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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1990 Mar 1;31(3):448-56.

Expression of the 55-kD/64-kD corneal keratins in ocular surface epithelium.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill 60611.


According to the concept of keratin pairing defined by tissue coexpression, a 55-kD/64-kD keratin pair is a marker of "corneal-type" differentiation. Intermediate filament (IF)-enriched preparations from guinea pig and bovine corneal epithelium were analyzed, and a rabbit antiserum was generated against a 55-kD polypeptide enriched in these preparations. This antiserum generated a typical IF-like pattern in cultured bovine corneal epithelial cells. Immunofluorescence microscopic analysis of frozen sections of guinea pig and bovine tissue revealed that the 55-kD antiserum labeled corneal and limbal epithelium. In addition, the antiserum stained a subpopulation of peripheral limbal cells that were distributed in both basal and suprabasal layers of the epithelium. The monoclonal antibody AE5 was used to investigate the distribution of the 64-kD polypeptide in guinea pig and bovine tissue. Immunoblotting analysis revealed that AE5 antibodies recognized a 64-kD polypeptide in guinea pig cornea, but recognized a 66-kD polypeptide in bovine cornea. Immunofluorescence microscopic analysis of guinea pig tissue revealed that AE5 antibodies labeled suprabasal layers of corneal epithelium, in suprabasal layers of limbal epithelium, and in groups of cells in the peripheral limbal epithelium. We discuss the possibility that the ocular epithelial cells recognized by either the 55-kD or the 64-kD antibodies in the peripheral limbus may play a role in the reepithelialization of the cornea after wounding.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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