Lens proteins from the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) were found to be similar to those of other mammals with the exception of the presence of a previously undescribed constituent comprising about 10% of the total soluble lens proteins. This oligomeric protein is composed of polypeptides with apparent molecular weight of 38,000 and elutes from gel exclusion chromatography columns in the BH-crystallin fraction. Following purification by ion exchange chromatography an antibody was raised against the protein. Using that antibody and antibodies specific for other crystallins we could detect no cross-reactivity between the guinea pig protein and any other reported lens cystallin. This protein, which we have named zeta (ζcrystallin, is the first reported mammalian lens crystallin which is not part of the α- or βgamma; families of crystallins. Unlike all other known mammalian crystallins, which have little or no a-helical structure, zeta-crystallin is estimated to be approximately 30-40% αhelix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience