Researchers from the National Eye Institute (NEI), with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are analyzing fibrillin-1 mutations to determine the causes of zonule fiber detachment in the lenses of patients with Marfan syndrome. Zonule fibers are what allow the eyes to alter the shape of the lens in response to different light and environmental conditions. Steven Bassnett, PhD, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and his team, were the first to locate where in the eye fibrillin-1 is synthesized, leading to studies in animal models with the ultimate goal of repairing or regenerating zonule fibers in human patients.

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