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Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2012 Oct 29;66:804-9. doi: 10.5604/17322693.1016359.

[Glycation of extracellular matrix proteins and its role in atherosclerosis].

[Article in Polish]

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Katedra i Zakład Biochemii Lekarskiej, Uniwersytet Medyczny we Wrocławiu, ul. Chałubińskiego 10, 50-368 Wrocław, Poland.


Glycation consists in formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGE) during non-enzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and proteins, lipids or nucleic acids. This review is focused mainly on glycation of collagen and its role in acceleration of vascular disease. Collagen is an extracellular matrix protein characterized by unique structure forming fibrils with great anti-tensile and anti-breaking strength. The protein builds the connective tissue and is responsible for biomechanical properties of blood vessels. It is reported that higher content of glycated collagen correlates with lower elasticity and greater toughness of the vessel walls and, as a consequence, a faster rate of atherosclerosis development. Numerous mechanisms connected with AGE formation are involved in atherogenesis, among others: receptor-mediated production of free radicals, triggering an inflammatory process, activation of leukocytes and thrombocytes, facilitation of LDL binding, change in level of growth factors, adhesion molecules, MMP and some other proteins' expression. The coverages allow the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent or slow down the pathological processes connected with glycation of collagen and other proteins in the artery wall. The main strategies are based on limitation of exogenous AGE, consumption of products which contain rutin, treatment with drugs which inhibit AGE formation, such as pyridoxamine, and chemicals which are able to cleave already formed AGE protein-protein crosslinks, such as ALT-711.

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