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Energy Shortfall Causes Blindness

Some mitochondrial disorders cause blindness through increased oxidative stress. A new study by Manish Jaiswal, Hugo Bellen and co-authors shows that in other such disorders, light-activated photoreceptors degenerate because the shortfall in mitochondrial energy production impairs rhodopsin trafficking and induces toxicity. This image shows photoreceptor neurons of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, with the photoreceptors visualized by phalloidin (green). The light-sensitive protein rhodopsin 1 (yellow) is aberrantly localized in the cytoplasm of those photoreceptors that have defective mitochondria (non-blue), while the normal photoreceptors are marked by RFP (blue). Jaiswal et al.

Image Credit: Manish Jaiswal