R9AP stabilizes RGS11-Gβ5 and accelerates the early light response of ON-bipolar cells

Brett G. Jeffrey, Catherine W. Morgans, Theresa Puthussery, Theodore G. Wensel, Neal S. Burke, R. Lane Brown, Robert M. Duvoisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The rate-limiting step in the recovery of the photoreceptor light response is the hydrolysis of GTP by transducin, a reaction that is accelerated by the RGS9-Gβ5 complex, and its membrane anchor, R9AP. Similar complexes, including RGS7, RGS11, and Gβ5, are found in retinal ON-bipolar cell dendrites. Here, we present evidence that R9AP is also expressed in the dendritic tips of ON-bipolar cells. Immunofluorescent staining for R9AP revealed a punctate pattern of labeling in the outer plexiform layer, where it colocalized with mGluR6. In photoreceptors, R9AP is required for proteolytic stability of the entire regulator of G protein signaling complex, and we found that genetic deletion of R9AP also results in a marked reduction in the levels of RGS11 and Gβ5 in the bipolar cell dendrites; the level of RGS7 was unaffected, suggesting the presence of another interaction partner to stabilize RGS7. To determine the effect of R9AP deletion on the response kinetics of ON-bipolar cells, we compared the electroretinogram (ERG) between wild-type and R9AP-deficient mice. The ERG b-wave, reflecting ON-bipolar cell activity, was delayed and larger in the R9AP-deficient mice. Our data indicate that R9AP is required for stable expression of RGS11-Gβ5 in ON-bipolar cell dendrites. Furthermore, they suggest that the RGS11-Gβ5-R9AP complex accelerates the initial ON-bipolar cell response to light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalVisual neuroscience
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • ERG b-wave
  • Electroretinogram
  • RGS proteins
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems


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