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Title: Pathways and disease-causing alterations in visual chromophore production for vertebrate vision
Host: Celia Goulding
Abstract: Recycling of all-trans-retinal to 11-cis-retinal through the visual (retinoid) cycle is a fundamental metabolic pathway of vision. Modulation of this pathway has potential applications in treating various retinal pathologies. Two mechanisms have evolved to accomplish the reisomerization: one involving the well-studied retinoid isomerase (RPE65) and a second photoisomerase reaction mediated by the RGR. Impairments to these pathways are associated with mild to severe forms of retinal dystrophy. Moreover, with age there also is a decline in the rate of chromophore regeneration. Both pharmacological and genetic approaches are being used to bypass visual cycle defects and consequently mitigate blinding diseases. Rapid progress in the use of genome editing also is paving the way for the treatment of disparate retinal diseases.