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J Biol Chem. 1989 Mar 5;264(7):3674-9.

Nonenzymatic glycation of bovine serum albumin by fructose (fructation). Comparison with the Maillard reaction initiated by glucose.

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Milton and Miriam Petrie Arthritis Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York 10029.


Nonenzymatic glycation by glucose (glucation) was compared with glycation by fructose (fructation). The rate and extent of protein-bound fluorescence generation upon fructation was about 10 times that upon glucation. In contrast, nonenzymatically glucated bovine serum albumin (BSA) released about twice as much formaldehyde upon periodate oxidation as did nonenzymatically fructated BSA. However, the rate of blocking of amino groups was similar in both proteins. Periodate oxidation of borohydride-reduced glycated BSA led to regeneration of amino groups with preservation of fluorescence. From the ratio between the decrease in formaldehyde-releasing ability and the regenerated amino groups, formaldehyde molar yields of 0.47 and 0.8 were computed for fructose- and glucose-derived Amadori groups, respectively. This is consistent with participation of both carbon 1 and carbon 3 in the Amadori rearrangement from fructose. The formaldehyde releasing ability of nonenzymatically fructated BSA attains asymptotic maximum values earlier than that of nonenzymatically glucated BSA. Thus, the higher rate of fluorescence generation in nonenzymatically fructated BSA could be explained by a faster conversion of its Amadori groups. Since fluorescence generation through the Maillard reaction has been correlated with long term complications of diabetes mellitus, the participation of nonenzymatic fructation in this pathological state deserves further exploration. This is especially relevant in tissues where fructose levels increase in diabetes as a result of the operation of the sorbitol pathway.

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