Perturbation of human coronary artery endothelial cell redox state and NADPH generation by methylglyoxal

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Philip E Morgan, Pamela J Sheahan, Michael Jonathan Davies

Diabetes is associated with elevated plasma glucose, increased reactive aldehyde formation, oxidative damage, and glycation/glycoxidation of biomolecules. Cellular detoxification of, or protection against, such modifications commonly requires NADPH-dependent reducing equivalents (e.g. GSH). We hypothesised that reactive aldehydes may modulate cellular redox status via the inhibition of NADPH-generating enzymes, resulting in decreased thiol and NADPH levels. Primary human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC) were incubated with high glucose (25 mM, 24 h, 37°C), or methylglyoxal (MGO), glyoxal, or glycolaldehyde (100-500 µM, 1 h, 37°C), before quantification of intracellular thiols and NADPH-generating enzyme activities. Exposure to MGO, but not the other species examined, significantly (P<0.05) decreased total thiols (∼35%), further experiments with MGO showed significant losses of GSH (∼40%) and NADPH (∼10%); these changes did not result in an immediate loss of cell viability. Significantly decreased (∼10%) NADPH-producing enzyme activity was observed for HCAEC when glucose-6-phosphate or 2-deoxyglucose-6-phosphate were used as substrates. Cell lysate experiments showed significant MGO-dose dependent inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate-dependent enzymes and isocitrate dehydrogenase, but not malic enzyme. Analysis of intact cell or lysate proteins showed that arginine-derived hydroimidazolones were the predominant advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formed; lower levels of N(ε)-(carboxyethyl)lysine (CEL) and N(ε)-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) were also detected. These data support a novel mechanism by which MGO exposure results in changes in redox status in human coronary artery endothelial cells, via inhibition of NADPH-generating enzymes, with resultant changes in reduced protein thiol and GSH levels. These changes may contribute to the endothelial cell dysfunction observed in diabetes-associated atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86564
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Aldehydes, Arginine, Cells, Cultured, Coronary Vessels, Endothelial Cells, Glucose-6-Phosphate, Glutathione, Glycosylation End Products, Advanced, Humans, NADP, Oxidation-Reduction, Pyruvaldehyde, Sulfhydryl Compounds

ID: 128973914