Cataract-causing mutation R233H affects the stabilities of βB1- and βA3/βB1-crystallins with different pH-dependence

Yi-Bo Xi, Wei-Jie Zhao, Xiao-Tong Zuo, Harry Christianto Tjondro, Jing Li, An-Bang Dai, Sha Wang, Yong-Bin Yan

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Disease-causing mutations can be stabilizing or destabilizing. Missense mutations of structural residues are generally destabilizing, while stabilizing mutations are usually linked to alterations in protein functions. Stabilizing mutations are rarely identified in mutations linked to congenital cataract, a disease caused by the opacification of the lens. In this research, we found that R233H mutation had little impact on βB1-crystallin structure, solubility and thermal stability under neutral solution pH conditions. The mutation increased βB1 stability against guanidine hydrochloride-induced denaturation, suggesting that Arg233 might be a functional residue. Further analysis indicated that the R233H mutation did not affect the formation of βA3/βB1 heteromer, but significantly reduced heteromer stability against heat- and guanidine hydrochloride-induced denaturation. The R233H mutation negatively affected the thermal stabilities and aggregatory propensities of βB1 and βA3/βB1 with different pH-dependence, implying that the protonation of His side chains during acidification played a regulatory role in crystallin stability and aggregation. Molecular dynamic simulations indicated that Arg233 is one of the residues forming an inter-subunit ion-pairing network with intrinsically dynamic nature. Based on these observations, we proposed that the highly dynamic ion-pairing network contributed to the tradeoff among βB1 solubility, stability, aggregatory propensity and function of protecting βA3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2216-2229
Number of pages14
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • β-Crystallin
  • cataract-causing mutation
  • molecular dynamic simulation
  • ion-paring network
  • protein aggregation
  • stabilizing mutation


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