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 April 19, 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 April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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