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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Oct 14;264(1):207-11.

Conversion of lysine to N(epsilon)-(carboxymethyl)lysine increases susceptibility of proteins to metal-catalyzed oxidation.

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892-0320, USA.


Metal-catalyzed oxidation (MCO) of proteins leads to the conversion of some amino acid residues to carbonyl derivatives, and may result in loss of protein function. It is well documented that reactions with oxidation products of sugars, lipids, and amino acids can lead to the conversion of some lysine residues of proteins to N(epsilon)-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) derivatives, and that this increases their metal binding capacity. Because post-translational modifications that enhance their metal binding capacity should also increase their susceptibility to MCO, we have investigated the effect of lysine carboxymethylation on the oxidation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) by the Fe(3+)/ascorbate system. Introduction of approximately 10 or more mol CML/mol BSA led to increased formation of carbonyls and of the specific oxidation products glutamic and adipic semialdehydes. These results support the view that the generation of CML derivatives on proteins may contribute to the oxidative damage that is associated with aging and a number of age-related diseases.

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