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Journal club on Sep-17-2010

I suggest we read a paper recently published in Science. The title is “Genetic Reactivation of Cone Photoreceptors Restores Visual Responses in Retinitis Pigmentosa”. Retinal pigmentosa is so far found to be caused by diverse mutations in 44 genes. Patients with this diease will irreversibly lose their vision, as rod photoreceptors will die early and cone photoreceptor will be light-insensitive owing to the morphological change. But normally cone photoreceptors could persist longer. In this study, the authers genetically targeted a light activated chloride pump, which is one of the candidates for reactivating vertebrate photoreceptors, into the photorecepors of mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa by means of adneo-associated viruses, and successfully restored their light sensitivity. They also found the protein could reactivate the light-insensitive human photoreceptors in ex vivo retinas. Is this a good news for people who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa and blindness? Let’s find out together.

Link to the paper: