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Lance P. Doucette, Tim Footz, Michael A. Walter; FOXC1 Regulates Expression of Prostaglandin Receptors Leading to an Attenuated Response to Latanoprost. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(6):2548-2554. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-23223.
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This study examines the effect of FOXC1 on the prostaglandin pathway in order to explore FOXC1's role in the prostaglandin-resistant glaucoma phenotype commonly seen in Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome.
Binding and transcriptional activity of FOXC1 to the gene coding for the EP3 prostaglandin receptor (PTGER3) were evaluated through ChIP-qPCR and luciferase-based assays. Immortalized trabecular meshwork cells (TM1) and HeLa cells had FOXC1 mRNA reduced via siRNA interference. qPCR and Western blot experiments were conducted to examine the changes in prostaglandin receptor expression brought about by lowered FOXC1. TM1 cells were then treated with 10 μM latanoprost acid and/or an siRNA for FOXC1. The expression of fibronectin and matrix metalloproteinase 9 were evaluated via qPCR in each treatment condition.
ChIP-qPCR and luciferase experiments confirmed that FOXC1 binds to and activates transcription of the EP3 gene prostaglandin receptor. qPCR and Western experiments in HeLa and TM1 cells showed that FOXC1 siRNA knockdown results in significantly lowered EP3 levels (protein and RNA). In addition, RNA levels of the other prostaglandin receptor genes EP1 (PTGER1), EP2 (PTGER2), EP4 (PTGER4), and FP (PTGFR) were altered when FOXC1 was knocked down in TM1 and HeLa cells. Analysis of fibronectin expression in TM1 cells after treatment with 10 μM latanoprost acid showed a statistically significant increase in expression; this increase was abrogated by cotreatment with a siRNA for FOXC1.
We show the abrogation of latanoprost signalling when FOXC1 is knocked down via siRNA in a trabecular meshwork cell line. We propose that the lower levels of active FOXC1 in Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome patients with glaucoma account for the lack of response to prostaglandin-based medications.
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