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Expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 in pterygium tissue

Abstract

Background: Pterygium is a fibrovascular overgrowth from the conjunctiva onto the cornea. The pathogenesis of this common ocular surface disorder is not well understood and the only treatment is surgical removal.

Methods: DNA microarray analysis of primary pterygium tissue was carried out using uninvolved conjunctiva tissue as a comparison for gene expression levels. Real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to verify the mRNA level of expression for genes changed in pterygium. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry showed protein expression levels and the tissue distribution.

Results: Microarray analysis revealed that mRNA levels of a number of genes were changed in primary pterygium. In particular the gene for insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, (IGFBP3), which modulates the effects of insulin-like growth factor on cells was significantly decreased. Both the message and protein expression of IGFBP3 in pterygium were decreased compared to normal, uninvolved conjunctiva.

Conclusion: Decreased levels of IGFBP3 protein have been strongly correlated with the presence of cancer. Identification of the low level of expression of IGFBP3 in pterygium suggests that the pathway controlling cell proliferation has lost an important control mechanism, which may explain the continued growth of pterygium.

  • FDR, false discovery rate
  • FITC, fluorescein isothiocyanate
  • IGF, insulin-like growth factor
  • IFBP, insulin-like growth factor binding protein
  • IL, interleukin
  • NUR77/NR4a1, orphan nuclear receptor
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • RMA, robust multi-array average
  • RXRα, retinoic X receptor alpha
  • SAM, significance analysis of microarrays
  • TNFα, tumour necrosis factor α
  • pterygium
  • insulin-like growth factor binding protein
  • gene expression
  • human
  • conjunctiva
  • FDR, false discovery rate
  • FITC, fluorescein isothiocyanate
  • IGF, insulin-like growth factor
  • IFBP, insulin-like growth factor binding protein
  • IL, interleukin
  • NUR77/NR4a1, orphan nuclear receptor
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • RMA, robust multi-array average
  • RXRα, retinoic X receptor alpha
  • SAM, significance analysis of microarrays
  • TNFα, tumour necrosis factor α
  • pterygium
  • insulin-like growth factor binding protein
  • gene expression
  • human
  • conjunctiva
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