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Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Feb 1;28(3):459-475. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy359.

Prph2 initiates outer segment morphogenesis but maturation requires Prph2/Rom1 oligomerization.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA.


The retinal disease gene peripherin 2 (PRPH2) is essential for the formation of photoreceptor outer segments (OSs), where it functions in oligomers with and without its homologue ROM1. However, the precise role of these proteins in OS morphogenesis is not understood. By utilizing a knock-in mouse expressing a chimeric protein comprised of the body of Rom1 and the C-terminus of Prph2 (termed RRCT), we find that the Prph2 C-terminus is necessary and sufficient for the initiation of OSs, while OS maturation requires the body of Prph2 and associated large oligomers. Importantly, dominant-negative physiological and biochemical defects in RRCT heterozygous rods are rescued by removing Rom1, suggesting Rom1 is a regulator for OS formation. Our experiments evaluating Prph2 trafficking show that Rom1 is a key determinant of whether Prph2 complexes utilize conventional versus unconventional (Golgi bypass) secretory pathways to reach the OS. These findings significantly advance our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of OS morphogenesis and particularly the role of Rom1.

[Available on 2020-02-01]

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