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A map for eye disease
Date:8/1/2014

why. One such example is a protein known as CFH, which helps prevent a molecular cascade that can lead to AMD, much like a levee can keep flooding waters at bay. The UI researchers learned, though the map, that CFH is most abundant in the fovea. That helps, because now they know to monitor CFH abundance there; fewer numbers of the protein could mean increased risk for AMD, for instance.

"Now you can see all those differences that you couldn't see before," explains Mahajan, whose primary appointment is in the Carver College of Medicine.

Previous studies have compared the abundance of single proteins in the fovea, macula, and periphery. The UI choroid-RPE map corroborates findings from these studies, while also opening a whole, new avenue of research into thousands of proteins that may be involved in vision loss. Mahajan likens it to a leap from the first topological drawings of a landscape to the detailed satellite images we have now.

"We were able to identify thousands of proteins simultaneously and develop a map that shows what are the patterns of proteins that make these regions unique. This has helped explain why certain genes are associated with macular degeneration, and helps point us to new treatment targets," says Skeie, who earned her undergraduate and master's degrees at the UI and is the study's first author.


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Contact: Richard Lewis
richard-c-lewis@uiowa.edu
319-384-0012
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert  

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