January 1985
Volume 26, Issue 1
Articles  |   January 1985
Synthesis and secretion of interstitial retinol-binding protein by the human retina.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science January 1985, Vol.26, 58-67. doi:
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      J G Hollyfield, S J Fliesler, M E Rayborn, S L Fong, R A Landers, C D Bridges; Synthesis and secretion of interstitial retinol-binding protein by the human retina.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1985;26(1):58-67.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Interstitial retinol-binding protein (IRBP) is a soluble glycoprotein present between the retina and pigmented epithelium, which may function to shuttle vitamin A derivatives between these tissues. While previous studies have shown that the retina is solely responsible for IRBP synthesis, the specific retinal cell(s) in which this occurs has not been established. Since the carbohydrate moiety of IRBP contains fucose, the authors have analyzed the sites of incorporation of 3H-fucose in the human retina in vitro, using autoradiography. Following a 30-min pulse incubation, all retinal layers exhibited incorporation of label; however, the rod photoreceptor inner segments contained one- to two-fold more radioactivity than was present in any other retinal compartment. In autoradiographs of retinas recovered following a 4 hr chase incubation, all retinal layers retained similar levels of radioactivity with the exception of the rod photoreceptors, cone photoreceptors and cells in the inner nuclear layer, which lost 75, 11, and 14 percent, respectively of the radioactivity present immediately following the 30-min pulse. Proteins present in the chase incubation medium were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography. The principal labeled component in the chase medium was identified as IRBP by immunoprecipitation with antibovine-IRBP immunoglobulins. Thus, the major loss of 3H-fucose radioactivity from rod photoreceptors coupled with the appearance of 3H-labeled IRBP in the incubation media suggests that the rod photoreceptors are primarily responsible for the synthesis and secretion of IRBP.


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