Department of Biology
Master of Science
The major focus of this project was cloning and sequencing the α-1 sub-unit of Na+/K+-ATase gene in bovine corneal endothelium. The Na+/K+-ATase, also called the Na+ pump, is a crucial transmembrane protein. By transporting water and ions from and through the cornea into the aqueous humor, it is responsible for maintenance of structural integrity, corneal hydration and thereby transparency of the cornea. The Na+ pump is characterized by a complex molecular heterogeneity that results from differential association of multiple isoforms of both a (the catalytic) and [3 (glycoprotein) sub-units. In the corneal endothelium, α-1 α-2, β-l and β-2 sub-units are expressed. Pathological and mechanical causes can disrupt the endothelial morphology and deregulate the pump function leading to corneal swelling and opacity. Recent works have focused on the study of pump expression, and the influence of different factors on the upregulation of its expression. For example, hypersaline and hyperosmotic treatment significantly increases pump expression.
Aakula, Srikanth, "Cloning and Sequencing of Bovine Na+/K= Atpase α-1 Sub-Unit" (2004). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 520.