Potential Cellular Functions of N-Ethylmaleimide Sensitive Factor in the Photoreceptor

  • Shun-Ping Huang
  • Cheryl M. CraftEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 723)


N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor (NSF) is an ATPase associated with a variety of cellular activities in the AAA protein family and is required for intracellular membrane fusion. We reported a novel synaptic protein–protein interaction between visual Arrestin 1 (Arr1) and NSF that is enhanced in a dark environment when photoreceptors are depolarized and the rate of exocytosis is elevated. In the photoreceptor synapse, NSF functions to sustain a tonic rate of exocytosis, in addition to the compensatory endocytosis to retrieve and to recycle vesicle membrane and synaptic proteins. In addition to the Arr1 and NSF interaction, NSF was shown to interact with the retinitis pigmentosa protein 2 (RP2) in the retina and may play an important role in membrane protein trafficking in photoreceptors. These studies demonstrate diverse roles of NSF in the photoreceptor synapse and in membrane protein trafficking and provide key insights into the potential molecular mechanisms of inherited retinal diseases, such as Oguchi disease and retinitis pigmentosa.


Arrestin 1 N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor Retinitis pigmentosa protein 2 Phototransduction Oguchi disease NSF attachment proteins receptor Retinitis pigmentosa Synapses ATPase Protein trafficking 



We thank members of the Mary D. Allen Laboratory for scientific discussions, Bruce M. Brown for his technical expertise, Lawrence Rife for ERG analysis, Ernesto Barron for preparation of figures, and Jeannie Chen for the Arr1 −/− mice. CMC is the Mary D. Allen Chair in Vision Research, DEI, and a Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) Senior Scientific Investigator. This work was supported, in part, by NIH Grant EY015851 (CMC), EY03040 (DEI), RPB (DEI & CMC), Dorie Miller, Tony Gray Foundation, Mary D. Allen Foundation (Dr. Richard Newton Lolley Memorial Scholarship [SPH]), and a RD2010 Travel Award (SPH).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mary D. Allen Laboratory for Vision Research, Doheny Eye InstituteKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell and NeurobiologyKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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