Faculty Articles

Comparison of Protein N-Homocysteinylation in Rat Plasma under Elevated Homocysteine Using a Specific Chemical Labeling Method.

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Elevated blood concentrations of homocysteine have been well established as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and neuropsychiatric diseases, yet the etiologic relationship of homocysteine to these disorders remains poorly understood. Protein N-homocysteinylation has been hypothesized as a contributing factor; however, it has not been examined globally owing to the lack of suitable detection methods. We recently developed a selective chemical method to label N-homocysteinylated proteins with a biotin-aldehyde tag followed by Western blotting analysis, which was further optimized in this study. We then investigated the variation of protein N-homocysteinylation in plasma from rats on a vitamin B12 deficient diet. Elevated "total homocysteine" concentrations were determined in rats with a vitamin B12 deficient diet. Correspondingly, overall levels of plasma protein N-homocysteinylation displayed an increased trend, and furthermore, more pronounced and statistically significant changes (e.g., 1.8-fold, p-value: 0.03) were observed for some individual protein bands. Our results suggest that, as expected, a general metabolic correlation exists between "total homocysteine" and N-homocysteinylation, although other factors are involved in homocysteine/homocysteine thiolactone metabolism, such as the transsulfuration of homocysteine by cystathionine β-synthase or the hydrolysis of homocysteine thiolactone by paraoxonase 1 (PON1), may play more significant or direct roles in determining the level of N-homocysteinylation.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Animals, Blood Proteins, Homocysteine, Hyperhomocysteinemia, Plasma, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Rats, Vitamin B 12 Deficiency

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