INPP5E (pharbin) is a ubiquitously-expressed, farnesylated phosphatidylinositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase which modulates the phosphoinositide composition of membranes. INPP5E resides in primary cilia, and mutations or loss of INPP5E are associated with ciliary dysfunction. INPP5E missense mutations of the phosphatase catalytic domain cause Joubert syndrome in humans, a syndromic ciliopathy affecting multiple tissues including brain, liver, kidney and retina. We show that, differing from other primary cilia, INPP5E is present in the wildtype photoreceptor inner segment and absent in the outer segment–a modified primary cilium dedicated to phototransduction. We generated Inpp5eF/F;Six3Cre (in short, retInpp5e-/-) mice which exhibit a rapidly progressing rod-cone degeneration nearly completed by postnatal day 21 (P21) in the central retina. Mutant cone outer segments contain vesicles instead of discs as early as P8. While P10 mutant outer segments contain phototransduction and structural proteins, they do not form axonemes and fail to elaborate disc membranes. Connecting cilia of retInpp5e-/- rods appear normal, although IFT-B/A particles accumulate at their distal ends suggesting disrupted intraflagellar transport. These results show that ablation of INPP5E does not impair the secretory pathway responsible for delivery of outer segment-specific proteins, but blocks axonemal extension and prevents disc morphogenesis.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience