Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

A retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR)-deficient mouse model for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (RP3).

PMID 10725384


The X-linked RP3 locus codes for retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR), a protein of unknown function with sequence homology to the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Ran GTPase. We created an RPGR-deficient murine model by gene knockout. In the mutant mice, cone photoreceptors exhibit ectopic localization of cone opsins in the cell body and synapses and rod photoreceptors have a reduced level of rhodopsin. Subsequently, both cone and rod photoreceptors degenerate. RPGR was found normally localized to the connecting cilia of rod and cone photoreceptors. These data point to a role for RPGR in maintaining the polarized protein distribution across the connecting cilium by facilitating directional transport or restricting redistribution. The function of RPGR is essential for the long-term maintenance of photoreceptor viability.