Cone photoreceptors detect light and are responsible for color vision. These cells display a distinct polarized morphology where nuclei are precisely aligned in the apical retina. However, little is known about the mechanisms involved in cone nuclear positioning or the impact of this organization on retina function. We show that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 and one of its substrates, AMPK, regulate cone nuclear positioning. In the absence of either molecule, cone nuclei are misplaced along the axon, resulting in altered nuclear lamination. LKB1 is required specifically in cones to mediate this process, and disruptions in nuclear alignment result in reduced cone function. Together, these results identify molecular determinants of cone nuclear position and indicate that cone nuclear position alignment enables proper visual function.
Keywords: AMPK; LKB1; cones; lamination; neuron; nuclear translocation; retina; vision.
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