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Exp Eye Res. 2012 Sep;102:10-6. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Anti-EMP2 diabody blocks epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2) and FAK mediated collagen gel contraction in ARPE-19 cells.

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Department of Ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Epithelial membrane protein 2 (EMP2) regulates collagen gel contraction by the retinal pigment epithelium cell line ARPE-19 by modulating FAK activation. Collagen gel contraction is one in vitro model for an aberrant wound healing response, proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), which occurs as a complication of severe ocular trauma. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether EMP2 specific recombinant diabody decreases activation of FAK and collagen gel contraction in ARPE-19. Anti-EMP2 diabody was recombinantly constructed from a human phage library-derived clone selected for reactivity against an extracellular domain of human EMP2. ARPE-19 cells were exposed to an anti-EMP2 or control diabody, and toxicity, adhesion, and migration were assessed respectively through toluidine blue exclusion, binding to collagen type 1, and a migration assay. Collagen gel contraction was assessed using an in vitro assay. FAK activation was evaluated using Western blot. Exposure to anti-EMP2 diabody, resulted in a 75% reduction in EMP2 protein levels at 4 h. No significant toxicity was observed with anti-EMP2 diabody at levels that maximally reduced EMP2. Anti-EMP2 diabody, but not control diabody, significantly reduced collagen gel contraction (p < 0.001), without changes in adhesion or migration. Concordantly, anti-EMP2 diabody as compared to a control diabody reduced collagen stimulated FAK activation (p = 0.01). Anti-EMP2 diabody decreases EMP2 protein levels, FAK activation, and collagen gel contraction by ARPE-19 cells without an adverse effect on cell survival. Modulation of EMP2 using anti-EMP2 diabody could be a new approach for targeting EMP2 and pathologic consequences associated with EMP2.

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