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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2002 Jan;66(1):36-43.

Effect of carnosine and related compounds on the inactivation of human Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase by modification of fructose and glycolaldehyde.

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  • 1Department of Bioresources Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University, Nankoku, Japan.


Glycolaldehyde, an intermediate of the Maillard reaction, and fructose, which is mainly derived from the polyol pathway, rapidly inactivate human Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) at the physiological concentration. We employed this inactivation with these carbonyl compounds as a model glycation reaction to investigate whether carnosine and its related compounds could protect the enzyme from inactivation. Of eight derivatives examined, histidine, Gly-His, carnosine and Ala-His inhibited the inactivation of the enzyme by fructose (p<0.001), and Gly-His, Ala-His, anserine, carnosine, and homocarnosine exhibited a marked protective effect against the inactivation by glycolaldehyde (p<0.001). The carnosine-related compounds that showed this highly protective effect against the inactivation by glycolaldehyde had high reactivity with glycolaldehyde and high scavenging activity toward the hydroxyl radical as common properties. On the other hand, the carnosine-related compounds that had a protective effect against the inactivation by fructose showed significant hydroxyl radical-scavenging ability. These results indicate that carnosine and such related compounds as Gly-His and Ala-His are effective anti-glycating agents for human Cu,Zn-SOD and that the effectiveness is based not only on high reactivity with carbonyl compounds but also on hydroxyl radical scavenging activity.

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