Pias3-dependent SUMOylation controls mammalian cone photoreceptor differentiation

Akishi Onishi, Guang Hua Peng, Shiming Chen, Seth Blackshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Selective expression of retinal cone opsin genes is essential for color vision, but the mechanism mediating this process is poorly understood. Both vertebrate rod and medium wavelength-sensitive (M) cone photoreceptors differentiate by repression of a short wavelength-sensitive (S) cone differentiation program. We found that Pias3 acts in mouse cone photoreceptors to activate expression of M opsin and repress expression of S opsin, with the transcription factors Trβ2 and Rxrγ mediating preferential expression of Pias3 in M cones. Finally, we observed that Pias3 directly regulated M and S cone opsin expression by modulating the cone-enriched transcription factors Rxrγ, Rorα and Trβ1. Our results indicate that Pias3-dependent SUMOylation of photoreceptor-specific transcription factors is a common mechanism that controls both rod and cone photoreceptor subtype specification, regulating distinct molecular targets in the two cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1065
Number of pages7
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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