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Restoring epithelial and neuronal homeostasis with lacritin

Laurie lab model of lacritin for homeostasis of the eye
Australian Ostrich
No one had addressed dry eye using an unbiased biochemical screen.  We did so and discovered and named 'lacritin'.  Lacritin promotes basal tearing and wound healing of the eye although a tear protein.  It is now apparent that lacritin is also in plasma and CSF.
Labs in Cell Biology at the University of Virginia

Cell Biology Hallway at the University of Virginia

UVA Cell Biology Team

Laurie lab senior technician Jeffrey Romano
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Laurie and Brayman labs graduate student Mingyang Ma
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Laurie lab lacritin restores homeostasis of the eye

Lab Alums

Asrani, Anil MBA

Beck, Shannon MS

Beers, Madeline

Brion Garza, Rocio-Maria

Cao-Xue, Jerry

Carroll, Will MD

Chen, Lanlin PhD

Conlon, David

Crisostomo, Caroline

DeLong, Stephanie

Dias Teixeira, Karina PhD

Dixon, Karen MS

Evans, Lara MD

Fields, Nicole

Glass, James MD

Gomez, Diego

Gould, Katherine

Haithcock, Daniel MD

Hamou, Samara

Haseltine, Liana

Holland, Joe

Karnati, Roy PhD

Karnik, Komal JD, MPH

Kumar, Rajesh PhD

Lawrence, Carrol


Leardkamokarn, Vijittra PhD

Lian, Caroline

Lumsden, Angela PhD, MD

Ma, Peisong PhD

Magloire, Valerie MD

Mao, Leran

Matter, Michelle PhD

McArdle, Michael MD

Ming, Liu PhD

Mo Kim, Seung MD

Pogany, Gabor PhD

Sharifian, Mohammad, PhD

Sharp, Jeremy

Singh, Rashmi

Skroejer (Ozyildirim), Aylin

Sluss, Jim MD

Sotosky, Jonathan

Srikantan, Subramanya PhD

Stone, Cameron MD

Talla, Venu PhD

Tian, Jaimin

Tousignant, Jennifer

Tran, Jennifer MD


Tran, Tuyet-Minh

Tummarello, Jennifer DDS

Tyler, Milton IV MD

Velez, Francisco

Waltman, Amanda

Walton, Staci PhD

Wang, Jiahu PhD

Wang, Ningning

Watkins, Amber

Witmer, Matthew MD

Xie, Jingling PhD

Yu-Mei Hsu, Ruby

Ryan, Margaret MS

Saha Sanghamitra PhD

Sanghi, Sandhya PhD

Sankoorikal, Kevin-Jude

Schick, Vladislav MD

Scott (Bowman), Katherine PhD

Scott, Christopher MD

Sharma, Ashish MD

Zimmerman, Keith


The Lacritin Consortium of collaborators has been active since 2002

Lacritin Consortium

Partial list of collaborators

Katelyn Earls
Denise Ryan
Kay Sia
- tear collection

Fort Belvoir

Sarah Knox
- preclinical on Aire-/- mice; new Aire-/- model development


Mihaela Gadjeva &
Jerry Pier
- bactericidal activity in mouse model; P. aeruginosa 


Bob McKown
- tear analysis, recombinant lacritin

James Madison University

Nancy McNamara
- preclinical on Aire-/- dry eye mice

UC Berkeley

Sunil Chauhan
- immmuno-suppression


Andrew MacKay
Sarah Hamm-Alvarez
- exosome release, corneal wound healing, contact lens release 

of Southern

Georgi Georgiev
- mass balance analyses of lacritin peptides and tear lipids

University of

- preclinical rat neurophysiology

retired from

Gordon W. Laurie, PhD

Professor of Cell Biology, Ophthalmology & Biomedical Engineering

PO Box 800732, UVA Health System

University of Virginia 

Charlottesville, VA 22908-0732

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Rhodes Bantam at anchor on Georgian Bay, Canada

Graduate students and postdocs welcome

Discovered and named out of an unbiased biochemical screen for regulators of tear protein secretion.  Later, proteomic studies by others demonstrated that lacritin is selectively deficient in dry eye disease, but also in plasma and CSF.

Also promotes epithelial proliferation 

(Sanghi S et al, J Mol Biol 01)

Epithelial cell surface targeting via a novel 'off/on switch' involving heparanase (in tears) and syndecan-1.  Mutual binding sites on syndecan-1 and lacritin mapped.

Syndecan-1 is a common cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan.  Lacritin requires N-terminal substitution of a short chondroitin sulfate chain in place of heparan sulfate

(Ma P et al, J Cell Biol '06)

(Zhang Y et al, J Biol Chem '13)

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