Insight into DICER1 Revealed in Macular Degeneration Research

A scene as it might be viewed by a person with macular degeneration.
I was sad to learn that a friend of mine was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at the age of 62. Doctors told him that the blurriness he was experiencing in the center of his field of vision (see photo)  was a classic symptom of AMD. Millions suffer from this chronic condition that is now the leading cause of blindness in people 60 and older. This debilitating eye disease is caused by the degeneration of the macula, the central portion of the retina important for reading and color vision.
There were encouraging findings into the etiology of AMD in the March 11 issue of Nature by Kaneko et al., entitled “DICER1 Deficit Induces Alu RNA Toxicity in Age-Related Macular Degeneration”. The authors not only proposed a molecular mechanism leading to AMD, but also described a new function for the role of the microRNA processing-enzyme, DICER1. Continue reading “Insight into DICER1 Revealed in Macular Degeneration Research”