[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the expression of the gene encoding β-galactosidase (Glb)-1-like protein 3 (Glb1l3), a member of the glycosyl hydrolase 35 family, during retinal degeneration in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)-specific 65-kDa protein knockout (Rpe65(-/-)) mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Additionally, we assessed the expression of the other members of this protein family, including β-galactosidase-1 (Glb1), β-galactosidase-1-like (Glb1l), and β-galactosidase-1-like protein 2 (Glb1l2).
The structural features of Glb1l3 were assessed using bioinformatic tools. mRNA expression of Glb-related genes was investigated by oligonucleotide microarray, real-time PCR, and reverse transcription (RT) -PCR. The localized expression of Glb1l3 was assessed by combined in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
Glb1l3 was the only Glb-related member strongly downregulated in Rpe65(-/-) retinas before the onset and during progression of the disease. Glb1l3 mRNA was only expressed in the retinal layers and the RPE/choroid. The other Glb-related genes were ubiquitously expressed in different ocular tissues, including the cornea and lens. In the healthy retina, expression of Glb1l3 was strongly induced during postnatal retinal development; age-related increased expression persisted during adulthood and aging.
These data highlight early-onset downregulation of Glb1l3 in Rpe65-related disease. They further indicate that impaired expression of Glb1l3 is mostly due to the absence of the chromophore 11-cis retinal, suggesting that Rpe65 deficiency may have many metabolic consequences in the underlying neuroretina.