MicroRNAs in RPE Homeostasis and Disease
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major public health problem with devastating effect upon patients and composes a significant socio-economic burden world-wide. AMD affects 30% of individuals aged 70 years and older and its prevalence will rise as life expectancy increases due to changing demographics. In the past few years, significant progress was made on the recognition of the genetic and environmental risk factors that predispose and elicit AMD. However, treatment options remain limited because the pathogenetic molecular mechanism of AMD are incompletely defined.
Recently, some small fragments of the human genome, termed microRNAs, have been identified and found to have a fundamental role in many biological processes, both in physiological and in pathological conditions. The goal of this project is the study of the possible role of a microRNA, named miR-211, in RPE physiology, survival, homeostasis both as causative agents and as therapeutic agents.