Avoiding Retinal Degeneration

Science's STKE  18 Mar 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 174, pp. tw110-TW110
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.174.tw110

Mutant flies with impairment in the phototransducing signal-transduction cascade undergo a process of retinal degeneration that can be used as a model to understand human degenerative disorders. Acharya et al. (see the Perspective by Ranganathan) show that retinal degeneration in these flies can be inhibited by interfering with the production of sphingomyelin.

U. Acharya, S. Patel, E. Koundakjian, K. Nagashima, X. Han, J. K. Acharya, Modulating sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway rescues photoreceptor degeneration. Science 299, 1740-1743 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. Ranganathan, A matter of life or death. Science 299, 1677-1679 (2003). [Summary] [Full Text]