Abstract Title

EPIGENETIC REGULATION OF GLAUCOMA-ASSOCIATED GROWTH FACTORS IN THE TRABECULAR MESHWORK

Presenter Name

Jaclyn Y. Bermudez

Abstract

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and worldwide. The primary risk factor of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the major type of glaucoma, is elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). IOP elevation in glaucoma patients is due to glaucomatous insults to the trabecular meshwork (TM) and compromised TM function. Therefore, it is important to study how glaucoma-associated growth factors in the TM are regulated. We investigated how heritable changes in gene activity regulate the TM without altering the DNA sequence.

Presentation Type

Poster

Purpose (a):

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and worldwide. This disease leads to progressive, irreversible damage to the optic nerve and visual function. The primary risk factor of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the major type of glaucoma, is elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). IOP elevation in glaucoma patients is due to glaucomatous insults to the trabecular meshwork (TM) and compromised TM function, which increase aqueous humor outflow resistance. In the glaucomatous TM (GTM), there is excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) protein deposition. Many studies have suggested that cell signaling pathways, such as the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and Wnt signaling pathways, play key roles in TM homeostasis.The growth factors that are associated with these pathways, including TGFβ2, Gremlin and sFRP1, are found to be at higher levels in the GTM cells compared to normal TM cells. Little is known about the role of epigenetics in regulating glaucoma-associated growth factors in the TM. One of the major epigenetic regulatory mechanisms is histone acetylation.We hypothesize that histone acetylation is responsible for the increased expression of glaucoma associated factors in the TM.

Methods (b):

Primary human TM cell cultures were treated with 10nM Thailandepsin (TDP-A), a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), or 1% DMSO as vehicle control for 4 days. Cells were harvested for qPCR to compare gene expression levels or for ChIP assays to compare promoter associated histone acetylation status. We also treated paired perfusion cultured bovine anterior segments with DMSO or TDP-A for 7 to 10 days. The IOP change of the treated bovine eyes was monitored and recorded. Data were analyzed by using Student’s t-test or one-way ANOVA. P values less than 0.05 were considered significant.

Results (c):

TDP-A significantly elevated the expression of sFRP-1 and TGFβ2 (n=3, p2 as well as elevated IOP.

Conclusions (d):

Histone acetylation may play an important role in the dysregulation of growth factors in the TM. This mechanism provides a unique opportunity to elucidate the etiology of POAG. Also, TDP-A is a potent HDACi that can be used as a powerful tool in glaucoma research.

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EPIGENETIC REGULATION OF GLAUCOMA-ASSOCIATED GROWTH FACTORS IN THE TRABECULAR MESHWORK

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and worldwide. The primary risk factor of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the major type of glaucoma, is elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). IOP elevation in glaucoma patients is due to glaucomatous insults to the trabecular meshwork (TM) and compromised TM function. Therefore, it is important to study how glaucoma-associated growth factors in the TM are regulated. We investigated how heritable changes in gene activity regulate the TM without altering the DNA sequence.