The class III β-tubulin isotype (β III) is expressed exclusively by neurons within the normal human retina and is not present in normal retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in situ or in the early phase of primary cultures. However, aberrant expression of class III β-tubulin has been observed in passaged RPE cells and RPE cells with dedifferentiated morphology in pathologic epiretinal membranes from idiopathic macular pucker, proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) has been implicated in dedifferentiation of RPE cells and has a critical role in the development of proliferative vitreoretinal diseases. Here, we investigated the potential effects of TGF-β on the aberrant expression of class III β-tubulin and the intracellular signaling pathway mediating these changes. TGF-β-induced aberrant expression and O-linked-β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNac) modification of class III β-tubulin in cultured RPE cells as determined using Western blotting, RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. TGF-β also stimulated phosphorylation of ERK. TGF-β-induced aberrant expression of class III β-tubulin was significantly reduced by pretreatment with U0126, an inhibitor of ERK phosphorylation. Our findings indicate that TGF-β stimulated aberrant expression of class III β-tubulin via activation of the ERK signaling pathway. These data demonstrate that mature RPE cells have the capacity to express a neuron-associated gene in response to TGF-β stimulation and provide useful information towards understanding the pathogenesis of proliferative vitreoretinal diseases.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Nov 18|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology