Analysis of protein composition of rabbit aqueous humor following two different cataract surgery incision procedures using 2-DE and LC-MS/MS

Miroslava Stastna, Ashley Behrens, Peter J. McDonnell, Jennifer E. Van Eyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aqueous humor (AH), a liquid of the anterior and posterior chamber of the eye, comprises many proteins with various roles and important biological functions. Many of these proteins have not been identified yet and their functions in AH are still unknown. Recently, our laboratory published the protein database of AH obtained from healthy rabbits which expanded known protein identifications by 65%. Our present study extends our previous work and analyses AH following two types of cataract surgery incision procedures (clear corneal and limbal incisions) by using two dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Although both incision protocols are commonly used during cataract surgeries, the difference in protein composition and their release into AH following each surgery has never been systematically compared and remains unclear. The first step, which is the focus of this work, is to assess the scale of the protein change, at which time does maximum release occurs and when possible, to identify protein changes.Results: Samples of AH obtained prior to surgery and at different time points (0.5, 2, 12, 24 and 48 hours) following surgery (n = 3/protocol) underwent protein concentration determination, 2-DE and LC-MS/MS. There was a large (9.7 to 31.2 mg/mL) and rapid (~0.5 hour) influx of proteins into AH following either incision with a return to baseline quantities after 12 hours and 24 hours for clear corneal and limbal incision, respectively. We identified 80 non-redundant proteins, and compared to our previous study on healthy AH, 67.5% of proteins were found to be surgery-specific. In addition, 51% of those proteins have been found either in clear corneal (20%) or limbal incision (31%) samples.Conclusions: Our results imply that a mechanism of protein release into AH after surgery is a global response to the surgery rather than increase in amount of protective proteins found in healthy AH and a mechanism of protein release for each type of incision procedure could be different. Although the total protein concentration was increased (at 0.5 and 2 hour time points and between types of surgery) many of 2-DE protein spots were similar based on 2-DE and MS analyses, and only a small number of protein spots changed with either the time points or surgical conditions (0.4 -1.9%). This suggests that the high protein content is due to an increase in the concentration of the same proteins with only a few unique proteins being altered per time point and with the different surgery type. This is the first report on the comparison of AH protein composition following two different cataract surgery procedures and it establishes the basis for better understanding of protein release into AH during events such as cataract surgery or other possible intervention to the eyes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalProteome Science
StatePublished - Feb 9 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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