International Journal of Keratoconus and Ectatic Corneal Diseases

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VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 2 ( May-August, 2016 ) > List of Articles


Abnormal Regulation of Extracellular Matrix and Adhesion Molecules in Corneas of Patients with Keratoconus

Yelena Bykhovskaya, Anastasia Gromova, Helen P Makarenkova, Yaron S Rabinowitz

Citation Information : Bykhovskaya Y, Gromova A, Makarenkova HP, Rabinowitz YS. Abnormal Regulation of Extracellular Matrix and Adhesion Molecules in Corneas of Patients with Keratoconus. Int J Kerat Ect Cor Dis 2016; 5 (2):63-70.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10025-1123

Published Online: 01-06-2011

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).



To identify changes in the expression of genes coding for extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in patients with noninflammatory corneal disorder keratoconus (KC), patients with corneal scarring, and normal controls.

Materials and methods

Total ribonucleic acid extracted from corneal tissue of 13 KC patients, 2 patients with corneal scaring, and 4 normal controls was analyzed using Human Extracellular Matrix & Adhesion Molecules Profiler Polymerase Chain Reaction Array. Statistically significant changes in gene expression were identified using the Data Analysis software.


Comparison of KC and control corneas with thresholds of 1.5 or greater fold change and a p-value of 0.05 or lower revealed 21 differentially expressed genes: 16 genes were downregulated and 5 were upregulated. Among transcripts downregulated in KC patients, we identified thrombospondin 1, disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motif 1, secreted phosphoprotein 1, several collagens, and integrins. We found transforming growth factor beta-induced (TGFBI or BIGH3) gene was the most significantly upregulated transcript.


The development of KC results in deregulation of gene expression of ECM and adhesion molecules.

Clinical significance

Downregulation of collagens and upregulation of TGFBI repeatedly identified in KC patients may be used as clinical markers of the disease.

How to cite this article

Bykhovskaya Y, Gromova A, Makarenkova HP, Rabinowitz YS. Abnormal Regulation of Extracellular Matrix and Adhesion Molecules in Corneas of Patients with Keratoconus. Int J Kerat Ect Cor Dis 2016;5(2):63-70.

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