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:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - ... reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG ... innovations, at CeBIT in Hanover next week.   ... DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric identity ... San Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens ... . The test, designed to help determine the efficiency and ... began in February and will run until May 2016. ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ® , ... enrollment solutions, today announced the addition of smart ... Altus multi-factor authentication platform. New contextual and ... to step-up security where it,s needed most — ... Washington, DC . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Media Cybernetics, ... new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization for a company with ... The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo and a new web presence. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... WARSAW, Ind. , May 23, 2016 Zimmer ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors ... stockholders for the second quarter of 2016. ... on or about July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record ... Future declarations of dividends are subject to approval of the ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent provider ... Ohio, has broken ground on a new building in Holly Springs, NC. With ... new location solidifies a commitment to business in the region. The new facility ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... that 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their ... cutting edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: