Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Clearer Picture Of Cloudy Eyes

Date:
March 24, 2008
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
A new study provides more insight into cataracts, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the elderly, finding that small pieces of a perfectly normal protein become toxic during the aging process. A cataract results from deterioration in the highly ordered assembly of crystallin proteins in the eye lens.

Comparison of the vision of normal and aged/cataract eyes.
Credit: Krishna Sharma

A new study provides more insight into cataracts, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the elderly, finding that small pieces of a perfectly normal protein become toxic during the aging process.

Related Articles


A cataract results from deterioration in the highly ordered assembly of crystallin proteins in the eye lens. Normally, the ordered structure keeps lenses clear and able to efficiently transmit light. However, crystallins gradually break down during aging, causing the lens to become opaque and scatter light instead. Besides age, other risk factors such as diabetes, ultraviolet radiation, or drugs like corticosteroids can also contribute to cataracts.

Like cataracts themselves, the exact mechanisms governing their formation are cloudy, but Krishna Sharma and colleagues found that tiny bits of crystallin greatly contribute to this process.

They compared a range of human donor lenses and found that aged and cataract lenses accumulated about four times as many short (~10-20 amino acids) crystallin fragments compared to young lenses. These fragments could readily bind full-length crystallins, which disrupted their natural shape and organization and caused them to become insoluble.

Ironically, these tiny fragments are a by-product of the eye’s efforts to stay healthy; when a crystallin becomes damaged, other proteins chew it up to remove it; but occasionally the process is incomplete, leaving tiny pieces that can cause greater damage.

This research was recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "A Clearer Picture Of Cloudy Eyes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321140945.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2008, March 24). A Clearer Picture Of Cloudy Eyes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321140945.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "A Clearer Picture Of Cloudy Eyes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080321140945.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins