plants is representative of an ancient and ubiquitous defense mechanism in higher organisms. PMID:9090885

  19. Methylation of RNA polymerase II non-consensus Lysine residues marks early transcription in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Dias, João D; Rito, Tiago; Torlai Triglia, Elena; Kukalev, Alexander; Ferrai, Carmelo; Chotalia, Mita; Brookes, Emily; Kimura, Hiroshi; Pombo, Ana

    2015-01-01

    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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11215.001 PMID:26687004

  20. Dynamic transcriptional symmetry-breaking in pre-implantation mammalian embryo development revealed by single-cell RNA-seq.

    PubMed

    Shi, Junchao; Chen, Qi; Li, Xin; Zheng, Xiudeng; Zhang, Ying; Qiao, Jie; Tang, Fuchou; Tao, Yi; Zhou, Qi; Duan, Enkui

    2015-10-15

    During mammalian pre-implantation embryo development, when the first asymmetry emerges and how it develops to direct distinct cell fates remain longstanding questions. Here, by analyzing single-blastomere transcriptome data from mouse and human pre-implantation embryos, we revealed that the initial blastomere-to-blastomere biases emerge as early as the first embryonic cleavage division, following a binomial distribution pattern. The subsequent zygotic transcriptional activation further elevated overall blastomere-to-blastomere biases during the two- to 16-cell embryo stages. The trends of transcriptional asymmetry fell into two distinct patterns: for some genes, the extent of asymmetry was minimized between blastomeres (monostable pattern), whereas other genes, including those known to be lineage specifiers, showed ever-increasing asymmetry between blastomeres (bistable pattern), supposedly controlled by negative or positive feedbacks. Moreover, our analysis supports a scenario in which opposing lineage specifiers within an early blastomere constantly compete with each other based on their relative ratio, forming an inclined 'lineage strength' that pushes the blastomere onto a predisposed, yet flexible, lineage track before morphological distinction.

  1. Tyrosine phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II CTD is associated with antisense promoter transcription and active enhancers in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. Rapid evolution of a recently retroposed transcription factor YY2 in mammalian genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, C; Lu, X; Stubbs, L; Kim, J

    2005-11-11

    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.

  3. Algal sensory photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hegemann, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Only five major types of sensory photoreceptors (BLUF-proteins, cryptochromes, phototropins, phytochromes, and rhodopsins) are used in nature to regulate developmental processes, photosynthesis, photoorientation, and control of the circadian clock. Sensory photoreceptors of algae and protists are exceptionally rich in structure and function; light-gated ion channels and photoactivated adenylate cyclases are unique examples. During the past ten years major progress has been made with respect to understanding the function, photochemistry, and structure of key sensory players of the algal kingdom.

  4. Integration and exchange of split dCas9 domains for transcriptional controls in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Dacheng; Peng, Shuguang; Xie, Zhen

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. Concise review: Pluripotency and the transcriptional inactivation of the female Mammalian X chromosome.

    PubMed

    Minkovsky, Alissa; Patel, Sanjeet; Plath, Kathrin

    2012-01-01

    X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is a striking example of developmentally regulated, wide-range heterochromatin formation that is initiated during early embryonic development. XCI is a mechanism of dosage compensation unique to placental mammals whereby one X chromosome in every diploid cell of the female organism is transcriptionally silenced to equalize X-linked gene levels to XY males. In the embryo, XCI is random with respect to whether the maternal or paternal X chromosome is inactivated and is established in epiblast cells on implantation of the blastocyst. Conveniently, ex vivo differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells recapitulates random XCI and permits mechanistic dissection of this stepwise process that leads to stable epigenetic silencing. Here, we focus on recent studies in mouse models characterizing the molecular players of this female-specific process with an emphasis on those relevant to the pluripotent state. Further, we will summarize advances characterizing XCI states in human pluripotent cells, where surprising differences from the mouse process may have far-reaching implications for human pluripotent cell biology.

  6. Identification of Transcriptional and Metabolic Programs Related to Mammalian Cell Size

    PubMed Central

    Miettinen, Teemu P.; Pessa, Heli K.J.; Caldez, Matias J.; Fuhrer, Tobias; Diril, M. Kasim; Sauer, Uwe; Kaldis, Philipp; Björklund, Mikael

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Proliferative and transcriptional identity of distinct classes of neural precursors in the mammalian olfactory epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Eric S.; Lehtinen, Maria K.; Maynard, Tom; Zirlinger, Mariela; Dulac, Catherine; Rawson, Nancy; Pevny, Larysa; LaMantia, Anthony-Samuel

    2010-01-01

    Neural precursors in the developing olfactory epithelium (OE) give rise to three major neuronal classes – olfactory receptor (ORNs), vomeronasal (VRNs) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. Nevertheless, the molecular and proliferative identities of these precursors are largely unknown. We characterized two precursor classes in the olfactory epithelium (OE) shortly after it becomes a distinct tissue at midgestation in the mouse: slowly dividing self-renewing precursors that express Meis1/2 at high levels, and rapidly dividing neurogenic precursors that express high levels of Sox2 and Ascl1. Precursors expressing high levels of Meis genes primarily reside in the lateral OE, whereas precursors expressing high levels of Sox2 and Ascl1 primarily reside in the medial OE. Fgf8 maintains these expression signatures and proliferative identities. Using electroporation in the wild-type embryonic OE in vitro as well as Fgf8, Sox2 and Ascl1 mutant mice in vivo, we found that Sox2 dose and Meis1 – independent of Pbx co-factors – regulate Ascl1 expression and the transition from lateral to medial precursor state. Thus, we have identified proliferative characteristics and a dose-dependent transcriptional network that define distinct OE precursors: medial precursors that are most probably transit amplifying neurogenic progenitors for ORNs, VRNs and GnRH neurons, and lateral precursors that include multi-potent self-renewing OE neural stem cells. PMID:20573694

  8. Structure-aided prediction of mammalian transcription factor complexes in conserved non-coding elements.

    PubMed

    Guturu, Harendra; Doxey, Andrew C; Wenger, Aaron M; Bejerano, Gill

    2013-12-19

    Mapping the DNA-binding preferences of transcription factor (TF) complexes is critical for deciphering the functions of cis-regulatory elements. Here, we developed a computational method that compares co-occurring motif spacings in conserved versus unconserved regions of the human genome to detect evolutionarily constrained binding sites of rigid TF complexes. Structural data were used to estimate TF complex physical plausibility, explore overlapping motif arrangements seldom tackled by non-structure-aware methods, and generate and analyse three-dimensional models of the predicted complexes bound to DNA. Using this approach, we predicted 422 physically realistic TF complex motifs at 18% false discovery rate, the majority of which (326, 77%) contain some sequence overlap between binding sites. The set of mostly novel complexes is enriched in known composite motifs, predictive of binding site configurations in TF-TF-DNA crystal structures, and supported by ChIP-seq datasets. Structural modelling revealed three cooperativity mechanisms: direct protein-protein interactions, potentially indirect interactions and 'through-DNA' interactions. Indeed, 38% of the predicted complexes were found to contain four or more bases in which TF pairs appear to synergize through overlapping binding to the same DNA base pairs in opposite grooves or strands. Our TF complex and associated binding site predictions are available as a web resource at http://bejerano.stanford.edu/complex.

  9. The presynaptic active zone protein bassoon is essential for photoreceptor ribbon synapse formation in the retina.

    PubMed

    Dick, Oliver; tom Dieck, Susanne; Altrock, Wilko Detlef; Ammermüller, Josef; Weiler, Reto; Garner, Craig Curtis; Gundelfinger, Eckart Dieter; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut

    2003-03-01

    The photoreceptor ribbon synapse is a highly specialized glutamatergic synapse designed for the continuous flow of synaptic vesicles to the neurotransmitter release site. The molecular mechanisms underlying ribbon synapse formation are poorly understood. We have investigated the role of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein Bassoon, a major component of the photoreceptor ribbon, in a mouse retina deficient of functional Bassoon protein. Photoreceptor ribbons lacking Bassoon are not anchored to the presynaptic active zones. This results in an impaired photoreceptor synaptic transmission, an abnormal dendritic branching of neurons postsynaptic to photoreceptors, and the formation of ectopic synapses. These findings suggest a critical role of Bassoon in the formation and the function of photoreceptor ribbon synapses of the mammalian retina.

  10. Neurogenin1 effectively reprograms cultured chick RPE cells to differentiate towards photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Run-Tao; Liang, Lina; Ma, Wenxin; Li, Xiumei; Xie, Wenlian; Wang, Shu-Zhen

    2009-01-01

    Photoreceptors are highly specialized sensory neurons in the retina, and their degeneration results in blindness. Replacement with developing photoreceptor cells promises to be an effective therapy, but it requires a supply of new photoreceptors, because the neural retina in human eyes lacks regeneration capability. We report efficient generation of differentiating, photoreceptor-like neurons from chick retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells propagated in culture through reprogramming with neurogenin1 (ngn1). In reprogrammed culture, a large number of the cells (85.0 ± 5.9%) began to differentiate towards photoreceptors. Reprogrammed cells expressed transcription factors that set in motion photoreceptor differentiation, including Crx, Nr2E3, NeuroD, and RXRγ, and phototransduction pathway components, including transducin, cGMP-gated channel, and red opsin of cone photoreceptors (equivalent to rhodopsin of rod photoreceptors). They developed inner segments rich in mitochondria. Furthermore, they responded to light by decreasing their cellular free calcium (Ca2+) levels and responded to 9-cis-retinal by increasing their Ca2+ levels after photobleaching, hallmarks of photoreceptor physiology. The high efficiency and the advanced photoreceptor differentiation indicate ngn1 as a gene of choice to reprogram RPE progeny cells to differentiate into photoreceptor neurons in future cell replacement studies. PMID:20029995

  11. Transcription of fractionated mammalian chromatin by mammalian ribonucleic acid polymerase. Demonstration of temperature-dependent rifampicin-resistant initiation sites in euchromatin deoxyribonucleic acid

    PubMed Central

    Chesterton, C. James; Coupar, Barbara E. H.; Butterworth, Peter H. W.

    1974-01-01

    The chromatin fractionation method of Frenster et al. (1963) as modified by Leake et al. (1972) was used to prepare fragments of euchromatin from rat liver nuclei. These remain soluble in 5mm-MgCl2, and contain DNA of maximum mol.wt. 1×106–2×106. The fragments were separated from condensable chromatin on a sucrose gradient. Euchromatin contains endogenous DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and most of the nascent RNA labelled in vivo or in vitro. Euchromatin fragments allow initiation of transcription by added purified rat liver form-B RNA polymerase and contain temperature-dependent rifampicin-resistant initiation sites for the form-B enzyme. These findings indicate that transcription of the euchromatin regions of interphase chromosomes is not initiated in condensed chromatin, but is initiated within the euchromatin stretches. Condensable chromatin also contains most of these activities, but is not associated with nascent RNA. PMID:4464858

  12. Three-dimensional retinal organoids from mouse pluripotent stem cells mimic in vivo development with enhanced stratification and rod photoreceptor differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Holly Yu; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Dong, Lijin

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Three-dimensional retinal organoids from mouse pluripotent stem cells mimic in vivo development with enhanced stratification and rod photoreceptor differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Holly Yu; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Dong, Lijin

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. 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

    PubMed Central

    Hollerer, Ina; Curk, Tomaz; Haase, Bettina; Benes, Vladimir; Hauer, Christian; Neu-Yilik, Gabriele; Bhuvanagiri, Madhuri; Hentze, Matthias W.; Kulozik, Andreas E.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27407180

  15. 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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. The Mammalian "Obesogen" Tributyltin Targets Hepatic Triglyceride Accumulation and the Transcriptional Regulation of Lipid Metabolism in the Liver and Brain of Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  17. The Mammalian “Obesogen” Tributyltin Targets Hepatic Triglyceride Accumulation and the Transcriptional Regulation of Lipid Metabolism in the Liver and Brain of Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. The Transcriptional Response of Cryptococcus neoformans to Ingestion by Acanthamoeba castellanii and Macrophages Provides Insights into the Evolutionary Adaptation to the Mammalian Host

    PubMed Central

    Paes, Hugo Costa; Albuquerque, Patrícia; Tavares, Aldo Henrique F. P.; Fernandes, Larissa; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete; Casadevall, Arturo

    2013-01-01

    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

  19. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency

    PubMed Central

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency.

    PubMed

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A; Hardie, Roger C; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Expression pattern in retinal photoreceptors of POMGnT1, a protein involved in muscle-eye-brain disease

    PubMed Central

    Uribe, Mary Luz; Haro, Carmen; Campello, Laura; Cruces, Jesús; Martín-Nieto, José

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Photoreceptor Cells Produce Inflammatory Mediators That Contribute to Endothelial Cell Death in Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Tonade, Deoye; Liu, Haitao; Kern, Timothy S.

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Reprogramming Müller glia via in vivo cell fusion regenerates murine photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Sanges, Daniela; Simonte, Giacoma; Di Vicino, Umberto; Romo, Neus; Pinilla, Isabel; Nicolás, Marta; Cosma, Maria Pia

    2016-08-01

    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

  4. Nonvisual photoreceptors of the deep brain, pineal organs and retina.

    PubMed

    Vigh, B; Manzano, M J; Zádori, A; Frank, C L; Lukáts, A; Röhlich, P; Szél, A; Dávid, C

    2002-04-01

    , pineal organs also contain neurons and glial elements. Extracranial pineal organs of submammalians are cone-dominated photoreceptors sensitive to different wavelengths of light, while intracranial pineal organs predominantly contain rod-like photoreceptor cells and thus scotopic light receptors. Vitamin B-based light-sensitive cryptochromes localized immunocytochemically in some pineal cells may take part in both the photoreception and the pacemaker function of the pineal organ. In spite of expressing phototransduction cascade molecules and forming outer segment-like cilia in some species, the mammalian pineal is considered by most of the authors as a light-insensitive organ. Expression of phototransduction cascade molecules, predominantly in young animals, is a photoreceptor-like characteristic of pinealocytes in higher vertebrates that may contribute to a light-percepting task in the perinatal entrainment of rhythmic functions. In adult mammals, adrenergic nerves--mediating daily fluctuation of sympathetic activity rather than retinal light information as generally supposed--may sustain circadian periodicity already entrained by light perinatally. Altogether three phases were supposed to exist in pineal entrainment of internal pacemakers: an embryological synchronization by light and in viviparous vertebrates by maternal effects (1); a light-based, postnatal entrainment (2); and in adults, a maintenance of periodicity by daily sympathetic rhythm of the hypothalamus. In addition to its visual function, the lateral eye retina performs a nonvisual task. Nonvisual retinal light perception primarily entrains genetically-determined periodicity, such as rod-cone dominance, EEG rhythms or retinomotor movements. It also influences the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the primary pacemaker of the brain. As neither rods nor cones seem to represent the nonvisual retinal photoreceptors, the presence of additional photoreceptors has been supposed. Cryptochrome 1, a photosensitive molecule

  5. Photoreceptor cells constitutively express functional TLR4

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Zhidan; Portillo, Jose-Andres; Howell, Scott; Bu, Hong; Subauste, Carlos S.; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R; Pearlman, Eric; Lin, Feng

    2010-01-01

    Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is expressed on a number of cells including neurons in the brain. However, it has yet to be determined if TLR4 is expressed on photoreceptor cells in the retina. In this report, we examined primary photoreceptor cells and an established photoreceptor cell line (661W). We found that functional TLR4 is constitutively expressed on photoreceptor cells, and can be activated by LPS. We conclude that TLR4 on photoreceptor cells could directly contribute to retinal inflammatory diseases and photoreceptor cell survival. PMID:20801528

  6. Synthetic dual-input mammalian genetic circuits enable tunable and stringent transcription control by chemical and light.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xianjun; Li, Ting; Wang, Xue; Du, Zengmin; Liu, Renmei; Yang, Yi

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26673714

  7. Synthetic dual-input mammalian genetic circuits enable tunable and stringent transcription control by chemical and light.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xianjun; Li, Ting; Wang, Xue; Du, Zengmin; Liu, Renmei; Yang, Yi

    2016-04-01

    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.

  8. Synthetic dual-input mammalian genetic circuits enable tunable and stringent transcription control by chemical and light

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xianjun; Li, Ting; Wang, Xue; Du, Zengmin; Liu, Renmei; Yang, Yi

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26673714

  9. Ubiquitous [Na+]i/[K+]i-sensitive transcriptome in mammalian cells: evidence for Ca(2+)i-independent excitation-transcription coupling.

    PubMed

    Koltsova, Svetlana V; Trushina, Yulia; Haloui, Mounsif; Akimova, Olga A; Tremblay, Johanne; Hamet, Pavel; Orlov, Sergei N

    2012-01-01

    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.

  10. High throughput technologies for the functional discovery of mammalian enhancers: new approaches for understanding transcriptional regulatory network dynamics.

    PubMed

    Dailey, Lisa

    2015-09-01

    Completion of the human and mouse genomes has inspired new initiatives to obtain a global understanding of the functional regulatory networks governing gene expression. Enhancers are primary regulatory DNA elements determining precise spatio- and temporal gene expression patterns, but the observation that they can function at any distance from the gene(s) they regulate has made their genome-wide characterization challenging. Since traditional, single reporter approaches would be unable to accomplish this enormous task, high throughput technologies for mapping chromatin features associated with enhancers have emerged as an effective surrogate for enhancer discovery. However, the last few years have witnessed the development of several new innovative approaches that can effectively screen for and discover enhancers based on their functional activation of transcription using massively parallel reporter systems. In addition to their application for genome annotation, these new high throughput functional approaches open new and exciting avenues for modeling gene regulatory networks.

  11. Structure and function of the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Gareth I

    2014-12-01

    UVR8 is a UV-B photoreceptor that employs specific tryptophans in its primary sequence as chromophores in photoreception. UV-B absorption causes dissociation of the dimeric photoreceptor by neutralizing interactions between monomers. The monomeric form initiates signalling through interaction with the COP1 protein, leading to transcriptional responses. This article discusses the structural basis of UVR8 function, highlighting recent research on the mechanism of photoreception and on interactions with other proteins involved in signalling and regulation.

  12. The Transcription Factor p8 Regulates Autophagy in Response to Palmitic Acid Stress via a Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)-independent Signaling Pathway.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-02-26

    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. PMID:26733200

  13. Disruption of the three cytoskeletal networks in mammalian cells does not affect transcription, translation, or protein translocation changes induced by heat shock.

    PubMed Central

    Welch, W J; Feramisco, J R

    1985-01-01

    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

  14. Six1 transcription factor is critical for coordination of epithelial, mesenchymal and vascular morphogenesis in the mammalian lung

    PubMed Central

    El-Hashash, Ahmed HK; Alam, Denise Al; Turcatel, Gianluca; Rogers, Orquidea; Li, Sean; Bellusci, Saverio; Warburton, David

    2011-01-01

    Six1 is a member of the six-homeodomain family of transcription factors. Six1 is expressed in multiple embryonic cell types and plays important roles in proliferation, differentiation and survival of precursor cells of different organs, yet its function during lung development was hitherto unknown. Herein we show that Six1−/− lungs are severely hypoplastic with greatly reduced epithelial branching and increased mesenchymal cellularity. Six1 is expressed at the distal epithelial tips of branching tubules as well as in the surrounding distal mesenchyme. Six1−/− lung epithelial cells show increased expression of differentiation markers, but loss of progenitor cell markers. Six1 overexpression in MLE15 lung epithelial cells in vitro inhibited cell differentiation, but increases the expression of progenitor cell markers. In addition, Six1−/− embryos and newborn mice exhibit mesenchymal overproliferation, decreased Fgf10 expression and severe defects in the smooth muscle component of the bronchi and major pulmonary vessels. These defects lead to rupture of major vessels in mutant lungs after birth. Treatment of Six1−/− epithelial explants in culture with recombinant Fgf10 protein restores epithelial branching. As Shh expression is abnormally increased in Six1−/− lungs, we also treated mutant mesenchymal explants with recombinant Shh protein and found that these explants were competent to respond to Shh and continued to grow in culture. Furthermore, inhibition of Shh signaling with cyclopamine stimulated Six1−/− lungs to grow and branch in culture. This study provides the first evidence for the requirement of Six1 in coordinating Shh-Fgf10 signaling in embryonic lung to ensure proper levels of proliferation and differentiation along the proximodistal axis of epithelial, mesenchymal and endothelial cells. These findings uncover novel and essential functions for Six1 as a critical coordinator of Shh- Fgf10 signaling during embryonic lung development

  15. Visual Coding in Locust Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Faivre, Olivier; Juusola, Mikko

    2008-01-01

    Information capture by photoreceptors ultimately limits the quality of visual processing in the brain. Using conventional sharp microelectrodes, we studied how locust photoreceptors encode random (white-noise, WN) and naturalistic (1/f stimuli, NS) light patterns in vivo and how this coding changes with mean illumination and ambient temperature. We also examined the role of their plasma membrane in shaping voltage responses. We found that brightening or warming increase and accelerate voltage responses, but reduce noise, enabling photoreceptors to encode more information. For WN stimuli, this was accompanied by broadening of the linear frequency range. On the contrary, with NS the signaling took place within a constant bandwidth, possibly revealing a ‘preference’ for inputs with 1/f statistics. The faster signaling was caused by acceleration of the elementary phototransduction current - leading to bumps - and their distribution. The membrane linearly translated phototransduction currents into voltage responses without limiting the throughput of these messages. As the bumps reflected fast changes in membrane resistance, the data suggest that their shape is predominantly driven by fast changes in the light-gated conductance. On the other hand, the slower bump latency distribution is likely to represent slower enzymatic intracellular reactions. Furthermore, the Q10s of bump duration and latency distribution depended on light intensity. Altogether, this study suggests that biochemical constraints imposed upon signaling change continuously as locust photoreceptors adapt to environmental light and temperature conditions. PMID:18478123

  16. Molecular chaperones and photoreceptor function

    PubMed Central

    Kosmaoglou, Maria; Schwarz, Nele; Bett, John S.; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2008-01-01

    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

  17. DNA methylation and differential gene regulation in photoreceptor cell death

    PubMed Central

    Farinelli, P; Perera, A; Arango-Gonzalez, B; Trifunovic, D; Wagner, M; Carell, T; Biel, M; Zrenner, E; Michalakis, S; Paquet-Durand, F; Ekström, P A R

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) defines a group of inherited degenerative retinal diseases causing progressive loss of photoreceptors. To this day, RP is still untreatable and rational treatment development will require a thorough understanding of the underlying cell death mechanisms. Methylation of the DNA base cytosine by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) is an important epigenetic factor regulating gene expression, cell differentiation, cell death, and survival. Previous studies suggested an involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in RP, and in this study, increased cytosine methylation was detected in dying photoreceptors in the rd1, rd2, P23H, and S334ter rodent models for RP. Ultrastructural analysis of photoreceptor nuclear morphology in the rd1 mouse model for RP revealed a severely altered chromatin structure during retinal degeneration that coincided with an increased expression of the DNMT isozyme DNMT3a. To identify disease-specific differentially methylated DNA regions (DMRs) on a genomic level, we immunoprecipitated methylated DNA fragments and subsequently analyzed them with a targeted microarray. Genome-wide comparison of DMRs between rd1 and wild-type retina revealed hypermethylation of genes involved in cell death and survival as well as cell morphology and nervous system development. When correlating DMRs with gene expression data, we found that hypermethylation occurred alongside transcriptional repression. Consistently, motif analysis showed that binding sites of several important transcription factors for retinal physiology were hypermethylated in the mutant model, which also correlated with transcriptional silencing of their respective target genes. Finally, inhibition of DNMTs in rd1 organotypic retinal explants using decitabine resulted in a substantial reduction of photoreceptor cell death, suggesting inhibition of DNA methylation as a potential novel treatment in RP. PMID:25476906

  18. Classical Photoreceptors Are Primarily Responsible for the Pupillary Light Reflex in Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Varsha; Srivastava, Ipsit; Palchaudhuri, Shriya; Goel, Manvi; Sinha-Mahapatra, Sumit K.; Dhingra, Narender K.

    2016-01-01

    Pupillary light reflex (PLR) is an important clinical tool to assess the integrity of visual pathways. The available evidence suggests that melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) mediate PLR—driven by the classical photoreceptors (rods and cones) at low irradiances and by melanopsin activation at high irradiances. However, genetic or pharmacological elimination of melanopsin does not completely abolish PLR at high irradiances, raising the possibility that classical photoreceptors may have a role even at high irradiances. Using an inducible mouse model of photoreceptor degeneration, we asked whether classical photoreceptors are responsible for PLR at all irradiances, and found that the PLR was severely attenuated at all irradiances. Using multiple approaches, we show that the residual PLR at high irradiances in this mouse was primarily from the remnant rods and cones, with a minor contribution from melanopsin activation. In contrast, in rd1 mouse where classical photoreceptor degeneration occurs during development, the PLR was absent at low irradiances but intact at high irradiances, as reported previously. Since mRGCs receive inputs from classical photoreceptors, we also asked whether developmental loss of classical photoreceptors as in rd1 mouse leads to compensatory takeover of the high-irradiance PLR by mRGCs. Specifically, we looked at a distinct subpopulation of mRGCs that express Brn3b transcription factor, which has been shown to mediate PLR. We found that rd1 mouse had a significantly higher proportion of Brn3b-expressing M1 type of mRGCs than in the inducible model. Interestingly, inducing classical photoreceptor degeneration during development also resulted in a higher proportion of Brn3b-expressing M1 cells and partially rescued PLR at high irradiances. These results suggest that classical photoreceptors are primarily responsible for PLR at all irradiances, while melanopsin activation makes a minor contribution at very high irradiances

  19. Origin and Impact of Phototransduction Noise in Primate Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Angueyra, Juan Manuel; Rieke, Fred

    2013-01-01

    Noise in the responses of cone photoreceptors sets a fundamental limit to visual sensitivity, yet the origin of noise in mammalian cones and its relation to behavioral sensitivity are poorly understood. Our work here on primate cones improves understanding of these issues in three ways. First, we find that cone noise is not dominated by spontaneous photopigment activation or by quantal fluctuations in photon absorption but instead by other sources, namely channel noise and fluctuations in cGMP. Second, we find that adaptation in cones, unlike that in rods, affects signals and noise differently. This difference helps explain why thresholds for rod- and cone-mediated signals have different dependencies on background light level. Third, past estimates of noise in mammalian cones are too high to explain behavioral sensitivity. Our measurements indicate a lower level of cone noise, and thus help reconcile physiological and behavioral estimates of cone noise and sensitivity. PMID:24097042

  20. Biosynthesis of Acetylcholine in Turtle Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Dominic M. K.

    1972-01-01

    For determination of possible neurotransmitters synthesized by photoreceptor cells, turtle retinas were dissociated into single cells with proteolytic enzymes. These cells were partially separated by velocity sedimentation to yield a fraction rich in photoreceptors. Individual photoreceptor cells were then sucked into a micropipette and incubated with labeled precursors of known or suspected neurotransmitters. After incubation, the radioactive products were analyzed by high-voltage electrophoresis. Of all the chemicals tested, turtle photoreceptor cells synthesized only acetylcholine, suggesting that these cells may be cholinergic. Images PMID:4505678

  1. 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and adenylate cyclase in phototransduction by limulus ventral photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Brown, J E; Kaupp, U B; Malbon, C C

    1984-01-01

    Biochemical and electrophysiological measurements were made on photoreceptor cells from Limulus ventral eyes to investigate the possible role of cyclic AMP and adenylate cyclase in the visual transduction mechanism. Cyclic AMP content in a photoreceptor-enriched fraction (the end organs) of Limulus ventral eyes was approximately 15 pmol/mg protein. The cyclic AMP content was increased by bathing eyes in 1-methyl-3-isobutyl xanthine or forskolin and was increased almost 100-fold when bathed in both. Illumination did not change cyclic AMP content significantly in any of these conditions. Discrete events that can be recorded electrophysiologically occur spontaneously in darkness. An increase in the frequency of discrete events is evoked by dim illumination. The discrete events are a sign of excitation of Limulus photoreceptor cells. Drug-induced changes in the rate of occurrence of discrete events recorded electrophysiologically in darkness were not correlated with changes in cyclic AMP content. Adenylate cyclase activity measured from a small number of pooled photoreceptor clusters was stimulated by fluoride and vanadate ions, hydrolysis-resistant analogues of GTP, cholera toxin and forskolin. The Limulus enzyme is similar pharmacologically to mammalian and avian adenylate cyclases. Activation of adenylate cyclase by drugs was not correlated with changes in the rate of occurrence of discrete events recorded electrophysiologically in darkness. A heat-treated Lubrol extract of membranes from Limulus ventral eyes reconstituted the adenylate cyclase activity of membranes from S49 mouse lymphoma cyc- mutant cells which lack a functional regulatory protein. These findings suggest that Limulus ventral eye photoreceptors contain a regulatory protein that mediates the activation of adenylate cyclase by guanine nucleotides, fluoride or cholera toxin. This regulatory protein is homologous with that found in mammalian and avian adenylate cyclases. Our findings suggest that

  2. The Musashi 1 Controls the Splicing of Photoreceptor-Specific Exons in the Vertebrate Retina

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Daniel; Carstens, Russ

    2016-01-01

    Alternative pre-mRNA splicing expands the coding capacity of eukaryotic genomes, potentially enabling a limited number of genes to govern the development of complex anatomical structures. Alternative splicing is particularly prevalent in the vertebrate nervous system, where it is required for neuronal development and function. Here, we show that photoreceptor cells, a type of sensory neuron, express a characteristic splicing program that affects a broad set of transcripts and is initiated prior to the development of the light sensing outer segments. Surprisingly, photoreceptors lack prototypical neuronal splicing factors and their splicing profile is driven to a significant degree by the Musashi 1 (MSI1) protein. A striking feature of the photoreceptor splicing program are exons that display a "switch-like" pattern of high inclusion levels in photoreceptors and near complete exclusion outside of the retina. Several ubiquitously expressed genes that are involved in the biogenesis and function of primary cilia produce highly photoreceptor specific isoforms through use of such “switch-like” exons. Our results suggest a potential role for alternative splicing in the development of photoreceptors and the conversion of their primary cilia to the light sensing outer segments. PMID:27541351

  3. The Musashi 1 Controls the Splicing of Photoreceptor-Specific Exons in the Vertebrate Retina.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Daniel; Cieply, Benjamin; Carstens, Russ; Ramamurthy, Visvanathan; Stoilov, Peter

    2016-08-01

    Alternative pre-mRNA splicing expands the coding capacity of eukaryotic genomes, potentially enabling a limited number of genes to govern the development of complex anatomical structures. Alternative splicing is particularly prevalent in the vertebrate nervous system, where it is required for neuronal development and function. Here, we show that photoreceptor cells, a type of sensory neuron, express a characteristic splicing program that affects a broad set of transcripts and is initiated prior to the development of the light sensing outer segments. Surprisingly, photoreceptors lack prototypical neuronal splicing factors and their splicing profile is driven to a significant degree by the Musashi 1 (MSI1) protein. A striking feature of the photoreceptor splicing program are exons that display a "switch-like" pattern of high inclusion levels in photoreceptors and near complete exclusion outside of the retina. Several ubiquitously expressed genes that are involved in the biogenesis and function of primary cilia produce highly photoreceptor specific isoforms through use of such "switch-like" exons. Our results suggest a potential role for alternative splicing in the development of photoreceptors and the conversion of their primary cilia to the light sensing outer segments. PMID:27541351

  4. Tbx2b is required for ultraviolet photoreceptor cell specification during zebrafish retinal development

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Morris, Ann C.; Snelson, Corey D.; Gamse, Joshua T.; Gupta, Tripti; Marlow, Florence L.; Mullins, Mary C.; Burgess, Harold A.; Granato, Michael; Fadool, James M.

    2009-01-01

    The vertebrate rod and cone photoreceptors are highly specialized sensory neurons that transduce light into the chemical and electrical signals of the nervous system. Although the physiological properties of cones and rods are well known, only a handful of genes have been identified that regulate the specification of photoreceptor subtypes. Taking advantage of the mosaic organization of photoreceptors in zebrafish, we report the isolation of a mutation resulting in a unique change in photoreceptor cell fate. Mutation of the lots-of-rods (lor) locus results in a near one-for-one transformation of UV-cone precursors into rods. The transformed cells exhibit morphological characteristics and a gene-expression pattern typical of rods, but differentiate in a temporal and spatial pattern consistent with UV-cone development. In mutant larvae and adults, the highly ordered photoreceptor mosaic is maintained and degeneration is not observed, suggesting that lor functions after the specification of the other photoreceptor subtypes. In genetic chimeras, lor functions cell-autonomously in the specification of photoreceptor cell fate. Linkage analysis and genetic-complementation testing indicate that lor is an allele of tbx2b/fby (from beyond). fby was identified by a pineal complex phenotype, and carries a nonsense mutation in the T-box domain of the tbx2b transcription factor. Homozygous fby mutant larvae and lor/fby transheterozygotes also display the lots-of-rods phenotype. Based upon these data, we propose a previously undescribed function for tbx2b in photoreceptor cell precursors, to promote the UV cone fate by repressing the rod differentiation pathway. PMID:19179291

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

    PubMed Central

    Komuta, Yukari; Ishii, Toshiyuki; Kaneda, Makoto; Ueda, Yasuji; Miyamoto, Kiyoko; Toyoda, Masashi; Umezawa, Akihiro

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:27170256

  6. The photochemical mechanism of a B12-dependent photoreceptor protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2015-08-01

    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.

  7. The photochemical mechanism of a B12-dependent photoreceptor protein.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-08-12

    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.

  8. Mechanisms of Photoreceptor Patterning in Vertebrates and Invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Viets, Kayla; Eldred, Kiara C; Johnston, Robert J

    2016-10-01

    Across the animal kingdom, visual systems have evolved to be uniquely suited to the environments and behavioral patterns of different species. Visual acuity and color perception depend on the distribution of photoreceptor (PR) subtypes within the retina. Retinal mosaics can be organized into three broad categories: stochastic/regionalized, regionalized, and ordered. We describe here the retinal mosaics of flies, zebrafish, chickens, mice, and humans, and the gene regulatory networks controlling proper PR specification in each. By drawing parallels in eye development between these divergent species, we identify a set of conserved organizing principles and transcriptional networks that govern PR subtype differentiation. PMID:27615122

  9. Restoration of vision after transplantation of photoreceptors.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  10. Simple photoreceptors in Limulus polyphemus.

    PubMed

    Millecchia, R; Bradbury, J; Mauro, A

    1966-12-01

    The "olfactory nerve," the endoparietal eye, and the rudimentary lateral eyes of Limulus (polyphemus) contain simple photoreceptor cells that duplicate many of the electrical responses of the retinular cells of the lateral eye; the responses are a receptor potential consisting of aninitial transient phase and a subsequent steady phase,low-amplitude fluctuations, and a small locally regenerative response to pulses of both light and current. Photic stimulation does not induce conducted action potentials, but does increase the membrane conductance. The receptor potentialrequires the presence of sodium ions in the external medium. Measurements of action and absorption spectra indicate a photopigment whose maximum absorption is of light with wavelength of 535 nanometers. The functional significance of these cells has not been ascertained. PMID:5921383

  11. UV-B detected by the UVR8 photoreceptor antagonizes auxin signaling and plant shade avoidance.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Scott; Velanis, Christos N; Jenkins, Gareth I; Franklin, Keara A

    2014-08-12

    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.

  12. Neuronal Organization of Deep Brain Opsin Photoreceptors in Adult Teleosts

    PubMed Central

    Hang, Chong Yee; Kitahashi, Takashi; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. NEURONATIN IS A STRESS-RESPONSIVE PROTEIN OF ROD PHOTORECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    SHINDE, VISHAL; PITALE, PRIYAMVADA M.; HOWSE, WAYNE; GORBATYUK, OLEG; GORBATYUK, MARINA

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. OTX2 and CRX rescue overlapping and photoreceptor-specific functions in the Drosophila eye

    PubMed Central

    Terrell, David; Xie, Baotong; Workman, Michael; Mahato, Simpla; Zelhof, Andrew; Gebelein, Brian; Cook, Tiffany

    2012-01-01

    Background Otd-related transcription factors are evolutionarily conserved to control anterior patterning and neurogenesis. In humans, two such factors, OTX2 and CRX, are expressed in all photoreceptors from early specification through adulthood and associate with several photoreceptor-specific retinopathies. It is not well understood how these factors function independently vs. redundantly, or how specific mutations lead to different disease outcomes. It is also unclear how OTX1 and OTX2 functionally overlap during other aspects of neurogenesis and ocular development. Drosophila encodes a single Otd factor that has multiple functions during eye development. Using the Drosophila eye as a model, we tested the ability of the human OTX1, OTX2, and CRX genes, as well as several disease-associated CRX alleles, to rescue the different functions of Otd. Results Our results indicate the following: OTX2 and CRX display overlapping, yet distinct subfunctions of Otd during photoreceptor differentiation; CRX disease alleles can be functionally distinguished based on their rescue properties; and all three factors are able to rescue rhabdomeric photoreceptor morphogenesis. Conclusions Our findings have important implications for understanding how Otx proteins have subfunctionalized during evolution, and cement Drosophila as an effective tool to unravel the molecular bases of photoreceptor pathogenesis. PMID:22113834

  15. Photoreceptor Sensory Cilium: Traversing the Ciliary Gate.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Hemant

    2015-01-01

    Cilia are antenna-like extensions of the plasma membrane found in nearly all cell types. In the retina of the eye, photoreceptors develop unique sensory cilia. Not much was known about the mechanisms underlying the formation and function of photoreceptor cilia, largely because of technical limitations and the specific structural and functional modifications that cannot be modeled in vitro. With recent advances in microscopy techniques and molecular and biochemical approaches, we are now beginning to understand the molecular basis of photoreceptor ciliary architecture, ciliary function and its involvement in human diseases. Here, I will discuss the studies that have revealed new knowledge of how photoreceptor cilia regulate their identity and function while coping with high metabolic and trafficking demands associated with processing light signal. PMID:26501325

  16. An extraretinally expressed insect cryptochrome with similarity to the blue light photoreceptors of mammals and plants.

    PubMed

    Egan, E S; Franklin, T M; Hilderbrand-Chae, M J; McNeil, G P; Roberts, M A; Schroeder, A J; Zhang, X; Jackson, F R

    1999-05-15

    Photic entrainment of insect circadian rhythms can occur through either extraretinal (brain) or retinal photoreceptors, which mediate sensitivity to blue light or longer wavelengths, respectively. Although visual transduction processes are well understood in the insect retina, almost nothing is known about the extraretinal blue light photoreceptor of insects. We now have identified and characterized a candidate blue light photoreceptor gene in Drosophila (DCry) that is homologous to the cryptochrome (Cry) genes of mammals and plants. The DCry gene is located in region 91F of the third chromosome, an interval that does not contain other genes required for circadian rhythmicity. The protein encoded by DCry is approximately 50% identical to the CRY1 and CRY2 proteins recently discovered in mammalian species. As expected for an extraretinal photoreceptor mediating circadian entrainment, DCry mRNA is expressed within the adult brain and can be detected within body tissues. Indeed, tissue in situ hybridization demonstrates prominent expression in cells of the lateral brain, which are close to or coincident with the Drosophila clock neurons. Interestingly, DCry mRNA abundance oscillates in a circadian manner in Drosophila head RNA extracts, and the temporal phasing of the rhythm is similar to that documented for the mouse Cry1 mRNA, which is expressed in clock tissues. Finally, we show that changes in DCry gene dosage are associated predictably with alterations of the blue light resetting response for the circadian rhythm of adult locomotor activity. PMID:10233998

  17. Melanopsin-Expressing Amphioxus Photoreceptors Transduce Light via a Phospholipase C Signaling Cascade

    PubMed Central

    Angueyra, Juan Manuel; Pulido, Camila; Malagón, Gerardo; Nasi, Enrico; Gomez, Maria del Pilar

    2012-01-01

    Melanopsin, the receptor molecule that underlies light sensitivity in mammalian ‘circadian’ receptors, is homologous to invertebrate rhodopsins and has been proposed to operate via a similar signaling pathway. Its downstream effectors, however, remain elusive. Melanopsin also expresses in two distinct light-sensitive cell types in the neural tube of amphioxus. This organism is the most basal extant chordate and can help outline the evolutionary history of different photoreceptor lineages and their transduction mechanisms; moreover, isolated amphioxus photoreceptors offer unique advantages, because they are unambiguously identifiable and amenable to single-cell physiological assays. In the present study whole-cell patch clamp recording, pharmacological manipulations, and immunodetection were utilized to investigate light transduction in amphioxus photoreceptors. A Gq was identified and selectively localized to the photosensitive microvillar membrane, while the pivotal role of phospholipase C was established pharmacologically. The photocurrent was profoundly depressed by IP3 receptor antagonists, highlighting the importance of IP3 receptors in light signaling. By contrast, surrogates of diacylglycerol (DAG), as well as poly-unsaturated fatty acids failed to activate a membrane conductance or to alter the light response. The results strengthen the notion that calcium released from the ER via IP3-sensitive channels may fulfill a key role in conveying - directly or indirectly - the melanopsin-initiated light signal to the photoconductance; moreover, they challenge the dogma that microvillar photoreceptors and phoshoinositide-based light transduction are a prerogative of invertebrate eyes. PMID:22235344

  18. Zebrafish Lbh-like Is Required for Otx2-mediated Photoreceptor Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wen-Hua; Zhou, Li; Li, Zhi; Wang, Yang; Shi, Jian-Tao; Yang, Yan-Jing; Gui, Jian-Fang

    2015-01-01

    The homeobox transcription factor orthodenticle homolog 2 (otx2) is supposed as an organizer that orchestrates a transcription factor network during photoreceptor development. However, its regulation in the process remains unclear. In this study, we have identified a zebrafish limb bud and heart-like gene (lbh-like), which is expressed initially at 30 hours post fertilization (hpf) in the developing brain and eyes. Lbh-like knockdown by morpholinos specifically inhibits expression of multiple photoreceptor-specific genes, such as opsins, gnat1, gnat2 and irbp. Interestingly, otx2 expression in the morphants is not significantly reduced until 32 hpf when lbh-like begins to express, but its expression level in 72 hpf morphants is higher than that in wild type embryos. Co-injection of otx2 and its downstream target neuroD mRNAs can rescue the faults in eyes of Lbh-like morphants. Combined with the results of promoter-reporter assay, we suggest that lbh-like is a new regulator of photoreceptor differentiation directly through affecting otx2 expression in zebrafish. Furthermore, knockdown of lbh-like increases the activity of Notch pathway and perturbs the balance among proliferation, differentiation and survival of photoreceptor precursors. PMID:25999792

  19. CpG island evolution in the mammalian DHRS4 gene cluster and its role in the regulation of gene transcription.

    PubMed

    Su, Z; Liu, G; Song, X; Liang, B; Chang, X; Huang, D

    2016-01-01

    The dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR family) member 4 (DHRS4) gene is copied during mammalian evolution; therefore, while only one DHRS4 gene is expressed in the mouse genome, the gene cluster consists of two (DHRS4 and DHRS4L1) and three (DHRS4, DHRS4L2, and DHRS4L1) copies in chimpanzees and humans, respectively. In this study, we explored the possible regulatory mechanism of the DHRS4 gene cluster in mammalian evolution by analyzing the promoter sequence, methylation of CpG islands, and RNA expression of the DHRS4 gene cluster in mice, chimpanzees, and humans by bioinformatics prediction, bisulfite sequencing PCR, and real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR. The results indicated that the DHRS4 gene was actively expressed in the three model species. The RNA level of DHRS4L1 was much lower than those of DHRS4 and DHRS4L2, and expressed lower homologous sequence identity to DHRS4 and DHRS4L2. DHRS4L2, the latest evolutionary copy of the DHRS4 gene in mammals, received a high promoter prediction score, and was the only copy of the DHRS4 gene cluster presenting hypermethylated CpG islands in the promoter region. An analysis of the relationship between the promoter characteristics and RNA expression of the DHRS4 gene cluster indicated that the development of CpG islands, in addition to the promoter sequence, during mammalian evolution could modulate the dose compensatory regulation of the copy number-varied DHRS4 gene cluster. PMID:27323117

  20. Novel potassium channels encoded by the Shaker locus in Drosophila photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hardie, R C; Voss, D; Pongs, O; Laughlin, S B

    1991-03-01

    The Shaker gene, responsible for A-type potassium channels in Drosophila muscle, encodes a large family of transcripts capable of generating a variety of kinetically distinct A channels when expressed in oocytes. We describe a distinct class of A channel encoded by the Shaker gene in a novel preparation of dissociated Drosophila photoreceptors. Whole-cell recordings reveal a rapidly inactivating A current that is absent in Shaker mutants and that can be readily isolated in cell-attached patches. Although very similar to their muscle counterparts, the photoreceptor A channels show a striking 40-50 mV negative shift in their voltage-operating range. Two mutations (ShE62 and T(1;Y)W32), which exclude only certain classes of Shaker transcripts, were used to show that photoreceptor A channels are encoded by multiple transcripts distinct from those encoding muscle A channels, while PCR techniques identified four transcripts (ShA1, ShA2, ShG1, and ShG2) in mRNA from dissected retina. PMID:2001287

  1. Mapping Mammalian Cell-type-specific Transcriptional Regulatory Networks Using KD-CAGE and ChIP-seq Data in the TC-YIK Cell Line

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Zebrafish Cacna1fa is required for cone photoreceptor function and synaptic ribbon formation

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Sujuan; Muto, Akira; Orisme, Wilda; Henson, Hannah E.; Parupalli, Chaithanyarani; Ju, Bensheng; Baier, Herwig; Taylor, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    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

  3. Accumulation of non-outer segment proteins in the outer segment underlies photoreceptor degeneration in Bardet–Biedl syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Datta, Poppy; Allamargot, Chantal; Hudson, Joseph S.; Andersen, Emily K.; Bhattarai, Sajag; Drack, Arlene V.; Sheffield, Val C.; Seo, Seongjin

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Patrick; Glösmann, Martin; Peichl, Leo

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of photoreceptor properties was performed in the retina of the nocturnal deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, using pigmented (wildtype) and albino animals. The aim was to establish whether the deer mouse is a more suitable model species than the house mouse for photoreceptor studies, and whether oculocutaneous albinism affects its photoreceptor properties. In retinal flatmounts, cone photoreceptors were identified by opsin immunostaining, and their numbers, spectral types, and distributions across the retina were determined. Rod photoreceptors were counted using differential interference contrast microscopy. Pigmented P. maniculatus have a rod-dominated retina with rod densities of about 450.000/mm(2) and cone densities of 3000-6500/mm(2). Two cone opsins, shortwave sensitive (S) and middle-to-longwave sensitive (M), are present and expressed in distinct cone types. Partial sequencing of the S opsin gene strongly supports UV sensitivity of the S cone visual pigment. The S cones constitute a 5-15% minority of the cones. Different from house mouse, S and M cone distributions do not have dorsoventral gradients, and coexpression of both opsins in single cones is exceptional (<2% of the cones). In albino P. maniculatus, rod densities are reduced by approximately 40% (270.000/mm(2)). Overall, cone density and the density of cones exclusively expressing S opsin are not significantly different from pigmented P. maniculatus. However, in albino retinas S opsin is coexpressed with M opsin in 60-90% of the cones and therefore the population of cones expressing only M opsin is significantly reduced to 5-25%. In conclusion, deer mouse cone properties largely conform to the general mammalian pattern, hence the deer mouse may be better suited than the house mouse for the study of certain basic cone properties, including the effects of albinism on cone opsin expression. PMID:24260509

  5. Defective photoreceptor phagocytosis in a mouse model of enhanced S-cone syndrome causes progressive retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Mustafi, Debarshi; Kevany, Brian M.; Genoud, Christel; Okano, Kiichiro; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Roman, Alejandro J.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Engel, Andreas; Adams, Mark D.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2011-01-01

    Enhanced S-cone syndrome (ESCS), featuring an excess number of S cones, manifests as a progressive retinal degeneration that leads to blindness. Here, through optical imaging, we identified an abnormal interface between photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in 9 patients with ESCS. The neural retina leucine zipper transcription factor-knockout (Nrl−/−) mouse model demonstrates many phenotypic features of human ESCS, including unstable S-cone-positive photoreceptors. Using massively parallel RNA sequencing, we identified 6203 differentially expressed transcripts between wild-type (Wt) and Nrl−/− mouse retinas, with 6 highly significant differentially expressed genes of the Pax, Notch, and Wnt canonical pathways. Changes were also obvious in expression of 30 genes involved in the visual cycle and 3 key genes in photoreceptor phagocytosis. Novel high-resolution (100 nm) imaging and reconstruction of Nrl−/− retinas revealed an abnormal packing of photoreceptors that contributed to buildup of photoreceptor deposits. Furthermore, lack of phagosomes in the RPE layer of Nrl−/− retina revealed impairment in phagocytosis. Cultured RPE cells from Wt and Nrl−/− mice illustrated that the phagocytotic defect was attributable to the aberrant interface between ESCS photoreceptors and the RPE. Overcoming the retinal phagocytosis defect could arrest the progressive degenerative component of this disease.—Mustafi, D., Kevany, B. M., Genoud, C., Okano, K., Cideciyan, A. V., Sumaroka, A., Roman, A. J., Jacobson, S. G. Engel, A., Adams, M. D., Palczewski, K. Defective photoreceptor phagocytosis in a mouse model of enhanced S-cone syndrome causes progressive retinal degeneration. PMID:21659555

  6. Mammalian Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Gene Regulatory Network Inference of Immunoresponsive Gene 1 (IRG1) Identifies Interferon Regulatory Factor 1 (IRF1) as Its Transcriptional Regulator in Mammalian Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Tallam, Aravind; Perumal, Thaneer M.; Antony, Paul M.; Jäger, Christian; Fritz, Joëlle V.; Vallar, Laurent; Balling, Rudi; del Sol, Antonio; Michelucci, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Cone Photoreceptors Develop Normally in the Absence of Functional Rod Photoreceptors in a Transgenic Swine Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez de Castro, Juan P.; Scott, Patrick A.; Fransen, James W.; Demas, James; DeMarco, Paul J.; Kaplan, Henry J.; McCall, Maureen A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Human and swine retinas have morphological and functional similarities. In the absence of primate models, the swine is an attractive model to study retinal function and disease, with its cone-rich visual streak, our ability to manipulate their genome, and the differences in susceptibility of rod and cone photoreceptors to disease. We characterized the normal development of cone function and its subsequent decline in a P23H rhodopsin transgenic (TgP23H) miniswine model of autosomal dominant RP. Methods. Semen from TgP23H miniswine 53-1 inseminated domestic swine and produced TgP23H and Wt hybrid littermates. Retinal function was evaluated using ERGs between postnatal days (P) 14 and 120. Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) responses were recorded to full-field stimuli at several intensities. Retinal morphology was assessed using light and electron microscopy. Results. Scotopic retinal function matures in Wt pigs up to P60, but never develops in TgP23H pigs. Wt and TgP23H photopic vision matures similarly up to P30 and diverges at P60 where TgP23H cone vision declines. There are fewer TgP23H RGCs with visually evoked responses at all ages and their response to light is compromised. Photoreceptor morphological changes mirror these functional changes. Conclusions. Lack of early scotopic function in TgP23H swine suggests it as a model of an aggressive form of RP. In this mammalian model of RP, normal cone function develops independent of rod function. Therefore, its retina represents a system in which therapies to rescue cones can be developed to prolong photopic visual function in RP patients. PMID:24618325

  9. Photoreceptors mapping from past history till date.

    PubMed

    Parihar, Parul; Singh, Rachana; Singh, Samiksha; Tripathi, Durgesh Kumar; Chauhan, Devendra Kumar; Singh, Vijay Pratap; Prasad, Sheo Mohan

    2016-09-01

    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.

  10. Dynamic behavior of rod photoreceptor disks.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chunhe; Jiang, Yunhai; Koutalos, Yiannis

    2002-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells use membrane organelles, like the endoplasmic reticulum or the Golgi, to carry out different functions. Vertebrate rod photoreceptors use hundreds of membrane sacs (the disks) for the detection of light. We have used fluorescent tracers and single cell imaging to study the properties of rod photoreceptor disks. Labeling of intact rod photoreceptors with membrane markers and polar tracers revealed communication between intradiskal and extracellular space. Internalized tracers moved along the length of the rod outer segment, indicating communication between the disks as well. This communication involved the exchange of both membrane and aqueous phase and had a time constant in the order of minutes. The communication pathway uses approximately 2% of the available membrane disk area and does not allow the passage of molecules larger than 10 kDa. It was possible to load the intradiskal space with fluorescent Ca(2+) and pH dyes, which reported an intradiskal Ca(2+) concentration in the order of 1 microM and an acidic pH 6.5, both of them significantly different than intracellular and extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations and pH. The results suggest that the rod photoreceptor disks are not discrete, passive sacs but rather comprise an active cellular organelle. The communication between disks may be important for membrane remodeling as well as for providing access to the intradiskal space of the whole outer segment. PMID:12202366

  11. Statistics of protein-DNA binding and the total number of binding sites for a transcription factor in the mammalian genome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Transcription factor (TF)-DNA binding loci are explored by analyzing massive datasets generated with application of Chromatin Immuno-Precipitation (ChIP)-based high-throughput sequencing technologies. These datasets suffer from a bias in the information about binding loci availability, sample incompleteness and diverse sources of technical and biological noises. Therefore adequate mathematical models of ChIP-based high-throughput assay(s) and statistical tools are required for a robust identification of specific and reliable TF binding sites (TFBS), a precise characterization of TFBS avidity distribution and a plausible estimation the total number of specific TFBS for a given TF in the genome for a given cell type. Results We developed an exploratory mixture probabilistic model for a specific and non-specific transcription factor-DNA (TF-DNA) binding. Within ChiP-seq data sets, the statistics of specific and non-specific DNA-protein binding is defined by a mixture of sample size-dependent skewed functions described by Kolmogorov-Waring (K-W) function (Kuznetsov, 2003) and exponential function, respectively. Using available Chip-seq data for eleven TFs, essential for self-maintenance and differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (SC) (Nanog, Oct4, sox2, KLf4, STAT3, E2F1, Tcfcp211, ZFX, n-Myc, c-Myc and Essrb) reported in Chen et al (2008), we estimated (i) the specificity and the sensitivity of the ChiP-seq binding assays and (ii) the number of specific but not identified in the current experiments binding sites (BSs) in the genome of mouse embryonic stem cells. Motif finding analysis applied to the identified c-Myc TFBSs supports our results and allowed us to predict many novel c-Myc target genes. Conclusion We provide a novel methodology of estimating the specificity and the sensitivity of TF-DNA binding in massively paralleled ChIP sequencing (ChIP-seq) binding assay. Goodness-of fit analysis of K-W functions suggests that a large fraction of low

  12. Drosophila Lin-7 is a component of the Crumbs complex in epithelia and photoreceptor cells and prevents light-induced retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, André; Grawe, Ferdi; Johnson, Kevin; Knust, Elisabeth

    2008-03-01

    The Drosophila Crumbs protein complex is required to maintain epithelial cell polarity in the embryo, to ensure proper morphogenesis of photoreceptor cells and to prevent light-dependent retinal degeneration. In Drosophila, the core components of the complex are the transmembrane protein Crumbs, the membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) Stardust and the scaffolding protein DPATJ. The composition of the complex and some of its functions are conserved in mammalian epithelial and photoreceptor cells. Here, we report that Drosophila Lin-7, a scaffolding protein with one Lin-2/Lin-7 (L27) domain and one PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1 (PDZ) domain, is associated with the Crumbs complex in the subapical region of embryonic and follicle epithelia and at the stalk membrane of adult photoreceptor cells. DLin-7 loss-of-function mutants are viable and fertile. While DLin-7 localization depends on Crumbs, neither Crumbs, Stardust nor DPATJ require DLin-7 for proper accumulation in the subapical region. Unlike other components of the Crumbs complex, DLin-7 is also enriched in the first optic ganglion, the lamina, where it co-localizes with Discs large, another member of the MAGUK family. In contrast to crumbs mutant photoreceptor cells, those mutant for DLin-7 do not display any morphogenetic abnormalities. Similar to crumbs mutant eyes, however, DLin-7 mutant photoreceptors undergo progressive, light-dependent degeneration. These results support the previous conclusions that the function of the Crumbs complex in cell survival is independent from its function in photoreceptor morphogenesis.

  13. The photochemical mechanism of a B12-dependent photoreceptor protein

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. The photochemical mechanism of a B12-dependent photoreceptor protein.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Exploring avian deep-brain photoreceptors and their role in activating the neuroendocrine regulation of gonadal development1

    PubMed Central

    Kuenzel, Wayne J.; Kang, Seong W.; Zhou, Z. Jimmy

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. Specific interaction with transcription factor IIA and localization of the mammalian TATA-binding protein-like protein (TLP/TRF2/TLF).

    PubMed

    Nakadai, Tomoyoshi; Shimada, Miho; Shima, Daisuke; Handa, Hiroshi; Tamura, Taka-Aki

    2004-02-27

    TBP-like protein (TLP) is structurally similar to the TATA-binding protein (TBP) and is thought to have a transcriptional regulation function. Although TLP has been found to form a complex with transcription factor IIA (TFIIA), the in vivo functions of TFIIA for TLP are not clear. In this study, we analyzed the interaction between TLP and TFIIA. We determined the biophysical properties for the interaction of TLP with TFIIA. Dissociation constants of TFIIA versus TLP and TFIIA versus TBP were 1.5 and 10 nm, respectively. Moreover, the dissociation rate constant of TLP and TFIIA (1.2 x 10(-4)/m.s was significantly lower than that of TBP (2.1 x 10(-3)/m.s). These results indicate that TLP has a higher affinity to TFIIA than does TBP and that the TLP-TFIIA complex is much more stable than is the TBP-TFIIA complex. We found that TLP forms a dimer and a trimer and that these multimerizations are inhibited by TFIIA. Moreover, TLP mutimers were more stable than a TBP dimer. We determined the amounts of TLPs in the nucleus and cytoplasm of NIH3T3 cells and found that the molecular number of TLP in the nucleus was only 4% of that in the cytoplasm. Immunostaining of cells also revealed cytoplasmic localization of TLP. We established cells that stably express mutant TLP lacking TFIIA binding ability and identified the amino acids of TLP required for TFIIA binding (Ala-32, Leu-33, Asn-37, Arg-52, Lys-53, Lys-78, and Arg-86). Interestingly, the level of TFIIA binding defective mutant TLPs in the nucleus was much higher than that of the wild-type TLP and TFIIA-interactable mutant TLPs. Immunostaining analyses showed consistent results. These results suggest that the TFIIA binding ability of TLP is required for characteristic cytoplasmic localization of TLP. TFIIA may regulate the intracellular molecular state and the function of TLP through its property of binding to TLP.

  17. Evolution of photosensory pineal organs in new light: the fate of neuroendocrine photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Ekström, Peter; Meissl, Hilmar

    2003-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian photoreceptors contain specialised connecting cilia that connect the inner (IS) to the outer segments (OS). Dysfunction of the connecting cilia due to mutations in ciliary proteins are a common cause of the inherited retinal dystrophy retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Mutations affecting the Retinitis Pigmentosa GTPase Regulator (RPGR) protein is one such cause, affecting 10–20% of all people with RP and the majority of those with X-linked RP. RPGR is located in photoreceptor connecting cilia. It interacts with a wide variety of ciliary proteins, but its exact function is unknown. Recently, there have been important advances both in our understanding of RPGR function and towards the development of a therapy. This review summarises the existing literature on human RPGR function and dysfunction, and suggests that RPGR plays a role in the function of the ciliary gate, which controls access of both membrane and soluble proteins to the photoreceptor outer segment. We discuss key models used to investigate and treat RPGR disease and suggest that gene augmentation therapy offers a realistic therapeutic approach, although important questions still remain to be answered, while cell replacement therapy based on retinal progenitor cells represents a more distant prospect. PMID:26093275

  19. Proximity of H2A.Z containing nucleosome to the transcription start site influences gene expression levels in the mammalian liver and brain

    PubMed Central

    Bargaje, Rhishikesh; Alam, Mohammad Parwez; Patowary, Ashok; Sarkar, Maharnob; Ali, Tamer; Gupta, Shivani; Garg, Manali; Singh, Meghna; Purkanti, Ramya; Scaria, Vinod; Sivasubbu, Sridhar; Brahmachari, Vani; Pillai, Beena

    2012-01-01

    Nucleosome positioning maps of several organisms have shown that Transcription Start Sites (TSSs) are marked by nucleosome depleted regions flanked by strongly positioned nucleosomes. Using genome-wide nucleosome maps and histone variant occupancy in the mouse liver, we show that the majority of genes were associated with a single prominent H2A.Z containing nucleosome in their promoter region. We classified genes into clusters depending on the proximity of H2A.Z to the TSS. The genes with no detectable H2A.Z showed lowest expression level, whereas H2A.Z was positioned closer to the TSS of genes with higher expression levels. We confirmed this relation between the proximity of H2A.Z and expression level in the brain. The proximity of histone variant H2A.Z, but not H3.3 to the TSS, over seven consecutive nucleosomes, was correlated with expression. Further, a nucleosome was positioned over the TSS of silenced genes while it was displaced to expose the TSS in highly expressed genes. Our results suggest that gene expression levels in vivo are determined by accessibility of the TSS and proximity of H2A.Z. PMID:22821566

  20. The Evolutionarily Conserved C-terminal Domains in the Mammalian Retinoblastoma Tumor Suppressor Family Serve as Dual Regulators of Protein Stability and Transcriptional Potency*

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  1. Donor and host photoreceptors engage in material transfer following transplantation of post-mitotic photoreceptor precursors

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Digitonin effects on photoreceptor adenylate cyclase.

    PubMed

    Bitensky, M W; Gorman, R E; Miller, W H

    1972-03-24

    Adenylate cyclase is described in a number of photoreceptor membranes. Vertebrate rod outer segments contain light-regulated cyclase, and light regulation is abolished by digitonin. Disruption of microvilli in cone and rhabdomphotoreceptors is also associated with loss of light regulation and retention of full enzymic activity. The data suggest that inhibitory constraint provides regulation in cyclase systems and that disruption of membrane structure uncouples catalytic and regulatory elements.

  3. The Drosophila SK Channel (dSK) Contributes to Photoreceptor Performance by Mediating Sensitivity Control at the First Visual Network

    PubMed Central

    Abou Tayoun, Ahmad N.; Li, Xiaofeng; Chu, Brian; Hardie, Roger C.

    2011-01-01

    The contribution of the SK (small-conductance calcium-activated potassium) channel to neuronal functions in complex circuits underlying sensory processing and behavior is largely unknown in the absence of suitable animal models. Here, we generated a Drosophila line that lacks the single highly conserved SK gene in its genome (dSK). In R1–R6 photoreceptors, dSK encodes a slow Ca2+-activated K+ current similar to its mammalian counterparts. Compared with wild-type, dSK− photoreceptors and interneurons showed accelerated oscillatory responses and adaptation. These enhanced kinetics were accompanied with more depolarized dSK− photoreceptors axons, assigning a role for dSK in network gain control during light-to-dark transitions. However, compensatory network adaptation, through increasing activity between synaptic neighbors, overcame many detriments of missing dSK current enabling dSK− photoreceptors to maintain normal information transfer rates to naturalistic stimuli. While demonstrating important functional roles for dSK channel in the visual circuitry, these results also clarify how homeostatically balanced network functions can compensate missing or faulty ion channels. PMID:21957252

  4. Spontaneous Regeneration of Human Photoreceptor Outer Segments.

    PubMed

    Horton, Jonathan C; Parker, Alicia B; Botelho, James V; Duncan, Jacque L

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptors are damaged in many common eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and retinitis pigmentosa. The development of methods to promote the repair or replacement of affected photoreceptors is a major goal of vision research. In this context, it would be useful to know whether photoreceptors are capable of undergoing some degree of spontaneous regeneration after injury. We report a subject who lost retinal function in a wide zone around the optic disc, giving rise to massive enlargement of the physiological blind spot. Imaging with an adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) showed depletion of cone outer segments in the affected retina. A year later visual function had improved, with shrinkage of the enlarged blind spot. AOSLO imaging showed repopulation of cone outer segments, although their density remained below normal. There was a one-to-one match between sites of formerly missing outer segments and new outer segments that had appeared over the course of the year's recovery. This correspondence provided direct morphological evidence that damaged cones are capable, under some circumstances, of generating new outer segments. PMID:26213154

  5. Breakdown analysis of multilayer amorphous silicon photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Jian

    1993-06-01

    The breakdown mechanism of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) has been investigated. It has been shown that the acceptance of the surface potential of an a-Si:H photoreceptor is very sensitive to the micro-roughness of the substrate surface. This is because the junction between the metal substrate (usually aluminum) and the blocking layer (p+ or n+ a-Si:H) is strongly affected by the micro-roughness of the substrate surface. A model is proposed to expound this phenomenon, which indicates that the existence of micro- defects on the substrate surface results in the bending of the metal-semiconductor junction at these defect positions; that is, the original parallel plane junction changes into a spherical abrupt junction. Compared to the former, the curved junction has a lower breakdown voltage, therefore, it will more easily break down at these defect positions during charging. An a-Si:H photoreceptor was prepared on the drum substrate half covered with a thin aluminum film to confirm the model. The experiment result was qualitatively in agreement with the analysis mentioned above. In addition, the effects of PVD-like deposition processes (e.g., high power or high argon diluted silane deposition) on the microstructure and breakdown of a-Si:H photoreceptors are reviewed.

  6. Spontaneous Regeneration of Human Photoreceptor Outer Segments

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Jonathan C.; Parker, Alicia B.; Botelho, James V.; Duncan, Jacque L.

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptors are damaged in many common eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and retinitis pigmentosa. The development of methods to promote the repair or replacement of affected photoreceptors is a major goal of vision research. In this context, it would be useful to know whether photoreceptors are capable of undergoing some degree of spontaneous regeneration after injury. We report a subject who lost retinal function in a wide zone around the optic disc, giving rise to massive enlargement of the physiological blind spot. Imaging with an adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) showed depletion of cone outer segments in the affected retina. A year later visual function had improved, with shrinkage of the enlarged blind spot. AOSLO imaging showed repopulation of cone outer segments, although their density remained below normal. There was a one-to-one match between sites of formerly missing outer segments and new outer segments that had appeared over the course of the year’s recovery. This correspondence provided direct morphological evidence that damaged cones are capable, under some circumstances, of generating new outer segments. PMID:26213154

  7. Mammalian sleep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staunton, Hugh

    2005-05-01

    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.

  8. BRAIN PHOTORECEPTOR PATHWAYS CONTRIBUTING TO CIRCADIAN RHYTHMICITY IN CRAYFISH

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Jeremy M.; Genco, Maria C.; Marlow, Elizabeth D.; Benton, Jeanne L.; Beltz, Barbara S.; Sandeman, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Freshwater crayfish have three known photoreceptive systems: the compound eyes, extraretinal brain photoreceptors, and caudal photoreceptors. The primary goal of the work described here was to explore the contribution of the brain photoreceptors to circadian locomotory activity and define some of the underlying neural pathways. Immunocytochemical studies of the brain photoreceptors in the parastacid (southern hemisphere) crayfish Cherax destructor reveal their expression of the blue light-sensitive photopigment cryptochrome and the neurotransmitter histamine. The brain photo-receptors project to two small protocerebral neuropils, the brain photoreceptor neuropils (BPNs), where they terminate among fibers expressing the neuropeptide pigment-dispersing hormone (PDH), a signaling molecule in arthropod circadian systems. Comparable pathways are also described in the astacid (northern hemisphere) crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Despite exhibiting markedly different diurnal locomotor activity rhythms, removal of the compound eyes and caudal photoreceptors in both C. destructor and P. clarkii (leaving the brain photoreceptors intact) does not abolish the normal light/dark activity cycle in either species, nor prevent the entrainment of their activity cycles to phase shifts of the light/dark period. These results suggest, therefore, that crayfish brain photoreceptors are sufficient for the entrainment of loco-motor activity rhythms to photic stimuli, and that they can act in the absence of the compound eyes and caudal photoreceptors. We also demonstrate that the intensity of PDH expression in the BPNs varies in phase with the locomotor activity rhythm of both crayfish species. Together, these findings suggest that the brain photoreceptor cells can function as extraretinal circadian photoreceptors and that the BPN represents part of an entrainment pathway synchronizing locomotor activity to environmental light/dark cycles, and implicating the neuropeptide PDH in these

  9. Kinesin-2 Family Motors in the Unusual Photoreceptor Cilium

    PubMed Central

    Malicki, Jarema; Besharse, Joseph C.

    2012-01-01

    This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of kinesin-2 family motors in vertebrate photoreceptor development. Zebrafish photoreceptors develop by the 3rd day of embryogenesis, making it possible to study mutant phenotypes without the use of conditional alleles. Recent work using a zebrafish kif3b mutant allele validates the concept that the heterotrimeric kinesin II motor is generally required for ciliogenesis. In zebrafish photoreceptors, however, loss of kif3b function delays but does not block cilium formation. This is thought to occur because both kif3b or kif3c can dimerize with kif3a and function redundantly. The second ciliary kinesin thought to function in photoreceptor cells is kif17. Prior work has shown that either morpholino knockdown of this gene or the overexpression of its dominant negative form can reduce or delay photoreceptor cilium development without any evident impact on ciliogenesis in general. This has led to the idea that kif17 may play an important role only in some specialized cilium types, such the one in photoreceptor cells. In a recently identified kif17 mutant, however, photoreceptor outer segments are formed by 5 dpf and an obvious delay of outer segment formation is seen only at the earliest stage analyzed (3 dpf). This work suggests that kif17 plays a significant role mainly at an early stage of photoreceptor development. Taken together, these studies lead to an intriguing concept that as they differentiate photoreceptors alter their kinesin repertoire. PMID:23123805

  10. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications

    PubMed Central

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    PubMed

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-01

    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.

  12. Cryptochrome 1 in Retinal Cone Photoreceptors Suggests a Novel Functional Role in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Nießner, Christine; Denzau, Susanne; Malkemper, Erich Pascal; Gross, Julia Christina; Burda, Hynek; Winklhofer, Michael; Peichl, Leo

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Cryptochrome 1 in Retinal Cone Photoreceptors Suggests a Novel Functional Role in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Nießner, Christine; Denzau, Susanne; Malkemper, Erich Pascal; Gross, Julia Christina; Burda, Hynek; Winklhofer, Michael; Peichl, Leo

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Comparative integromics on FZD7 orthologs: conserved binding sites for PU.1, SP1, CCAAT-box and TCF/LEF/SOX transcription factors within 5'-promoter region of mammalian FZD7 orthologs.

    PubMed

    Katoh, Masuko; Katoh, Masaru

    2007-03-01

    that the binding sites for PU.1, SP1/Krüppel-like, CCAAT-box, and TCF/LEF/SOX transcription factors were conserved among 5'-promoter regions of mammalian FZD7 orthologs. PMID:17273804

  15. An alternative pathway for rod signals in the rodent retina: rod photoreceptors, cone bipolar cells, and the localization of glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Hack, I; Peichl, L; Brandstätter, J H

    1999-11-23

    In the mammalian retina, extensive processing of spatiotemporal and chromatic information occurs. One key principle in signal transfer through the retina is parallel processing. Two of these parallel pathways are the ON- and OFF-channels transmitting light and dark signals. This dual system is created in the outer plexiform layer, the first relay station in retinal signal transfer. Photoreceptors release glutamate onto ON- and OFF-type bipolar cells, which are functionally distinguished by their postsynaptic expression of different types of glutamate receptors, namely ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors. In the current concept, rod photoreceptors connect only to rod bipolar cells (ON-type) and cone photoreceptors connect only to cone bipolar cells (ON- and OFF-type). We have studied the distribution of (RS)-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor subunits at the synapses in the outer plexiform layer of the rodent retina by immunoelectron microscopy and serial section reconstruction. We report a non-classical synaptic contact and an alternative pathway for rod signals in the retina. Rod photoreceptors made synaptic contact with putative OFF-cone bipolar cells that expressed the AMPA glutamate receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR2 on their dendrites. Thus, in the retina of mouse and rat, an alternative pathway for rod signals exists, where rod photoreceptors bypass the rod bipolar cell and directly excite OFF-cone bipolar cells through an ionotropic sign-conserving AMPA glutamate receptor.

  16. Modal content of living human cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhuolin; Kocaoglu, Omer P.; Turner, Timothy L.; Miller, Donald T.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Understanding Cone Photoreceptor Cell Death in Achromatopsia.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Livia S; Vandenberghe, Luk H

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26427416

  18. The Fine Structure of Some Retinal Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Moody, M. F.; Robertson, J. D.

    1960-01-01

    An electron microscope study has been made of octopus and amphibian photoreceptors, after fixing with KMnO4 and embedding in araldite. What has previously been seen as a single dense stratum bounding the tubular compartments (octopus) or the double membrane discs (rods and cones), now shows a double structure. We interpret this as showing that these tubules and discs have similar bounding surfaces, which are probably directly related to the cell membrane. This is confirmed by the finding that the tubules and discs are (at least occasionally) continuous with the cell membrane. PMID:14423794

  19. The Role of Intraflagellar Transport in the Photoreceptor Sensory Cilium.

    PubMed

    Taub, Daniel G; Liu, Qin

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. Ultraviolet-B-mediated induction of protein-protein interactions in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Crefcoeur, Remco P; Yin, Ruohe; Ulm, Roman; Halazonetis, Thanos D

    2013-01-01

    Light-sensitive proteins are useful tools to control protein localization, activation and gene expression, but are currently limited to excitation with red or blue light. Here we report a novel optogenetic system based on the ultraviolet-B-dependent interaction of the Arabidopsis ultraviolet-B photoreceptor UVR8 with COP1 that can be performed in visible light background. We use this system to induce nuclear accumulation of cytoplasmic green fluorescent protein fused to UVR8 in cells expressing nuclear COP1, and to recruit a nucleoplasmic red fluorescent protein fused to COP1 to chromatin in cells expressing UVR8-H2B. We also show that ultraviolet-B-dependent interactions between DNA-binding and transcription activation domains result in a linear induction of gene expression. The UVR8-COP1 interactions in mammalian cells can be induced using subsecond pulses of ultraviolet-B light and last several hours. As UVR8 photoperception is based on intrinsic tryptophan residues, these interactions do not depend on the addition of an exogenous chromophore.

