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Jian Zou, Xiaojun Yang, Xiangyun Wei; Restricted Localization of Ponli, a Novel Zebrafish MAGUK-Family Protein, to the Inner Segment Interface Areas between Green, Red, and Blue Cones. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(3):1738-1746. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4520.
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The inner segments (IS) of the photoreceptors in vertebrates are enriched with polarity scaffold proteins, which maintain the integrity of many tissues by mediating cell-cell adhesion either directly or indirectly. The formation of photoreceptor mosaics may require differential adhesion among different types of photoreceptors. It is unknown whether any polarity proteins are selectively expressed in certain photoreceptors to mediate differential intercellular adhesion, which may be important for photoreceptor patterning. This study was undertaken to identify such polarity proteins.
To identify novel MAGUK-family (membrane-associated guanylate kinase) proteins that are similar to Nagie oko (Nok), the authors performed BLAST searches of the zebrafish genome with the Nok amino acid sequence as the query. The coding sequence of one of the identified genes was obtained and verified through RT-PCR and RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends). Its protein expression patterns were examined by immunomicroscopy and Western blot analysis. Morpholino knockdown technology was used for loss-of-function analyses.
The authors cloned a novel nok homolog and designated it photoreceptor-layer-nok-like (ponli). Unlike Nok, which is expressed broadly, Ponli is only expressed at the interface areas between the IS of the green, red, and blue cones in differentiated zebrafish retina.
Ponli is the first identified polarity protein that is not expressed in all types of photoreceptors. Ponli's selective distribution stimulates future investigations on its functions for photoreceptor mosaic formation.
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