Identification of Novel Tyrosine Kinase and GProtein Molecules
In developing a strategy for treating or preventing new blood vessel formation that causes wet macular degeneration, scientists need to gain a better understanding of endothelial cells, the cells that form the inner wall of blood vessels. It is thought that abnormal blood vessel formation in AMD is caused by the inappropriate growth of these endothelial cells. Dr. Duh's goal is to identify important molecules in endothelial cells that contribute to their over-growth. He is searching for two specific classes, or types, of molecules, known as tyrosine kinases and G-proteins. These molecules are known to play an important role in the growth of many different types of cells. This project builds upon last year's BrightFocus-funded study, in which he succeeded in identifying several tyrosine kinase molecules produced in the endothelial cells, including a few which have not previously been studied in endothelial cells. This year Dr. Duh will continue to search for more tyrosine kinase molecules as well as G-proteins in these endothelial cells.