by Monika B. Dolinska, Paul T. Wingfield, Yuri V. Sergeev
ß-Crystallins are structural proteins maintaining eye lens transparency and opacification. Previous work demonstrated that dimerization of both ßA3 and ßB2 crystallins (ßA3 and ßB2) involves endothermic enthalpy of association (~8 kcal/mol) mediated by hydrophobic interactions. Methodology/Principal Findings
Thermodynamic profiles of the associations of dimeric ßA3 and ßB1 and tetrameric ßB1/ßA3 were measured using sedimentation equilibrium. The homo- and heteromolecular associations of ßB1 crystallin are dominated by exothermic enthalpy (-13.3 and -24.5 kcal/mol, respectively). Conclusions/Significance
Global thermodynamics of ßB1 interactions suggest a role in the formation of stable protein complexes in the lens via specific van der Waals contacts, hydrogen bonds and salt bridges whereas those ß-crystallins which associate by predominately hydrophobic forces participate in a weaker protein associations.