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Exp Eye Res. 2009 Aug;89(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2009.03.021. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Modifications to the basement membrane protein laminin using glycolaldehyde and A2E: a model for aging in Bruch's membrane.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA.


In a variety of retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD); basement membranes are susceptible to alterations in structure and function. Chemical modifications to basement membrane proteins may deleteriously affect Bruch's membrane leading to the development of AMD. The purpose of this study was to investigate modifications from glycolaldehyde and A2E, which are present in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), on the membrane like protein fragment, laminin, as a model for aging of Bruch's membrane in age related eye diseases. Laminin was allowed to react with either glycolaldehyde or A2E during irradiation of A2E and then tryptically digested before analysis with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Modifications to laminin occurred preferentially on lysine or arginine residues. The A2E modified laminin fragments are consistent with additions of A2E derived aldehydes resulting from cleavages closest to the pyridinium ring in A2E and oxidized A2E. These results provide evidence that A2E and advanced glycation endproducts (AGE) may be involved in modifications to essential basement membrane proteins leading to deleterious changes in the retinal pigment epithelium extracellular matrix (RPE-ECM) environment. These preliminary experiments are essential for the identification of these modifications in vivo.

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