Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.270, No.2, 349-355, 2000
High level of ferritin light chain mRNA in lens
Ferritin is of particular interest with regard to cataract because (i) cataract occurs in individuals with hereditary hyperferritinemia cataract syndrome (HHCS), a condition in which ferritin light chain (L-ferritin) protein is overexpressed systemically, and (ii) ferritin is an important regulator of oxidative stress, a primary factor in the etiology of aging-related cataract. From gene array analysis two novel observations were made with respect to ferritin gene expression: first, lenses from guinea pigs and humans have disproportionately high levels of L-ferritin mRNA relative to the amounts of ferritin protein present, and second, L-ferritin message increased markedly in lenses from guinea pigs with hereditary nuclear cataract. The human lens L-ferritin sequence was identical to previous data from human liver; the guinea pig sequence was 86% identical to the human sequence at the amino acid level. Despite mRNA levels similar to those of major lens crystallins, lens ferritin was undetectable by Western blot techniques. (C) Academic Press.