During lens cell differentiation there are a number of very characteristic morphological changes that occur. These include a 50- to 100-fold increase in cell length as the equatorial lens epithelial cells differentiate into fibre cells and the loss of the cellular organelles such as mitochondria, nuclei, Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum. Coincident with these changes are dramatic alterations in the organisation of the lens fibre cell cytoskeleton and in particular the lens-specific intermediate filament network comprising CP49 and filensin. Cell shape and cell polarisation as well as tissue integrity are all processes that depend upon the cytoskeleton and are therefore important to the lens. The unique aspects of the lenticular cytoskeleton are the subject of this review.
- Intermediate filaments