Identification of genes expressed in a human scleral cDNA library.
PURPOSE: Clones established from a human scleral cDNA library were systematically sequenced. Public database sequence comparisons were performed to generate a profile of genes expressed in the human sclera and identify candidate genes for inherited diseases with scleral involvement. METHODS: A directionally cloned pCMV-PCR cDNA library was constructed from RNA isolated from scleras of human donor eyes with known plano refractive history. Plasmid DNA was extracted from randomly selected cDNA clones, and the insert sequences were determined by 5' end single-pass sequencing. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated and analyzed with the GenBank BLASTN program to identify sequence homologies to known genes. RESULTS: A total of 609 ESTs underwent BLAST analysis. Of these, 341 (56%) matched 228 known human genes and 4 non-human genes, 252 matched uncharacterized ESTs, and 16 showed no significant homology to human or non-human known sequences. The most redundant connective tissue-related genes were alphaA-crystalline, Xalpha-1 collagen, and beta-5 integrin. Other extracellular matrix gene matches were biglycan, syndecan, decorin, fibromodulin, proline arginine-rich end leucine-rich repeat protein, transgelin, TIMP-1, and fibulin 1. Human scleral expression of all but decorin and biglycan has not previously been reported. CONCLUSIONS: This effort provides the first partial list of genes expressed in human sclera. Identification of genes expressed in the sclera contributes to our understanding of scleral biology, and potentially provides positional candidate genes for scleral disorders such as high myopia.
Young, TL; Guo, XD; King, RA; Johnson, JM; Rada, JA
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