Thyroid hormone receptor beta mutations alter photoreceptor development and function in Danio rerio (zebrafish)

by Ciana Deveau, Xiaodong Jiao, Sachihiro C. Suzuki, Asha Krishnakumar, Takeshi Yoshimatsu, J Fielding Hejtmancik, Ralph F. Nelson

We investigate mutations in trβ2, a splice variant of thrb, identifying changes in function, structure, and behavior in larval and adult zebrafish retinas. Two N-terminus CRISPR mutants were identified. The first is a 6BP+1 insertion deletion frameshift resulting in a truncated protein. The second is a 3BP in frame deletion with intact binding domains. ERG recordings of isolated cone signals showed that the 6BP+1 mutants did not respond to red wavelengths of light while the 3BP mutants did respond. 6BP+1 mutants lacked optomotor and optokinetic responses to red/black and green/black contrasts. Both larval and adult 6BP+1 mutants exhibit a loss of red-cone contribution to the ERG and an increase in UV-cone contribution. Transgenic reporters show loss of cone trβ2 activation in the 6BP+1 mutant but increase in the density of cones with active blue, green, and UV opsin genes. Antibody reactivity for red-cone LWS1 and LWS2 opsin was absent in the 6BP+1 mutant, as was reactivity for arrestin3a. Our results confirm a critical role for trβ2 in long-wavelength cone development.

Paper source
Plos Journal

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