May contribute to the transparency and refractive index of the lens.
Defects in CRYAA are a cause of cataract autosomal dominant (ADC) [MIM:604219]. Cataract is an opacification of the crystalline lens of the eye that frequently results in visual impairment or blindness. Opacities vary in morphology, are often confined to a portion of the lens, and may be static or progressive. In general, the more posteriorly located and dense an opacity, the greater the impact on visual function. Cataract is the most common treatable cause of visual disability in childhood.
Belongs to the small heat shock protein (HSP20) family.
O-glycosylated; contains N-acetylglucosamine side chains. Deamidation of Asn-101 in lens occurs mostly during the first 30 years of age, followed by a small additional amount of deamidation (approximately 5%) during the next approximately 38 years, resulting in a maximum of approximately 50% deamidation during the lifetime of the individual. Phosphorylation on Ser-122 seems to be developmentally regulated. Absent in the first months of life, it appears during the first 12 years of human lifetime. The relative amount of phosphorylated form versus unphosphorylated form does not change over the lifetime of the individual.
Cytoplasm. Nucleus. Translocates to the nucleus during heat shock and resides in sub-nuclear structures known as SC35 speckles or nuclear splicing speckles.