The Human Ocular Surface Microbiome and Its Associations with the Tear Proteome in Dry Eye Disease.

Schlegel, Irina; De Goüyon Matignon de Pontourade, Claire M F; Lincke, Joel-Benjamin; Keller, Irene; Zinkernagel, Martin S; Zysset-Burri, Denise C (2023). The Human Ocular Surface Microbiome and Its Associations with the Tear Proteome in Dry Eye Disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 24(18) MDPI 10.3390/ijms241814091

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Although dry eye disease (DED) is one of the most common ocular surface diseases worldwide, its pathogenesis is incompletely understood, and treatment options are limited. There is growing evidence that complex interactions between the ocular surface microbiome (OSM) and tear fluid constituents, potentially leading to inflammatory processes, are associated with ocular surface diseases such as DED. In this study, we aimed to find unique compositional and functional features of the OSM associated with human and microbial tear proteins in patients with DED. Applying whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing of forty lid and conjunctival swabs, we identified 229 taxa, with Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria being the most abundant phyla and Propionibacterium acnes the dominating species in the cohort. When DED patients were compared to controls, the species Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum was more abundant in conjunctival samples, whereas the family Propionibacteriaceae was more abundant in lid samples. Functional analysis showed that genes of L-lysine biosynthesis, tetrapyrrole biosynthesis, 5-aminoimidazole ribonucleotide biosynthesis, and the super pathway of L-threonine biosynthesis were enriched in conjunctival samples of controls. The relative abundances of Acinetobacter johnsonii correlated with seven human tear proteins, including mucin-16. The three most abundant microbial tear proteins were the chaperone protein DnaK, the arsenical resistance protein ArsH, and helicase. Compositional and functional features of the OSM and the tear proteome are altered in patients with DED. Ultimately, this may help to design novel interventional therapeutics to target DED.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Augenklinik > Forschungsgruppe Augenheilkunde
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ophthalmology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

UniBE Contributor:

De Gouyon Matignon de Pon, Claire, Lincke, Joel-Benjamin, Keller, Irene (B), Zinkernagel, Martin Sebastian, Zysset, Denise Corinne


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

02 Oct 2023 14:31

Last Modified:

02 Oct 2023 14:40

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry dry eye disease ocular surface microbiome tear proteome whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing




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