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J Cell Sci March 26, 2021; 134 (6):

Identification of additional outer segment targeting signals in zebrafish rod opsin.

Fang X , Peden AA , van Eeden FJM , Malicki JJ .

In vertebrate photoreceptors, opsins are highly concentrated in a morphologically distinct ciliary compartment known as the outer segment (OS). Opsin is synthesized in the cell body and transported to the OS at a remarkable rate of 100 to 1000 molecules per second. Opsin transport defects contribute to photoreceptor loss and blindness in human ciliopathies. Previous studies revealed that the rhodopsin C-terminal tail, of 44 amino acids, is sufficient to mediate OS targeting in Xenopus photoreceptors. Here, we show that, although the Xenopus C-terminus retains this function in zebrafish, the homologous zebrafish sequence is not sufficient to target opsin to the OS. This functional difference is largely caused by a change of a single amino acid present in Xenopus but not in other vertebrates examined. Furthermore, we find that sequences in the third intracellular cytoplasmic loop (IC3) and adjacent regions of transmembrane helices 6 and 7 are also necessary for opsin transport in zebrafish. Combined with the cytoplasmic tail, these sequences are sufficient to target opsin to the ciliary compartment.

PubMed ID: 33589494
Article link: J Cell Sci
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis