Loss of Motor Protein MYO1C Causes Rhodopsin Mislocalization and Results in Impaired Visual Function

Cells. 2021 May 26;10(6):1322. doi: 10.3390/cells10061322.


Unconventional myosins, linked to deafness, are also proposed to play a role in retinal cell physiology. However, their direct role in photoreceptor function remains unclear. We demonstrate that systemic loss of the unconventional myosin MYO1C in mice, specifically causes rhodopsin mislocalization, leading to impaired visual function. Electroretinogram analysis of Myo1c knockout (Myo1c-KO) mice showed a progressive loss of photoreceptor function. Immunohistochemistry and binding assays demonstrated MYO1C localization to photoreceptor inner and outer segments (OS) and identified a direct interaction of rhodopsin with MYO1C. In Myo1c-KO retinas, rhodopsin mislocalized to rod inner segments (IS) and cell bodies, while cone opsins in OS showed punctate staining. In aged mice, the histological and ultrastructural examination of the phenotype of Myo1c-KO retinas showed progressively shorter photoreceptor OS. These results demonstrate that MYO1C is important for rhodopsin localization to the photoreceptor OS, and for normal visual function.

Keywords: motor protein; myosin 1C; outer segments; photoreceptor; retina; rhodopsin; visual function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dyneins / genetics
  • Electroretinography / methods
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Rhodopsin / genetics
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism*


  • Eye Proteins
  • Rhodopsin
  • Dyneins