Objective: Retinoschisis and Norrie disease are X-linked recessive retinal disorders caused by mutations in RS1 and NDP genes respectively. Both are likely to be monogenic and no locus heterogeneity has been reported. However, there are reports showing overlapping features of Norrie disease and retinoschisis in a NDP knock-out mouse model and also the involvement of both the genes in retinoschisis patients. Yet, the exact molecular relationships between the two disorders have still not been understood. The study investigated the association between retinoschisin (RS1) and norrin (NDP) using in vitro and in silico approaches. Specific protein-protein interaction between RS1 and NDP was analyzed in human retina by co-immunoprecipitation assay and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. STRING database was used to explore the functional relationship.
Result: Co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated lack of a direct interaction between RS1 and NDP and was further substantiated by mass spectrometry. However, STRING revealed a potential indirect functional association between the two proteins. Progressively, our analyses indicate that FZD4 protein interactome via PLIN2 as well as the MAP kinase signaling pathway to be a likely link bridging the functional relationship between retinoschisis and Norrie disease.