Phosphoinositides are known to play multiple roles in eukaryotic cells. Although dysregulation of phosphoinositide metabolism in the retina has been reported to cause visual dysfunction in animal models and human patients, our understanding of the phosphoinositide composition of the retina is limited. Here, we report a characterization of the phosphoinositide profile of the mouse retina and an analysis of the subcellular localization of major phosphorylated phosphoinositide forms in light-sensitive photoreceptor neurons. Using chromatography of deacylated phosphatidylinositol headgroups, we established PI(4,5)P2
and PI(4)P as two major phosphorylated phosphoinositides in the retina. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we revealed 18:0/20:4 and 16:0/20:4 as major fatty-acyl chains of retinal phosphoinositides. Finally, analysis of fluorescent phosphoinositide sensors in rod photoreceptors demonstrated distinct subcellular distribution patterns of major phosphoinositides. The PI(4,5)P2
reporter was enriched in the inner segments and synapses, but was barely detected in the light-sensitive outer segments. The PI(4)P reporter was mostly found in the outer and inner segments and the areas around nuclei, but to a lesser degree in the synaptic region. These findings provide support for future mechanistic studies defining the biological significance of major mono- (PI(4)P) and bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2
) phosphatidylinositols in photoreceptor biology and retinal health.
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