Functional and structural studies of α-crystallin from galactosemic rat lenses

Fu Yung Huang, Yuh Ho, Tien Shun Shaw, Sheng An Chuang

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Chaperone-like activity and structural changes of lens α-crystallin from rats fed with galactose at various time intervals have been studied using high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC), circular dichroism (CD), and 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid (ANS) fluorescence emission. It was found that chaperone-like activity of α-crystallin from galactose-fed rats toward dithiothreitol (DTT)-induced insulin B aggregation started to decrease after 3 weeks and decreased significantly after 5 weeks. Consistent results were observed in lens morphology, and lens opacity slightly developed after 3 weeks and became obvious after 5 weeks. HPLC analysis for chaperone function showed that the formation of high molecular weight aggregates (HMWA) of α-/γ-crystallins decreases with the increase of galactose-feeding time, revealing that chaperone-like activity is concomitant with the formation of HMWA. Circular dichroism results showed the reduction of β-sheet structure and loss of microenvironment of aromatic-type amino acids for opaque lenses, indicating α-crystallin's secondary and tertiary structure changed with the development of the lens opacity. ANS binding site estimated by Klotz equation showed it is 1.5 times higher at room temperature and is 2.4 times higher at 58°C for age-matched normal α-crystallin than for 5-week galactose-fed lens α-crystallin, indicating opaque lens α-crystallin loses the ability to assemble into an appropriately placed hydrophobic regions. The overall results accordingly indicated that galactose-induced cataractous α-crystallin has disordered structure, leading to the loss of its chaperone-like activity. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun 24

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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