  1. Thyroid Hormone Signaling and Cone Photoreceptor Viability.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hongwei; Ding, Xi-Qin

    2016-01-01

    Thyroid hormone (TH) signaling regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In the retina, TH signaling plays a central role in cone opsin expression. TH signaling inhibits S opsin expression, stimulates M opsin expression, and promotes dorsal-ventral opsin patterning. TH signaling has also been associated with cone photoreceptor viability. Treatment with thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) or induction of high T3 by deleting the hormone-inactivating enzyme type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (DIO3) causes cone death in mice. This effect is reversed by deletion of the TH receptor (TR) gene. Consistent with the T3 treatment effect, suppressing TH signaling preserves cones in mouse models of retinal degeneration. The regulation of cone survival by TH signaling appears to be independent of its regulatory role in cone opsin expression. The mechanism by which TH signaling regulates cone viability remains to be identified. The current understanding of TH signaling regulation in photoreceptor viability suggests that suppressing TH signaling locally in the retina may represent a novel strategy for retinal degeneration management. PMID:26427466

  2. Internal dialysis of Limulus ventral photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Stern, J H; Lisman, J E

    1982-01-01

    The internal dialysis technique has been applied to Limulus ventral photoreceptors. This method potentially allows quantitative control of the concentration of diffusible molecules within living cells. During dialysis, Limulus photoreceptors retained their ability to respond to light. Under conditions of dim illumination, responses were normal for close to an hour. In bright light, abnormalities developed more rapidly. The reversible effects of raising the dialysate Mg2+ concentration and the entrance of rhodamine-labeled albumin into cells shows that the dialysis method is useful for assaying the effects of small or large molecules on visual transduction. This method has been used to examine the effects of nucleotide triphosphates and cyclic nucleotides. The results show that nucleotide triphosphates (5-10 mM) are required to maintain a low rate of spontaneous quantum bumps. The importance of cyclic nucleotides in transduction is less clear; the light response was reduced by either cGMP or cAMP but only at very high concentrations (10 mM). Images PMID:6961434

  3. Photoreceptor cell death and rescue in retinal detachment and degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Murakami, Yusuke; Notomi, Shoji; Hisatomi, Toshio; Nakazawa, Toru; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Miller, Joan W.; Vavvas, Demetrios G.

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. New perspectives on eye development and the evolution of eyes and photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Gehring, W J

    2005-01-01

    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

  5. SNAP25 Expression in Mammalian Retinal Horizontal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hirano, Arlene A.; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut; Morgans, Catherine W.; Brecha, Nicholas C.

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. Natural Photoreceptors as a Source of Fluorescent Proteins, Biosensors, and Optogenetic Tools

    PubMed Central

    Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Shemetov, Anton A.; Kaberniuk, Andrii A.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Spectral information coding by infrared photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coon, D. D.; Perera, A. G. U.

    1986-10-01

    Spontaneous pulsing has been observed in circuits containing cryogenically cooled silicon p-i-n (p+-n-n+) diodes under dc forward bias. The intensity of infrared radiation incident on the diodes controls the pulse rate with no appreciable effect on the shape or size of the pulses. A strong similarity is noted between these properties and the nearly universal means of coding of visual information by animal photoreceptors and neural networks. It is proposed that exploitation of this remarkable analogy could lead to radically new approaches to acquisition and processing of infrared optical information. Infrared analogs of neural color coding and color vision are proposed based on analysis of p-i-n spectral response measurements.

  8. UV-B photoreceptor-mediated signalling in plants.

    PubMed

    Heijde, Marc; Ulm, Roman

    2012-04-01

    Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) is a key environmental signal that is specifically perceived by plants to promote UV acclimation and survival in sunlight. Whereas the plant photoreceptors for visible light are rather well characterised, the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 was only recently described at the molecular level. Here, we review the current understanding of the UVR8 photoreceptor-mediated pathway in the context of UV-B perception mechanism, early signalling components and physiological responses. We further outline the commonalities in UV-B and visible light signalling as well as highlight differences between these pathways.

  9. Local adaptation in the ventral photoreceptors of Limulus

    PubMed Central

    1975-01-01

    Local adaptation was demonstrated in the ventral photoreceptors of Lumulus using either flashes or continuous illumination. Spots of light locally desensitized the region of the photoreceptor on which they were focused. In dark-adapted photoreceptors where "quantum bumps" were clearly discernible, local adaptation of the quantum bumps was observed. Local adaptation could induce differences of threshold of 1 decade over distances of 50-80 mum. With continuous local illumination these gradients could be maintained from 2 s to 30 min. In addition, the decrease in time scale associated with light adaptation was also found to be localized to the region of illumination. PMID:1194890

  10. A promoter-level mammalian expression atlas

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Light Adaptation in Pecten Hyperpolarizing Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Maria del Pilar; Nasi, Enrico

    1997-01-01

    The ability of scallop hyperpolarizing photoreceptors to respond without attenuation to repetitive flashes, together with their low light sensitivity, lack of resolvable quantum bumps and fast photoresponse kinetics, had prompted the suggestion that these cells may be constitutively in a state akin to light adaptation. We here demonstrate that their photocurrent displays all manifestations of sensory adaptation: (a) The response amplitude to a test flash is decreased in a graded way by background or conditioning lights. This attenuation of the response develops with a time constant of 200–800 ms, inversely related to background intensity. (b) Adapting stimuli shift the stimulus-response curve and reduce the size of the saturating photocurrent. (c) The fall kinetics of the photoresponse are accelerated by light adaptation, and the roll-off of the modulation transfer function is displaced to higher frequencies. This light-induced desensitization exhibits a rapid recovery, on the order of a few seconds. Based on the notion that Ca mediates light adaptation in other cells, we examined the consequences of manipulating this ion. Removal of external Ca reversibly increased the photocurrent amplitude, without affecting light sensitivity, photoresponse kinetics, or susceptibility to background adaptation; the effect, therefore, concerns ion permeation, rather than the regulation of the visual response. Intracellular dialysis with 10 mM BAPTA did not reduce the peak-to-plateau decay of the photocurrent elicited by prolonged light steps, not the background-induced compression of the response amplitude range and the acceleration of its kinetics. Conversely, high levels of buffered free [Ca]i (10 μM) only marginally shifted the sensitivity curve (Δσ = 0.3 log) and spared all manifestations of light adaptation. These results indicate that hyperpolarizing invertebrate photoreceptors adapt to light, but the underlying mechanisms must utilize pathways that are largely

  12. Structural basis for gene regulation by a B12-dependent photoreceptor

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Proton release from Stentor photoreceptors in the excited states.

    PubMed Central

    Song, P S; Walker, E B; Auerbach, R A; Robinson, G W

    1981-01-01

    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. PMID:6791722

  14. Microglial phagocytosis of living photoreceptors contributes to inherited retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lian; Zabel, Matthew K; Wang, Xu; Ma, Wenxin; Shah, Parth; Fariss, Robert N; Qian, Haohua; Parkhurst, Christopher N; Gan, Wen-Biao; Wong, Wai T

    2015-07-02

    Retinitis pigmentosa, caused predominantly by mutations in photoreceptor genes, currently lacks comprehensive treatment. We discover that retinal microglia contribute non-cell autonomously to rod photoreceptor degeneration by primary phagocytosis of living rods. Using rd10 mice, we found that the initiation of rod degeneration is accompanied by early infiltration of microglia, upregulation of phagocytic molecules in microglia, and presentation of "eat-me" signals on mutated rods. On live-cell imaging, infiltrating microglia interact dynamically with photoreceptors via motile processes and engage in rapid phagocytic engulfment of non-apoptotic rods. Microglial contribution to rod demise is evidenced by morphological and functional amelioration of photoreceptor degeneration following genetic ablation of retinal microglia. Molecular inhibition of microglial phagocytosis using the vitronectin receptor antagonist cRGD also improved morphological and functional parameters of degeneration. Our findings highlight primary microglial phagocytosis as a contributing mechanism underlying cell death in retinitis pigmentosa and implicate microglia as a potential cellular target for therapy.

  15. The UV-B photoreceptor UVR8: from structure to physiology.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Gareth I

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Gareth I.

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Morphological and physiological characteristics of dermal photoreceptors in Lymnaea stagnalis

    PubMed Central

    Takigami, Satoshi; Sunada, Hiroshi; Horikoshi, Tetsuro; Sakakibara, Manabu

    2014-01-01

    Dermal photoreceptors located in the mantle of Lymnaea stagnalis were histologically and physiologically characterized. Our previous study demonstrated that the shadow response from dermal photoreceptors induces the whole-body withdrawal response. Through the interneuron, RPeD11, we detected that the light-off response indirectly originated from a dermal photoreceptor. Previous observations, based on behavioral pharmacology, revealed that cyclic guanosine monophosphate acts as a second messenger in the dermal photoreceptor. Furthermore, gastropods possess dermal photoreceptors containing rhodopsin, as a photopigment, and another photo-sensitive protein, arrestin, responsible for terminating the light response. Thus, we chose three antibodies, anti-cGMP, anti-rhodopsin, and anti-β-arrestin, to identify the dermal photoreceptor molecules in Lymnaea mantle. Extracellular recording, using a suction electrode on the mantle, revealed a light off-response from the right parietal nerve. Overlapping structures, positive against each of the antibodies, were also observed. Numerous round, granular particles of 3–47 μm in diameter with one nucleus were distributed around pneumostome and/or inside the mantle. The cells surrounding the pneumostome area, located 10 μm beneath the surface, tended to have smaller cell soma ranging from 3 to 25 μm in diameter, while cells located in other areas were distributed uniformly inside the mantle, with a larger diameter ranging from 12 to 47 μm. The histological examination using back-filing Lucifer Yellow staining of the right parietal nerve with the three dermal photoreceptor antibodies confirmed that these overlapping-stained structures were dermal photoreceptors in Lymnaea. PMID:27493502

  18. Targeted Deletion of Vesicular GABA Transporter from Retinal Horizontal Cells Eliminates Feedback Modulation of Photoreceptor Calcium Channels123

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xue; Boulter, Jim; Grove, James; Pérez de Sevilla Müller, Luis; Barnes, Steven; Brecha, Nicholas C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The cellular mechanisms underlying feedback signaling from horizontal cells to photoreceptors, which are important for the formation of receptive field surrounds of early visual neurons, remain unsettled. Mammalian horizontal cells express a complement of synaptic proteins that are necessary and sufficient for calcium-dependent exocytosis of inhibitory neurotransmitters at their contacts with photoreceptor terminals, suggesting that they are capable of releasing GABA via vesicular release. To test whether horizontal cell vesicular release is involved in feedback signaling, we perturbed inhibitory neurotransmission in these cells by targeted deletion of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT), the protein responsible for the uptake of inhibitory transmitter by synaptic vesicles. To manipulate horizontal cells selectively, an iCre mouse line with Cre recombinase expression controlled by connexin57 (Cx57) regulatory elements was generated. In Cx57-iCre mouse retina, only horizontal cells expressed Cre protein, and its expression occurred in all retinal regions. After crossing with a VGATflox/flox mouse line, VGAT was selectively eliminated from horizontal cells, which was confirmed immunohistochemically. Voltage-gated ion channel currents in horizontal cells of Cx57-VGAT−/− mice were the same as Cx57-VGAT+/+ controls, as were the cell responses to the ionotropic glutamate receptor agonist kainate, but the response to the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol in Cx57-VGAT−/− mice was larger. In contrast, the feedback inhibition of photoreceptor calcium channels, which in control animals is induced by horizontal cell depolarization, was completely absent in Cx57-VGAT−/− mice. The results suggest that vesicular release of GABA from horizontal cells is required for feedback inhibition of photoreceptors. PMID:27022629

  19. Photoreceptor avascular privilege is shielded by soluble VEGF receptor-1

    PubMed Central

    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

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Basal bodies exhibit polarized positioning in zebrafish cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Michelle; Perkins, Brian D.

    2012-01-01

    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

  1. Ciliary photoreceptors in the cerebral eyes of a protostome larva

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Eyes in bilaterian metazoans have been described as being composed of either ciliary or rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Phylogenetic distribution, as well as distinct morphologies and characteristic deployment of different photopigments (ciliary vs. rhabdomeric opsins) and transduction pathways argue for the co-existence of both of these two photoreceptor types in the last common bilaterian ancestor. Both receptor types exist throughout the Bilateria, but only vertebrates are thought to use ciliary photoreceptors for directional light detection in cerebral eyes, while all other invertebrate bilaterians studied utilize rhabdomeric photoreceptors for this purpose. In protostomes, ciliary photoreceptors that express c-opsin have been described only from a non-visual deep-brain photoreceptor. Their homology with vertebrate rods and cones of the human eye has been hypothesized to represent a unique functional transition from non-visual to visual roles in the vertebrate lineage. Results To test the hypothesis that protostome cerebral eyes employ exclusively rhabdomeric photoreceptors, we investigated the ultrastructure of the larval eyes in the brachiopod Terebratalia transversa. We show that these pigment-cup eyes consist of a lens cell and a shading pigment cell, both of which are putative photoreceptors, deploying a modified, enlarged cilium for light perception, and have axonal connections to the larval brain. Our investigation of the gene expression patterns of c-opsin, Pax6 and otx in these eyes confirms that the larval eye spots of brachiopods are cerebral eyes that deploy ciliary type photoreceptors for directional light detection. Interestingly, c-opsin is also expressed during early embryogenesis in all potential apical neural cells, becoming restricted to the anterior neuroectoderm, before expression is initiated in the photoreceptor cells of the eyes. Coincident with the expression of c-opsin in the presumptive neuroectoderm, we found that middle

  2. Photoreceptor processes: some problems and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, T H

    1975-10-01

    Visual photoreceptors from both vertebrates and invertebrates are characterized by extensive elaboration of membrane which contains visual pigment (rhodopsin). Visual pigments in all phyla examined are chemically similar: the chromophore is 11-cis retinaldehyde attached by an aldimine linkage (Schiff base) to a membrane protein, opsin. The effect of light is to isomerize the chromophore to the all-trans configuration. Beyond these fundamental similarities, several specific areas are discussed in which variations and differences appear. (1) Light causes vertebrate visual pigments to bleach, liberating the chromophore. Most invertebrate visual pigments do not bleach in the light, but instead form a thermally stable metarhodopsin, with the chromophore in the all-trans configuration still attached to the opsin. (2) In the disk membranes of vertebrate rod and cone outer segments, the rhodopsin molecules are oriented with their chromophores nearly coplanar with the disks. Within this plane, however, both rotational and translational diffusion are possible. In the microvillar membranes of arthropod and cephalopod rhabdoms, on the other hand, the situation is less clear. There is evidence for some preferential orientation of chromophores that implies restrictions on Brownian rotation. (3) In the outer segments of vertebrate receptors, absorption of light by rhodopsin causes the plasma membrane to hyperpolarize due to a decrease in sodium conductance, possibly mediated by calcium ions. In most invertebrate photoreceptors, light causes a depolarization due to an increase in conductance, principally to sodium ions. A subsequent entry of calcium causes a partial repolarization of the membrane, due to a decrease in sodium conductance. (4) For vertebrate receptors, log threshold is directly proportional to the fraction of rhodopsin bleached (Dowling-Rushton relationship). The proportionality constant varies in different preparations from less than four to more than 30, and the

  3. Substituting mouse transcription factor Pou4f2 with a sea urchin orthologue restores retinal ganglion cell development.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-03-16

    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

  4. Substituting mouse transcription factor Pou4f2 with a sea urchin orthologue restores retinal ganglion cell development.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-03-16

    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.

  5. Light responses of primate and other mammalian cones

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Li-Hui; Luo, Dong-Gen; Yau, King-Wai

    2014-01-01

    Retinal cones are photoreceptors for daylight vision. For lower vertebrates, cones are known to give monophasic, hyperpolarizing responses to light flashes. For primate cones, however, they have been reported to give strongly biphasic flash responses, with an initial hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization beyond the dark level, now a textbook dogma. We have reexamined this primate-cone observation and, surprisingly, found predominantly monophasic cone responses. Correspondingly, we found that primate cones began to adapt to steady light at much lower intensities than previously reported, explainable by a larger steady response to background light for a monophasic than for a biphasic response. Similarly, we have found a monophasic cone response for several other mammalian species. Thus, a monophasic flash response may in fact be the norm for primate and other mammalian cones as for lower-vertebrate cones. This revised information is important for ultimately understanding human retinal signal processing and correlating with psychophysical data. PMID:24550304

  6. Light responses of primate and other mammalian cones.

    PubMed

    Cao, Li-Hui; Luo, Dong-Gen; Yau, King-Wai

    2014-02-18

    Retinal cones are photoreceptors for daylight vision. For lower vertebrates, cones are known to give monophasic, hyperpolarizing responses to light flashes. For primate cones, however, they have been reported to give strongly biphasic flash responses, with an initial hyperpolarization followed by a depolarization beyond the dark level, now a textbook dogma. We have reexamined this primate-cone observation and, surprisingly, found predominantly monophasic cone responses. Correspondingly, we found that primate cones began to adapt to steady light at much lower intensities than previously reported, explainable by a larger steady response to background light for a monophasic than for a biphasic response. Similarly, we have found a monophasic cone response for several other mammalian species. Thus, a monophasic flash response may in fact be the norm for primate and other mammalian cones as for lower-vertebrate cones. This revised information is important for ultimately understanding human retinal signal processing and correlating with psychophysical data. PMID:24550304

  7. Modeling the Flexural Rigidity of Rod Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. In the Limelight: Photoreceptors in Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. In the Limelight: Photoreceptors in Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Bhaya, Devaki

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. Identification of circadian brain photoreceptors mediating photic entrainment of behavioural rhythms in lizards.

    PubMed

    Pasqualetti, Massimo; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Ori, Michela; Innocenti, Augusto; Magnone, Maria C; De Grip, Willem J; Nardi, Irma; Foà, Augusto

    2003-07-01

    We have shown previously that in ruin lizards (Podarcis sicula) the ablation of all known photoreceptive structures (lateral eyes, pineal and parietal eye) in the same individual animal does not prevent entrainment of their circadian locomotor rhythms to light. The present study was aimed at identifying the circadian brain photoreceptors mediating entrainment. For this purpose, we looked for opsin expression in the brain by means of immunocytochemistry. Using anti-cone-opsin antiserum CERN 874 we have localized photoreceptors in the periventricular area of hypothalamus, near the third cerebral ventricle. We also cloned a brain opsin cDNA that, on the basis of the deduced amino acid sequence, appears to belong to the RH2 class of cone-opsins. We named the cloned cone-opsin Ps-RH2. To examine whether brain cone-opsins mediate photic entrainment of circadian locomotor rhythms, we performed post-transcriptional inactivation experiments by injecting an expression eukaryotic vector transcribing the antisense cone-opsin Ps-RH2 mRNA in the third cerebral ventricle of pinealectomized-retinectomized lizards previously entrained to a light-dark (LD) cycle. Injections of the antisense construct abolished photic entrainment of circadian locomotor rhythms of pinealectomized-retinectomized lizards to the LD cycle for 6-9 days. CERN 874 completely failed to label cells within the periventricular area of hypothalamus of brains injected with antisense construct. Thus, abolishment of photic entrainment is due to inactivation of endogenous brain cone-opsins mRNA. The present results demonstrate for the first time in a vertebrate that brain cone-opsins are part of a true circadian brain photoreceptor participating in photic entrainment of behavioural rhythms. PMID:12887418

  11. Limited ATF4 Expression in Degenerating Retinas with Ongoing ER Stress Promotes Photoreceptor Survival in a Mouse Model of Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Bhootada, Yogesh; Kotla, Pravallika; Zolotukhin, Sergei; Gorbatyuk, Oleg; Bebok, Zsuzsanna; Athar, Mohammad; Gorbatyuk, Marina

    2016-01-01

    T17M rhodopsin expression in rod photoreceptors leads to severe retinal degeneration and is associated with the activation of ER stress related Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) signaling. Here, we show a novel role of a UPR transcription factor, ATF4, in photoreceptor cellular pathology. We demonstrated a pro-death role for ATF4 overexpression during autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP). Based on our results in ATF4 knockout mice and adeno-associated viral (AAV) delivery of ATF4 to the retina, we validated a novel therapeutic approach targeting ATF4 over the course of retinal degeneration. In T17M rhodopsin retinas, we observed ATF4 overexpression concomitantly with reduction of p62 and elevation of p53 levels. These molecular alterations, together with increased CHOP and caspase-3/7 activity, possibly contributed to the mechanism of photoreceptor cell loss. Conversely, ATF4 knockdown retarded retinal degeneration in 1-month-old T17M Rhodopsin mice and promoted photoreceptor survival, as measured by scotopic and photopic ERGs and photoreceptor nuclei row counts. Similarly, ATF4 knockdown also markedly delayed retinal degeneration in 3-month-old ADRP animals. This delay was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in UPR signaling, the launching of anti-oxidant defense, initiation of autophagy, and improvement of rhodopsin biosynthesis which together perhaps combat the cellular stress associated with T17M rhodopsin. Our data indicate that augmented ATF4 signals during retinal degeneration plays a cytotoxic role by triggering photoreceptor cell death. Future ADRP therapy regulating ATF4 expression can be developed to treat retinal degenerative disorders associated with activated UPR. PMID:27144303

  12. 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.

    PubMed

    Kaewkhaw, Rossukon; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Brooks, Matthew; Homma, Kohei; Zou, Jizhong; Chaitankar, Vijender; Rao, Mahendra; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26235913

  13. Biological photoreceptors of light-dependent regulatory processes.

    PubMed

    Fraikin, G Ya; Strakhovskaya, M G; Rubin, A B

    2013-11-01

    Progress in understanding primary mechanisms of light reception in photoregulatory processes is achieved through discovering new biological photoreceptors, chiefly the regulatory sensors of blue/UV-A light. Among them are LOV domain-containing proteins and DNA photolyase-like cryptochromes, which constitute two widespread groups of photoreceptors that use flavin cofactors (FMN or FAD) as the photoactive chromophores. Bacterial LOV domain modules are connected in photoreceptor proteins with regulatory domains such as diguanylate cyclases/phosphodiesterases, histidine kinases, and DNA-binding domains that are activated by photoconversions of flavin. Identification of red/far-red light sensors in chemotrophic bacteria (bacteriophytochromes) and crystal structures of their photosensor module with bilin chromophore are significant for decoding the mechanisms of phytochrome receptor photoconversion and early step mechanisms of phytochrome-mediated signaling. The only UV-B regulatory photon sensor, UVR8, recently identified in plants, unlike other photoreceptors functions without a prosthetic chromophore: tryptophans of the unique UVR8 protein structure provide a "UV-B antenna". Our analysis of new data on photosensory properties of the identified photoreceptors in conjunction with their structure opens insight on the influence of the molecular microenvironment on light-induced chromophore reactions, the mechanisms by which the photoactivated chromophores trigger conformational changes in the surrounding protein structure, and structural bases of propagation of these changes to the interacting effector domains/proteins.

  14. Ih channels control feedback regulation from amacrine cells to photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hu, Wen; Wang, Tingting; Wang, Xiao; Han, Junhai

    2015-04-01

    In both vertebrates and invertebrates, photoreceptors' output is regulated by feedback signals from interneurons that contribute to several important visual functions. Although synaptic feedback regulation of photoreceptors is known to occur in Drosophila, many questions about the underlying molecular mechanisms and physiological implementation remain unclear. Here, we systematically investigated these questions using a broad range of experimental methods. We isolated two Ih mutant fly lines that exhibit rhythmic photoreceptor depolarization without light stimulation. We discovered that Ih channels regulate glutamate release from amacrine cells by modulating calcium channel activity. Moreover, we showed that the eye-enriched kainate receptor (EKAR) is expressed in photoreceptors and receives the glutamate signal released from amacrine cells. Finally, we presented evidence that amacrine cell feedback regulation helps maintain light sensitivity in ambient light. Our findings suggest plausible molecular underpinnings and physiological effects of feedback regulation from amacrine cells to photoreceptors. These results provide new mechanistic insight into how synaptic feedback regulation can participate in network processing by modulating neural information transfer and circuit excitability.

  15. Biophysical mechanism of transient retinal phototropism in rod photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-03-01

    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.

  16. Apoptotic photoreceptor cell death in mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed Central

    Portera-Cailliau, C; Sung, C H; Nathans, J; Adler, R

    1994-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited human diseases in which photoreceptor degeneration leads to visual loss and eventually to blindness. Although mutations in the rhodopsin, peripherin, and cGMP phosphodiesterase genes have been identified in some forms of RP, it remains to be determined whether these mutations lead to photoreceptor cell death through necrotic or apoptotic mechanisms. In this paper, we report a test of the hypothesis that photoreceptor cell death occurs by an apoptotic mechanism in three mouse models of RP: retinal degeneration slow (rds) caused by a peripherin mutation, retinal degeneration (rd) caused by a defect in cGMP phosphodiesterase, and transgenic mice carrying a rhodopsin Q344ter mutation responsible for autosomal dominant RP. Two complementary techniques were used to detect apoptosis-specific internucleosomal DNA fragmentation: agarose gel electrophoresis and in situ labeling of apoptotic cells by terminal dUTP nick end labeling. Both methods showed extensive apoptosis of photoreceptors in all three mouse models of retinal degeneration. We also show that apoptotic death occurs in the retina during normal development, suggesting that different mechanisms can cause photoreceptor death by activating an intrinsic death program in these cells. These findings raise the possibility that retinal degenerations may be slowed by interfering with the apoptotic mechanism itself. Images PMID:8302876

  17. Distinct lobes of Limulus ventral photoreceptors. II. Structure and ultrastructure

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    The structure of Limulus ventral photoreceptors fixed in situ has been investigated using light and electron microscopy and computer-assisted reconstruction and planimetry. Photoreceptors occur singly and in clusters. All photoreceptors have two types of lobes. The rhabdomeral lobe (R lobe) appears to be specialized for light sensitivity, containing the rhabdomere, which completely covers its external surface and forms infoldings into the lobe. The structure of the external rhabdom differs from that within infoldings. The other main structures of the R lobe are the palisades along the rhabdom, multivesicular bodies, lamellar bodies, and mitochondria. The arhabdomeral lobe (A lobe) bears the axon and contains the nucleus, clusters of residual bodies, lamellar arrays of endoplasmic reticulum, masses of glycogen, lipid droplets, and Golgi complexes. The R lobe and A lobe are analogous to the outer and inner segments of vertebrae photoreceptors. In single photoreceptors A and R lobes are separated by an indentation filled with glial processes. Computer reconstructions of cell clusters reveal that each cell has both types of lobes and an axon. Most of the rhabdom is formed from abutting arrays of external rhabdom from the R lobes of different members of the cluster. Efferent fibers containing characteristic angular granules penetrate single cells and clusters in glial invaginations. The main, if not exclusive, target of the efferent fibers is the internal rhabdom. PMID:7175491

  18. The ventral photoreceptor cells of Limulus. I. The microanatomy.

    PubMed

    Clark, A W; Millecchia, R; Mauro, A

    1969-09-01

    The ventral photoreceptor cells of Limulus polyphemus resemble the retinular cells of the lateral eyes both in electrical behavior and in morphology. Because of the great size of the ventral photoreceptor cells they are easy to impale with glass capillary micropipettes. Their location along the length of the ventral eye nerve makes them easy to dissect out and fix for electron microscopy. Each cell has a large, ellipsoidal soma that tapers into an axon whose length depends upon the distance of the cell from the brain. The cell body contains a rich variety of cytoplasmic organelles with an especially abundant endoplasmic reticulum. The most prominent structural feature is the microvillous rhabdomere, a highly modified infolding of the plasmalemma. The microvilli are tightly packed together within the rhabdomere, and quintuple-layered junctions are encountered wherever microvillar membranes touch each other. Glial cells cover the surface of the photoreceptor cell and send long, sheet-like projections of their cytoplasm into the cell body of the photoreceptor cell. Some of these projections penetrate the rhabdomere deep within the cell and form quintuple-layered junctions with the microvilli. Junctions between glial cells and the photoreceptor cell and between adjacent glial cells are rarely encountered elsewhere, indicating that there is an open pathway between the intermicrovillous space and the extracellular medium. The axon has a normal morphology but it is electrically inexcitable. PMID:5806591

  19. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Davies, Wayne L; Hart, Nathan S; Hunt, David M

    2009-10-12

    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.

  20. Transition of differential histone H3 methylation in photoreceptors and other retinal cells during retinal differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Kazuko; Iwagawa, Toshiro; Kuribayashi, Hiroshi; Baba, Yukihiro; Nakauchi, Hiromitsu; Murakami, Akira; Nagasaki, Masao; Suzuki, Yutaka; Watanabe, Sumiko

    2016-01-01

    To analyze cell lineage-specific transitions in global transcriptional and epigenetic changes during retinogenesis, we purified retinal cells from normal mice during postnatal development into two fractions, namely, photoreceptors and other retinal cells, based on Cd73 expression, and performed RNA sequencing and ChIP sequencing of H3K27me3 and H3K4me3. Genes expressed in the photoreceptor lineage were marked with H3K4me3 in the Cd73-positive cell fraction; however, the level of H3K27me3 was very low in both Cd73-positive and -negative populations. H3K27me3 may be involved in spatio-temporal onset of a subset of bipolar-related genes. Subsets of genes expressed in amacrine and retinal ganglion cells, which are early-born retinal cell types, were suggested to be maintained in a silent state by H3K27me3 during late-stage retinogenesis. In the outer nuclear layer, upregulation of Rho and rod-related genes were observed in Ezh2-ablated retina, suggesting a role for H3K27me3 in the maintenance of proper expression levels. Taken together, our data on the transition of lineage-specific molecular signatures during development suggest that histone methylation is involved in retinal differentiation and maintenance through cell lineage-specific mechanisms. PMID:27377164

  1. Diacylglycerol kinase epsilon in bovine and rat photoreceptor cells. Light-dependent distribution in photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Natalini, Paola M; Zulian, Sandra E; Ilincheta de Boschero, Mónica G; Giusto, Norma M

    2013-07-01

    The present study shows the selective light-dependent distribution of 1,2-diacylglycerol kinase epsilon (DAGKɛ) in photoreceptor cells from bovine and albino rat retina. Immunofluorescence microscopy in isolated rod outer segments from bleached bovine retinas (BBROS) revealed a higher DAGKɛ signal than that found in rod outer segments from dark-adapted bovine retinas (BDROS). The light-dependent outer segment localization of DAGKɛ was also observed by immunohistochemistry in retinas from albino rats. DAGK activity, measured in terms of phosphatidic acid formation from a) [(3)H]DAG and ATP in the presence of EGTA and R59022, a type I DAGK inhibitor, or b) [γ-(32)P]ATP and 1-stearoyl, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (SAG), was found to be significantly higher in BBROS than in BDROS. Higher light-dependent DAGK activity (condition b) was also found when ROS were isolated from dark-adapted rat retinas exposed to light. Western blot analysis of isolated ROS proteins from bovine and rat retinas confirmed that illumination increases DAGKɛ content in the outer segments of these two species. Light-dependent DAGKɛ localization in the outer segment was not observed when U73122, a phospholipase C inhibitor, was present prior to the exposure of rat eyecups (in situ model) to light. Furthermore, no increased PA synthesis from [(3)H]DAG and ATP was observed in the presence of neomycin prior to the exposure of bovine eyecups to light. Interestingly, when BBROS were pre-phosphorylated with ATP in the presence of 1,2-dioctanoyl sn-glycerol (di-C8) or phorbol dibutyrate (PDBu) as PKC activation conditions, higher DAGK activity was observed than in dephosphorylated controls. Taken together, our findings suggest that the selective distribution of DAGKɛ in photoreceptor cells is a light-dependent mechanism that promotes increased SAG removal and synthesis of 1-stearoyl, 2-arachidonoyl phosphatidic acid in the sensorial portion of this cell, thus demonstrating a novel mechanism of light

  2. Drosophila Fatty Acid Transport Protein Regulates Rhodopsin-1 Metabolism and Is Required for Photoreceptor Neuron Survival

    PubMed Central

    Dourlen, Pierre; Bertin, Benjamin; Chatelain, Gilles; Robin, Marion; Napoletano, Francesco; Roux, Michel J.; Mollereau, Bertrand

    2012-01-01

    Tight regulation of the visual response is essential for photoreceptor function and survival. Visual response dysregulation often leads to photoreceptor cell degeneration, but the causes of such cell death are not well understood. In this study, we investigated a fatty acid transport protein (fatp) null mutation that caused adult-onset and progressive photoreceptor cell death. Consistent with fatp having a role in the retina, we showed that fatp is expressed in adult photoreceptors and accessory cells and that its re-expression in photoreceptors rescued photoreceptor viability in fatp mutants. The visual response in young fatp-mutant flies was abnormal with elevated electroretinogram amplitudes associated with high levels of Rhodopsin-1 (Rh1). Reducing Rh1 levels in rh1 mutants or depriving flies of vitamin A rescued photoreceptor cell death in fatp mutant flies. Our results indicate that fatp promotes photoreceptor survival by regulating Rh1 abundance. PMID:22844251

  3. Accumulation of Rhodopsin in Late Endosomes Triggers Photoreceptor Cell Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chinchore, Yashodhan; Mitra, Amitavo; Dolph, Patrick J.

    2009-01-01

    Progressive retinal degeneration is the underlying feature of many human retinal dystrophies. Previous work using Drosophila as a model system and analysis of specific mutations in human rhodopsin have uncovered a connection between rhodopsin endocytosis and retinal degeneration. In these mutants, rhodopsin and its regulatory protein arrestin form stable complexes, and endocytosis of these complexes causes photoreceptor cell death. In this study we show that the internalized rhodopsin is not degraded in the lysosome but instead accumulates in the late endosomes. Using mutants that are defective in late endosome to lysosome trafficking, we were able to show that rhodopsin accumulates in endosomal compartments in these mutants and leads to light-dependent retinal degeneration. Moreover, we also show that in dying photoreceptors the internalized rhodopsin is not degraded but instead shows characteristics of insoluble proteins. Together these data implicate buildup of rhodopsin in the late endosomal system as a novel trigger of death of photoreceptor neurons. PMID:19214218

  4. Loss of retinoschisin (RS1) cell surface protein in maturing mouse rod photoreceptors elevates the luminance threshold for light-driven translocation of transducin but not arrestin.

    PubMed

    Ziccardi, Lucia; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Bush, Ronald A; Sieving, Paul A

    2012-09-19

    Loss of retinoschisin (RS1) in Rs1 knock-out (Rs1-KO) retina produces a post-photoreceptor phenotype similar to X-linked retinoschisis in young males. However, Rs1 is expressed strongly in photoreceptors, and Rs1-KO mice have early reduction in the electroretinogram a-wave. We examined light-activated transducin and arrestin translocation in young Rs1-KO mice as a marker for functional abnormalities in maturing rod photoreceptors. We found a progressive reduction in luminance threshold for transducin translocation in wild-type (WT) retinas between postnatal days P18 and P60. At P21, the threshold in Rs1-KO retinas was 10-fold higher than WT, but it decreased to <2.5-fold higher by P60. Light-activated arrestin translocation and re-translocation of transducin in the dark were not affected. Rs1-KO rod outer segment (ROS) length was significantly shorter than WT at P21 but was comparable with WT at P60. These findings suggested a delay in the structural and functional maturation of Rs1-KO ROS. Consistent with this, transcription factors CRX and NRL, which are fundamental to maturation of rod protein expression, were reduced in ROS of Rs1-KO mice at P21 but not at P60. Expression of transducin was 15-30% lower in P21 Rs1-KO ROS and transducin GTPase hydrolysis was nearly twofold faster, reflecting a 1.7- to 2.5-fold increase in RGS9 (regulator of G-protein signaling) level. Transduction protein expression and activity levels were similar to WT at P60. Transducin translocation threshold elevation indicates photoreceptor functional abnormalities in young Rs1-KO mice. Rapid reduction in threshold coupled with age-related changes in transduction protein levels and transcription factor expression are consistent with delayed maturation of Rs1-KO photoreceptors.

  5. Blue light photoreceptors are required for the stability and function of a resistance protein mediating viral defense in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Rae-Dong; Kachroo, Aardr

    2010-01-01

    This light-perceiving ability of plants requires the activities of proteins termed photoreceptors. In addition to various growth and developmental processes, light also plays a role in plant defense against pathogens and is required for activation of several defense genes and regulation of the cell death response. However, the molecular or biochemical basis of light modulated regulation of defense signaling is largely unclear. We demonstrate a direct role for blue-light photoreceptors in resistance (R) protein-mediated plant defense against Turnip Crinkle Virus (TCV) in Arabidopsis. The blue-light photoreceptors, cryptochrome (CRY) 2 and phototropin (PHOT) 2, are specifically required for maintaining the stability of the R protein HRT, and thereby resistance to TCV. Exogenous application of the phytohormone salicylic acid elevates HRT levels in phot2 but not in cry2 background. These data indicate that CRY2 and PHOT2 function distinctly in maintaining post-transcriptional stability of HRT. HRT-mediated resistance is also dependent on CRY1 and PHOT1 proteins, but these do not contribute to the stability of HRT. HRT interacts with the CRY2/PHOT2-interacting protein COP1, a E3 ubiquitin ligase. Exogenous application of a proteasome inhibitor prevents blue-light-dependent degradation of HRT, suggesting that HRT is degraded via the 26S proteasome. These and the fact that PHOT2 interacts directly with the R protein RPS2 suggest that blue-light photoreceptors might be involved in regulation and/or signaling mediated by several R proteins. PMID:21057210

  6. Optical Coherence Tomography and Visual Acuity: Photoreceptor Loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salam, Adzura; Wolf-Schnurrbusch, Ute Ellen Kathrin; Wolf, Sebastian

    SD-OCT has improved the visualization of intraretinal morphologic features quantitatively and qualitatively. SD-OCT allows the retinal physician to evaluate the integrity of each retinal layer such as the external limiting membrane (ELM) and the junction between the inner and outer segments (IS/OS junction) of the photoreceptors The presence and integrity of the external limiting membrane (ELM), the photoreceptor inner segment(IS), the outer segment(OS), and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) appears to be a good prognostic feature for visual improvement after treatment for various macular diseases.

