The development of stratified retinal cell architecture is highly conserved in all vertebrates, implying that a common fundamental molecular mechanism is involved in the generation of the organized retina. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms of retinal development are not fully understood. Here we have identified the Xenopus ortholog of prune and show that it is expressed in both differentiating and differentiated retinal domains during development. Interestingly, these spatial and temporal expression patterns coincide with the expression of prune binding partners, the NM23 family members. Overexpression of prune in retinal precursor cells significantly increases the ratio of Müller glial cells as observed by modulation of NM23 activity (Mochizuki et al., 2009). However, a mutated form of prune that has replacement of four aspartate (D) residues (D'Angelo et al., 2004), essential for phosphodiesterase activity, does not exhibit gliogenic activity. Our observations suggest that Xenopus prune may regulate Müller gliogenesis through phosphodiesterase-mediated regulation of NM23 family members.
- Müller glia
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