Epithelial membrane protein-2 is expressed in discrete anatomical regions of the eye

Exp Mol Pathol. 2003 Apr;74(2):106-12. doi: 10.1016/s0014-4800(03)00009-1.


Epithelial membrane protein-2 (EMP2) is a member of the four transmembrane superfamily (TM4SF) and is thought to mediate trafficking of diverse proteins such as alpha6beta1 integrin and MHC class I to lipid raft microdomains. EMP2 has also recently been recognized as a putative tumor suppressor gene in certain model systems. Normally, EMP2 is expressed at discrete locations in the body including high levels in the eye, lung, heart, thyroid, and uterus. Here we examine in detail the subanatomic distribution of EMP2 in murine and human ocular tissue. We observe that EMP2 is localized to epithelial layers of the cornea, ciliary body, and retinal pigmented epithelium-choroid, the stromal layers of the sclera, and the nerve fiber layer of the retina and optic nerve. This distribution is distinct from other TM4SF proteins and may relate to a role in apical membrane recycling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / metabolism
  • Ciliary Body / metabolism
  • Cornea / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Eye / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Iris / metabolism
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Optic Nerve / metabolism
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Sclera / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • EMP2 protein, human
  • Emp2 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger