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Title: Identification and characterisation of ion channels in the eye
Author: Martin, Katherine Elizabeth Ann
ISNI:       0000 0001 3620 0862
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of this investigation was to provide a complete'profile of the ion channels that are present in a specified ocular tissue by exploiting recent advances in genomics. Microarray technology in conjunction with a specifically designed ion channel database was used to comprehensively map the gene expression profile ofion channels in our ocular model system, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). One hundred and thirty ion channel genes were represented on the array and using • stringent criteria we were able to reveal expression for several previously uncharacterised channels. Of the novel ion channels that we detected, a non-selective cation channel, Polycystin 2 (PC2) was of particular interest. Therefore, the second objective of this research was to use immunolabelling techniques to determine the cellular and subcellular distribution of the protein, and a G-protein coupled receptor with which it forms a functioning complex, Polycystin I, in the eye. Analysis of RPE cells and murine ocular tissue revealed for the first time a .widespread distribution of both proteins in the eye. Furthermore there was evidence of co-ordinated and isolated expression patterns ofthe polycystin proteins confined mainly to adult tissue. A direct function for PCI and PC2 was investigated in the RPE by employing RNA interference techniques. Gene expression and immunofluorescence studies revealed that polycystin knockdown resulted in cadherin, catenin and tight junction protein alteration that could ultimately lead to compromised cell-cell adhesion and cell-cell junction integrity, thus suggesting that both polycystins play an important functional role in the RPE. In conclusion, therefore, this investigation has exploited molecular biological techniques to profile the expression of novel ion channels in the RPE. In doing so,
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available