Drosophila Visual Transduction, a Model System For Human Eye Disease?
Animal models have been successfully used for the identification of a number of genes that are mutated in human retinal degenerations. For example, the study of the rds (Travis et al., 1989), rd (Bowes et al., 1993; Pittler and Baehr, 1991) and shaker-1 (Gibson et al., 1995) mutants in the mouse has led to the identification of mutations in the genes for peripherin/rds (Farrar et al., 1991; Kajiwara et al., 1991) and rod cGMP phosphodiesterase ß subunit (McLaughlin et al., 1993) that give rise to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in man, and to a mutation in the gene for a myosin type VI1 in Usher syndrome type IB (Weil et al., 1995). An additional source of mutations with effects on the visual process is present in the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster. As phototransduction in mammals involves a signal transduction pathway that is distinct from that used in invertebrate photoreceptors, the genes mutated in these retinal degenerations (Smith et al., 1991; Wu et al., 1995) have not been considered in detail as a cause of human retinal disease.
KeywordsRetinal Pigment Epithelium Phosphatidic Acid Retinitis Pigmentosa Retinal Degeneration Retinal Disease
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