Biochimica et biophysica acta

Carnosine protects against the inactivation of esterase induced by glycation and a steroid.

PMID 15955455


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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Prednisolone 21-hemisuccinate sodium salt, ≥90%, powder