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:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016   SoftServe , a global ... , an electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor analysis system for ... IoT asset. The smart system ensures device-to-device communication ... wheel and mobile devices to easily ,recognize, and ... As vehicle technology advances, so too must the ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... Nearly one billion matches per second with DERMALOG,s high-speed AFIS    ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's ... Systems) ... largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System is part of an ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... Lithuania , Nov. 21, 2016   ... and object recognition technologies, today announced that the ... smart cards was submitted for the NIST ... successfully passed all the mandatory steps of the ... evaluation is a continuing test of fingerprint templates ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 Eurofins announces the appointment of ... of Eurofins Scientific Inc. (ESI). Mr. Murray will ... professional and entrepreneurial experience in leading international business teams. As the ... testing market to uphold Eurofins, status as the global leader in ... , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Oxford Gene ... seine Palette an anpassbaren SureSeq™ NGS-Panels mit dem ... das ein schnelles und kostengünstiges Studium der Varianten ... eine Erkennung von Einzel-Nukleotid-Variationen (Single Nucleotide Variation, SNV) ... kleinen Panel und ermöglicht eine individuelle Anpassung durch ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... In response to client demand KbioBox developed a sophisticated “3 click” gene dditing ... are accessible from KBioBox’s new website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ and powered by ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature ... for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in countries that are ... of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts ...
Breaking Biology Technology: