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Rods and cones are photoreceptor neurons in the retina that are required for visual sensation in vertebrates, wherein the perception of vision is initiated when these neurons respond to photons in the light stimuli. The photoreceptor cell is structurally studied as outer segments (OS) and inner segments (IS) where proper protein sorting, localization, and compartmentalization are critical for phototransduction, visual function, and survival. In human retinal diseases, improper protein transport to the OS or mislocalization of proteins to the IS and other cellular compartments could lead to impaired visual responses and photoreceptor cell degeneration that ultimately cause loss of visual function. Therefore, studying and identifying mechanisms involved in facilitating and maintaining proper protein transport in photoreceptor cells would help our understanding of pathologies involving retinal cell degeneration in inherited retinal dystrophies, age-related macular degeneration, and Usher Syndrome. Our mini-review will discuss mechanisms of protein transport within photoreceptors and introduce a novel role for an unconventional motor protein, MYO1C, in actin-based motor transport of the visual chromophore Rhodopsin to the OS, in support of phototransduction and visual function.


Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Venkateshwara R Dronamraju, Matthias Leung, Andrew Gruesen, Ashish K Solanki, Stephen Walterhouse, Heidi Roehrich, Grace Song, Rafael da Costa Monsanto, Sebahattin Cureoglu, René Martin, Altaf A Kondkar, Frederik J van Kuijk, Sandra R Montezuma, Hans-Joachim Knöelker, Robert B Hufnagel, Glenn P Lobo. The role of motor proteins in photoreceptor protein transport and visual function. Ophthalmic genetics. 2022 Jun;43(3):285-300

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PMID: 35470760

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