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Tamir Gonen, Paul Donaldson, Joerg Kistler; Galectin-3 Is Associated with the Plasma Membrane of Lens Fiber Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(1):199-203.
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purpose. To discover proteins that have the potential to contribute to the tight
packing of fiber cells in the lens.
methods. Crude fiber cell membranes were isolated from ovine lens cortex.
Proteins were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and
selected protein spots identified by microsequencing. The
identification of galectin-3 was confirmed by immunoblotting with a
specific antibody. The association of galectin-3 with the fiber cell
plasma membrane was investigated using immunofluorescence microscopy,
solubilization trials with selected reagents, and immunoprecipitation
to identify candidate ligands.
results. A cluster of three protein spots with an apparent molecular weight of
31,000 and isoelectric points ranging between 7 and 8.5 were resolved
and identified as galectin-3. This protein was associated peripherally
with the fiber cell plasma membrane and interacted with MP20, an
abundant intrinsic membrane protein that had been identified previously
as a component of membrane junctions between fiber cells.
conclusions. The detection of galectin-3 in the lens is a novel result and adds to
the growing list of lens proteins with adhesive properties. Its
location at the fiber cell membrane and its association with the
junction-forming MP20 is consistent with a potential role in the
development or maintenance of the tightly packed lens tissue
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