The aqueous humor proteome of primary open angle glaucoma: An extensive review

W. H. G. Hubens*, R. J. C. Mohren, Liesenborghs, L. M. T. Eijssen, W. D. Ramdas, C. A. B. Webers, T. G. M. F. Gorgels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Background: We reviewed the literature on the aqueous humor (AH) proteome of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients in order to obtain deeper insight into the pathophysiology of POAG.

Methods: We searched Pubmed and Embase up to May 2019 for studies that compared AH protein composition between POAG (cases) and cataract (controls). Untargeted studies (measuring the whole proteome, by LC-MS/MS) were divided into two subgroups depending on the type of surgery during which POAG AH was collected: glaucoma filtration surgery (subgroup 1) or cataract surgery (subgroup 2). We reanalyzed the raw data (subgroup 1) or combined the reported data (subgroup 2) to perform GO enrichment (GOrilla) and pathway analysis (Pathvisio).

Results: Out of 93 eligible proteomic studies, seven were untargeted studies that identified 863 AH proteins. We observed 73 differentially expressed proteins in subgroup 1 and 87 differentially expressed proteins in subgroup 2. Both subgroups were characterized by activation of the acute immune response, dysregulation of folate metabolism and dysregulation of the selenium micronutrient network. For subgroup 1 but not for subgroup 2, proteins of the complement system were significantly enriched.

Conclusion: AH proteome of POAG patients shows strong activation of the immune system. In addition, analysis suggests dysregulation of folate metabolism and dysregulation of selenium as underlying contributors. In view of their glaucoma surgery, POAG patients of subgroup 1 most likely are progressive whereas POAG patients in subgroup 2 most likely have stable POAG. The proteome difference between these subgroups suggests that the complement system plays a role in POAG progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108077
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


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