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Review

The Cytoskeleton of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium: from Normal Aging to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

1
Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany
2
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35249, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143578
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD))
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a unique epithelium, with major roles which are essential in the visual cycle and homeostasis of the outer retina. The RPE is a monolayer of polygonal and pigmented cells strategically placed between the neuroretina and Bruch membrane, adjacent to the fenestrated capillaries of the choriocapillaris. It shows strong apical (towards photoreceptors) to basal/basolateral (towards Bruch membrane) polarization. Multiple functions are bound to a complex structure of highly organized and polarized intracellular components: the cytoskeleton. A strong connection between the intracellular cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix is indispensable to maintaining the function of the RPE and thus, the photoreceptors. Impairments of these intracellular structures and the regular architecture they maintain often result in a disrupted cytoskeleton, which can be found in many retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This review article will give an overview of current knowledge on the molecules and proteins involved in cytoskeleton formation in cells, including RPE and how the cytoskeleton is affected under stress conditions—especially in AMD. View Full-Text
Keywords: retinal pigment epithelium; cytoskeleton; aging; age-related macular degeneration; actin; microfilament; microtubules; stress fiber retinal pigment epithelium; cytoskeleton; aging; age-related macular degeneration; actin; microfilament; microtubules; stress fiber
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tarau, I.-S.; Berlin, A.; Curcio, C.A.; Ach, T. The Cytoskeleton of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium: from Normal Aging to Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143578

AMA Style

Tarau I-S, Berlin A, Curcio CA, Ach T. The Cytoskeleton of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium: from Normal Aging to Age-Related Macular Degeneration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(14):3578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143578

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tarau, Ioana-Sandra, Andreas Berlin, Christine A. Curcio, and Thomas Ach. 2019. "The Cytoskeleton of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium: from Normal Aging to Age-Related Macular Degeneration" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 14: 3578. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143578

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