Photoreceptor subtype specification: From flies to humans

Tiffany Cook, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple cell types often differentiate from a pluripotent cell. These cells may then further diversify as distinct subtypes. The visual system provides an ideal model for studying subtype specification as various photoreceptors acquire different functions based on the type of opsin they express. Opsin expression is mostly controlled through transcriptional mechanisms that are evolutionary conserved from Drosophila to humans. In addition, it appears that, from a 'default' developmental state, distinct 'acquired' photoreceptor states develop upon receiving intrinsic or extrinsic signals. This review discusses factors involved in opsin gene regulation and how their integration may explain how subtype specificity is achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • LCR
  • Opsin
  • Otd
  • Photoreceptor
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Photoreceptor subtype specification: From flies to humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this