ABSTRACT Synucleins belong to a family of small soluble proteins with chaperonic activity implicated in human diseases, but their normal function is not completely understood. Expression of ?, ? and ?-synucleins was analyzed in rat and human lens on different stages of development. No significant expression of ?- and ?-synucleins were found, whereas ?-synuclein was expressed in both species only on early stages of lens development. Examination of ?-synuclein upstream region demonstrated the similarity in its organization with promoter regions of crystallins and heat shock protein’s genes. ?-Synuclein upstream region contains motives identical or similar to regulatory cis-elements in their promoters including binding sites for Pax6 and Sox. These results suggest that ?-synuclein plays a role in distinct temporal events in lens development, presumably acting as a specific chaperone.
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