Briedgeen Kerr

Cardiff University, Cardiff, WLS, United Kingdom

Are you Briedgeen Kerr?

Claim your profile

Publications (12)46.91 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate structural remodeling of the developing corneal stroma concomitant with changing sulfation patterns of keratan sulfate (KS) glycosaminoglycan (GAG) epitopes during embryogenesis and the onset of corneal transparency. Developing chick corneas were obtained from embryonic day (E)12 to E18 of incubation. Extracellular matrix composition and collagen fibril spacing were evaluated by synchrotron x-ray diffraction, hydroxyproline assay, ELISA (with antibodies against lesser and more highly sulfated KS), and transmission electron microscopy with specific proteoglycan staining. A significant relative increase in highly sulfated KS epitope labeling occurred with respect to hydroxyproline content in the final week of chick development, as mean collagen interfibrillar distance decreased. Small KS PG filaments increased in frequency with development and were predominantly fibril associated. The accumulation of highly sulfated KS during the E12 to E18 timeframe could serve to fine tune local matrix hydration and collagen fibril spacing during corneal growth, as gross dehydration and compaction of the stroma progress through the action of the nascent endothelial pump.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 10/2009; 51(3):1365-72. · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 09/2008; 17(2):276-9. · 4.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) modulate tissue organization, cellular proliferation, matrix adhesion, growth factor and cytokine responses, and sterically protect the surface of collagen type I and II fibrils from proteolysis. Catabolism of SLRPs has important consequences for the integrity of articular cartilage and meniscus by interfering with their tissue homeostatic functions. SLRPs were dissociatively extracted from articular cartilage from total knee and hip replacements, menisci from total knee replacements, macroscopically normal and fibrillated knee articular cartilage from mature age-matched donors, and normal young articular cartilage. The tissue extracts were digested with chondroitinase ABC and keratanase-I before identification of SLRP core protein species by Western blotting using antibodies to the carboxyl-termini of the SLRPs. Multiple core-protein species were detected for all of the SLRPs (except fibromodulin) in the degenerate osteoarthritic articular cartilage and menisci. Fibromodulin had markedly less fragments detected with the carboxyl-terminal antibody compared with other SLRPs. There were fewer SLRP catabolites in osteoarthritic hip than in knee articular cartilage. Fragmentation of all SLRPs in normal age-matched, nonfibrillated knee articular cartilage was less than in fibrillated articular cartilage from the same knee joint or total knee replacement articular cartilage specimens of similar age. There was little fragmentation of SLRPs in normal control knee articular cartilage. Only decorin exhibited a consistent increase in fragmentation in menisci in association with osteoarthritis. There were no fragments of decorin, biglycan, lumican, or keratocan that were unique to any tissue. A single fibromodulin fragment was detected in osteoarthritic articular cartilage but not meniscus. All SLRPs showed a modest age-related increase in fragmentation in knee articular and meniscal cartilage but not in other tissues. Enhanced fragmentation of SLRPs is evident in degenerate articular cartilage and meniscus. Specific decorin and fibromodulin core protein fragments in degenerate meniscus and/or human articular cartilage may be of value as biomarkers of disease. Once the enzymes responsible for their generation have been identified, further research may identify them as therapeutic targets.
    Arthritis research & therapy 08/2008; 10(4):R79. · 4.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the use of neoepitope monoclonal antibody BKS-1, which recognizes keratanase-generated keratan sulfate (KS) stubs on keratan sulfate proteoglycans in human cornea, limbus, and sclera. BKS-1 specifically recognizes a keratanase-generated neoepitope [N-acetyl-glucosamine-6-sulfate (GlcNAc-6-S)] at the nonreducing terminal of corneal and skeletal KS glycosaminoglycan chains. It was produced by using keratanase-digested KS peptides from bovine cartilage aggrecan as the immunizing antigen. BKS-1 was used in conjunction with 5D4 to analyze the KS distribution in human cornea, limbus, and sclera using Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy. 5D4 Western blot analysis displayed a diffuse staining pattern, and it was difficult to distinguish differences among cornea, sclera, and limbus. However, BKS-1 showed differences in KS levels, with higher levels in the cornea and lower levels in the limbus and sclera. Ultrastructural studies showed that the monoclonal antibody (mAb) BKS-1 neoepitope was not observed in the epithelium or basement membrane; however, 5D4 was present in these layers. Large quantities of both antibodies were present in Bowman's layer, stroma, and Descemet's membrane, but the quantity of 5D4 was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the quantity of BKS-1 in all these layers of the cornea. mAb 5D4 recognizes oversulfated structures within KS chains, whereas BKS-1 recognizes a single neoepitope on KS after keratanase digestion of monosulfated KS disaccharides. With the use of BKS-1, the authors identified a more clearly defined pattern for KS distribution in the cornea than was seen with 5D4. The presence of a large quantity of BKS-1 immunostaining in the cornea suggests that KS-substituted proteoglycans are more prevalent in the cornea than in the limbus or sclera.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 06/2008; 49(6):2424-31. · 3.44 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Keratan sulphate (KS) proteoglycans (PGs) are key molecules in the connective tissue matrix of the cornea of the eye, where they are believed to have functional roles in tissue organisation and transparency. Keratocan, is one of the three KS PGs expressed in cornea, and is the only one that is primarily cornea-specific. Work with the developing chick has shown that mRNA for keratocan is present in early corneal embryogenesis, but there is no evidence of protein synthesis and matrix deposition. Here, we investigate the tissue distribution of keratocan in the developing chick cornea as it becomes compacted and transparent in the later stages of development. Indirect immunofluorescence using a new monoclonal antibody (KER-1) which recognises a protein epitope on the keratocan core protein demonstrated that keratocan was present at all stages investigated (E10-E18), with distinct differences in localisation and organisation observed between early and later stages. Until E13, keratocan appeared both cell-associated and in the stromal extracellular matrix, and was particularly concentrated in superficial tissue regions. By E14 when the cornea begins to become transparent, keratocan was located in elongate arrays, presumably associated along collagen fibrils in the stroma. This fibrillar label was still concentrated in the anterior stroma, and persisted through E15-E18. Presumptive Bowman's layer was evident as an unlabelled subepithelial zone at all stages. Thus, in embryonic chick cornea, keratocan, in common with sulphated KS chains in the E12-E14 developmental period, exhibits a preferential distribution in the anterior stroma. It undergoes a striking reorganisation of structure and distribution consistent with a role in relation to stromal compaction and corneal transparency.
    Histochemie 01/2008; 128(6):551-5. · 2.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) modulate tissue organization, cellular proliferation, matrix adhesion, growth factor and cytokine responses, and sterically protect the surface of collagen type I and II fibrils from proteolysis. Catabolism of SLRPs has important consequences for the integrity of articular cartilage and meniscus by interfering with their tissue homeostatic functions. METHODS: SLRPs were dissociatively extracted from articular cartilage from total knee and hip replacements, menisci from total knee replacements, macroscopically normal and fibrillated knee articular cartilage from mature age-matched donors, and normal young articular cartilage. The tissue extracts were digested with chondroitinase ABC and keratanase-I before identification of SLRP core protein species by Western blotting using antibodies to the carboxyl-termini of the SLRPs. RESULTS: Multiple core-protein species were detected for all of the SLRPs (except fibromodulin) in the degenerate osteoarthritic articular cartilage and menisci. Fibromodulin had markedly less fragments detected with the carboxyl-terminal antibody compared with other SLRPs. There were fewer SLRP catabolites in osteoarthritic hip than in knee articular cartilage. Fragmentation of all SLRPs in normal age-matched, nonfibrillated knee articular cartilage was less than in fibrillated articular cartilage from the same knee joint or total knee replacement articular cartilage specimens of similar age. There was little fragmentation of SLRPs in normal control knee articular cartilage. Only decorin exhibited a consistent increase in fragmentation in menisci in association with osteoarthritis. There were no fragments of decorin, biglycan, lumican, or keratocan that were unique to any tissue. A single fibromodulin fragment was detected in osteoarthritic articular cartilage but not meniscus. All SLRPs showed a modest age-related increase in fragmentation in knee articular and meniscal cartilage but not in other tissues. CONCLUSION: Enhanced fragmentation of SLRPs is evident in degenerate articular cartilage and meniscus. Specific decorin and fibromodulin core protein fragments in degenerate meniscus and/or human articular cartilage may be of value as biomarkers of disease. Once the enzymes responsible for their generation have been identified, further research may identify them as therapeutic targets.