Molecular characteristics of methylglyoxal-modified bovine and human serum albumins. Comparison with glucose-derived advanced glycation endproduct-modified serum albumins

M E Westwood, P J Thornalley
Journal of Protein Chemistry 1995, 14 (5): 359-72
The amino acid modification, gel filtration chromatographic, and electrophoretic characteristics of bovine and human serum albumins irreversibly modified by methylglyoxal (MG-SA) and by glucose-derived advanced glycation endproducts (AGE-SA) were investigated. Methylglyoxal selectively modified arginine residues at low concentration (1 mM); at high methylglyoxal concentration (100 mM), the extent of arginine modification increased and lysine residues were also modified. Both arginine and lysine residues were modified in AGE-SA. Analytical gel filtration HPLC of serum albumin derivatives suggested that the proportion of dimers and oligomers increased with modification in both low and highly modified MG-SA and AGE-SA derivatives relative to unmodified serum albumins. In SDS-PAGE analysis, dimers and oligomers of low-modified MG-SA were dissociated into monomers, but not in highly modified MG-SA. MG-SA had increased anodic electrophoretic mobility under nondenaturing conditions at pH 8.6, indicating an increased net negative charge, which increased with extent of modification; highly modified MG-SA and AGE-SA had similar high electrophoretic mobilities. MG-SA derivatives were fluorescent: the fluorescence was characteristic of the arginine-derived imidazolone N delta-(5-methyl-4-imidazolon-2-yl)ornithine, but other fluorophores were also present. AGE-SA had similar fluorescence, attributed, in part, to glucose-derived imidazolones. AGE formed from glucose-modified proteins and AGE-like compounds formed from methylglyoxal-modified proteins may both be signals for recognition and degradation of senescent macromolecules.

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