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The proteomics of roadside hawk (Rupornis magnirostris), broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) and loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) tears.



Tears play an important role in ocular surface protection, and help wild animals maintain visual acuity in the face of air and water friction. The proteomics of tears has only been described for mammals. The knowledge of the proteomics of wild animal tears can aid not only in the setting of normal standards for ocular disease studies in these animals, but also to base the search for new molecules to be used in ophthalmology therapeutics. We therefore set out to describe the proteomic profile of roadside hawk (Rupornis magnirostris), broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) and loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) tears. Tears were collected from healthy animals, their spectral profiles were obtained with an LTQ Orbitrap XL mass spectrometer, and the dataset was analyzed against reference taxa.


For roadside hawk, 446 proteins were identified, the most abundant being albumin, transferrin, globulin and actin. For broad-snouted caiman and loggerhead sea turtle, 1358 and 163 proteins were identified, respectively. Uncharacterized proteins and transferrin were highly abundant in both species. The roadside hawk tear components and their properties were similar to those described for humans, but with a higher albumin concentration. Broad-snouted caiman tears presented a wide diversity of ontological functions, with an abundant presence of enzymatic compounds. In loggerhead sea turtle tears, the predominance of proteins with ion-transport functions was consistent with possible osmolality-maintenance mechanisms.


These data enhance our understanding of birds and reptiles' tears microcomposition and may be used to base the discovery of new molecules with high biotechnological potential.

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