Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineered Proteins Restore Light Sensitivity To Animals

Date:
October 21, 2009
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Engineered, light-sensitive molecules introduced into a blind rodent's eye resulted in vision, according to results from an interdisciplinary collaboration between numerous labs. The results could lead to treatments for people with inherited, blinding eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, which affects one in every 3,000 individuals.

Engineered, light-sensitive molecules introduced into a blind rodent's eye resulted in vision, according to results from an interdisciplinary collaboration between numerous labs. The results could lead to treatments for people with inherited, blinding eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, which affects one in every 3,000 individuals.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2009, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

In past studies, researchers made a blind animal's visual cells respond to light by introducing a light-sensitive algae protein into the eye. This new study manipulates existing proteins that our brains normally use to transmit information between neurons, and makes them light sensitive.

The researchers focused on several light-sensitive proteins, each with its own unique properties that could be fine- tuned to meet researchers' specific needs. One such engineered protein, LiGluR (Light Activated Glutamate Receptor), can turn neuronal activity on and off upon illumination with specific wavelengths of light. There are many glutamate receptors in the human brain, but they are not normally light sensitive.

"Our approach was to build on these initial studies, to 're-engineer nature,' by solving a deficit with engineered light-sensitive proteins," said Natalia Caporale, PhD, at the University of California Berkeley, the study's first author. "This approach could prove to be a viable therapeutic option for people who have lost significant vision and are in the late stages of retinal degeneration," she said.

Compared with naturally occurring photosensitive proteins, LiGluR can initiate larger and longer-lasting responses in neurons, making it a promising candidate for treatments intended to restore vision.

Research was supported by the Nanomedicine Development Center for the Optical Control of Biological Function and the Foundation Fighting Blindness.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Engineered Proteins Restore Light Sensitivity To Animals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021014732.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2009, October 21). Engineered Proteins Restore Light Sensitivity To Animals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021014732.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Engineered Proteins Restore Light Sensitivity To Animals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021014732.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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