Loss of cytoskeletal proteins and lens cell opacification in the selenite cataract model

Hiroyuki Matsushima, Larry L. David, Toshihiko Hiraoka, John I. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


This study of lens protein composition found that some cytoskeletal proteins were degraded during the earliest stages of cataract formation. Cataract was induced in 13-14 day old rats by a single subcutaneous injection of sodium selenite (19 μmol kg-1). By 24 hr after the injection of selenite, the ratio of insoluble to soluble protein increased as lens opacification began. The increase in insoluble protein aggregates was correlated with an accelerated loss of proteins having molecular weights of 42, 55/57 and 235 kDa which reacted with antibodies to the cytoskeletal proteins actin, tubulin/vimentin and spectrin, respectively. We observed the loss of 49, 60 and 90 kDa proteins which were not identified. In the lenses of animals protected from protein aggregation and opacification by administration of 1.5 mmol kg-1 pantethine, the pattern of proteins in SDS-PAGE gels resembled the pattern for proteins from transparent lenses of normal untreated animals and loss of cytoskeletal proteins was prevented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997


  • Cataract
  • Cytoskeletal proteins
  • Lens
  • Opacification
  • Panthetine
  • Proteins
  • Selenite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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