Stem Cells Int 2012 30;2012:908183. Epub 2012 Aug 30.
Henry C. Witelson Ocular Pathology Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2B4.
Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a deacetylase that can regulate various biological processes via repression of transcription. Its activity has been linked to the differentiation of neural progenitor cells, although little is known about its function during retinal development. The study described herein was undertaken to evaluate the expression of SIRT1 and its innate inhibitor, DBC1, in retinal tissues and progenitor cells. We found both SIRT1 and DBC1 to be widely expressed in mouse and human retinas, with subtle differences in subcellular distribution of each protein. We further demonstrate that nuclear-localized SIRT1 is only seen in human-derived retinal progenitor cells and not in adult retinas, suggesting that this nuclear localization may be important in retinal development. Moreover, we observed cytoplasmic DBC1 in a subset of progenitor cells as well as in mature ganglion cells, indicating that the progenitor cell subset, which was comprised predominantly of small cells, may represent a population of ganglion cell precursors. Collectively, the data presented in this study provide support for SIRT1 and DBC1 as regulators of retinal development and normal retinal physiology.