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Immunohistochemical localization of D-β-aspartic acid in pinguecula.
  1. Yuichi Kaji (sanken-tky{at}umin.ac.jp),
  2. Tetsuro Oshika (oshika{at}eye.ac),
  3. Fumiki Okamoto (fumiki-o{at}md.tsukuba.ac.jp),
  4. Noriko Fujii (nfujii{at}hl.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp)
  1. Tsukuba University Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan
  2. Tsukuba University Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan
  3. Tsukuba University Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan
  4. Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Japan

    Abstract

    Background: Biologically uncommon D-β-aspartic acid residues have been reported to accumulate in various proteins of the living body during aging. In the present study, the localization of D-β-aspartic acid containing proteins was found in pinguecula, in which one of the most prominent age-related ocular changes generate.

    Methods: Surgical specimens of conjunctiva with or without pinguecula were prepared from nine patients. Immunohistochemical localization of D-β-aspartic acid containing proteins was investigated using polyclonal antibody against D-β-aspartic acid-containing peptides.

    Results: Strong immunoreactivity to D-β-aspartic acid-containing peptides was detected in the subepithelial amorphous materials of all the surgical specimens with pinguecula. In contrast, no immunoreactivities to D-β-aspartic acid-containing peptides were detected in the specimens without pinguecula.

    Conclusions: Pinguecula was thought to aggregates consist of proteins contain D-β-aspartic acid residues. It is known that conversion of L- to D- aspartyl residues is accelerated by ultraviolet irradiation. In addition, D-β-aspartic acid-containing proteins in general tend to aggregate in each other and accumulate in tissues. These facts indicate that ultraviolet-induced racemization of aspartic acids is closely related to the development of pinguecula.

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