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Gene behind glaucoma identified

Date:
May 31, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
It is a mutation in a gene that causes the eye disease glaucoma, according to new research.

It is a mutation in a gene that causes the eye disease glaucoma, according to collaborative research conducted by Swedish, Tunisian, and American researchers. The findings were recently published in the journal Nature Genetics.

The most common form of glaucoma, so-called open-angle glaucoma, is a disease that afflicts more than 16 million people in the world. The nerve fiber layer of the optic nerve slowly withers, leading to a deterioration of wide-angle vision and ultimately to serious vision impairment.

It was previously believed that glaucoma is caused by elevated pressure in the eye. But now Peter Söderkvist and Mounira Hmani-Aifa at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden, in collaboration with Tunisian and American researchers, have managed to identify the pathogenic gene PRSS56, which is a serine protease. However, it remains unclear which protein(s) is the substrate for PRSS56.

The scientists studied Tunisian families who have been afflicted with both glaucoma and microphthalmia, diminished eyeballs, and in this work they managed to identify the gene that is mutated and causes the disease. The American research team participating in this collaboration identified an altered version of the gene in a mutagenesis screen in mice, selected for glaucoma.

The findings were achieved as part of a bilateral collaboration project between the Center for Biotechnology in Sfax, Tunisia and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Linköping University, a project that specifically targets research on families with genetic disorders. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council and SIDA, the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. K Saidas Nair, Mounira Hmani-Aifa, Zain Ali, Alison L Kearney, Salma Ben Salem, Danilo G Macalinao, Ioan M Cosma, Walid Bouassida, Bochra Hakim, Zeineb Benzina, Ileana Soto, Peter Söderkvist, Gareth R Howell, Richard S Smith, Hammadi Ayadi, Simon W M John. Alteration of the serine protease PRSS56 causes angle-closure glaucoma in mice and posterior microphthalmia in humans and mice. Nature Genetics, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/ng.813

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Gene behind glaucoma identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531084754.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2011, May 31). Gene behind glaucoma identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531084754.htm
Expertanswer. "Gene behind glaucoma identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110531084754.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

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