The subcellular localization of Otx2 is cell-type specific and developmentally regulated in the mouse retina

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2000 May 31;78(1-2):26-37. doi: 10.1016/s0169-328x(00)00060-7.


Recent evidence implicates homeodomain-containing proteins in the specification of cell fates in the central nervous system. Here we report that in the embryonic mouse eye Otx2, a paired homeodomain transcription factor, was found in retinal pigment epithelial cells and a restricted subset of retinal neurons, including ganglion cells. In the postnatal and adult eye, however, both the cellular and subcellular distribution of the Otx2 protein were cell type-specific. Otx2 was detected only in the nuclei of retinal pigment epithelial and bipolar cells, but was present in the cytoplasm of rod photoreceptors. Immunohistochemical studies of retinal explants and transfected cell lines both suggested that the retention of Otx2 in the cytoplasm of immature rods is a developmentally regulated process. The differential distribution of Otx2 in the cytoplasm of rods and the nucleus of other cell types, suggests that subcellular localization of this transcription factor may participate cell fate determination during specific phases of retinal development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Cytoplasm / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • PC12 Cells
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / chemistry*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / cytology
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / embryology
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / chemistry*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / chemistry*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / embryology
  • Teratocarcinoma
  • Trans-Activators / analysis*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / immunology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • OTX2 protein, human
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • Otx2 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators