Thus, the enzyme DICER1 could be a key to finding out the exact cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
DICER1 (Drosophilia), also called Dicer1, Dcr-1 homolog, is a type of protein in humans that is encoded by the DICER1 gene. Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions.
Their research concentrated on geographic atrophy (GA), which is a type of AMD. Central GA is the "dry" form of AMD. It leads to vision loss through loss of the rods and cones in the central part of the eye.
They state in the abstract to their paper: 'Geographic atrophy (GA), an untreatable advanced form of age-related macular degeneration, results from retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cell degeneration.'
Specifically, the researchers found GA results when the enzyme DICER1, a microRNA (miRNA)-processing enzyme, does not function properly within the retina of people.
And, when DICER1 is turned off completely in mice, the cells of the retina of such animals were damaged.
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