January 2002
Volume 43, Issue 1
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Lens  |   January 2002
Lens Proteomics: The Accumulation of Crystallin Modifications in the Mouse Lens with Age
Author Affiliations
  • Yoji Ueda
    From the Department of Animal Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; the
  • Melinda K. Duncan
    Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware; and the
  • Larry L. David
    Departments of Oral Molecular Biology and
    Ophthalmology, Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science January 2002, Vol.43, 205-215. doi:
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      Yoji Ueda, Melinda K. Duncan, Larry L. David; Lens Proteomics: The Accumulation of Crystallin Modifications in the Mouse Lens with Age. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(1):205-215.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

purpose. To identify modified crystallins associated with aging of lens and produce two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) proteome maps of crystallins in mouse lens.

methods. Lens proteins from mice of increasing age or different strains were separated by either chromatography or 2-DE. Masses of whole proteins or tryptic peptides were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Changes in the abundance of individual crystallins were determined by image analysis of 2-DE gels.

results. The measured masses of all known mouse crystallins, with the exception of γD and γF, matched the masses calculated from their reported sequences. Analysis by 2-DE indicated that most posttranslational modifications took place in mice after 6 weeks of age. Partially degraded crystallins, including βB1, βB2, βB3, βA3, αA, andα B, were found in greater proportion in the insoluble fractions.γ -Crystallins A through F also became insoluble during aging. However, insolubilization of γ-crystallins was associated with a decrease in isoelectric point (pI). Aging was also associated with increased phosphorylation of soluble αA- and αB-crystallins, confirmed by mass measurements of these proteins eluted from 2-DE gels. Comparison of protein profiles between several strains of mice used to produce transgenic or knockout models of cataract indicated few differences, except for an additional acidic form of a γ-crystallin, possibly due to a polymorphism.

conclusions. These results suggest that partial degradation of α- andβ -crystallins and increased acidity of γ-crystallins may cause insolubilization during aging. The 2-DE proteome maps of mouse lens proteins created in this study, using immobilized pH gradients, will be useful for comparison with maps of lens proteins of mice with cataracts so that cataract-specific modifications may be identified.

