Purpose. The purpose of this study is to identify members of the Ets family of transcription factors that are expressed in the retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The Ets proteins all share a conserved 85 amino acid DNA-binding region known as the Ets domain. The Ets proteins are involved in a variety of biological processes including growth regulation and development. Ets genes have been shown to be involved in photoreceptor development in Drosophila. Methods. Degenerate oligonucleotides were designed based on analysis of the conserved Ets domain. Total RNA was extracted from human retina and RPE. RT-PCR was performed under varying conditions and the products were subcloned and sequenced. BLAST analysis was used to identify the clones. Results. To date, 97 clones have been analyzed. Of these, 44% were ets or ets-related genes, 9% were other unrelated genes, 19% were expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and 26% had no matches in the databases. The ets genes that were identified were ets-1, ets-2 and Fli-1. Two ets-related genes, NET and m8-23 were also identified. One of our clones, m8-23, appears to be the human homolog of the mouse ets-related gene, ER71. This is perhaps surprising because ER71 has been reported to be expressed only in mouse testis (Brown and McKnight. Genes and Dev. 6: 2502-2512, 1992). m8-23 was the most common (37 of 43) of the ets clones isolated from the retina. Further characterization of this clone is underway. Conclusions. Our data suggest that several ets genes are indeed expressed in the retina and RPE. Work is in progress to characterize these genes, their developmental and spatial expression patterns and their possible function within the retina and RPE.
|Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
|Published - Feb 15 1996
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience