Author(s): Evans CW, Eastwood S, Rains J, Gruijters WT, Bullivant S,
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Abstract We have identified a 60 kDa membrane protein (MP60) as a component of the mouse cortical lens fiber gap junction and a monoclonal antibody recognizing this protein has been used to establish the temporal and spatial patterns of gap junction formation during development of the mouse lens. The initial expression of MP60 during embryonic development of the mouse lens correlates with primary fiber elongation and is first seen on the luminal aspect of the extending cells. About 2 days after birth, the relatively large, antibody-positive macular structures characteristic of late embryonic fiber cells begin to disperse into progressively smaller structures within a centrally located region of the lens. This change in the staining pattern with antibody directed against MP60 is consistent with the dispersion of gap junction plaques as confirmed by freeze fracture analysis. Around 5 days after birth, the 60 kDa gap junctional protein in this central region of the lens undergoes a modification resulting in the alteration to the epitope for the monoclonal antibody and a consequent loss of immunorecognition. Our results suggest that gap junctions in the central region of the developing mouse lens undergo sequential changes in immunoreactivity which may reflect potentially distinct functional phases of intercellular communication.
This article was published in Eur J Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology