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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 1;58(2):849-859. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20472.

Role of ID Proteins in BMP4 Inhibition of Profibrotic Effects of TGF-β2 in Human TM Cells.

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North Texas Eye Research Institute, University North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas, United States.



Increased expression of TGF-β2 in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) aqueous humor (AH) and trabecular meshwork (TM) causes deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) in the TM and elevated IOP. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) regulate TGF-β2-induced ECM production. The underlying mechanism for BMP4 inhibition of TGF-β2-induced fibrosis remains undetermined. Bone morphogenic protein 4 induces inhibitor of DNA binding proteins (ID1, ID3), which suppress transcription factor activities to regulate gene expression. Our study will determine whether ID1and ID3 proteins are downstream targets of BMP4, which attenuates TGF-β2 induction of ECM proteins in TM cells.


Primary human TM cells were treated with BMP4, and ID1 and ID3 mRNA, and protein expression was determined by quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) and Western immunoblotting. Intracellular ID1 and ID3 protein localization was studied by immunocytochemistry. Transformed human TM cells (GTM3 cells) were transfected with ID1 or ID3 expression vectors to determine their potential inhibitory effects on TGF-β2-induced fibronectin and plasminogen activator inhibitor-I (PAI-1) protein expression.


Basal expression of ID1-3 was detected in primary human TM cells. Bone morphogenic protein 4 significantly induced early expression of ID1 and ID3 mRNA (P < 0.05) and protein in primary TM cells, and a BMP receptor inhibitor blocked this induction. Overexpression of ID1 and ID3 significantly inhibited TGF-β2-induced expression of fibronectin and PAI-1 in TM cells (P < 0.01).


Bone morphogenic protein 4 induced ID1 and ID3 expression suppresses TGF-β2 profibrotic activity in human TM cells. In the future, targeting specific regulators may control the TGF-β2 profibrotic effects on the TM, leading to disease modifying IOP lowering therapies.

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