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Exp Eye Res. 1998 Jul;67(1):31-43.

Age-related changes in human lens crystallins identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.

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Department of Oral Molecular Biology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201, USA.


The purpose of this study was to identify the major protein components in adult human lenses and to analyse the specific age-related changes in these proteins using two-dimensional electrophoresis, Edman sequencing, and in conjunction with the data in the accompanying manuscript, mass spectrometry. The majority of changes in the two-dimensional electrophoretic pattern of lens proteins occurred prior to 17 years of age, and included a decrease in proteins migrating to the original positions of beta B1, beta B3, beta A3, gamma C and gamma D, and the appearance of many new species with apparent molecular weights on two-dimensional electrophoretic gels similar to beta B2 and gamma S, but having more acidic pIs. These proteins were identified as deamidated forms of beta B1 and beta A3/A1 missing portions of their N-terminal extensions. With the exception of alpha B, deamidation was detected in all crystallin species. These data indicated that a major fraction of the water-soluble protein of the adult human lens is composed of truncated beta B1 and beta A3/A1 crystallins, and that nearly all human crystallins, including the, beta-crystallins, are susceptible to deamidation. The results also provided the most detailed map to date of the identities of protein species on two-dimensional electrophoresis gels of adult human lenses.

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