The transparency of eye lens is largely determined by the properties of crystallins, the structural proteins of the lens. Aging of normal lens leads to the accumulation of posttranslationally modified proteins, because crystallins undergo very little turnover after synthesis. 1 We hypothesize that these modifications may contribute to cataract by causing aggregation and insolubilization of crystallins. However, studying the role of crystallin modification in lens is complex, because many modifications are part of the normal maturation process. For example, site-specific proteolysis ofβ -crystallins in young lens may serve to initiate tighter packing of crystallins during lens maturation. 2 3 4 Evidence from experimental cataracts in young rats also suggests that opacity may result when this process becomes unregulated. 2 In contrast, cataracts in mature lenses may result from unique modifications that are not found in normal age-matched lenses. 
The mouse is an especially useful species in which to test the role of crystallin modification in cataracts, because a large number of transgenic and knockout strains have been produced in which cataract develops. These include the αA-crystallin, 5 SPARC, 6 α3 connexin, 7 knockout mice and transgenic mice overexpressing a large variety of proteins including truncated fibroblast growth factor receptors, 8 transcription factors such as PAX6 (5a), 9 orΔ fosB, 10 HIV protease, 11 and structural proteins. 12 In addition, a number of spontaneous mutant mouse strains have been identified in which cataract develops. See the recent review by Graw 13 for further information on murine models of congenital cataract. 
Many groups have used two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) to study protein modifications occurring in the mouse lens during aging and/or during cataractogenesis. 11 14 15 16 However, the interpretation of the available data are hampered by the unavailability of standardized 2-DE protein maps comparing mice of different ages. Furthermore, the precise protein modifications that occur with normal aging have not been systematically explored. Thus, in this study, reproducible mouse lens 2-DE maps were created for lenses of increasing age and of different strains to serve as reference maps. Further, the molecular identity of the separated proteins was confirmed by mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and a number of posttranslational modifications were identified. In future studies, these data will facilitate the identification of specific modifications in cataractous lenses of mice. 
Methods
Preparation of Mouse Lens
FVB/N mice 17 were generated in-house from a breeding stock obtained from Taconic Laboratories (Germantown, NY). C57BL/6 and ICR mice were obtained from Harlan Sprague-Dawley (Indianapolis, IN). CB6F1 mice were obtained from Charles River Laboratories (Wilmington, MA). The FVB/N and C57BL/6 strains were analyzed because they are derived from mice with widely different genetic backgrounds, 18 and cells from these strains are commonly used to produce transgenic mice to study lens biology. 8 19 20 Descriptions of these and other inbred strains of mice can be obtained at a Web site maintained by the Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME). 21 Mice were killed, and the lenses were dissected and flash frozen until use. All experiments using animals were approved by the University of Delaware’s institutional review board and conform to the ARVO Statement for the Use of Animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research. 
Isolation of Lens Crystallins and Mass Determination
Six lenses of 6-week-old FVB/N mice were homogenized in 200 μL of lysis buffer, containing 20 mM sodium phosphate (pH 7.0), 1 mM EGTA, 100 mM NaCl, and 1 tablet of protease inhibitor (Complete Mini Protease Inhibitor Cocktail; Roche Molecular Biochemicals, Indianapolis, IN) dissolved at 10 mL lysis buffer per tablet. Lens homogenates were centrifuged at 20,000g for 45 minutes at 4°C and supernatants were removed for further crystallin purification. 
Crystallin aggregates and monomers were fractionated by gel filtration on a 10× 250-mm chromatography column (Superose 6HR 10/30; Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, Piscataway, NJ) equilibrated with lysis buffer at a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min. This resolved the α, βH, and βL aggregates of approximately 600, 150, and 60 kDa, respectively, and theγ -crystallin monomers of approximately 20 kDa molecular weight, which were further separated by ion exchange or reversed phase chromatography. Beta heavy aggregates, containing a complete complement of individual β-subunits, were deaggregated in 6 M urea and individual subunits isolated by diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) chromatography, as previously described. 22 γ-Crystallin monomers were separated by sulfopropyl (SP) chromatography, as previously described, 23 except using a 7.5 × 75-mm column (SP 5-PW; TosHaas, Montgomeryville, PA), 20 mM histidine (pH 6.0), 1.0 mM EGTA, 2 mM dithiothreitol (DTT) mobile phase, and 0.1 M NaCl gradient over 60 minutes. 
Approximate 5-μg samples of whole α-crystallin aggregate or isolated β- and γ-crystallin subunits were injected onto a 1.0 × 250-mm C4 column (214 LC-MS/MS C4; Vydac, Hesperia, CA) and masses determined by online analysis of eluents by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESIMS) on an iontrap system (model LCQ; ThermoFinnigan, San Jose, CA). The column used a 25-μL/min flow rate and linear gradient of 10% to 50% acetonitrile over 30 minutes in a mobile phase containing 0.1% acetic acid and 0.025% trifluoroacetic acid. Crystallin masses were then calculated as previously described. 22  
2-DE and Identification of Lens Proteins
Four lenses from identically aged mice were homogenized in 200μ L lysis solution containing protease inhibitors, followed by centrifugation, as described earlier. The supernatant containing the soluble protein was removed, and the pellet (insoluble protein) was washed once. The insoluble protein was then resuspended by sonication, and the protein contents in both the soluble and insoluble fractions were measured by the bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay (Pierce Chemical Co., Rockford, IL), using bovine serum albumin as a standard. Both fractions of lens proteins were aliquoted into 400-μg portions and stored at −70°C. 
Isoelectric focusing was performed using immobilized pH gradient (IPG) gel strips (18 cm, pH 5–9), followed by molecular weight separation, using 12% SDS-PAGE gels, as previously described. 22 The Coomassie blue–stained gel images were captured and image analysis performed on computer (Melanie 3 software; Geneva Bioinformatics, Geneva, Switzerland) to determine the percent that each spot contributed to the total protein on the gel. 22 The isoelectric points (pIs) of the modified crystallin species were extrapolated by the software, using the calculated pIs and positions of unmodified αA, βA2, and γB as reference. Calculation of these crystallin pIs and validation of pI assignments for the other crystallins was performed as previously described. 22  
Protein identification and mapping on 2-DE gels was performed using soluble protein from pooled lenses of 6-week-old mice (FVB/N strain). Similarly, mapping of identities of insoluble proteins was performed by pooling protein from 6- to 51-week-old mice. Regions from negatively stained gels containing protein spots were washed, dried, and digested within excised gel spots with trypsin, as described by Courchesne and Patterson. 24 Proteins in gel spots were then identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis of digests to determine the amino acid sequences of peptides, as previously described. 22  
Mass Measurement of Proteins Isolated from 2-DE Gels
Protein masses were determined after recovery from 2-DE gel spots, either by elution using a custom electroelution device or by passive diffusion. Two-DE gels of soluble protein from 10-week-old mice were prepared as described earlier, and then negatively stained. 25 Excised spots from three gels were preincubated twice for 15 minutes at room temperature by rotation in 1 mL of elution buffer (25 mM Tris, 192 mM glycine, and 1 mM thioglycolic acid [pH 8.8]) supplemented with 0.1% SDS. For electroelution, the gel piece was minced into approximate 2-mm cubes and placed into a 250-μL disposable pipette tip plugged with 4 μL 4% polyacrylamide gel, and the tip was filled with 150 μL elution buffer. The pipette tip was placed into a 200-μL microtiter plate well (catalog number 3690; Costar, Cambridge, MA) filled with 130 μL elution buffer and the protein electroeluted into the microtiter plate well. Current was applied by placing platinum wires into both the elution buffer contained in the upper 250-μL pipette tip and the lower microtiter plate well. The protein was eluted for 90 minutes at 100 V inside a 4°C cold room. 
Alternately, proteins were recovered by passive diffusion using a modification of the method of Castellanos-Serra et al. 26 After preincubation as described earlier, excised protein spots were dispersed into 20-μM particles by forcing them through a 20-μm porous metal frit (catalog number A-120X; Upchurch Scientific, Oak Harbor, WA) placed at the bottom of a 500-μL airtight glass syringe. This required removal of the plastic ring surrounding the frit. The gel particles remaining in the syringe were collected by passing 100 μL elution buffer containing 0.1% SDS through the syringe. Proteins were then allowed to diffuse from the gel particles by incubation for 30 minutes at 37°C in an ultrasonic bath. The slurry was then filtered using a 0.22-μm microcentrifuge filter (Micropure-0.22; Millipore, Bedford, MA). 
Masses of proteins recovered by both of these methods were then determined by online LC-MS/MS, as described earlier for mass measurement of intact crystallins. The approximately 100 μg SDS present in each sample did not interfere with chromatography or mass measurement of the eluted protein. 
Results
Crystallin Mass Determination
To compare the actual masses of mouse crystallins and calculated masses based on the reported cDNA sequences, the masses of individual HPLC-separated or gel-eluted crystallins from 6-week-old mice were measured by ESIMS (Table 1) . The measured masses of all HPLC-purified α- andβ -crystallins matched the theoretical masses derived from published cDNA sequences within an instrumental error of three mass units. This suggested that the reported sequences of these crystallins matched the sequences found in FVB/N mice. βA1-crystallin was not obtained in sufficient purity by HPLC to determine its mass. However, the mass ofβ A1 eluted from 2-DE gels differed by only 0.8 mass units from the theoretical mass (Table 1) , again suggesting that the reported sequence was identical. 
When purified γ-crystallins were similarly analyzed by ESIMS, proteins matching the predicted masses of mouse γA-, γB-,γ C-, γE-, and γS-crystallins were identified. However, the measured mass of 20,958.5 for γD was 81.2 mass units higher than the theoretical mass. This mass of HPLC-purified γD was confirmed by analysis of γD eluted from 2-DE gels. Because of alkylation, gel-purified γD had a mass of 21,357.8. Because γD reportedly contains seven cysteines, the corresponding nonalkylated mass was 20,958.1, which closely matched the mass of HPLC-purified γD. These data indicate that the sequence of γD-crystallin in FVB/N mice was different from the previously reported murine γD sequence (Swiss Prot accession no. P04342; provided by the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Geneva, Switzerland, and available at http://www.expasy.org at no charge to academic users). A protein matching the theoretical mass for γF-crystallin was not detected by either method. However, in HPLC fractions, the identity of two species with masses of 20,916 and 20,974 could not be determined. 
