Cross-linking of lens crystallins in a photodynamic system: a process mediated by singlet oxygen

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Science  13 Jun 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4449, pp. 1278-1280
DOI: 10.1126/science.7375939


In a dye-sensitized photooxidation system, lens crystallin polypeptides become cross-linked, and a blue fluorescence that is associated with the proteins is produced. These changes are similar to those seen in vivo in the aging human lens. Evidence implicating singlet oxygen as the causative agent of the effects in vitro is presented, and the possibility that this species may play a role in aging and cataractogenesis in vivo is discussed.