“SARM1 depletion rescues NMNAT1-dependent photoreceptor cell death and retinal degeneration”
Congratulations to Dr. Rajendra Apte, his lab and the Genetics Department on their recent publication in eLife.
Rajendra Apte, PhD and his lab with the help of Jeffrey Milbrandt, MD, PhD, Aaron DiAntonio, MD, PhD, Hiroki Kakita, MD, PhD and Yo Sasaki, PhD, from the Genetics department at Washington University, have previously demonstrated the importance of NAD+ biosynthesis to retinal neuron survival and vision and now there are compounds in human clinical trials based on their work.
An important aspect of NAD biosynthesis is NAD consumption and degradation. Here they show that SARM-mediated NAD degradation is critical to vision loss. So even if biosynthesis is impaired if you can prevent degradation you may be able to preserve vision.
This is the first demonstration that NMNAT1, an NAD biosynthesis enzyme, plays a role in regulating neuron soma/body metabolism and survival through its balance with SARM.