Composition of Soluble Proteins in Young Mouse Lens
To determine the identities and relative abundance of crystallin subunits, the time course of posttranslational modifications, and variation between the water-soluble and -insoluble fractions in mouse lens, 2-DE was performed and spots identified by in-gel trypsin digestion and LC-MS/MS. 
A 2-DE gel of lens soluble protein from 1.5-week-old FVB/N mice is shown in Figure 1 , with the identities of major proteins indicated. All crystallins previously reported in a 2-DE map of 33- to 51-week-old mouse lens were identified, 16 in addition, we were able to confirm the presence of γF-crystallin by identifying a γF-specific peptide within the digest of the comigrating γE and F spots. Similarly, γB and C did not separate from one another, but peptides unique to each protein were identified in the digest. The majority of crystallins in the lenses of these young animals migrated to their expected relative pIs, except γE-crystallin, which, based on its expected pI of 7.7, should have been the most basic crystallin subunit. Because it was unlikely that γE was modified in lenses from these very young animals, the result suggested that the reported sequence (Swiss Prot accession no. P26999) was different from the γE sequence in the FVB/N strain. This result was unexpected, because a γ-crystallin was found with a mass only 2.7 U different from the expected mass of γE (Table 1)
A noncrystallin protein was also identified in the soluble fraction of mouse lens with a concentration at 1.5-weeks of age, similar to the less abundant crystallins (∼1.2% of soluble protein). This species, identified as a fatty-acid–binding protein, has been previously described in both rat and cow lens and is a marker for differentiation of fiber cells. 27 28 Because the cDNA sequence for the mouse lens gene is unknown, it was not possible to determine whether this is a novel gene product or identical with the gene product found in mouse keratinocytes (Swiss Prot accession no. Q05816). 
Developmental Changes in Crystallin Composition
To determine developmental changes in crystallin composition, water-soluble lens proteins from newborn to 6-week-old mice were separated by 2-DE (Fig. 2) , the percentage abundance of each crystallin determined, and the percentage change in abundance from newborn to 6 weeks of age calculated (Table 2) . The observations of developmental changes in crystallin abundance were limited to the first 6 weeks of life, because posttranslational modifications and protein insolubilization in older lenses prevented accurate quantification. The most profound changes occurred in the content of βB2-, γS-, and αB-crystallins. These proteins increased approximately 50-, 5-, and 2-fold, respectively, during the first 6 weeks of life. The fatty acid binding protein also increased 12-fold during this period. In contrast, by 6 weeks of age, βB1-,β B3-, and γA-crystallins decreased to approximately one half the amounts found in newborn lens. Although quantities ofα Ainsert also decreased, inconsistencies in the quantity of this protein between gels prevented any conclusions regarding changes in its abundance with lens growth. 
Age-Related Crystallin Modification and Insolubilization
To investigate the change in protein profiles of mouse lens during aging, a series of gels of both water-soluble and -insoluble lens proteins for mice between 6 and 51 weeks of age were compared (Fig. 3) , and new spots appearing with age were identified by LC-MS/MS analysis of in-gel digests. The results of this analysis are in Figure 4 , which shows enlarged images of 2-DE gels of soluble- and -insoluble protein from 51-week-old mouse lenses with the modified crystallins numbered and then identified in Table 3
The majority of changes in the relative abundance of soluble crystallins in mice past 6 weeks of age (Table 4) were due to posttranslational modifications and insolubilization. This conclusion was based on the observation that the total protein content of the lens increased by only 38% from 6 to 51 weeks of age, but crystallins such as βB1-, βB3-, γA-, and γE/F-crystallin decreased by 80% or more in the soluble fraction during this period (Table 4) . Evidence for progressive truncation, acidification, and phosphorylation of crystallins was observed. Furthermore, truncated and acidified forms of crystallins were selectively found in the insoluble fraction of the lens, which increased from 6.2% to 60% of the total lens protein from 6 to 51 weeks of age. 
Results for each class of modified crystallin are summarized in the following sections. 
Age-Related Changes in α-Crystallins
α-Crystallin aggregates are composed of αA, αB, andα Ainsert subunits. αA andα Ainsert are identical, except for the insertion of 17 extra amino acids in αAinsert, because of differential mRNA splicing. 29 The concentrations of unmodified α-crystallin subunits did not significantly change in the soluble fraction of the adult mouse lens during aging (Table 4) . The major modification of both αA and αB in the soluble fraction was the age-dependent appearance of acidic forms (Fig. 4A , spots 1 and 11). The isolation of these acidic forms from 2-DE gels and measurement of their whole masses yielded unit masses of 19,970.5, and 20,190.6 (Fig. 5) . These masses were each, respectively, approximately 80 mass units greater than the expected masses of alkylated αA and αB. This indicated that the increased acidity of these species was due to single phosphorylations. The phosphorylated form of αA increased to 38% of unmodified soluble αA by 51 weeks of age. In contrast, the content of phosphorylated αB peaked by 10 weeks of age, and the proportion of phosphorylated αB was less than that of phosphorylated αA. 
αA- and αB-crystallin also became progressively truncated with age and were selectively found in the insoluble fraction (Fig. 4B , spots 2–10, 12–16), whereas intact forms of these proteins were only minor components. Truncated αA and αB spots together accounted for 19% and 4.5% of the total insoluble protein in 51-week-old lenses, respectively. 
Several pieces of evidence suggest that C-terminal truncation of αA and αB led to their insolubilization. A truncated form of αA (Fig. 4B , spot 2), just below intact αA, was isolated from 2-DE gels. Its 21,436.7-unit mass indicated that it was missing five residues from its C terminus. Similarly, MS/MS analysis of a tryptic digest from spot 3 yielded peptide 146-151 of αA, indicating that this species was missing 22 residues from its C terminus. These results suggest that the other numerous species of truncated αA and αB may result from the progressive removal of C-terminal residues. This hypothesis was supported by LC-MS/MS analysis of spots in similar positions from 2-DE gels of insoluble protein from adult rat lens. These modified forms ofα A and αB were all C-terminally truncated (Ueda Y., unpublished results, 2001). The similar relative molecular weights of spots 12–14 in Figure 4B also suggested that a single truncated species ofα B may be progressively phosphorylated. This suggestion was also supported by mass spectral analysis of a similar species of αB in rat lens, which was both C terminally truncated and phosphorylated (Ueda Y., unpublished results, 2001). 
Age-Related Changes in β-Crystallins
During aging, soluble forms of βB1 and βB3 continued to decrease, so that each comprised less than 0.5% of the total soluble lens protein by 51 weeks of age (Table 4) . This loss was due to insolubilization after truncation of βB1 (Fig. 4B , spots 21–24) andβ B3 (Fig. 4B , spots 27–30). βB2 and βA3-crystallins also underwent truncation and insolubilization with increasing age (Fig. 4B , spots 25–26, and 31–33). However, the accumulation of these insoluble truncated forms did not deplete the soluble fraction of the intact forms of these proteins. In fact, βB2 continued to accumulate in the soluble fraction and became the major species by 51 weeks of age. Unlike other β-crystallin subunits, βA2 and βA4, and possiblyβ A1, were not truncated and did not become selectively insolubilized with age. The stability of these subunits was likely related to their shorter and therefore protease-resistant N-terminal extensions. 
The truncation of β-crystallins differed from α-crystallin truncation in that N-terminal regions were removed. Although specific sites of truncation were not assigned for all modified β-species, truncated βA3, missing either 11 or 22 residues (spots 31 and 33),β B2 missing 7 residues (spot 26), and βB3 missing 17 residues from its N terminus (spot 27) were identified by LC-MS/MS analysis of peptide digests (Table 3) . These N-terminal truncation sites were identical with ones previously described in rat lenses and attributed to activation of a class of calcium-activated proteases called calpains. 2  
The analysis of spots with similar positions in 2-DE gels of both soluble and insoluble fractions suggested that caution must be used when identifying proteins based on similar positions. The spot identified as αAinsert on the 2-DE gels of soluble protein had a position identical with a spot on the 2-DE gel of insoluble protein identified as a truncated βA3 (Fig. 4B , spot 32). 
Although partial degradation was the major modification toβ -crystallins in mouse crystallins with age, there was also evidence for either deamidation or phosphorylation. Soluble acidic forms ofβ B2, βA3, and βA4 appeared with age and underwent no alteration in apparent molecular weight on the 2-DE gels (Fig. 4A , spots 17–20). 
Age-Related Changes in γ-Crystallins
In contrast to α- and β-crystallins, there was no evidence ofγ -crystallin’s proteolysis during lens maturation. However, large shifts in the relative abundance in these proteins occurred. After the developmentally related decrease in γA-crystallin (Table 1) , this protein underwent insolubilization and was entirely lost from the soluble fraction by 51 weeks of age (Fig. 4 , Table 4 ). γE and F also decreased approximately 80% in the soluble fraction from 6 to 51 weeks of age. Because γA through F (γA–F) all accumulated in the insoluble fraction during aging, the selective loss of soluble γA, E, and F was probably due to decreased synthesis of these proteins. 
The age-related insolubilization of γA–F crystallins was associated with progressive acidification, so that a duplicate pattern of four spots appeared for these six proteins at identical apparent molecular weights, but shifted an average of 0.47 pH units more acidic than the unmodified species (Fig. 4B , spots 34–37, Table 3 ). These acidified forms of γA–F were almost exclusively found in the insoluble fraction. The modification causing this acidification was not determined, but could be due to either deamidation, phosphorylation, or very limited proteolysis. The acidification and insolubilization ofγ A–F was very specific, because the closely related protein γS underwent no acidification and remained for the most part soluble with increasing age. 
Protein Profile Comparison of Different Strains of Mice
To determine whether lens proteins from different strains of mice varied in abundance or position on 2-DE gels, proteins from the FVB/N strain used in the current studies were compared with those in C57BL/6, ICR, and CB6F1 strains. In general, all four strains of mice had identical protein profiles, including crystallin modifications in both soluble and insoluble fractions. However, an additional spot was found in the γ-region in the strains C57BL/6 and its hybrid CB6F1. Gels comparing the soluble protein profiles of 10- and 12-week-old FVB/N and C57BL/6 strains, respectively, are shown in Figure 6 . The new spot in the C57BL/6 strain (Fig. 6 ; filled arrow) was identified by LC-MS/MS analysis of tryptic peptides as either γB orγ C. The region in the position of γB and C in the FVB/N strain was also less abundant (Fig. 6 ; open arrow). This suggested that a polymorphism may exist in these strains resulting in the presence of a more acidic γB- and/or γC-crystallin. This result was not unexpected, because the FVB/N and C57BL/6 inbred stains are genetically dissimilar. 21  
Discussion
These studies for the first time investigated the masses of mouse crystallins and produced a series of 2-DE maps of both soluble and insoluble lens crystallins from mice of increasing age. The accurate mass measurements allowed independent confirmation of reported sequences and facilitated the assignment of posttranslational modifications. Analysis of 2-DE gel maps from newborn and mature lenses allowed comparison of earlier measurements of gene expression to actual levels of proteins and detected the major species of modified crystallins appearing during lens maturation. The 2-DE maps produced in this study complement the earlier 2-DE map produced by Jungblut et al. 16 by producing maps for lenses of different ages, separately analyzing water-soluble and -insoluble fractions, and using immobilized pH gradients for isoelectric focusing, which are more easily reproduced in other laboratories. 
The masses and measured pIs of mouse crystallins suggest that the previously reported sequences deduced from cDNA are similar to sequences in the FVB/N strain, except for γD, γF, and possiblyγ E. Similar inconsistencies between the measured masses of ratγ -crystallins 22 and deduced sequences from cDNAs suggest that many polymorphisms exist in rodentγ -crystallins. This suggestion was also supported in the present study by the finding of γB or γC in the C57BL/6 strain with an altered pI. Whereas mutations altering critical residues or introducing stop codons in γ-crystallins lead to spontaneous cataracts, 30 31 polymorphisms, such as in the C57BL/6 stain, may be relatively silent but cause an altered susceptibility to cataract. LC-MS/MS may provide a rapid method to further investigate heterogeneity of crystallin sequences in mice. 
The relative composition of crystallin subunits in 12-day-old rats, measured in the accompanying study, 22 were similar to the relative composition of crystallins in 1.5-week-old mice. Quantification of the relative amounts of each crystallin subunit in lenses from newborn to 6-week-old mice allowed estimation of changes in the relative rates at which these proteins are synthesized during lens maturation. Generally, the changes in abundance of various crystallin subunits in mice matched previously reported measurements of gene expression. 
During development of the mouse lens, transcription from the αB gene occurs before transcription from the αA gene. 32 However, by embryonic day 12.5, transcripts of αA become very abundant and localize to the newly developed primary fibers, whereas αB expression remains localized in the lens epithelium. Once secondary fibers form, this pattern changes, and the site of greatest αB expression shifts from epithelium to secondary fibers. The rapid increase in αB protein content measured in this study from birth to 11 days of age was likely the result of the delayed onset of αB expression in secondary fibers. 
The reported postnatal increase in rat βB2 and decrease in rat βB3 gene expression 33 also closely followed changes in βB2 and βB3 proteins in mice. The postnatal accumulation of βB2 was especially dramatic, going from the least to most abundantβ -crystallin during the first 6 weeks of life. The age-related increase in mouse lens βB2-crystallin synthesis has also been demonstrated immunohistochemically with a monoclonal antibody againstβ B2. 34 Although changes in βB1 gene expression have not been determined in postnatal rodent lenses, the similar 50% decline in both mouse βB1 and βB3 by 6 weeks of age suggests that the expression of genes coding for both proteins rapidly declines in mice after birth. Human lenses also undergo a rapid loss of βB3, because this protein is only detected in lenses less than 3 years of age. 35 Unlike decreases in βB3, the decrease in βB1 may be restricted to mouse lenses. Similar rates of βB1 protein synthesis have been observed in 1-, 2-, and 4-month-old rats. 36  
The increase in γS, γB, and γC proteins during the first 6 weeks of life also paralleled the reported increases in mouse lens γS,γ B, and γC gene expression. 37 38 In contrast, expressions of γA, E, and F genes were all reported to decrease during maturation. 38 These decreases in gene expression did not match the changes in protein levels, in that γE and γF were maintained in 6-week-old lenses. Only γA decreased by 50% from birth to 6 weeks. However, this rapid loss of soluble γA may be more related to its greater tendency to undergo insolubilization during lens maturation than its decreased level of gene expression (see Fig. 3 , 10 weeks). 
The changes in the relative abundance of crystallin subunits would be expected to significantly alter the properties of lens fibers from the center to the periphery of the growing lens. The lower concentrations of αB, βB2, and γB, C, and S and higher concentrations of βB1,β B3, and γA in the older fibers in the lens nucleus may favor dehydration, insolubilization, and a cytosol with a higher index of refraction. 
Major posttranslational modifications occurred in mice after 6 weeks of age. Although numerous modified crystallins were observed in the insoluble fraction in younger lenses, the quantity of insoluble protein did not significantly increase until after 6 weeks. The major modifications were phosphorylation of α-crystallins and altered pIs and/or relative molecular weights of α-, β-, and γ-crystallins in the insoluble fraction, due to proteolysis and/or possibly deamidation. 
αA-crystallin became progressively phosphorylated with increasing age in the lens soluble fraction, with the phosphorylated form comprising more than one third of the total αA by 51 weeks. Phosphorylation ofα -crystallins has been well documented in human, 39 40 bovine, 41 and rat 42 lenses. The observed pattern of phosphorylation of α-crystallins in mouse lens is consistent with the hypothesis that each subunit is phosphorylated by a different kinase activity. αA became progressively phosphorylated with increasing age, whereas αB phosphorylation was essentially complete by 10 weeks of age. In this regard, αB phosphorylation in mice is more like phosphorylation of αA in humans, where it is a maturationally related rather than age related. 39 Whereas cAMP-dependent kinases are likely responsible for at least a portion ofα -crystallin phosphorylations, these proteins also exhibit autokinase activity. 43 Further studies are required to determine which mechanism of α-crystallin phosphorylation predominates in mice. These studies are important, because phosphorylation of α-crystallin may cause dissociation of α-oligomers and reduction of chaperone-like activity. 44  
α-Crystallins also became progressively truncated with increasing age, and these truncated α-crystallins were selectively found in the insoluble fraction. The truncation of α-crystallins occurs mainly at the C terminus (summarized by Groenen et al. 45 ). Although the specific sites of all C-terminal truncations in mouseα -crystallins were not determined in this study, identification ofα A missing 5 and 22 residues from its C terminus was consistent with similar forms of these and other C-terminally truncated α-crystallins characterized in rat lens (Ueda Y., unpublished observations, 2001). The loss of C-terminal residues in α-crystallins is physiologically significant, because it reduces chaperone activity. 46 47 The flexible C-terminal extensions of α-crystallins are probably required to maintain the solubility of complexes between α-crystallin and the substrate proteins being chaperoned. 48 If truncated α-crystallins become insoluble in mouse lenses during maturation due to the binding of chaperoned proteins, the resultant complexes are compatible with transparency. Perhaps the greatest significance of the C-terminal truncation and insolubilization ofα -crystallin during maturation is that it consumes solubleα -crystallins that then become unavailable to chaperone proteins in stressed lenses. 
Recent evidence suggests that the proteases causing truncation ofα -crystallins during maturation and aging in rodent lenses are a combination of the calpain class proteases m-calpain and Lp 82. 49 The species of αA-crystallin missing five residues from its C terminus in rat lenses is specifically produced by Lp82 (Ueda Y., unpublished results, 2001). However, the protease(s) removing five amino acids from the C terminus of αA-crystallin in human lenses 50 51 remains unknown, because human lenses contain no Lp82. 52  
Mouse lenses also underwent extensive truncation of β-crystallin N-terminal extensions during maturation. Similar to truncatedα -crystallins, these truncated β-crystallins were also selectively found in the insoluble fraction of the lens. Calpain-induced truncations of β-crystallin N-terminal extensions were previously reported in the insoluble fraction of the rat lens nucleus during maturation. 2 Furthermore, analysis of crystallins from both mouse and rat lenses suggested that calpain-induced proteolysis was accelerated during formation of experimental cataracts. 2 53 Lenses from transgenic and knockout mice with cataracts probably would exhibit similar accelerated truncation ofα - and β-crystallins secondary to the primary genetic defect that initiates cataract. 
Analysis of insolubilized γ-crystallins suggested that increased acidification of all six γA- through F-subunits may partially contribute to their insolubilization. The nature of the modification causing the decreased pI was not investigated but could be deamidation, phosphorylation, or very limited proteolysis. Proteolysis could decrease the pI of γ-crystallins without significantly altering their relative migration by SDS-PAGE, because residue 2 in allγ -crystallins is lysine. 
In conclusion, this study of mouse lenses and the accompanying study of rat lenses 22 provide baseline data that will facilitate the analysis of modified crystallins appearing in cataractous rodent lens. The 2-DE maps produced by identification of proteins by LC-MS/MS analysis can be directly compared with similar 2-DE gels run in other laboratories. Two-DE gel separation coupled with LC-MS/MS analysis of in-gel digests or eluted whole proteins was also demonstrated as a useful technique to identify crystallin modifications. A comprehensive analysis of these modifications in cataractous rodent lenses may provide the necessary information to model how these alterations contribute to insolubilization and light scatter. The information is particularly useful when compared with similar analysis of human crystallins. 
 
Table 1.
 
Mouse Lens Crystallin Theoretical and Measured Mass
Table 1.
 
Mouse Lens Crystallin Theoretical and Measured Mass
Crystallin Accession No.* Theoretical Mass, † Measured Mass Difference
αA P02490 19,834.1 19,835.9 +1.8
αAinsert P24622 22,531.3 22,533.6 +2.3
αB P23927 20,110.8 20,112.0 +1.2
βA1 P02525 23,586.2, ‡ 23,587.0, § +0.8
βA2 CAB75585 22,147.4 22,148.6 +1.2
βA3, ∥ CAB52418 25,248.2 25,249.2 +1.0
βA4 CAB75586 22,379.6 22,379.8 +0.2
βB1 AAD42048 27,913.3 27,914.5 +1.2
βB2 P26775 23,291.8 23,294.0 +2.2
βB3 CAB75587 24,201.9 24,205.0 +3.1
γA P04345 21,017.6 21,019.8 +2.2
γB P04344 21,007.6 21,009.8 +2.2
γC Q61597 20,785.4 20,787.4 +2.0
γD P04342 20,877.3 20,958.5, ¶ +81.2
γE P26999 21,093.5 21,096.2 +2.7
γF Q03740 21,132.6, #
γS AAC53579 20,761.2 20,762.6 +1.4
Figure 1.
 
2-DE map showing the identities of the major soluble proteins in whole lenses of 1.5-week-old mice. Protein spots were detected and quantified within circled regions by 2-DE image analysis software and identified by MS/MS analysis of in-gel tryptic digests. Approximate molecular weight and pH range of the gel were determined by reference to molecular weight markers and calculated pIs of selected crystallins. Only the lower molecular weight region of the gel is shown, which contained all crystallin subunits and fatty-acid–binding protein. In all gels shown in the figures, staining was performed using Coomassie blue, and 400 μg of protein was applied.
Figure 1.
 
2-DE map showing the identities of the major soluble proteins in whole lenses of 1.5-week-old mice. Protein spots were detected and quantified within circled regions by 2-DE image analysis software and identified by MS/MS analysis of in-gel tryptic digests. Approximate molecular weight and pH range of the gel were determined by reference to molecular weight markers and calculated pIs of selected crystallins. Only the lower molecular weight region of the gel is shown, which contained all crystallin subunits and fatty-acid–binding protein. In all gels shown in the figures, staining was performed using Coomassie blue, and 400 μg of protein was applied.
Figure 2.
 
Changes in relative abundance of the major proteins of mouse lens during maturation. 2-DE gels of soluble proteins of (a) newborn, (b) 1.5-week-old, and (c) 6-week-old mouse lenses are shown. Protein spots undergoing changes in relative abundance during lens maturation are labeled. Unlabeled spots can be identified by reference to Figure 1 . The relative abundance of each protein spot was determined by image analysis, as shown in Table 2 . FABP, fatty-acid–binding protein.
Figure 2.
 
Changes in relative abundance of the major proteins of mouse lens during maturation. 2-DE gels of soluble proteins of (a) newborn, (b) 1.5-week-old, and (c) 6-week-old mouse lenses are shown. Protein spots undergoing changes in relative abundance during lens maturation are labeled. Unlabeled spots can be identified by reference to Figure 1 . The relative abundance of each protein spot was determined by image analysis, as shown in Table 2 . FABP, fatty-acid–binding protein.
Table 2.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Mouse Crystallin Subunits during Lens Maturation
Table 2.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Mouse Crystallin Subunits during Lens Maturation
Crystallin* Newborn† 1.5 wk, † 4 wk, † 6 wk, † % Change, ‡
βB1 8.5 6.1 4.0 4.4 −48
βB2 0.2 5.0 9.8 10.3 +5100
βB3 8.2 5.8 3.5 3.9 −52
βA1 2.2 1.4 2.2 1.7 −23
βA2 1.6 1.2 1.9 1.4 −12
βA3 4.1 5.4 4.1 4.3 +5
βA4 1.6 2.9 2.4 2.3 +44
αAinsert 2.8 1.5 2.1 1.4 −50
αA 14.0 12.2 11.7 12.9 −8
αB 3.8 6.1 7.5 7.2 +89
γA 7.7 8.6 2.8 3.7 −52
γB/C 4.0 7.1 8.2 6.3 +57
γD 7.5 8.7 9.0 8.5 +13
γE/F 15.8 16.3 12.7 14.1 −11
γS 0.8 3.2 5.4 4.8 +500
Fatty-acid–binding protein 0.1 1.2 1.5 1.3 +1200
Figure 3.
 
Accumulation of modified crystallins in mouse lenses during aging. Lens proteins from 6-, 10-, 31-, and 51-week-old mice were separated into (a) soluble and (b) insoluble fractions and analyzed by 2-DE. The appearance of modified crystallins with age can be followed by reference to the identities of unmodified crystallins indicated in the 2-DE gels of proteins from 6-week-old lens. Age-induced changes in the abundance of unmodified crystallins was determined by image analysis as shown in Table 4 . The identities of the major modified crystallin subunits appearing with age are shown in Figure 4 .
Figure 3.
 
Accumulation of modified crystallins in mouse lenses during aging. Lens proteins from 6-, 10-, 31-, and 51-week-old mice were separated into (a) soluble and (b) insoluble fractions and analyzed by 2-DE. The appearance of modified crystallins with age can be followed by reference to the identities of unmodified crystallins indicated in the 2-DE gels of proteins from 6-week-old lens. Age-induced changes in the abundance of unmodified crystallins was determined by image analysis as shown in Table 4 . The identities of the major modified crystallin subunits appearing with age are shown in Figure 4 .
Figure 4.
 
Identification of modified crystallins appearing with age in mouse lens. 2-DE gels of soluble (a) and insoluble protein (b) from lenses of 51-week-old mice, as shown in Figure 3 , are enlarged so that labels on protein spots can be seen. The major modified crystallin species appearing with age are numbered, and identities are indicated by reference to Table 3 . The position of unmodified crystallin subunits (underscored labels) are circled in the soluble fraction (a) and marked (+) in the insoluble fraction (b). Note that whereas many modified crystallins appear in both soluble and insoluble fractions, for clarity they are labeled with a number only in the fraction where they are most abundant.
Figure 4.
 
Identification of modified crystallins appearing with age in mouse lens. 2-DE gels of soluble (a) and insoluble protein (b) from lenses of 51-week-old mice, as shown in Figure 3 , are enlarged so that labels on protein spots can be seen. The major modified crystallin species appearing with age are numbered, and identities are indicated by reference to Table 3 . The position of unmodified crystallin subunits (underscored labels) are circled in the soluble fraction (a) and marked (+) in the insoluble fraction (b). Note that whereas many modified crystallins appear in both soluble and insoluble fractions, for clarity they are labeled with a number only in the fraction where they are most abundant.
Table 3.
 
Identification of Modified Crystallins in 51-week-old Mouse Lens
Table 3.
 
Identification of Modified Crystallins in 51-week-old Mouse Lens
Spot No. Crystallin Soluble* Insoluble* Confirmed Modification, † pI, ‡
1 αA +++ + Phosphorylated (see figure 5a) 5.23
2 αA + +++ −5 Amino acids, C terminus 5.52
3 αA + ++ −22 Amino acids, C terminus 5.28
4 αA + 5.02
5 αA + 5.25
6 αA + + 5.17
7 αA + ++ 5.31
8 αA + ++ 5.52
9 αA + + 5.54
10 αA + ++ 5.72
11 αB ++ Phosphorylated (see Figure 5b) 6.29
12 αB + 5.64
13 αB + ++ 5.86
14 αB + ++ 6.12
15 αB + 6.36
16 αB + 6.01
17 βA3 + 5.59
18 βA4 + + 5.41
19 βA4 + + 5.56
20 βB2 ++ + 6.17
21 βB1 ++ 5.44
22 βB1 ++ 5.72
23 βB1 + 6.01
24 βB1 ? + 6.51
25 βB2 ? ++ 6.54
26 βB2 + +++ −7 amino acids, N terminus 6.86
27 βB3 + −17 amino acids, N terminus 7.18
28 βB3 + 7.49
29 βB3 + 7.79
30 βB3 + 7.98
31 βA3 + ++ −11 amino acids, N terminus 6.40
32 βA3 + 6.15
33 βA3 ++ ++ −22 amino acids, N terminus 6.24
34 γE/F + ++ 6.88
35 γB/C + +++ 7.00
36 γD ? ++ 6.64
37 γA + 6.95
38 γB/C + + 7.18
Table 4.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Unmodified Mouse Crystallin Subunitsduring Lens Aging
Table 4.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Unmodified Mouse Crystallin Subunitsduring Lens Aging
Crystallin 6 wk* 10 wk* 31 wk* 51 wk* % Change, †
βB1 4.4 2.0 1.2 0.3 −93
βB2 10.3 12.3 22.1 20.4 +98
βB3 3.9 1.6 0.5 0.2 −95
βA1 1.7 2.3 2.8 2.8 +65
βA2 1.4 1.7 2.0 2.2 +57
βA3 4.3 2.9 3.4 3.3 −23
βA4 2.3 2.0 1.7 2.0 −13
αAinsert 1.4 2.3 2.3 1.9 +36
αA 12.9 12.2 12.4 16.6 +29
αB 7.2 7.6 9.1 8.1 +12
γA 3.7 1.5 0.1 0.0 −100
γB/C 6.3 8.8 2.6 6.1 −3
γD 8.5 7.8 5.1 6.0 −29
γE/F 14.1 9.8 4.2 2.6 −82
γS 4.8 6.3 5.4 4.3 −10
Fatty-acid–binding protein 1.3 1.1 0.9 0.8 −38
Figure 5.
 
