Normal light response, photoreceptor integrity, and rhodopsin dephosphorylation in mice lacking both protein phosphatases with EF hands (PPEF-1 and PPEF-2)

Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Dec;21(24):8605-14. doi: 10.1128/MCB.21.24.8605-8614.2001.


Rhodopsin dephosphorylation in Drosophila is a calcium-dependent process that appears to be catalyzed by the protein product of the rdgC gene. Two vertebrate rdgC homologs, PPEF-1 and PPEF-2, have been identified. PPEF-1 transcripts are present at low levels in the retina, while PPEF-2 transcripts and PPEF-2 protein are abundant in photoreceptors. To determine if PPEF-2 alone or in combination with PPEF-1 plays a role in rhodopsin dephosphorylation and to determine if retinal degeneration accompanies mutation of PPEF-1 and/or PPEF-2, we have produced mice carrying targeted disruptions in the PPEF-1 and PPEF-2 genes. Loss of either or both PPEFs has little or no effect on rod function, as mice lacking both PPEF-1 and PPEF-2 show little or no changes in the electroretinogram and PPEF-2-/- mice show normal single-cell responses to light in suction pipette recordings. Light-dependent rhodopsin phosphorylation and dephosphorylation are also normal or nearly normal as determined by (i) immunostaining of PPEF-2-/- retinas with the phosphorhodopsin-specific antibody RT-97 and (ii) mass spectrometry of C-terminal rhodopsin peptides from mice lacking both PPEF-1 and PPEF-2. Finally, PPEF-2-/- retinas show normal histology at 1 year of age, and retinas from mice lacking both PPEF-1 and PPEF-2 show normal histology at 3 months of age, the latest time examined. These data indicate that, in contrast to loss of rdgC function in Drosophila, elimination of PPEF function does not cause retinal degeneration in vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Immunoblotting
  • Light*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / genetics*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Photons
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rhodopsin / chemistry
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism*
  • Time Factors


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Rhodopsin
  • Ppef1 protein, mouse
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • rdgC protein, Drosophila