Researchers conducting a comprehensive proteomics analysis of human aqueous humor samples identified 763 proteins, including 386 proteins detected for the first time, in this clear fluid that helps maintain pressure in the eye and nourishes the cornea and the lens. These proteins could have a role in disease processes affecting the eye and serve as valuable biomarkers for the development of diagnostics and drug candidates to improve visual health, as discussed in the article "Proteomics of Human Aqueous Humor," published in the May 1, 2015 issue of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, the peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The complete article is available free on the OMICS website until June 26, 2015 (see link below). A team of researchers from the United States and India, led by Akhilesh Pandey, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Krishna Murthy, DO, MRCOphth (Lon) Institute of Bioinformatics (Bangalore, India), used high-resolution mass spectrometry to analyze and identify the proteins isolated from aqueous humor samples collected from 250 individuals. More than a third of the proteins were located outside of cells, in the extracellular matrix, and are involved in cell communication and signal transduction. Others have roles in cell growth, differentiation, and proliferation. Among the proteins unique to this study are growth factors, immunomodulators, and proteins that regulate blood vessel formation. Other enzymes have a role in metabolism and the energy needs of ocular components such as the lens and cornea. For example, sorbitol dehydrogenase, one of the 386 novel proteins identified in the aqueous humor, plays an important role in the metabolism of glucose in the lens.
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