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  4. Substituting mouse transcription factor Pou4f2 with a sea urchin orthologue restores retinal ganglion cell development.

Substituting mouse transcription factor Pou4f2 with a sea urchin orthologue restores retinal ganglion cell development.

Mao C, Agca C, Mocko-Strand J, Wang J, Ullrich-Lüter E, Pan P, Wang S, Arnone M, Frishman L, Klein W (2016) Substituting mouse transcription factor Pou4f2 with a sea urchin orthologue restores retinal ganglion cell development. Proc Biol Sci 283:20152978. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2978

Summary: Pou4f2 is Pou domain transcription factor that is essential for the development of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the vertebrate retina. The sea urchin genome contains SpPou4f1/2, a distant orthologue of Pou4f2, but they have no obvious eyes and their photoreceptors are located around their tube feet disc. Scientists replaced genomic Pou4f2 with an SpPou4f1/2 cDNA to see if SpPou4f1/2 could support RGC development in mice. Mice expressing SpPou4f1/2 developed retinas that looked like wild-type mice. Immunolabeling of retinas with a 1:1000 dilution of Anti-Melanopsin (Cat. #AB-N39) showed the presence of many well-bundled axons emanating from SpPou4f1/2-expressing RGCs. Electroretinogram recordings from these mice indicate that their RGCs are functionally active. These results suggest that there is a high degree of functional conservation between the two genes despite more than 540 million years of divergence from the common ancestor of mice and sea urchins.

Related Products: Melanopsin Rabbit Polyclonal, affinity-purified (Cat. #AB-N39)

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