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy 01/2008; 10(4):R79. · 4.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Keratan sulphate (KS) proteoglycans (PGs) are key molecules in the corneal stroma for tissue organisation and transparency. Macular corneal dystrophy (MCD) is a rare, autosomal recessive disease characterised by disturbances in KS expression. MCD is caused by mutations in CHST6, a gene encoding the enzyme responsible for KS sulphation. Sulphated KS is absent in type I disease causing corneal opacity and loss of vision. Genetic studies have highlighted the mutational heterogeneity in MCD, but supportive immunohistochemical studies on corneal KS have previously been limited by the availability of antibodies mostly reactive only with highly sulphated KS epitopes. In this study, we employed four antibodies against specific KS sulphation patterns, including one against unsulphated KS, to investigate their reactivity in a case of MCD compared with normal cornea using high-resolution immunogold electron microscopy. Mutation analysis indicated type I MCD with deletion of the entire open reading frame of CHST6. Contrast enhanced fixation revealed larger PG structures in MCD than normal. Unlike normal cornea, MCD cornea showed positive labelling with antibody to unsulphated KSPG, but was negative with antibodies to sulphated KSPG. These antibodies will thus facilitate high-resolution investigations of phenotypic heterogeneity in support of genetic studies in this disease.
    Histochemie 02/2007; 127(1):115-20. · 2.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Matrix assembly and homeostasis in collagen-rich tissues are mediated by interactions with proteoglycans (PGs) substituted with sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The major GAG in cornea is keratan sulfate (KS), which is N-linked to one of three PG core proteins. To ascertain the importance of the carbohydrate chain sulfation step in KS functionality, we generated a strain of mice with a targeted gene deletion in Chst5, which encodes an N-acetylglucosamine-6-O-sulfotransferase that is integral to the sulfation of KS chains. Corneas of homozygous mutants were significantly thinner than those of WT or heterozygous mice. They lacked high-sulfated KS, but contained the core protein of the major corneal KSPG, lumican. Histochemically stained KSPGs coassociated with fibrillar collagen in WT corneas, but were not identified in the Chst5-null tissue. Conversely, abnormally large chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate PG complexes were abundant throughout the Chst5-deficient cornea, indicating an alteration of controlled PG production in the mutant cornea. The corneal stroma of the Chst5-null mouse exhibited widespread structural alterations in collagen fibrillar architecture, including decreased interfibrillar spacing and a more spatially disorganized collagen array. The enzymatic sulfation of KS GAG chains is thus identified as a key requirement for PG biosynthesis and collagen matrix organization.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2006; 103(36):13333-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human HtrA1 belongs to a widely conserved family of serine proteases involved in various aspects of protein quality control and cell fate. Although HtrA1 has been implicated in the pathology of several diseases, its precise biological functions remain to be established. Through identification of potential HtrA1 targets, studies presented herein propose that within the context of arthritis pathology HtrA1 contributes to cartilage degradation. Elevated synovial HtrA1 levels were detected in fluids obtained from rheumatoid and osteoarthritis patients, with synovial fibroblasts identified as a major source of secreted HtrA1. Mass spectrometry analysis of potential HtrA1 substrates within synovial fluids identified fibronectin as a candidate target, and treatment of fibronectin with recombinant HtrA1 led to the generation of fibronectin-degradation products that may be involved in cartilage catabolism. Consistently, treatment of synovial fibroblasts with HtrA1 or HtrA1-generated fibronectin fragments resulted in the specific induction of matrix metalloprotease 1 and matrix metalloprotease 3 expression, suggesting that HtrA1 contributes to the destruction of extracellular matrix through both direct and indirect mechanisms.