Similarity of the yellow chromophores isolated from human cataracts with those from ascorbic acid-modified calf lens proteins: Evidence for ascorbic acid glycation during cataract formation

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Abstract

Chromatographic evidence supporting the similarity of the yellow chromophores isolated from aged human and brunescent cataract lenses and calf lens proteins ascorbylated in vitro is presented. The water-insoluble fraction from early stage brunescent cataract lenses was solubilized by sonication (WISS) and digested with a battery of proteolytic enzymes under argon to prevent oxidation. Also, calf lens proteins were incubated with ascorbic acid for 4 weeks in air and submitted to the same digestion. The percent hydrolysis of the proteins to amino acids was approximately 90% in every case. The content of yellow chromophores was 90, 130 and 250 A330 units/g protein for normal human WISS, cataract WISS and ascorbate-modified bovine lens proteins respectively. Aliquots equivalent to 2.0 g of digested protein were subjected to size-exclusion chromatography on a Bio-Gel P-2 column. Six peaks were obtained for both preparations and pooled. Side by side thin-layer chromatography (TLC) of each peak showed very similar Rf values for the long wavelength-absorbing fluorophores. Glycation with [U-14C]ascorbic acid, followed by digestion and Bio-Gel P-2 chromatography, showed that the incorporated radioactivity co-eluted with the A330-absorbing peaks, and that most of the fluorescent bands were labeled after TLC. Peaks 2 and 3 from the P-2 were further fractionated by preparative Prodigy C-18 reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Two major A330-absorbing peaks were seen in peak 2 isolated from human cataract lenses and 5 peaks in fraction 3, all of which eluted at the same retention times as those from ascorbic acid glycated calf lens proteins. HPLC fractionation of P-2 peaks 4, 5 and 6 showed many A330-absorbing peaks from the cataract WISS, only some of which were identical to the asorbylated proteins. The major fluorophores, however, were present in both preparations. These data provide new evidence to support the hypothesis that the yellow chromophores in brunescent lenses represent advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) probably due to ascorbic acid glycation in vivo. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Cheng, R., Lin, B., Lee, K. W., & Ortwerth, B. J. (2001). Similarity of the yellow chromophores isolated from human cataracts with those from ascorbic acid-modified calf lens proteins: Evidence for ascorbic acid glycation during cataract formation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1537(1), 14–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0925-4439(01)00051-5

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