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Curr Eye Res. 1992 Aug;11(8):817-22.

The ability of lens alpha crystallin to protect against heat-induced aggregation is age-dependent.

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  • 1Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine 90024.
  • 2KS St U, Manhattan


Alpha crystallin was prepared from newborn and aged bovine lenses. SDS-PAGE and tryptic peptide mapping demonstrated that both preparations contained only the alpha-A and alpha-B chains, with no significant contamination of other crystallins. Compared with alpha crystallin from the aged lens, alpha crystallin from the newborn lens was much more effective in the inhibition of beta L crystallin denaturation and precipitation induced in vitro by heat. Together, these results demonstrate that during the aging process, the alpha crystallins lose their ability to protect against protein denaturation, consistent with the hypothesis that the alpha crystallins play an important role in the maintenance of protein native structure in the intact lens.

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