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Matthias Zenkel, Ernst Pöschl, Klaus von der Mark, Carmen Hofmann-Rummelt, Gottfried O. H. Naumann, Friedrich E. Kruse, Ursula Schlötzer-Schrehardt; Differential Gene Expression in Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(10):3742-3752. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-0249.
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purpose. To identify and characterize genes differentially expressed in anterior segment tissues of eyes with pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome and glaucoma.
methods. Anterior segment tissues (iris, ciliary processes, lens epithelium) were obtained from eight surgically enucleated eyes with PEX-associated open-angle or closed-angle glaucomas and eight age-matched glaucomatous control eyes without PEX. cDNA libraries were generated from three PEX and three control specimens, and their gene expression patterns were compared by means of cDNA subtraction. Differentially expressed clones from the subtracted cDNA libraries were sequenced, and their differential expression was verified by means of RT-PCR, virtual Northern blot analysis, and in situ hybridization with specific RNA probes.
results. Subtraction of cDNA libraries identified 27 candidate genes for differential expression in PEX tissues, of which 23 genes were confirmed by virtual Northern blot, RT-PCR, and in situ hybridization. One set of genes consistently upregulated in anterior segment tissues from different patients with PEX comprised latent transforming growth factor binding proteins (LTBP-1 and -2), which are structural components of elastic microfibrils, the cross-linking enzyme transglutaminase-2 (TGase-2), tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), A-kinase anchor protein-2 (AKAP-2), apolipoprotein D, and the adenosine receptor-A3 (AdoR-A3). Genes reproducibly downregulated in PEX tissues included TIMP-1, clusterin, microsomal glutathione-S-transferase-1 (mGST-1), and serum amyloid A1. Further transcripts, such as elastase, GST-T1, integrin β4, and dehydrocholesterol reductase, did not show a consistent differential expression pattern in tissues obtained from different patients. Although fibrillin-1 was not isolated from subtracted cDNA libraries, upregulated expression of this elastic microfibrillar component was also demonstrated by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization.
conclusions. Differentially expressed genes with a high level of reproducibility in different tissues and different patients with PEX syndrome are mainly related to extracellular matrix metabolism and cellular stress. The underlying pathophysiology of PEX syndrome appears to be associated with an excessive production of elastic microfibril components, enzymatic cross-linking processes, a proteolytic imbalance between matrix metalloproteinases and their inhibitors, and increased cellular and oxidative stress supporting the notion of PEX syndrome as a stress-induced elastic microfibrillopathy.
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