beta crystallins


Summary: A class of crystallins that provides refractive power and translucency to the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE) in VERTEBRATES. Beta-crystallins are similar in structure to GAMMA-CRYSTALLINS in that they both contain Greek key motifs. Beta-crystallins exist as oligomers formed from acidic (BETA-CRYSTALLIN A CHAIN) and basic (BETA-CRYSTALLIN B CHAIN) subunits.

Top Publications

  1. Weadick C, Chang B. Molecular evolution of the betagamma lens crystallin superfamily: evidence for a retained ancestral function in gamma N crystallins?. Mol Biol Evol. 2009;26:1127-42 pubmed publisher
  2. Giancola C, Pizzo E, Di Maro A, Cubellis M, D Alessio G. Preparation and characterization of geodin. A betagamma-crystallin-type protein from a sponge. FEBS J. 2005;272:1023-35 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that the crystallin-type structural scaffold, employed in the evolution of bacteria and moulds, was successfully recruited very early in the evolution of metazoa. ..
  3. Shimeld S, Purkiss A, Dirks R, Bateman O, Slingsby C, Lubsen N. Urochordate betagamma-crystallin and the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate eye lens. Curr Biol. 2005;15:1684-9 pubmed
  4. Di Maro A, Pizzo E, Cubellis M, D Alessio G. An intron-less betagamma-crystallin-type gene from the sponge Geodia cydonium. Gene. 2002;299:79-82 pubmed
    ..These findings are discussed in the light of the debate between the introns-late and introns-early theories. ..
  5. Bowman G, Smith D, Michael Siu K, Pearlman R, Turkewitz A. Genomic and proteomic evidence for a second family of dense core granule cargo proteins in Tetrahymena thermophila. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2005;52:291-7 pubmed
    ..Both the functional evidence for IGR1 and GRT1 and the variability in the overall structure of this new protein family suggest that its members play roles that are distinct from those of the GRL family. ..
  6. Andley U. The lens epithelium: focus on the expression and function of the alpha-crystallin chaperones. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2008;40:317-23 pubmed
    ..Novel combination of genetics, cell and molecular biology should lead to a greater understanding of how lens epithelial cells proliferate, differentiate and survive. ..
  7. Long A, Bomser J, Grzybowski D, Chandler H. All-trans retinoic Acid regulates cx43 expression, gap junction communication and differentiation in primary lens epithelial cells. Curr Eye Res. 2010;35:670-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Results from this study suggest that functional gap junctions may play a role in the modulation of cellular differentiation in primary canine LEC...
  8. Bhattacharyya J, Santhoshkumar P, Sharma K. A peptide sequence-YSGVCHTDLHAWHGDWPLPVK [40-60]-in yeast alcohol dehydrogenase prevents the aggregation of denatured substrate proteins. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003;307:1-7 pubmed
    ..Therefore, we propose that the residues 40-60 in native protein may be an intramolecular chaperone site of yeast ADH. ..
  9. Marin Vinader L, Onnekink C, van Genesen S, Slingsby C, Lubsen N. In vivo heteromer formation. Expression of soluble betaA4-crystallin requires coexpression of a heteromeric partner. FEBS J. 2006;273:3172-82 pubmed
    ..We suggest that the proper folding of betaA4-crystallin is not mediated by general chaperones but requires a heteromeric partner, which then also acts as a dedicated chaperone towards betaA4-crystallin. ..

More Information


  1. Posner M, Hawke M, Lacava C, Prince C, Bellanco N, Corbin R. A proteome map of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) lens reveals similarities between zebrafish and mammalian crystallin expression. Mol Vis. 2008;14:806-14 pubmed
    ..To characterize the crystallin content of the zebrafish lens using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). These data will facilitate future investigations of vertebrate lens development, function, and disease...
  2. Reilly M, Rapp B, Hamilton P, Shen A, Ravi N. Material characterization of porcine lenticular soluble proteins. Biomacromolecules. 2008;9:1519-26 pubmed publisher
    ..The shear thinning viscoelastic behavior of these proteins gives rise to beneficial mechanical properties and results from the same short-range order granting optical transparency. ..
  3. Boldyrev A. Protection of proteins from oxidative stress: a new illusion or a novel strategy?. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005;1057:193-205 pubmed
    ..It can be considered a potent natural geroprotector. ..