  7. Algal photoreceptors: in vivo functions and potential applications.

    PubMed

    Kianianmomeni, Arash; Hallmann, Armin

    2014-01-01

    Many algae, particularly microalgae, possess a sophisticated light-sensing system including photoreceptors and light-modulated signaling pathways to sense environmental information and secure the survival in a rapidly changing environment. Over the last couple of years, the multifaceted world of algal photobiology has enriched our understanding of the light absorption mechanisms and in vivo function of photoreceptors. Moreover, specific light-sensitive modules have already paved the way for the development of optogenetic tools to generate light switches for precise and spatial control of signaling pathways in individual cells and even in complex biological systems. PMID:24081482

  8. Adenosine modulates light responses of rat retinal ganglion cell photoreceptors througha cAMP-mediated pathway

    PubMed Central

    Sodhi, Puneet; Hartwick, Andrew T E

    2014-01-01

    Adenosine is an established neuromodulator in the mammalian retina, with A1 adenosine receptors being especially prevalent in the innermost ganglion cell layer. Activation of A1 receptors causes inhibition of adenylate cyclase, decreases in intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels and inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA). In this work, our aim was to characterize the effects of adenosine on the light responses of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) and to determine whether these photoreceptors are subject to neuromodulation through intracellular cAMP-related signalling pathways. Using multielectrode array recordings from postnatal and adult rat retinas, we demonstrated that adenosine significantly shortened the duration of ipRGC photoresponses and reduced the number of light-evoked spikes fired by these neurons. The effects were A1 adenosine receptor-mediated, and the expression of this receptor on melanopsin-containing ipRGCs was confirmed by calcium imaging experiments on isolated cells in purified cultures. While inhibition of the cAMP/PKA pathway by adenosine shortened ipRGC light responses, stimulation of this pathway with compounds such as forskolin had the opposite effect and lengthened the duration of ipRGC spiking. Our findings reveal that the modification of ipRGC photoresponses through a cAMP/PKA pathway is a general feature of rat ganglion cell photoreceptors, and this pathway can be inhibited through activation of A1 receptors by adenosine. As adenosine levels in the retina rise at night, adenosinergic modulation of ipRGCs may serve as an internal regulatory mechanism to limit transmission of nocturnal photic signals by ipRGCs to the brain. Targeting retinal A1 adenosine receptors for ipRGC inhibition represents a potential therapeutic target for sleep disorders and migraine-associated photophobia. PMID:25038240

  9. On the midpoint potential of the FAD chromophore in a BLUF-domain containing photoreceptor protein.

    PubMed

    Arents, Jos C; Perez, Marcela Avila; Hendriks, Johnny; Hellingwerf, Klaas J

    2011-01-01

    The redox-midpoint potential of the FAD chromophore in the BLUF domain of anti-transcriptional regulator AppA from Rhodobacter sphaeroides equals ∼-260mV relative to the calomel electrode. Altering the structure of its chromophore-binding pocket through site-directed mutagenesis brings this midpoint potential closer to that of free flavin in aqueous solution. The redox-midpoint potential of this BLUF domain is intermediate between those of LOV domains and Cryptochromes, which may rationalize the primary photochemistry observed in these three flavin-containing photoreceptor families. These results also imply that LOV domains, among the flavin-containing photosensory receptors, are least sensitive to intracellular chemical reduction in the dark.

  10. Photoreceptor System for Melatonin Regulation and Phototherapy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brainard, George (Inventor); Glickman, Gena (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    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.

  11. Cloning and immunocytochemical localization of a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel alpha-subunit to all cone photoreceptors in the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Hirano, A A; Hack, I; Wässle, H; Duvoisin, R M

    2000-05-22

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (CNGC) are ligand-gated ion channels that open and close in response to changes in the intracellular concentration of the second messengers, 3;,5;-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and 3;,5;-cyclic guanosine monophosphate. Most notably, they transduce the chemical signal produced by the absorption of light in photoreceptors into a membrane potential change, which is then transmitted to the ascending visual pathway. CNGCs have also been implicated in the signal transduction of other neurons downstream of the photoreceptors, in particular the ON-bipolar cells, as well as in other areas of the central nervous system. We therefore undertook a search for additional cyclic nucleotide-gated channels expressed in the retina. Following a degenerate reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction approach to amplify low-copy number messages, a cDNA encoding a new splice variant of CNGC alpha-subunit was isolated from mouse retina and classified as mCNG3. An antiserum raised against the carboxy-terminal sequence identified the retinal cell type expressing mCNG3 as cone photoreceptors. Preembedding immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated its membrane localization in the outer segments, consistent with its role in phototransduction. Double-labeling experiments with cone-specific markers indicated that all cone photoreceptors in the murid retina use the same or a highly conserved cyclic nucleotide-gated channel. Therefore, defects in this channel would be predicted to severely impair photopic vision.

  12. Optics of cone photoreceptors in the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Wilby, David; Toomey, Matthew B; Olsson, Peter; Frederiksen, Rikard; Cornwall, M Carter; Oulton, Ruth; Kelber, Almut; Corbo, Joseph C; Roberts, Nicholas W

    2015-10-01

    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

  13. Light, lipids and photoreceptor survival: live or let die?

    PubMed

    German, Olga Lorena; Agnolazza, Daniela L; Politi, Luis E; Rotstein, Nora P

    2015-09-26

    Due to its constant exposure to light and its high oxygen consumption the retina is highly sensitive to oxidative damage, which is a common factor in inducing the death of photoreceptors after light damage or in inherited retinal degenerations. The high content of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid in the retina, has been suggested to contribute to this sensitivity. DHA is crucial for developing and preserving normal visual function. However, further roles of DHA in the retina are still controversial. Current data support that it can tilt the scale either towards degeneration or survival of retinal cells. DHA peroxidation products can be deleterious to the retina and might lead to retinal degeneration. However, DHA has also been shown to act as, or to be the source of, a survival molecule that protects photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium cells from oxidative damage. We have established that DHA protects photoreceptors from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and promotes their differentiation in vitro. DHA activates the retinoid X receptor (RXR) and the ERK/MAPK pathway, thus regulating the expression of anti and pro-apoptotic proteins. It also orchestrates a diversity of signaling pathways, modulating enzymatic pathways that control the sphingolipid metabolism and activate antioxidant defense mechanisms to promote photoreceptor survival and development. A deeper comprehension of DHA signaling pathways and context-dependent behavior is required to understand its dual functions in retinal physiology.

  14. Optics of cone photoreceptors in the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Wilby, David; Toomey, Matthew B; Olsson, Peter; Frederiksen, Rikard; Cornwall, M Carter; Oulton, Ruth; Kelber, Almut; Corbo, Joseph C; Roberts, Nicholas W

    2015-10-01

    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.

  15. Chloroplasts continuously monitor photoreceptor signals during accumulation movement.

    PubMed

    Tsuboi, Hidenori; Wada, Masamitsu

    2013-07-01

    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.

  16. Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M

    2015-06-01

    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.

  18. Microglial phagocytosis of living photoreceptors contributes to inherited retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lian; Zabel, Matthew K; Wang, Xu; Ma, Wenxin; Shah, Parth; Fariss, Robert N; Qian, Haohua; Parkhurst, Christopher N; Gan, Wen-Biao; Wong, Wai T

    2015-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa, caused predominantly by mutations in photoreceptor genes, currently lacks comprehensive treatment. We discover that retinal microglia contribute non-cell autonomously to rod photoreceptor degeneration by primary phagocytosis of living rods. Using rd10 mice, we found that the initiation of rod degeneration is accompanied by early infiltration of microglia, upregulation of phagocytic molecules in microglia, and presentation of “eat-me” signals on mutated rods. On live-cell imaging, infiltrating microglia interact dynamically with photoreceptors via motile processes and engage in rapid phagocytic engulfment of non-apoptotic rods. Microglial contribution to rod demise is evidenced by morphological and functional amelioration of photoreceptor degeneration following genetic ablation of retinal microglia. Molecular inhibition of microglial phagocytosis using the vitronectin receptor antagonist cRGD also improved morphological and functional parameters of degeneration. Our findings highlight primary microglial phagocytosis as a contributing mechanism underlying cell death in retinitis pigmentosa and implicate microglia as a potential cellular target for therapy. PMID:26139610

  19. Light Adaptation in the Ventral Photoreceptor of Limulus

    PubMed Central

    Srebro, Richard; Behbehani, Michael

    1974-01-01

    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

  20. Photoreceptor twist: a solution to the false-color problem.

    PubMed Central

    Wehner, R; Bernard, G D

    1993-01-01

    In bees and many other insects the majority of photoreceptors are twisted like a corkscrew. Here we show that this structural feature of insect eyes-whose very existence was a source of dispute for several years-is necessary for reliable encoding of information about color. Light reflected from waxy plant surfaces is partially linearly polarized. Moreover, insect photoreceptor membranes are dichroic and thus sensitive to the polarized glare originating from plant surfaces. Taken together, these two phenomena create a serious false-color problem: in the bee's trichromatic color vision system, the color values of a particular part of a plant could be affected not only by the spectral but also by the polarization properties of the reflecting surface. As demonstrated by spectroscopic measurements and optical analyses, the hue of color of a given surface of a plant would change dramatically with the direction of illumination and the bee's line of sight, if the bee possessed straight and thus highly "polarization-sensitive" photoreceptors. However, this false-color problem is overcome completely in photoreceptors that are twisted by exactly the amount we have found to occur in the worker-bee's eye. PMID:11607379

  1. Three spectrally distinct photoreceptors in diurnal and nocturnal Australian ants.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Yuri; Falkowski, Marcin; Narendra, Ajay; Zeil, Jochen; Hemmi, Jan M

    2015-06-01

    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

  2. Optics of cone photoreceptors in the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Wilby, David; Toomey, Matthew B.; Olsson, Peter; Frederiksen, Rikard; Cornwall, M. Carter; Oulton, Ruth; Kelber, Almut; Corbo, Joseph C.; Roberts, Nicholas W.

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-08

    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.

  4. Light-regulated translocation of signaling proteins in Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Frechter, Shahar; Minke, Baruch

    2007-01-01

    Illumination of Drosophila photoreceptor cells induces multi-facet responses, which include generation of the photoreceptor potential, screening pigment migration and translocation of signaling proteins which is the focus of recent extensive research. Translocation of three signaling molecules is covered in this review: (1) Light-dependent translocation of arrestin from the cytosol to the signaling membrane, the rhabdomere, determines the lifetime of activated rhodopsin. Arrestin translocates in PIP3 and NINAC myosin III dependent manner, and specific mutations which disrupt the interaction between arrestin and PIP3 or NINAC also impair the light-dependant translocation of arrestin and the termination of the response to light. (2) Activation of Drosophila visual G protein, DGq, causes a massive and reversible, translocation of the α subunit from the signaling membrane to the cytosol, accompanied by activity-dependent architectural changes. Analysis of the translocation and the recovery kinetics of DGqα in wild-type flies and specific visual mutants indicated that DGqα is necessary but not sufficient for the architectural changes. (3) The TRP-like (TRPL) but not TRP channels translocate in a light-dependent manner between the rhabdomere and the cell body. As a physiological consequence of this light-dependent modulation of the TRP/TRPL ratio, the photoreceptors of dark-adapted flies operate at a wider dynamic range, which allows the photoreceptors enriched with TRPL to function better in darkness and dim background illumination. Altogether, signal-dependent movement of signaling proteins plays a major role in the maintenance and function of photoreceptor cells. PMID:16458490

  5. Fundus Autofluorescence and Photoreceptor Cell Rosettes in Mouse Models

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Photoreceptor and Postreceptor Responses in Congenital Stationary Night Blindness

    PubMed Central

    Raghuram, Aparna; Hansen, Ronald M.; Moskowitz, Anne; Fulton, Anne B.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate photoreceptor and postreceptor retinal function in patients with congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB). Methods. Forty-one patients with CSNB (ages 0.19–32 years) were studied. ERG responses to a series of full-field stimuli were obtained under scotopic and photopic conditions and were used to categorize the CSNB patients as complete (cCSNB) or incomplete (iCSNB). Rod and cone photoreceptor (RROD, SROD, RCONE, SCONE) and rod-driven postreceptor (VMAX, log σ) response parameters were calculated from the a- and b-waves. Cone-driven responses to 30 Hz flicker and ON and OFF responses to a long duration (150 ms) flash were also obtained. Dark-adapted thresholds were measured. Analysis of variance was used to compare data from patients with cCSNB, patients with iCSNB, and controls. Results. We found significant reduction in saturated photoreceptor amplitude (RROD, RCONE) but normal photoreceptor sensitivity (SROD, SCONE) in both CSNB groups. Rod-driven postreceptor response amplitude (VMAX) and sensitivity (log σ) were significantly reduced in CSNB. Log σ was significantly worse in cCSNB than in iCSNB; this was the only scotopic parameter that differed between the two CSNB groups. Photopic b-wave amplitude increased monotonically with stimulus strength in CSNB patients rather than showing a normal photopic hill. The amplitude of the 30-Hz flicker response was reduced compared with controls, more so in iCSNB than in cCSNB. The mean dark-adapted threshold was significantly elevated in CSNB, more so in cCSNB than in iCSNB. Conclusions. These results are evidence of normal photoreceptor function (despite the low saturated photoresponse amplitude) and anomalous postreceptor retinal circuitry. PMID:23761088

  7. Measurement of the photoreceptor pointing in the living chick eye.

    PubMed

    Walker, Maria K; Blanco, Leonardo; Kivlin, Rebecca; Choi, Stacey S; Doble, Nathan

    2015-04-01

    The chick eye is used in the study of ocular growth and emmetropization; however optical aberrations in the lens and cornea limit the ability to visualize fine retinal structure in living eyes. These aberrations can be corrected using adaptive optics (AO) allowing for cellular level imaging in vivo. Here, this capability is extended to measure the angular tuning properties of individual photoreceptors. The left eyes from two White Leghorn chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) labeled chick A and chick B, were imaged using an AO flood illuminated fundus camera. By translating the entrance pupil position, the same retinal location was illuminated with light of varying angles allowing for the measurement of individual photoreceptor pointing. At 30° nasal from the pecten tip, the pointing direction for both chicks was towards the pupil center with a narrow distribution. These particular chicks were found to have a temporal (T) and inferior (I) bias in the alignment with peak positions of (0.81 T, 0.23 I) and (0.57 T, 0.18 I) mm from the pupil center for chicks A and B respectively. The rho, ρ, values for the major, ρL, and minor, ρs, axes were 0.14 and 0.17mm(-2) for chick A and 0.09 and 0.20mm(-2) for chick B. The small disarray in the alignment of the chick photoreceptors implies that the photoreceptors are aligned to optimize the light entering the eye through the central portion of the pupil aperture. The ability to measure pointing properties of individual photoreceptors will have application in the study of eye growth and various retinal disorders.

  8. Stochastic, Adaptive Sampling of Information by Microvilli in Fly Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zhuoyi; Postma, Marten; Billings, Stephen A.; Coca, Daniel; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko

    2012-01-01

    Summary Background In fly photoreceptors, light is focused onto a photosensitive waveguide, the rhabdomere, consisting of tens of thousands of microvilli. Each microvillus is capable of generating elementary responses, quantum bumps, in response to single photons using a stochastically operating phototransduction cascade. Whereas much is known about the cascade reactions, less is known about how the concerted action of the microvilli population encodes light changes into neural information and how the ultrastructure and biochemical machinery of photoreceptors of flies and other insects evolved in relation to the information sampling and processing they perform. Results We generated biophysically realistic fly photoreceptor models, which accurately simulate the encoding of visual information. By comparing stochastic simulations with single cell recordings from Drosophila photoreceptors, we show how adaptive sampling by 30,000 microvilli captures the temporal structure of natural contrast changes. Following each bump, individual microvilli are rendered briefly (∼100–200 ms) refractory, thereby reducing quantum efficiency with increasing intensity. The refractory period opposes saturation, dynamically and stochastically adjusting availability of microvilli (bump production rate: sample rate), whereas intracellular calcium and voltage adapt bump amplitude and waveform (sample size). These adapting sampling principles result in robust encoding of natural light changes, which both approximates perceptual contrast constancy and enhances novel events under different light conditions, and predict information processing across a range of species with different visual ecologies. Conclusions These results clarify why fly photoreceptors are structured the way they are and function as they do, linking sensory information to sensory evolution and revealing benefits of stochasticity for neural information processing. PMID:22704990

  9. The Centrosomal Protein Pericentrin Identified at the Basal Body Complex of the Connecting Cilium in Mouse Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Mühlhans, Johanna; Brandstätter, Johann Helmut; Gießl, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Background Pericentrin (Pcnt), a conserved protein of the pericentriolar material, serves as a multifunctional scaffold for numerous proteins and plays an important role in microtubule organization. Recent studies indicate that Pcnt mutations are associated with a range of diseases including primordial dwarfism and ciliopathies. To date, three Pcnt splice variants from orthologous genes in mice and humans are known. Principal Findings We generated a specific Pcnt antiserum detecting all known Pcnt splice variants and examined the cellular and subcellular distribution of Pcnt in ciliated tissues of the mouse, the olfactory epithelium and the retina. For the first time, we identified Pcnt and its centrosomal interaction partners at the basal body complex of mouse retinal photoreceptors. Photoreceptors are morphologically and functionally subdivided into the light sensitive outer segment and the inner segment comprising the metabolic function of the cell. The two compartments are linked via a modified, specialized, non-motile cilium, the connecting cilium. Here, Pcnt colocalized with the whole protein machinery responsible for transport processes between the two compartments. Surprisingly, photoreceptors expressed a small Pcnt splice transcript – most likely a modified variant of Pcnt S – which was not present in receptor neurons of the olfactory epithelium. Conclusions Our findings suggest distinct functional roles of several Pcnt variants in different ciliated tissues and sensory neurons, like the olfactory epithelium and the retina of the mouse. The individual patchwork of different Pcnt splice transcripts seems to reflect the complexity of Pcnt function, an assumption corroborated by the heterogeneous clinical manifestations associated with mutations in the Pcnt gene. PMID:22031837

  10. Photoreceptor Cells Influence Retinal Vascular Degeneration in Mouse Models of Retinal Degeneration and Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haitao; Tang, Jie; Du, Yunpeng; Saadane, Aicha; Tonade, Deoye; Samuels, Ivy; Veenstra, Alex; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Kern, Timothy S.

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. The nocturnal bottleneck and the evolution of mammalian vision.

    PubMed

    Heesy, Christopher P; Hall, Margaret I

    2010-01-01

    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.

  12. Retinal transplantation of photoreceptors results in donor–host cytoplasmic exchange

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Llonch, Sílvia; Borsch, Oliver; Postel, Kai; Haas, Jochen; Ader, Marius

    2016-01-01

    Pre-clinical studies provided evidence for successful photoreceptor cell replacement therapy. Migration and integration of donor photoreceptors into the retina has been proposed as the underlying mechanism for restored visual function. Here we reveal that donor photoreceptors do not structurally integrate into the retinal tissue but instead reside between the photoreceptor layer and the retinal pigment epithelium, the so-called sub-retinal space, and exchange intracellular material with host photoreceptors. By combining single-cell analysis, Cre/lox technology and independent labelling of the cytoplasm and nucleus, we reliably track allogeneic transplants demonstrating cellular content transfer between graft and host photoreceptors without nuclear translocation. Our results contradict the common view that transplanted photoreceptors migrate and integrate into the photoreceptor layer of recipients and therefore imply a re-interpretation of previous photoreceptor transplantation studies. Furthermore, the observed interaction of donor with host photoreceptors may represent an unexpected mechanism for the treatment of blinding diseases in future cell therapy approaches. PMID:27701381

  13. ROLES OF CELL-INTRINSIC AND MICROENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS IN PHOTORECEPTOR CELL DIFFERENTIATION

    PubMed Central

    Bradford, Rebecca L.; Wang, Chenwei; Zack, Donald J.; Adler, Ruben

    2005-01-01

    Photoreceptor differentiation requires the coordinated expression of numerous genes. It is unknown whether those genes share common regulatory mechanisms or are independently regulated by distinct mechanisms. To distinguish between these scenarios, we have used in situ hybridization, RT-PCR and real time PCR to analyze the expression of visual pigments and other photoreceptor-specific genes during chick embryo retinal development in ovo, as well as in retinal cell cultures treated with molecules that regulate the expression of particular visual pigments. In ovo, onset of gene expression was asynchronous, becoming detectable at the time of photoreceptor generation (ED 5–8) for some photoreceptor genes, but only around the time of outer segment formation (ED 14–16) for others. Treatment of retinal cell cultures with activin, staurosporine or CNTF selectively induced or down-regulated specific visual pigment genes, but many cognate rod- or cone-specific genes were not affected by the treatments. These results indicate that many photoreceptor genes are independently regulated during development, are consistent with the existence of at least two distinct stages of gene expression during photoreceptor differentiation, suggest that intrinsic, coordinated regulation of a cascade of gene expression triggered by a commitment to the photoreceptor fate is not a general mechanism of photoreceptor differentiation, and imply that using a single photoreceptor-specific “marker” as a proxy to identify photoreceptor cell fate is problematic. PMID:16120439

  14. Mammalian airborne allergens.

    PubMed

    Aalberse, Rob C

    2014-01-01

    Historically, horse dandruff was a favorite allergen source material. Today, however, allergic symptoms due to airborne mammalian allergens are mostly a result of indoor exposure, be it at home, at work or even at school. The relevance of mammalian allergens in relation to the allergenic activity of house dust extract is briefly discussed in the historical context of two other proposed sources of house dust allergenic activity: mites and Maillard-type lysine-sugar conjugates. Mammalian proteins involved in allergic reactions to airborne dust are largely found in only 2 protein families: lipocalins and secretoglobins (Fel d 1-like proteins), with a relatively minor contribution of serum albumins, cystatins and latherins. Both the lipocalin and the secretoglobin family are very complex. In some instances this results in a blurred separation between important and less important allergenic family members. The past 50 years have provided us with much detailed information on the genomic organization and protein structure of many of these allergens. However, the complex family relations, combined with the wide range of post-translational enzymatic and non-enzymatic modifications, make a proper qualitative and quantitative description of the important mammalian indoor airborne allergens still a significant proteomic challenge. PMID:24925404

  15. Speed, sensitivity, and stability of the light response in rod and cone photoreceptors: Facts and models

    PubMed Central

    Korenbrot, Juan I.

    2012-01-01

    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

  16. Photoreceptor sectral sensitivities in terrestrial animals: adaptations for luminance and colour vision

    PubMed Central

    Osorio, D; Vorobyev, M

    2005-01-01

    This review outlines how eyes of terrestrial vertebrates and insects meet the competing requirements of coding both spatial and spectral information. There is no unique solution to this problem. Thus, mammals and honeybees use their long-wavelength receptors for both achromatic (luminance) and colour vision, whereas flies and birds probably use separate sets of photoreceptors for the two purposes. In particular, we look at spectral tuning and diversification among ‘long-wavelength’ receptors (sensitivity maxima at greater than 500 nm), which play a primary role in luminance vision. Data on spectral sensitivities and phylogeny of visual photopigments can be incorporated into theoretical models to suggest how eyes are adapted to coding natural stimuli. Models indicate, for example, that animal colour vision—involving five or fewer broadly tuned receptors—is well matched to most natural spectra. We can also predict that the particular objects of interest and signal-to-noise ratios will affect the optimal eye design. Nonetheless, it remains difficult to account for the adaptive significance of features such as co-expression of photopigments in single receptors, variation in spectral sensitivities of mammalian L-cone pigments and the diversification of long-wavelength receptors that has occurred in several terrestrial lineages. PMID:16096084

  17. FIZ1 is Expressed During Photoreceptor Maturation, and Synergizes with NRL and CRX at Rod-Specific Promoters in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Mali, Raghuveer S.; Zhang, Xiao; Hoerauf, Widmann; Doyle, Danielle; Devitt, Jeffrey; Loffreda-Wren, Janice; Mitton, Kenneth P.

    2015-01-01

    FIZ1 (Flt-3 Interacting Zinc-finger) interacts and co-purifies with the rod-specific transcription factor NRL (Neural Retina Leucine zipper). We hypothesize that FIZ1 is part of an interface between cell-specific factors, like NRL, and more ubiquitous regulatory networks that vary the absolute expression levels of some rod-specific genes (i.e. Rhodopsin). As part of an ongoing exploration of FIZ1’s role in neural retina, in vivo, we have taken the first look at FIZ1 expression in the developing mouse retina during the retinal maturation period. Using the normal C57/B6 mouse as a model, multiple approaches were used including: immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative real-time PCR. Functional implications of FIZ1/NRL interaction, on NRL-and CRX-mediated activation of the Rhodopsin (Rho) and cGMP-phosphodiesterase β-subunit gene (PDE6B) promoters, were examined by co-transfection assays. Immunoblot analysis revealed that FIZ1 protein levels were lowest in immature mouse neural retina (P0). FIZ1 concentration increased at least ten-fold as the neural retina matured to the adult state (P21 and later). Immunohistochemical comparison of immature post-natal and mature adult retina revealed increasing FIZ1 protein in photoreceptors, the inner plexiform layer, and the ganglion cell layer. Total retinal Fiz1 mRNA content increased as the neural retina matured. The expected increase in Rho mRNA level was also monitored as a genetic marker of photoreceptor maturation. In transient co-transfection assays of CV1 cells, FIZ1 synergized with NRL to activate transcription from the Rho and PDE6B gene promoters with some differences. In the case of the Rho promoter, FIZ1 synergized when both NRL and CRX were present. With the PDE6B promoter, FIZ1 synergized with NRL alone, and the inclusion of CRX decreased this synergy. Conclusions These findings support previous evidence that FIZ1 is present in rod-photoreceptors. (Co-immunoprecipitation from nuclear

  18. Polymorphism in purified guanylate cyclase from vertebrate rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, F; Yamazaki, A

    1991-01-01

    Guanylate cyclase from rod photoreceptors of amphibian (toad, Bufo marinus, and frog, Rana catesbeiana) and bovine retinas was solubilized and purified by a single chromatography step on a GTP-agarose column. Silver staining of purified amphibian enzymes in SDS/polyacrylamide gels disclosed a doublet band (110 and 115 kDa), while the bovine enzyme appeared as a singlet band (110 kDa). The identification of these guanylate cyclases was confirmed using three chromatography systems with the purified enzymes. Specific binding to Con A-Sepharose suggested that rod guanylate cyclase is a glycoprotein. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of purified toad, frog, and bovine enzymes resolved two, three, and five variants, respectively, that differed in isoelectric point. Two variants of toad guanylate cyclase showed differences in various characterizations. These data suggest multiple mechanisms for regulation of guanylate cyclase activity in vertebrate rod photoreceptors. Images PMID:1675787

  19. Renewal of opsin in the photoreceptor cells of the mosquito

    PubMed Central

    1979-01-01

    Mosquito rhodopsin is a digitonin-soluble membrane protein of molecular weight 39,000 daltons, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis. The rhodopsin undergoes a spectral transition from R515-520 to M480 after orange illumination. The visual pigment apoprotein, opsin, is the major membrane protein in the eye. Protein synthesis in the photoreceptor cells occurs in the perinuclear cytoplasm and the newly made protein is transported to the rhabdom. Light adaptation increases the rate of turnover of this rhabdomal protein. The turnover of electrophoretically isolated opsin is also stimulated by light adaptation. The changes observed in protein metabolism biochemically, are consistent with previous morphological observations of photoreceptor membrane turnover. The results agree with the hypothesis that the newly synthesized rhabdomal protein is opsin. PMID:512631

  20. Photoreceptor-mediated bending towards UV-B in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Vandenbussche, Filip; Tilbrook, Kimberley; Fierro, Ana Carolina; Marchal, Kathleen; Poelman, Dirk; Van Der Straeten, Dominique; Ulm, Roman

    2014-06-01

    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.

  1. Mammalian development in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ronca, April E.

    2003-01-01

    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

  2. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M.

    2013-01-01

    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 recoverin 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. PMID:18977238

  3. Photoreceptor development in premetamorphic and metamorphic Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Parker, Ryan O; Mccarragher, Brent; Crouch, Rosalie; Darden, Alix G

    2010-03-01

    Transgenic Xenopus laevis are commonly used to study gene expression in photoreceptors, but only red rods and red cones are known to exist in the pre-metamorphic stages commonly used in transgenic studies. Using RT-PCR, this study shows that violet cones develop in early pre-metamorphic stages (Stage 35) with the red rods and red cones. Green rod development began in Stage 53 with the onset of metamorphosis.

  4. Protein and Signaling Networks in Vertebrate Photoreceptor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Karl-Wilhelm; Dell’Orco, Daniele

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptor cells are exquisite light detectors operating under very dim and bright illumination. The photoexcitation and adaptation machinery in photoreceptor cells consists of protein complexes that can form highly ordered supramolecular structures and control the homeostasis and mutual dependence of the secondary messengers cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and Ca2+. The visual pigment in rod photoreceptors, the G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin is organized in tracks of dimers thereby providing a signaling platform for the dynamic scaffolding of the G protein transducin. Illuminated rhodopsin is turned off by phosphorylation catalyzed by rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) under control of Ca2+-recoverin. The GRK1 protein complex partly assembles in lipid raft structures, where shutting off rhodopsin seems to be more effective. Re-synthesis of cGMP is another crucial step in the recovery of the photoresponse after illumination. It is catalyzed by membrane bound sensory guanylate cyclases (GCs) and is regulated by specific neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins called guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs). At least one GC (ROS-GC1) was shown to be part of a multiprotein complex having strong interactions with the cytoskeleton and being controlled in a multimodal Ca2+-dependent fashion. The final target of the cGMP signaling cascade is a cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel that is a hetero-oligomeric protein located in the plasma membrane and interacting with accessory proteins in highly organized microdomains. We summarize results and interpretations of findings related to the inhomogeneous organization of signaling units in photoreceptor outer segments. PMID:26635520

  5. Flash photolysis of caged compounds in Limulus ventral photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    Rapid concentration jumps of Ins(1,4,5)P3 or ATP were made inside Limulus ventral photoreceptors by flash photolysis of the parent caged compounds. In intact ventral photoreceptors, the photolysis flash evokes a maximum amplitude light-activated current; therefore, a procedure was developed for uncoupling phototransduction by blocking two of the initial reactions in the cascade, rhodopsin excitation and G protein activation. Rhodopsin was inactivated by exposure to hydroxylamine and bright light. This procedure abolished the early receptor potential and reduced the quantum efficiency by 325 +/- 90- fold (mean +/- SD). G protein activation was blocked by injection of guanosine-5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) (GDP beta S). GDP beta S injection reduced the quantum efficiency by 1,881 +/- 1,153-fold (mean +/- SD). Together hydroxylamine exposure and GDP beta S injection reduced the quantum efficiency by 870,000 +/- 650,000-fold (mean +/- SD). After the combined treatment, photoreceptors produced quantum bumps to light that was approximately 10(6) times brighter than the intensity that produced quantum bumps before treatment. Experiments were performed with caged compounds injected into photoreceptors in which phototransduction was largely uncoupled. Photolysis of one compound, myo-inositol 1,4,5- triphosphate P4(5)-1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl ester (caged IP3), increased the voltage clamp current in response to the flashlamp by more than twofold without changing the latency of the response. The effect was not seen with photolysis of either adenosine-5'-triphosphate P3-1-(2- nitrophenyl)ethyl ester (caged ATP) or caged IP3 in cells preloaded with either heparin or (1,2-bis-(o-amino-phenoxy)ethane-N-N-N'-N' tetraacetic acid tetrapotassium salt (BAPTA). The results suggest that photoreleased IP3 releases calcium ions from intracellular stores and the resulting increase in [Ca2+]i enhances the amplification of the phototransduction cascade. PMID:1431805

  6. Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Release at the Photoreceptor Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Gabriel; Rabl, Katalin; Gemp, Ian; Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2010-01-01

    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

  7. Photoreceptor current and photoorientation in chlamydomonas mediated by 9-demethylchlamyrhodopsin.

    PubMed Central

    Govorunova, E G; Sineshchekov, O A; Gärtner, W; Chunaev, A S; Hegemann, P

    2001-01-01

    Green flagellates possess rhodopsin-like photoreceptors involved in control of their behavior via generation of photocurrents across the plasma membrane. Chlamydomonas mutants blocked in retinal biosynthesis are "blind," but they can be rescued by the addition of exogenous retinoids. Photosignaling by chlamyrhodopsin regenerated with 9-demethylretinal was investigated by recording photocurrents from single cells and cell suspensions, and by measuring phototactic orientation. The addition of a saturating concentration of this analog led to reconstitution of all receptor molecules. However, sensitivity of the photoreceptor current in cells reconstituted with the analog was smaller compared with retinal-reconstituted cells, indicating a decreased signaling efficiency of the analog receptor protein. Suppression of the photoreceptor current in double-flash experiments was smaller and its recovery faster with 9-demethylretinal than with retinal, as it would be expected from a decreased PC amplitude in the analog-reconstituted cells. Cells reconstituted with either retinal or the analog displayed negative phototaxis at low light and switched to positive one upon an increase in stimulus intensity, as opposed to the wild type. The reversal of the phototaxis direction in analog-reconstituted cells was shifted to a higher fluence rate compared with cells reconstituted with retinal, which corresponded to the decreased signaling efficiency of 9-demethylchlamyrhodopsin. PMID:11606300

  8. Circadian and Dopaminergic Regulation of Fatty Acid Oxidation Pathway Genes in Retina and Photoreceptor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Vancura, Patrick; Wolloscheck, Tanja; Baba, Kenkichi; Tosini, Gianluca; Iuvone, P. Michael; Spessert, Rainer

    2016-01-01

    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

  9. Erythroid induction of K562 cells treated with mithramycin is associated with inhibition of raptor gene transcription and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) functions

    PubMed Central

    Finotti, Alessia; Bianchi, Nicoletta; Fabbri, Enrica; Borgatti, Monica; Breveglieri, Giulia; Gasparello, Jessica; Gambari, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. Ocular anatomy and retinal photoreceptors in a skink, the sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).

    PubMed

    New, Shaun T D; Hemmi, Jan M; Kerr, Gregory D; Bull, C Michael

    2012-10-01

    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.

  11. Effect of Purified Murine NGF on Isolated Photoreceptors of a Rodent Developing Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Rocco, Maria Luisa; Balzamino, Bijorn Omar; Petrocchi Passeri, Pamela; Micera, Alessandra; Aloe, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. [Regeneration of photoreceptor organs in freshwater planarians at different levels of accumulation of natural methylmercury compounds].

    PubMed

    Medvedev, I V; Gremiachikh, V A; Zheltov, S V; Bogdanenko, O V; Aksenova, I A

    2006-01-01

    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.

  13. Photoreceptor-based magnetoreception: optimal design of receptor molecules, cells, and neuronal processing

    PubMed Central

    Ritz, Thorsten; Ahmad, Margaret; Mouritsen, Henrik; Wiltschko, Roswitha; Wiltschko, Wolfgang

    2010-01-01

    The sensory basis of magnetoreception in animals still remains a mystery. One hypothesis of magnetoreception is that photochemical radical pair reactions can transduce magnetic information in specialized photoreceptor cells, possibly involving the photoreceptor molecule cryptochrome. This hypothesis triggered a considerable amount of research in the past decade. Here, we present an updated picture of the radical-pair photoreceptor hypothesis. In our review, we will focus on insights that can assist biologists in their search for the elusive magnetoreceptors. PMID:20129953

  14. Analysis of Mammalian rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacers

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Annette W.

    2013-01-01

    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

  15. Structure and function of the photoreceptor stentorins in Stentor coeruleus. I. Partial characterization of the photoreceptor organelle and stentorins.

    PubMed

    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

    1990-08-01

    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. PMID:2378901

  16. Two types of transgenic lines for doxycycline-inducible, cell-specific gene expression in zebrafish ultraviolet cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    West, Megan C; Campbell, Leah J; Willoughby, John J; Jensen, Abbie M

    2014-03-01

    Temporal and spatial control of gene expression is important for studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of development, physiology, and disease. We used the doxycycline (Dox)-inducible, Tet-On system to develop transgenic zebrafish for inducible, cell specific control of gene expression in the ultraviolet (UV) cone photoreceptors. Two constructs containing the reverse tetracycline-controlled transcriptional transactivator (rtTA) gene driven by the UV opsin-specific promoter (opn1sw1) were used to generate stable transgenic zebrafish lines using the Tol2-based transgenesis method. One construct included a self-reporting GFP (opn1sw1:rtTA, TRE:GFP) and the other incorporated an epitope tag on the rtTA protein (opn1sw1:rtTA(flag)). UV cone-specific expression of TRE-controlled transgenes was induced by Dox treatment in larvae and adults. Induction of gene expression was observed in 96% of all larval UV cones within 16 h of Dox treatment. UV cone-specific expression of two genes from a bidirectional TRE construct injected into one-cell Tg(opn1sw1:rtTA(flag)) embryos were also induced by Dox treatment. In addition, UV cone-specific expression of Crb2a(IntraWT) was induced by Dox treatment in progeny from crosses of the TRE-response transgenic line, Tg(TRE:HA-Crb2a(IntraWT)), to the Tg(opn1sw1:rtTA, TRE:GFP) line and the Tg(opn1sw1:rtTA(flag)) line. These lines can be used in addition to the inducible, rod-specific gene expression system from the Tet-On Toolkit to elucidate the photoreceptor-specific effects of genes of interest in photoreceptor cell biology and retinal disease.

  17. Mammalian touch catches up

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Carolyn M.; Bautista, Diana M.; Lumpkin, Ellen A.

