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Trends Biochem Sci. 1993 Aug;18(8):301-6.

Lens crystallins: gene recruitment and evolutionary dynamism.

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  • 1Section on Molecular Structure and Function, LMBD, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


In a novel evolutionary process, enzymes and stress proteins have undergone direct gene recruitment as eye lens crystallins in a number of independent events. This may have allowed a dynamic response to changing visual environment during evolution. In spite of their diversity, many crystallins may share an origin in essential developmental processes such as cell elongation.

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