Researchers Identify Molecule In Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A dart-like molecule that adheres to proteins in the eye is the key that turns on the uncontrolled growth of blood vessels, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute. Uncontrolled blood vessel growth is a major contributor to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among people over 65 in the United States.
Robert Salomon and his graduate students Kutralanathan Renganathan and Liang Lu of Case's Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, found that the molecule, Carboxyethylpyrroles (CEPs), attaches to proteins found in the eye, triggering the uncontrolled growth of blood cells.
The Case researchers teamed up with Quteba Ebrahem Jonathan Sears, Amit Vasanji, John Crabb and Bela Anand-Apte and Xiaorong Gu (a Salomon group alumna), of Cleveland Clinic, to complete the study titled Carboxyethlpyrrole oxidative protein modifications stimulate neovascularization: Implications for age-related macular degeneration."
The results of their collaborative work were published in the recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).
AMD is a progressive disease that results in the severe loss of vision. The early stages of