Eye: Proteomics

Abstract

Vision is our most precious sense, and numerous ocular diseases, including age‐related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopthay, are responsible for visual impairment and blindness in hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. In the past several years, a number of advances have been made to better understand ocular biology and diseases. Research in ocular proteomics of ocular tissues and cells such as the trabecular meshwork, retina, optic nerve head, retinal pigment epithelium, cornea, lens, sclera, tears, aqueous humour and vitreous humour, has allowed the identification of eye proteins and protein modifications that are involved in ocular development, ageing and disease. This provides an important foundation for better understanding ocular biology and disease pathogenesis.

Key Concepts:

  • The eye is a unique sensory organ.

  • A wide variety of proteomics techniques are being used to identify proteins and protein modifications that are involved in ocular development, ageing and a wide variety of ocular diseases.

  • Eye proteomics can be very challenging due to the very limited quantity of ocular tissues and fluids available for analysis.

  • Posttranslational protein modifications are commonly associated with a variety of ocular diseases, including glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.

  • Serum proteomics is being used to examine systemic effects of specific ocular diseases.

Keywords: proteomics; ophthalmology; blindness; electrophoresis; mass spectrometry

Figure 1.

Basic approaches used in proteomic analysis of ocular protein samples. 1D, one dimentional; 2D, two dimentional; PAGE, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and LC, liquid chromatography.

Figure 2.

Ocular proteomics website (http://genome.uiowa.edu/TM_prot/) that profiles trabecular meshwork proteins identified by 2D‐PAGE/LC/MS analysis.

Figure 3.

Example of human tear proteome identified by 2D‐PAGE/LC/MS. From the laboratories of HT Steely and GW Dillow.

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Further Reading

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Steely, H Thomas, and Clark, Abbot F(Mar 2009) Eye: Proteomics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0006224.pub2]