Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Atoh7-independent specification of retinal ganglion cell identity.

  • Author(s): Brodie-Kommit, Justin;
  • Clark, Brian S;
  • Shi, Qing;
  • Shiau, Fion;
  • Kim, Dong Won;
  • Langel, Jennifer;
  • Sheely, Catherine;
  • Ruzycki, Philip A;
  • Fries, Michel;
  • Javed, Awais;
  • Cayouette, Michel;
  • Schmidt, Tiffany;
  • Badea, Tudor;
  • Glaser, Tom;
  • Zhao, Haiqing;
  • Singer, Joshua;
  • Blackshaw, Seth;
  • Hattar, Samer
  • et al.
Abstract

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) relay visual information from the eye to the brain. RGCs are the first cell type generated during retinal neurogenesis. Loss of function of the transcription factor Atoh7, expressed in multipotent early neurogenic retinal progenitors leads to a selective and essentially complete loss of RGCs. Therefore, Atoh7 is considered essential for conferring competence on progenitors to generate RGCs. Despite the importance of Atoh7 in RGC specification, we find that inhibiting apoptosis in Atoh7-deficient mice by loss of function of Bax only modestly reduces RGC numbers. Single-cell RNA sequencing of Atoh7;Bax-deficient retinas shows that RGC differentiation is delayed but that the gene expression profile of RGC precursors is grossly normal. Atoh7;Bax-deficient RGCs eventually mature, fire action potentials, and incorporate into retinal circuitry but exhibit severe axonal guidance defects. This study reveals an essential role for Atoh7 in RGC survival and demonstrates Atoh7-dependent and Atoh7-independent mechanisms for RGC specification.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View