What is it about?

The lens is a transparent, biconvex anatomical structure of the eyes responsible for light transmission and fine focusing on the retina. It is fundamentally constituted by water-soluble proteins called crystallins which are responsible for lens transparency due to their stable and highly organized disposition in the lens fiber cells. Some conformational changes and the subsequent aggregation of crystallins lead to loss of transparency in the lens and are the beginning of cataracts, which is the most frequent cause of reversible blindness in the world. Ultraviolet radiation is considered one of the risk factors for cataract development. The lens is exposed to radiation between 295 and 400 nm. This UV radiation may induce several processes that destroy the crystallins; the most significant is the oxidative stress due to increased free radicals formation. The oxidative stress is directly involved in modifications of the crystallin proteins leading to the formation of high molecular weight aggregates and then the subsequent opacification of the lens, known as cataracts.

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Why is it important?

The present writing is a review aimed at summarizing the chemical changes in lens and crystallin proteins induced by ultraviolet radiation and their role in the development of cataracts. Ultraviolet radiation is considered one of the risk factors in cataract formation, and the lens is continuously exposed to this radiation. When ultraviolet radiation affects the lens, a series of events occur, including photoionization and the formation of free radicals, which cause damage and induce the formation of high molecular weight aggregates that result in the loss of lens transparency.


Writing this review was a great pleasure since it allowed me to investigate more about the subject related to the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation in the proteins of the lens.

Yissell Borges
Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effect of the Ultraviolet Radiation on the Lens, Current Protein and Peptide Science, March 2023, Bentham Science Publishers, DOI: 10.2174/1389203724666230106161436.
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