Vanda S. Lopes

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Degeneration of photoreceptors is a common feature of ciliopathies, owing to the importance of the specialized ciliary structure of these cells. Mutations in AHI1, which encodes a cilium-localized protein, have been shown to cause a form of Joubert syndrome that is highly penetrant for retinal degeneration. We show that Ahi1-null mice fail to form retinal(More)
Nephronophthisis-related ciliopathies (NPHP-RC) are recessive disorders that feature dysplasia or degeneration occurring preferentially in the kidney, retina and cerebellum. Here we combined homozygosity mapping with candidate gene analysis by performing 'ciliopathy candidate exome capture' followed by massively parallel sequencing. We identified 12(More)
PURPOSE To investigate the expression of harmonin in the mouse retina, test for ultrastructural and physiological mutant phenotypes in the retina of an Ush1c mutant mouse, and define in detail the retinal phenotype in human USH1C. METHODS Antibodies were generated against harmonin. Harmonin isoform distribution was examined by Western blot analysis and(More)
Usher 1 patients are born profoundly deaf and then develop retinal degeneration. Thus they are readily identified before the onset of retinal degeneration, making gene therapy a viable strategy to prevent their blindness. Here, we have investigated the use of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) for the delivery of the Usher 1B gene, MYO7A, to retinal cells in(More)
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) contains melanosomes similar to those found in the skin melanocytes, which undergo dramatic light-dependent movements in fish and amphibians. In mammals, those movements are more subtle and appear to be regulated by the Rab27a GTPase and the unconventional myosin, Myosin VIIa (MyoVIIa). Here we address the hypothesis(More)
Mutations in the MYO7A gene cause a deaf-blindness disorder, known as Usher syndrome 1B.  In the retina, the majority of MYO7A is in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), where many of the reactions of the visual retinoid cycle take place.  We have observed that the retinas of Myo7a-mutant mice are resistant to acute light damage. In exploring the basis(More)
Pathways of melanosome biogenesis in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells have received less attention than those of skin melanocytes. Although the bulk of melanin synthesis in RPE cells occurs embryonically, it is not clear whether adult RPE cells continue to produce melanosomes. Here, we show that progression from pmel17-positive premelanosomes to(More)
Due to extensive elaboration of the photoreceptor cilium to form the outer segment, axonemal transport (IFT) in photoreceptors is extraordinarily busy, and retinal degeneration is a component of many ciliopathies. Functional loss of heterotrimeric kinesin-2, a major anterograde IFT motor, causes mislocalized opsin, followed by rapid cell death. Here, we(More)
Mutations in the head and tail domains of the motor protein myosin VIIA (MYO7A) cause deaf-blindness (Usher syndrome type 1B, USH1B) and nonsyndromic deafness (DFNB2, DFNA11). The head domain binds to F-actin and serves as the MYO7A motor domain, but little is known about the function of the tail domain. In a genetic screen, we have identified polka mice,(More)
Myrip is a Rab27a and MyosinVIIa (MyoVIIa) linking protein that may regulate melanosome transport in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Myrip also binds MyosinVa (MyoVa) in vitro however it is unclear whether this interaction is of sufficient affinity to be physiologically relevant. Here, we addressed the questions of whether Myrip interacts with MyoVa(More)