    2015-01-01

    An assortment of touch receptors innervate the skin and encode different tactile features of the environment. Compared with invertebrate touch and other sensory systems, our understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of mammalian touch lags behind. Two recent breakthroughs have accelerated progress. First, an arsenal of cell-type-specific molecular markers allowed the functional and anatomical properties of sensory neurons to be matched, thereby unraveling a cellular code for touch. Such markers have also revealed key roles of non-neuronal cell types, such as Merkel cells and keratinocytes, in touch reception. Second, the discovery of Piezo genes as a new family of mechanically activated channels has fueled the discovery of molecular mechanisms that mediate and mechanotransduction in mammalian touch receptors. PMID:26100741

  18. The virome in mammalian physiology and disease

    PubMed Central

    Virgin, Herbert W.

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Rheotaxis guides mammalian sperm

    PubMed Central

    Miki, Kiyoshi; Clapham, David E

    2013-01-01

    Background In sea urchins, spermatozoan motility is altered by chemotactic peptides, giving rise to the assumption that mammalian eggs also emit chemotactic agents that guide spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract to the mature oocyte. Mammalian spermatozoa indeed undergo complex adaptations within the female (the process of capacitation) that are initiated by agents ranging from pH to progesterone, but these factors are not necessarily taxic. Currently, chemotaxis, thermotaxis, and rheotaxis have not been definitively established in mammals. Results Here, we show that positive rheotaxis, the ability of organisms to orient and swim against the flow of surrounding fluid, is a major taxic factor for mouse and human sperm. This flow is generated within 4 hours of sexual stimulation and coitus in female mice; prolactin-triggered oviductal fluid secretion clears the oviduct of debris, lowers viscosity, and generates the stream that guides sperm migration in the oviduct. Rheotaxic movement is demonstrated in capacitated and uncapacitated spermatozoa in low and high viscosity medium. Finally, we show that a unique sperm motion we quantify using the sperm head's rolling rate reflects sperm rotation that generates essential force for positioning the sperm in the stream. Rotation requires CatSper channels, presumably by enabling Ca2+ influx. Conclusions We propose that rheotaxis is a major determinant of sperm guidance over long distances in the mammalian female reproductive tract. Coitus induces fluid flow to guide sperm in the oviduct. Sperm rheotaxis requires rotational motion during CatSper channel-dependent hyperactivated motility. PMID:23453951

  20. Reprogramming Progeny Cells of Embryonic RPE to Produce Photoreceptors: Development of Advanced Photoreceptor Traits under the Induction of neuroD

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Lina; Yan, Run-Tao; Li, Xiumei; Chimento, Melissa; Wang, Shu-Zhen

    2008-01-01

    PURPOSE In examining the prospect of producing functional photoreceptors by reprogramming the differentiation of RPE progeny cells, this study was conducted to investigate whether reprogrammed cells can develop highly specialized ultrastructural and physiological traits that characterize retinal photoreceptors. METHODS Cultured chick RPE cells were reprogrammed to differentiate along the photoreceptor pathway by ectopic expression of neuroD. Cellular ultrastructure was examined with electron microscopy. Cellular physiology was studied by monitoring cellular free calcium (Ca2+) levels in dark-adapted cells in response to light and in light-bleached cells in response to 9-cis-retinal. RESULTS Reprogrammed cells were found to localize red opsin protein appropriately to the apex. These cells developed inner segments rich in mitochondria, and while in culture, some formed rudimentary outer segments, analogous to those of developing photoreceptors in the retina. In response to light, reprogrammed cells reduced their Ca2+ levels, as observed with developing retinal photoreceptors in culture. Further, on exposure to 9-cis-retinal, the light-bleached, reprogrammed cells increased their Ca2+ levels, reminiscent of visual cycle recovery. CONCLUSIONS These results indicate the potential of reprogrammed cells to develop advanced ultrastructural and physiological traits of photoreceptors and point to reprogramming progeny cells of embryonic RPE as a possible alternative in producing developing photoreceptors. PMID:18469196

  1. Opsins in Limulus eyes: characterization of three visible light-sensitive opsins unique to and co-expressed in median eye photoreceptors and a peropsin/RGR that is expressed in all eyes.

    PubMed

    Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Kempler, Karen E; Saraf, Spencer R; Marten, Catherine E; Dugger, Donald R; Speiser, Daniel I; Oakley, Todd H

    2015-02-01

    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

  2. Opsins in Limulus eyes: characterization of three visible light-sensitive opsins unique to and co-expressed in median eye photoreceptors and a peropsin/RGR that is expressed in all eyes

    PubMed Central

    Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Kempler, Karen E.; Saraf, Spencer R.; Marten, Catherine E.; Dugger, Donald R.; Speiser, Daniel I.; Oakley, Todd H.

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Opsins in Limulus eyes: characterization of three visible light-sensitive opsins unique to and co-expressed in median eye photoreceptors and a peropsin/RGR that is expressed in all eyes.

    PubMed

    Battelle, Barbara-Anne; Kempler, Karen E; Saraf, Spencer R; Marten, Catherine E; Dugger, Donald R; Speiser, Daniel I; Oakley, Todd H

    2015-02-01

    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.

  4. Functional significance of the taper of vertebrate cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.

    2012-01-01

    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

  5. Conjunctivally Applied BDNF Protects Photoreceptors from Light-Induced Damage

    PubMed Central

    Cerri, Elisa; Origlia, Nicola; Falsini, Benedetto; Barloscio, Davide; Fabiani, Carlotta; Sansò, Marco; Ottino, Sara; Giovannini, Luca; Domenici, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To test whether the topical eye treatment with BDNF prevents the effects of continuous light exposure (LE) in the albino rat retina. Methods Two groups of albino rats were used. The first group of rats received an intraocular injection of BDNF (2 μL, 1 μg/μL) before LE, while the second group was treated with one single drop of BDNF (10 μL, 12 μg/μL) dissolved in different types of solutions (physiological solution, the polysaccharide fraction of Tamarind gum, TSP, and sodium carboxy methyl cellulose), at the level of conjunctival fornix before LE. The level of BDNF in the retina and optic nerve was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We recorded the flash electroretinogram (fERG) in dark adapted rats 1 week after LE. At the end of the recording session, the retinas were removed and labeled so that the number of photoreceptors nuclear rows and thickness of the outer nuclear layer was analyzed. Results Intravitreal injection of BDNF before LE prevented fERG impairment. Different ophthalmic preparations were used for topical eye application; the TSP resulted the most suitable vehicle to increase BDNF level in the retina and optic nerve. Topical eye application with BDNF/TSP before LE partially preserved both fERG response and photoreceptors. Conclusions Topical eye treatment with BDNF represents a suitable, noninvasive tool to increase the retinal content of BDNF up to a level capable of exerting neuroprotection toward photoreceptors injured by prolonged LE. Translational Relevance A collyrium containing BDNF may serve as an effective, clinically translational treatment against retinal degeneration. PMID:27190697

  6. Directionality of individual cone photoreceptors in the parafoveal region.

    PubMed

    Morris, Hugh J; Blanco, Leonardo; Codona, Johanan L; Li, Simone L; Choi, Stacey S; Doble, Nathan

    2015-12-01

    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, ρ¯, between the major and minor axes of the Gaussian fit was 0.05 versus 0.29mm(-2) in one subject. All four subjects were found to have a mean nasal bias of 0.81mm with a standard deviation of ±0.30mm in the peak position at all retinal locations with mean ρ¯ 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

  7. Light-driven calcium signals in mouse cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Wei, Tao; Schubert, Timm; Paquet-Durand, François; Tanimoto, Naoyuki; Chang, Le; Koeppen, Katja; Ott, Thomas; Griesbeck, Oliver; Seeliger, Mathias W; Euler, Thomas; Wissinger, Bernd

    2012-05-16

    Calcium mediates various neuronal functions. The complexity of neuronal Ca²⁺ signaling is well exemplified by retinal cone photoreceptors, which, with their distinct compartmentalization, offer unique possibilities for studying the diversity of Ca²⁺ functions in a single cell. Measuring subcellular Ca²⁺ signals in cones under physiological conditions is not only fundamental for understanding cone function, it also bears important insights into pathophysiological processes governing retinal neurodegeneration. However, due to the proximity of light-sensitive outer segments to other cellular compartments, optical measurements of light-evoked Ca²⁺ responses in cones are challenging. We addressed this problem by generating a transgenic mouse (HR2.1:TN-XL) in which both short- and middle-wavelength-sensitive cones selectively express the genetically encoded ratiometric Ca²⁺ biosensor TN-XL. We show that HR2.1:TN-XL allows recording of light-evoked Ca²⁺ responses using two-photon imaging in individual cone photoreceptor terminals and to probe phototransduction and its diverse regulatory mechanisms with pharmacology at subcellular resolution. To further test this system, we asked whether the classical, nitric oxide (NO)-soluble guanylyl-cyclase (sGC)-cGMP pathway could modulate Ca²⁺ in cone terminals. Surprisingly, NO reduced Ca²⁺ resting levels in mouse cones, without evidence for direct sGC involvement. In conclusion, HR2.1:TN-XL mice offer unprecedented opportunities to elucidate light-driven Ca²⁺ dynamics and their (dys)regulation in cone photoreceptors.

  8. Retinal Hypercholesterolemia Triggers Cholesterol Accumulation and Esterification in Photoreceptor Cells.

    PubMed

    Saadane, Aicha; Mast, Natalia; Dao, Tung; Ahmad, Baseer; Pikuleva, Irina A

    2016-09-23

    The process of vision is impossible without the photoreceptor cells, which have a unique structure and specific maintenance of cholesterol. Herein we report on the previously unrecognized cholesterol-related pathway in the retina discovered during follow-up characterizations of Cyp27a1(-/-)Cyp46a1(-/-) mice. These animals have retinal hypercholesterolemia and convert excess retinal cholesterol into cholesterol esters, normally present in the retina in very small amounts. We established that in the Cyp27a1(-/-)Cyp46a1(-/-) retina, cholesterol esters are generated by and accumulate in the photoreceptor outer segments (OS), which is the retinal layer with the lowest cholesterol content. Mouse OS were also found to express the cholesterol-esterifying enzyme acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT1), but not lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), and to differ from humans in retinal expression of ACAT1. Nevertheless, cholesterol esters were discovered to be abundant in human OS. We suggest a mechanism for cholesterol ester accumulation in the OS and that activity impairment of ACAT1 in humans may underlie the development of subretinal drusenoid deposits, a hallmark of age-related macular degeneration, which is a common blinding disease. We generated Cyp27a1(-/-)Cyp46a1(-/-)Acat1(-/-) mice, characterized their retina by different imaging modalities, and confirmed that unesterified cholesterol does accumulate in their OS and that there is photoreceptor apoptosis and OS degeneration in this line. Our results provide insights into the retinal response to local hypercholesterolemia and the retinal significance of cholesterol esterification, which could be cell-specific and both beneficial and detrimental for retinal structure and function.

  9. The ventral photoreceptor cells of Limulus. II. The basic photoresponse.

    PubMed

    Millecchia, R; Mauro, A

    1969-09-01

    The ventral photoreceptors of Limulus polyphemus are unipolar cells with large, ellipsoidal somas located long both "lateral olfactory nerves." As a consequence of their size and location, the cells are easily impaled with microelectrodes. The cells have an average resting potential of -48 mv. The resting potential is a function of the external concentration of K. When the cell is illuminated, it gives rise to the typical "receptor potential" seen in most invertebrate photoreceptors which consists of a transient phase followed by a maintained phase of depolarization. The amplitude of the transient phase depends on both the state of adaptation of the cell and the intensity of the illumination, while the amplitude of the maintained phase depends only on the intensity of the illumination. The over-all size of the receptor potential depends on the external concentration of Na, e.g. in sodium-free seawater the receptor potential is markedly reduced, but not abolished. On the other hand lowering the Ca concentration produces a marked enhancement of both components of the response, but predominantly of the steady-state component. Slow potential fluctuations are seen in the dark-adapted cell when it is illuminated with a low intensity light. A spike-like regenerative process can be evoked by either the receptor potential or a current applied via a microelectrode. No evidence of impulse activity has been found in the axons of these cells. The ventral photoreceptor cell has many properties in common with a variety of retinular cells and therefore should serve as a convenient model of the primary receptor cell in many invertebrate eyes. PMID:5806592

  10. Retinal Hypercholesterolemia Triggers Cholesterol Accumulation and Esterification in Photoreceptor Cells.

    PubMed

    Saadane, Aicha; Mast, Natalia; Dao, Tung; Ahmad, Baseer; Pikuleva, Irina A

    2016-09-23

    The process of vision is impossible without the photoreceptor cells, which have a unique structure and specific maintenance of cholesterol. Herein we report on the previously unrecognized cholesterol-related pathway in the retina discovered during follow-up characterizations of Cyp27a1(-/-)Cyp46a1(-/-) mice. These animals have retinal hypercholesterolemia and convert excess retinal cholesterol into cholesterol esters, normally present in the retina in very small amounts. We established that in the Cyp27a1(-/-)Cyp46a1(-/-) retina, cholesterol esters are generated by and accumulate in the photoreceptor outer segments (OS), which is the retinal layer with the lowest cholesterol content. Mouse OS were also found to express the cholesterol-esterifying enzyme acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT1), but not lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), and to differ from humans in retinal expression of ACAT1. Nevertheless, cholesterol esters were discovered to be abundant in human OS. We suggest a mechanism for cholesterol ester accumulation in the OS and that activity impairment of ACAT1 in humans may underlie the development of subretinal drusenoid deposits, a hallmark of age-related macular degeneration, which is a common blinding disease. We generated Cyp27a1(-/-)Cyp46a1(-/-)Acat1(-/-) mice, characterized their retina by different imaging modalities, and confirmed that unesterified cholesterol does accumulate in their OS and that there is photoreceptor apoptosis and OS degeneration in this line. Our results provide insights into the retinal response to local hypercholesterolemia and the retinal significance of cholesterol esterification, which could be cell-specific and both beneficial and detrimental for retinal structure and function. PMID:27514747

  11. Correlating Photoreceptor Mosaic Structure to Clinical Findings in Stargardt Disease

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. Localization, Purification, and Functional Reconstitution of the P4-ATPase Atp8a2, a Phosphatidylserine Flippase in Photoreceptor Disc Membranes*

    PubMed Central

    Coleman, Jonathan A.; Kwok, Michael C. M.; Molday, Robert S.

    2009-01-01

    P4-ATPases comprise a relatively new subfamily of P-type ATPases implicated in the energy-dependent translocation of aminophospholipids across cell membranes. In this study, we report on the localization and functional properties of Atp8a2, a member of the P4-ATPase subfamily that has not been studied previously. Reverse transcription-PCR revealed high expression of atp8a2 mRNA in the retina and testis. Within the retina, immunofluorescence microscopy and subcellular fractionation studies localized Atp8a2 to outer segment disc membranes of rod and cone photoreceptor cells. Atp8a2 purified from photoreceptor outer segments by immunoaffinity chromatography exhibited ATPase activity that was stimulated by phosphatidylserine and to a lesser degree phosphatidylethanolamine but not by phosphatidylcholine or other membrane lipids. Purified Atp8a2 was reconstituted into liposomes containing fluorescent-labeled phosphatidylserine to measure the ability of Atp8a2 to flip phosphatidylserine across the lipid bilayer. Fluorescence measurements showed that Atp8a2 flipped fluorescent-labeled phosphatidylserine from the inner leaflet of liposomes (equivalent to the exocytoplasmic leaflet of cell membranes) to the outer leaflet (equivalent to cytoplasmic leaflet) in an ATP-dependent manner. Our studies provide the first direct biochemical evidence that purified P4-ATPases can translocate aminophospholipids across membranes and further implicates Atp8a2 in the generation and maintenance of phosphatidylserine asymmetry in photoreceptor disc membranes. PMID:19778899

  13. A complex photoreceptor system mediates the regulation by light of the conidiation genes con-10 and con-6 in Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed

    Olmedo, María; Ruger-Herreros, Carmen; Luque, Eva M; Corrochano, Luis M

    2010-04-01

    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.

  14. Mammalian glycosylation in immunity

    PubMed Central

    Marth, Jamey D.; Grewal, Prabhjit K.

    2009-01-01

    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 of 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. PMID:18846099

  15. Reorganization of human cortical maps caused by inherited photoreceptor abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Baseler, Heidi A; Brewer, Alyssa A; Sharpe, Lindsay T; Morland, Antony B; Jägle, Herbert; Wandell, Brian A

    2002-04-01

    We describe a compelling demonstration of large-scale developmental reorganization in the human visual pathways. The developmental reorganization was observed in rod monochromats, a rare group of congenitally colorblind individuals who virtually lack cone photoreceptor function. Normal controls had a cortical region, spanning several square centimeters, that responded to signals initiated in the all-cone foveola but was inactive under rod viewing conditions; in rod monochromats this cortical region responded powerfully to rod-initiated signals. The measurements trace a causal pathway that begins with a genetic anomaly that directly influences sensory cells and ultimately results in a substantial central reorganization. PMID:11914722

  16. Measurement of Photon Statistics with Live Photoreceptor Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sim, Nigel; Cheng, Mei Fun; Bessarab, Dmitri; Jones, C. Michael; Krivitsky, Leonid A.

    2012-09-01

    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.

  17. A Stochastic Model for Discrete Waves in the Limulus Photoreceptor

    PubMed Central

    Srebro, Richard; Behbehani, Mahmood

    1971-01-01

    A stochastic model that links the absorption of a photon to the production of a discrete wave in the photoreceptor of the lateral eye of Limulus is proposed. By separating a discrete wave into an initial component due directly to the absorption of a photon, and a second quasi all-or-nothing component, a mathematical description of the latencies of discrete waves is deduced and some important features of their time courses are suggested. The predictions of the model are compared to observations from 60 different ommatidia. PMID:5095679

  18. Drosophila rosA gene, which when mutant causes aberrant photoreceptor oscillation, encodes a novel neurotransmitter transporter homologue.

    PubMed

    Burg, M G; Geng, C; Guan, Y; Koliantz, G; Pak, W L

    1996-12-01

    The Drosophila receptor oscillation A (rosA) mutations, which cause electroretinogram (ERG) defects, including oscillations, were localized to the 24F4-25A2 region of chromosome 2L. Genomic fragments from this region, isolated from bacteriophage P1 clones, included those that detect transcriptional defects in rosA mutants in RNA blot experiments. One of these genomic fragments was used to screen a head cDNA library. The largest cDNA clone (3.6 kb) isolated was shown to rescue a rosA mutant in P element-germline transformation experiments. The ROSA protein deduced from the open reading frame in the 3.6 kb rosA cDNA is 943 amino acids long and is 36-41% identical to members of the superfamily of Na+/Cl(-)-dependent neurotransmitter transporters, with no indication of higher sequence identity to any one subgroup within the superfamily. RNA blot experiments revealed multiple transcripts in various developmental stages, the most abundant one being a 3.7 kb transcript, particularly in the adult head. Tissue in situ experiments identified the rosA transcript to be localized to many tissues, with higher levels of hybridization in the nervous system and digestive tract. The results demonstrate that the rosA gene encodes a novel Na+/Cl(-)-dependent transporter important for normal response properties of the photoreceptor.

  19. Evidence for Dynamic Network Regulation of Drosophila Photoreceptor Function from Mutants Lacking the Neurotransmitter Histamine.

    PubMed

    Dau, An; Friederich, Uwe; Dongre, Sidhartha; Li, Xiaofeng; Bollepalli, Murali K; Hardie, Roger C; Juusola, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27047343

  20. Visual ecology and voltage-gated ion channels in insect photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Weckström, M; Laughlin, S B

    1995-01-01

    That particular membrane conductances are selected for expression to enable the efficient coding of biologically relevant signals is illustrated by recent work on insect photoreceptors. These studies exploit the richness of insect vision and the accessibility of insect photoreceptors to cellular analysis in both intact animal and isolated cell preparations. The distribution of voltage-gated conductances among photoreceptors of different species correlates with visual ecology. Delayed-rectifier K+ channels are found in the rapidly responding photoreceptors of fast-flying flies. The conductance's activation range and dynamics match light-induced signals, and enable a rapid response by reducing the membrane time constant. Slow-moving flies have slowly responding photoreceptors that lack the delayed rectifier, but express an inactivating K+ conductance that is metabolically less demanding. Complementing these findings, locust photoreceptor membranes are modulated diurnally. The delayed rectifier is exhibited during the day and the inactivating K+ current is exhibited at night. Insect photoreceptors also demonstrate the amplification of signals by voltage-gated Na+ channels. In drone-bee photoreceptors, voltage-gated Na+ channels combine with K+ channels to enhance the small transient signals produced by the image of a queen bee passing over the retina. This subthreshold amplifier operates most effectively over the range of light intensities at which drones pursue queens.

  1. Large variation among photoreceptors as the basis of visual flexibility in the common backswimmer

    PubMed Central

    Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. Evidence for Dynamic Network Regulation of Drosophila Photoreceptor Function from Mutants Lacking the Neurotransmitter Histamine.

    PubMed

    Dau, An; Friederich, Uwe; Dongre, Sidhartha; Li, Xiaofeng; Bollepalli, Murali K; Hardie, Roger C; Juusola, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    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.

  3. In-vivo imaging of photoreceptor structure and laser injury pathophysiology in the snake eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwick, Harry; Elliot, Rowe; Li, Guo; Akers, Andre; Edsall, Peter R.; Stuck, Bruce E.

    1999-06-01

    Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO) combined with the high numerical aperture of the snake eye was used to evaluate laser injury at the photoreceptor and vascular retinal layers. An Argon laser source focused within a 35 micron retinal spot was used to produce a range of exposures from 152 to 1000 μjoules in the retinas of the Checkered Garter and Great Plains Rat snake. Anesthesia was induced with ketamine and xylazine. In vivo exposure sites measured post exposure showed unique photoreceptor damage characterized by surviving photoreceptors that were highly reflective and saturated, swollen and revealed more complex mode structure than normal photoreceptors when imaged under higher magnification. Evidence of oxidative stress was observed in photoreceptor cells peripheral to the lesion site as a late developing fluorescence (1-2 hour post exposure) following injection of Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, a marker of oxidative stress. At the anterior retina, acute exposure produced `sticky' blood cells, identified as leukocytes with Acridine orange. These findings indicate that laser retinal injury in large eyes, such as the human eye may involve pathophysiological cellular dynamics in both posterior and anterior retina and in normal retina adjacent to lesion sites. Photoreceptor movement outside the lesion site may relate to alterations in photoreceptor orientation and the efficiency of the photoreceptors quantal catch.

  4. Photoreceptor Processing Speed and Input Resistance Changes during Light Adaptation Correlate with Spectral Class in the Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars

    2011-01-01

    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

  5. Temporal ChIP-on-Chip of RNA-Polymerase-II to detect novel gene activation events during photoreceptor maturation

    PubMed Central

    Tummala, Padmaja; Mali, Raghuveer S.; Guzman, Eduardo; Zhang, Xiao

    2010-01-01

    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

  6. Mitochondria and mammalian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Ramalho-Santos, João; Amaral, Sandra

    2013-10-15

    Mitochondria are cellular organelles with crucial roles in ATP synthesis, metabolic integration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesis and management, the regulation of apoptosis (namely via the intrinsic pathway), among many others. Additionally, mitochondria in different organs or cell types may have distinct properties that can decisively influence functional analysis. In terms of the importance of mitochondria in mammalian reproduction, and although there are species-specific differences, these aspects involve both energetic considerations for gametogenesis and fertilization, control of apoptosis to ensure the proper production of viable gametes, and ROS signaling, as well as other emerging aspects. Crucially, mitochondria are the starting point for steroid hormone biosynthesis, given that the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone (a common precursor for all steroid hormones) takes place via the activity of the cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) on the inner mitochondrial membrane. Furthermore, mitochondrial activity in reproduction has to be considered in accordance with the very distinct strategies for gamete production in the male and female. These include distinct gonad morpho-physiologies, different types of steroids that are more prevalent (testosterone, estrogens, progesterone), and, importantly, the very particular timings of gametogenesis. While spermatogenesis is complete and continuous since puberty, producing a seemingly inexhaustible pool of gametes in a fixed environment; oogenesis involves the episodic production of very few gametes in an environment that changes cyclically. These aspects have always to be taken into account when considering the roles of any common element in mammalian reproduction.

  7. Loss of Retinoschisin (RS1) Cell Surface Protein in Maturing Mouse Rod Photoreceptors Elevates the Luminance Threshold for Light-Driven Translocation of Transducin But Not Arrestin

    PubMed Central

    Ziccardi, Lucia; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Bush, Ronald A.

    2012-01-01

    Loss of retinoschisin (RS1) in Rs1 knock-out (Rs1–KO) retina produces a post-photoreceptor phenotype similar to X-linked retinoschisis in young males. However, Rs1 is expressed strongly in photoreceptors, and Rs1–KO mice have early reduction in the electroretinogram a-wave. We examined light-activated transducin and arrestin translocation in young Rs1–KO mice as a marker for functional abnormalities in maturing rod photoreceptors. We found a progressive reduction in luminance threshold for transducin translocation in wild-type (WT) retinas between postnatal days P18 and P60. At P21, the threshold in Rs1–KO retinas was 10-fold higher than WT, but it decreased to <2.5-fold higher by P60. Light-activated arrestin translocation and re-translocation of transducin in the dark were not affected. Rs1–KO rod outer segment (ROS) length was significantly shorter than WT at P21 but was comparable with WT at P60. These findings suggested a delay in the structural and functional maturation of Rs1–KO ROS. Consistent with this, transcription factors CRX and NRL, which are fundamental to maturation of rod protein expression, were reduced in ROS of Rs1–KO mice at P21 but not at P60. Expression of transducin was 15–30% lower in P21 Rs1–KO ROS and transducin GTPase hydrolysis was nearly twofold faster, reflecting a 1.7- to 2.5-fold increase in RGS9 (regulator of G-protein signaling) level. Transduction protein expression and activity levels were similar to WT at P60. Transducin translocation threshold elevation indicates photoreceptor functional abnormalities in young Rs1–KO mice. Rapid reduction in threshold coupled with age-related changes in transduction protein levels and transcription factor expression are consistent with delayed maturation of Rs1–KO photoreceptors. PMID:22993419

  8. Arrestin translocation is stoichiometric to rhodopsin isomerization and accelerated by phototransduction in Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Satoh, Akiko K.; Xia, Hongai; Yan, Limin; Liu, Che-Hsiung; Hardie, Roger C.; Ready, Donald F.

    2010-01-01

    Upon illumination visual arrestin translocates from photoreceptor cell bodies to rhodopsin and membrane-rich photosensory compartments - vertebrate outer segments or invertebrate rhabdomeres - where it quenches activated rhodopsin. Both the mechanism and function of arrestin translocation are unresolved and controversial. In dark-adapted photoreceptors of the fruitfly Drosophila, confocal immunocytochemistry shows arrestin (Arr2) associated with distributed photoreceptor endomembranes. Immunocytochemistry and live imaging of GFP-tagged Arr2 demonstrate rapid reversible translocation to stimulated rhabdomeres in stoichiometric proportion to rhodopsin photoisomerization. Translocation is very rapid in normal photoreceptors (time constant <10 s), and can also be resolved in the time course of electroretinogram recordings. Genetic elimination of key phototransduction proteins, including phospholipase C (PLC), Gq and the light-sensitive Ca2+ permeable TRP channels, slows translocation by 10-100 fold. Our results indicate that Arr2 translocation in Drosophila photoreceptors is driven by diffusion, but profoundly accelerated by phototransduction and Ca2+ influx. PMID:20869596

  9. Photoreceptor types and distributions in the retinae of insectivores.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2000-01-01

    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.

  10. THE ACCESSIBILITY OF BOVINE RHODOPSIN IN PHOTORECEPTOR MEMBRANES

    PubMed Central

    Saari, John C.

    1974-01-01

    Bovine photoreceptor membranes have been treated with proteases to determine the accessibility of rhodopsin to these large, water soluble molecules. The polypeptides that remain associated with the membranous structure after proteolysis were detected by sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis. Thermolysin and chymotrypsin degraded rhodopsin (apparent mol wt 35,000–36,000) to fragments of 29,000 and 23,000 apparent mol wt, respectively, without affecting the chromophoric absorption of the molecule or removing the region of the polypeptide carrying carbohydrate. The two fragments were isolated and their amino acid compositions were determined. They do not appear to be more hydrophobic than rhodopsin. Subtilisin, at low concentration and temperature, produced a fragment with the same molecular weight as that produced by thermolysin. At higher concentrations, subtilisin yields major fragments of mol wt 23,000 and 20,000 without affecting the chromophoric absorption. Two intermediate fragments of apparent mol wt 29,000 and 26,000 were detected during the course of this degradation. Carbohydrate is retained by all but the smallest fragment. Bleaching of the photoreceptor pigment did not appreciably alter any of the fragmentation patterns. Trypsin did not alter the molecular weight of rhodopsin under the conditions of this study. Approximately 35–45% of rhodopsin appears to be accessible to the aqueous environment and can be removed without affecting the chromophoric properties of the retinaldehyde-carrying region which remains bound to the membrane. PMID:4417532

  11. Antagonistic functions of two stardust isoforms in Drosophila photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Bulgakova, Natalia A; Rentsch, Michaela; Knust, Elisabeth

    2010-11-15

    Membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs) are scaffolding proteins that organize supramolecular protein complexes, thereby partitioning the plasma membrane into spatially and functionally distinct subdomains. Their modular organization is ideally suited to organize protein complexes with cell type- or stage-specific composition, or both. Often more than one MAGUK isoform is expressed by one gene in the same cell, yet very little is known about their individual in vivo functions. Here, we show that two isoforms of Drosophila stardust, Sdt-H (formerly called Sdt-B2) and Sdt-D, which differ in their N terminus, are expressed in adult photoreceptors. Both isoforms associate with Crumbs and PATJ, constituents of the conserved Crumbs-Stardust complex. However, they form distinct complexes, localized at the stalk, a restricted region of the apical plasma membrane. Strikingly, Sdt-H and Sdt-D have antagonistic functions. While Sdt-H overexpression increases stalk membrane length and prevents light-dependent retinal degeneration, Sdt-D overexpression reduces stalk length and enhances light-dependent retinal degeneration. These results suggest that a fine-tuned balance of different Crumbs complexes regulates photoreceptor homeostasis.

  12. Retinal photoreceptors and visual pigments in Boa constrictor imperator.

    PubMed

    Sillman, A J; Johnson, J L; Loew, E R

    2001-09-01

    The photoreceptors of Boa constrictor, a boid snake of the subfamily Boinae, were examined with scanning electron microscopy and microspectrophotometry. The retina of B. constrictor is duplex but highly dominated by rods, cones comprising 11% of the photoreceptor population. The rather tightly packed rods have relatively long outer segments with proximal ends that are somewhat tapered. There are two morphologically distinct, single cones. The most common cone by far has a large inner segment and a relatively stout outer segment. The second cone, seen only infrequently, has a substantially smaller inner segment and a finer outer segment. The visual pigments of B. constrictor are virtually identical to those of the pythonine boid, Python regius. Three different visual pigments are present, all based on vitamin A(1.) The visual pigment of the rods has a wavelength of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) at 495 +/- 2 nm. The visual pigment of the more common, large cone has a lambda(max) at 549 +/- 1 nm. The small, rare cone contains a visual pigment with lambda(max) at 357 +/- 2 nm, providing the snake with sensitivity in the ultraviolet. We suggest that B. constrictor might employ UV sensitivity to locate conspecifics and/or to improve hunting efficiency. The data indicate that wavelength discrimination above 430 nm would not be possible without some input from the rods.

  13. Antagonistic Functions of Two Stardust Isoforms in Drosophila Photoreceptor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bulgakova, Natalia A.; Rentsch, Michaela

    2010-01-01

    Membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs) are scaffolding proteins that organize supramolecular protein complexes, thereby partitioning the plasma membrane into spatially and functionally distinct subdomains. Their modular organization is ideally suited to organize protein complexes with cell type- or stage-specific composition, or both. Often more than one MAGUK isoform is expressed by one gene in the same cell, yet very little is known about their individual in vivo functions. Here, we show that two isoforms of Drosophila stardust, Sdt-H (formerly called Sdt-B2) and Sdt-D, which differ in their N terminus, are expressed in adult photoreceptors. Both isoforms associate with Crumbs and PATJ, constituents of the conserved Crumbs–Stardust complex. However, they form distinct complexes, localized at the stalk, a restricted region of the apical plasma membrane. Strikingly, Sdt-H and Sdt-D have antagonistic functions. While Sdt-H overexpression increases stalk membrane length and prevents light-dependent retinal degeneration, Sdt-D overexpression reduces stalk length and enhances light-dependent retinal degeneration. These results suggest that a fine-tuned balance of different Crumbs complexes regulates photoreceptor homeostasis. PMID:20861315

  14. Constitutively active UVR8 photoreceptor variant in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Heijde, Marc; Binkert, Melanie; Yin, Ruohe; Ares-Orpel, Florence; Rizzini, Luca; Van De Slijke, Eveline; Persiau, Geert; Nolf, Jonah; Gevaert, Kris; De Jaeger, Geert; Ulm, Roman

    2013-12-10

    Arabidopsis thaliana UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) is a UV-B photoreceptor that initiates photomorphogenic responses underlying acclimation and UV-B tolerance in plants. UVR8 is a homodimer in its ground state, and UV-B exposure results in its instantaneous monomerization followed by interaction with CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1), a major factor in UV-B signaling. UV-B photoreception by UVR8 is based on intrinsic tryptophan aromatic amino acid residues, with tryptophan-285 as the main chromophore. We generated transgenic plants expressing UVR8 with a single amino acid change of tryptophan-285 to alanine. UVR8(W285A) appears monomeric and shows UV-B-independent interaction with COP1. Phenotypically, the plants expressing UVR8(W285A) exhibit constitutive photomorphogenesis associated with constitutive activation of target genes, elevated levels of anthocyanins, and enhanced, acclimation-independent UV-B tolerance. Moreover, we have identified COP1, REPRESSOR OF UV-B PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS 1 and 2 (RUP1 and RUP2), and the SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA-105 (SPA) family as proteins copurifying with UVR8(W285A). Whereas COP1, RUP1, and RUP2 are known to directly interact with UVR8, we show that SPA1 interacts with UVR8 indirectly through COP1. We conclude that UVR8(W285A) is a constitutively active UVR8 photoreceptor variant in Arabidopsis, as is consistent with the crucial importance of monomer formation and COP1 binding for UVR8 activity.

  15. The functional cycle of visual arrestins in photoreceptor cells

    PubMed Central

    Gurevich, Vsevolod V.; Hanson, Susan M.; Song, Xiufeng; Vishnivetskiy, Sergey A.; Gurevich, Eugenia V.

    2011-01-01

    Visual arrestin-1 plays a key role in the rapid and reproducible shutoff of rhodopsin signaling. Its highly selective binding to light-activated phosphorylated rhodopsin is an integral part of the functional perfection of rod photoreceptors. Structure-function studies revealed key elements of the sophisticated molecular mechanism ensuring arrestin-1 selectivity and paved the way to the targeted manipulation of the arrestin-1 molecule to design mutants that can compensate for congenital defects in rhodopsin phosphorylation. Arrestin-1 self-association and light-dependent translocation in photoreceptor cells work together to keep a constant supply of active rhodopsin-binding arrestin-1 monomer in the outer segment. Recent discoveries of arrestin-1 interaction with other signaling proteins suggest that it is a much more versatile signaling regulator than previously thought, affecting the function of the synaptic terminals and rod survival. Elucidation of the fine molecular mechanisms of arrestin-1 interactions with rhodopsin and other binding partners is necessary for the comprehensive understanding of rod function and for devising novel molecular tools and therapeutic approaches to the treatment of visual disorders. PMID:21824527

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  17. Electronic restoration of vision in those with photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Emily E; Greferath, Ursula; Vessey, Kirstan A; Jobling, Andrew I; Fletcher, Erica L

    2012-09-01

    Complete loss of vision is one of the most feared sequelae of retinal disease. Currently, there are few if any treatment options available to patients that may slow or prevent blindness in diseases caused by photoreceptor loss, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Electronic restoration of vision has emerged over recent years as a safe and viable option for those who have lost substantial numbers of photoreceptors and who are severely vision impaired. Indeed, there has been a dramatic increase in our understanding of what is required to restore vision using an electronic retinal prosthesis. Recent reports show that for some patients, restoration of vision to the point of reading large letters is possible. In this review, we examine the types of implants currently under investigation and the results these devices have achieved clinically. We then consider a range of engineering and biological factors that may need to be considered to improve the visual performance of newer-generation devices. With added research, it is hoped that the level of vision achieved with newer generation devices will steadily improve, resulting in enhanced quality of life for those with severe vision impairment.

  18. Flowering regulation by tissue specific functions of photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Endo, Motomu

    2008-01-01

    Flowering is one of the most important steps in a plant life cycle. Plants utilize light as an informational source to determine the timing of flowering. In Arabidopsis, phytochrome A (phyA), phyB and cryptochrome2 (cry2) are major photoreceptors that regulate flowering. These photoreceptors perceive light stimuli by leaves for the regulation of flowering. A leaf is an organ consisting of different tissues such as epidermis, mesophyll and vascular bundles. In the present study, we examined in which tissue the light signals are perceived and how those signals are integrated within a leaf to regulate flowering. For this purpose, we established transgenic Arabidopsis lines that expressed a phyB-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein or a cry2-GFP fusion protein in organ/tissue-specific manners. Consequently, phyB was shown to perceive light stimuli in mesophyll. By contrast, cry2 functioned only in vascular bundles. We further confirmed that both phyB-GFP and cry2-GFP regulated flowering by altering the expression of a key flowering gene, FT, in vascular bundles. In summary, perception sites for different spectra of light are spatially separated within a leaf and the signals are integrated through the inter-tissue communication. PMID:19704768

  19. Discrete Waves and Phototransduction in Voltage-damped Ventral Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Behbehani, Michael; Srebro, Richard

    1974-01-01

    Discrete waves in the voltage-clamped photoreceptor of Limulus are remarkably similar in all essential properties to those found in an unclamped cell. The latency distribution of discrete waves is not affected by considerable changes in the holding potential in a voltage-clamped cell. Both large and small waves occur in voltage-clamped and unclamped cells and in approximately the same proportion. Large and small waves also share the same latency distributions and spectral sensitivity. We suggest that small waves may result from the activation of damaged membrane areas. Large waves have an average amplitude of approximately 5 nA in voltage-clamped photoreceptors. It probably requires several square microns of cell membrane to support this much photo-current. Thus the amplification inherent in the discrete wave process may involve spatial spread of activation from unimolecular dimensions to several square microns of cell membrane surface. Neither local current flow, nor pre-packaging of any transmitter substance appears to be involved in the amplification process. The possible mechanisms of the amplification are evaluated with relationship to the properties of discrete waves. PMID:4846766

  20. Voltage-dependent conductances in Limulus ventral photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    The voltage-dependent conductances of Limulus ventral photoreceptors have been investigated using a voltage-clamp technique. Depolarization in the dark induces inward and outward currents. The inward current is reduced by removing Na+ or Ca2+ and is abolished by removing both ions. These results suggest that both Na+ and Ca2+ carry voltage-dependent inward current. Inward current is insensitive to tetrodotoxin but is blocked by external Ni2+. The outward current has a large transient component that is followed by a smaller maintained component. Intracellular tetraethylammonium preferentially reduces the maintained component, and extracellular 4-amino pyridine preferentially reduces the transient component. Neither component is strongly affected by removal of extracellular Ca2+ or by intracellular injection of EGTA. It is concluded that the photoreceptors contain at least three separate voltage-dependent conductances: 1) a conductance giving rise to inward currents; 2) a delayed rectifier giving rise to maintained outward K+ current; and 3) a rapidly inactivating K+ conductance similar to the A current of molluscan neurons. PMID:7057161

  1. Ion channels activated by light in Limulus ventral photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1986-01-01

    The light-activated conductance of Limulus ventral photoreceptors was studied using the patch-clamp technique. Channels (40 pS) were observed whose probability of opening was greatly increased by light. In some cells the latency of channel activation was nearly the same as that of the macroscopic response, while in other cells the channel latency was much greater. Like the macroscopic conductance, channel activity was reduced by light adaptation but enhanced by the intracellular injection of the calcium chelator EGTA. The latter observation indicates that channel activation was not a secondary result of the light-induced rise in intracellular calcium. A two-microelectrode voltage-clamp method was used to measure the voltage dependence of the light-activated macroscopic conductance. It was found that this conductance is constant over a wide voltage range more negative than zero, but it increases markedly at positive voltages. The single channel currents measured over this same voltage range show that the single channel conductance is independent of voltage, but that channel gating properties are dependent on voltage. Both the mean channel open time and the opening rate increase at positive voltages. These properties change in a manner consistent with the voltage dependence of the macroscopic conductance. The broad range of similarities between the macroscopic and single channel currents supports the conclusion that the 40-pS channel that we have observed is the principal channel underlying the response to light in these photoreceptors. PMID:2419481

  2. Retinal photoreceptors and visual pigments in Boa constrictor imperator.

    PubMed

    Sillman, A J; Johnson, J L; Loew, E R

    2001-09-01

    The photoreceptors of Boa constrictor, a boid snake of the subfamily Boinae, were examined with scanning electron microscopy and microspectrophotometry. The retina of B. constrictor is duplex but highly dominated by rods, cones comprising 11% of the photoreceptor population. The rather tightly packed rods have relatively long outer segments with proximal ends that are somewhat tapered. There are two morphologically distinct, single cones. The most common cone by far has a large inner segment and a relatively stout outer segment. The second cone, seen only infrequently, has a substantially smaller inner segment and a finer outer segment. The visual pigments of B. constrictor are virtually identical to those of the pythonine boid, Python regius. Three different visual pigments are present, all based on vitamin A(1.) The visual pigment of the rods has a wavelength of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) at 495 +/- 2 nm. The visual pigment of the more common, large cone has a lambda(max) at 549 +/- 1 nm. The small, rare cone contains a visual pigment with lambda(max) at 357 +/- 2 nm, providing the snake with sensitivity in the ultraviolet. We suggest that B. constrictor might employ UV sensitivity to locate conspecifics and/or to improve hunting efficiency. The data indicate that wavelength discrimination above 430 nm would not be possible without some input from the rods. PMID:11550183

  3. Synthesis of docosahexaenoic acid from eicosapentaenoic acid in retina neurons protects photoreceptors from oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Simón, María Victoria; Agnolazza, Daniela L; German, Olga Lorena; Garelli, Andrés; Politi, Luis E; Agbaga, Martin-Paul; Anderson, Robert E; Rotstein, Nora P

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26662863

  4. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-06-01

    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.

  5. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez‐Doorman, Constanza

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. The Neurospora photoreceptor VIVID exerts negative and positive control on light sensing to achieve adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Gin, Elan; Diernfellner, Axel C R; Brunner, Michael; Höfer, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    The light response in Neurospora is mediated by the photoreceptor and circadian transcription factor White Collar Complex (WCC). The expression rate of the WCC target genes adapts in daylight and remains refractory to moonlight, despite the extraordinary light sensitivity of the WCC. To explain this photoadaptation, feedback inhibition by the WCC interaction partner VIVID (VVD) has been invoked. Here we show through data-driven mathematical modeling that VVD allows Neurospora to detect relative changes in light intensity. To achieve this behavior, VVD acts as an inhibitor of WCC-driven gene expression and, at the same time, as a positive regulator that maintains the responsiveness of the photosystem. Our data indicate that this paradoxical function is realized by a futile cycle that involves the light-induced sequestration of active WCC by VVD and the replenishment of the activatable WCC pool through the decay of the photoactivated state. Our quantitative study uncovers a novel network motif for achieving sensory adaptation and defines a core input module of the circadian clock in Neurospora. PMID:23712010

  7. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez‐Doorman, Constanza

    2016-01-01

    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.

  8. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-06-01

    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

  9. Novel phytochrome sequences in Arabidopsis thaliana: Structure, evolution, and differential expression of a plant regulatory photoreceptor family

    SciTech Connect

    Sharrock, R.A.; Quail, P.H. )

    1989-01-01

    Phytochrome is a plant regulatory photoreceptor that mediates red light effects on a wide variety of physiological and molecular responses. DNA blot analysis indicates that the Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains four to five phytochrome-related gene sequences. The authors have isolated and sequenced cDNA clones corresponding to three of these genes and have deduced the amino acid sequence of the full-length polypeptide encoded in each case. One of these proteins (phyA) shows 65-80% amino acid sequence identity with the major, etiolated-tissue phytochrome apoproteins described previously in other plant species. The other two polypeptides (phyB and phyC) are unique in that they have low sequence identity with each other, with phyA, and with all previously described phytochromes. The phyA, phyB, and phyC proteins are of similar molecular mass, have related hydropathic profiles, and contain a conserved chromophore attachment region. However, the sequence comparison data indicate that the three phy genes diverged early in plant evolution, well before the divergence of the two major groups of angiosperms, the monocots and dicots. The steady-state level of the phyA transcript is high in dark-grown A. thaliana seedlings and is down-regulated by light. In contrast, the phyB and phyC transcripts are present at lower levels and are not strongly light-regulated. These findings indicate that the red/far red light-responsive phytochrome photoreceptor system in A. thaliana, and perhaps in all higher plants, consists of a family of chromoproteins that are heterogeneous in structure and regulation.

  10. The mammalian blastocyst.

    PubMed

    Frankenberg, Stephen R; de Barros, Flavia R O; Rossant, Janet; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26799266

  11. Adiponectin receptor 1 conserves docosahexaenoic acid and promotes photoreceptor cell survival

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived photoreceptor progenitors in blind mice

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Histamine Recycling Is Mediated by CarT, a Carcinine Transporter in Drosophila Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ying; An, Futing; Borycz, Jolanta A.; Borycz, Janusz; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.; Wang, Tao

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Macrophage- and RIP3-dependent inflammasome activation exacerbates retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor cell death

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Histamine Recycling Is Mediated by CarT, a Carcinine Transporter in Drosophila Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ying; An, Futing; Borycz, Jolanta A; Borycz, Janusz; Meinertzhagen, Ian A; Wang, Tao

    2015-12-01

    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.

  16. AAV-mediated photoreceptor transduction of the pig cone-enriched retina

    PubMed Central

    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

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Dissecting the active site of a photoreceptor protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, Wouter; Hara, Miwa; Ren, Jie; Moghadam, Farzaneh; Xie, Aihua; Kumauchi, Masato

    While enzymes are quite large molecules, functionally important chemical events are often limited to a small region of the protein: the active site. The physical and chemical properties of residues at such active sites are often strongly altered compared to the same groups dissolved in water. Understanding such effects is important for unraveling the mechanisms underlying protein function and for protein engineering, but has proven challenging. Here we report on our ongoing efforts on using photoactive yellow protein (PYP), a bacterial photoreceptor, as a model system for such effects. We will report on the following questions: How many residues affect active site properties? Are these residues in direct physical contact with the active site? Can functionally important residues be recognized in the crystal structure of a protein? What structural resolution is needed to understand active sites? What spectroscopic techniques are most informative? Which weak interactions dominate active site properties?

  19. Direct observation of light focusing by single photoreceptor cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Błaszczak, Zuzanna; Kreysing, Moritz; Guck, Jochen

    2014-05-01

    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.

  20. Stimulus-evoked outer segment changes in rod photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Lu, Yiming; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-06-01

    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.

  1. RIP Kinase-Mediated Necrosis as an Alternative Mechanism of Photoreceptor Death

    PubMed Central

    Murakami, Yusuke; Miller, Joan W.; Vavvas, Demetrios G.

    2011-01-01

    Photoreceptor cell death is the terminal event in a variety of retinal disorders including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and retinal detachment. Apoptosis has been thought to be the major form of cell death in these diseases, however accumulating evidence suggests that another pathway, programmed necrosis is also important. Recent studies have shown that, when caspase pathways are blocked, receptor interacting protein (RIP) kinases promote necrosis and overcome apoptosis inhibition. Therefore, targeting of both caspase and RIP kinase pathways are required for effective photoreceptor protection. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of RIP kinase-mediated necrotic signaling and its contribution to photoreceptor death. PMID:21670490

  2. Noninvasive imaging of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel photoreceptor mosaic

    PubMed Central

    Sajdak, Benjamin; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K.; Merriman, Dana K.; Dubra, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Carnosic acid slows photoreceptor degeneration in the Pde6brd10 mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Kai; Tarchick, Matthew J.; Yu, Xiaoshan; Beight, Craig; Bu, Ping; Yu, Minzhong

    2016-01-01

    The photoreceptor cell death associated with the various genetic forms of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is currently untreatable and leads to partial or complete vision loss. Carnosic acid (CA) upregulates endogenous antioxidant enzymes and has proven neuroprotective in studies of neurodegenerative models affecting the brain. In this study, we examined the potential effect of CA on photoreceptor death in the Pde6brd10 mouse model of RP. Our data shows that CA provided morphological and functional preservation of photoreceptors. CA appears to exert its neuroprotective effects through inhibition of oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress. PMID:26961159

  4. Noninvasive imaging of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel photoreceptor mosaic.

    PubMed

    Sajdak, Benjamin; Sulai, Yusufu N; Langlo, Christopher S; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K; Merriman, Dana K; Dubra, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. Light-induced changes of sensitivity in Limulus ventral photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1975-01-01

    The responses of Limulus ventral photoreceptors to brief test flashes and to longer adapting lights were measured under voltage clamp conditions. When the cell was dark adapted, there was a range of energy of the test flashes over which the peak amplitude of the responses (light-induced currents) was directly proportional to the flash energy. This was also true when test flashes were superposed on adapting stimuli but the proportionality constant (termed peak currently/photon) was reduced. The peak current/photon was attenuated more by brighter adapting stimuli than by less bright adapting stimuli. The peak current/photon is a measure of the sensitivity of the conductance- increase mechanism underlying the light response of the photo-receptor. The response elicited by an adapting stimulus had a large initial transient which declined to a smaller plateau. The peak current/photon decreased sharply during the declining phase of the transient and was relatively stable during the plateau. This indicates that the onset of light adaptation is delayed with respect to the onset of the response to the adapting stimulus. If the adaptational state just before the onset of each of a series of adapting stimuli was constant, the amplitude of the transient was a nearly linear function of intensity. When the total intensity was rapidly doubled (or halved) during a plateau response, the total current approximately doubled (or halved). We argue that the transition from transient to plateau, light-elicited changes of threshold, and the nonlinear function relating the plateau response to stimulus intensity all reflect changes of the responsiveness of the conductance-increase mechanism. PMID:1181378

  6. Adapting bump model for ventral photoreceptors of Limulus

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    Light-evoked current fluctuations have been recorded from ventral photoreceptors of Limulus for light intensity from threshold up to 10(5) times threshold. These data are analyzed in terms of the adapting bump noise model, which postulates that (a) the response to light is a summation of bumps; and (b) the average size of bump decreases with light intensity, and this is the major mechanism of light adaptation. It is shown here that this model can account for the data well. Furthermore, the model provides a convenient framework to characterize, in terms of bump parameters, the effects of calcium ions, which are known to affect photoreceptor functions. From responses to very dim light, it is found that the average impulse response (average of a large number of responses to dim flashes) can be predicted from knowledge of both the noise characteristics under steady light and the dispersion of latencies of individual bumps. Over the range of light intensities studied, it is shown that (a) the bump rate increases in strict proportionality to light intensity, up to approximately 10(5) bumps per second; and (b) the bump height decreases approximately as the -0.7 power of light intensity; at rates greater than 10(5) bumps per second, the conductance change associated with the single bump seems to reach a minimum value of approximately 10(-11) reciprocal ohms; (c) from the lowest to the highest light intensity, the bump duration decreases approximately by a factor of 2, and the time scale of the dispersion of latencies of individual bumps decreases approximately by a factor of 3; (d) removal of calcium ions from the bath lengthens the latency process and causes an increase in bump height but appears to have no effect on either the bump rate or the bump duration. PMID:7108487

  7. Melatonin modulates M4-type ganglion-cell photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Pack, W; Hill, D D; Wong, K Y

    2015-09-10

    In the retina, melatonin is secreted at night by rod/cone photoreceptors and serves as a dark-adaptive signal. Melatonin receptors have been found in many retinal neurons including melanopsin-containing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), suggesting it could modulate the physiology of these inner retinal photoreceptors. Here, we investigated whether melatonin modulates the alpha-like M4-type ipRGCs, which are believed to mediate image-forming vision as well as non-image-forming photoresponses. Applying melatonin during daytime (when endogenous melatonin secretion is low) caused whole-cell-recorded M4 cells' rod/cone-driven depolarizing photoresponses to become broader and larger, whereas the associated elevation in spike rate was reduced. Melanopsin-based light responses were not affected significantly. Nighttime application of the melatonin receptor antagonist luzindole also altered M4 cells' rod/cone-driven light responses but in the opposite ways: the duration and amplitude of the graded depolarization were reduced, whereas the accompanying spiking increase was enhanced. These luzindole-induced changes confirmed that M4 cells are modulated by endogenous melatonin. Melatonin could induce the above effects by acting directly on M4 cells because immunohistochemistry detected MT1 receptors in these cells, although it could also act presynaptically. Interestingly, the daytime and nighttime recordings showed significant differences in resting membrane potential, spontaneous spike rate and rod/cone-driven light responses, suggesting that M4 cells are under circadian control. This is the first report of a circadian variation in ipRGCs' resting properties and synaptic input, and of melatoninergic modulation of ipRGCs. PMID:26141846

  8. Reliability assessment of a rod photoreceptor outer segment grading system.

    PubMed

    Jablonski, M M; Graney, M J; Kritchevsky, S B; Iannaccone, A

    2001-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of a rod photoreceptor outer segment (PR-OS) grading system based on the analysis of 1 microm thick retinal sections obtained from Xenopus laevis whole-eye organ cultures. Digitally captured images, representative of the entire spectrum of rod PR-OS organization levels, were selected and coded numerically. A total of 102 individual rod PR-OS profiles were graded according to a six-step classification scheme based on the percentage of rod PR-OS membrane organization. Unweighted (exact agreement) and weighted kappa (kappa) coefficients (for use with ordered categorical rating scales) were calculated. Differences between kappa coefficients were tested for by chi-square analysis. To investigate the intra- and inter-rater variability and the possible presence of an interaction of the measurements with time, a repeated-measures analysis of variance was performed. The overall unweighted and weighted intra-rater kappa coefficients were 0.78 and 0.92, respectively. The overall unweighted and weighted inter-rater kappa coefficients were 0.73 and 0.90, respectively. There was no significant difference between raters or between first and second reading, nor was interaction between raters and time of rating documented. Individual kappa coefficients were equivalent both between raters and between sessions. Intra- and inter-rater agreement was within one step in 100% of cases. The estimated values of the kappa coefficients are consistent with a good to excellent degree of reliability and reproducibility of this rod PR-OS grading system. This system will be useful in the assessment of rod PR-OS morphology in studies of photoreceptor physiology and pathology.

  9. In vivo tracking of phosphoinositides in Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hardie, Roger C.; Liu, Che-Hsiung; Randall, Alexander S.; Sengupta, Sukanya

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT In order to monitor phosphoinositide turnover during phospholipase C (PLC)-mediated Drosophila phototransduction, fluorescently tagged lipid probes were expressed in photoreceptors and imaged both in dissociated cells, and in eyes of intact living flies. Of six probes tested, TbR332H (a mutant of the Tubby protein pleckstrin homology domain) was judged the best reporter for phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2], and the P4M domain from Legionella SidM for phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P). Using accurately calibrated illumination, we found that only ∼50% of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and very little PtdIns4P were depleted by full daylight intensities in wild-type flies, but both were severely depleted by ∼100-fold dimmer intensities in mutants lacking Ca2+-permeable transient receptor potential (TRP) channels or protein kinase C (PKC). Resynthesis of PtdIns4P (t½ ∼12 s) was faster than PtdIns(4,5)P2 (t½ ∼40 s), but both were greatly slowed in mutants of DAG kinase (rdgA) or PtdIns transfer protein (rdgB). The results indicate that Ca2+- and PKC-dependent inhibition of PLC is required for enabling photoreceptors to maintain phosphoinositide levels despite high rates of hydrolysis by PLC, and suggest that phosphorylation of PtdIns4P to PtdIns(4,5)P2 is the rate-limiting step of the cycle. PMID:26483384

  10. Light adaptation in Pecten hyperpolarizing photoreceptors. Insensitivity to calcium manipulations.

    PubMed

    Gomez, M P; Nasi, E

    1997-03-01

    The ability of scallop hyperpolarizing photoreceptors to respond without attenuation to repetitive flashes, together with their low light sensitivity, lack of resolvable quantum bumps and fast photoresponse kinetics, had prompted the suggestion that these cells may be constitutively in a state akin to light adaptation. We here demonstrate that their photocurrent displays all manifestations of sensory adaptation: (a) The response amplitude to a test flash is decreased in a graded way by background or conditioning lights. This attenuation of the response develops with a time constant of 200-800 ms, inversely related to background intensity. (b) Adapting stimuli shift the stimulus-response curve and reduce the size of the saturating photocurrent. (c) The fall kinetics of the photoresponse are accelerated by light adaptation, and the roll-of of the modulation transfer function is displaced to higher frequencies. This light-induced desensitization exhibits a rapid recovery, on the order of a few seconds. Based on the notion that Ca mediates light adaptation in other cells, we examined the consequences of manipulating this ion. Removal of external Ca reversibly increased the photocurrent amplitude, without affecting light sensitivity, photoresponse kinetics, or susceptibility to background adaptation; the effect, therefore, concerns ion permeation, rather than the regulation of the visual response. Intracellular dialysis with 10 mM BAPTA did not reduce the peak-to-plateau decay of the photocurrent elicited by prolonged light steps, not the background-induced compression of the response amplitude range and the acceleration of its kinetics. Conversely, high levels of buffered free [Ca]i (10 microM) only marginally shifted the sensitivity curve (delta sigma = 0.3 log) and spared all manifestations of light adaptation. These results indicate that hyperpolarizing invertebrate photoreceptors adapt to light, but the underlying mechanisms must utilize pathways that are largely

  11. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    Wax monoesters are synthesized by the esterification of fatty alcohols and fatty acids. A mammalian enzyme that catalyzes this reaction has not been isolated. We used expression cloning to identify cDNAs encoding a wax synthase in the mouse preputial gland. The wax synthase gene is located on the X chromosome and encodes a member of the acyltransferase family of enzymes that synthesize neutral lipids. Expression of wax synthase in cultured cells led to the formation of wax monoesters from straight chain saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty alcohols and acids. Polyisoprenols also were incorporated into wax monoesters by the enzyme. The wax synthase had little or no ability to synthesize cholesteryl esters, diacylglycerols, or triacylglycerols, whereas other acyltransferases, including the acyl-CoA:monoacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes and the acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 enzymes, exhibited modest wax monoester synthesis activities. Confocal light microscopy indicated that the wax synthase was localized in membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. Wax synthase mRNA was abundant in tissues rich in sebaceous glands such as the preputial gland and eyelid and was present at lower levels in other tissues. Coexpression of cDNAs specifying fatty acyl-CoA reductase 1 and wax synthase led to the synthesis of wax monoesters. The data suggest that wax monoester synthesis in mammals involves a two step biosynthetic pathway catalyzed by fatty acyl-CoA reductase and wax synthase enzymes. PMID:15220349

  12. Mammalian Wax Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jeffrey B.; Russell, David W.

    2009-01-01

    The conversion of fatty acids to fatty alcohols is required for the synthesis of wax monoesters and ether lipids. The mammalian enzymes that synthesize fatty alcohols have not been identified. Here, an in silico approach was used to discern two putative reductase enzymes designated FAR1 and FAR2. Expression studies in intact cells showed that FAR1 and FAR2 cDNAs encoded isozymes that reduced fatty acids to fatty alcohols. Fatty acyl-CoA esters were the substrate of FAR1, and the enzyme required NADPH as a cofactor. FAR1 preferred saturated and unsaturated fatty acids of 16 or 18 carbons as substrates, whereas FAR2 preferred saturated fatty acids of 16 or 18 carbons. Confocal light microscopy indicated that FAR1 and FAR2 were localized in the peroxisome. The FAR1 mRNA was detected in many mouse tissues with the highest level found in the preputial gland, a modified sebaceous gland. The FAR2 mRNA was more restricted in distribution and most abundant in the eyelid, which contains wax-laden meibomian glands. Both FAR mRNAs were present in the brain, a tissue rich in ether lipids. The data suggest that fatty alcohol synthesis in mammals is accomplished by two fatty acyl-CoA reductase isozymes that are expressed at high levels in tissues known to synthesize wax monoesters and ether lipids. PMID:15220348

  13. Mammalian Gut Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Chassaing, Benoit; Kumar, Manish; Baker, Mark T.; Singh, Vishal; Vijay-Kumar, Matam

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian intestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body and comprises cells from non-hemopoietic (epithelia, Paneth cells, goblet cells) and hemopoietic (macrophages, dendritic cells, T-cells) origin, and is also a dwelling for trillions of microbes collectively known as the microbiota. The homeostasis of this large microbial biomass is prerequisite to maintain host health by maximizing beneficial symbiotic relationships and minimizing the risks of living in such close proximity. Both microbiota and host immune system communicate with each other to mutually maintain homeostasis in what could be called a “love–hate relationship.” Further, the host innate and adaptive immune arms of the immune system cooperate and compensate each other to maintain the equilibrium of a highly complex gut ecosystem in a stable and stringent fashion. Any imbalance due to innate or adaptive immune deficiency or aberrant immune response may lead to dysbiosis and low-grade to robust gut inflammation, finally resulting in metabolic diseases. PMID:25163502

  14. Stem Cells in Mammalian Gonads.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ji; Ding, Xinbao; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Hypoxia-mediated regulation of gene expression in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Shih, Shu-Ching; Claffey, Kevin P.

    1998-01-01

    The molecular mechanism underlying oxygen sensing in mammalian cells has been extensively investigated in the areas of glucose transport, glycolysis, erythropoiesis, angiogenesis and catecholamine metabolism. Expression of functionally operative representative proteins in these specific areas, such as the glucose transporter 1, glycolytic enzymes, erythropoietin, vascular endothelial growth factor and tyrosine hydroxylase are all induced by hypoxia. Recent studies demonstrated that both transcriptional activation and post-transcriptional mechanisms are important to the hypoxia-mediated regulation of gene expression. In this article, the cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors involved in the transcriptional activation of gene expression will be reviewed. In addition, the mechanisms of post-transcriptional mRNA stabilization will also be addressed. We will discuss whether these two processes of regulation of hypoxia-responsive genes are mechanistically linked and co-operative in nature. PMID:10319016

  16. Mammalian synthetic circuits with RNA binding proteins delivered by RNA

    PubMed Central

    Wroblewska, Liliana; Kitada, Tasuku; Endo, Kei; Siciliano, Velia; Stillo, Breanna; Saito, Hirohide; Weiss, Ron

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic regulatory circuits encoded on RNA rather than DNA could provide a means to control cell behavior while avoiding potentially harmful genomic integration in therapeutic applications. We create post-transcriptional circuits using RNA-binding proteins, which can be wired in a plug-and-play fashion to create networks of higher complexity. We show that the circuits function in mammalian cells when encoded on modified mRNA or self-replicating RNA. PMID:26237515

  17. Mammalian circadian clock and metabolism - the epigenetic link.

    PubMed

    Bellet, Marina Maria; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2010-11-15

    Circadian rhythms regulate a wide variety of physiological and metabolic processes. The clock machinery comprises complex transcriptional-translational feedback loops that, through the action of specific transcription factors, modulate the expression of as many as 10% of cellular transcripts. This marked change in gene expression necessarily implicates a global regulation of chromatin remodeling. Indeed, various descriptive studies have indicated that histone modifications occur at promoters of clock-controlled genes (CCGs) in a circadian manner. The finding that CLOCK, a transcription factor crucial for circadian function, has intrinsic histone acetyl transferase (HAT) activity has paved the way to unraveling the molecular mechanisms that govern circadian chromatin remodeling. A search for the histone deacetylase (HDAC) that counterbalances CLOCK activity revealed that SIRT1, a nicotinamide adenin dinucleotide (NAD(+))-dependent HDAC, functions in a circadian manner. Importantly, SIRT1 is a regulator of aging, inflammation and metabolism. As many transcripts that oscillate in mammalian peripheral tissues encode proteins that have central roles in metabolic processes, these findings establish a functional and molecular link between energy balance, chromatin remodeling and circadian physiology. Here we review recent studies that support the existence of this link and discuss their implications for understanding mammalian physiology and pathology. PMID:21048160

  18. Production of small RNAs by mammalian Dicer.

    PubMed

    Svobodova, Eliska; Kubikova, Jana; Svoboda, Petr

    2016-06-01

    MicroRNA (miRNA) and RNA interference (RNAi) pathways employ RNase III Dicer for the biogenesis of small RNAs guiding post-transcriptional repression. Requirements for Dicer activity differ in the two pathways. The biogenesis of miRNAs requires a single Dicer cleavage of a short hairpin precursor to produce a small RNA with a precisely defined sequence, while small RNAs in RNAi come from a processive cleavage of a long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into a pool of small RNAs with different sequences. While Dicer is generally conserved among eukaryotes, its substrate recognition, cleavage, and biological roles differ. In Metazoa, a single Dicer can function as a universal factor for RNAi and miRNA pathways or as a factor adapted specifically for one of the pathways. In this review, we focus on the structure, function, and evolution of mammalian Dicer. We discuss key structural features of Dicer and other factors defining Dicer substrate repertoire and biological functions in mammals in comparison with invertebrate models. The key for adaptation of Dicer for miRNA or RNAi pathways is the N-terminal helicase, a dynamically evolving Dicer domain. Its functionality differs between mammals and invertebrates: the mammalian Dicer is well adapted to produce miRNAs while its ability to support RNAi is limited. PMID:27048428

  19. Mammalian DNA Repair. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    2003-01-24

    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.

  20. Polysome analysis of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    He, Shan L; Green, Rachel

    2013-01-01

    To assess the global translational level of mammalian cells (see similar protocols for bacteria and yeast on Analysis of polysomes from bacteria, Polysome Profile Analysis - Yeast and Polysome analysis for determining mRNA and ribosome association in Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

  1. Maturation of the mammalian secretome

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Jeremy C; Mateos, Alvaro; Pepperkok, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    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

  2. The role of mutants in the search for the photoreceptor for phototropism in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Briggs, W R; Liscum, E

    1997-01-01

    Early attempts to identify the chromophore of the photoreceptor for phototropism are reviewed. Carotenoids and flavins were the principal candidates, but studies with grass coleoptiles devoid of carotenoids suggest that at least in these organs carotenoids are most unlikely to play that role. The status of characterization of a gene for a putative photoreceptor protein is also reviewed. As the action spectrum for phototropism resembles the absorption spectrum of a flavoprotein, flavoproteins are attractive candidates at present, especially since the CRY1 photoreceptor in Arabidopsis thaliana that mediates blue light-dependent hypocotyl growth suppression has flavin adenine dinucleotide as one of its two chromophores. As the second chromophore appears to be pterin, pterins should not be ruled out as candidate chromophores for the photoreceptor for phototropism. PMID:11542766

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Transient intrinsic optical signal (IOS) changes have been observed in retinal photoreceptors, suggesting a unique biomarker for eye disease detection. However, clinical deployment of IOS imaging is challenging due to unclear IOS sources and limited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, by developing high spatiotemporal resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and applying an adaptive algorithm for IOS processing, we were able to record robust IOSs from single-pass measurements. Transient IOSs, which might reflect an early stage of light phototransduction, are consistently observed in the photoreceptor outer segment almost immediately (<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.

  4. Heterotrimeric kinesin-2 (KIF3) mediates transition zone and axoneme formation of mouse photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Wei, Yuxiao; Ronquillo, Cecinio C; Marc, Robert E; Yoder, Bradley K; Frederick, Jeanne M; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2015-05-15

    Anterograde intraflagellar transport (IFT) employing kinesin-2 molecular motors has been implicated in trafficking of photoreceptor outer segment proteins. We generated embryonic retina-specific (prefix "emb") and adult tamoxifen-induced (prefix "tam") deletions of KIF3a and IFT88 in adult mice to study photoreceptor ciliogenesis and protein trafficking. In (emb)Kif3a(-/-) and in (emb)Ift88(-/-) mice, basal bodies failed to extend transition zones (connecting cilia) with outer segments, and visual pigments mistrafficked. In contrast, (tam)Kif3a(-/-) and (tam)Ift88(-/-) photoreceptor axonemes disintegrated slowly post-induction, starting distally, but rhodopsin and cone pigments trafficked normally for more than 2 weeks, a time interval during which the outer segment is completely renewed. The results demonstrate that visual pigments transport to the retinal outer segment despite removal of KIF3 and IFT88, and KIF3-mediated anterograde IFT is responsible for photoreceptor transition zone and axoneme formation. PMID:25825494

  5. Identifying Functional Connections of the Inner Photoreceptors in Drosophila using Tango-Trace

    PubMed Central

    Jagadish, Smitha; Barnea, Gilad; Clandinin, Thomas R.; Axel, Richard

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY In Drosophila, the four inner photoreceptor neurons exhibit overlapping but distinct spectral sensitivities and mediate behaviors that reflect spectral preference. We have 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 have employed may be applied more generally to identify neural circuits in the fly brain. PMID:25043419

  6. Current advances in invertebrate vision: insights from patch-clamp studies of photoreceptors in apposition eyes.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Roman V

    2016-08-01

    Traditional electrophysiological research on invertebrate photoreceptors has been conducted in vivo, using intracellular recordings from intact compound eyes. The only exception used to be Drosophila melanogaster, which was exhaustively studied by both intracellular recording and patch-clamp methods. Recently, several patch-clamp studies have provided new information on the biophysical properties of photoreceptors of diverse insect species, having both apposition and neural superposition eyes, in the contexts of visual ecology, behavior, and ontogenesis. Here, I discuss these and other relevant results, emphasizing differences between fruit flies and other species, between photoreceptors of diurnal and nocturnal insects, properties of distinct functional types of photoreceptors, postembryonic developmental changes, and relationships between voltage-gated potassium channels and visual ecology. PMID:27250910

  7. Identifying functional connections of the inner photoreceptors in Drosophila using Tango-Trace.

    PubMed

    Jagadish, Smitha; Barnea, Gilad; Clandinin, Thomas R; Axel, Richard

    2014-08-01

    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. PMID:25043419

  8. The role of mammalian PPR domain proteins in the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression.

    PubMed

    Rackham, Oliver; Filipovska, Aleksandra

    2012-01-01

    Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) domain proteins are a large family of RNA-binding proteins that are involved in the maturation and translation of organelle transcripts in eukaryotes. They were first identified in plant organelles and their important role in mammalian mitochondrial gene regulation is now emerging. Mammalian PPR proteins, like their plant counterparts, have diverse roles in mitochondrial transcription, RNA metabolism and translation and consequently are important for mitochondrial function and cell health. Here we discuss the current knowledge about the seven mammalian PPR proteins identified to date and their roles in the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression. Furthermore we discuss the mitochondrial RNA targets of the mammalian PPR proteins and methods to investigate the RNA targets of these mitochondrial RNA-binding proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Gene Expression.

  9. Influence of dietary melatonin on photoreceptor survival in the rat retina: an ocular toxicity study.

    PubMed

    Wiechmann, Allan F; Chignell, Colin F; Roberts, Joan E

    2008-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that melatonin treatment increases the susceptibility of retinal photoreceptors to light-induced cell death. The purpose of this study was to evaluate under various conditions the potential toxicity of dietary melatonin on retinal photoreceptors. Male and female Fischer 344 (non-pigmented) and Long-Evans (pigmented) rats were treated with daily single doses of melatonin by gavage for a period of 14 days early in the light period or early in the dark period. In another group, rats were treated 3 times per week with melatonin early in the light period, and then exposed to high intensity illumination (1000-1500 lx; HII) for 2h, and then returned to the normal cyclic lighting regime. At the end of the treatment periods, morphometric measurements of outer nuclear layer thickness (ONL; the layer containing the photoreceptor cell nuclei) were made at specific loci throughout the retinas. In male and female non-pigmented Fischer rats, melatonin administration increased the degree of photoreceptor cell death when administered during the nighttime and during the day when followed by exposure to HII. There were some modest effects of melatonin on photoreceptor cell death when administered to Fischer rats during the day or night without exposure to HII. Melatonin treatment caused increases in the degree of photoreceptor cell death when administered in the night to male pigmented Long-Evans rats, but melatonin administration during the day, either with or without exposure to HII, had little if any effect on photoreceptor cell survival. In pigmented female Long-Evans rats, melatonin administration did not appear to have significant effects on photoreceptor cell death in any treatment group. The results of this study confirm and extend previous reports that melatonin increases the susceptibility of photoreceptors to light-induced cell death in non-pigmented rats. It further suggests that during the dark period, melatonin administration alone (i.e., no

  10. Effects of Müller cell disruption on mouse photoreceptor cell development.

    PubMed

    Rich, K A; Figueroa, S L; Zhan, Y; Blanks, J C

    1995-08-01

    Müller cells have been proposed to play an important role in photoreceptor cell development during the final stages of retinal maturation. The effect of disrupting Müller cells during mouse retinal development was investigated using the specific glial cell toxin, DL-alpha-aminoadipic acid (AAA). By giving multiple systemic injections over several days, impairment of Müller cell function was maintained during the period of photoreceptor migration and differentiation. Following three consecutive days of AAA treatment [commencing on post-natal (P) day 3, 5, 7 or 9, and examined at P8-P14], clumps of photoreceptor nuclei were displaced through the inner segments, lying immediately beneath the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Apart from the scalloped appearance of the outer retina, the overall lamination pattern of the retina was relatively well preserved. Even when AAA treatment commenced as early as P3, several days prior to the formation of the outer nuclear layer, the majority of photoreceptors migrated to their correct position and formed inner and outer segments. Therefore, the signals for photoreceptor migration are either provided by the Müller cells prior to P3, or, alternatively, are derived from different intrinsic or extrinsic cues. Disruption of Müller cell function was evidenced by decreased glutamine synthetase activity as well as by increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and decreased cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein (CRALBP) immunoreactivity. Immunocytochemistry with an antibody to CD44, which labels the microvilli of Müller cells at the outer limiting membrane, coupled with electron microscopic analysis, demonstrated that the zonulae adherentes between Müller cells and photoreceptors were either irregular or absent in areas adjacent to displaced clumps of photoreceptors. Thus AAA treatment of early post-natal mice results in localized disruption of the contacts between Müller cells and photoreceptors. These pathologic changes

  11. Rhodopsin targeted transcriptional silencing by DNA-binding

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. Avian photoreceptor patterns represent a disordered hyperuniform solution to a multiscale packing problem.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yang; Lau, Timothy; Hatzikirou, Haralampos; Meyer-Hermann, Michael; Joseph C Corbo; Torquato, Salvatore

    2014-02-01

    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

  13. Evidence for Dynamic Network Regulation of Drosophila Photoreceptor Function from Mutants Lacking the Neurotransmitter Histamine

    PubMed Central

    Dau, An; Friederich, Uwe; Dongre, Sidhartha; Li, Xiaofeng; Bollepalli, Murali K.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Light-evoked responses of the retinal pigment epithelium: changes accompanying photoreceptor loss in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Samuels, Ivy S; Sturgill, Gwen M; Grossman, Gregory H; Rayborn, Mary E; Hollyfield, Joe G; Peachey, Neal S

    2010-07-01

    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 (Prph(Rd2/+)), which was crossed onto a Nyx(nob) background to eliminate the b-wave and most other postreceptoral ERG components. On this background, Prph(Rd2/+) 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 Prph(Rd2/+) mice than predicted by rod photoreceptor activity (Rm(P3)) or anatomical analysis. At 4 mo of age, the RPE in Prph(Rd2/+) 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.

