Up-regulation of novel intermediate filament proteins in primary fiber cells: An indicator of all vertebrate lens fiber differentiation?

Mark E. Ireland, Paul Wallace, Aileen Sandilands, Michael Poosch, Michael Kasper, Jochen Graw, Ailian Liu, Harry Maisel, Alan R. Prescott, Aileen M. Hutcheson, Dennis Goebel, Roy A. Quinlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The early embryonic development and expression patterns of the eye lens specific cytoskeletal proteins, CP49 and CP95, were determined for the chick and were found to be similar in both human and mouse. These proteins, as well as their homologs in other species, are obligate polymerization partners which form unique filamentous structures termed 'beaded filaments.' CP49 and CP95 appeared as protein products after 3 days of embryonic development in the chick during the elongation of primary fiber cells. Although limited data were obtained for human embryos at these early developmental timepoints, they were consistent with the interpretation that the up-regulation of these lens specific proteins began only after the initiation of lens vesicle closure. In situ hybridization with the mouse lens confirmed that message levels for beaded filament proteins were greatly elevated in differentiating primary fiber cells. Nuclease protection assays established that mRNA levels for CP49 remained relatively constant while CP95 mRNA levels increased once the process of secondary fiber formation was under way. Although present in relatively low abundance, the mRNA for a unique splice variant of CP49, CP49(INS), was also detected early in embryonic development and into adulthood. Peptide-specific antibodies directed against unique predicted sequences were able to confirm the protein expression of CP49(INS) in both embryonic and adult chick lens cells. These data present the first detailed study of the expression of CP49 and CP95 during early lens development. They suggest that the up-regulated expression of CP49 and CP95 could serve as pan-specific markers for all vertebrate lens fiber development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Beaded filaments
  • Lens
  • Primary fiber cells
  • RNase protection
  • Terminal differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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