Journal Article

Human retinopathy-associated ciliary protein retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator mediates cilia-dependent vertebrate development

Amiya K. Ghosh, Carlos A. Murga-Zamalloa, Lansze Chan, Peter F. Hitchcock, Anand Swaroop and Hemant Khanna

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 19, issue 1, pages 90-98
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddp469
Human retinopathy-associated ciliary protein retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator mediates cilia-dependent vertebrate development

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Dysfunction of primary cilia is associated with tissue-specific or syndromic disorders. RPGR is a ciliary protein, mutations in which can lead to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), cone-rod degeneration, respiratory infections and hearing disorders. Though RPGR is implicated in ciliary transport, the pathogenicity of RPGR mutations and the mechanism of underlying phenotypic heterogeneity are still unclear. Here we have utilized genetic rescue studies in zebrafish to elucidate the effect of human disease-associated mutations on its function. We show that rpgr is expressed predominantly in the retina, brain and gut of zebrafish. In the retina, RPGR primarily localizes to the sensory cilium of photoreceptors. Antisense morpholino (MO)-mediated knockdown of rpgr function in zebrafish results in reduced length of Kupffer's vesicle (KV) cilia and is associated with ciliary anomalies including shortened body-axis, kinked tail, hydrocephaly and edema but does not affect retinal development. These phenotypes can be rescued by wild-type (WT) human RPGR. Several of the RPGR mutants can also reverse the MO-induced phenotype, suggesting their potential hypomorphic function. Notably, selected RPGR mutations observed in XLRP (T99N, E589X) or syndromic RP (T124fs, K190fs and L280fs) do not completely rescue the rpgr-MO phenotype, indicating a more deleterious effect of the mutation on the function of RPGR. We propose that RPGR is involved in cilia-dependent cascades during development in zebrafish. Our studies provide evidence for a heterogenic effect of the disease-causing mutations on the function of RPGR.

Journal Article.  4445 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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