Enzyme/crystallins and extremely high pyridine nucleotide levels in the eye lens

J. S. Zigler, P. V. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Taxon-specific crystallins are proteins present in high abundance in the lens of phylogenetically restricted groups of animals. Recently it has been found that these proteins are actually enzymes which the lens has apparently adopted to serve as structural proteins. Most of these proteins have been shown to be identical to, or related to, oxidoreductases. In guinea pig lens, which contains zeta-crystallin, a protein with an NADPH-dependent oxidoreductase activity, the levels of both NADPH and NADP+ are extremely high and correlate with the concentration of zeta-crystallin. We report here nucleotide assays on lenses from vertebrates containing other enzyme/crystallins. In each case where the enzyme/crystallin is a pyridine nucleotide-binding protein the level of that particular nucleotide is extremely high in the lens. The presence of an enzyme/crystallin does not affect the lenticular concentrations of those nucleotides which are not specifically bound. The possibility that nucleotide binding may be a factor in the selection of some enzymes to serve as enzyme/crystallins is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-225
Number of pages3
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 13 1991


  • Crystalline lens
  • Enzyme/crystallins
  • Pyridine nucleotide levels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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