Lens Crystallins: The Evolution and Expression of Proteins for a Highly Specialized Tissue

Lens Crystallins: The Evolution and Expression of Proteins for a Highly Specialized Tissue PERSPECTIVES AND SUMMARY The evolutionary history of the vertebrate eye has long perplexed biologists. Darwin himself found it hard to conceive that such a complex and integrated structure could have arisen by natural selection. Not the least remarkable feature of the eye is the lens, a transparent, avascular tissue largely responscopyright covering this paper. IThe US Government has the right to retain a nonexclusive, royalty-free license in and to any WISTOW & PIATlGORSKY ible for delivering a clear image of the outside world to the photoreceptors of the retina. The lens grows throughout life. Anterior cuboidal epithelial cells are displaced toward the lens equator, divide, and elongate into terminally differ­ entiated fiber cells that lose their nuclei and other organelles, potential sources of light scattering. New layers of posterior fiber cells continually overlay their predecessQrs, so that the central part of the lens, known as the nucleus, is composed of cells of embryonic origin. There is little or no protein turnover in the differentiated fiber cells. This means that the proteins of the lens can be extremely old and may be exposed to bright light for decades. Although the lens contains familiar cytoskeletal and other proteins, its major http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Biochemistry Annual Reviews

Lens Crystallins: The Evolution and Expression of Proteins for a Highly Specialized Tissue

Annual Review of Biochemistry, Volume 57 (1) – Jul 1, 1988

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1988 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0066-4154
eISSN
1545-4509
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev.bi.57.070188.002403
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PERSPECTIVES AND SUMMARY The evolutionary history of the vertebrate eye has long perplexed biologists. Darwin himself found it hard to conceive that such a complex and integrated structure could have arisen by natural selection. Not the least remarkable feature of the eye is the lens, a transparent, avascular tissue largely responscopyright covering this paper. IThe US Government has the right to retain a nonexclusive, royalty-free license in and to any WISTOW & PIATlGORSKY ible for delivering a clear image of the outside world to the photoreceptors of the retina. The lens grows throughout life. Anterior cuboidal epithelial cells are displaced toward the lens equator, divide, and elongate into terminally differ­ entiated fiber cells that lose their nuclei and other organelles, potential sources of light scattering. New layers of posterior fiber cells continually overlay their predecessQrs, so that the central part of the lens, known as the nucleus, is composed of cells of embryonic origin. There is little or no protein turnover in the differentiated fiber cells. This means that the proteins of the lens can be extremely old and may be exposed to bright light for decades. Although the lens contains familiar cytoskeletal and other proteins, its major

Journal

Annual Review of BiochemistryAnnual Reviews

Published: Jul 1, 1988

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