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Fabian Garreis, Janine Jahn, Katharina Wild, Daniel B. Abrar, Martin Schicht, Jens-Michael Schröder, Friedrich Paulsen; Expression and Regulation of S100 Fused-Type Protein Hornerin at the Ocular Surface and Lacrimal Apparatus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(13):5968-5977. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-22637.
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The S100 fused-type proteins hornerin (HRNR) and filaggrin-2 (FLG2) are members of the epidermal differentiation complex, which is involved in terminal differentiation of keratinocytes via cornification as well as maintenance of the epidermal antimicrobial barrier. We investigated the expression and possible regulation of HRNR and FLG2 at the ocular surface and in the lacrimal apparatus.
Tissues of the lacrimal apparatus and ocular surface were analyzed systematically by means of RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and immuntransmission electron microscopy (iTEM) for their ability to express and produce HRNR and FLG2. In addition, inducibility and regulation of HRNR were studied in cultivated human corneal (HCE), conjunctival (HCjE), as well as meibomian gland (HMGEC) epithelial cell line by real-time RT-PCR.
RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and iTEM revealed constitutive expression of HRNR in the epithelium of cornea, conjunctiva, nasolacrimal ducts, and acinus cells of lacrimal and meibomian glands. HRNR also was detected in tears of healthy volunteers. No expression of FLG2 could be detected in tissue samples of the ocular surface and lacrimal apparatus. Real-time RT-PCR revealed a decreased HRNR gene expression after challenge with proinflammatory cytokines and supernatants of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeroginosa in HCE cells, whereas HCjE cells revealed no changes. In HMGECs serum-induced differentiation and application of all-trans retinoic acid significantly increased HRNR gene expression.
The data suggest that HRNR, but not FLG2, is a component of the ocular surface and lacrimal apparatus, including meibomian glands. HRNR seems to contribute to the maintenance of the epithelial barrier at the ocular surface and, thus, also may be involved in ocular surface diseases.
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