High expression of Matrix Gla Protein in Schnyder corneal dystrophy patients points to an active role of vitamin K in corneal health

Anna Sarosiak, Dominika Ozieblo, Monika Udziela, Cees Vermeer, Jacek Malejczyk, Jacek P. Szaflik, Monika Oldak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose Schnyder corneal dystrophy (SCD) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by corneal lipid accumulation and caused byUBIAD1pathogenic variants.UBIAD1encodes a vitamin K (VK) biosynthetic enzyme. To assess the corneal and vascular VK status in SCD patients, we focused on matrix Gla protein (MGP), a VK-dependent protein. Methods Conformation-specific immunostainings of different MGP maturation forms were performed on corneal sections and primary keratocytes from corneal buttons of two SCD patients with UBIAD1 p.Asp112Asn and p.Asn102Ser pathogenic variants and unrelated donors. Native or UBIAD1-transfected keratocytes were used for gene expression analysis. Plasma samples from SCD patients (n = 12) and control individuals (n = 117) were subjected for inactive desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP level measurements with an ELISA assay. Results Substantial amounts of MGP were identified in human cornea and most of it in its fully matured and active form. The level of mature MGP did not differ between SCD and control corneas. In primary keratocytes from SCD patients, a highly increased MGP expression and presence of immature MGP forms were detected. Significantly elevated plasma concentration of inactive MGP was found in SCD patients. Conclusion High amount of MGP and the predominance of mature MGP forms in human cornea indicate that VK metabolism is active in the visual system. Availability of MGP seems of vital importance for a healthy cornea and may be related to protection against corneal calcification. Systemic MGP findings reveal a poor vascular VK status in SCD patients and indicate that SCD may lead to cardiovascular consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E171-E177
Number of pages7
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • matrix Gla protein (MGP)
  • Schnyder corneal dystrophy
  • UBIAD1
  • vitamin K
  • vitamin K-dependent protein
  • cardiovascular disorders
  • CKD


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