Proteoglycan expression by human trabecular meshworks

Mary K. Wirtz, John M.B. Bradley, Hong Xu, John Domreis, Catherine A. Nobis, Anne T. Truesdale, John R. Samples, E. Michael Van Buskirk, Ted S. Acott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purpose. Proteoglycans may serve important roles in trabecular meshwork structure or function. Detailed molecular characterization and identification of specific trabecular proteoglycan core proteins has been limited. Methods. Radiolabeled proteoglycans were extracted from cultured human trabecular meshworks and subjected to ion exchange and molecular sieve chromatography. Peaks were subjected to glycosaminoglycan content analysis. Reverse transcription with polymerase chain reaction was used to identify trabecular mRNAs of several common proteoglycan core proteins. Western immunoblots of trabecular extracts were also utilized to identify these proteoglycan core proteins. Results. The proteoglycans elute from ion exchange columns at high salt and molecular sieve column profiles, and they exhibit broad peaks typical of the proteoglycan microheterogeneity seen in other tissues. The four common glycosaminoglycan side-chains were identified on these proteoglycans. Trabecular cells in organ or cell culture contain mRNAs coding for decorin, biglycan, versican, perlecan and a basement membrane glycoprotein, SPARC. Syndecan-1 transcripts were present at very low levels, while aggrecan transcripts were not detectable. Decorin, biglycan, versican and perlecan core proteins were also identified by immunoblots of trabecular cell extracts. Conclusions. Several common proteoglycans are expressed by trabecular cells in organ explant or cell culture. Their general characteristics are not unlike those found in other tissues. These proteoglycans may serve important functions in the trabecular outflow pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • Core protein transcripts
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Human
  • Proteoglycans
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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