Distinct mutations in the centrosomal-cilia protein CEP290 lead to diverse clinical findings in syndromic ciliopathies. We show that CEP290 localizes to the transition zone in ciliated cells, precisely to the region of Y-linkers between central microtubules and plasma membrane. To create models of CEP290-associated ciliopathy syndromes, we generated Cep290(ko/ko) and Cep290(gt/gt) mice that produce no or a truncated CEP290 protein, respectively. Cep290(ko/ko) mice exhibit early vision loss and die from hydrocephalus. Retinal photoreceptors in Cep290(ko/ko) mice lack connecting cilia, and ciliated ventricular ependyma fails to mature. The minority of Cep290(ko/ko) mice that escape hydrocephalus demonstrate progressive kidney pathology. Cep290(gt/gt) mice die at mid-gestation, and the occasional Cep290(gt/gt) mouse that survives shows hydrocephalus and severely cystic kidneys. Partial loss of CEP290-interacting ciliopathy protein MKKS mitigates lethality and renal pathology in Cep290(gt/gt) mice. Our studies demonstrate domain-specific functions of CEP290 and provide novel therapeutic paradigms for ciliopathies.
Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.