Fibril/Oligomer Formation by Optineurin In Vitro

Beatrice Yue, PhD University of Illinois at Chicago


Protein aggregation into multimers, or the so-called amyloid fibers, is a hallmark in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. As glaucoma is considered to be an “ocular Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Yue and colleagues are interested in learning whether the optineurin protein, a product of glaucoma disease gene, is similarly capable of forming aggregates and causing problems, especially in situations where optineurin is found to be mutated. If so, Dr. Yue will find a way to minimize or prevent the aggregation for developing future therapies in the clinic.

Project Details

Using modern biophysical and biochemical methods, Dr. Yue intends to find ways to minimize, prevent, or avert (rescue) the optineurin aggregation and toxicity.

When the study is complete, the field of glaucoma will be able to answer, for the first time, the following question: Can optineurin aggregate to form toxic amyloid fibrils or oligomers? The rescue experiments will provide important information for the development of therapies to prevent optineurin-related glaucoma.