Findings could lead to gene therapy cure
In findings that could lead to curing some forms of congenital blindness through gene therapy, researchers at UCLA have discovered that RPE65, a gene missing in infants born with the blinding disease Leber congenital amaurosis, is also a key enzyme in the visual cycle. The identity of this enzyme has long been a mystery to scientists.
The study, "Rpe65 is the Retinoid Isomerase in Bovine Retinal Pigment Epithelium," is published in the Aug. 12 issue of Cell magazine.
"We were amazed when we discovered the function for Rpe65 -- and that Rpe65 is the retinoid isomerase. It is a protein that all of us had known about for years," said Dr. Gabriel Travis, professor of ophthalmology and biological chemistry at UCLAs Jules Stein Eye Institute and one of the researchers. "Its like searching the world for a treasure, then discovering it in your own back yard."
Enrique Rivero | EurekAlert!
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