The role of motor proteins in photoreceptor protein transport and visual function

Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Venkateshwara R. Dronamraju, Matthias Leung, Andrew Gruesen, Ashish K. Solanki, Stephen Walterhouse, Heidi Roehrich, Grace Song, Rafael da Costa Monsanto, Sebahattin Cureoglu, René Martin, Altaf A. Kondkar, Frederik J. van Kuijk, Sandra R. Montezuma, Hans Joachim Knöelker, Robert B. Hufnagel, Glenn P. Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Rods and cones are photoreceptor neurons in the retina that are required for visual sensation in vertebrates, wherein the perception of vision is initiated when these neurons respond to photons in the light stimuli. The photoreceptor cell is structurally studied as outer segments (OS) and inner segments (IS) where proper protein sorting, localization, and compartmentalization are critical for phototransduction, visual function, and survival. In human retinal diseases, improper protein transport to the OS or mislocalization of proteins to the IS and other cellular compartments could lead to impaired visual responses and photoreceptor cell degeneration that ultimately cause loss of visual function. Results: Therefore, studying and identifying mechanisms involved in facilitating and maintaining proper protein transport in photoreceptor cells would help our understanding of pathologies involving retinal cell degeneration in inherited retinal dystrophies, age-related macular degeneration, and Usher Syndrome. Conclusions: Our mini-review will discuss mechanisms of protein transport within photoreceptors and introduce a novel role for an unconventional motor protein, MYO1C, in actin-based motor transport of the visual chromophore Rhodopsin to the OS, in support of phototransduction and visual function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-300
Number of pages16
JournalOphthalmic Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Health–National Eye Institute (NIH/NEI) grants EY025034 and EY030889 to G.P.L. We thank Dr Beata Jastrzebska, Ph.D. (Department of Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University, OH, USA) for a critical review of this manuscript. We also thank Dr Deepak Nihalani, Ph.D. (NIH/NIDKK) for helpful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Motor protein
  • Myosin 1C
  • Rhodopsin
  • actin
  • outer segments
  • photoreceptor
  • protein localization
  • retinal degeneration
  • trafficking
  • visual function

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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