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Subspecialties Retina, Basic & Translational Research

Analyzing the AMD Proteome

To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of wet AMD, we analyzed the proteomes of 88 vitreous samples (73 from patients with AMD and 15 patients with idiopathic floaters serving as controls) (1). After vitreous sampling, we used mass spectrometry to detect, sequence and identify the proteins present.

Statistical analysis revealed 19 proteins (Figure 1) with significantly increased abundance in AMD. Most of these proteins are secreted, with functions that include biological transport, fatty acid binding, protease inhibition and processes involving hydrogen peroxide. They form part of a densely interconnected network that includes an immunoglobulin cluster (suggesting a role in inflammatory responses), and processes including cell adhesion, lipid metabolism, apoptosis prevention and regulation  of proteolysis.

Figure 1. Results of a comparison of the vitreous proteomes of patients with and without wet AMD. The area of each circle reflects the n-fold increase in vitreal protein abundance in patients with AMD relative to control patients.

Michael Koss is currently the head of the retina unit of the Department of Ophthalmology at the oldest German university in Heidelberg.

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  1. MJ Koss et al., “Proteomics of vitreous humor of patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration”, PLoS One. 9, e96895 (2014). PMID:24828575.
About the Author
Michael Koss

Michael Koss is an associate professor and head of the retina unit at the Department of Ophthalmology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. As a visiting researcher at Doheny Eye Institute, Los Angeles, USA, he investigated the potential of human embryonic stem cell transplantation for dry AMD therapy. He is also evaluating the surgical feasibility of the next epiretinal prosthesis for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

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