MSRA (EC 184.108.40.206) is a member of the methionine sulfoxide reductase family that can reduce methionine sulfoxide (MetO) in proteins. This repair function has been shown to protect cells against oxidative damage. In this study we have assembled the complete gene structure of msrA and identified the presence of two distinct putative promoters that generate three different transcripts. These transcripts were cloned by 5'RACE and code for three MSRA isoforms with different N-termini. The different forms of MSRA target to distinct intracellular regions. The main MSRA transcript (msrA1) had been previously shown to target the mitochondria. MsrA2 and 3 originate from a second promoter and target the cytosol and nuclei. In the monkey retina msrA message was detected mainly in the macular RPE-choroid region while its activity was measured mainly in the soluble fractions of fractionated neural retina and RPE-choroid. The MSRA protein is found throughout the retina but is especially abundant at the photoreceptor synapses, ganglion and Müller cells. Interestingly, MSRA was not detected in the mitochondria of the photoreceptor inner segments. The RPE in the peripheral retina shows very low levels of expression but the RPE in the macular region is strongly labeled. Targeted silencing of msrA message rendered cultured RPE cells more sensitive to oxidative damage suggesting a role for MSRA in RPE protection against oxidative stress. Collectively these data suggest MSRA may play an important role in protecting macular RPE from oxidative damage.