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ItemNo Preview AvailableHer6 and Prox1a are novel regulators of photoreceptor regeneration in the zebrafish retina.Veen, K ; Krylov, A ; Yu, S ; He, J ; Boyd, P ; Hyde, DR ; Mantamadiotis, T ; Cheng, LY ; Jusuf, PR ; Barsh, GS (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2023-11)Damage to light-sensing photoreceptors (PRs) occurs in highly prevalent retinal diseases. As humans cannot regenerate new PRs, these diseases often lead to irreversible blindness. Intriguingly, animals, such as the zebrafish, can regenerate PRs efficiently and restore functional vision. Upon injury, mature Müller glia (MG) undergo reprogramming to adopt a stem cell-like state. This process is similar to cellular dedifferentiation, and results in the generation of progenitor cells, which, in turn, proliferate and differentiate to replace lost retinal neurons. In this study, we tested whether factors involved in dedifferentiation of Drosophila CNS are implicated in the regenerative response in the zebrafish retina. We found that hairy-related 6 (her6) negatively regulates of PR production by regulating the rate of cell divisions in the MG-derived progenitors. prospero homeobox 1a (prox1a) is expressed in differentiated PRs and may promote PR differentiation through phase separation. Interestingly, upon Her6 downregulation, Prox1a is precociously upregulated in the PRs, to promote PR differentiation; conversely, loss of Prox1a also induces a downregulation of Her6. Together, we identified two novel candidates of PR regeneration that cross regulate each other; these may be exploited to promote human retinal regeneration and vision recovery.
ItemNo Preview AvailableDedifferentiation-derived neural stem cells exhibit perturbed temporal progressionVeen, K ; Nguyen, P-K ; Froldi, F ; Dong, Q ; Alvarez-Ochoa, E ; Harvey, KF ; McMullen, JPD ; Marshall, O ; Jusuf, PR ; Cheng, LY (WILEY, 2023-06-05)Dedifferentiation is the reversion of mature cells to a stem cell-like fate, whereby gene expression programs are altered and genes associated with multipotency are (re)expressed. Misexpression of multipotency factors and pathways causes the formation of ectopic neural stem cells (NSCs). Whether dedifferentiated NSCs faithfully produce the correct number and types of progeny, or undergo timely terminal differentiation, has not been assessed. Here, we show that ectopic NSCs induced via bHLH transcription factor Deadpan (Dpn) expression fail to undergo appropriate temporal progression by constantly expressing mid-temporal transcription factor(tTF), Sloppy-paired 1/2 (Slp). Consequently, this resulted in impaired terminal differenation and generated an excess of Twin of eyeless (Toy)-positive neurons at the expense of Reversed polarity (Repo)-positive glial cells. Preference for a mid-temporal fate in these ectopic NSCs is concordant with an enriched binding of Dpn at mid-tTF loci and a depletion of Dpn binding at early- and late-tTF loci. Retriggering the temporal series via manipulation of the temporal series or cell cycle is sufficient to reinstate neuronal diversity and timely termination.
ItemNo Preview AvailableAltered visual function in a larval zebrafish knockout of neurodevelopmental risk geneXie, J ; Jusuf, PR ; Bui, BV ; Dudczig, S ; Goodbourn, PT ( 2020-09-22)The human PDZK1 gene is located in a genomic susceptibility region for neurodevelopmental disorders. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified links between PDZK1 polymorphisms and altered visual contrast sensitivity, an endophenotype for schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder. The PDZK1 protein is implicated in neurological functioning, interacting with synaptic molecules including post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 (CRFR1) and serotonin 2A receptors. To elucidate the role of PDZK1, we generated pdzk1-knockout (pdzk1-KO) zebrafish using CRISPR/Cas-9 genome editing. Visual function of 7-day-old fish was assessed at behavioural and functional levels using the optomotor response (OMR) and scotopic electroretinogram (ERG). We also quantified retinal morphology and densities of PSD-95, NMDAR1, CRFR1 and serotonin in the synaptic inner plexiform layer at 7 days, 4 weeks and 8 weeks of age. Relative to wild-type, pdzk1-KO larvae showed spatial-frequency tuning functions with increased amplitude (likely due to abnormal gain control) and reduced ERG b-waves (suggestive of inner retinal dysfunction). However, these functional differences were not associated with gross synaptic or morphological retinal phenotypes. The findings corroborate a role for pdzk1 in visual function, and our model system provides a platform for investigating other genes associated with abnormal visual behaviour.