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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Martin Goldberg

F. M. Tholozan, C. Gribbon, Z. Li, M. W. Goldberg, A. R. Prescott, N. McKie & R. A. Quinlan (2007). FGF-2 Release from the Lens Capsule by MMP-2 Maintains Lens Epithelial Cell Viability. Molecular Biology of the Cell 18(11): 4222-4231.

Author(s) from Durham


The lens is an avascular tissue, separated from the aqueous and vitreous humors by its own extracellular matrix, the lens capsule. Here we demonstrate that the lens capsule is a source of essential survival factors for lens epithelial cells. Primary and immortalised lens epithelial cells survive in low levels of serum and are resistant to staurosporine-induced apoptosis when they remain in contact with the lens capsule. Physical contact with the capsule is required for maximal resistance to stress. The lens capsule is also a source of soluble factors including FGF-2 and perlecan, an ECM component that enhances FGF-2 activity. MMP-2 inhibition as well as MMP-2 pre-treatment of lens capsules greatly reduced the protective effect of the lens capsule, although this could be largely reversed by the addition of either conditioned medium or recombinant FGF-2. These data suggest that FGF-2 release from the lens capsule by MMP-2 is essential to lens epithelial cell viability and survival.