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Current Aging Science


ISSN (Print): 1874-6098
ISSN (Online): 1874-6128

Natural Dipeptides as Mini-Chaperones: Molecular Mechanism of Inhibition of Lens βL-Crystallin Aggregation

Author(s): Antonina K. Dizhevskaya, Konstantin O. Muranov, Alexander A. Boldyrev and Mikhail A. Ostrovsky

Volume 5, Issue 3, 2012

Page: [236 - 241] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1874609811205030011

Price: $65


The effect of histidine-containing dipeptides—carnosine and N-acetylcarnosine—on preventing and treating of cataracts of various etiologic origins has been demonstrated in many studies in vivo, while the precise molecular mechanism of their action is actually obscure. Cataract has been recently attributed to conformational diseases due to the association of lens structure protein aggregation with cataract pathogenesis. In our study, effect of histidine-containing dipeptides—carnosine, N-acetylcarnosine, and anserine—on the UV induced βL-crystallin aggregation was studied in vitro. It was first demonstrated that N-acetylcarnosine and anserine (10-40 mM) considerably suppressed UV induced aggregation of βL-crystallin, while carnosine exerted no effect. Positive correlation between anti-aggregating activity of the compounds used and their hydrophobicity was obtained. It was revealed that N-acetylcarnosine and anserine inhibited the initial stages of the protein photochemical damage. A decrease in the size of protein aggregates was detected in the presence of N-acetylcarnosine and anserine. UV irradiation of βL-crystallin resulted in a significant increase in the number of protein carbonyl groups, and the dipeptides studied did not affect this process. We suppose that N-acetylcarnosine and anserine inhibit βL-crystallin aggregation via formation of a protein-dipeptide complex that prevents macromolecular conformational changes and ensuing protein aggregation.

Keywords: Anserine, carnosine-related compounds (CRCs), cataract, βL-Crystallin, lens, N-acetylcarnosine, protein aggregation, histidine-containing dipeptides, etiologic origins, conformational diseases,

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