Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase in Retinal Function
Upon aging, many types of protein damage accumulates and this accumulation is believed to be a major factor in many age-related diseases. Oxidation of the amino-acid methionine is one of the most common. Unlike many other types of protein damage, methionine oxidation can be repaired by a unique enzyme called MSRA. We have found that MSRA is important for protecting retinal cells and that loss of this enzyme in mice causes loss of photoreceptors required for visual function. We have also found that this enzyme is preferentially found in the macula. We hypothesize that MSRA is critical for retinal function and that loss of MSRA activity could contribute to age-related macular degeneration. We propose to determine how deletion of MSRA effects the retina and visual function of mice who lack the enzyme relative to normal mice. These studies are likely to provide important insight towards understanding age-related macular degeneration and may provide clues towards developing therapies for this disease.