UF Health MedMatters

UF Department of Ophthalmology Researchers Identify Mechanism That Delays Photoreceptor Loss in Retinitis Pigmentosa

UF Health physicians and faculty members of the College of Medicine department of ophthalmology regularly conduct groundbreaking research in basic and translational arenas. Key areas of focus include the development of gene therapy for retinal and macular degenerations, retinal neuro-protection, phototransduction, wound healing and the treatment of herpetic eye infections.

Ophthalmology doctor holding an eye

Recent research contributions from UF department of ophthalmology Ekaterina S. Lobanova, Ph.D., and John D. Ash, Ph.D., along with UF graduate student Yixiao Wang, depict how Tsc2 knockout counteracts ubiquitin-proteasome system insufficiency and delays photoreceptor loss in retinitis pigmentosa. Their findings were recently accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS — one of the world’s most-cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals. The research findings also included contributions from associate professor Claudio Punzo, Ph.D. of the University of Massachusetts.

Multiple lines of evidence suggest that alterations in the cellular ability to maintain a healthy proteome might drive pathology in a wide range of human diseases. An example would be retinal degenerations, which cause irreversible loss of vision and are linked to impaired protein degradation. The recent study from Lobanova Lab suggests that enhancing protein degradation and proteasomal activity through phosphorylation could delay vision loss. Further exploration of approaches to modulate protein degradation through proteasomal phosphorylation might aid in the development of therapeutic approaches applicable to a broad range of human diseases.

Complete research findings can be accessed via the PNAS Journal site.

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University of Florida Health Shands Hospital has been recognized among the nation’s best hospitals in seven adult medical specialties. Overall, UF Health Shands Hospital was recognized as one of the best hospitals in Florida. In addition to being ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in seven specialties, UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as “high performing” in seven specialties, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, colon cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, lung cancer surgery, neurology & neurosurgery and orthopaedics.