τ-Crystallin is a taxon-specific structural protein found in eye lenses. We present here the cloning and sequencing of complete τ-crystallin cDNA from the embryonic lens ofCrocodylus palustris and establish it to be identical to the α-enolase gene from non-lenticular tissues. Quantitatively, the τ-crystallin was found to be the least abundant crystallin of the crocodilian embryonic lenses. Crocodile τ-crystallin cDNA was isolated by RT-PCR using primers designed from the only other reported sequence from duck and completed by 5′- and 3′-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) using crocodile gene specific primers designed in the study. The complete τ-crystallin cDNA of crocodile comprises 1305 bp long ORF and 92 and 409 bp long untranslated 5′- and 3′-ends respectively. Further, it was found to be identical to its putative counterpart enzyme α-enolase, from brain, heart and gonad, suggesting both to be the product of the same gene. The study thus provides the first report on cDNA sequence of τ-crystallin from a reptilian species and also re-confirms it to be an example of the phenomenon of gene sharing as was demonstrated earlier in the case of peking duck. Moreover, the gene lineage reconstruction analysis helps our understanding of the evolution of crocodilians and avian species.
Volume 48, 2023
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