Lack of tyrosine sulfation of ocular proteins results in disorganized photoreceptor structure and drastically reduced visual function, demonstrating the importance of this post-translational modification to vision. To understand the role that tyrosine sulfation plays in the function of ocular proteins, we identified some tyrosine-sulfated proteins in the retinal pigment epithelium using two independent methods, immuno-affinity column purification with an anti-sulfotyrosine specific antibody and computer-based sequence analysis of retinal pigment epithelium secretome by means of the prediction program Sulfinator. Radioactive labeling followed by thin layer electrophoresis revealed that three proteins, vitronectin, opticin, and complement factor H (CFH), were post-translationally modified by tyrosine sulfation. The identification of vitronectin and CFH as tyrosine-sulfated proteins is significant, since both are deposited in drusen in the eyes of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Furthermore, mutations in CFH have been determined to be a major risk factor in the development of AMD. Future studies that seek to understand the role of CFH in the development of AMD should take into account the role that tyrosine sulfation plays in the interaction of this protein with its partners, and examine whether modulating sulfation provides a potential therapeutic target.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)