Navigation Links
Focus on glaucoma origins continues path toward potential cure
Date:1/17/2012

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Nearly 4 million Americans have the disorder, which affects 70 million worldwide. There is no cure and no early symptoms. Once vision is lost, it's permanent.

New findings at Georgia Tech, published in January during Glaucoma Awareness Month, explore one of the many molecular origins of glaucoma and advance research dedicated to fighting the disease.

Glaucoma is typically triggered when fluid is unable to circulate freely through the eye's trabecular meshwork (TM) tissue. Intraocular pressure rises and damages the retina and optic nerve, which causes vision loss. In certain cases of glaucoma, this blockage results from a build-up of the protein myocilin. Georgia Tech Chemistry and Biochemistry Assistant Professor Raquel Lieberman focused on examining the structural properties of these myocilin deposits.

"We were surprised to discover that both genetically defected as well as normal, or wild-type (WT), myocilin are readily triggered to produce very stable fibrous residue containing a pathogenic material called amyloid," said Lieberman, whose work was published in the most recent Journal of Molecular Biology.

Amyloid formation, in which a protein is converted from its normal form into fibers, is recognized as a major contributor to numerous non-ocular disorders, including Alzheimer's, certain forms of diabetes and Mad Cow disease (in cattle). Scientists are currently studying ways to destroy amyloid fibrils as an option for treating these diseases. Further research, based on Lieberman's findings, could potentially result in drugs that prevent or stop myocilin amyloid formation or destroy existing fibrils in glaucoma patients.

Until this point, amyloids linked to glaucoma had been restricted to the retinal area. In those cases, amyloids kill retina cells, leading to vision loss, but don't affect intraocular pressure.

"The amyloid-containing myocilin deposits we discovered kill cells that maintain the integrity of TM tissue," said Lieberman. "In addition to debris from dead cells, the fibrils themselves may also form an obstruction in the TM tissue. Together, these mechanisms may hasten the increase of intraocular pressure that impairs vision."

Together with her research team, Lieberman produced WT and genetically defected myocilin variants that had been documented in patients who develop glaucoma in childhood or early adulthood. The experiments were conducted in collaboration with Georgia Tech Biology Professor Ingeborg Schmidt-Krey and Stanford Genetics Professor Douglas Vollrath. Three Georgia Tech students also participated in the research: Susan Orwig (Ph.D. graduate, Chemistry and Biochemistry), Chris Perry (current undergraduate, Biochemistry) and Laura Kim (master's graduate, Biology).


'/>"/>
Contact: Jason Maderer
maderer@gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Lung cancer conference to focus on new diagnostic techniques, potential treatments
2. Predictive health symposium will focus on human microbiome
3. Conservationists call for increased focus on coastal ecosystems
4. New book from NJIT professor focuses on art, science and evolution
5. Focus on fats
6. First NIH-funded personalized drug development center in US will focus on muscle disease
7. Fate of lakes focus of international meeting in Sunapee, N.H.
8. Journal focuses on Savannah River National Labratory, Chernobyl Laboratory collaboration
9. Researchers develop optimal algorithm for determining focus error in eyes and cameras
10. International pharmacogenomics conference to focus on better drug treatment based on genetics
11. October 2011 conference focuses on the role of gender in cardiovascular disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Focus on glaucoma origins continues path toward potential cure
(Date:4/6/2017)... , April 6, 2017 ... RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, ... Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), ... Educational, Other) Are you looking for a ... sector? ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2017)... New Jersey (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... that aligns with your needs and has the capabilities to properly execute your job ... site customglassparts.com is a sourcing portal designed to showcase the company’s ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... Software ( https://dataformsoftware.com ) announces the migration of its flagship cloud-based product Planet ... is a team-centric, enterprise work management system that merges strategic and financial planning ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... are characterized by a wide range of overlapping clinical features. The advancement of ... in the field of NDD research and testing. , However, designing a ...
(Date:7/16/2017)... ... July 16, 2017 , ... OHAUS Corporation, a leading worldwide ... its new line of Extreme Environment Shakers today. , Extreme Environment Shakers , ... for optimal cell growth such as cell cultures, solubility studies and extraction procedures. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: