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Tayler F. L. Wishart, Frank J. Lovicu; An Atlas of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans in the Postnatal Rat Lens. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(14):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.14.5.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The arrangement of lens cells is regulated by ocular growth factors. Although the effects of these inductive molecules on lens cell behavior (proliferation, survival, and fiber differentiation) are well-characterized, the precise mechanisms underlying the regulation of growth factor-mediated signaling in lens remains elusive. Increasing evidence highlights the importance of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) for the signaling regulation of growth factors; however, the identity of the different lens HSPGs and the specific roles they play in lens biology are still unknown.
Semiquantitative real-time (RT)‐PCR and immunolabeling were used to characterize the spatial distribution of all known HSPG core proteins and their associated glycosaminoglycans (heparan and chondroitin sulfate) in the postnatal rat lens. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2-treated lens epithelial explants, cultured in the presence of Surfen (an inhibitor of heparan sulfate [HS]-growth factor binding interactions) were used to investigate the requirement for HS in FGF-2-induced proliferation, fiber differentiation, and ERK1/2-signaling.
The lens expresses all HSPGs. These HSPGs are differentially localized to distinct functional regions of the lens. In vitro, inhibition of HS-sulfation with Surfen blocked FGF-2-mediated ERK1/2-signaling associated with lens epithelial cell proliferation and fiber differentiation, highlighting that these cellular processes are dependent on HS.
These findings support a requirement for HSPGs in FGF-2 driven lens cell proliferation and fiber differentiation. The identification of specific HSPG core proteins in key functional lens regions, and the divergent expression patterns of closely related HSPGs, suggests that different HSPGs may differentially regulate growth factor signaling networks leading to specific biological events involved in lens growth and maintenance.
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