Cataract gene discovery may aid in finding non-surgical treatment, says study

February 15, 2008

A new cataract gene's location and defect in the coding region was discovered.

Switzerland-A new cataract gene's location and defect in the coding region was discovered through analysis of genetic material from members of a large Swiss family, whom mostly suffered from autosomal dominant juvenile cataract.

Researchers are searching for its corresponding protein, which belongs to a family of monocarboxylate transporters that move small molecules across cell membranes.

Environmental risk factors for age-related cataract point to physiologic and oxidative damages accumulating over time within the lens and researchers speculate that defects in the new transporter may also be a cause of age-related cataract.

Patients with age-related cataract are being screened for the mutation of this gene. Once understood, the exact function of this transporter can open new possibilities for non-surgical treatment of cataract.