Search for conserved amino acid residues of the α-crystallin proteins of vertebrates

J Bioinform Comput Biol. 2016 Apr;14(2):1641004. doi: 10.1142/S0219720016410043. Epub 2016 Jan 28.


[Formula: see text]-crystallin is the major eye lens protein and a member of the small heat-shock protein (sHsp) family. [Formula: see text]-crystallins have been shown to support lens clarity by preventing the aggregation of lens proteins. We performed the bioinformatics analysis of [Formula: see text]-crystallin sequences from vertebrates to find conserved amino acid residues as the three-dimensional (3D) structure of [Formula: see text]-crystallin is not identified yet. We are the first who demonstrated that the N-terminal region is conservative along with the central domain for vertebrate organisms. We have found that there is correlation between the conserved and structured regions. Moreover, amyloidogenic regions also correspond to the structured regions. We analyzed the amino acid composition of [Formula: see text]-crystallin A and B chains. Analyzing the occurrence of each individual amino acid residue, we have found that such amino acid residues as leucine, serine, lysine, proline, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, glutamic acid, and valine change their content simultaneously in A and B chains in different classes of vertebrates. Aromatic amino acids occur more often in [Formula: see text]-crystallins from vertebrates than on the average in proteins among 17 animal proteomes. We obtained that the identity between A and B chains in the mammalian group is 0.35, which is lower than the published 0.60.

Keywords: Crystallin lens; Shannon entropy; amyloidogenic regions; chaperone activities; disordered regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Vertebrates*
  • alpha-Crystallins / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • alpha-Crystallins