Photoreceptor disc component (PRCD) is a small protein which is exclusively localized to photoreceptor outer segments, and is involved in the formation of photoreceptor outer segment discs. Mutations in PRCD are associated with retinal degeneration in humans, mice, and dogs. The purpose of this work was to identify PRCD-binding proteins in the retina. PRCD protein-protein interactions were identified when implementing the Ras recruitment system (RRS), a cytoplasmic-based yeast two-hybrid system, on a bovine retina cDNA library. An interaction between PRCD and tubby-like protein 1 (TULP1) was identified. Co-immunoprecipitation in transfected mammalian cells confirmed that PRCD interacts with TULP1, as well as with its homolog, TUB. These interactions were mediated by TULP1 and TUB highly conserved C-terminal tubby domain. PRCD localization was altered in the retinas of TULP1- and TUB-deficient mice. These results show that TULP1 and TUB, which are involved in the vesicular trafficking of several photoreceptor proteins from the inner segment to the outer segment, are also required for PRCD exclusive localization to photoreceptor outer segment discs.
Keywords: TUB; TULP1; photoreceptor disc component; photoreceptors; retina.