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Immunohistochemical localization of D-β-aspartic acid-containing proteins in climatic droplet keratopathy.
  1. Yuichi Kaji (sanken-tky{at},
  2. Tetsuro Oshika (toshika{at},
  3. Yutaka Takazawa (takazawa{at},
  4. Masashi Fukayama (mfukayama-tky{at},
  5. Noriko Fujii (nfujii{at}
  1. Tsukuba University Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan
  2. Tsukuba University Institute of Clinical Medicine, Japan
  3. Department of Pathology, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
  4. Department of Pathology, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
  5. Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Osaka, Japan


    Purpose: Biologically uncommon D-β-aspartic acid (D-β-Asp) accumulates in the body with age and is involved in the aging process. In the present study, the localization of D-β-Asp-containing proteins was investigated in surgical specimens with climatic droplet keratopathy (CDK), one of the ocular changes related to the aging process.

    Methods: Immunohistochemical localization of D-β-Asp-containing proteins using polyclonal antibodies raised against D-β-Asp-containing peptides was examined in three corneas with CDK, three corneas with interstitial keratitis, six corneas with bullous keratopathy, and three corneas without any corneal diseases.

    Results: Strong immunoreactivity to D-β-Asp-containing peptide was detected in all the surgical specimens with CDK. In contrast, no immunoreactivities to D-β-Asp-containing peptides were detected in the surgical specimens with bullous keratopathy, interstitial keratitis, or no corneal diseases.

    Conclusions: CDK was regarded as aggregations of D-β-Asp-containing proteins. The formation of D-amino acids in protein causes the different side chain orientations and β-linkage of Asp residues elongates the main chain of proteins. Therefore, D-β-Asp formation will result in a partial unfolding of proteins leading to the aggregation of proteins seen in CDK.

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