Oxidative stress contributes to ageing and to the pathology of many human diseases. Identifying factors that inhibit the effects of oxidative stress in neurons might help to develop therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, including retinal dystrophies. Cho et al. now show that the neuroprotective effect of RANBP2 insufficiency is cell-type specific: analyses of RANBP2-haploinsufficient mice show that photoreceptors are protected from light-induced oxidative stress, owing to altered protein homeostasis, whereas the supporting retinal pigment epithelium has altered lipid homeostasis.

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