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Exp Eye Res. 2003 Feb;76(2):145-53.


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  • 1Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine, 100 Stein Plaza RM B168, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7008, USA.


Alpha A and alpha B-crystallins are a major protein component of the mammalian eye lens. Being a member of the small heat-shock protein family they possess chaperone-like function. The alpha-crystallins and especially alpha B is also found outside the lens having an extensive tissue distribution. Alpha B-crystallin is found to be over-expressed in many neurological diseases, and mutations in alpha A or B-crystallin can cause cataract and myopathy. This review deals with some of the unique properties of the alpha-crystallins emphasizing especially what we don't know about its function and structure.

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