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(Note: It doesn't matter that you don't know much of the knowledge of gene engineering. I just need your grammatical analysis for the sentence. Thanks.)

According to the context below, I think:

1) the gene = 65-kDa protein

and

65-kDa protein = RPE65

So it is the gene (the 65-kDa protein) that takes charge of encoding retinal pigment epithelium.

Am I on the right track?

Context:

Early-onset, severe retinal dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding retinal pigment epithelium–specific 65-kDa protein (RPE65) is associated with poor vision at birth and complete loss of vision in early adulthood. We administered to three young adult patients subretinal injections of recombinant adeno-associated virus vector 2/2 expressing RPE65 complementary DNA (cDNA) under the control of a human RPE65 promoter. There were no serious adverse events. There was no clinically significant change in visual acuity or in peripheral visual fields on Goldmann perimetry in any of the three patients. We detected no change in retinal responses on electroretinography. One patient had significant improvement in visual function on microperimetry and on dark-adapted perimetry. This patient also showed improvement in a subjective test of visual mobility. These findings provide support for further clinical studies of this experimental approach in other patients with mutant RPE65.
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Comments  
Hi,

This seems to talk about the gene which encodes . . . a particular kind of 65-kDa protein. And that kind of 65-kDa protein is RPE65.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive,

Did you mean "the retinal pigment epithelium refers to the specific 65-kDa protein?" That is, you meant "retinal pigment epithelium = specific 65-kDa protein"?

BTW, how can I put the mark "?" properly in the sentences above? Inside "" or outside?
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Hi,

Early-onset, severe retinal dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding retinal pigment epithelium–specific 65-kDa protein (RPE65) is associated with poor vision at birth and complete loss of vision in early adulthood.

Did you mean "the retinal pigment epithelium refers to the specific 65-kDa protein?" That is, you meant "retinal pigment epithelium = specific 65-kDa protein"?

I think you may be reading the hyphen before 'specific' as a dash to indicate a pause. I don't read it that way. I read it a hyphen to make a compound adjective epithelium–specific. In other words, it is saying that the protein is epithelium–specific.

I know you want to just look at the grammar and ignore the actual meaning, but that does not seem like a good approach to me. You can easily end up with a totally incorrect interpretation. In addition, many scientists who write this way are more concerned with correct science than they are with correct grammar or clear writing.

Best wishes, Clive
NL8881) the gene = 65-kDa protein

and

65-kDa protein = RPE65

So it is the gene (the 65-kDa protein) that takes charge of encoding retinal pigment epithelium.

Am I on the right track?
No, no no! Genes are made of DNA -- not protein. Genes contain the encoded information necessary to make protein. They are not themselves made of protein.
The gene = RPE65. (Note the capitalization and italics -- a typical notation for a human gene. Genes of other organisms are usually in small letters in italics.) This gene encodes for the protein known as "retinal pigment epithelium–specific 65-kDa protein". That is, the cell "reads" the gene RPE65 and follows its "instructions" to produce the protein, which is something different from the gene. (65-kDa means 65 kilodaltons, a measure of the weight of the protein. The main point is that this protein is one of the retinal pigment proteins, and it's specific to the epithelium, i.e., does not occur elsewhere. There may be other such proteins with different weights, and the difference in weight is most likely one of the factors used to distinguish one such protein from another.)
If there is a mutation in RPE65, that is, if the DNA codes aren't quite the same as in normal people, then that gene cannot correctly produce the normal retinal pigment protein. Not having the normal protein is what causes the vision problems.
Does that help?
CJ
Hi,

So much for I just need your grammatical analysis for the sentence.

LOL.Emotion: big smile

Best wishes, Clive
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Thank you Clive and CJ. You both have helped a lot in the analysis (of course not just grammatically Emotion: big smile)
Hi CJ,

It seems you are quite familiar with the knowledge of gene engineering. You can figure out what is 65kDa. I wonder if you can figure out what 2/2 is in the context. I ain't testing you, because I don't know what 2/2 means.

We administered to three young adult patients subretinal injections of recombinant adeno-associated virus vector 2/2 expressing RPE65 complementary DNA (cDNA) under the control of a human RPE65 promoter.
CliveSo much for I just need your grammatical analysis for the sentence.

LOL.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi, NL888,
I think intrepretation of that really requires knowledge of the subject more than just grammatical analysis. While waiting for Jim to reply, let me try. I think the number "2" represents the allele type and the slash is used to indicate a pair. It is talking about a specific subtype of a virus. The virus is used as a vector (a tool, a carrier) to express (enable the production of the protein according to the DNA) RPE65 complementary DNA. That virus is a recombinant (modified in vitro) virus similar to the adenovirus (a family of virus that accounts for 5-10% of upper respiratory infection in children).
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