  4. Markossian K, Golub N, Khanova H, Levitsky D, Poliansky N, Muranov K, et al. Mechanism of thermal aggregation of yeast alcohol dehydrogenase I: role of intramolecular chaperone. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008;1784:1286-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Thermodynamic parameters for thermal denaturation of yADH have been calculated from the differential scanning calorimetry data. ..
  5. Selcen D. Myofibrillar myopathies. Curr Opin Neurol. 2008;21:585-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The aim of this communication is to provide an up-to-date overview of myofibrillar myopathies...
  6. Liu Y, Kawai K, Khashabi S, Deng C, Liu Y, Yiu S. Inactivation of Smad4 leads to impaired ocular development and cataract formation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010;400:476-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Smad4 is required for the development and maintenance of the lens in addition to the proper development of the cornea, eyelids, and retina. ..
  7. Udupa E, Sharma K. Effect of oxidized betaB3-crystallin peptide on lens betaL-crystallin: interaction with betaB2-crystallin. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005;46:2514-21 pubmed
    ..Peptide-induced aggregation and increased hydrophobicity of the lens crystallin at 37 degrees C are relevant to crystallin aggregation in the aging lenses. ..
  8. Muranov K, Dizhevskaia A, Boldyrev A, Karpova O, Sheremet N, Polunin G, et al. [Search for chaperon-like anticataract drugs, the antiaggregants of lens crystallins. Communication. 1. Chaperon-like activity of N-acetyl carnosine dipeptide: in vitro study on a model of ultraviolet-induced aggregation of betaL-crystallin]. Vestn Oftalmol. 2008;124:3-6 pubmed
    ..The prospects for searching anticataract agents of a new chaperon-like class are discussed. ..
  9. Hejtmancik J, Wingfield P, Sergeev Y. Beta-crystallin association. Exp Eye Res. 2004;79:377-83 pubmed
    ..As predicted by molecular modelling, the fraction of beta-Crystallin present as dimers increases with increasing temperature, implying that beta-crystallin association is entropically driven. ..
  10. Zhu X, Gaus K, Lu Y, Magenau A, Truscott R, Mitchell T. ?- and ?-crystallins modulate the head group order of human lens membranes during aging. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51:5162-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Age-dependent loss of these crystallins may affect membrane integrity and contribute to the dysfunction of lenses in older people. ..
  11. Keenan J, Elia G, Dunn M, Orr D, Pierscionek B. Crystallin distribution patterns in concentric layers from toad eye lenses. Proteomics. 2009;9:5340-9 pubmed publisher
    ..No taxon-specific crystallins were found. The relationship between the protein distribution patterns and the functional properties of the lens this species is discussed. ..
  12. Yadav U, Ighani Hosseinabad F, van Kuijk F, Srivastava S, Ramana K. Prevention of posterior capsular opacification through aldose reductase inhibition. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50:752-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Results suggest that AR is required for lens epithelial cell growth and differentiation/transdifferentiation in the capsular bags, indicating that inhibition of AR could be a potential therapeutic target in the prevention of PCO. ..
  13. Regini J, Grossmann J, Timmins P, Harding J, Quantock A, Hodson S, et al. X-ray- and neutron-scattering studies of alpha-crystallin and evidence that the target protein sits in the fenestrations of the alpha-crystallin shell. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007;48:2695-700 pubmed
    ..Deuterium substitution indicates that the superaggregation process is controlled by hydrogen bonding. However, the chaperone process and superaggregation appear not to be linked. ..
  14. Bao Y, Pei X, Li M, Li X. Late postoperative capsular block syndrome versus liquefied after-cataract. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2008;34:1799-802 pubmed publisher
    ..Protein identification by mass spectrometry indicated that the milky liquid contained a high concentration of alpha-crystallin and beta-crystallin. ..
  15. Mansfield K, Cerra A, Chamberlain C. FGF-2 counteracts loss of TGFbeta affected cells from rat lens explants: implications for PCO (after cataract). Mol Vis. 2004;10:521-32 pubmed
    ..This study points to a key role for FGF in the etiology of PCO and suggests that FGF inhibitors may be useful in preventing PCO. ..
  16. Sergeev Y, Hejtmancik J, Wingfield P. Energetics of domain-domain interactions and entropy driven association of beta-crystallins. Biochemistry. 2004;43:415-24 pubmed
  17. Barnwal R, Jobby M, Sharma Y, Chary K. NMR assignment of M-crystallin: a novel Ca2+ binding protein of the betagamma-crystallin superfamily from Methanosarcina acetivorans. J Biomol NMR. 2006;36 Suppl 1:32 pubmed
  18. Aravind P, Rajini B, Sharma Y, Sankaranarayanan R. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic investigations on a betagamma-crystallin domain of absent in melanoma 1 (AIM1), a protein from Homo sapiens. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2006;62:282-4 pubmed
    ..86 A and were found to belong to space group P6(1) or P6(5), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 54.98, c = 59.73 A. Solvent-content analysis indicated the presence of one monomer per asymmetric unit. ..
  19. Ho H, Chang K, Nichols J, Li M. Homeodomain protein Pitx3 maintains the mitotic activity of lens epithelial cells. Mech Dev. 2009;126:18-29 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, Pitx3 is essential to maintain lens epithelial phenotype and prevent inappropriate fibre cell differentiation during lens development. ..
  20. Liu B, Liang J. Confocal fluorescence microscopy study of interaction between lens MIP26/AQP0 and crystallins in living cells. J Cell Biochem. 2008;104:51-8 pubmed
    ..We conclude that all crystallins interact with MIP26, the physiological significance of which may be a reduction in the difference of refractive index between membrane and cytoplasm. ..
  21. Doycheva D, Deshka D, Preuss B, Beate P, Klein R, Reinhild K, et al. High incidence of antibodies to lens proteins in sera from patients with uveitis. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2007;245:683-8 pubmed
    ..Further studies are required to analyze in more detail the clinical and etiopathogenetic relevance of the antilens antibodies in uveitis. ..
  22. Carmona F, Jimenez R, Collinson J. The molecular basis of defective lens development in the Iberian mole. BMC Biol. 2008;6:44 pubmed publisher
    ..Paradigms of genetic regulatory networks developed in other vertebrates appear not to hold true for the Iberian mole. ..
  23. Ghosh J, Estrada M, Clark J. Interactive domains for chaperone activity in the small heat shock protein, human alphaB crystallin. Biochemistry. 2005;44:14854-69 pubmed
    ..The results suggested that interactive sequences in human alphaB crystallin have dual roles in subunit-subunit assembly and chaperone activity. ..
  24. Verdier Y, Huszár E, Penke B, Penke Z, Woffendin G, Scigelova M, et al. Identification of synaptic plasma membrane proteins co-precipitated with fibrillar beta-amyloid peptide. J Neurochem. 2005;94:617-28 pubmed
    ..Most of these proteins have already been associated with Alzheimer's disease, and the biological and pathophysiological significance of their interaction with fAbeta is discussed. ..
  25. Kumarasamy A, Abraham E. Interaction of C-terminal truncated human alphaA-crystallins with target proteins. PLoS ONE. 2008;3:e3175 pubmed publisher
    ..The predominantly hydrophilic flexible arm appears to be needed to keep the chaperone-target protein complex soluble. ..
  26. Symonds J, Lovicu F, Chamberlain C. Posterior capsule opacification-like changes in rat lens explants cultured with TGFbeta and FGF: effects of cell coverage and regional differences. Exp Eye Res. 2006;82:693-9 pubmed
    ..Such overall resilience to variations in conditions may contribute to the insidious nature of PCO, while factors related to observed early differences between groups may contribute to PCO pleiomorphism. ..
  27. Cullingford T, Wait R, Clerk A, Sugden P. Effects of oxidative stress on the cardiac myocyte proteome: modifications to peroxiredoxins and small heat shock proteins. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2006;40:157-72 pubmed
    ..These changes may be potentially useful diagnostically. In the short term, oxidative stress causes few detectable changes in global protein abundance as assessed by silver-staining. ..
  28. Zhang C, Gehlbach P, Gongora C, Cano M, Fariss R, Hose S, et al. A potential role for beta- and gamma-crystallins in the vascular remodeling of the eye. Dev Dyn. 2005;234:36-47 pubmed
    ..Interestingly, in human PFV (persistent fetal vasculature) disease, where the hyaloid vasculature abnormally persists after birth, we show that astrocytes express both VEGF and crystallins. ..
