Researchers Identify Lutein Binding Protein in Human Retina

April 4, 2011

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that form the macular pigment of the human retina. Studies suggest that high levels of these carotenoids in the diet are associated with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The AREDS2 study is testing this hypothesis.

Identifying what are known as the “binding proteins” behind the uptake of lutein and zeaxanthin into the human macula helps researchers better understand the role of these carotenoids in eye health and disease.

The binding protein in the human retina has been found for zeaxanthin, but until now not for lutein.  Moving from prior research in silkworms and primates, researchers at the University of Utah have identified StARD3 as a human retinal lutein-binding protein.  This development will help researchers further explore the role of such proteins in retinal physiology and disease.

For the study abstract, click here.

Risa Schulman, PhD
Expert, Healthy Food and Dietary Supplement Science, Marketing and Regulatory




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