The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is a monolayer of multifunctional cells located at the back of the eye. High membrane turnover and polarization, including formation of actin-based apical microvilli, are essential for RPE function and retinal health. Herein, we demonstrate an important role for βA3/A1-crystallin in RPE. βA3/A1-crystallin deficiency leads to clathrin-mediated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) endocytosis abnormalities and actin network disruption at the apical side that result in RPE polarity disruption and degeneration. We found that βA3/A1-crystallin binds to phosphatidylinositol transfer protein (PITPβ) and that βA3/A1-crystallin deficiency diminishes phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate (PI(4,5)P2), thus probably decreasing ezrin phosphorylation, EGFR activation, internalization, and degradation. We propose that βA3/A1-crystallin acquired its RPE function before evolving as a structural element in the lens, and that in the RPE, it modulates the PI(4,5)P2 pool through PITPβ/PLC signaling axis, coordinates EGFR activation, regulates ezrin phosphorylation and ultimately the cell polarity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)