, Volume 25, Issue 3-4, pp 275-281
Date: 29 Jul 2003

Maillard reaction products in tissue proteins: New products and new perspectives

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Summary.

 The chemical modification of protein by nonenzymatic browning or Maillard reactions increases with age and in disease. Maillard products are formed by reactions of both carbohydrate- and lipid-derived intermediates with proteins, leading to formation of advanced glycation and lipoxidation end-products (AGE/ALEs). These modifications and other oxidative modifications of amino acids increase together in proteins and are indicators of tissue aging and pathology. In this review, we describe the major pathways and characteristic products of chemical modification of proteins by carbohydrates and lipids during the Maillard reactions and identify major intersections between these pathways. We also describe a new class of intracellular sulfhydryl modifications, Cys-AGE/ALEs, that may play an important role in regulatory biology and represent a primitive link between nonenzymatic and enzymatic chemistry in biological systems.