Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Phosphorylation is the most common posttranslational modification of the alpha-crystallins in the human lens. These phosphorylated forms are not only important because of their abundance in aging lenses and the implications for cataract but also because they have been identified in patients with degenerative brain disease. By using mimics corresponding to the reported in vivo phosphorylation sites in the human lens, we have examined the effects of phosphorylation upon the chaperone-like properties and structure of alphaB-crystallin. Here we show that phosphorylation of alphaB-crystallin at Ser-45 results in uncontrolled aggregation. By using an innovative tandem mass spectrometry approach, we demonstrate how this alteration in behavior stems from disruption of dimeric substructure within the polydisperse alphaB-crystallin assembly. This structural perturbation appears to disturb the housekeeping role of alphaB-crystallin and consequently has important implications for the disease states caused by protein aggregation in the lens and deposition in non-lenticular tissue.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





28675 - 28680


Binding Sites, Brain, Circular Dichroism, Dimerization, Humans, Lens, Crystalline, Light, Mass Spectrometry, Models, Biological, Models, Molecular, Molecular Chaperones, Mutation, Phosphorylation, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Protein Conformation, Scattering, Radiation, Serine, Time Factors, Triticum, Ultraviolet Rays, alpha-Crystallin B Chain