Calponin-3 deficiency augments contractile activity, plasticity, fibrogenic response and Yap/Taz transcriptional activation in lens epithelial cells and explants.
The transparent ocular lens plays a crucial role in vision by focusing light on to the retina with loss of lens transparency leading to impairment of vision. While maintenance of epithelial phenotype is recognized to be essential for lens development and function, knowledge of the identity of different molecular mechanisms regulating lens epithelial characteristics remains incomplete. This study reports that CNN-3, the acidic isoform of calponin, an actin binding contractile protein, is expressed preferentially and abundantly relative to the basic and neutral isoforms of calponin in the ocular lens, and distributes predominantly to the epithelium in both mouse and human lenses. Expression and MEKK1-mediated threonine 288 phosphorylation of CNN-3 is induced by extracellular cues including TGF-β2 and lysophosphatidic acid. Importantly, siRNA-induced deficiency of CNN3 in lens epithelial cell cultures and explants results in actin stress fiber reorganization, stimulation of focal adhesion formation, Yap activation, increases in the levels of α-smooth muscle actin, connective tissue growth factor and fibronectin, and decreases in E-cadherin expression. These results reveal that CNN3 plays a crucial role in regulating lens epithelial contractile activity and provide supporting evidence that CNN-3 deficiency is associated with the induction of epithelial plasticity, fibrogenic activity and mechanosensitive Yap/Taz transcriptional activation.
Maddala, R; Mongan, M; Xia, Y; Rao, PV
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)