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Proteomic insight into the molecular function of the vitreous.

TitleProteomic insight into the molecular function of the vitreous.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSkeie, Jessica M., C Roybal Nathaniel, and Mahajan Vinit B.
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2015
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Eye Proteins, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Proteome, Proteomics, Vitreous Body

The human vitreous contains primarily water, but also contains proteins which have yet to be fully characterized. To gain insight into the four vitreous substructures and their potential functions, we isolated and analyzed the vitreous protein profiles of three non-diseased human eyes. The four analyzed substructures were the anterior hyaloid, the vitreous cortex, the vitreous core, and the vitreous base. Proteins were separated by multidimensional liquid chromatography and identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics tools then extracted the expression profiles, signaling pathways, and interactomes unique to each tissue. From each substructure, a mean of 2,062 unique proteins were identified, with many being differentially expressed in a specific substructure: 278 proteins were unique to the anterior hyaloid, 322 to the vitreous cortex, 128 to the vitreous base, and 136 to the vitreous core. When the identified proteins were organized according to relevant functional pathways and networks, key patterns appeared. The blood coagulation pathway and extracellular matrix turnover networks were highly represented. Oxidative stress regulation and energy metabolism proteins were distributed throughout the vitreous. Immune functions were represented by high levels of immunoglobulin, the complement pathway, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), and evolutionarily conserved antimicrobial proteins. The majority of vitreous proteins detected were intracellular proteins, some of which originate from the retina, including rhodopsin (RHO), phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). This comprehensive analysis uncovers a picture of the vitreous as a biologically active tissue, where proteins localize to distinct substructures to protect the intraocular tissues from infection, oxidative stress, and energy disequilibrium. It also reveals the retina as a potential source of inflammatory mediators. The vitreous proteome catalogues the dynamic interactions between the vitreous and surrounding tissues. It therefore could be an indirect and effective method for surveying vitreoretinal disease for specific biomarkers.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID26020955
PubMed Central IDPMC4447289
Grant ListR01 EY024665 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
K08EY020530 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States