Comparative analysis of the ζ-crystallin/quinone reductase gene in guinea pig and mouse

Pedro Gonzalez, Carlos Hernández-Calzadilla, P. Vasantha Rao, Ignacio R. Rodriguez, J. Samuel Zigler, Teresa Borrás

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


ζ-Crystallin is a novel nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate:quinone reductase, present at enzymatic levels in various tissues of different species, which is highly expressed in the lens of some hystricomorph rodents and camelids. We report here the complementary DNA (cDNA) cloning of ζ-crystallin from liver libraries in guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), where ζ-crystallin is highly expressed in the lens, and in the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus), where expression in the lens occurs only at enzymatic levels. A 5' untranslated sequence different from the one previously reported for the guinea pig lens cDNA was found in these clones. We also report the isolation of genomic clones including the complete guinea pig ζ-crystallin gene and the 5' region of this gene in mouse. These results show the presence of two promoters in the guinea pig ζ-crystallin gene, one responsible for expression at enzymatic levels and the other responsible for the high expression in the lens. The guinea pig lens promoter is not present in the mouse gene. This is the first example in which the recruitment of an enzyme as a lens crystallin can be explained by the acquisition of an alternative lens-specific promoter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-315
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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