New molecular map of the eye

 

Scientists from the University of Iowa have created the most detailed molecular map to date of the human eye, by cataloguing more than 4,000 proteins in the choroid.

 

These proteins play an important role in maintaining vision, in a part of the eye associated with diseases that can lead to vision loss or blindness, such as age-related macular degeneration. By observing the varying quantities of proteins in the three areas of the choroid, the researchers believe that they can see which proteins may be associated with vision loss and with eye disease.

 

“This molecular map now gives us clues why certain areas of the choroid are more sensitive to certain diseases, as well as where to target therapies and why,” says Vinit Mahajan, a corresponding author on the paper, published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. “Before this, we just didn’t know what was where.”

 

For example, with the map, the researchers learned that the CFH protein is more abundant in the fovea. However, this protein helps prevent a molecular cascade of events that can lead to AMD. Monitoring CFH abundance in this area therefore becomes a good means of detecting the risks of AMD.


Sources:

http://archopht.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1889671

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140801125054.htm

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