Mutation of the TRPM3 cation channel underlies progressive cataract development and lens calcification associated with pro-fibrotic and immune cell responses

Yuefang Zhou, Thomas M. Bennett, Alan Shiels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transient-receptor-potential cation channel, subfamily M, member 3 (TRPM3) serves as a polymodal calcium sensor in diverse mammalian cell-types. Mutation of the human TRPM3 gene (TRPM3) has been linked with inherited forms of early-onset cataract with or without other eye abnormalities. Here, we have characterized the ocular phenotypes of germline “knock-in” mice that harbor a human cataract-associated isoleucine-to-methionine mutation (p.I65M) in TRPM3 (Trpm3-mutant) compared with germline “knock-out” mice that functionally lack TRPM3 (Trpm3-null). Despite strong expression of Trpm3 in lens epithelial cells, neither heterozygous (Trpm3+/−) nor homozygous (Trpm3−/−) Trpm3-null mice developed cataract; however, the latter exhibited a mild impairment of lens growth. In contrast, homozygous Trpm3-M/M mutants developed severe, progressive, anterior pyramid-like cataract with microphthalmia, whereas heterozygous Trpm3-I/M and hemizygous Trpm3-M/- mutants developed anterior pyramidal cataract with delayed onset and progression–consistent with a semi-dominant lens phenotype. Histochemical staining revealed abnormal accumulation of calcium phosphate-like deposits and collagen fibrils in Trpm3-mutant lenses and immunoblotting detected increased αII-spectrin cleavage products consistent with calpain hyper-activation. Immunofluorescent confocal microscopy of Trpm3-M/M mutant lenses revealed fiber cell membrane degeneration that was accompanied by accumulation of alpha-smooth muscle actin positive (α-SMA+ve) myofibroblast-like cells and macrosialin positive (CD68+ve) macrophage-like cells. Collectively, our mouse model data support an ocular disease association for TRPM3 in humans and suggest that (1) Trpm3 deficiency impaired lens growth but not lens transparency and (2) Trpm3 dysfunction resulted in progressive lens degeneration and calcification coupled with pro-fibrotic (α-SMA+ve) and immune (CD68+ve) cell responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21288
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • TRP-channel
  • calcium
  • cataract
  • lens
  • macrophage
  • myofibroblast

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