Journal of Genetics

, Volume 88, Issue 4, pp 409–415

Channelrhodopsins provide a breakthrough insight into strategies for curing blindness

Authors

    • Tohoku University Institute for International Advanced Interdisciplinary Research
  • Eriko Sugano
    • Tohoku University Institute for International Advanced Interdisciplinary Research
  • Hitomi Isago
    • Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Makoto Tamai
    • Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12041-009-0062-6

Cite this article as:
Tomita, H., Sugano, E., Isago, H. et al. J Genet (2009) 88: 409. doi:10.1007/s12041-009-0062-6

Abstract

Photoreceptor cells are the only retinal neurons that can absorb photons. Their degeneration due to some diseases or injuries leads to blindness. Retinal prostheses electrically stimulating surviving retinal cells and evoking a pseudo light sensation have been investigated over the past decade for restoring vision. Currently, a gene therapy approach is under development. Channelrhodopsin-2 derived from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, is a microbial-type rhodopsin. Its specific characteristic is that it functions as a light-driven cation-selective channel. It has been reported that the channelrhodopsin-2 transforms inner light-insensitive retinal neurons to light-sensitive neurons. Herein, we introduce new strategies for restoring vision by using channelrhodopsins and discuss the properties of adeno-associated virus vectors widely used in gene therapy.

Keywords

channelrhodopsin-2retinitis pigmentosaadeno-associated virus vectorblindness

Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2009