by Vidyullatha Vasireddy, Venkata R. M. Chavali, Victory T. Joseph, Rajendra Kadam, Jonathan H. Lin, Jeffrey A. Jamison, Uday B. Kompella, Geereddy Bhanuprakash Reddy, Radha Ayyagari
The P23H mutation in the rhodopsin gene causes rhodopsin misfolding, altered trafficking and formation of insoluble aggregates leading to photoreceptor degeneration and autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP). There are no effective therapies to treat this condition. Compounds that enhance dissociation of protein aggregates may be of value in developing new treatments for such diseases. Anti-protein aggregating activity of curcumin has been reported earlier. In this study we present that treatment of COS-7 cells expressing mutant rhodopsin with curcumin results in dissociation of mutant protein aggregates and decreases endoplasmic reticulum stress. Furthermore we demonstrate that administration of curcumin to P23H-rhodopsin transgenic rats improves retinal morphology, physiology, gene expression and localization of rhodopsin. Our findings indicate that supplementation of curcumin improves retinal structure and function in P23H-rhodopsin transgenic rats. This data also suggest that curcumin may serve as a potential therapeutic agent in treating RP due to the P23H rhodopsin mutation and perhaps other degenerative diseases caused by protein trafficking defects.