Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous genetic disorder that is characterized by a progressive loss of photoreceptors that results in deterioration of vision. While gene therapy has shown promise for some forms of RP, over 60 genes have been implicated in this disorder; therefore, non-gene-targeted therapies are of great interest. In this episode, Stephen Tsang and colleagues discuss their study, which shows that upregulation of glycolytic flux, via targeted downregulation of sirtuin 6, in rod photoreceptors improves photoreceptor survival and preserves vision in a mouse model of RP. As this strategy is not gene-specific, it may be beneficial for a range of neurodegenerative disorders.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) encompasses a diverse group of Mendelian disorders leading to progressive degeneration of rods and then cones. For reasons that remain unclear, diseased RP photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to cell death and, consequently, loss of vision. Here, we have hypothesized that RP associated with mutations in phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6) provokes a metabolic aberration in rod cells that promotes the pathological consequences of elevated cGMP and Ca2+, which are induced by the
Lijuan Zhang, Jianhai Du, Sally Justus, Chun-Wei Hsu, Luis Bonet-Ponce, Wen-Hsuan Wu, Yi-Ting Tsai, Wei-Pu Wu, Yading Jia, Jimmy K. Duong, Vinit B. Mahajan, Chyuan-Sheng Lin, Shuang Wang, James B. Hurley, Stephen H. Tsang