Proteomic Profiling Revealed Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Photoreceptor Cells under Hyperglycemia

Christie Hang-I Lam, Jimmy Ka-Wai Cheung, Dennis Yan-Yin Tse, Thomas Chuen Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) was identified as a leading cause of blindness and vision impairment in 2020. In addition to vasculopathy, DR has been found to involve retinal neurons, including amacrine cells and retinal ganglion cells. Despite possessing features that are susceptible to diabetic conditions, photoreceptor cells have received relatively little attention with respect to the development of DR. Until recently, studies have suggested that photoreceptors secret proinflammatory molecules and produce reactive oxygen species that contribute to the development of DR. However, the effect of hyperglycemia on photoreceptors and its underlying mechanism remains elusive. In this study, the direct effect of high glucose on photoreceptor cells was investigated using a 661w photoreceptor-like cell line. A data-independent sequential window acquisition of all theoretical mass spectra (SWATH)-based proteomic approach was employed to study changes induced by high glucose in the proteomic profile of the cells. The results indicated that high glucose induced a significant increase in apoptosis and ROS levels in the 661w cells, with mitochondrial dysfunction among the major affected canonical pathways. The involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction was further supported by increased mitochondrial fission and reduced mitochondrial bioenergetics. Collectively, these findings provide a biological basis for a possible role of photoreceptors in the pathogenesis of DR.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13366
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • diabetic retinopathy
  • mitochondrial dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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