Navigation Links
Physics provides new insights on cataract formation
Date:11/9/2007

Using the tools and techniques of soft condensed matter physics, a research team in Switzerland has demonstrated that a finely tuned balance of attractions between proteins keeps the lens of the eye transparent, and that even a small change in this balance can cause proteins to aggregate and de-mix. This leads to cataract formation, the worlds leading cause of blindness. This work could shed light on other protein aggregation diseases (such as Alzheimers disease), and may one day lead to methods for stabilizing protein interactions and thus preventing these problematic aggregations from occurring.

The eye lens is made up of densely packed crystallin proteins, arranged in such a way that light in the visible wavelength range can pass through. But for a variety of reasons including UV radiation exposure and age, the proteins sometimes change their behavior and clump together. As a result, light is scattered once it enters the lens, resulting in cloudy vision or blindness. There is currently no known way to reverse the protein aggregation process once it has begun. Nearly 5 million people every year undergo cataract surgery in which their lenses are removed and replaced with artificial ones.

Previous research has shown that the interactions between the three major crystallin proteins that make up the concentrated eye lens protein solution are key to cataract formation. A team of scientists from the University of Fribourg, EPFL and the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA) studied the interactions between two of these proteins, at concentrations similar to those found in the eye lens, using a combination of neutron scattering experiments and molecular dynamics computer simulations. They found that a finely tuned combination of attraction and repulsion between the two proteins resulted in an arrangement that was transparent to visible light. By combining experiments and simulations it became possible to quantify that there had to be a weak attraction between the proteins in order for the eye lens to be transparent, explains EPFL postdoctoral researcher Giuseppe Foffi, a member of the Institut Romand de Recherche Numerique en Physique des Materiaux (IRRMA). Our results indicate that cataracts may form if this balance of attractions is disrupted, and this opens a new direction for research into cataract formation.

Lots of studies have been done on individual proteins in the lens, adds University of Fribourg physicist and lead author Anna Stradner, But none on their mixtures at concentrations typically found in the eye. We modeled these proteins as colloidal particles, and found there was a very narrow window in which the protein solution remained stable, and this was a necessary condition for lens transparency.

In addition to unveiling important new information about the interactions of the proteins in the eye lens, this benchmark study provides a framework for further study into the molecular properties and interactions of proteins. The results suggest that these properties could perhaps be manipulated to prevent aggregation or reverse the aggregation process once it has begun.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Parlange
mary.parlange@epfl.ch
41-216-937-022
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne  
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. SNM/Nihon Medi-Physics sponsor new fellowship program for Japanese physicians
2. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of antirejection drugs
3. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of anti-rejection drugs
4. USAID Provides Additional Wildfire Assistance to Greece
5. LifeMasters Provides Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level
6. New knock-out gene model provides molecular clues to breast cancer
7. PreMD Provides Update on 510(k) Application for PREVU(x) POC
8. SIV infection of natural hosts provides new insights into HIV disease complexity
9. Microarray provides 3 genomic guides to breast cancer treatment decisions
10. Access Innovations Provides Support Services for Agis Network
11. Crdentias VP of Marketing, Christina Hogan, Provides Exclusive Interview on Marketing Strategy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Physics provides new insights on cataract formation
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... Clinical Conductor CTMS, which provides a modern CTMS workflow designed to seamlessly integrate ... information has been condensed to a single page, maximizing usability and improving efficiency ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Workrite ... system. , The Tranquility privacy panel system was designed to deliver the ... panels help reduce noise and provide the visual privacy required to maintain concentration ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... and financial planning services to communities throughout eastern Georgia, is embarking on a ... disease. , Heart disease kills more Americans every year than anything else, yet ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Attorney Robert “RC” Pate ... year donated money to the Triumph Over Kid Cancer foundation. Each year, 175,000 children ... those children. James saw firsthand the effect of the critical funding gap for research ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Bill Howe Plumbing, Heating & Air in ... Association; “Howe” Healthy is Your Heart Drawing Contest The drawing contest asks ... Bill Howe Plumbing, Heating & Air receives over 600 entries. The culmination of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Conference Call and Webcast to Follow Vanda ... will release results for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Wednesday, ... ... at 4:30 PM ET on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, during which ... results and other corporate activities. To participate in the conference call, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 19, 2017  Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. ( Stealth ... mitochondrial dysfunction, today announced new additions to its senior ... Chief Medical Officer, and Daniel Geffken as ... Jim Carr , Pharm.D. has been promoted to ... pleased to welcome Doug and Daniel to our management ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017  Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX ), ... and consumables for the medical and veterinary markets worldwide, ... results for the third quarter fiscal year 2017, ended ... p.m. ET on Thursday, January 26, 2017.  The Company ... year 2017 after the market closes on Thursday, January ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: