Photoreceptor degeneration in a new Cacna1f mutant mouse model.

Document Type


Publication Date


JAX Source

Exp Eye Res 2019; 179:106-114






EY023543, EY019943


The Cacna1f gene encodes the α1F subunit of an L-type voltage-gated calcium channel, Cav1.4. In photoreceptor synaptic terminals, Cav1.4 channels mediate glutamate release and postsynaptic responses associated with visual signal transmission. We have discovered a new Cacna1f mutation in nob9 mice, which display more severe phenotypes than do nob2 mice. To characterize the nob9 phenotype at different ages, we examined the murine fundus, applied retinal optical coherence tomography, measured flash electroretinograms (ERGs) in vivo, and analyzed the retinal histology in vitro. After identifying the X-linked recessive inheritance trait, we sequenced Cacna1f as the candidate gene. Mutations in this gene were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and confirmed by restriction fragment length polymorphism. Morphologically, an early-onset of retinal disorder was detected, and the degeneration of the outer plexiform layers progressed rapidly. Moreover, the mutant mice showed drastically reduced scotopic ERGs with increasing age. In 14-month-old nob9 retinas, immunostaining of cone opsins demonstrated a reduction in the number of short-wavelength opsins (S-opsins) to 54% of wild-type levels, and almost no middle-wavelength opsins (M-opsins) were observed. No cone ERGs could be detected from residual cones, in which S-opsins abnormally migrated to inner segments of the photoreceptors. The mutations of the Cacna1f gene in nob9 mice involved both a single nucleotide G to A transition and a 10-nucleotide insertion, the latter resulting in a frame-shift mutation in exon 14.