Objectives: To determine the roles of small GTP-binding proteins Rac1, Rac2, and Rac3 expression in pterygial tissue and to compare these expressions with normal conjunctival tissue.
Materials and methods: Seventy-eight patients with primary pterygium were enrolled. Healthy conjunctival graft specimens obtained during pterygium surgery were used as control tissue. The real-time polymerase chain reaction method on the BioMark HD dynamic array system was utilized in genomic mRNA for the gene expression analysis. Protein expressions were analyzed using western blot and immunohistochemical methods.
Results: RAC1, RAC2, and RAC3 gene expressions in pterygial tissues were not markedly elevated when compared to the control specimens (p>0.05). As a very low level of RAC1 gene expression was observed, further protein expression analysis was performed for the Rac2 and Rac3 proteins. Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis of Rac2 and Rac3 protein expression revealed no significant differences between pterygial and healthy tissues (p>0.05).
Conclusion: This is the first study to identify the contribution of Rac proteins in pterygium. Our results indicate that the small GTP-binding protein Rac may not be involved in pterygium pathogenesis.
Keywords: Pterygium; Rac; gene expression; immunohistochemical analysis; protein expression.
©Copyright 2023 by the Turkish Ophthalmological Association / Turkish Journal of Ophthalmology published by Galenos Publishing House.