Kamma-Lorger C.S.,NCD BL11 |
Kamma-Lorger C.S.,University of Cardiff |
Pinali C.,University of Cardiff |
Martinez J.C.,NCD BL11 |
And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016
The role of Decorin in organising the extracellular matrix was examined in normal human corneas and in corneas from patients with Congenital Stromal Corneal Dystrophy (CSCD). In CSCD, corneal clouding occurs due to a truncating mutation (c.967delT) in the decorin (DCN) gene. Normal human Decorin protein and the truncated one were reconstructed in silico using homology modelling techniques to explore structural changes in the diseased protein. Corneal CSCD specimens were also examined using 3-D electron tomography and Small Angle X-ray diffraction (SAXS), to image the collagen-proteoglycan arrangement and to quantify fibrillar diameters, respectively. Homology modelling showed that truncated Decorin had a different spatial geometry to the normal one, with the truncation removing a major part of the site that interacts with collagen, compromising its ability to bind effectively. Electron tomography showed regions of abnormal stroma, where collagen fibrils came together to form thicker fibrillar structures, showing that Decorin plays a key role in the maintenance of the order in the normal corneal extracellular matrix. Average diameter of individual fibrils throughout the thickness of the cornea however remained normal. © 2016 Kamma-Lorger et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.