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Thomas N. Blankenship, John F. Hess, Paul G. FitzGerald; Development- and Differentiation-Dependent Reorganization of Intermediate Filaments in Fiber Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(3):735-742. doi: https://doi.org/.
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purpose. To define the remodeling of lens fiber cell intermediate filaments (IF)
that occurs with both development and differentiation.
methods. Prenatal and postnatal mice were probed for the IF proteins phakosin,
filensin, and vimentin, using light microscope immunocytochemical
results. The pattern of vimentin accumulation in elongating fiber cells changed
with development. Early in development vimentin first emerged
predominantly as focal accumulations in the basal region of both
epithelial and primary fiber cells. A light diffuse cytoplasmic
staining was also noted. Later in embryonic development, and through
maturity, vimentin in fiber cells was predominantly associated with the
plasma membrane with no anterior–posterior polarity. Phakosin and
filensin were first detected in the very latest stages of primary fiber
elongation and continued to accumulate well after cells had completed
elongation. Initially, these proteins accumulated in the anterior half
of the fiber cells and were cytoplasmic in distribution. After P13, the
pattern of initial distribution in differentiating fiber cells changed
to a predominantly plasma membrane localization. Neither beaded
filament protein showed focal basal accumulations. In mature lenses,
all three proteins ultimately disappeared from the nuclear fiber cells.
conclusions. Beaded filament protein accumulation lags significantly behind both
primary and secondary fiber cell elongation, suggesting a functional
role subsequent to elongation. The subcellular distribution of vimentin
and the beaded filament proteins showed marked differences within the
cell, with differentiation, and with development. The differences in
time of initial synthesis and in distribution of these IF proteins may
bear on hypotheses about the role of IFs in fiber cell elongation and
in structural–functional polarity of the fiber
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