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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2012 Feb 11;50(8):1373-8. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2011-0716.

Elevated levels of Nε-homocysteinyl-lysine isopeptide in patients on long-term hemodialysis.

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Avitum Poland, Hemodialysis Unit Miechow, Miechow, Poland.



Nε-homocysteinyl-lysine (Nε-Hcy-Lys), a product of proteolysis of Nε-homocysteinylated proteins, has been discovered recently. We sought to investigate the presence of Nε-Hcy-Lys in patients on long-term hemodialysis (HD) and its association with markers involved in atherosclerotic vascular disease.


We studied 86 patients on long-term (median, 45 months) HD and 95 apparently healthy controls. Nε-Hcy-Lys and total homocysteine (tHcy) were assayed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), folate, 8-isoprostaglandin F2α(8-iso-PGF2α), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), C-reactive protein (CRP), together with antibodies against Nε-homocysteinylated albumin and hemoglobin, were also measured.


Nε-Hcy-Lys was detected in 15 HD patients (17.4%). Those patients had 3.1-times lower PON1 (p<0.0001), 20% higher ADMA (p<0.0001), 30% higher PAI-1 (p<0.0001), 10% lower total cholesterol (p=0.001) and LDL-cholesterol (p<0.0001), together with 20% lower triglycerides (p<0.0001) compared with subjects without measurable Nε-Hcy-Lys. Nε-Hcy-Lys levels correlated with PON1 (r=-0.62, p<0.0001), ADMA (r=0.58, p<0.0001) and PAI-1 (r=0.59, p<0.0001). Folic acid supplementation, tHcy, folate, autoimmune response to Nε-Hcy-proteins, and oxidative stress were not associated with the presence of Nε-Hcy-Lys. PON1 is the only independent predictor of the presence of Nε-Hcy-Lys in HD patients. None of controls had measurable Nε-Hcy-Lys in serum.


The presence of Nε-Hcy-Lys in HD patients is relatively infrequent and associated with lipid profile, endothelial dysfunction and impaired fibrinolysis, regardless of tHcy and folate levels.

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