Decreased expression of ribosomal proteins in human age-related cataract

W. Zhang, J. Hawse, Q. Huang, N. Sheets, K. M. Miller, J. Horwitz, M. Kantorow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose. To identify lens epithelial genes with altered expression levels in age-related human cataract. Methods. Epithelia from age-related cataracts and from normal lenses were microdissected and RNA was extracted. RNAs were compared for gene expression differences by RT-PCR differential display. Transcripts exhibiting altered levels of gene expression were cloned and identified by sequencing. The expression levels of identified clones were confirmed by semiquantitative RT-PCR with three separately isolated RNA preparations. Specific primers were designed and used to examine the mRNA levels of other genes important in protein synthesis. Results. Numerous transcripts exhibited altered levels of gene expression. One transcript exhibiting a decreased level of expression in cataract compared with normal lenses was identified as encoding ribosomal protein L21. Three additional ribosomal proteins, L15, L13a, and L7a, also exhibited decreased expression in cataract compared with normal human lenses. By contrast, the levels of elongation factor (EF)-1α1 and eucaryotic initiation factor (eIF)-4E remained unchanged. Conclusions. The results provide evidence that human agerelated cataract is associated with decreased expression of L21 and other ribosomal proteins. The results suggest that modulation of protein synthesis and/or other functions mediated by ribosomal proteins is associated with age-related cataract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-204
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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