Researchers Identify the Mechanism Involved in Cataracts

Researchers Identify the Mechanism Involved in Cataracts
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Day 2 of 30 Days of PH ⁣⠀ Topic: Teen life post-transplant ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ This is Sarah’s story @my_journey_with_ph⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ My name is Sarah, and I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension at birth. I’m now 15 years old, and can finally say that I’m now PH free! This past 1 ½- 2 years I was going downhill. I was in and out of the hospital, finding out that my pressures were just increasing more, eventually reaching over 200. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ The transplant was being talked about more often. I was terrified, nervous, worried, and devastated. But under all of that was a glimmer of hope that everything would be ok. I knew that I had to trust in God. I was listed for transplant two weeks this past summer. I received the call on July 17, 2019. I was wheeled back at about 5:00 PM. Saying goodbye to my family was the hardest part. I didn’t know if I would see them again, I was bawling my eyes out and so was everyone else. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I’m now three months post-transplant. I can say it’s been the hardest, but most rewarding three months ever. I’ve had to learn all new symptoms, medicines, how to breathe, how to walk, how to use my diaphragm correctly, and tons more. I’ve been able to experience running and swimming. I’ve experienced going to school and walking up the stairs, not needing oxygen at night, and being able to hang out with my friends. I am grateful for every bit of it, all of these things that I haven’t been able to do my entire life. Thank you, donor, for making my impossible, possible. You and I will make the most valuable and rewarding memories in this lifetime. 💚 ⁣⠀ #30daysofPH ⁣⠀ #doublelungtransplant⁣⠀ #pulmonaryhypertension ⁣⠀ #phawarenessmonth

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shutterstock_58158142A team of researchers from Tufts University recently found that a flaw in the communication between two specific pathways in the eye are associated on the cause of cataracts, thus offering results for the development of important early treatment for cataracts. The study entitled “Altered ubiquitin causes perturbed calcium homeostasis, hyperactivation of calpain, dysregulated differentiation, and cataract“, was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cataracts blind 18 miilion people worldwide, and are considered the most prevalent age-related disease. Cataractogenesis is caused by accumulation atypical proteins from the normally clear lens that are removed by the ubiquitin and lysosomal pathways. When the ubiquitin pathway falters, calcium flows into the cells of the lens, activating a third pathway. It is this third pathway that causes cataracts in the eye, according to results from this recent study using mice models.

In a recent press release, senior author Allen Taylor, Ph.D., the director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the USDA HNRCA and a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University said about the results “We discovered that the ubiquitin pathway and the calpain pathway communicate with one another. When their conversation goes awry, cells start a vicious cycle in which proteins are improperly degraded. This leads to alterations in proteins and the beginning of the clouding of the lens that signals the onset of cataract.”

The identification of the connections between UPS and calpain-based degradative systems advance current comprehension of roles for Ub K6 in eye development. These findings can be used for new clinical approaches to delay cataract and other protein precipitation diseases.

In the press release Allen Taylor, member of the Cell Molecular & Developmental Biology program faculty at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and a professor of ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine said, “Ubiquitin is found in every cell in plants, animals and people; therefore it’s possible this interaction with calpain is occurring elsewhere in the body,” “If it is, that would provide the opportunity to learn more about how abnormal proteins may accumulate in other disease states that are similar to cataract, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

 

 

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