Changes in albumin precursor and heat shock protein 70 expression and their potential role in response to corneal epithelial wound repair

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Many proteins displayed differential expression (either up- or down-regulation) when proteome of migrating and non-migrating epithelium was assessed using 2-DE and ESI-Q-TOF MS/MS. From the up-regulated set, we have identified for the first time a 69-kDa albumin precursor protein with four peptides sequences and 70-kDa heat shock protein (hsp70) with one peptide in the active phase of cell migration (48 h) during the healing process. Western blot analysis was used to further characterize these proteins at different phases (24, 48 and 72 h) of healing. An increase in the mRNA expression (measured using RT-PCR) in the active migration phase (48 h) for albumin precursor and hsp70 was also observed. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation studies with anti-albumin precursor and anti-hsp70 antibodies, followed by immunoblotting with antifibronectin antibody demonstrated a novel and biologically relevant interaction between albumin precursor protein and fibronectin in corneal epithelial wound healing but not with hsp70. The increased gene and protein expression of albumin and hsp70 during the active phase of cell migration (48 h) in the corneal epithelium suggests their possible role in corneal wound healing. These findings may have broader implications for developing therapeutic strategies for treating wound healing disorders.