Tiansen Li

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (2)12.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive kidney disease that is often associated with vision and/or brain defects. To date, 11 genes are known to cause NPHP. The gene products, while structurally unrelated, all localize to cilia or centrosomes. Although mouse models of NPHP are available for 9 of the 11 genes, none has been described for nephronophthisis 4 (Nphp4). Here we report a novel, chemically induced mutant, nmf192, that bears a nonsense mutation in exon 4 of Nphp4. Homozygous mutant Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) mice do not exhibit renal defects, phenotypes observed in human patients bearing mutations in NPHP4, but they do develop severe photoreceptor degeneration and extinguished rod and cone ERG responses by 9 weeks of age. Photoreceptor outer segments (OS) fail to develop properly, and some OS markers mislocalize to the inner segments and outer nuclear layer in the Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) mutant retina. Despite NPHP4 localization to the transition zone in the connecting cilia (CC), the CC appear to be normal in structure and ciliary transport function is partially retained. Likewise, synaptic ribbons develop normally but then rapidly degenerate by P14. Finally, Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) male mutants are sterile and show reduced sperm motility and epididymal sperm counts. Although Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) mice fail to recapitulate the kidney phenotype of NPHP, they will provide a valuable tool to further elucidate how NPHP4 functions in the retina and male reproductive organs.
    Human Molecular Genetics 11/2010; 20(3):482-96. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddq494 · 6.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The function of the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator interacting protein 1 (RPGRIP1) gene is currently not known. However, mutations within the gene lead to Leber Congenital Amaurosis and autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in human patients. In a previously described knockout mouse model of the long splice variant of Rpgrip1, herein referred to as Rpgrip1(tm1Tili) mice, mislocalization of key outer segment proteins and dysmorphogenesis of outer segment discs preceded subsequent photoreceptor degeneration. In this report, we describe a new mouse model carrying a splice acceptor site mutation in Rpgrip1, herein referred to as Rpgrip1(nmf247) that is phenotypically distinct from Rpgrip1(tm1Tili) mice. Photoreceptor degeneration in homozygous Rpgrip1(nmf247) mice is earlier in onset and more severe when compared with Rpgrip1(tm1Tili) mice. Also, ultrastructural studies reveal that whereas Rpgrip1(nmf247) mutants have a normal structure and number of connecting cilia, unlike Rpgrip1(tm1Tili) mice, they do not elaborate rod outer segments (OS). Therefore, in addition to its role in OS disc morphogenesis, RPGRIP1 is essential for rod OS formation. Our study indicates the absence of multiple Rpgrip1 isoforms in Rpgrip1(nmf247) mice, suggesting different isoforms may play different roles in photoreceptors and underscores the importance of considering splice variants when generating targeted null mutations.
    Human Molecular Genetics 09/2009; 18(22):4329-39. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddp385 · 6.39 Impact Factor

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