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T Fein, A Pande, A Spector; Further investigation of the role of calcium in human lens protein aggregation.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1979;18(7):761-765.
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High-molecular-weight (HMW) protein from human cataractous lenses, isolated by differential centrifugation, was deaggregated in 7M urea and then reaggregated in either the presence or absence of 10 mM CaCl2. Over 90% of the material reaggregated in the presence of calcium appears to have a size greater than 50 X 10(6) daltons. By contrast, only 20% to 25% of the material reaggregated in the absence of calcium has molecular weight greater than 50 X 10(6) daltons. Disulfide formation during reaggregation is unlikely in the latter experiment, since the addition of 50 mM mercaptoethanol caused no change in results. About 60% to 70% of the low-molecular-weight (LMW) protein fraction deaggregated in 7M urea buffer can be converted to HMW species in the presence of 10 mM CaCl2, when the deaggregating agent is removed. However, only 5% to 10% of this protein is converted to HMW species if the deaggregation step is eliminated. Experiments with 45 Ca indicate that whereas calcium is necessary for the formation of the HMW aggregates, only one calcium per approximately 5 X 10(5) daltons remains bound in the reaggregated material. The data suggest that although calcium may be required to induce aggregation to HMW species, it is not required to stabilize such macromolecules. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the HMW species formed upon reaggregation of the dissociated HMW species with calcium indicates the presence of all the major polypeptide subunits of the original HMW species present in the lens; however, reaggregation in the absence of calcium yields HMW species lacking in the 9600 dalton component.
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