  15. The Influence of Photoreceptor Size and Distribution on Optical Sensitivity in the Eyes of Lanternfishes (Myctophidae)

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Avian photoreceptor patterns represent a disordered hyperuniform solution to a multiscale packing problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiao, Yang; Lau, Timothy; Hatzikirou, Haralampos; Meyer-Hermann, Michael; Corbo, Joseph C.; Torquato, Salvatore

    2014-02-01

    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

  17. Unraveling the genetic complexity of Drosophila stardust during photoreceptor morphogenesis and prevention of light-induced degeneration.

    PubMed

    Berger, Sandra; Bulgakova, Natalia A; Grawe, Ferdi; Johnson, Kevin; Knust, Elisabeth

    2007-08-01

    Drosophila Stardust, a membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK), recruits the transmembrane protein Crumbs and the cytoplasmic proteins DPATJ and DLin-7 into an apically localized protein scaffold. This evolutionarily conserved complex is required for epithelial cell polarity in Drosophila embryos and mammalian cells in culture. In addition, mutations in Drosophila crumbs and DPATJ impair morphogenesis of photoreceptor cells (PRCs) and result in light-dependent retinal degeneration. Here we show that stardust is a genetically complex locus. While all alleles tested perturb epithelial cell polarity in the embryo, only a subset of them affects morphogenesis of PRCs or induces light-dependent retinal degeneration. Alleles retaining particular postembryonic functions still express some Stardust protein in pupal and/or adult eyes. The phenotypic complexity is reflected by the expression of distinct splice variants at different developmental stages. All proteins expressed in the retina contain the PSD95, Discs Large, ZO-1 (PDZ), Src homology 3 (SH3), and guanylate kinase (GUK) domain, but lack a large region in the N terminus encoded by one exon. These results suggest that Stardust-based protein scaffolds are dynamic, which is not only mediated by multiple interaction partners, but in addition by various forms of the Stardust protein itself.

  18. Independent variation of retinal S and M cone photoreceptor topographies: A survey of four families of mammals.

    PubMed

    Ahnelt, Peter Kurt; Schubert, Christian; Kübber-Heiss, Anna; Schiviz, Alexandra; Anger, Elisabeth

    2006-01-01

    In mammals, cone photoreceptor subtypes are thought to establish topographies that reflect the species-relevant properties of the visual environment. Middle- to long-wavelength-sensitive (M) cones are the dominant population and in most species they form an area centralis at the visual axis. Short-wavelength-sensitive (S) cone topographies do not always match this pattern. We here correlate the interrelationship of S and M cone topographies in representatives of several mammalian orders with different visual ecology, including man, cheetah, cat, Eurasian lynx, African lion, wild hog, roe deer, and red deer. Retinas were labeled with opsin antisera and S and M cone distributions as well as S/M cone ratios were mapped. We find that species inhabiting open environments show M cone horizontal streaks (cheetah, pig, deer). Species living in structured habitats (tiger, lynx, red deer) have increased S cone densities along the retinal margin. In species with active vision (cheetah, bear, tiger, man), S cone distributions are more likely to follow the centripetal M cone gradients. Small species show a ventral bias of peak S cone density which either matches the peak of M cone density in a temporal area centralis (diurnal sciurid rodents, tree shrews) or not (cat, manul, roe deer). Thus, in addition to habitat structure, physical size and specific lifestyle patterns (e.g. food acquisition) appear to underlie the independent variations of M and S cone topographies.

  19. Imaging Ca2+ dynamics in cone photoreceptor axon terminals of the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Manoj; Schubert, Timm; Baden, Tom; Wissinger, Bernd; Euler, Thomas; Paquet-Durand, Francois

    2015-01-01

    Retinal cone photoreceptors (cones) serve daylight vision and are the basis of color discrimination. They are subject to degeneration, often leading to blindness in many retinal diseases. Calcium (Ca(2+)), a key second messenger in photoreceptor signaling and metabolism, has been proposed to be indirectly linked with photoreceptor degeneration in various animal models. Systematically studying these aspects of cone physiology and pathophysiology has been hampered by the difficulties of electrically recording from these small cells, in particular in the mouse where the retina is dominated by rod photoreceptors. To circumvent this issue, we established a two-photon Ca(2+) imaging protocol using a transgenic mouse line that expresses the genetically encoded Ca(2+) biosensor TN-XL exclusively in cones and can be crossbred with mouse models for photoreceptor degeneration. The protocol described here involves preparing vertical sections ("slices") of retinas from mice and optical imaging of light stimulus-evoked changes in cone Ca(2+) level. The protocol also allows "in-slice measurement" of absolute Ca(2+) concentrations; as the recordings can be followed by calibration. This protocol enables studies into functional cone properties and is expected to contribute to the understanding of cone Ca(2+) signaling as well as the potential involvement of Ca(2+) in photoreceptor death and retinal degeneration. PMID:25993489

  20. Anatomy of the Hesse photoreceptor cell axonal system in the central nervous system of amphioxus.

    PubMed

    Castro, Antonio; Becerra, Manuela; Manso, María Jesús; Sherwood, Nancy M; Anadón, Ramón

    2006-01-01

    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.

  1. Imaging Ca2+ dynamics in cone photoreceptor axon terminals of the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Manoj; Schubert, Timm; Baden, Tom; Wissinger, Bernd; Euler, Thomas; Paquet-Durand, Francois

    2015-05-06

    Retinal cone photoreceptors (cones) serve daylight vision and are the basis of color discrimination. They are subject to degeneration, often leading to blindness in many retinal diseases. Calcium (Ca(2+)), a key second messenger in photoreceptor signaling and metabolism, has been proposed to be indirectly linked with photoreceptor degeneration in various animal models. Systematically studying these aspects of cone physiology and pathophysiology has been hampered by the difficulties of electrically recording from these small cells, in particular in the mouse where the retina is dominated by rod photoreceptors. To circumvent this issue, we established a two-photon Ca(2+) imaging protocol using a transgenic mouse line that expresses the genetically encoded Ca(2+) biosensor TN-XL exclusively in cones and can be crossbred with mouse models for photoreceptor degeneration. The protocol described here involves preparing vertical sections ("slices") of retinas from mice and optical imaging of light stimulus-evoked changes in cone Ca(2+) level. The protocol also allows "in-slice measurement" of absolute Ca(2+) concentrations; as the recordings can be followed by calibration. This protocol enables studies into functional cone properties and is expected to contribute to the understanding of cone Ca(2+) signaling as well as the potential involvement of Ca(2+) in photoreceptor death and retinal degeneration.

  2. The roles of Syx5 in Golgi morphology and Rhodopsin transport in Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Satoh, Takunori; Nakamura, Yuri

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT SNAREs (SNAP receptors) are the key components of protein complexes that drive membrane fusion. Here, we report the function of a SNARE, Syntaxin 5 (Syx5), in the development of photoreceptors in Drosophila. In wild-type photoreceptors, Syx5 localizes to cis-Golgi, along with cis-Golgi markers: Rab1 and GM130. We observed that Syx5-deficient photoreceptors show notable accumulation of these cis-Golgi markers accompanying drastic accumulation of vesicles between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi cisternae. Extensive analysis of Rh1 (rhodopsin 1) trafficking revealed that in Syx5-deficient photoreceptors, Rh1 is exported from the ER with normal kinetics, retained in the cis-Golgi region along with GM130 for a prolonged period, and then subsequently degraded presumably by endoplasmic reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD) after retrieval to the ER. Unlike our previous report of Rab6-deficient photoreceptors – where two apical transport pathways are specifically inhibited – vesicle transport pathways to all plasma membrane domains are inhibited in Syx5-deficient photoreceptors, implying that Rab6 and Syx5 are acting in different steps of intra-Golgi transport. These results indicate that Syx5 is crucial for membrane protein transport, presumably during ER-derived vesicle fusion to form cis-Golgi cisternae. PMID:27591190

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  4. Imaging Ca2+ Dynamics in Cone Photoreceptor Axon Terminals of the Mouse Retina

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Manoj; Schubert, Timm; Baden, Tom; Wissinger, Bernd; Euler, Thomas; Paquet-Durand, Francois

    2015-01-01

    Retinal cone photoreceptors (cones) serve daylight vision and are the basis of color discrimination. They are subject to degeneration, often leading to blindness in many retinal diseases. Calcium (Ca2+), a key second messenger in photoreceptor signaling and metabolism, has been proposed to be indirectly linked with photoreceptor degeneration in various animal models. Systematically studying these aspects of cone physiology and pathophysiology has been hampered by the difficulties of electrically recording from these small cells, in particular in the mouse where the retina is dominated by rod photoreceptors. To circumvent this issue, we established a two-photon Ca2+ imaging protocol using a transgenic mouse line that expresses the genetically encoded Ca2+ biosensor TN-XL exclusively in cones and can be crossbred with mouse models for photoreceptor degeneration. The protocol described here involves preparing vertical sections (“slices”) of retinas from mice and optical imaging of light stimulus-evoked changes in cone Ca2+ level. The protocol also allows “in-slice measurement” of absolute Ca2+ concentrations; as the recordings can be followed by calibration. This protocol enables studies into functional cone properties and is expected to contribute to the understanding of cone Ca2+ signaling as well as the potential involvement of Ca2+ in photoreceptor death and retinal degeneration. PMID:25993489

  5. Kinesin family 17 (osmotic avoidance abnormal-3) is dispensable for photoreceptor morphology and function.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Tam, Beatrice M; Ying, Guoxing; Wu, Sen; Hauswirth, William W; Frederick, Jeanne M; Moritz, Orson L; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26229057

  6. Structure of mammalian metallothionein.

    PubMed Central

    Kägi, J H; Vasák, M; Lerch, K; Gilg, D E; Hunziker, P; Bernhard, W R; Good, M

    1984-01-01

    All mammalian metallothioneins characterized contain a single polypeptide chain of 61 amino acid residues, among them 20 cysteines providing the ligands for seven metal-binding sites. Native metallothioneins are usually heterogeneous in metal composition, with Zn, Cd, and Cu occurring in varying proportions. However, forms containing only a single metal species, i.e., Zn, Cd, Ni, Co, Hg, Pb, Bi, have now been prepared by in vitro reconstitution from the metal-free apoprotein. By spectroscopic analysis of such derivatives it was established that all cysteine residues participate in metal binding, that each metal ion is bound to four thiolate ligands, and that the symmetry of each complex is close to that of a tetrahedron. To satisfy the requirements of the overall Me7(Cys-)20 stoichiometry, the complexes must be combined to form metal-thiolate cluster structures. Experimental proof for the occurrence of such clusters comes from the demonstration of metal-metal interactions by spectroscopic and magnetic means. Thus, in Co(II)7-metallothionein, the Co(II)-specific ESR signals are effectively suppressed by antiferromagnetic coupling of juxtaposed paramagnetic metal ions. By monitoring changes in ESR signal size occurring on stepwise incorporation of Co(II) into the protein, it is possible to follow the building up of the clusters. This process is biphasic. Up to binding of four equivalents of Co(II), the ESR amplitude increases in proportion to the metal content, indicating generation of magnetically noninteracting high-spin complexes. However, upon addition of the remaining three equivalents of Co(II), these features are progressively suppressed, signaling the formation of clusters. The same mode of cluster formation has also been documented for Cd and Hg. The actual spatial organization of the clusters and the polypeptide chain remains to be established. An attractive possibility is the arrangement of the tetrahedral metal-thiolates in adamantane-like structures

  7. Reconstruction of ionic currents in a molluscan photoreceptor.

    PubMed

    Sakakibara, M; Ikeno, H; Usui, S; Collin, C; Alkon, D L

    1993-07-01

    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

  8. Reconstruction of ionic currents in a molluscan photoreceptor.

    PubMed Central

    Sakakibara, M.; Ikeno, H.; Usui, S.; Collin, C.; Alkon, D. L.

    1993-01-01

    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

  9. Establishment of a cone photoreceptor transplantation platform based on a novel cone-GFP reporter mouse line

    PubMed Central

    Smiley, Sheila; Nickerson, Philip E.; Comanita, Lacrimioara; Daftarian, Narsis; El-Sehemy, Ahmed; Tsai, En Leh Samuel; Matan-Lithwick, Stuart; Yan, Keqin; Thurig, Sherry; Touahri, Yacine; Dixit, Rajiv; Aavani, Tooka; De Repentingy, Yves; Baker, Adam; Tsilfidis, Catherine; Biernaskie, Jeff; Sauvé, Yves; Schuurmans, Carol; Kothary, Rashmi; Mears, Alan J.; Wallace, Valerie A.

    2016-01-01

    We report successful retinal cone enrichment and transplantation using a novel cone-GFP reporter mouse line. Using the putative cone photoreceptor-enriched transcript Coiled-Coil Domain Containing 136 (Ccdc136) GFP-trapped allele, we monitored developmental reporter expression, facilitated the enrichment of cones, and evaluated transplanted GFP-labeled cones in wildtype and retinal degeneration mutant retinas. GFP reporter and endogenous Ccdc136 transcripts exhibit overlapping temporal and spatial expression patterns, both initiated in cone precursors of the embryonic retina and persisting to the adult stage in S and S/M opsin+ cones as well as rod bipolar cells. The trapped allele does not affect cone function or survival in the adult mutant retina. When comparing the integration of GFP+ embryonic cones and postnatal Nrl−/− ‘cods’ into retinas of adult wildtype and blind mice, both cell types integrated and exhibited a degree of morphological maturation that was dependent on donor age. These results demonstrate the amenability of the adult retina to cone transplantation using a novel transgenic resource that can advance therapeutic cone transplantation in models of age-related macular degeneration. PMID:26965927

  10. The specification and wiring of mammalian cutaneous low-threshold mechanoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Olson, William; Dong, Peter; Fleming, Michael; Luo, Wenqin

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian cutaneous low-threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs) are a diverse set of primary somatosensory neurons that function to sense external mechanical force. Generally, LTMRs are composed of Aβ-LTMRs, Aδ-LTMRs, and C-LTMRs, which have distinct molecular, physiological, anatomical, and functional features. The specification and wiring of each type of mammalian cutaneous LTMRs is established during development by the interplay of transcription factors with trophic factor signalling. In this review, we summarize the cohort of extrinsic and intrinsic factors generating the complex mammalian cutaneous LTMR circuits that mediate our tactile sensations and behaviors. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:26992078

  11. Eye development and photoreceptor differentiation in the cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii.

    PubMed

    Koenig, Kristen M; Sun, Peter; Meyer, Eli; Gross, Jeffrey M

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27510978

  12. Ire1 supports normal ER differentiation in developing Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zuyuan; Chikka, Madhusudana Rao; Xia, Hongai; Ready, Donald F.

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. Bicarbonate Modulates Photoreceptor Guanylate Cyclase (ROS-GC) Catalytic Activity.

    PubMed

    Duda, Teresa; Wen, Xiao-Hong; Isayama, Tomoki; Sharma, Rameshwar K; Makino, Clint L

    2015-04-24

    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. PMID:25767116

  14. Orientation behavior of retinal photoreceptors in alternating electric fields.

    PubMed

    Radu, M; Ionescu, M; Irimescu, N; Iliescu, K; Pologea-Moraru, R; Kovacs, E

    2005-11-01

    In alternating electric (AC) fields, particles experience polarizing effects that induce dipoles that orient elongated specimens either parallel or perpendicular to the field lines. In this work we studied the behavior of photoreceptor cells' rod outer segments (ROS) in AC fields of different frequencies. We showed that at low frequencies, ROS orient parallel to the field, whereas at higher frequencies they orient perpendicular to the field lines (in the frequency range from 100 Hz to 10 MHz). We found this behavior to be dependent on the physiological state of cells (due to modifications in their electrical properties). To simulate cell damage, the membrane conductivity was changed by treating the cell with gramicidin A, which resulted in a decrease of cytosol conductivity and, consequently, in a change of the orientation behavior of the treated cells. The change of cell orientation with cytosol conductivity is rather sharp, suggesting the potential of the method for accurate evaluation of the cell physiological status. We modeled the interaction between ROS and AC fields approximating the rod cell by a prolate spheroid with a very long axis. The internal compartment of the ellipsoid was considered to be filled with an inhomogeneous medium consisting of alternating layers of membrane and cytoplasm as media modeling the disks. This theoretical model proved to be in good agreement with the experimental results and enabled the derivation (by fitting with the experimental results) of the membrane and cytosol parameters for normal and damaged cells.

  15. Gap Junctions between Photoreceptor Cells in the Vertebrate Retina

    PubMed Central

    Raviola, Elio; Gilula, Norton B.

    1973-01-01

    In the outer plexiform layer of the retina the synaptic endings of cone cells make specialized junctions with each other and with the endings of rod cells. The ultrastructure of these interreceptor junctions is described in retinas of monkeys, rabbits, and turtles, in thin sections of embedded specimens and by the freeze-fracturing technique. Cone-to-rod junctions are ribbon-like areas of close membrane approximation. On either side of the narrowing of the intercellular space, the junctional membranes contain a row of particles located on the fracture face A (cytoplasmic leaflet), while the complementary element, a row of single depressions, is located on fracture face B. The particle rows are surrounded by a membrane region that is devoid of particulate inclusions and bears an adherent layer of dense cytoplasmic material. Cone-to-cone junctions in some places are identical to cone-to-rod junctions, while in other places they closely resemble typical gap junctions (nexus). Interreceptor junctions, therefore, represent a morphological variant of the gap junction, and probably mediate electrotonic coupling between neighboring photoreceptor cells. Images PMID:4198274

  16. Initial spectroscopic characterization of the ciliate photoreceptor stentorin.

    PubMed

    Dai, R; Yamazaki, T; Yamazaki, I; Song, P S

    1995-08-15

    Stentorin serves as the primary photosensor in the single cell ciliate, Stentor coeruleus, for its photophobic and phototactic response to light of visible wavelengths. We separated two subunits, stentorin-2A and -2B, from the previous stentorin complex ('stentorin-2') of greater than half a million molecular mass isolated from the photoreceptor organelle (pigment granule). Stentorin-2B bears the chromophore covalently linked to an approx. 50 kDa apoprotein, as determined by SDS-urea-PAGE. Partial amino acid sequences were obtained from this 50 kDa subunit. Its visible and CD spectra were found to be similar to those of stentorin-2. The steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectra of stentorin-2B, in H2O and D2O buffers, were also similar to those of stentorin-2. This suggests that the 50 kDa subunit retains the spectral integrity and primary photoreactivity of the stentorin-complex. The picosecond time-resolved fluorescence study revealed that the short picosecond emission component (tau F approximately equal to 8-10 ps) was the predominant emitting species in stentorin-2B and -2, followed by longer decaying species. No deuterium solvent effect was seen in this fast-decaying species. The possible mechanism for the primary photoreaction appears to involve electron transfer coupled with proton transfer. PMID:7640291

  17. A model for photoreceptor-based magnetoreception in birds.

    PubMed

    Ritz, T; Adem, S; Schulten, K

    2000-02-01

    A large variety of animals has the ability to sense the geomagnetic field and utilize it as a source of directional (compass) information. It is not known by which biophysical mechanism this magnetoreception is achieved. We investigate the possibility that magnetoreception involves radical-pair processes that are governed by anisotropic hyperfine coupling between (unpaired) electron and nuclear spins. We will show theoretically that fields of geomagnetic field strength and weaker can produce significantly different reaction yields for different alignments of the radical pairs with the magnetic field. As a model for a magnetic sensory organ we propose a system of radical pairs being 1) orientationally ordered in a molecular substrate and 2) exhibiting changes in the reaction yields that affect the visual transduction pathway. We evaluate three-dimensional visual modulation patterns that can arise from the influence of the geomagnetic field on radical-pair systems. The variations of these patterns with orientation and field strength can furnish the magnetic compass ability of birds with the same characteristics as observed in behavioral experiments. We propose that the recently discovered photoreceptor cryptochrome is part of the magnetoreception system and suggest further studies to prove or disprove this hypothesis.

  18. [Photoreceptors and visual pigments in three species of newts].

    PubMed

    Koremiak, D A; Govardovskiĭ, V I

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24459859

  19. Characterizing the Human Cone Photoreceptor Mosaic via Dynamic Photopigment Densitometry

    PubMed Central

    Sabesan, Ramkumar; Hofer, Heidi; Roorda, Austin

    2015-01-01

    Densitometry is a powerful tool for the biophysical assessment of the retina. Until recently, this was restricted to bulk spatial scales in living humans. The application of adaptive optics (AO) to the conventional fundus camera and scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) has begun to translate these studies to cellular scales. Here, we employ an AOSLO to perform dynamic photopigment densitometry in order to characterize the optical properties and spectral types of the human cone photoreceptor mosaic. Cone-resolved estimates of optical density and photosensitivity agree well with bulk estimates, although show smaller variability than previously reported. Photopigment kinetics of individual cones derived from their selective bleaching allowed efficient mapping of cone sub-types in human retina. Estimated uncertainty in identifying a cone as long vs middle wavelength was less than 5%, and the total time taken per subject ranged from 3–9 hours. Short wavelength cones were delineated in every subject with high fidelity. The lack of a third cone-type was confirmed in a protanopic subject. In one color normal subject, cone assignments showed 91% correspondence against a previously reported cone-typing method from more than a decade ago. Combined with cone-targeted stimulation, this brings us closer in studying the visual percept arising from a specific cone type and its implication for color vision circuitry. PMID:26660894

  20. [Photoreceptors and visual pigments in three species of newts].

    PubMed

    Koremiak, D A; Govardovskiĭ, V I

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. Molecular origin of continuous dark noise in rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Rieke, F; Baylor, D A

    1996-01-01

    Noise in the rod photoreceptors limits the ability of the dark-adapted visual system to detect dim lights. We investigated the molecular mechanism of the continuous component of the electrical dark noise in toad rods. Membrane current was recorded from intact, isolated rods or truncated, internally dialyzed rod outer segments. The continuous noise was separated from noise due to thermal activation of rhodopsin and to transitions in the cGMP-activated channels. Selectively disabling different elements of the phototransduction cascade allowed examination of their contributions to the continuous noise. These experiments indicate that the noise is generated by spontaneous activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE) through a process that does not involve transducin. The addition of recombinant gamma, the inhibitory subunit of PDE, did not suppress the noise, indicating that endogenous gamma does not completely dissociate from the catalytic subunit of PDE during spontaneous activation. Quantitative analysis of the noise provided estimates of the rate constants for spontaneous PDE activation and deactivation and the catalytic activity of a single PDE molecule in situ. PMID:8913594

  2. Glycine receptors are functionally expressed on bullfrog retinal cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Ge, L-H; Lee, S-C; Liu, J; Yang, X-L

    2007-04-25

    Using immunocytochemical and whole cell recording techniques, we examined expression of glycine receptors on bullfrog retinal cone photoreceptors. Immunofluorescence double labeling experiments conducted on retinal sections and isolated cell preparations showed that terminals and inner segments of cones were immunoreactive to both alpha1 and beta subunits of glycine receptors. Moreover, application of glycine induced a sustained inward current from isolated cones, which increased in amplitude in a dose-dependent manner, with an EC50 (concentration of glycine producing half-maximal response) of 67.3+/-4.9 microM, and the current was blocked by the glycine receptor antagonist strychnine, but not 5,7-dichlorokynurenic acid (DCKA) of 200 microM, a blocker of the glycine recognition site at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. The glycine-induced current reversed in polarity at a potential close to the calculated chloride equilibrium potential, and the reversal potential was changed as a function of the extracellular chloride concentration. These results suggest that strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors are functionally expressed in bullfrog cones, which may mediate signal feedback from glycinergic interplexiform cells to cones in the outer retina. PMID:17346892

  3. Rab6 functions in polarized transport in Drosophila photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Satoh, Takunori; Nakamura, Yuri; Satoh, Akiko K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Selective membrane transport pathways are essential for cells in situ to construct and maintain a polarized structure comprising multiple plasma membrane domains, which is essential for their specific cellular functions. Genetic screening in Drosophila photoreceptors harboring multiple plasma membrane domains enables the identification of genes involved in polarized transport pathways. Our genome-wide high-throughput screening identified a Rab6-null mutant with a rare phenotype characterized by a loss of 2 apical transport pathways with an intact basolateral transport. Although the functions of Rab6 in the Golgi apparatus are well known, its function in polarized transport is unexpected. The mutant phenotype and localization of Rab6 strongly indicate that Rab6 regulates transport between the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and recycling endosomes (REs): basolateral cargos are segregated at the TGN before Rab6 functions, but cargos going to multiple apical domains are sorted at REs. Both the medial-Golgi resident protein Metallophosphoesterase (MPPE) and the TGN marker GalT::CFP exhibit diffused co-localized distributions in Rab6-deficient cells, suggesting they are trapped in the retrograde transport vesicles returning to trans-Golgi cisternae. Hence, we propose that Rab6 regulates the fusion of retrograde transport vesicles containing medial, trans-Golgi resident proteins to the Golgi cisternae, which causes Golgi maturation to REs. PMID:27116570

  4. Voltage-sensitive potassium channels in Limulus ventral photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1978-01-01

    The steady-state slope conductance of Limulus ventral photoreceptors increases markedly when the membrane is depolarized from rest. The ionic basis of this rectification has been examined with a voltage- clamp technique. Tail currents that occur when membrane potential is repolarized after having been depolarized have been identified. The tail currents reverse direction at a voltage that becomes more positive when Ko is increased. Rectification is reduced by extracellular 4- aminopyridine and by intracellular injection of tetra-ethyl-ammonium (TEA). These results indicate that the membrane rectification around resting potential is due primarily to voltage-sensitive K+ channels. The increase in gK caused by depolarization is not mediated by a voltage-dependent rise in in Cai++, since intracellular injection of Ca++ causes a decrease rather than an increase in slope conductance. TEA can be used to examine the functional role of the K+ channels because it blocks them without substantially affecting the light- activated Na+ conductance. The effect of TEA on response-intensity curves shows that the K+ channels serve to compress the voltage range of receptor potentials. PMID:621492

  5. A potassium contribution to the response of the barnacle photoreceptor.

    PubMed Central

    Hanani, M; Shaw, C

    1977-01-01

    1. Intracellular recording from photoreceptors in the lateral eye of the barnacle show a brief negative-going 'dip' shortly after the onset of the late receptor potential. This phase can sometimes result in a hyperpolarization relative to the resting membrane potential. 2. The dip is prominent in light-adapted cells and is reduced by dark-adaptation. Low extracellular Ca2+ also reduces it. 3. The amplitude of the dip changes inversely with the K+ concentration in the saline. 4. The amplitude of the dip depends on the membrane potential, with a reversal potential near - 80 mV. 5. K+ blocking agents such as quinine and quinidine reduce or abolish the dip. 6. These observations indicate that the dip is due to a brief increase in K+ conductance which may be dependent on an influx of Ca ions. The fast decay of this phase may be brought about by a rapid uptake of Ca2+ by an intracellular mechanism. PMID:915767

  6. The thermal origin of spontaneous activity in the Limulus photoreceptor

    PubMed Central

    Srebro, Richard; Behbehani, Mahmood

    1972-01-01

    1. Discrete depolarizations of the photoreceptor cell membrane called discrete waves occur spontaneously and in response to illumination in the eye of the horseshoe crab, Limulus. Each light induced discrete wave is caused by the absorption of a single photon. 2. The frequencies of spontaneous and light induced discrete waves were studied at different temperatures from 0 to 25° C using a new method of counting them to avoid errors due to their temporal overlap. 3. The frequency of spontaneous discrete waves followed the Arrhenius relationship with activation energy equal to 48·6 kcal. 4. The frequency of the discrete waves caused by a fixed level of steady illumination was not significantly changed when the temperature of the cell was changed. 5. The relationship of the frequency of spontaneous discrete waves to temperature was compared to a prediction based on the relationship of the quantum relative spectral sensitivity of the Limulus eye to the temperature of the eye. The prediction was in good agreement with observation and suggests that spontaneous discrete waves result from thermally induced cis to trans isomerizations of visual pigment molecules. PMID:5071400

  7. Recoverin, a photoreceptor-specific calcium-binding protein, is expressed by the tumor of a patient with cancer-associated retinopathy.

    PubMed Central

    Polans, A S; Witkowska, D; Haley, T L; Amundson, D; Baizer, L; Adamus, G

    1995-01-01

    Recoverin is a member of the EF-hand family of calcium-binding proteins involved in the transduction of light by vertebrate photoreceptors. Recoverin also was identified as an autoantigen in the degenerative disease of the retina known as cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR), a paraneoplastic syndrome whereby immunological events lead to the degeneration of photoreceptors in some individuals with cancer. In this study, we demonstrate that recoverin is expressed in the lung tumor of a CAR patient but not in similar tumors obtained from individuals without the associated retinopathy. Recoverin was identified intially by Western blot analysis of the CAR patient's biopsy tissue by using anti-recoverin antibodies generated against different regions of the recoverin molecule. In addition, cultured cells from the biopsy tissue expressed recoverin, as demonstrated by reverse transcription-PCR using RNA extracted from the cells. The immunodominant region of recoverin also was determined in this study by a solid-phase immunoassay employing overlapping heptapeptides encompassing the entire recoverin sequence. Two linear stretches of amino acids (residues 64-70, Lys-Ala-Tyr-Ala-Gln-His-Val; and 48-52, Gln-Phe-Gln-Ser-Ile) made up the major determinants. One of the same regions of the recoverin molecule (residues 64-70) also was uniquely immunopathogenic, causing photoreceptor degeneration upon immunization of Lewis rats with the corresponding peptide. These data demonstrate that the neural antigen recoverin more than likely is responsible for the immunological events associated with vision loss in some patients with cancer. These data also establish CAR as one of the few autoimmune-mediated diseases for which the specific self-antigen is known. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 7 PMID:7568096

  8. FOOTER: a web tool for finding mammalian DNA regulatory regions using phylogenetic footprinting.

    PubMed

    Corcoran, David L; Feingold, Eleanor; Benos, Panayiotis V

    2005-07-01

    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 http://biodev.hgen.pitt.edu/Footer/.

  9. Our evolving knowledge of the transcriptional landscape.

    PubMed

    Hume, David A

    2008-01-01

    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.

  10. Proteomic Changes in the Photoreceptor Outer Segment Upon Intense Light Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Hajkova, Dagmar; Imanishi, Yoshikazu; Palamalai, Vikram; Rao, K. C. Sekhar; Yuan, Chao; Sheng, Quanhu; Tang, Haixu; Zeng, Rong; Darrow, Ruth M.; Organisciak, Daniel T.; Miyagi, Masaru

    2010-01-01

    Acute light-induced photoreceptor degeneration has been studied in experimental animals as a model for photoreceptor cell loss in human retinal degenerative diseases. Light absorption by rhodopsin in rod photoreceptor outer segments (OS) induces oxidative stress and initiates apoptotic cell death. However, the molecular events that induce oxidative stress and initiate the apoptotic cascade remain poorly understood. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of light-induced photoreceptor cell death, we studied the proteomic changes in OS upon intense light exposure by using a proteolytic 18O labeling method. Of 171 proteins identified, the relative abundance of 98 proteins in light-exposed and unexposed OS was determined. The quantities of 11 proteins were found to differ by more than 2-fold between light-exposed OS and those remaining in darkness. Among the 11 proteins, 8 were phototransduction proteins and 7 of these were altered such that the efficiency of phototransduction would be reduced or quenched during light exposure. In contrast, the amount of OS rhodopsin kinase was reduced by 2-fold after light exposure, suggesting attenuation in the mechanism of quenching phototransduction. Liquid chromatography multiple reaction monitoring (LC-MRM) was performed to confirm this reduction in the quantity of rhodopsin kinase. As revealed by immunofluorescence microscopy, this reduction of rhodopsin kinase is not a result of protein translocation from the outer to the inner segment. Collectively, our findings suggest that the absolute quantity of rhodopsin kinase in rod photoreceptors is reduced upon light stimulation and that this reduction may be a contributing factor to light-induced photoreceptor cell death. This report provides new insights into the proteomic changes in the OS upon intense light exposure and creates a foundation for understanding the mechanisms of light-induced photoreceptor cell death. PMID:20020778

  11. Photoreceptor perturbation around subretinal drusenoid deposits revealed by adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuhua; Wang, Xiaolin; Rivero, Ernesto Blanco; Clark, Mark E; Witherspoon, Clark Douglas; Spaide, Richard F; Girkin, Christopher A.; Owsley, Cynthia; Curcio, Christine A.

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. Four of the six Drosophila rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptors can mediate circadian entrainment in low light.

    PubMed

    Saint-Charles, Alexandra; Michard-Vanhée, Christine; Alejevski, Faredin; Chélot, Elisabeth; Boivin, Antoine; Rouyer, François

    2016-10-01

    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.

  13. Four of the six Drosophila rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptors can mediate circadian entrainment in low light.

    PubMed

    Saint-Charles, Alexandra; Michard-Vanhée, Christine; Alejevski, Faredin; Chélot, Elisabeth; Boivin, Antoine; Rouyer, François

    2016-10-01

    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. PMID:26972685

  14. Electroporation into Cultured Mammalian Embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. Microprocessor mediates transcriptional termination of long noncoding RNA transcripts hosting microRNAs.

    PubMed

    Dhir, Ashish; Dhir, Somdutta; Proudfoot, Nick J; Jopling, Catherine L

    2015-04-01

    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.

  16. Translation in the mammalian oocyte in space and time.

    PubMed

    Susor, Andrej; Jansova, Denisa; Anger, Martin; Kubelka, Michal

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark of oocyte development in mammals is the dependence on the translation and utilization of stored RNA and proteins rather than the de novo transcription of genes in order to sustain meiotic progression and early embryo development. In the absence of transcription, the completion of meiosis and early embryo development in mammals relies significantly on maternally synthesized RNAs. Post-transcriptional control of gene expression at the translational level has emerged as an important cellular function in normal development. Therefore, the regulation of gene expression in oocytes is controlled almost exclusively at the level of mRNA and protein stabilization and protein synthesis. This current review is focused on the recently emerged findings on RNA distribution related to the temporal and spatial translational control of the meiotic progression of the mammalian oocyte.

  17. Regulation of gene transcription by Polycomb proteins

    PubMed Central

    Aranda, Sergi; Mas, Gloria; Di Croce, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    The Polycomb group (PcG) of proteins defines a subset of factors that physically associate and function to maintain the positional identity of cells from the embryo to adult stages. PcG has long been considered a paradigmatic model for epigenetic maintenance of gene transcription programs. Despite intensive research efforts to unveil the molecular mechanisms of action of PcG proteins, several fundamental questions remain unresolved: How many different PcG complexes exist in mammalian cells? How are PcG complexes targeted to specific loci? How does PcG regulate transcription? In this review, we discuss the diversity of PcG complexes in mammalian cells, examine newly identified modes of recruitment to chromatin, and highlight the latest insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of PcGs in transcription regulation and three-dimensional chromatin conformation. PMID:26665172

  18. A high-throughput mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Daniel J; Henry, Kenneth; Twaroski, Michelle L

    2004-01-01

    In eukaryotic organisms gene expression is regulated through a variety of upstream transacting factors (transcription factors) whose primary function appears to be the targeting of coregulatory protein complexes, which interact with basal transcription machinery to define the relative rate of transcription for a specific gene. Understanding the regulatory forces mediating transcription factor activity has been the focus of both academic and industrial research efforts over the past 15 yr, and in this time frame a variety of methodologies have been developed for reconstituting and assaying transcription factor activities in mammalian cell environments. Presented here is a high-throughput version of one of these methodologies that can be readily adapted to the screening of a variety of transcription factors. This technology utilizes co-transfection of mammalian expression and luciferase reporter plasmids to reconstitute transcription events in a mammalian host cell. Included is a detailed protocol for the use of a 96-well plate format, along with a variety of cost-effective measures that can be implemented to facilitate the use of the technology in the average low budget academic laboratory.

  19. Regulation of cystathionine γ-lyase in mammalian cells by hypoxia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Maoxian; Guo, Zhanyun; Wang, Shilong

    2014-02-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous signaling molecule in mammalian cells, shows a variety of biological effects. Cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) is a key enzyme in the trans-sulfuration pathway responsible for the production of endogenous H2S. Whether CSE expression is regulated by hypoxia in mammalian cells remains largely unknown. This study revealed that these regulatory effects changed with time at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Hypoxia regulated CSE expression in mammalian cells in a complex manner; CSE transcription went through a down-regulation and recovery period, while CSE mRNA and protein levels increased during hypoxia. Taken together, the results suggest that CSE can respond to hypoxia through transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, and CSE expression can be up-regulated by hypoxia to a certain extent. Therefore, the up-regulation of CSE expression during hypoxia may be useful for increasing the production and concentration of H2S in mammalian cells and indirectly protecting cells from hypoxia.

