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Stacy L. Littlechild, Yuntao Zhang, John M. Tomich, Gary W. Conrad; Fibrinogen, Riboflavin, and UVA to Immobilize a Corneal Flap – Molecular Mechanisms. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(10):5991-6003. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10201.
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Tissue glue containing fibrinogen (FIB) and riboflavin (RF), upon exposure to long wavelength ultraviolet light (UVA, 365 nM) has been proposed potentially to solve long-standing problems presented by corneal wound and epithelial ingrowth side-effects from laser-assisted in situ keratomileuis (LASIK). Data presented in a previous study demonstrated an ability of FIB + RF + UVA to adhere two stromal surfaces; however, to our knowledge no molecular mechanisms have been proposed to account for interactions occurring between corneal extracellular matrix (ECM) and tissue glue molecules. Here, we document several covalent and noncovalent interactions between these classes of macromolecules.
SDS-PAGE and Western blot techniques were used to identify covalent interactions between tissue glue molecules and corneal ECM molecules in either the presence or absence of RF and UVA, in vitro and ex vivo. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was used to characterize noncovalent interactions, and obtain ka , kd , and KD binding affinity values.
SDS-PAGE and Western blot analyses indicated that covalent interactions occurred between neighboring FIB molecules, as well as between FIB and collagen type I (Coll-I) proteins (in vitro and ex vivo). These interactions occurred only in the presence of RF and UVA. SPR data demonstrated the ability of FIB to bind noncovalently to corneal stroma molecules, Coll-I, decorin, dermatan sulfate, and corneal basement membrane molecules, laminin and heparan sulfate – only in the presence of Zn2+.
Covalent and (zinc-mediated) noncovalent mechanisms involving FIB and stromal ECM molecules contribute to the adhesion created by FIB + RF + UVA.
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