Send to

Choose Destination
Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Nov 1;31(9):1075-83.

Actin carbonylation: from a simple marker of protein oxidation to relevant signs of severe functional impairment.

Author information

Department of Biology, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Cytoskeleton, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.


The number of protein-bound carbonyl groups is an established marker of protein oxidation. Recent evidence indicates a significant increase in actin carbonyl content in both Alzheimer's disease brains and ischemic hearts. The enhancement of actin carbonylation, causing the disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and the loss of the barrier function, has also been found in human colonic cells after exposure to hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Here, the effects of oxidation induced by HOCl on purified actin are presented. Results show that HOCl causes a rapidly increasing yield of carbonyl groups. However, when carbonylation becomes evident, some Cys and Met residues have been already oxidized. Covalent intermolecular cross-linking as well as some noncovalent aggregation of carbonylated actin have been found. The covalent cross-linking, unaffected by reducing and denaturing agents, parallels an increase in dityrosine fluorescence. Moreover, HOCl-mediated oxidation induces the progressive disruption of actin filaments and the inhibition of F-actin formation. The molar ratios of HOCl to actin that lead to inhibition of actin polymerization seem to have effect only on cysteines and methionines. The process that involves oxidation of amino acid side chains with formation of a carbonyl group would occur at an extent of oxidative insult higher than that causing the oxidation of some critical amino acid residues. Therefore, the increase in actin content of carbonyl groups found in vivo would indicate drastic oxidative modification leading to drastic functional impairments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center