May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Role of Retinol Dehydrogenases RDH11 and RDH12 in the Clearance of Toxic 4-Hydroxynonenal
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. Kasus-Jacobi
    Ophthalmology, Univ of Oklahoma Hlth Sci Ctr, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • L. D. Wicker
    Ophthalmology, Univ of Oklahoma Hlth Sci Ctr, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  A. Kasus-Jacobi, None; L.D. Wicker, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NCRR Grant P20RR017703
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 3999. doi:
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      A. Kasus-Jacobi, L. D. Wicker; Role of Retinol Dehydrogenases RDH11 and RDH12 in the Clearance of Toxic 4-Hydroxynonenal. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3999.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : We hypothesize that the physiological role of the two closely related retinol dehydrogenases RDH11 and RDH12 is to protect photoreceptor cells from toxic hydroxy aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), produced during oxidative stress. If not cleared, 4-HNE forms adducts with proteins disrupting important cellular functions and leading to cell apoptosis. Here, we investigated the ability of RDH11 and RDH12 to protect against 4-HNE-induced adduct formation and apoptosis in transfected HEK-293 cells and in wild-type and knockout mouse retina.

Methods: : HEK-293 cells were transfected with Rdh11 or Rdh12 and subjected to increasing concentrations of 4-HNE. Within the population of transfected cells, the percent of cells undergoing apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry. Retinas were dissected from wild-type and Rdh11 and Rdh12 knockout mice and incubated with increasing concentrations of 4-HNE. After ½, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 h incubation of retinal explants, 4-HNE-protein adducts were quantified by dot blot using anti-HNE antibody. Quantification of RDH11 and RDH12 was performed by immunoblot analysis.

Results: : We found that transfected RDH11 and RDH12 were expressed at similar levels in HEK-293 cells and protected 75% and 50%, respectively, of the transfected cells against 4-HNE-induced apoptosis. In whole mouse retina, RDH12 is expressed at a 7-fold higher level than RDH11. Formation of 4-HNE-protein adducts was not significantly increased in the Rdh11 knockout retinal explants. By contrast, we found that the formation of 4-HNE-protein adducts was significantly increased in the Rdh12 knockout retinal explants.

Conclusions: : The protective effect of these enzymes in HEK-293 cells is most likely due to their ability to reduce 4-HNE to alcohol, preventing the formation of protein adducts and apoptosis. In mouse retina RDH12, but not RDH11, is efficient in preventing adduct formation probably because it is expressed at a higher level. Light stress induces the production of 4-HNE in photoreceptor cells. A defective clearance of 4-HNE in Rdh12 knockout photoreceptors could explain the higher sensitivity of these mice to light-induced retinal damage. Accumulation of 4-HNE could also mediate the retinal dystrophy associated with RDH12 mutations in patients with Leber Congenital Amaurosis.

Keywords: photoreceptors • retinal degenerations: hereditary • oxidation/oxidative or free radical damage 

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