Nonenzymatic Glucosylation of Serum Proteins in Diabetes Mellitus

  1. John W Baynes
  1. Departments of Chemistry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pathollogy, University of South Carolina, and the Richland Memorial Hospital Columbia, South Carolina
  1. Address reprint requests to Dr. John W. Baynes, Department of Chemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208.


The extent of nonenzymatic glucosylation of serum protein in control and diabetic subjects was measured by a chemical procedure using thiobarbituric acid. A mean value of 0.81 (±0.21 SD) nmol glucose per milligram serum protein was observed in the control group. Diabetics displayed elevated levels of glucosylated serum proteins, up to 4 nmol glucose per milligram protein. Glucosylation of serum protein correlated strongly with fasting blood sugar (r = 0.71), percent hemoglobin A1 (r = 0.79), and percent glucosylated albumin (r = 0.99). There was no overlap between control and diabetic groups, i.e., within 3 SD of the mean of controls. These studies indicate that the assay for glucosylated serum protein appears to be an especially sensitive indicator of the degree of hyperglycemia in diabetes.

  • Received July 30, 1979.
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