Cysteinylation and homocysteinylation of plasma protein thiols during ageing of healthy human beings.
ABSTRACT The purpose of the present study was to determine the relative amount of S-thiolated proteins (i.e. S-homocysteinylated, S-cysteinylglycinylated, S-glutathionylated and S-cysteinylated proteins) to the total protein thiols (i.e. the sum of reduced protein sulphydryl groups (PSHs) and protein mixed disulphides with homocysteine [HcySH], cysteinylglycine, cysteine [CysSH] and glutathione) in the plasma of healthy individuals aged 20 to 93. After plasma separation, total protein thiols, S-thiolated proteins, as well as CysSH, cystine, HcySH and homocystine were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence determination of the thiol-monobromobimane conjugate. Determination of plasma levels of protein thiols was performed by spectrophotometry with 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid) as a titrating agent. The present study demonstrates an age-dependent reduction in the amount of PSHs, and an age-dependent increase in cysteinylated and homocysteinylated plasma proteins in healthy human beings. This indicates that the efficiency of the reduced protein thiol pool as an antioxidant defence system decreases with age, possibly causing an increased risk of irreversible oxidation (i.e. further oxidation to sulphinic and sulphonic acids, which are usually not reducible by thiol reducing agents) of sulphydryl groups of plasma proteins. The drop in the plasma level of protein sulphydryl groups suggests depletion and/or impairment of the antioxidant capacity of plasma, likely related to an alteration of the delicate balance between the different redox forms of thiols.
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ABSTRACT: Different studies reported the presence of oxidized (carbonylated) albumin in the extravascular pool, but not in the intravascular one of cigarette smokers. In this study we attempted to explain this apparent discrepancy exposing human serum albumin (HSA) to aqueous cigarette smoke extract (CSE). CSE induces HSA carbonylation and oxidation of the HSA Cys34 sulfhydryl group. An antioxidant action of glutathione, cysteine, and its synthetic derivative N-acetylcysteine was observed only at supra-physiological concentrations, suggesting that physiological (plasma) concentrations of glutathione and cysteine in the low micromolar range are ineffective in preventing cigarette smoke-induced oxidation of HSA. Differently, human erythrocytes resulted to be protective towards CSE-induced oxidation (carbonylation and thiol oxidation) of both HSA and total human plasma proteins.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29930. · 4.09 Impact Factor