Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein discovered that prevents light-induced retinal degeneration

Date:
February 12, 2013
Source:
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Summary:
Scientists have found a protein that protects retinal photoreceptor cells from degeneration caused by light damage. This protein may provide a new therapeutic target for both an inherited retinal degenerative disease and age-related macular degeneration.

Research led by Minghao Jin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has found a protein that protects retinal photoreceptor cells from degeneration caused by light damage. This protein may provide a new therapeutic target for both an inherited retinal degenerative disease and age-related macular degeneration.

The paper is published in the February 13, 2013 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

The visual cycle is essential for regenerating visual pigments that sense light for vision. However, abnormal visual cycles promote formation of toxic byproducts that contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in elderly people that affects an estimated 2 million Americans. The mechanisms that regulate the visual cycle have been unclear. Identification and characterization of regulators of the visual cycle enzymes are critical for understanding these mechanisms.

RPE65 is a key enzyme involved in the visual cycle. RPE65 mutations have been linked to early onset vision loss, retinal degeneration, and blinding eye diseases. Despite such importance, the mechanisms that regulate the function of RPE65 are unknown. To identify and characterize previously unknown inhibitors of RPE65, the scientists tested five candidate proteins. Using gene screening, the LSUHSC research team discovered that one of them -- fatty acid transport protein 4 (FATP4) -- is a negative regulator; it inhibits RPE65.

"We found that FATP4 protects retinal photoreceptor cells from experimentally-induced retinal degeneration," notes Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor, Ernest C. and Yvette C. Villere Endowed Chair of Retinal Degeneration, and Director of the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, who is a co-author of the paper.

Recently, mutations in the human FATP4 gene have been identified in patients with a certain recessive disorder which also features one of the toxic byproducts associated with abnormal visual cycles. This byproduct, called A2E accumulates in retinal pigment epithelial cells with age, prompting a call for further investigation to determine whether FATP4 mutations cause age-related vision impairment and retinal degeneration.

"These findings suggest that FATP4 may be a therapeutic target for the inherited retinal degenerative disease caused by RPE65 mutations and AMD," concludes Dr. Jin.


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. "Protein discovered that prevents light-induced retinal degeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212172207.htm>.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. (2013, February 12). Protein discovered that prevents light-induced retinal degeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212172207.htm
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. "Protein discovered that prevents light-induced retinal degeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130212172207.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) 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:
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