Epha2 and Efna5 participate in lens cell pattern-formation

Yuefang Zhou, Alan Shiels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EPHA2) and one of its ligands, ephrin-A5 (EFNA5), have been associated with loss of eye lens transparency, or cataract, - an important cause of visual impairment. Here we show that mice functionally lacking EPHA2 (Epha2-null), EFNA5 (Efna5-null), or both receptor and ligand (Epha2/Efna5-null) consistently develop mostly transparent lenses with an internal refractive disturbance and a grossly disturbed cellular architecture. In situ hybridization localized Epha2 and Efna5 transcripts to lens epithelial cells and nascent fiber cells at the lens equator. In vivo labeling of Epha2-null lenses with a thymidine analog detected a significant decrease in lens epithelial cell proliferation within the germinative zone resulting in impaired early lens growth. Ex vivo imaging of Epha2-null, Efna5-null, and Epha2/Efna5-null lenses labelled in vivo with a membrane-targeted red fluorescent protein revealed misalignment of elongating fiber cells at the lens equator and loss of Y-suture pattern formation near the anterior and posterior poles of the lens. Immuno-fluorescent labeling of lens major intrinsic protein or aquaporin-0 (MIP/AQP0) showed that the precise, radial column patterning of hexagonal fiber cells throughout the cortex region was disrupted in Epha2-null, Efna5-null and Epha2/Efna5-null lenses. Collectively, these data suggest that Epha2 and Efna5 participate in the complex, global patterning of lens fiber cells that is necessary for maximal optical quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Cataract
  • Ephrin ligand
  • Ephrin receptor
  • Lens
  • Y-suture formation


Dive into the research topics of 'Epha2 and Efna5 participate in lens cell pattern-formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this