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Eunjoo H. Lee, Young Seomun, Kyung–Hoon Hwang, Jung–Eun Kim, In–San Kim, Jae Ho Kim, Choun–Ki Joo; Overexpression of the Transforming Growth Factor-β–Inducible Gene βig-h3 in Anterior Polar Cataracts. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(7):1840-1845.
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purpose. In anterior polar cataracts and the fibrosis that can occur after
cataract surgery, lens epithelial cells synthesize abundant
extracellular matrix molecules and transdifferentiate into
myofibroblast-like cells. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β has been
implicated as a key player in these cataractous changes. The purpose of
this study was to determine whether the TGF-β–inducible gene h3
(βig-h3) is expressed in lens epithelial cells from patients with
anterior polar cataracts and to test whether βig-h3 is induced by
TGF-β in cultured lens epithelial cells.
methods. Lens epithelial cells attached to the anterior capsules of human
cataractous lenses and noncataractous lenses were examined for the
expression of βig-h3 mRNA and protein using reverse
transcription–polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical
analyses. The effect of TGF-β on βig-h3 gene expression was also
tested in human lens epithelial B-3 cells using Northern and Western
results. βig-h3 mRNA was not detected in lens epithelial cells from patients
with clear lenses or patients with nuclear cataracts. Significant
expression of mRNA for βig-h3 was observed in lens epithelial cells
from patients with anterior polar cataracts. Immunohistochemical
analysis using anti–βig-h3 antiserum indicated that βig-h3 protein
was present within the subcapsular plaques of anterior polar cataracts.
Treatment of human lens epithelial B-3 cells with TGF-β1 led to an
increase in βig-h3 mRNA and the secretion of βig-h3 protein into
the culture medium.
conclusions. βig-h3 may serve as a marker for anterior polar cataracts in addition
to previously known proteins, fibronectin, type I collagen, andα
-smooth muscle actin. The functions of this protein in lens
pathology need to be further investigated.
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