β2δ-4 Is Required for the Molecular and Structural Organization of Rod and Cone Photoreceptor Synapses

Vasily Kerov, Joseph G. Laird, Mei Ling Joiner, Sharmon Knecht, Daniel Soh, Jussara Hagen, Sarah H. Gardner, Wade Gutierrez, Takeshi Yoshimatsu, Sajag Bhattarai, Teresa Puthussery, Nikolai O. Artemyev, Arlene V. Drack, Rachel O. Wong, Sheila A. Baker, Amy Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

β2δ-4 is an auxiliary subunit of voltage-gated Cav1.4 L-type channels that regulate the development and mature exocytotic function of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. In humans, mutations in the CACNA2D4 gene encoding β2δ-4 cause heterogeneous forms of vision impairment in humans, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of which remain unclear. To investigate the retinal function of β2δ-4, we used genome editing to generate an β2δ-4 knock-out (β2δ-4 KO) mouse. In male and female β2δ-4 KO mice, rod spherules lack ribbons and other synaptic hallmarks early in development. Although the molecular organization of cone synapses is less affected than rod synapses, horizontal and cone bipolar processes extend abnormally in the outer nuclear layer in β2δ-4 KO retina. In reconstructions of β2δ-4 KO cone pedicles by serial block face scanning electron microscopy, ribbons appear normal, except that less than one-third show the expected triadic organization of processes at ribbon sites. The severity of the synaptic defects in β2δ-4 KO mice correlates with a progressive loss of Cav1.4 channels, first in terminals of rods and later cones. Despite the absence of b-waves in electroretinograms, visually guided behavior is evident in β2δ-4 KO mice and better under photopic than scotopic conditions. We conclude that β2δ-4 plays an essential role in maintaining the structural and functional integrity of rod and cone synapses, the disruption of which may contribute to visual impairment in humans with CACNA2D4 mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6145-6160
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume38
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018

Keywords

  • Ca channel
  • Photoreceptor
  • Retina
  • Ribbon synapse
  • Synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'β<sub>2</sub>δ-4 Is Required for the Molecular and Structural Organization of Rod and Cone Photoreceptor Synapses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Kerov, V., Laird, J. G., Joiner, M. L., Knecht, S., Soh, D., Hagen, J., Gardner, S. H., Gutierrez, W., Yoshimatsu, T., Bhattarai, S., Puthussery, T., Artemyev, N. O., Drack, A. V., Wong, R. O., Baker, S. A., & Lee, A. (2018). β2δ-4 Is Required for the Molecular and Structural Organization of Rod and Cone Photoreceptor Synapses. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(27), 6145-6160. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3818-16.2018