Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enzyme That Makes Survival Molecule For Key Vision Cells Identified

Date:
July 7, 2009
Source:
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Summary:
New research identifies an enzyme that makes neuroprotectin D1 which specifically and selectively protects retinal cells key for vision.

Research lead by Dr. Nicolas Bazan, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, identifying an enzyme that makes neuroprotectin D1 which specifically and selectively protects retinal cells key for vision, will be published in the June 26, 2009 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Related Articles


Dr. Bazan’s research team previously discovered neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), a naturally produced chemical messenger that protects cells from injury caused by free radicals and other oxidative stress. Neuroprotectin D1 is derived from the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is present in both brain and retinal cells.

Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are essential for the survival of rod and cone photoreceptor cells. RPE cells regulate the renewal of the tips of photoreceptor cells among other functions. When RPE cells do not function properly, photoreceptor cells are damaged and can die, leading to decreased vision and eventual blindness as in such conditions as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. A number of stressors, including free radicals, damage RPE cells. Dr. Bazan’s lab has shown that RPE cells produce NPD1 in response to oxidative stress. The focus of this research project was to further define that process.

The LSUHSC team’s main participant was Jorgelina Calandria, a PhD student in the LSUHSC Neuroscience Center Graduate Program working with Dr. Bazan, along with Pranab Mukherjee, PhD, Research Assistant Professor. Calandria developed a stable cell line to explore the role of an enzyme called 15-LOX-1 that they believed might play a key role in the process of converting DHA into NPD1. They designed a series of experiments using cells with, and those deficient in, 15-LOX-1, and measured response to oxidative stress. They found that the cells deficient in 15-LOX-1 were more vulnerable and susceptible to cell death and that NPD1 production in those cells was also diminished, demonstrating that 15-LOX-1 is key to the production of NPD1. The team also conducted experiments where retinal cells deficient in 15-LOX-1 were treated with NPD1. NPD1 was able to selectively and successfully rescue them, demonstrating the protective power of NPD1 in RPE cells.

"These studies have created a new interest in RPE cells not only due to the potential applications in the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases, but also in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease," notes Dr. Bazan. "This research has helped us define NPD1 survival bioactivity in the RPE cell. It is clinically significant because it underpins the exploration of therapeutic interventions for diseases affecting millions."

According to Research to Prevent Blindness, an estimated 1.75 million Americans over age 40 have decreased vision from Age-related Macular Degeneration. That number is expected to increase to 3 million by 2020.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that at least 500,000 people in the US currently have Parkinson’s disease, although some estimates are much higher. The risk of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, so the impact of this disease is expected to increase as the population ages.

The research, which included collaboration by scientists at the University of Southern California, was supported by grants from the National Eye Institute and the National Center for Research Resources.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "Enzyme That Makes Survival Molecule For Key Vision Cells Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090626102339.htm>.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. (2009, July 7). Enzyme That Makes Survival Molecule For Key Vision Cells Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090626102339.htm
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "Enzyme That Makes Survival Molecule For Key Vision Cells Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090626102339.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
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