The Dry Eye Zone

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Abstract: Mucin in non Sjogrens dry eye

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]
Mucin-type O-glycans in Tears of Normal Subjects and Patients with Non-Sjogrens Dry Eye.

Guzman-Aranguez A, Mantelli F, Argueso P.
Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Purpose. O-linked carbohydrates (O-glycans) contribute to the hydrophilic character of mucins in mucosal tissues. This study aimed to identify the repertoire of O-glycans in the tear film, and the glycosyltransferases associated with their biosynthesis, in normal subjects and patients with non-Sjögren's dry eye.

Methods. Human tear fluid was collected from the inferior conjunctival fornix. O-glycans were released by hydrazinolysis, labeled with 2-aminobenzamide, and analyzed by fluorometric, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with exoglycosidase digestions. O-glycan structures identified in tears were related to potential biosynthetic pathways in human conjunctival epithelium using a glycogene microarray database. Lectin-binding analyses were performed using agglutinins from Arachis hypogaea, Maackia amurensis, and Sambucus nigra.

Results. The O-glycan profile of human tears consisted primarily of core 1 (Galbeta1-3GalNAcalpha1-Ser/Thr)-based structures. Mono-sialyl O-glycans represented approximately 66% of the glycan pool, being alpha2-6-sialyl core 1 the predominant O-glycan structure in human tears (48%). Four families of glycosyltranferases potentially related to the biosynthesis of these structures were identified in human conjunctiva. These included thirteen polypeptide-GalNAc-transferases (GALNT), the core 1 beta-3-galactosyltransferase (T-synthase), three alpha2-6-sialyltransferases (ST6GalNAc), and two alpha2-3-sialyltransferases (ST3Gal). No significant differences in total amount of O-glycans were detected between tears of normal subjects and dry eye patients, by HPLC and lectin blot. Likewise, no differences in glycosyltransferase expression were found by glycogene microarray.

Conclusions. This study identifies the most common mucin-type O-glycans in human tears and their expected biosynthetic pathways in ocular surface epithelia. Patients with non-Sjögren's dry eye show no alterations in composition and amount of O-glycans in the tear fluid.
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