Lens crystallins: gene recruitment and evolutionary dynamism

Trends Biochem Sci. 1993 Aug;18(8):301-6. doi: 10.1016/0968-0004(93)90041-k.


In a novel evolutionary process, enzymes and stress proteins have undergone direct gene recruitment as eye lens crystallins in a number of independent events. This may have allowed a dynamic response to changing visual environment during evolution. In spite of their diversity, many crystallins may share an origin in essential developmental processes such as cell elongation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • Crystallins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lens, Crystalline / chemistry*
  • Lens, Crystalline / cytology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • TATA Box


  • Crystallins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins