Lens alpha-crystallin, composed of two subunits alpha A- and alpha B-crystallin, forms large aggregates in the lens of the eye. The present study investigated the aggregate of human lens alpha-crystallin from elderly and young donors. Recombinant alpha A- and alpha B-crystallins in molar ratios of alpha A to alpha B at 1:1, corresponding to the aged sample, were also studied in detail. We found by ultra-centrifugation analysis that the alpha-crystallin aggregate from elderly donors was large and heterogeneous with an average sedimentation coefficient of 30 S and a range of 20-60 S at 37 °C. This was higher compared to the young samples that had an average sedimentation coefficient of 17 S. The sedimentation coefficients of recombinant alpha A- and alpha B-crystallins were approximately 12 S and 15 S, respectively. Even when recombinant alpha-crystallins were mixed in molar ratios equivalent to those found in vivo, similar S values as the native aged alpha-crystallin aggregates were not obtained. Changes in the self-association of alpha-crystallin aggregate were correlated to changes in chaperone activity. 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.
- Analytical ultracentrifugation
- Lens alpha-crystallin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Organic Chemistry