Human lens chemistry - UV filters and cataract

Jasminka Mizdrak, Peter G. Hains, Roger J. W. Truscott, Michael J. Davies, Joanne F. Jamie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


The primate lens contains fluorescent tryptophan derived compounds known as UV filters. These absorb UV light and protect the lens from UV induced photo-damage. The major UV filters are 3-hydroxykynurenine O-Beta-D-glucoside, 4-(2-amino-3-hydroxyphenyl)-4-oxobutanoic acid O-Beta-D-glucoside, kynurenine and 3-hydroxykynurenine. As the lens ages, a broad spectrum of molecular and biochemical changes occurs. We have shown that the UV filter compounds at physiological pH undergo spontaneous deamination, and bind to lens proteins and lens nucleophiles.(1,2) We have also demonstrated that kynurenine bound to lens proteins become highly susceptible to photo-oxidation in the presence of UV light and generates protein damage.(3) A greater understanding of the UV protective and photosensitising mechanisms of known human lens UV filters, and determination of as yet unidentified UV filters, is therefore required. The identification, synthesis and properties of human lens UV filters will be discussed. 1) Vazquez S., et al., J. Biol. Chem., 277, 4867-4873 (2002) 2) Hood B.D., et al., J. Biol. Chem., 274, 32547-32550 (1999) 3) Parker N.R., et al., Free Radical Biol. & Med., 37, 1479-1489 (2004)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication1st European chemistry congress
Subtitle of host publicationabstract book
Place of PublicationHungary
PublisherEuropean Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9639319619
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventEuropean Chemistry Congress (1st : 2006) - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 27 Aug 200631 Aug 2006


ConferenceEuropean Chemistry Congress (1st : 2006)
CityBudapest, Hungary


  • UV filter
  • cataract
  • human lens

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