Crystallins: A heterogeneous family of water-soluble structural proteins found in cells of the vertebrate lens. The presence of these proteins accounts for the transparency of the lens. The family is composed of four major groups, alpha, beta, gamma, and delta, and several minor groups, which are classed on the basis of size, charge, immunological properties, and vertebrate source. Alpha, beta, and delta crystallins occur in avian and reptilian lenses, while alpha, beta, and gamma crystallins occur in all other lenses.alpha-Crystallins: A subclass of crystallins that provides the majority of refractive power and translucency to the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE) in VERTEBRATES. Alpha-crystallins also act as molecular chaperones that bind to denatured proteins, keep them in solution and thereby maintain the translucency of the lens. The proteins exist as large oligomers that are formed from ALPHA-CRYSTALLIN A CHAIN and ALPHA-CRYSTALLIN B CHAIN subunits.Lens, Crystalline: A transparent, biconvex structure of the EYE, enclosed in a capsule and situated behind the IRIS and in front of the vitreous humor (VITREOUS BODY). It is slightly overlapped at its margin by the ciliary processes. Adaptation by the CILIARY BODY is crucial for OCULAR ACCOMMODATION.beta-Crystallin B Chain: The basic subunit of beta-crystallins.beta-Crystallin A Chain: The acidic subunit of beta-crystallins.gamma-Crystallins: A subclass of crystallins that found in the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE) of VERTEBRATES. Gamma-crystallins are similar in structure to BETA-CRYSTALLINS in that they both form into a Greek key-like structure. They are composed of monomeric subunits.beta-Crystallins: A class of crystallins that provides refractive power and translucency to the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE) in VERTEBRATES. Beta-crystallins are similar in structure to GAMMA-CRYSTALLINS in that they both contain Greek key motifs. Beta-crystallins exist as oligomers formed from acidic (BETA-CRYSTALLIN A CHAIN) and basic (BETA-CRYSTALLIN B CHAIN) subunits.alpha-Crystallin A Chain: One of the subunits of alpha-crystallins. Unlike ALPHA-CRYSTALLIN B CHAIN the expression of ALPHA-CRYSTALLIN A CHAIN is limited primarily to the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE).alpha-Crystallin B Chain: One of the alpha crystallin subunits. In addition to being expressed in the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE), alpha-crystallin B chain has been found in a variety of tissues such as HEART; BRAIN; MUSCLE; and KIDNEY. Accumulation of the protein in the brain is associated with NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES such as CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME and ALEXANDER DISEASE.delta-Crystallins: A subclass of crystallins found in the lens (LENS, CRYSTALLINE) in BIRDS and REPTILES. They are inactive forms of the enzyme argininosuccinate lyase.Cataract: Partial or complete opacity on or in the lens or capsule of one or both eyes, impairing vision or causing blindness. The many kinds of cataract are classified by their morphology (size, shape, location) or etiology (cause and time of occurrence). (Dorland, 27th ed)Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.alpha 1-Antitrypsin: Plasma glycoprotein member of the serpin superfamily which inhibits TRYPSIN; NEUTROPHIL ELASTASE; and other PROTEOLYTIC ENZYMES.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Argininosuccinate Lyase: An enzyme of the urea cycle which splits argininosuccinate to fumarate plus arginine. Its absence leads to the metabolic disease ARGININOSUCCINIC ACIDURIA in man. EC 18.104.22.168.Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha: One of the two major pharmacological subdivisions of adrenergic receptors that were originally defined by the relative potencies of various adrenergic compounds. The alpha receptors were initially described as excitatory receptors that post-junctionally stimulate SMOOTH MUSCLE contraction. However, further analysis has revealed a more complex picture involving several alpha receptor subtypes and their involvement in feedback regulation.Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1, alpha subunit is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that is regulated by OXYGEN availability and is targeted for degradation by VHL TUMOR SUPPRESSOR PROTEIN.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-maf: Maf proto-oncogene protein is the major cellular homolog of the V-MAF ONCOGENE PROTEIN. It was the first of the mammalian MAF TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS identified, and it is induced in activated T-LYMPHOCYTES and regulates GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of INTERLEUKIN-4. c-maf is frequently translocated to an immunoglobulin locus in MULTIPLE MYELOMA.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Native Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis: Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under conditions in which the components, such as PROTEINS, being separated can remain in their naturally folded state.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: A member of the NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTOR subfamily of the LIGAND-GATED ION CHANNEL family. It consists entirely of pentameric a7 subunits expressed in the CNS, autonomic nervous system, vascular system, lymphocytes and spleen.Immunoglobulin Light Chains: Polypeptide chains, consisting of 211 to 217 amino acid residues and having a molecular weight of approximately 22 kDa. There are two major types of light chains, kappa and lambda. Two Ig light chains and two Ig heavy chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN HEAVY CHAINS) make one immunoglobulin molecule.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains: The largest of polypeptide chains comprising immunoglobulins. They contain 450 to 600 amino acid residues per chain, and have molecular weights of 51-72 kDa.