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Indian J Biochem Biophys. 1990 Feb;27(1):13-7.

Effect of methylglyoxal on protein thiol and amino groups in isolated rat enterocytes and colonocytes and activity of various brush border enzymes.

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Wellcome Research Unit, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore.


The effect of methylglyoxal on protein -SH and -NH2 groups in cytosolic and membranous fractions of epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract of rat was investigated, using isolated villus and crypt cells (enterocytes) and colonocytes. It was found that 11-12% cytosolic protein -SH and 14-17% membrane protein -SH groups were lost when villus and crypt cells were treated with 2 mM methylglyoxal. In colonocytes, the corresponding loss in protein -SH groups was 46 and 30% under the same treatment. Similarly, 27-37% protein -NH2 group in the cytosolic fraction and 18-19% protein -NH2 group in membranous fractions of the enterocytes were lost by 2 mM methylglyoxal treatment. In colonocytes, the loss of protein -NH2 group was 30 and 15% in cytosolic and membranous fractions, respectively, under the same treatment. Effect of methylglyoxal on activity of various brush border enzymes such as alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, leucine aminopeptidase, Mg2(+)-ATPase, sucrase and lactase was also studied. Alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase activities were inhibited to the extent of 30 and 15% respectively. There was no significant change in the activities of other enzymes after treating the brush border vesicles with 2 mM methylglyoxal. These findings show that methylglyoxal can cause loss of protein thiol and amino groups and enzyme activity in mucosal cells of rat gastrointestinal tract and the effect is more pronounced in colonocytes, which are in constant contact with bacterial metabolites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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