The INDIVIDUALIST

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Abstracts

Carnosine, a protective, anti-ageing peptide?

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1998 Aug;30(8):863-8. Hipkiss AR.

  • Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) has protective functions additional to anti-oxidant and free-radical scavenging roles. It extends cultured human fibroblast life-span, kills transformed cells, protects cells against aldehydes and an amyloid peptide fragment and inhibits, in vitro, protein glycation (formation of cross-links, carbonyl groups and AGEs) and DNA/protein cross-linking. Carnosine is an aldehyde scavenger, a likely lipofuscin (age pigment) precursor and possible modulator of diabetic complications, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.
Carnosine reacts with a glycated protein

Free Radic Biol Med. 2000 May 15;28(10):1564-70. Brownson C, Hipkiss AR.

  • Oxidation and glycation induce formation of carbonyl (CO) groups in proteins, a characteristic of cellular aging. The dipeptide carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is often found in long-lived mammalian tissues at relatively high concentrations (up to 20 mM). Previous studies show that carnosine reacts with low-molecular-weight aldehydes and ketones. We examine here the ability of carnosine to react with ovalbumin CO groups generated by treatment of the protein with methylglyoxal (MG). Incubation of MG-treated protein with carnosine accelerated a slow decline in CO groups as measured by dinitrophenylhydrazine reactivity. Incubation of [(14)C]-carnosine with MG-treated ovalbumin resulted in a radiolabeled precipitate on addition of trichloroacetic acid (TCA); this was not observed with control, untreated protein. The presence of lysine or N-(alpha)-acetylglycyl-lysine methyl ester caused a decrease in the TCA-precipitable radiolabel. Carnosine also inhibited cross-linking of the MG-treated ovalbumin to lysine and normal, untreated alpha-crystallin. We conclude that carnosine can react with protein CO groups (termed "carnosinylation") and thereby modulate their deleterious interaction with other polypeptides. It is proposed that, should similar reactions occur intracellularly, then carnosine's known "anti-aging" actions might, at least partially, be explained by the dipeptide facilitating the inactivation/removal of deleterious proteins bearing carbonyl groups.
Glycation, ageing and carnosine: are carnivorous diets beneficial?

Mech Ageing Dev. 2005 Oct;126(10):1034-9.

Hipkiss AR.

  • Non-enzymic protein glycosylation (glycation) plays important roles in ageing and in diabetes and its secondary complications. Dietary constituents may play important roles in accelerating or suppressing glycation. It is suggested that carnivorous diets contain a potential anti-glycating agent, carnosine (beta-alanyl-histidine), whilst vegetarians may lack intake of the dipeptide. The possible beneficial effects of carnosine and related structures on protein carbonyl stress, AGE formation, secondary diabetic complications and age-related neuropathology are discussed.
Carnosine: a versatile antioxidant and antiglycating agent

Sci Aging Knowledge Environ. 2005 May 4;2005(18):pe12.

Reddy VP, Garrett MR, Perry G, Smith MA.

  • Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) has recently attracted much attention as a naturally occurring antioxidant and transition-metal ion sequestering agent. It has also been shown to act as an anti-glycating agent, inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Through its distinctive combination of antioxidant and antiglycating properties, carnosine is able to attenuate cellular oxidative stress and can inhibit the intracellular formation of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species. By controlling oxidative stress, suppressing glycation, and chelating metal ions, carnosine is able to reduce harmful sequelae such as DNA damage. AGEs are known contributors to the pathology of Alzheimer's disease, and carnosine therefore merits serious attention as a possible therapeutic agent
Carnosine protects against the inactivation of esterase induced by glycation and a steroid

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Jun 30;1741(1-2):120-6. Epub 2004

Yan H, Harding JJ.

  • Carnosine, an endogenous histidine-containing dipeptide, protects protein from oxidation and glycation, which may contribute to a potential treatment for some conformational diseases including cataract. Glycation, the non-enzymic reaction of sugars with proteins, promotes cross-linking and further aggregation. Prolonged use of glucocorticoids is a risk factor for cataract, as is diabetes. Esterase activity in the lens is decreased in senile cataract and diabetes. Previously, we reported that glycation and a steroid inactivate esterase. Here we tested the inactivation of esterase with fructose, fructose 6-phosphate (F6P) and ribose as model glycation reactions and prednisolone-21-hemisuccinate (P-21-H) as a model steroid and investigated the ability of carnosine to protect esterase against inactivation. The activity of esterase was measured by a spectrophotometric assay using p-nitrophenyl acetate as the substrate. The modified esterase was examined electrophoretically. The esterase was progressively inactivated by F6P, fructose, ribose and P-21-H. P-21-H was more effective than the sugars. Carnosine significantly inhibited the inactivation of esterase induced by all four compounds. Carnosine decreased the extent of the cross-linking. These results provide further evidence for carnosine's role as an anti-glycation compound. It is also proposed that carnosine may be an anti-steroid agent.

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