Rosalie Crouch, Ph.D.
SUMMARY OF LABORATORY RESEARCH
Our laboratory has been studying the role of retinal analogues in the structure and function of visual opsins throughout my career. We have been studying the control of the visual transduction process by the opsin ligands. This has tremendous importance in the design of agents to prevent the death of the cone photoreceptors, which has been shown to occur in the absence of the native ligand, 11-cis retinal. A critical measurement of the activity of these opsins is the level of phosphorylation of these proteins, and we have developed the mass spectrometric technology for such measurements.
We have also been studying the levels of A2E and other bis-retinoids in the retinal pigment epithelium of the human and various models. We have developed the methodology to accurately determine A2E levels in various regions of the RPE. I trained as a synthetic organic chemist, and since 1975 have been studying the role of vitamin A in the eye, with an emphasis on the retina and retina pigment epithelium. Our group has the ability to synthesize the standards needed for these studies and to predict the mechanisms by which these products are formed. These studies have important implications for AMD and other retinal degenerations that occur with aging.
This laboratory has experience in the synthesis of retinal analogues and in the formation of visual pigments. We have a stock of retinal analogues and other retinal-like compounds available for projects. In addition, we have the techniques to determine the purity of all ligands tested, and to synthesize compounds if needed.