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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2015, Article ID 579695, 8 pages
Research Article

Epigenetic Regulation of Werner Syndrome Gene in Age-Related Cataract

Eye Institute, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, China

Received 31 December 2014; Revised 11 March 2015; Accepted 13 March 2015

Academic Editor: Jun Zhang

Copyright © 2015 Xi Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To examine the promoter methylation and histone modification of WRN (Werner syndrome gene), a DNA repair gene, and their relationship with the gene expression in age-related cataract (ARC) lens. Methods. We collected the lenses after cataract surgery from 117ARC patients and 39 age-matched non-ARC. WRN expression, DNA methylation and histone modification around the CpG island were assessed. The methylation status of Human-lens-epithelium cell (HLEB-3) was chemically altered to observe the relationship between methylation and expression of WRN. Results. The WRN expression was significantly decreased in the ARC anterior lens capsules comparing with the control. The CpG island of WRN promoter in the ARC anterior lens capsules displayed hypermethylation comparing with the controls. The WRN promoter was almost fully methylated in the cortex of ARC and control lens. Acetylated H3 was lower while methylated H3-K9 was higher in ARC anterior lens capsules than that of the controls. The expression of WRN in HLEB-3 increased after demethylation of the cells. Conclusions. A hypermethylation in WRN promoter and altered histone modification in anterior lens capsules might contribute to the ARC mechanism. The data suggest an association of altered DNA repair capability in lens with ARC pathogenesis.