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J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Feb;132(2):315-23. doi: 10.1038/jid.2011.298. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

N(ɛ)-(carboxymethyl)lysine modification of elastin alters its biological properties: implications for the accumulation of abnormal elastic fibers in actinic elastosis.

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Department of Dermatology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka-Sayama, Osaka, Japan.


Accumulation of degenerated elastic fibers in the sun-exposed skin designated as actinic elastosis is a histological hallmark of photodamaged skin. Previous studies have indicated that the elastic fibers of actinic elastosis interact with lysozyme and are modified by N(ɛ)-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), one of the major advanced glycation end products (AGEs). We studied here how CML modification of elastin is involved in the pathogenesis of actinic elastosis. The CML-modified insoluble elastin became resistant to neutrophil elastase digestion, which was reversed by treatment with aminoguanidine, a potent inhibitor of AGE formation. In a temperature-dependent aggregation assay, CML-modified elastin rapidly formed self-aggregates, the size of which was larger than unmodified elastin. The elastic fiber sheets prepared from CML-modified α-elastin showed 3D wider diameter, tortuous appearance, and decreased elasticity on tensile tests. The CML-modified α-elastin, but not unmodified α-elastin, was found to bind to lysozyme in vitro, supporting the immunohistochemical findings that the antibodies for lysozyme and CML reacted simultaneously with the elastic fibers of actinic elastosis and UV-irradiated skin. The glycated elastin is likely to cause the accumulation of abnormally aggregated elastic fibers and unusual interaction with lysozyme in actinic elastosis.

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