Masses of phosphorylated α-crystallins appearing with maturation and increasing age in mouse lens. Deconvoluted mass spectra of phosphorylated αA (a) and phosphorylated αB (b). These proteins were isolated for mass analysis by elution from the soluble fraction of 2-DE gels. The calculated masses of alkylated nonphosphorylated αA- and αB-crystallins are 19,891.2 and 20,110.8, respectively. A single phosphorylation increased the mass of proteins by 80 units.
Figure 5.
 
Masses of phosphorylated α-crystallins appearing with maturation and increasing age in mouse lens. Deconvoluted mass spectra of phosphorylated αA (a) and phosphorylated αB (b). These proteins were isolated for mass analysis by elution from the soluble fraction of 2-DE gels. The calculated masses of alkylated nonphosphorylated αA- and αB-crystallins are 19,891.2 and 20,110.8, respectively. A single phosphorylation increased the mass of proteins by 80 units.
Figure 6.
 
Comparison of soluble lens protein profiles from two mouse strains by 2-DE. (a) A 10-week old FVB/N mouse strain used throughout this study and (b) a 12-week-old C57BL/6 strain. The profiles were very similar, except for altered migration of a γB orγ C-crystallin found in the C57BL/6 strain (filled arrow) that was largely absent in the FVB/N strain. Open arrow: normal position of γB- and γC-crystallins, which were decreased in abundance in the C57BL/6 strain.
Figure 6.
 
Comparison of soluble lens protein profiles from two mouse strains by 2-DE. (a) A 10-week old FVB/N mouse strain used throughout this study and (b) a 12-week-old C57BL/6 strain. The profiles were very similar, except for altered migration of a γB orγ C-crystallin found in the C57BL/6 strain (filled arrow) that was largely absent in the FVB/N strain. Open arrow: normal position of γB- and γC-crystallins, which were decreased in abundance in the C57BL/6 strain.
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Figure 1.
 
2-DE map showing the identities of the major soluble proteins in whole lenses of 1.5-week-old mice. Protein spots were detected and quantified within circled regions by 2-DE image analysis software and identified by MS/MS analysis of in-gel tryptic digests. Approximate molecular weight and pH range of the gel were determined by reference to molecular weight markers and calculated pIs of selected crystallins. Only the lower molecular weight region of the gel is shown, which contained all crystallin subunits and fatty-acid–binding protein. In all gels shown in the figures, staining was performed using Coomassie blue, and 400 μg of protein was applied.
Figure 1.
 
2-DE map showing the identities of the major soluble proteins in whole lenses of 1.5-week-old mice. Protein spots were detected and quantified within circled regions by 2-DE image analysis software and identified by MS/MS analysis of in-gel tryptic digests. Approximate molecular weight and pH range of the gel were determined by reference to molecular weight markers and calculated pIs of selected crystallins. Only the lower molecular weight region of the gel is shown, which contained all crystallin subunits and fatty-acid–binding protein. In all gels shown in the figures, staining was performed using Coomassie blue, and 400 μg of protein was applied.
Figure 2.
 
Changes in relative abundance of the major proteins of mouse lens during maturation. 2-DE gels of soluble proteins of (a) newborn, (b) 1.5-week-old, and (c) 6-week-old mouse lenses are shown. Protein spots undergoing changes in relative abundance during lens maturation are labeled. Unlabeled spots can be identified by reference to Figure 1 . The relative abundance of each protein spot was determined by image analysis, as shown in Table 2 . FABP, fatty-acid–binding protein.
Figure 2.
 
Changes in relative abundance of the major proteins of mouse lens during maturation. 2-DE gels of soluble proteins of (a) newborn, (b) 1.5-week-old, and (c) 6-week-old mouse lenses are shown. Protein spots undergoing changes in relative abundance during lens maturation are labeled. Unlabeled spots can be identified by reference to Figure 1 . The relative abundance of each protein spot was determined by image analysis, as shown in Table 2 . FABP, fatty-acid–binding protein.
Figure 3.
 
Accumulation of modified crystallins in mouse lenses during aging. Lens proteins from 6-, 10-, 31-, and 51-week-old mice were separated into (a) soluble and (b) insoluble fractions and analyzed by 2-DE. The appearance of modified crystallins with age can be followed by reference to the identities of unmodified crystallins indicated in the 2-DE gels of proteins from 6-week-old lens. Age-induced changes in the abundance of unmodified crystallins was determined by image analysis as shown in Table 4 . The identities of the major modified crystallin subunits appearing with age are shown in Figure 4 .
Figure 3.
 
Accumulation of modified crystallins in mouse lenses during aging. Lens proteins from 6-, 10-, 31-, and 51-week-old mice were separated into (a) soluble and (b) insoluble fractions and analyzed by 2-DE. The appearance of modified crystallins with age can be followed by reference to the identities of unmodified crystallins indicated in the 2-DE gels of proteins from 6-week-old lens. Age-induced changes in the abundance of unmodified crystallins was determined by image analysis as shown in Table 4 . The identities of the major modified crystallin subunits appearing with age are shown in Figure 4 .
Figure 4.
 
Identification of modified crystallins appearing with age in mouse lens. 2-DE gels of soluble (a) and insoluble protein (b) from lenses of 51-week-old mice, as shown in Figure 3 , are enlarged so that labels on protein spots can be seen. The major modified crystallin species appearing with age are numbered, and identities are indicated by reference to Table 3 . The position of unmodified crystallin subunits (underscored labels) are circled in the soluble fraction (a) and marked (+) in the insoluble fraction (b). Note that whereas many modified crystallins appear in both soluble and insoluble fractions, for clarity they are labeled with a number only in the fraction where they are most abundant.
Figure 4.
 
Identification of modified crystallins appearing with age in mouse lens. 2-DE gels of soluble (a) and insoluble protein (b) from lenses of 51-week-old mice, as shown in Figure 3 , are enlarged so that labels on protein spots can be seen. The major modified crystallin species appearing with age are numbered, and identities are indicated by reference to Table 3 . The position of unmodified crystallin subunits (underscored labels) are circled in the soluble fraction (a) and marked (+) in the insoluble fraction (b). Note that whereas many modified crystallins appear in both soluble and insoluble fractions, for clarity they are labeled with a number only in the fraction where they are most abundant.
Figure 5.
 
Masses of phosphorylated α-crystallins appearing with maturation and increasing age in mouse lens. Deconvoluted mass spectra of phosphorylated αA (a) and phosphorylated αB (b). These proteins were isolated for mass analysis by elution from the soluble fraction of 2-DE gels. The calculated masses of alkylated nonphosphorylated αA- and αB-crystallins are 19,891.2 and 20,110.8, respectively. A single phosphorylation increased the mass of proteins by 80 units.
Figure 5.
 
