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Scientific reports

Ablation of retinal ciliopathy protein RPGR results in altered photoreceptor ciliary composition.


PMID 26068394

Abstract

Cilia regulate several developmental and homeostatic pathways that are critical to survival. Sensory cilia of photoreceptors regulate phototransduction cascade for visual processing. Mutations in the ciliary protein RPGR (retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator) are a prominent cause of severe blindness disorders due to degeneration of mature photoreceptors. However, precise function of RPGR is still unclear. Here we studied the involvement of RPGR in ciliary trafficking by analyzing the composition of photoreceptor sensory cilia (PSC) in Rpgr(ko) retina. Using tandem mass spectrometry analysis followed by immunoblotting, we detected few alterations in levels of proteins involved in proteasomal function and vesicular trafficking in Rpgr(ko) PSC, prior to onset of degeneration. We also found alterations in the levels of high molecular weight soluble proteins in Rpgr(ko) PSC. Our data indicate RPGR regulates entry or retention of soluble proteins in photoreceptor cilia but spares the trafficking of key structural and phototransduction-associated proteins. Given a frequent occurrence of RPGR mutations in severe photoreceptor degeneration due to ciliary disorders, our results provide insights into pathways resulting in altered mature cilia function in ciliopathies.