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Mol Vis. 2006 Nov 29;12:1437-47.

MFG-E8 in the retina and retinal pigment epithelium of rat and mouse.

Author information

1
Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7000, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To study the distribution of milk fat globule epidermal growth factor E8 (MFG-E8) in the rodent eye and to investigate a potential role for this molecule in the phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments (POS) by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).

METHODS:

We have used immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, Northern and Western blotting to demonstrate the presence and distribution of MFG-E8 in the rat and mouse retina. siRNA technology was used to knock down MFG-E8 mRNA and to study the effect of such knockdown on the phagocytosis of POS by the RPE.

RESULTS:

We identified a novel long form of this protein (MFG-E8L) in rat tissues, which contains a 56 amino acid insert that is rich in proline and threonine. This is the first demonstration that MFG-E8L is present in a species other than the mouse. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization demonstrate that MFG-E8 is present in the retina and RPE. Northern blotting and PCR show that the short form of MFG-E8 (MFG-E8S) is present in both the retina and RPE, but MFG-E8L is found only in the RPE. Our results do not demonstrate a role for MFG-E8 in POS phagocytosis by cultured RPE cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

In all tissues in which MFG-E8 has been localized, it has been shown to perform an important role in cell-cell binding, or in promoting phagocytosis. The localization of this glycoprotein in the retina and RPE, and particularly the specific localization of MFG-E8L in the RPE, suggests that this molecule may play an important, but as yet unknown role in retinal function.

PMID:
17167398
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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