Masses of phosphorylated α-crystallins appearing with maturation and increasing age in mouse lens. Deconvoluted mass spectra of phosphorylated αA (a) and phosphorylated αB (b). These proteins were isolated for mass analysis by elution from the soluble fraction of 2-DE gels. The calculated masses of alkylated nonphosphorylated αA- and αB-crystallins are 19,891.2 and 20,110.8, respectively. A single phosphorylation increased the mass of proteins by 80 units.
Figure 6.
 
Comparison of soluble lens protein profiles from two mouse strains by 2-DE. (a) A 10-week old FVB/N mouse strain used throughout this study and (b) a 12-week-old C57BL/6 strain. The profiles were very similar, except for altered migration of a γB orγ C-crystallin found in the C57BL/6 strain (filled arrow) that was largely absent in the FVB/N strain. Open arrow: normal position of γB- and γC-crystallins, which were decreased in abundance in the C57BL/6 strain.
Figure 6.
 
Comparison of soluble lens protein profiles from two mouse strains by 2-DE. (a) A 10-week old FVB/N mouse strain used throughout this study and (b) a 12-week-old C57BL/6 strain. The profiles were very similar, except for altered migration of a γB orγ C-crystallin found in the C57BL/6 strain (filled arrow) that was largely absent in the FVB/N strain. Open arrow: normal position of γB- and γC-crystallins, which were decreased in abundance in the C57BL/6 strain.
Table 1.
 
Mouse Lens Crystallin Theoretical and Measured Mass
Table 1.
 
Mouse Lens Crystallin Theoretical and Measured Mass
Crystallin Accession No.* Theoretical Mass, † Measured Mass Difference
αA P02490 19,834.1 19,835.9 +1.8
αAinsert P24622 22,531.3 22,533.6 +2.3
αB P23927 20,110.8 20,112.0 +1.2
βA1 P02525 23,586.2, ‡ 23,587.0, § +0.8
βA2 CAB75585 22,147.4 22,148.6 +1.2
βA3, ∥ CAB52418 25,248.2 25,249.2 +1.0
βA4 CAB75586 22,379.6 22,379.8 +0.2
βB1 AAD42048 27,913.3 27,914.5 +1.2
βB2 P26775 23,291.8 23,294.0 +2.2
βB3 CAB75587 24,201.9 24,205.0 +3.1
γA P04345 21,017.6 21,019.8 +2.2
γB P04344 21,007.6 21,009.8 +2.2
γC Q61597 20,785.4 20,787.4 +2.0
γD P04342 20,877.3 20,958.5, ¶ +81.2
γE P26999 21,093.5 21,096.2 +2.7
γF Q03740 21,132.6, #
γS AAC53579 20,761.2 20,762.6 +1.4
Table 2.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Mouse Crystallin Subunits during Lens Maturation
Table 2.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Mouse Crystallin Subunits during Lens Maturation
Crystallin* Newborn† 1.5 wk, † 4 wk, † 6 wk, † % Change, ‡
βB1 8.5 6.1 4.0 4.4 −48
βB2 0.2 5.0 9.8 10.3 +5100
βB3 8.2 5.8 3.5 3.9 −52
βA1 2.2 1.4 2.2 1.7 −23
βA2 1.6 1.2 1.9 1.4 −12
βA3 4.1 5.4 4.1 4.3 +5
βA4 1.6 2.9 2.4 2.3 +44
αAinsert 2.8 1.5 2.1 1.4 −50
αA 14.0 12.2 11.7 12.9 −8
αB 3.8 6.1 7.5 7.2 +89
γA 7.7 8.6 2.8 3.7 −52
γB/C 4.0 7.1 8.2 6.3 +57
γD 7.5 8.7 9.0 8.5 +13
γE/F 15.8 16.3 12.7 14.1 −11
γS 0.8 3.2 5.4 4.8 +500
Fatty-acid–binding protein 0.1 1.2 1.5 1.3 +1200
Table 3.
 
Identification of Modified Crystallins in 51-week-old Mouse Lens
Table 3.
 
Identification of Modified Crystallins in 51-week-old Mouse Lens
Spot No. Crystallin Soluble* Insoluble* Confirmed Modification, † pI, ‡
1 αA +++ + Phosphorylated (see figure 5a) 5.23
2 αA + +++ −5 Amino acids, C terminus 5.52
3 αA + ++ −22 Amino acids, C terminus 5.28
4 αA + 5.02
5 αA + 5.25
6 αA + + 5.17
7 αA + ++ 5.31
8 αA + ++ 5.52
9 αA + + 5.54
10 αA + ++ 5.72
11 αB ++ Phosphorylated (see Figure 5b) 6.29
12 αB + 5.64
13 αB + ++ 5.86
14 αB + ++ 6.12
15 αB + 6.36
16 αB + 6.01
17 βA3 + 5.59
18 βA4 + + 5.41
19 βA4 + + 5.56
20 βB2 ++ + 6.17
21 βB1 ++ 5.44
22 βB1 ++ 5.72
23 βB1 + 6.01
24 βB1 ? + 6.51
25 βB2 ? ++ 6.54
26 βB2 + +++ −7 amino acids, N terminus 6.86
27 βB3 + −17 amino acids, N terminus 7.18
28 βB3 + 7.49
29 βB3 + 7.79
30 βB3 + 7.98
31 βA3 + ++ −11 amino acids, N terminus 6.40
32 βA3 + 6.15
33 βA3 ++ ++ −22 amino acids, N terminus 6.24
34 γE/F + ++ 6.88
35 γB/C + +++ 7.00
36 γD ? ++ 6.64
37 γA + 6.95
38 γB/C + + 7.18
Table 4.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Unmodified Mouse Crystallin Subunitsduring Lens Aging
Table 4.
 
Changes in Percentage Abundance of Unmodified Mouse Crystallin Subunitsduring Lens Aging
Crystallin 6 wk* 10 wk* 31 wk* 51 wk* % Change, †
βB1 4.4 2.0 1.2 0.3 −93
βB2 10.3 12.3 22.1 20.4 +98
βB3 3.9 1.6 0.5 0.2 −95
βA1 1.7 2.3 2.8 2.8 +65
βA2 1.4 1.7 2.0 2.2 +57
βA3 4.3 2.9 3.4 3.3 −23
βA4 2.3 2.0 1.7 2.0 −13
αAinsert 1.4 2.3 2.3 1.9 +36
αA 12.9 12.2 12.4 16.6 +29
αB 7.2 7.6 9.1 8.1 +12
γA 3.7 1.5 0.1 0.0 −100
γB/C 6.3 8.8 2.6 6.1 −3
γD 8.5 7.8 5.1 6.0 −29
γE/F 14.1 9.8 4.2 2.6 −82
γS 4.8 6.3 5.4 4.3 −10
Fatty-acid–binding protein 1.3 1.1 0.9 0.8 −38
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