Carnosine Prevents Different Structural Damages Induced by Methylglyoxal in Lens Crystallins.
The elevated lenticular level of methylglyoxal (MGO) in diabetic patients is an important risk factor for the development of age-related (senile) cataract disorders. Carnosine (β-alanyl L-histidine), a natural antioxidant dipeptide product, has been indicated to prevent the development of cataract diseases. Therefore, it is possible that the anti-cataract activity of this naturally occurring compound is mediated by its anti-glycoxidation effect. In this study, the eye lens proteins were treated with MGO in the presence of carnosine. Then, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis and several spectroscopic evaluations were used with the aim to investigate the possible inhibitory activity of carnosine against the MGO-induced structural damages of eye lens proteins. Our results indicated that MGO causes a substantial structural alteration in the lens proteins. The results of fluorescence assessments also suggested that MGO-induced structural changes were accompanied with the formation of additional chromophores in the protein structure. Also, in the presence of carnosine, a notable reduction in the protein structural damages was observed. Our results may highlight an important protective role of carnosine against MGO-induced structural insults in the lens proteins. This study suggests carnosine supplementation as a possible preventive strategy against development of the diabetic cataracts in human.