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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Mar;49(3):1071-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-1207.

Retinol dehydrogenases RDH11 and RDH12 in the mouse retina: expression levels during development and regulation by oxidative stress.

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Department of Cell Biology, Universit of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, USA.



RDH11 and RDH12 are closely related retinol dehydrogenases expressed in the retina. RDH12 has been linked to the early-onset retinal dystrophy Leber congenital amaurosis, whereas RDH11 has not been associated with human disease. To understand their physiological roles, the authors investigated their expression during development and their regulation by light-induced oxidative stress in mouse retina.


Quantitative RT-PCR and immunoblot analysis were used for quantification of RDH11 and RDH12 during development and oxidative stress. Expression during development was measured between embryonic day (E) 12 and postnatal day (P) 210 (7 months) in C57BL/6 mouse eyes. Expression during light-induced oxidative stress was measured between 2 and 24 hours of exposure to light in BALB/c mouse retina.


The RDH11 level was low and remarkably constant during development and oxidative stress. RDH12 expression started at P7 and increased until P30 to approximately sevenfold higher than RDH11. Oxidative stress induced by exposure to constant bright light led to a rapid and significant decrease of RDH12 protein.


The low and constant expression of RDH11 suggested a housekeeping function for this enzyme. The onset of RDH12 expression during the maturation of photoreceptor cells suggested a function related to the visual process. The light-induced rapid decrease of RDH12 protein, preceding the decrease of the mRNA, suggested a specific degradation of the protein rather than a regulation of gene expression.

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