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Abstract: Cationic Amino Acid Transporters and beta-Defensins in Dry Eye Syndrome

Cationic Amino Acid Transporters and beta-Defensins in Dry Eye Syndrome.
Dev Ophthalmol. 2010;45:12-15. Epub 2010 May 18.
Jäger K, Garreis F, Dunse M, Paulsen FP.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, Germany.

Several diseases concomitant with L-arginine deficiency (diabetes, chronic kidney failure, psoriasis) are significantly associated with dry eye syndrome. One important factor that has so far been neglected is the y(+) transporter. In humans, y(+) accounts for nearly 80% of arginine transport, exclusively carrying the cationic amino acids L-arginine, L-lysine and L-ornithine. y(+) is represented by CAT(cationic amino acid transporter) proteins. L-arginine is a precursor of the moisturizer urea, which has been used in the treatment of dry skin diseases. Although urea has also been shown to be part of the tear film, little attention has been paid to it in this role. Moreover, L-arginine and L-lysine are major components contributing to synthesis of the antimicrobially active beta-defensins induced under dry eye conditions. The first results have demonstrated that transport of L-arginine and L-lysine into epithelial cells is limited by the y(+) transporter at the ocular surface. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.