Researchers Discover Mechanism That May Enable Stem Cell-Based Treatment For Eye Disorders
In discovering a protein that helps organize the development of the retina, UC Irvine researchers have found a new molecular mechanism that may allow for stem cell-based therapies to treat eye disorders such as retinal degeneration. The finding also reveals how the retina's own stem cells can be directed to aid the growth of new cells to replace diseased or dying ones in the eye. Study results appear in the June 24 issue of the journal Science. Anne L. Calof in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and her UCI colleagues have identified how a protein called GDF11 controls a key component of retinal-cell differentiation during development, which makes GDDF11 an attractive therapeutic target.