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Xue-Jiao Chen, Chang-Jun Zhang, Ya-Han Wang, Zi-Bing Jin; Retinal Degeneration Caused by Ago2 Disruption. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(12):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.12.14.
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Argonaute proteins are key players in small RNA-guided gene silencing processes. Ago2 is the member of the Argonaute subfamily with slicer endonuclease activity and is critical for microRNA homeostasis and indispensable for biological development. However, the impact of Ago2 dysregulation in the retina remains to be fully explored. In this study, we studied the role of Ago2 in mouse retina.
We explored the function of Ago2 in the mouse retina through an adeno-associated virus-mediated Ago2 disruption mouse model. An ERG was carried out to determine the retinal function. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography, fundus photographs, and immunostaining were performed to investigate the retinal structure. A quantitative RT-PCR assay was used to determine the expression of noncoding RNAs.
Both silencing and overexpression of Ago2 in mouse retina resulted in significant retinal morphological alterations and severe impairment of retinal function, mainly with a thinned outer nuclear layer, shortened inner segment/outer segment, and diminished ERG responses. Furthermore, Ago2 disruption resulted in alterations of noncoding RNAs in retina.
Our finding demonstrated that Ago2 interruption led to severe retinal degeneration, suggested that Ago2 homeostasis contributed to retinal structural and functional maintenance.
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