Molecular changes in selected epithelial proteins in human kertoconus corneas compared to normal corneas

Department of Vision Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
Molecular vision (Impact Factor: 1.99). 02/2006; 12:1615-25.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of the study was to determine molecular changes in selected epithelial proteins in human keratoconus (KC) corneas compared to normal corneas.
Two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoretic profiles of epithelial cell proteins from normal and keratoconus corneas were compared, and the selected protein spots that showed either up- or downregulation were identified. The desired spots were identified after trypsin digestion and mass spectrometric analysis. Based on the results, two proteins, alpha-enolase and beta-actin, were further analyzed by immunohistochemical and western blot methods, using respective antibodies. To determine the presence of mRNA of the two proteins in the epithelial cells, RT-PCR studies were performed.
On comparison of the 2-D gel electrophoretic protein profiles, two protein spots were identified in normal corneas that were either absent or present at lower levels in keratoconus corneas. The two spots were determined to be alpha-enolase (48 kDa) and beta-actin (42 kDa) by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF), and ES-MS/MS mass spectrometric methods. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that alpha-enolase and beta-actin were present at extremely low levels in the epithelial superficial and wing cells of the keratoconus corneas compared to these cells of normal corneas. 2-D gel electrophoresis followed by western blot analysis revealed relatively greater degradation of the two proteins in the keratoconus corneas compared to normal corneas. RT-PCR analysis showed the mRNA expression of the two proteins in the epithelial cells of both normal and keratoconus corneas.
The results showed relatively low or negligible levels of alpha-enolase and beta-actin in the wing and superficial epithelial cells of keratoconus corneas compared to normal corneas. This was attributed to relatively greater degradation of the two proteins in keratoconus corneas compared to normal corneas.

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Available from: Deepa Chandrasekaran, May 01, 2015
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    • "Strangely, our study did not identify changes in expression levels of either degradative enzymes or protease inhibitors, but it might be indicated by the suppressed metabolic activity of enzymes as observed in KC corneas. A stress-related heat shock 71 kDa protein exhibited up-regulation in epithelium, which is supported by a previous report that showed altered expression of several wound healing or stress-related proteins (vimentin, tenascin, transforming growth factor-beta, interleukin-1, heat shock protein 27, and ubiquitin 9) in KC corneas (Srivastava et al., 2006). Nuclear lamins are intermediate filaments that are involved in maintenance of shape and stability of mammalian cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to identify epithelial and stromal proteins that exhibit up- or down-regulation in keratoconus (KC) vs. normal human corneas. Because previous proteomic studies utilized whole human corneas or epithelium alone, thereby diluted the specificity of the proteome of each tissue, we selectively analyzed the epithelium and stromal proteins. Individual preparations of epithelial and stromal proteins from KC and age-matched normal corneas were analyzed by two independent methods, i.e., a shotgun proteomic using a Nano-Electrospray Ionization Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry [Nano-ESI-LC-MS (MS)(2)] and two-dimensional-difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) coupled with mass spectrometric methods. The label-free Nano-ESI-LC-MS (MS)(2) method identified 104 epithelial and 44 stromal proteins from both normal and KC corneas, and also quantified relative changes in levels of selected proteins, in both the tissues using spectral counts in a proteomic dataset. Relative to normal corneal epithelial proteins, six KC epithelial proteins (lamin-A/C, keratin type I cytoskeletal 14, tubulin beta chain, heat shock cognate 71 kDa protein, keratin type I cytoskeletal 16 and protein S100-A4) exhibited up-regulation and five proteins (transketolase, pyruvate kinase, 14-3-3 sigma isoform, phosphoglycerate kinase 1, and NADPH dehydrogenase (quinone) 1) showed down-regulation. A similar relative analysis showed that three KC stromal proteins (decorin, vimentin and keratocan) were up-regulated and five stromal proteins (TGF-betaig h3 (Bigh3), serotransferrin, MAM domain-containing protein 2 and isoforms 2C2A of collagen alpha-2[VI] chain) were down-regulated. The 2D-DIGE-mass spectrometry followed by Decyder software analysis showed that relative to normal corneas, the KC corneal epithelium exhibited up-regulation of four proteins (serum albumin, keratin 5, L-lactate dehydrogenase and annexin A8) and down-regulation of four proteins (FTH1 [Ferritin heavy chain protein 1], calpain small subunit 1, heat shock protein beta 1 and annexin A2). A similar relative analysis of stroma by this method also showed up-regulation of aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1 (ALDH3A1), keratin 12, apolipoprotein A-IV precursor, haptoglobin precursor, prolipoprotein and lipoprotein Gln in KC corneas. Together, the results suggested that the Nano-ESI-LC-MS(MS)(2) method was superior than the 2D-DIGE method as it identified a greater number of proteins with altered levels in KC corneas. Further, the epithelial and stromal structural proteins of KC corneas exhibited altered levels compared to normal corneas, suggesting that they are affected due to structural remodeling during KC development and progression. Additionally, because several epithelial and stromal enzymes exhibited up- or down-regulation in the KC corneas relative to normal corneas, the two layers of KC corneas were under metabolic stress to adjust their remodeling.
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    • "However, the robustness of the results gives support to the need to explore the role of these molecular markers as a new therapeutic or diagnostic tool in the KC. Although sample size is not so large, similar proteomic studies have used similar sample sizes [32]. Another limitation is that proteomics based on two-dimensional gels has a sensitivity in the order of magnitude of nanograms. "
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    • "Proteomics technology provides a powerful high throughput screening tool to identify protein expression differences that may underlie age-related changes at the functional level. Protocols similar to those used in the current study have been used to conduct proteomic analyses of other ocular cells [25,31,36,37]. The experimental approach used for these studies involved collection of protein extracted from five individual donors within each age group. "
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