Navigation Links
Wayne State University researcher examines protein's role in diabetic retinopathy

DETROIT - A Wayne State University researcher believes a protein that fails to reach the nucleus of retinal cells may play a role in causing eye disease in people with diabetes.

Renu A. Kowluru, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology, anatomy/cell biology and endocrinology at Wayne State University and the Kresge Eye Institute, recently received a one-year, $110,000 Innovative Grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help gain new insight into the development of diabetic retinopathy and identify targets for future therapeutic interventions.

Her hypothesis is that NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a protein that regulates antioxidant response, fails to reach to the nucleus of cells in the retina to neutralize free radicals, which are volatile. As a result, Kowluru said, KEAP1 - the protein that serves as an anchor for Nrf2 and represses its activation - increases, damaging the mitochondria, the cells' power source. That damage, she believes, in turn accelerates the death of cells in tiny blood vessels (capillaries), ultimately resulting in the development of retinopathy.

Diabetes is a leading cause of acquired blindness in young adults. Almost 50 percent of diabetes patients have some form of retinopathy - not necessarily blindness - after nine years, and that figure increases to 95 percent after 20 years of the disease.

"Basically it doesn't leave any diabetic patient," Kowluru said.

Titled "Role of Nrf2-KEAP1 in Diabetic Retinopathy," her project will look at the oxidative stress, an imbalance between the production and utilization of free radicals, in an effort to determine how a disease state - diabetes in this case - causes that imbalance.

"We have shown that in diabetes, mitochondria are damaged, and when they are damaged they initiate cell death," Kowluru said. "We want to see what the role of Nrf2 is in initiating this signal."

Beginning in October, her team will genetically regulate Nrf2 to examine the temporal relationship between the failure of the protein to reach cells' nuclei and the signal sent by damaged mitochondria that triggers cell death. She hopes to determine if the former event precedes the latter, or if they occur at the same time.

Additionally, Kowluru will examine the point on the gene where Nrf2 and KEAP1 interact to determine whether diabetes induces epigenetic changes in Nrf2, impairing its binding with KEAP1.

Because epigenetic changes, which are functionally relevant modifications to the genome that do not involve a change in the DNA sequence, can be passed along to future generations, prevention becomes an even more important goal, she said. Drugs now in the clinical trial stage for other chronic diseases (e.g., cancer) may be able to prevent epigenetic changes in the retina.

"Once we understand the problem, we can administer supplements and prevent the downstream pathway for retinopathy," Kowluru said.

Contact: Julie O'Connor
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

Related medicine news :

1. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
2. New drug prevents spread of human prostate cancer cells
3. 2 genetic deletions in human genome linked to the development of aggressive prostate cancer
4. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy optimal for localized prostate cancer
5. Study examines adverse effects among different radiation therapies for prostate cancer
6. Study Casts Doubt on Value of Pricey Prostate Cancer Therapy
7. Warren Buffett Has Early Stage Prostate Cancer
8. Majority of states fail to address youth exposure to alcohol marketing
9. Genetic abnormalities in benign or malignant tissues predict relapse of prostate cancer
10. PSA screening to detect prostate cancer can be beneficial to younger and at-risk men
11. Mayo Clinic researchers discover biomarkers for prostate cancer detection, recurrence
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply ... so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent ... sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase ... Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to announce ... (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to ... of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... MI (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... for substance abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day ... specially produced video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories ... and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group . These ... October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the company’s website, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November 26, ... --> --> ... Research Report" and "Investigation Report on ... 2019 and 2021 forecasts data and ... library. . ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, ... Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: