Photoreceptor Phosphodiesterase (PDE6): Structure, Regulatory Mechanisms, and Implications for Treatment of Retinal Diseases.

Academic Article


  • The photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6) is a member of large family of Class I phosphodiesterases responsible for hydrolyzing the second messengers cAMP and cGMP. PDE6 consists of two catalytic subunits and two inhibitory subunits that form a tetrameric protein. PDE6 is a peripheral membrane protein that is localized to the signal-transducing compartment of rod and cone photoreceptors. As the central effector enzyme of the G-protein coupled visual transduction pathway, activation of PDE6 catalysis causes a rapid decrease in cGMP levels that results in closure of cGMP-gated ion channels in the photoreceptor plasma membrane. Because of its importance in the phototransduction pathway, mutations in PDE6 genes result in various retinal diseases that currently lack therapeutic treatment strategies due to inadequate knowledge of the structure, function, and regulation of this enzyme. This review focuses on recent progress in understanding the structure of the regulatory and catalytic domains of the PDE6 holoenzyme, the central role of the multi-functional inhibitory γ-subunit, the mechanism of activation by the heterotrimeric G protein, transducin, and future directions for pharmacological interventions to treat retinal degenerative diseases arising from mutations in the PDE6 genes.
  • Authors

  • Cote, Rick
  • Gupta, Richa
  • Irwin, Michael J
  • Wang, Xin
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2022
  • Keywords

  • Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 6
  • G protein
  • Humans
  • PDE6
  • Phosphodiesterase
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells
  • Retinal Diseases
  • Retinal disease
  • Transducin
  • Visual transduction
  • cGMP
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 33
  • End Page

  • 59
  • Volume

  • 1371