Lactate Dehydrogenase A as a Highly Abundant Eye Lens Protein in Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus): Upsilon (upsilon)-Crystallin
Molecular biology and evolution
Vertebrate eye lenses mostly contain two abundant types of proteins, the a-crystallins and the b/c-crystallins. In addition, certain housekeeping enzymes are highly expressed as crystallins in various taxa. We now observed an unusual approximately 41-kd protein that makes up 16% to 18% of the total protein in the platypus eye lens. Its cDNA sequence was determined, which identified the protein as muscle-type lactate dehydrogenase A (LDH-A). It is the first observation of LDH-A as a crystallin,
... A as a crystallin, and we designate it upsilon (t)-crystallin. Interestingly, the related heart-type LDH-B occurs as an abundant lens protein, known as e-crystallin, in many birds and crocodiles. Thus, two members of the ldh gene family have independently been recruited as crystallins in different higher vertebrate lineages, suggesting that they are particularly suited for this purpose in terms of gene regulatory or protein structural properties. To establish whether platypus LDH-A/t-crystallin has been under different selective constraints as compared with other vertebrate LDH-A sequences, we reconstructed the vertebrate ldh-a gene phylogeny. No conspicuous rate deviations or amino acid replacements were observed.