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2006; 281(10):6124-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently, gene-targeted strains of mice with null mutations for specific proteoglycans (PGs) have been used for investigations of the functional role of these molecules. In the present study, the corneal stroma of the mouse was examined to provide some baseline PG morphologies in this species. Monoclonal antibodies to specific glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain sulfation patterns were used to characterize PG composition in corneal extracts by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis and to identify their tissue distribution by immunofluorescence microscopy. PGs were also visualized by transmission electron microscopy after contrast enhancement with cationic dye fixation. Western blot analysis of pooled corneal extracts and immunofluorescence of tissue sections identified 4-sulfated, but not 6-sulfated, chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS). Keratan sulfate (KS) was present only as a low-sulfated moiety. Electron microscopic histochemistry disclosed a complex array of corneal PGs present as (1) fine filaments radiating from collagen fibrils, and (2) elongate, straplike structures, running either along the fibril axis or weaving across the primary fibril orientation. These large structures were digested by chondroitinase ABC, but not by keratanase. KS in the mouse is predominantly undersulfated and generates an immunostaining pattern that differs from that observed in corneas of other mammalian species thus far investigated. The mouse cornea resembles other mammalian corneas in the presence of filamentous arrays of small, collagen-associated stromal PGs visualized by cationic dye staining. However, large dye-positive structures with a CS/DS component are also present and appear to be unique to the cornea of this species.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 07/2005; 46(6):1973-8. · 3.44 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction The sequencing of the genome has provided us with important information regarding the primary structure of many matrix proteins. This in turn has lead to advances in studies of the functions of post-translational modifications on connective tissue proteoglycans (PGs). Changes in GAG structure with ageing and disease have been well documented (Thonar et al. 1986; Brown et al. 1998). However, little is known about the exact sites of and differential substitution of GAGs on the aggrecan core protein and how these substitutions facilitate normal function or the changes seen with disease. The CS : KS ratio of substitution change significantly, with KS levels increasing with age and decreasing with the onset of disease. Objective was to produce monoclonal antibody (MAb) reagents to keratanase (k'ase) generated stub epitopes, that could be used to help identify, characterize and quantify sites of KS substitution on PGs, providing the potential to determine how the arrangement of such substitutions change with development, ageing and pathology.Methods Bovine Nasal Cartilage aggrecan (BNC A1D1) was trypsin digested, generating a range of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) fragments. The sample was then subjected to anion-exchange and size exclusion chromatography to separate KS from CS fragments. Fractions collected were analysed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. Fractions positive for KS were pooled and kinase digested to expose the KS stub antigens. Immunization and fusions were carried out as previously described (Nieduszynski et al. 1990). Initial screenings were carried out using ELISA. Briefly, 96-well microtitre plates were coated with the immunizing antigen overnight at 37 °C. The plates were then blocked prior to the addition of hybridoma media for 1–2 h at 37 °C. Binding was detected using an alkaline phosphatase-conjugated secondary antibody for 1 h at 37 °C prior to the addition of the substrate. Positive wells were further screened by ELISA and SDS-PAGE using the immunizing antigen, chondroitinase-digested BNC and an A1D1 BNC preparation to establish the kinase stub specificity of the hybridomas. Further screenings by Western blotting was carried out on positive hybridomas selected. Antigens used included keratanase-digested bovine corneal KS-PGs, keratanase-II-digested KS-PGs and a nonkeratanase-digested corneal KS-PG sample.Results Screening: Screening identified two positive hybridomas, B-KS-I and B-KS-II, which were specific for kinase-generated KS stub. On screening, these antigens showed reactivity specifically for kinase-digested BNC abc core, with no reactivity to the nonkinased linear KS GAG epitopes. Reactivity to kinase-digested corneal KS-PGs indicated that the MAbs generated were indeed to a stub structure in the KS chain and not to some linkage region epitope, amino acid sequence or oligosaccharide present on the core protein.Application: Immunohistochemistry utilizing B-KS-I was used to localize KS in a range of tissues along side anti-KS 5D4. In human articular cartilage engineered grafts, labelling showed B-KS-I and 5D4 to have broadly overlapping labelling patterns for KS; however, label for B-KS-I had a much more restricted and subtle tissue distribution than that of antibody 5D4.Discussion These new KS stub MAbs have potential to be used in many different areas of research. They may be used in analysis of trypsin-digested purified aggrecan from cattle joints of different ages to determine sites of KS substitution, which remain common or change with development and ageing. They may also be used in analysis of cartilage explant culture metabolites to assess KS substitution on the aggrecan fragments generated after stimulation of these cultures with cytokines such as IL-1 or TNF-α. Collectively it will provide important new information on the changing pattern of KS substitution in connective tissue PGs with development, ageing and the onset of pathology.
    International Journal of Experimental Pathology 01/2004; 85(1). · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • B. C. Kerr, C. E. Hughes, B. Caterson
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction The objective of this study was to make monoclonal antibodies specific for keratanase-generated neoepitopes in keratan sulfate (KS) and to use them along with existing KS monoclonal antibodies (e.g. 5D4, IB4) to investigate KS sulfation pattern motifs in connective tissue proteoglycans during development, ageing and disease. Methods Bovine nasal cartilage aggrecan (BNC A1D1) was trypsin digested, generating a range of GAG-peptide fragments. The sample was then subjected to anion-exchange and size exclusion chromatography to separate KS peptides from CS attachment domain fragments. Fractions were analysed by Western blotting for positive immunoreactivity for KS, then pooled and keratanase digested to generate ‘KS stub’ antigens. Immunization and fusions were carried out as previously described ( Caterson et al. 1983 ; Hughes et al. 1992 ). Screenings involved the use of a range of antigens; including keratanase vs. keratanase II-digested bovine cartilage aggrecan and bovine corneal KS-PGs. A new monoclonal antibody, BKS-I, was identified that specifically recognized a keratanase-generated neoepitope on both skeletal and corneal KS. This novel monoclonal antibody was used along with existing KS monoclonal antibodies 5D4 and 1B4 to investigate KS structure. Results and discussion Bovine trypsin-generated aggrecan KS-peptides were chondroitinase ABC treated and either keratanase or keratanase II treated. The digests were run on SDS-PAGE and immunolocated with monoclonal antibody 5D4 (that recognizes linear disulfated N-acetyl lactosamine disaccharide-containing segments in KS) and the new ‘KS-stub’ monoclonal antibody BKS-I. Our results indicated that there was reduced monoclonal antibody 5D4 immunostaining after keratanase pretreatment. However, keratanase II digestion completely removed all 5D4 structural epitopes. In contrast, BKS-I showed no immunostaining on the untreated KS-peptides but strong staining on keratanase treated samples and no staining after keratanase II digestion. Similar patterns of immunoreactivity were observed with Western blot analysis of untreated, keratanase treated and keratanase II treated corneal KS-PGs. Conclusion These data indicate that monoclonal antibody BKS-I recognizes a nonreducing terminal neoepitope-containing sulfated N-acetylglucosamine adjacent to a nonsulfated lactosamine disaccharide. We also conclude that skeletal KS must have a structure with four possible variations opposed to the generic structures, proposed as being made of disulfated disaccharides at the nonreducing end, followed by a series of monosulfated disaccharides at the middle and nonsulfated disaccharides nearer the linkage region. 5D4 staining, observed after keratanase digestion, indicates that there must be a minimum structure of a pentasulfated hexasaccharide remaining on the KS chain ‘stubs’ near the linkage region of skeletal and corneal KS. The BKS-I monoclonal antibody can be used to demonstrate differential substitution of KS GAG chains in the CS attachment region of cartilage aggrecan with ageing. It has also proven useful for immunohistochemical analyses identifying the sites of KS–PG association with collagen lamellae of cornea.
    International Journal of Experimental Pathology 01/2004; 85(4). · 2.04 Impact Factor