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Anti-apoptotic approach targeting photoreceptor cell death may restores visual function

A collaborative effort between researchers at the University of Florida and the University of California (San Francisco and San Diego) have successfully reported the restoration of visual function in an animal model of dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP). The research is the first of its kind to employ an anti-apoptotic gene therapy approach focused on over-expressing “BiP” – a protein chaperone known to be involved in cellular stress signalling. Restoration of visual function and a preservation of the photoreceptor cell population provide encouraging data for the future anti-apoptotic approach to treating retinal degenerations.