PROTEIN TARGETING IN THE RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) contacts intimately with
photoreceptors (PR) and supports their activity; RPE disfunction or
detachment leads to degeneration of the neural retina and loss of vision.
In spite of its importance, the molecular basis of RPE-PR interaction
remain unknown. Previous data from our laboratory and by others indicate
that disruption of this interaction leads to alterations in the polarity
of RPE. The long term goal of this proposal is to understand the
mechanisms that generate surface polarity in RPE and how PR-RPE contacts
induce reversed distributions of RPE membrane proteins with regard to
those observed in most other epithelia. Using biochemical and
morphological polarity assays developed by our laboratory, we will
determine the respective roles of intracellular sorting and surface
immobilization by the ankyrin-fodrin cytoskeleton in the apical
distribution of Na,K-ATPase and neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM).
Studies will be carried out in a polarized RPE cell line developed by our
laboratory RPE-J) primary RPE cultures and RPE in situ. A variety of
approaches will be employed to determine the putative inductive role of
the neural retina and/or interphotoreceptor matrix in the apical
localization of N-CAM and Na,K-ATPase. It is expected that these studies
will contribute fundamental information on the role of RPE in normal and
abnormal visual function.
StatusNot started

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