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Nawajes A. Mandal, Julie-Thu A. Tran, Lixin Zheng, Joseph L. Wilkerson, Richard S. Brush, Joel McRae, Martin-Paul Agbaga, Kang Zhang, Konstantin Petrukhin, Radha Ayyagari, Robert E. Anderson; In Vivo Effect of Mutant ELOVL4 on the Expression and Function of Wild-Type ELOVL4. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(4):2705-2713. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.13-13198.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Mutations in the elongation of very long chain fatty acids 4 (ELOVL4) gene cause human Stargardt's macular dystrophy 3 (STGD3), a juvenile onset dominant form of macular degeneration. To understand the role of the ELOVL4 protein in retinal function, several mouse models have been developed by using transgenic (TG), knock-in (Elovl4+/mut ), and knockout (Elovl4+/− ) approaches. Here we analyzed quantitatively the ELOVL4 protein and its enzymatic products (very long chain saturated fatty acid [VLC-FA] and VLC–polyunsaturated fatty acid [VLC-PUFA]) in the retinas of 8 to 10-week-old TG1+, TG2+, and Elovl4+/mut mice that harbor the mutant ELOVL4 and compared them to their wild-type littermates and Elovl4+/− that do not express the mutant protein. We also analyzed skin from these mice to gain insight into the pathogenesis resulting from the ELOVL4 mutation.
ELOVL4 protein localization in the retina was determined by immunohistochemistry. Levels of wild-type ELOVL4 protein in skin and retinas were determined by Western blotting. Total lipids from skin and retinas were measured by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Retinal glycerophosphatidylcholines (PC) were analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry.
Immunohistochemical and Western analysis indicated that wild-type ELOVL4 protein was reduced in heterozygous Elovl4+/mut and Elovl4+/− retinas, but not in TG2+ retinas. We found that VLC-FA was reduced by 50% in the skin of Elovl4+/− and by 60% to 65% in Elovl4+/mut . We found VLC-PUFA levels at ∼50% in both the retinas, and wild-type levels of VLC-PUFA in TG2+ retinas.
We conclude that the presence of the mutant ELOVL4 does not affect the function of wild-type ELOVL4 in the fully developed 8- to 10-week-old retinas.
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