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Exp Eye Res. 1996 Aug;63(2):193-200.

Characterization and developmental regulation of avian corneal beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase mRNA.

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Tufts University Medical School, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Corneal development involves the synthesis and assembly of a number of specialized extracellular matrices. These matrices have distinctive properties derived from a unique assembly of collagens, proteoglycans and glycoproteins. The synthesis of each of these requires a number of enzymes. By probing a corneal cDNA library for genes that appeared to be up-regulated in cornea we have isolated a cDNA that represents an mRNA encoding the enzyme beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase. In cornea, a major function for this enzyme is likely to be in the synthesis of the keratan sulfate proteoglycan, lumican. Employing quantitative reverse transcript-polymerase chain reaction, we have observed that the steady-state level of mRNA for the molecule is elevated during certain stages of corneal development. It is also elevated in corneal fibroblasts in culture that have a greatly decreased synthesis of the mature lumican molecule. These data are consistent with, and complement, studies by others that show a corresponding regulation of the lumican core protein during development and in corneal fibroblast cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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