APR 02, 2013
The authors discuss the role of mucin O-glycans in ocular surface hydration and lubrication, clearance of pathogens, barrier function through lectin interactions, and prevention of endocytosis and nanoparticle uptake. They conclude that despite the quick advance of glycomic technologies, the contribution of the vast majority of glycogenes to ocular surface health remains poorly understood.
They write that glycosylation is an important and common form of post-transcriptional modification of proteins in cells. During the last decade, glycomic technologies have allowed a vast array of biological functions to be ascribed to glycans. Glycogenes that are highly expressed at the human ocular surface include families of glycosyltransferases, proteoglycans, and glycan degradation proteins, as well as mucins and carbohydrate-binding proteins, such as the galectins.
The authors also highlight the role of glycogene alterization. In dry eye, for example, several glycogenes are significantly altered. These include mucin-type glycosyltransferases, members of the Notch signaling pathway, Wnt signaling molecules and heparan sulfate sulfotransferases. They write that evaluating their contribution to ocular surface pathology will likely prove rewarding.