The programmed elimination of nuclei and organelles from the cytoplasm of differentiating lens fiber cells is one of the most characteristic features of lens cell differentiation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying organelle degradation remain obscure. A better understanding of this process is necessary, because the abnormal retention of organelles is a feature of cataracts in both humans and animals. Organelle degradation involves the rapid removal of organelles and their proteinaceous contents. Consequently, there is considerable interest in identifying the proteolytic pathways that are activated during organelle degradation. In the first specific aim, we will test the hypothesis that the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPP) plays a critical role in the removal of organelles. These studies will utilize a novel in vivo chicken model in which the effects of selected proteasome inhibitors on organelle breakdown can be assessed directly. Recent studies have shown that degradation of fiber cell chromatin depends on the activity of DLAD (DNAse ll-like acid DNAase). We have obtained animals in which the gene for this nuclease has been knocked out. We will utilize these mice, in conjunction with transgenic animals expressing GFP- or His-tagged forms of DLAD, to understand how the DLAD nuclease gains access to the fiber cell chromatin and its mechanism of activation. Finally, mice in which the gene for Heat Shock Factor 4 (HSF4) has been deleted do not show the usual pattern of organelle loss. In these animals, intact organelles persist in the central lens fiber cells. We hypothesize that HSF4 regulates the expression of genes required for the initiation of organelle degradation. We will use a microarray-based strategy in wildtype and HSF4 null animals to identify such genes. Together these experiments will provide important new information on the mechanism(s) of organelle degradation in lens fiber cells and additional insight into the etiology of certain types of cataract.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EY009852-18
Application #
7744644
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDCN-F (02))
Program Officer
Araj, Houmam H
Project Start
1992-09-30
Project End
2011-12-31
Budget Start
2010-01-01
Budget End
2010-12-31
Support Year
18
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$338,580
Indirect Cost
Name
Washington University
Department
Ophthalmology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
068552207
City
Saint Louis
State
MO
Country
United States
Zip Code
63130
Bassnett, Steven; Šiki?, Hrvoje (2017) The lens growth process. Prog Retin Eye Res 60:181-200
De Maria, Alicia; Zhao, Haiqing; Bassnett, Steven (2017) Expression of potassium-dependent sodium-calcium exchanger in the murine lens. Exp Eye Res 167:18-24
Mesa, Rosana; Tyagi, Manoj; Harocopos, George et al. (2016) Somatic Variants in the Human Lens Epithelium: A Preliminary Assessment. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 57:4063-75
De Maria, Alicia; Bassnett, Steven (2015) Birc7: A Late Fiber Gene of the Crystalline Lens. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56:4823-34
Šiki?, Hrvoje; Shi, Yanrong; Lubura, Snježana et al. (2015) A stochastic model of eye lens growth. J Theor Biol 376:15-31
Shi, Yanrong; De Maria, Alicia; Lubura, Snježana et al. (2015) The penny pusher: a cellular model of lens growth. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 56:799-809
Mesa, Rosana; Bassnett, Steven (2013) UV-B-induced DNA damage and repair in the mouse lens. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:6789-97
Shi, Yanrong; Tu, Yidong; Mecham, Robert P et al. (2013) Ocular phenotype of Fbn2-null mice. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:7163-73
Shi, Yanrong; Tu, Yidong; De Maria, Alicia et al. (2013) Development, composition, and structural arrangements of the ciliary zonule of the mouse. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 54:2504-15
Shi, Yanrong; De Maria, Alicia; Bennett, Thomas et al. (2012) A role for epha2 in cell migration and refractive organization of the ocular lens. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 53:551-9

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