June 1999
Volume 40, Issue 7
Articles  |   June 1999
Lens epithelia contain a high-affinity, membrane steroid hormone-binding protein.
Author Affiliations
  • R J Cenedella
    Department of Biochemistry, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Missouri 63501, USA.
  • P S Sexton
    Department of Biochemistry, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Missouri 63501, USA.
  • X L Zhu
    Department of Biochemistry, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Missouri 63501, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1999, Vol.40, 1452-1459. doi:https://doi.org/
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      R J Cenedella, P S Sexton, X L Zhu; Lens epithelia contain a high-affinity, membrane steroid hormone-binding protein.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(7):1452-1459. doi: https://doi.org/.

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

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PURPOSE: To describe the serendipitous discovery of a high-affinity, membrane steroid-binding protein (MSBP) in lens epithelial cells and to examine the binding of progesterone to epithelial cell membranes. METHODS: Bovine lens epithelial cells (BLECs) were cultured in media containing 3H-mevalonolactone to examine protein prenylation by mevalonate-derived isoprenes. Cell proteins were divided into insoluble and soluble fractions, separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and label detected by fluorography. Insoluble proteins were then fractionated on a C18 reversed-phase column. A high-performance liquid chromatography fraction containing a 28kDa 3H-labeled hydrophobic protein was collected, lyophilized, and subjected to SDS-PAGE and the separated proteins transferred to membrane. Protein in the recovered 28-kDa band was submitted for identification by N-terminal sequence analysis. Microsomal membranes prepared from fresh epithelia of intact bovine, rat, and human lens and cultured BLECs were tested for the presence of MSBP by western blot analysis using an antiserum to porcine liver microsomal MSBP. Radiolabeling of MSBP from 3H-mevalonate was confirmed by immunoprecipitation using the same antiserum. 3H-Progesterone was incubated with microsomal membrane from bovine lens epithelia to measure high-affinity binding. Radiolabeled progesterone-protein complexes were trapped on glass filters and radioactivity measured and the binding data subjected to Scatchard analysis. RESULTS: Membrane recovered from BLECs incubated with 3H-mevalonolactone contained a 3H-labeled 28-kDa protein fraction. The N-terminal sequence of the principal protein in this fraction was very similar to that of the recently discovered MSBP. Western blot analysis with antiserum to MSBP indicated the presence of the 28-kDa protein in the microsomal fraction from BLECs and epithelia of bovine, rat, and young human lenses but not in lens fiber cell membrane. Microsomal membrane from intact bovine lens epithelium bound progesterone with high affinity, with disso ciation constant (Kd) at approximately 75 nM and a receptor concentration of approximately 3 picomoles/mg protein. CONCLUSIONS: The lens epithelium contains a 28-kDa membrane protein that can bind progesterone and perhaps other steroid hormones with high affinity. The protein appears to be microsomal and prenylated. The MBSP may mediate rapid nongenomic steroid effects that contribute to steroid-induced cataracts.


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