  29. Bhattacharyya J, Sharma K. Interactions of chlorpromazine with alpha-, beta- and gamma-crystallins. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2002;18:571-9 pubmed
    ..Therefore, CPZ induced alteration in chaperone activity of alphaL-crystallin is probably not associated with the formation of cataracts. ..
  30. Graw J. Congenital hereditary cataracts. Int J Dev Biol. 2004;48:1031-44 pubmed
  31. Rekas A, Jankova L, Thorn D, Cappai R, Carver J. Monitoring the prevention of amyloid fibril formation by alpha-crystallin. Temperature dependence and the nature of the aggregating species. FEBS J. 2007;274:6290-304 pubmed
    ..It was shown that alphaB-crystallin interrupted alpha-synuclein aggregation at its earliest stages, most likely by binding to partially folded monomers and thereby preventing their aggregation into fibrillar structures. ..
  32. Emerson R, Sage E, Ghosh J, Clark J. Chaperone-like activity revealed in the matricellular protein SPARC. J Cell Biochem. 2006;98:701-5 pubmed
    ..Synergy between the chaperone-like activities of SPARC and alphaB-crystallin, a small heat shock protein and molecular chaperone in the lens, was observed in SPARC-alphaB-crystallin double -/- mice. ..
  33. Takata T, Shimo Oka T, Kojima M, Miki K, Fujii N. Differential analysis of D-beta-Asp-containing proteins found in normal and infrared irradiated rabbit lens. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006;344:263-71 pubmed
    ..Additionally, some d-beta-Asp-containing proteins only appear after IR irradiation. One such protein is the alpha-enolase, which shows homology to tau-crystallin. ..
  34. Hejtmancik J, Wingfield P, Sergeev Y. Beta-crystallin association. Exp Eye Res. 2004;79:377-83 pubmed
    ..As predicted by molecular modelling, the fraction of beta-crystallin present as dimers increases with increasing temperature, implying that beta-crystallin association is entropically driven. ..
  35. Putilina T, Skouri Panet F, Prat K, Lubsen N, Tardieu A. Subunit exchange demonstrates a differential chaperone activity of calf alpha-crystallin toward beta LOW- and individual gamma-crystallins. J Biol Chem. 2003;278:13747-56 pubmed
    ..The changes in subunit exchange associated with the chaperone properties of alpha-crystallins toward the other lens crystallins demonstrate the dynamic character of the heat-activated alpha-crystallin structure. ..
  36. Mou L, Xu J, Li W, Lei X, Wu Y, Xu G, et al. Identification of vimentin as a novel target of HSF4 in lens development and cataract by proteomic analysis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51:396-404 pubmed publisher
    ..To explore the target genes of HSF4, especially those involved in lens developmental processes and cataract formation...
  37. Matsushima H, Mukai K, Obara Y, Yoshida S, Clark J. Analysis of cytoskeletal proteins in posterior capsule opacification after implantation of acrylic and hydrogel intraocular lenses. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2004;30:187-94 pubmed
    ..Cytoskeletal proteins expressed during the formation of PCO and IOL implantation may have potential as therapeutic target proteins to improve the biocompatibility of IOLs. ..
  38. Khanova H, Markossian K, Kurganov B, Samoilov A, Kleimenov S, Levitsky D, et al. Mechanism of chaperone-like activity. Suppression of thermal aggregation of betaL-crystallin by alpha-crystallin. Biochemistry. 2005;44:15480-7 pubmed
    ..The aggregates of the other kind grow until they reach the size characteristic of aggregates prone to precipitation. The DSC data show that alpha-crystallin has no appreciable influence on thermal denaturation of beta(L)-crystallin. ..
  39. Huey K, Meador B. Contribution of IL-6 to the Hsp72, Hsp25, and alphaB-crystallin [corrected] responses to inflammation and exercise training in mouse skeletal and cardiac muscle. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2008;105:1830-6 pubmed publisher
  40. Steiner Champliaud M, Sahel J, Hicks D. Retinoschisin forms a multi-molecular complex with extracellular matrix and cytoplasmic proteins: interactions with beta2 laminin and alphaB-crystallin. Mol Vis. 2006;12:892-901 pubmed
  41. Srivastava O, Srivastava K. Crosslinking of human lens 9 kDa gammaD-crystallin fragment in vitro and in vivo. Mol Vis. 2003;9:644-56 pubmed
    ..The data suggest that a 9 kDa gammaD-crystallin fragment demonstrated crosslinking properties, which might be due to oxidation of its methionine and tryptophan residues. ..
  42. Wang X, Garcia C, Shui Y, Beebe D. Expression and regulation of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-crystallins in mammalian lens epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004;45:3608-19 pubmed
    ..After stress, most alphaA- and alphaB-crystallin subunits are not in the same macromolecular complexes. ..
  43. Gupta R, Srivastava K, Srivastava O. Truncation of motifs III and IV in human lens betaA3-crystallin destabilizes the structure. Biochemistry. 2006;45:9964-78 pubmed
    ..e., betaA3[N+I+II+CP] mutant). The results suggested that the N-terminal domain is relatively more stable than the C-terminal domain in betaA3-crystallin. ..
  44. Jobby M, Sharma Y. Calcium-binding to lens betaB2- and betaA3-crystallins suggests that all beta-crystallins are calcium-binding proteins. FEBS J. 2007;274:4135-47 pubmed
    ..Our results have important implications for understanding the calcium-related cataractogenesis and maintenance of ionic homeostasis in the lens. ..
  45. Krivandin A, Muranov K, Ostrovsky M. Heat-induced complex formation in solutions of alpha- and beta L-crystallins: a small-angle X-ray scattering study. Dokl Biochem Biophys. 2004;394:1-4 pubmed
  46. Senthilkumar R, Chaerkady R, Sharma K. Identification and properties of anti-chaperone-like peptides derived from oxidized bovine lens betaL-crystallins. J Biol Chem. 2002;277:39136-43 pubmed
    ..These data suggest that the polypeptides generated after oxidation and proteolysis of betaL-crystallins interact with denaturing proteins and facilitate their aggregation and light scattering, thus behaving like anti-chaperones. ..
  47. Fujii N, Shimmyo Y, Sakai M, Sadakane Y, Nakamura T, Morimoto Y, et al. Age-related changes of alpha-crystallin aggregate in human lens. Amino Acids. 2007;32:87-94 pubmed
    ..Alpha-crystallin from young donors, and recombinant alpha A- and alpha B-crystallin and their mixtures showed chaperone activity, which was markedly lost in samples from the aged alpha-crystallin aggregates. ..
  48. Meehan S, Berry Y, Luisi B, Dobson C, Carver J, MacPhee C. Amyloid fibril formation by lens crystallin proteins and its implications for cataract formation. J Biol Chem. 2004;279:3413-9 pubmed
    ..The ability of the crystallins to convert into fibrils under destabilizing conditions suggests that this process could contribute to the development of cataract with aging. ..
  49. Cohen J, Piatigorsky J, Ding L, Colley N, Ward R, Horwitz J. Vertebrate-like betagamma-crystallins in the ocular lenses of a copepod. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2005;191:291-8 pubmed
    ..Our data provide the first example of betagamma-crystallin members in an invertebrate lens, establishing that the use of this protein family as lens crystallins is not confined to vertebrates. ..
  50. Chen Q, Liang D, Fromm L, Overbeek P. Inhibition of lens fiber cell morphogenesis by expression of a mutant SV40 large T antigen that binds CREB-binding protein/p300 but not pRb. J Biol Chem. 2004;279:17667-73 pubmed
  51. Vinader L, van Genesen S, de Jong W, Lubsen N. Influence of hormones and growth factors on lens protein composition: the effect of dexamethasone and PDGF-AA. Mol Vis. 2003;9:723-9 pubmed
    ..Since at least the gamma-crystallin genes are known to be silenced in epithelial cells by DNA methylation, PDGF-AA may be able to induce one of the steps towards fiber cell differentiation in some epithelial cells. ..
  52. Kappé G, Purkiss A, van Genesen S, Slingsby C, Lubsen N. Explosive expansion of betagamma-crystallin genes in the ancestral vertebrate. J Mol Evol. 2010;71:219-30 pubmed publisher
    ..The gamma-crystallin genes show lineage specific expansion and contraction, presumably in adaptation to the demands on vision resulting from (changes in) lifestyle. ..
  53. Feasson L, Stockholm D, Freyssenet D, Richard I, Duguez S, Beckmann J, et al. Molecular adaptations of neuromuscular disease-associated proteins in response to eccentric exercise in human skeletal muscle. J Physiol. 2002;543:297-306 pubmed
    ..This remodelling response may limit the extent of muscle damage upon a subsequent mechanical stress. ..