Peropsin modulates transit of Vitamin A from retina to retinal pigment epithelium

Jeremy D. Cook, Sze Yin Ng, Marcia Lloyd, Shannan Eddington, Hui Sun, Jeremy Nathans, Dean Bok, Roxana A. Radu, Gabriel H. Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Peropsin is a non-visual opsin in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. In mammals, peropsin is present in the apical microvilli of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. These structures interdigitate with the outer segments of rod and cone photoreceptor cells. RPE cells play critical roles in the maintenance of photoreceptors, including the recycling of visual chromophore for the opsin visual pigments. Here, we sought to identify the function of peropsin in the mouse eye. To this end, we generated mice with a null mutation in the peropsin gene (Rrh). These mice exhibited normal retinal histology, normal morphology of outer segments and RPE cells, and no evidence of photoreceptor degeneration. Biochemically, Rrh-/- mice had ∼2-fold higher vitamin A (all-trans-retinol (all-trans-ROL)) in the neural retina following a photobleach and 5-fold lower retinyl esters in the RPE. This phenotype was similar to those reported in mice that lack interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) or cellular retinol-binding protein, suggesting that peropsin plays a role in the movement of all-trans-ROL from photoreceptors to the RPE. We compared the phenotypes in mice lacking both peropsin and IRBP with those of mice lacking peropsin or IRBP alone and found that the retinoid phenotype was similarly severe in each of these knock-out mice. We conclude that peropsin controls all-trans-ROL movement from the retina to the RPE or may regulate all-trans-ROL storage within the RPE. We propose that peropsin affects light-dependent regulation of all-trans-ROL uptake from photoreceptors into RPE cells through an as yet undefined mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21407-21416
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 29 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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