Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have determined how certain short protein fragments, called peptides, can protect neuronal cells found in the light-sensing retina layer at the back of the eye. The peptides might someday be used to treat degenerative retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study was published online on June 16, 2021 in the Journal of Neurochemistry. The article is titled “"Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor (PEDF) and Derived Peptides Promote Survival and Differentiation of Photoreceptors and Induce Neurite-outgrowth in Amacrine Neurons." The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A team led by Patricia Becerra, PhD, Chief of the NEI Section on Protein Structure and Function, had previously derived these peptides from a protein called pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) (image), which is produced by retinal pigment epithelial cells that line the back of the eye.
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