Mitochondrial Protection by Exogenous Otx2 in Mouse Retinal Neurons

Hyoung Tai Kim, Soung Jung Kim, Young In Sohn, Sun Sook Paik, Romain Caplette, Manuel Simonutti, Kyeong Hwan Moon, Eun Jung Lee, Kwang Wook Min, Mi Jeong Kim, Dong Gi Lee, Antonio Simeone, Thomas Lamonerie, Takahisa Furukawa, Jong Soon Choi, Hee Seok Kweon, Serge Picaud, In Beom Kim, Minho Shong, Jin Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OTX2 (orthodenticle homeobox 2) haplodeficiency causes diverse defects in mammalian visual systems ranging from retinal dysfunction to anophthalmia. We find that the retinal dystrophy of Otx2+/GFP heterozygous knockin mice is mainly due to the loss of bipolar cells and consequent deficits in retinal activity. Among bipolar cell types, OFF-cone bipolar subsets, which lack autonomous Otx2 gene expression but receive Otx2 proteins from photoreceptors, degenerate most rapidly in Otx2+/GFP mouse retinas, suggesting a neuroprotective effect of the imported Otx2 protein. In support of this hypothesis, retinal dystrophy in Otx2+/GFP mice is prevented by intraocular injection of Otx2 protein, which localizes to the mitochondria of bipolar cells and facilitates ATP synthesis as a part of mitochondrial ATP synthase complex. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a mitochondrial function for Otx2 and suggest a potential therapeutic application of OTX2 protein delivery in human retinal dystrophy. Kim et al. propose a neuroprotective activity for exogenous OTX2 in mitochondria of retinal bipolar cells. The authors suggest that retinal dystrophy in OTX2-haplodeficient humans and mice is related to a decrease in the amount of OTX2 protein transferred to retinal bipolar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-1002
Number of pages13
JournalCell Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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