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R Garadi, A R Foltyn, F J Giblin, V N Reddy; Protein synthesis in x-irradiated rabbit lens.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1984;25(2):147-152.
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The present study deals with the incorporation of 35S methionine into lens crystallins as a function of time after x-irradiation. Crystallin synthesis is first affected approximately 4 weeks following x-irradiation. This coincides with the time period at which the ratio of the two cations in the lens is affected, as shown in earlier studies. A greater decrease in 35S-methionine incorporation into crystallins is observed between 5-7 weeks following x-irradiation in good agreement with a cation imbalance at these time intervals. These studies also revealed for the first time that the change in cation distribution can affect not only crystallin synthesis, but also the synthesis of certain polypeptides of lens membranes. No alteration in protein synthesis could be detected in lens epithelium even after 7 weeks following irradiation. In addition to the effect of Na+ and K+ levels on protein synthesis, an impaired transport of amino acids into the x-rayed lens was also found to be a factor in the observed reduction in synthesis of the crystallin, cytoskeletal and membrane proteins of the fiber cells. It is concluded that Na+/K+ ratio as well as the availability of amino acids in the lens are important factors in protein synthesis of x-ray cataracts.
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