Inhibition of crystallin ascorbylation by nucleophilic compounds in the hSVCT2 mouse model of lenticular aging

Xingjun Fan, Vincent M. Monnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Senile cataracts are associated with oxidation, fragmentation, cross-linking, insolubilization, and yellow pigmentation of lens crystallins. This process is partially explained by advanced glycation end products (AGEs) from ascorbic acid (ASA), as the authors unequivocally demonstrated in an hSVCT2 transgenic mouse. The authors present the first pharmacologic intervention study against ascorbylation in these mice. METHODS. Five groups of mice from 2 to 9 months of age (10 mice/group) were fed a diet containing 0.1% (wt/wt) aminoguanidine, pyridoxamine, penicillamine, and nucleophilic compounds NC-I and NC-II. AGEs were determined in crystallin digests using high-performance liquid chromatography, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Lens protein extract was incubated in vitro with ASA or dehydroascorbic acid. RESULTS. The ASA level increased approximately 10-fold in all groups and was unaffected by treatment. AGEs were increased several-fold in transgenic compared with control lenses. Body weight, food intake, lenticular glutathione, and glycated lysine level were unaltered. In vitro, all compounds inhibited AGE formation. In vivo, NC-I and NC-II significantly decreased protein fluorescence at λex335/ em385 (P = 0.045, P = 0.017, respectively) and λ ex370/em440 (P = 0.029, P = 0.007, respectively). Other inhibitors had no effect. After 7 months, only NC-I and NC-II induced a 50% reduction in pentosidine (P = NS for NC-I; P = 0.035 for NC-II). NC-I also decreased carboxymethyllysine (P = 0.032) and carboxyethyllysine (P = NS). Fluorescent cross-link K2P was decreased by NC-I, NC-II, aminoguanidine, and pyridoxamine (P = NS). CONCLUSIONS. Pharmacologically blocking protein ascorbylation with absorbable guanidino compounds is feasible and may represent a new strategy for the delay of age-related nuclear sclerosis of the lens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4945-4952
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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