Aug 18, 2018 | Updated: 01:42 PM EDT

Ophthalmology Breakthrough: Newly Discovered Chemical Reaction Can Enhance Eyesight For Visually Impaired Patients

Apr 07, 2017 07:27 PM EDT

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Scientists from Western Reserve University School of Medicine have made a revolutionary discovery by enhancing the vision of a human eye. From bacteria to vertebrates, every living organism has a light-sensing pigment that could be manipulated to replicate and engage the other eye proteins. Researchers used this therapeutic process to provide a normal eyesight for visually impaired patients.

In the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), researchers described that they have used a customized form of vitamin A aka locked retinal to alter rhodopsin. This light-sensing protein belongs to the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). This customization allows rhodopsin to improve transmissions and recycle the signals from the external cells into the internal signal pathways.

Lead author of the study and graduate student from University, School Of Medicine Department of Pharmacology, Sahil Gulati said,“Our study demonstrates a complete transition from a one-way activation of a GPCR into a self-renewing, recycling activation mechanism by the mere addition of a cyclohexyl chemical group to the retinal”. He also explained that the latest discovery of therapeutic treatment will be beneficial for several people.

This study reveals a lot of information about the chemical composition of eyes. According to ScienceDaily, rhodopsin attaches to the retinal molecule to sense the light which helps humans to see. The retinal-rhodopsin complex absorbs the photons when light enters to the eyes. Gulati added that Nervous system carries the most of the information to the brain that was received by retinal rhodopsin complex.

The chemical configuration of the retinal complex (11-cis retinal) transforms into all-trans retinal when it absorbs light photons. However, it is a one-way process because a team of specialized proteins required to convert all-trans-retinal to 11-cis-retinal. If those specialized proteins inherited mutations then it can cause Retinal degenerative diseases.

To avoid the disease researchers had to bypass the mutations, so they have created bovine rhodopsin which is similar to human rhodopsin. It was created by the purified proteins which successfully activates human eye proteins in response to light and after completing the task, it uses thermal power to reset its form.

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