Two studies published online [Study 1 and Study 2] by Nature this week uncover a new and unusual function for the protein, Crumbs. This may help explain why, when dysfunctional, Crumbs protein leads to impaired vision in humans. Mutated Crumbs causes the human congenital vision impairments retinitis pigmentosa and Leber congential amaurosis. It is known that in the fruit fly Drosophila, Crumbs is important to define what will be the top and bottom of an epithelial cell (apical-basal polarity). Kwang-Wook Choi of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and colleagues, and Ulrich Tepass of the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada find that Crumbs also has a function in the compound eye of the fly; specifically, that it is required for proper positioning of the light-sensitive cells. Elucidation of this new role for Crumbs will allow us to understand how the protein may regulate vision in humans.
Dept of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston
Tel: +1 713 798 8649
Dept of Zoology
University of Toronto
Tel: +1 416 978-5712
(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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