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Valentina Barrera, Lee D. Troughton, Valentina Iorio, Siyin Liu, Olutobi Oyewole, Carl M. Sheridan, Kevin J. Hamill; Differential Distribution of Laminin N-Terminus α31 Across the Ocular Surface: Implications for Corneal Wound Repair. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(10):4082-4093. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.18-24037.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Laminin N-terminus (LaNt) α31 is a relatively unstudied protein derived from the laminin α3 gene but structurally similar to netrins. LaNt α31 has, to date, been investigated only in two-dimensional (2D) keratinocyte culture where it influences cell migration and adhesion, processes integral to wound repair. Here we investigated LaNt α31 distribution in ocular surface epithelium, during limbal stem cell activation, and corneal wound healing.
Human, mouse, and pig eyes, ex vivo limbal explant cultures, and alkali burn wounds were processed for immunohistochemistry with antibodies against LaNt α31 along with progenitor cell–associated proteins. LaNt α31 expression was induced via adenoviral transduction into primary epithelial cells isolated from limbal explants, and cell spreading and migration were analyzed using live imaging.
LaNt α31 localized to the basal layer of the conjunctival, limbal, and corneal epithelial cells. However, staining was nonuniform with apparent subpopulation enrichment, and some suprabasal reactivity was also noted. This LaNt α31 distribution largely matched that of keratin 15, epidermal growth factor receptor, and transformation-related protein 63α (p63α), and displayed similar increases in expression in activated limbal explants. During active alkali burn wound repair, LaNt α31 displayed increased expression in limbal regions and loss of basal restriction within the cornea. Distribution returned to predominately basal cell restricted once the wounded epithelium matured. Cultured corneal epithelial cells expressing LaNt α31 displayed increased 2D area and reduced migration, suggesting a functional link between this protein and key wound repair activities.
These data place LaNt α31 in position to influence laminin-dependent processes including wound repair and stem cell activation.
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