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Andrea Cruzat, Miguel Gonzalez-Andrades, Jérôme Mauris, Dina B. AbuSamra, Preethi Chidambaram, Kenneth R. Kenyon, James Chodosh, Claes H. Dohlman, Pablo Argüeso; Colocalization of Galectin-3 With CD147 Is Associated With Increased Gelatinolytic Activity in Ulcerating Human Corneas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(1):223-230. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-23196.
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Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein known to promote expression of matrix metalloproteinases, a hallmark of ulceration, through interaction with the extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer CD147. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of galectin-3 in corneas of patients with ulcerative keratitis and to determine its relationship to CD147 and the presence of gelatinolytic activity.
This was an observational case series involving donor tissue from 13 patients with active corneal ulceration and 6 control corneas. Fixed-frozen sections of the corneas were processed to localize galectin-3 and CD147 by immunofluorescence microscopy. Gelatinolytic activity was detected by in situ zymography.
Tissue from patients with active corneal ulceration showed a greater galectin-3 immunoreactivity in basal epithelia and stroma compared with controls. Immunofluorescence grading scores revealed increased colocalization of galectin-3 and CD147 in corneal ulcers at the epithelial–stromal junction and within fibroblasts. Quantitative analysis using the Manders' colocalization coefficient demonstrated significant overlap in corneas from patients with ulcerative keratitis (M1 = 0.29; M2 = 0.22) as opposed to control corneas (M1 = 0.01, P < 0.01; M2 = 0.02, P < 0.05). In these experiments, there was a significant positive correlation between the degree of galectin-3 and CD147 colocalization and the presence of gelatinolytic activity.
Our results indicate that concomitant stimulation and colocalization of galectin-3 with CD147 are associated with increased gelatinolytic activity in the actively ulcerating human cornea and suggest a mechanism by which galectin-3 may contribute to the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins during ulceration.
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