  20. The Na(+)/Ca(2+), K(+) exchanger 2 modulates mammalian cone phototransduction.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Keisuke; Vinberg, Frans; Wang, Tian; Chen, Jeannie; Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2016-01-01

    Calcium ions (Ca(2+)) modulate the phototransduction cascade of vertebrate cone photoreceptors to tune gain, inactivation, and light adaptation. In darkness, the continuous current entering the cone outer segment through cGMP-gated (CNG) channels is carried in part by Ca(2+), which is then extruded back to the extracellular space. The mechanism of Ca(2+) extrusion from mammalian cones is not understood. The dominant view has been that the cone-specific isoform of the Na(+)/Ca(2+), K(+) exchanger, NCKX2, is responsible for removing Ca(2+) from their outer segments. However, indirect evaluation of cone function in NCKX2-deficient (Nckx2(-/-)) mice by electroretinogram recordings revealed normal photopic b-wave responses. This unexpected result suggested that NCKX2 may not be involved in the Ca(2+) homeostasis of mammalian cones. To address this controversy, we examined the expression of NCKX2 in mouse cones and performed transretinal recordings from Nckx2(-/-) mice to determine the effect of NCKX2 deletion on cone function directly. We found that Nckx2(-/-) cones exhibit compromised phototransduction inactivation, slower response recovery and delayed background adaptation. We conclude that NCKX2 is required for the maintenance of efficient Ca(2+) extrusion from mouse cones. However, surprisingly, Nckx2(-/-) cones adapted normally in steady background light, indicating the existence of additional Ca(2+)-extruding mechanisms in mammalian cones. PMID:27580676

  1. The Na+/Ca2+, K+ exchanger 2 modulates mammalian cone phototransduction

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Keisuke; Vinberg, Frans; Wang, Tian; Chen, Jeannie; Kefalov, Vladimir J.

    2016-01-01

    Calcium ions (Ca2+) modulate the phototransduction cascade of vertebrate cone photoreceptors to tune gain, inactivation, and light adaptation. In darkness, the continuous current entering the cone outer segment through cGMP-gated (CNG) channels is carried in part by Ca2+, which is then extruded back to the extracellular space. The mechanism of Ca2+ extrusion from mammalian cones is not understood. The dominant view has been that the cone-specific isoform of the Na+/Ca2+, K+ exchanger, NCKX2, is responsible for removing Ca2+ from their outer segments. However, indirect evaluation of cone function in NCKX2-deficient (Nckx2−/−) mice by electroretinogram recordings revealed normal photopic b-wave responses. This unexpected result suggested that NCKX2 may not be involved in the Ca2+ homeostasis of mammalian cones. To address this controversy, we examined the expression of NCKX2 in mouse cones and performed transretinal recordings from Nckx2−/− mice to determine the effect of NCKX2 deletion on cone function directly. We found that Nckx2−/− cones exhibit compromised phototransduction inactivation, slower response recovery and delayed background adaptation. We conclude that NCKX2 is required for the maintenance of efficient Ca2+ extrusion from mouse cones. However, surprisingly, Nckx2−/− cones adapted normally in steady background light, indicating the existence of additional Ca2+-extruding mechanisms in mammalian cones. PMID:27580676

  2. Dopamine receptor loss of function is not protective of rd1 rod photoreceptors in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Hakenewerth, Angela M.; Gardner, Rachel R.; Martak, Joshua G.; Maggio, Virginia M.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose The retinal degeneration (rd1) mouse undergoes a rapid loss of rod photoreceptors due to a defect in the cGMP-phosphodiesterase gene. We have previously demonstrated that dopamine (DA) antagonists or DA depletion blocks photoreceptor degeneration and that DA is necessary for photoreceptor degeneration in the rd1 mouse retinal organ culture model. Antagonists for either D1- or D2-family DA receptors are protective in rd1 organ cultures. Methods To determine whether photoreceptor survival can be increased in vivo in the rd1 mouse, we used both a pharmacological and a genetic approach. The pharmacological approach involved three techniques to administer 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in an attempt to deplete DA in postnatal mouse retina in vivo. As a genetic alternative, DA receptor signaling was inactivated by crossbreeding rd1 mice to D1, D2, D4, and D5 knockout mice to create four lines of double mutants. Results Pharmacological DA depletion was incomplete due to the limiting size of the postnatal mouse eye and the lethality of systemic inhibition of DA signaling. In all four lines of double mutants, no increase in rod photoreceptor survival was observed. To determine whether protection of rd1 photoreceptors by inhibition of dopaminergic signaling is a result of conditions specific to the organ culture environment, we grew in vitro retinas from the four lines of double mutant mice for four weeks. Again, no increase in photoreceptor survival was seen. Finally, three triple mutants were generated that lacked two DA receptors (D1/D2; D1/D4; and D2/D4) on a rd1 background. In all three cases, rod photoreceptors were not protected from degeneration. Conclusions The dramatic protection of rd1 rod photoreceptors by inhibition of DA signaling in organ culture has not been reproduced in vivo by either a pharmacological approach, due to technical limitations, or by genetic manipulations. The possible role of compensatory effects during retinal development in DA receptor

  3. Estimating photoreceptor excitations from spectral outputs of a personal light exposure measurement device.

    PubMed

    Cao, Dingcai; Barrionuevo, Pablo A

    2015-03-01

    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

  4. Molecular mechanisms of light-induced photoreceptor apoptosis and neuroprotection for retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wenzel, Andreas; Grimm, Christian; Samardzija, Marijana; Remé, Charlotte E

    2005-03-01

    Human retinal dystrophies and degenerations and light-induced retinal degenerations in animal models are sharing an important feature: visual cell death by apoptosis. Studying apoptosis may thus provide an important handle to understand mechanisms of cell death and to develop potential rescue strategies for blinding retinal diseases. Apoptosis is the regulated elimination of individual cells and constitutes an almost universal principle in developmental histogenesis and organogenesis and in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis in mature organs. Here we present an overview on molecular and cellular mechanisms of apoptosis and summarize recent developments. The classical concept of apoptosis being initiated and executed by endopeptidases that cleave proteins at aspartate residues (Caspases) can no longer be held in its strict sense. There is an increasing number of caspase-independent pathways, involving apoptosis inducing factor, endonuclease G, poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1, proteasomes, lysosomes and others. Similarly, a considerable number and diversity of pro-apoptotic stimuli is being explored. We focus on apoptosis pathways in our model: light-damage induced by short exposures to bright white light and highlight those essential conditions known so far in the apoptotic death cascade. In our model, the visual pigment rhodopsin is the essential mediator of the initial death signal. The rate of rhodopsin regeneration defines damage threshold in different strains of mice. This rate depends on the level of the pigment epithelial protein RPE65, which in turn depends on the amino acid (leucine or methionine) encoded at position 450. Activation of the pro-apoptotic transcription factor AP-1 constitutes an essential death signal. Inhibition of rhodopsin regeneration as well as suppression of AP-1 confers complete protection in our system. Furthermore, we describe observations in other light-damage systems as well as characteristics of animal models for RP with

  5. The relationship between retinal receptor orientation and photoreceptor optics.

    PubMed

    Enoch, J M

    1978-01-01

    At this time, based on still-restricted studies, it would seem that a fundamental property of vertebrate receptor optics is anterior pointing by receptors. The anterior pointing locus is most probably a point approximating the center of the exit pupil of the eye. There is evidence for the recovery of orientation when that orientation is disturbed. One or more mechanisms mediate that orientation, and we must seek to define and understand their functional properties. We must better define how disturbance in orientation influences vision. Briefly stated, substantially disturbed receptors have reduced light-guiding capability (and hence reduced sensitivity), reduced contrast sensitivity (caused by increased cross talk and so forth), and reduced resolution capability. These combine to creat a detectable (but not necessarily common) form of amblyopia [30]. In a sense, these cases of poor acuity would seem to represent a failure of the photoreceptor alignment system. An interesting set of theories has evolved in relation to receptor alignment in the neonate. There is considerable mechanical hydraulic stress on the newborn ocular vascular system at the time of delivery. Retinal hemorrhages and transient edema of the optic papilla following intracranial pressure rise and rapid decompression later during delivery of the head commonly occur. These can readily causd disturbances in receptor alignment. In some instances the macula is involved. While hemorrhages are apparently rapidly absorbed, if foveal receptors remain misaligned during the critical period (not yet really defined) for the development of vision, central fine-resolution capability may fail to develop. That is, subsequent elaboration of the visual system is dependent upon the quality of the optically transmitted and neurally transformed retinal image during the critical period for visual development. If the capability for realignment exists and occurs after part or all of the critical period, then signs of a

  6. Tachykinin-related peptide and GABA-mediated presynaptic inhibition of crayfish photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Glantz, R M; Miller, C S; Nässel, D R

    2000-03-01

    Off-axis illumination elicits lateral inhibition at the primary visual synapse in crustacea and insects. The evidence suggests that the inhibitory action is presynaptic (i.e., on the photoreceptor terminal) and that the amacrine neurons of the lamina ganglionaris (the first synaptic layer) may be part of the inhibitory pathway. The neurotransmitters and the synaptic mechanisms are unknown. We show by immunocytochemistry that GABA and a tachykinin-related peptide (TRP) are localized in the amacrine neurons of the crayfish lamina ganglionaris. Indirect evidence suggests that GABA and TRP may be colocalized in these neurons. The extensive processes of the amacrine neurons occupy lamina layers containing the terminals of photoreceptors. Application of exogenous GABA and TRP to photoreceptor terminals produces a short-latency, dose-dependent hyperpolarization with a decay time constant on the order of a few seconds. TRP also exhibits actions that evolve over several minutes. These include a reduction of the receptor potential (and the light-elicited current) by approximately 40% and potentiation of the action of GABA by approximately 100%. The mechanisms of TRP action in crayfish are not known, but a plausible pathway is a TRP-dependent elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) that reduces photoreceptor sensitivity in arthropods. Although the mechanisms are not established, the results indicate that in crayfish photoreceptors TRP displays actions on two time scales and can exert profound modulatory control over cell function.

  7. Photoreceptor fine structure in light- and dark-adaptation in the butterfly fish (Pantodon buchholzi).

    PubMed

    Braekevelt, C R

    1990-01-01

    The morphology of the retinal photoreceptors of the butterfly fish Pantodon buchholzi has been studied by electron microscopy in both light- and dark-adaptation. The photoreceptors in this species are readily divisible into rods and cones based on morphological criteria. No double or twin cones are present. The rod photoreceptors show marked retinomotor movements. In light-adaptation they are extremely elongate cells while in the dark-adapted state they are much shorter. Cones seem to respond but minimally to the circadian cycle. Rod outer segments are composed of membranous discs of uniform diameter displaying several incisures. The inner segment has a small distal ellipsoid and a thin myoid region which is lost in dark-adaptation. The nuclei of rods are condensed and always located vitread to the external limiting membrane. The rod synaptic spherule displays 2 or 3 invaginated sites. The single cones display a tapering outer segment. The wider inner segment contains a large electron-dense ellipsoid with small glycogen deposits located peripherally. The cone nuclei are large and vesicular and usually located sclerad to the external limiting membrane. The synaptic pedicle of cones is larger and more electron-lucent and contains more synaptic sites than do the rods. No mosaic pattern of arrangement of the photoreceptors is apparent. Except for the obvious lengthening or shortening of the rods, the morphology of the photoreceptors changes but little during the circadian cycle.

  8. Dosage Thresholds for AAV2 and AAV8 Photoreceptor Gene Therapy in Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Vandenberghe, Luk H.; Bell, Peter; Maguire, Albert M.; Cearley, Cassia N.; Xiao, Ru; Calcedo, Roberto; Wang, Lili; Castle, Michael J.; Maguire, Alexandra C.; Grant, Rebecca; Wolfe, John H.; Wilson, James M.; Bennett, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy is emerging as a therapeutic modality for treating disorders of the retina. Photoreceptor cells are the primary cell type affected in many inherited diseases of retinal degeneration. Successfully treating these diseases with gene therapy requires the identification of efficient and safe targeting vectors that can transduce photoreceptor cells. One serotype of adeno-associated virus, AAV2, has been used successfully in clinical trials to treat a form of congenital blindness that requires transduction of the supporting cells of the retina in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Here, we determined the dose required to achieve targeting of AAV2 and AAV8 vectors to photoreceptors in nonhuman primates. Transgene expression in animals injected subretinally with various doses of AAV2 or AAV8 vectors carrying a green fluorescent protein transgene was correlated with surgical, clinical, and immunological observations. Both AAV2 and AAV8 demonstrated efficient transduction of RPE, but AAV8 was markedly better at targeting photoreceptor cells. These preclinical results provide guidance for optimal vector and dose selection in future human gene therapy trials to treat retinal diseases caused by loss of photoreceptors. PMID:21697530

  9. Hypoxia-induced metabolic stress in retinal pigment epithelial cells is sufficient to induce photoreceptor degeneration

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. A rhodopsin is the functional photoreceptor for phototaxis in the unicellular eukaryote Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed

    Foster, K W; Saranak, J; Patel, N; Zarilli, G; Okabe, M; Kline, T; Nakanishi, K

    Rhodopsin is a visual pigment ubiquitous in multicellular animals. If visual pigments have a common ancient origin, as is believed, then some unicellular organisms might also use a rhodopsin photoreceptor. We show here that the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas does indeed use a rhodopsin photoreceptor. We incorporated analogues of its retinal chromophore into a blind mutant; normal photobehaviour was restored and the colour of maximum sensitivity was shifted in a manner consistent with the nature of the retinal analogue added. The data suggest that 11-cis-retinal is the natural chromophore and that the protein environment of this retinal is similar to that found in bovine rhodopsin, suggesting homology with the rhodopsins of higher organisms. This is the first demonstration of a rhodopsin photoreceptor in an alga or eukaryotic protist and also the first report of behavioural spectral shifts caused by exogenous synthetic retinals in a eukaryote. A survey of the morphology and action spectra of other protists suggests that rhodopsins may be common photoreceptors of chlorophycean, prasinophycean and dinophycean algae. Thus, Chlamydomonas represents a useful new model for studying photoreceptor cells.

  11. TrkB/BDNF Signaling Regulates Photoreceptor Progenitor Cell Fate Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Brian A.; Sparrow, Janet; Cai, Bolin; Monroe, Julie; Mikawa, Takashi; Hempstead, Barbara L.

    2008-01-01

    Neurotrophins, via activation of Trk receptor tyrosine kinases, serve as mitogens, survival factors and regulators of arborization during retinal development. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and TrkB regulate neuronal arborization and survival in late retinal development. However, TrkB is expressed during early retinal developmet where its functions are unclear. To assess TrkB/BDNF actions in the early chick retina, replication-incompetent retroviruses were utilized to over-express a dominant negative truncated form of TrkB (trunc TrkB), or BDNF and effects were assessed at E15. Clones expressing trunc TrkB were smaller than controls, and proliferation and apoptosis assays suggest that decreased clone size correlated with increased cell death when BDNF/TrkB signaling was impaired. Analysis of clonal composition revealed that trunc TrkB over-expression decreased photoreceptor numbers (41%) and increased cell numbers in the middle third of the inner nuclear layer (INL) (23%). Conversely, BDNF over-expression increased photoreceptor numbers (25%) and decreased INL numbers (17%). Photoreceptors over-expressing trunc TrkB demonstrated no increase in apoptosis nor abnormalities in lamination suggesting that TrkB activation is not required for photoreceptor cell survival or migration. These studies suggest that TrkB signaling regulates commitment to and/or differentiation of photoreceptor cells from retinal progenitor cells, identifying a novel role for TrkB/BDNF in regulating cell fate decisions. PMID:17005175

  12. Reversal of end-stage retinal degeneration and restoration of visual function by photoreceptor transplantation.

    PubMed

    Singh, Mandeep S; Charbel Issa, Peter; Butler, Rachel; Martin, Chris; Lipinski, Daniel M; Sekaran, Sumathi; Barnard, Alun R; MacLaren, Robert E

    2013-01-15

    One strategy to restore vision in retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration is cell replacement. Typically, patients lose vision when the outer retinal photoreceptor layer is lost, and so the therapeutic goal would be to restore vision at this stage of disease. It is not currently known if a degenerate retina lacking the outer nuclear layer of photoreceptor cells would allow the survival, maturation, and reconnection of replacement photoreceptors, as prior studies used hosts with a preexisting outer nuclear layer at the time of treatment. Here, using a murine model of severe human retinitis pigmentosa at a stage when no host rod cells remain, we show that transplanted rod precursors can reform an anatomically distinct and appropriately polarized outer nuclear layer. A trilaminar organization was returned to rd1 hosts that had only two retinal layers before treatment. The newly introduced precursors were able to resume their developmental program in the degenerate host niche to become mature rods with light-sensitive outer segments, reconnecting with host neurons downstream. Visual function, assayed in the same animals before and after transplantation, was restored in animals with zero rod function at baseline. These observations suggest that a cell therapy approach may reconstitute a light-sensitive cell layer de novo and hence repair a structurally damaged visual circuit. Rather than placing discrete photoreceptors among preexisting host outer retinal cells, total photoreceptor layer reconstruction may provide a clinically relevant model to investigate cell-based strategies for retinal repair. PMID:23288902

  13. Use of Hydrogen as a Novel Therapeutic Strategy Against Photoreceptor Degeneration in Retinitis Pigmentosa Patients

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Ye; Geng, Lei; Wang, Liqiang; Xu, Weiwei; Qin, Limin; Peng, Guanghua; Huang, Yi Fei; Yang, Ji xue

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26952558

  14. The carcinine transporter CarT is required in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons to sustain histamine recycling

    PubMed Central

    Stenesen, Drew; Moehlman, Andrew T; Krämer, Helmut

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic transmission from Drosophila photoreceptors to lamina neurons requires recycling of histamine neurotransmitter. Synaptic histamine is cleared by uptake into glia and conversion into carcinine, which functions as transport metabolite. How carcinine is transported from glia to photoreceptor neurons remains unclear. In a targeted RNAi screen for genes involved in this pathway, we identified carT, which encodes a member of the SLC22A transporter family. CarT expression in photoreceptors is necessary and sufficient for fly vision and behavior. Carcinine accumulates in the lamina of carT flies. Wild-type levels are restored by photoreceptor-specific expression of CarT, and endogenous tagging suggests CarT localizes to synaptic endings. Heterologous expression of CarT in S2 cells is sufficient for carcinine uptake, demonstrating the ability of CarT to utilize carcinine as a transport substrate. Together, our results demonstrate that CarT transports the histamine metabolite carcinine into photoreceptor neurons, thus contributing an essential step to the histamine–carcinine cycle. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10972.001 PMID:26653853

  15. Have We Achieved a Unified Model of Photoreceptor Cell Fate Specification in Vertebrates?

    PubMed Central

    Raymond, Pamela A.

    2008-01-01

    How does a retinal progenitor choose to differentiate as a rod or a cone and, if it becomes a cone, which one of their different subtypes? The mechanisms of photoreceptor cell fate specification and differentiation have been extensively investigated in a variety of animal model systems, including human and non-human primates, rodents (mice and rats), chickens, frogs (Xenopus) and fish. It appears timely to discuss whether it is possible to synthesize the resulting information into a unified model applicable to all vertebrates. In this review we focus on several widely used experimental animal model systems to highlight differences in photoreceptor properties among species, the diversity of developmental strategies and solutions that vertebrates use to create retinas with photoreceptors that are adapted to the visual needs of their species, and the limitations of the methods currently available for the investigation of photoreceptor cell fate specification. Based on these considerations, we conclude that we are not yet ready to construct a unified model of photoreceptor cell fate specification in the developing vertebrate retina. PMID:17466954

  16. Color image detection by biomolecular photoreceptor using bacteriorhodopsin-based complex LB films.

    PubMed

    Choi, H G; Jung, W C; Min, J; Lee, W H; Choi, J W

    2001-12-01

    A biomolecular photoreceptor consisting of bacteriorhodopsin (bR)-based complex Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films was developed for color image detection. By mimicking the functions of the pigments in retina of human visual system, biomolecules with photoelectric conversion function were chosen and used as constituents for an artificial photoreceptor. bR and flavin were deposited onto the patterned (9-pixelized) ITO glass by LB technique. A 9-pixel biomolecular photoreceptor was fabricated with a sandwich-type structure of ITO/LB films/electrolyte gel/Pt. Since each functional molecule shows its own response characteristic according to the light illumination in the visible region, the simplified knowledge-based algorithm for interpretation of the incident light wavelength (color) was proposed based on the basic rule describing the relationship between the photoelectric response characteristics and the incident light wavelength. When simple color images were projected onto the photoreceptor, the primary colors in visible light region, red, green, and blue were clearly recognized, and the projected color images were fairly well reproduced onto the color monitor by the proposed photoreceptor with the knowledge-based algorithm. It is concluded that the proposed device has a capability of recognizing the color images and can be used as a model system to simulate the information processing function of the human visual system.

  17. Central projections of photoreceptor axons originating from ectopic eyes in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Clements, Jason; Lu, Zhiyuan; Gehring, Walter J.; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.; Callaerts, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Ectopic expression of the retinal determination gene eyeless (ey) induces the formation of supernumerary eyes on antennae, legs, wings, and halteres. These ectopic eyes form ommatidia that contain photoreceptors and accessory cells and respond to light. Here, we demonstrate that ectopic eyes on antennae and legs extend axonal projections to the central nervous system. Furthermore, electroretinograms and morphological evidence indicate that the photoreceptor axons of at least the antennal ectopic eyes can form completely constituted ectopic synapses with foreign postsynaptic elements and suggest that transmission at these sites may be functional. However, the ectopic axons do not connect to their correct optic lobe targets and do not project deeply into the neuropile, but rather form synapses at superficial positions in the neuropils. By means of confocal and electron microscopy we show that these ectopic synapses resemble normal synapses, albeit with some distinct morphological differences. Our data strongly suggest that the developmental programs controlling photoreceptor synaptogenesis and visual map formation depend to a considerable extent on presynaptic and thus photoreceptor-autonomous steps. Our data also suggest that photoreceptor axon projections and the establishment of the highly stereotypical neural circuitry in the optic lobe, the normal target neuropil, may depend on target-specific cues that appear to be absent from the antennal lobe and thoracic ganglion. PMID:18577588

  18. Reversal of end-stage retinal degeneration and restoration of visual function by photoreceptor transplantation.

    PubMed

    Singh, Mandeep S; Charbel Issa, Peter; Butler, Rachel; Martin, Chris; Lipinski, Daniel M; Sekaran, Sumathi; Barnard, Alun R; MacLaren, Robert E

    2013-01-15

    One strategy to restore vision in retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration is cell replacement. Typically, patients lose vision when the outer retinal photoreceptor layer is lost, and so the therapeutic goal would be to restore vision at this stage of disease. It is not currently known if a degenerate retina lacking the outer nuclear layer of photoreceptor cells would allow the survival, maturation, and reconnection of replacement photoreceptors, as prior studies used hosts with a preexisting outer nuclear layer at the time of treatment. Here, using a murine model of severe human retinitis pigmentosa at a stage when no host rod cells remain, we show that transplanted rod precursors can reform an anatomically distinct and appropriately polarized outer nuclear layer. A trilaminar organization was returned to rd1 hosts that had only two retinal layers before treatment. The newly introduced precursors were able to resume their developmental program in the degenerate host niche to become mature rods with light-sensitive outer segments, reconnecting with host neurons downstream. Visual function, assayed in the same animals before and after transplantation, was restored in animals with zero rod function at baseline. These observations suggest that a cell therapy approach may reconstitute a light-sensitive cell layer de novo and hence repair a structurally damaged visual circuit. Rather than placing discrete photoreceptors among preexisting host outer retinal cells, total photoreceptor layer reconstruction may provide a clinically relevant model to investigate cell-based strategies for retinal repair.

  19. Donepezil delays photoreceptor apoptosis induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea in mice

    PubMed Central

    WU, LONGYAN; XU, MAN; LIU, SHENGTAO; CHEN, GUO; ZHANG, FENGJUN; ZHAO, YAO; YI, JINGLIN

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited retinal degeneration diseases characterized by photoreceptor cell death that causes visual disturbances and eventual blindness. Intraperitoneal injection of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) causes photoreceptor loss, and is used to create an animal model for investigating the mechanisms that cause retinal degeneration diseases. Donepezil is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that has a protective effect on retinal ganglion cells in vitro and in vivo, and it is understood that donepezil increases the expression of a heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), which serves to protect neurons. Hsp70 functions as a chaperone molecule that protects cells from protein aggregation and assists in the refolding of denatured proteins. In the present study, the effects of donepezil on photoreceptor survival in mice was investigated. It was observed that donepezil upregulates the expression of Hsp70, to increase resistance to MNU-induced photoreceptor cell apoptosis by using its anti-apoptotic properties. In addition, the present study observed that Hsp70 promotes photoreceptor cell survival by upregulating the expression levels of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2). In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that donepezil has the potential to be used as a treatment for retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:27284332

  20. Functional and topological diversity of LOV domain photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Glantz, Spencer T; Carpenter, Eric J; Melkonian, Michael; Gardner, Kevin H; Boyden, Edward S; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Chow, Brian Y

    2016-03-15

    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.

  1. Functional and topological diversity of LOV domain photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Glantz, Spencer T.; Carpenter, Eric J.; Melkonian, Michael; Boyden, Edward S.; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Chow, Brian Y.

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Photoreceptor effects on plant biomass, resource allocation, and metabolic state.

    PubMed

    Yang, Deyue; Seaton, Daniel D; Krahmer, Johanna; Halliday, Karen J

    2016-07-01

    Plants sense the light environment through an ensemble of photoreceptors. Members of the phytochrome class of light receptors are known to play a critical role in seedling establishment, and are among the best-characterized plant signaling components. Phytochromes also regulate adult plant growth; however, our knowledge of this process is rather fragmented. This study demonstrates that phytochrome controls carbon allocation and biomass production in the developing plant. Phytochrome mutants have a reduced CO2 uptake, yet overaccumulate daytime sucrose and starch. This finding suggests that even though carbon fixation is impeded, the available carbon resources are not fully used for growth during the day. Supporting this notion, phytochrome depletion alters the proportion of day:night growth. In addition, phytochrome loss leads to sizeable reductions in overall growth, dry weight, total protein levels, and the expression of CELLULOSE SYNTHASE-LIKE genes. Because cellulose and protein are major constituents of plant biomass, our data point to an important role for phytochrome in regulating these fundamental components of plant productivity. We show that phytochrome loss impacts core metabolism, leading to elevated levels of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, amino acids, sugar derivatives, and notably the stress metabolites proline and raffinose. Furthermore, the already growth-retarded phytochrome mutants are less responsive to growth-inhibiting abiotic stresses and have elevated expression of stress marker genes. This coordinated response appears to divert resources from energetically costly biomass production to improve resilience. In nature, this strategy may be activated in phytochrome-disabling, vegetation-dense habitats to enhance survival in potentially resource-limiting conditions. PMID:27330114

  3. Functional and topological diversity of LOV domain photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Glantz, Spencer T; Carpenter, Eric J; Melkonian, Michael; Gardner, Kevin H; Boyden, Edward S; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Chow, Brian Y

    2016-03-15

    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

  4. Rod Photoreceptor Differentiation in Fetal and Infant Human Retina

    PubMed Central

    Hendrickson, Anita; Bumsted-O'Brien, Keely; Natoli, Riccardo; Ramamurthy, Visvanathan; Possin, Daniel; Provis, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Human rods and cones are arranged in a precise spatial mosaic that is critical for optimal functioning of the visual system. However, the molecular processes that underpin specification of cell types within the mosaic are poorly understood. The progressive differentiation of human rods was tracked from fetal week (Fwk) 9 to postnatal (P) 8 months using immunocytochemical markers of key molecules that represent rod progression from post-mitotic precursors to outer segment-bearing functional photoreceptors. We find two phases associated with rod differentiation. The early phase begins in rods on the foveal edge at Fwk 10.5 when rods are first identified, and the rod-specific proteins NRL and NR2e3 are detected. By Fwk 11-12, these rods label for interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein, recoverin, and aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein-like 1. The second phase occurs over the next month with the appearance of rod opsin at Fwk 15, closely followed by the outer segment proteins rod GTP-gated sodium channel and peripherin. TULP is expressed relatively late at Fwk 18-20 in rods. Each phase proceeds across the retina in a central-peripheral order, such that rods in far peripheral retina are only entering the early phase at the same time that cells in central retina are entering their late phase. During the second half of gestation rods undergo an intracellular reorganization of these proteins, and cellular and OS elongation which continues into infancy. The progression of rod development shown here provides insight into the possible mechanisms underlying human retinal visual dysfunction when there are mutations affecting key rod-related molecules. PMID:18778702

  5. Assessing Photoreceptor Structure in Retinitis Pigmentosa and Usher Syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. Ablation of Chop Transiently Enhances Photoreceptor Survival but Does Not Prevent Retinal Degeneration in Transgenic Mice Expressing Human P23H Rhodopsin

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Wei-Chieh; Joseph, Victory; Matthes, Michael T.; Lewin, Alfred S.; Gorbatyuk, Marina S.; Ahern, Kelly; LaVail, Matthew M.

    2016-01-01

    RHO (Rod opsin) encodes a G-protein coupled receptor that is expressed exclusively by rod photoreceptors of the retina and forms the essential photopigment, rhodopsin, when coupled with 11-cis-retinal. Many rod opsin disease mutations cause rod opsin protein misfolding and trigger endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, leading to activation of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) signal transduction network. Chop is a transcriptional activator that is induced by ER stress and promotes cell death in response to chronic ER stress. Here, we examined the role of Chop in transgenic mice expressing human P23H rhodopsin (hP23H Rho Tg) that undergo retinal degeneration. With the exception of one time point, we found no significant induction of Chop in these animals and no significant change in retinal degeneration by histology and electrophysiology when hP23H Rho Tg animals were bred into a Chop−/− background. Our results indicate that Chop does not play a significant causal role during retinal degeneration in these animals. We suggest that other modules of the ER stress-induced UPR signaling network may be involved photoreceptor disease induced by P23H rhodopsin. PMID:26427410

  7. Identification of molecular compartments and genetic circuitry in the developing mammalian kidney

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jing; Valerius, M. Todd; Duah, Mary; Staser, Karl; Hansard, Jennifer K.; Guo, Jin-jin; McMahon, Jill; Vaughan, Joe; Faria, Diane; Georgas, Kylie; Rumballe, Bree; Ren, Qun; Krautzberger, A. Michaela; Junker, Jan P.; Thiagarajan, Rathi D.; Machanick, Philip; Gray, Paul A.; van Oudenaarden, Alexander; Rowitch, David H.; Stiles, Charles D.; Ma, Qiufu; Grimmond, Sean M.; Bailey, Timothy L.; Little, Melissa H.; McMahon, Andrew P.

    2012-01-01

    Lengthy developmental programs generate cell diversity within an organotypic framework, enabling the later physiological actions of each organ system. Cell identity, cell diversity and cell function are determined by cell type-specific transcriptional programs; consequently, transcriptional regulatory factors are useful markers of emerging cellular complexity, and their expression patterns provide insights into the regulatory mechanisms at play. We performed a comprehensive genome-scale in situ expression screen of 921 transcriptional regulators in the developing mammalian urogenital system. Focusing on the kidney, analysis of regional-specific expression patterns identified novel markers and cell types associated with development and patterning of the urinary system. Furthermore, promoter analysis of synexpressed genes predicts transcriptional control mechanisms that regulate cell differentiation. The annotated informational resource (www.gudmap.org) will facilitate functional analysis of the mammalian kidney and provides useful information for the generation of novel genetic tools to manipulate emerging cell populations. PMID:22510988

  8. Mammalian genes induce partially reprogrammed pluripotent stem cells in non-mammalian vertebrate and invertebrate species

    PubMed Central

    Rosselló, Ricardo Antonio; Chen, Chun-Chun; Dai, Rui; Howard, Jason T; Hochgeschwender, Ute; Jarvis, Erich D

    2013-01-01

    Cells are fundamental units of life, but little is known about evolution of cell states. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are once differentiated cells that have been re-programmed to an embryonic stem cell-like state, providing a powerful platform for biology and medicine. However, they have been limited to a few mammalian species. Here we found that a set of four mammalian transcription factor genes used to generate iPSCs in mouse and humans can induce a partially reprogrammed pluripotent stem cell (PRPSCs) state in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms, in mammals, birds, fish, and fly, which span 550 million years from a common ancestor. These findings are one of the first to show cross-lineage stem cell-like induction, and to generate pluripotent-like cells for several of these species with in vivo chimeras. We suggest that the stem-cell state may be highly conserved across a wide phylogenetic range. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00036.001 PMID:24015354

  9. Robust syntaxin-4 immunoreactivity in mammalian horizontal cell processes

    PubMed Central

    HIRANO, ARLENE A.; BRANDSTÄTTER, JOHANN HELMUT; VILA, ALEJANDRO; BRECHA, NICHOLAS C.

    2009-01-01

    Horizontal cells mediate inhibitory feed-forward and feedback communication in the outer retina; however, mechanisms that underlie transmitter release from mammalian horizontal cells are poorly understood. Toward determining whether the molecular machinery for exocytosis is present in horizontal cells, we investigated the localization of syntaxin-4, a SNARE protein involved in targeting vesicles to the plasma membrane, in mouse, rat, and rabbit retinae using immunocytochemistry. We report robust expression of syntaxin-4 in the outer plexiform layer of all three species. Syntaxin-4 occurred in processes and tips of horizontal cells, with regularly spaced, thicker sandwich-like structures along the processes. Double labeling with syntaxin-4 and calbindin antibodies, a horizontal cell marker, demonstrated syntaxin-4 localization to horizontal cell processes; whereas, double labeling with PKC antibodies, a rod bipolar cell (RBC) marker, showed a lack of co-localization, with syntaxin-4 immunolabeling occurring just distal to RBC dendritic tips. Syntaxin-4 immunolabeling occurred within VGLUT-1-immunoreactive photoreceptor terminals and underneath synaptic ribbons, labeled by CtBP2/RIBEYE antibodies, consistent with localization in invaginating horizontal cell tips at photoreceptor triad synapses. Vertical sections of retina immunostained for syntaxin-4 and peanut agglutinin (PNA) established that the prominent patches of syntaxin-4 immunoreactivity were adjacent to the base of cone pedicles. Horizontal sections through the OPL indicate a one-to-one co-localization of syntaxin-4 densities at likely all cone pedicles, with syntaxin-4 immunoreactivity interdigitating with PNA labeling. Pre-embedding immuno-electron microscopy confirmed the subcellular localization of syntaxin-4 labeling to lateral elements at both rod and cone triad synapses. Finally, co-localization with SNAP-25, a possible binding partner of syntaxin-4, indicated co-expression of these SNARE proteins in

  10. Formation of mammalian erythrocytes: chromatin condensation and enucleation.

    PubMed

    Ji, Peng; Murata-Hori, Maki; Lodish, Harvey F

    2011-07-01

    In all vertebrates, the cell nucleus becomes highly condensed and transcriptionally inactive during the final stages of red cell biogenesis. Enucleation, the process by which the nucleus is extruded by budding off from the erythroblast, is unique to mammals. Enucleation has critical physiological and evolutionary significance in that it allows an elevation of hemoglobin levels in the blood and also gives red cells their flexible biconcave shape. Recent experiments reveal that enucleation involves multiple molecular and cellular pathways that include histone deacetylation, actin polymerization, cytokinesis, cell-matrix interactions, specific microRNAs and vesicle trafficking; many evolutionarily conserved proteins and genes have been recruited to participate in this uniquely mammalian process. In this review, we discuss recent advances in mammalian erythroblast chromatin condensation and enucleation, and conclude with our perspectives on future studies.

  11. Bacterial iron-sulfur cluster sensors in mammalian pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Halie K.; Auerbuch, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Iron-sulfur clusters act as important cofactors for a number of transcriptional regulators in bacteria, including many mammalian pathogens. The sensitivity of iron-sulfur clusters to iron availability, oxygen tension, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species enables bacteria to use such regulators to adapt their gene expression profiles rapidly in response to changing environmental conditions. In this review, we discuss how the [4Fe-4S] or [2Fe-2S] cluster-containing regulators FNR, Wbl, aconitase, IscR, NsrR, SoxR, and AirSR contribute to bacterial pathogenesis through control of both metabolism and classical virulence factors. In addition, we briefly review mammalian iron homeostasis as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress to provide context for understanding the function of bacterial iron-sulfur cluster sensors in different niches within the host. PMID:25738802

  12. Cell type-specific transcriptome profiling in mammalian brains

    PubMed Central

    LoVerso, Peter R.; Cui, Feng

    2016-01-01

    A mammalian brain contains numerous types of cells. Advances in neuroscience in the past decade allow us to identify and isolate neural cells of interest from mammalian brains. Recent developments in high-throughput technologies, such as microarrays and next-generation sequencing (NGS), provide detailed information on gene expression in pooled cells on a genomic scale. As a result, many novel genes have been found critical in cell type-specific transcriptional regulation. These differentially expressed genes can be used as molecular signatures, unique to a particular class of neural cells. Use of this gene expression-based approach can further differentiate neural cell types into subtypes, potentially linking some of them with neurological diseases. In this article, experimental techniques used to purify neural cells are described, followed by a review on recent microarray- or NGS-based transcriptomic studies of common neural cell types. The future prospects of cell type-specific research are also discussed. PMID:27100485

  13. Bacterial iron-sulfur cluster sensors in mammalian pathogens.

    PubMed

    Miller, Halie K; Auerbuch, Victoria

    2015-06-01

    Iron-sulfur clusters act as important cofactors for a number of transcriptional regulators in bacteria, including many mammalian pathogens. The sensitivity of iron-sulfur clusters to iron availability, oxygen tension, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species enables bacteria to use such regulators to adapt their gene expression profiles rapidly in response to changing environmental conditions. In this review, we discuss how the [4Fe-4S] or [2Fe-2S] cluster-containing regulators FNR, Wbl, aconitase, IscR, NsrR, SoxR, and AirSR contribute to bacterial pathogenesis through control of both metabolism and classical virulence factors. In addition, we briefly review mammalian iron homeostasis as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress to provide context for understanding the function of bacterial iron-sulfur cluster sensors in different niches within the host.