Excessive Nonenzymatic Glycosylation of Peripheral and Central Nervous System Myelin Components in Diabetic Rats

  1. Anthony Cerami
  1. Laboratory of Medical Biochemistry, The Rockefeller University 1230 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021
  1. Address reprint requests to Helen Vlassara, M.D., at the above address.

Abstract

The amount of nonenzymatic glycosylation present in normal and diabetic rat peripheral nerve myelin, whole brain, brain myelin, and individual myelin protein components was determined using NaB3H4 reduction followed by either boronic acid affinity chromatography or SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Diabetic peripheral nerve myelin (PNS-M) showed a 5.2-fold increase over normal, indicating that myelin is the major peripheral nerve component undergoing excessive glycosylation in diabetes. SDS-PAGE of diabetic and normal PNS-M showed no differences in the pattern of protein bands or in the distribution of glycosylated adducts. However, in the diabetic, the amount of incorporated radioactivity was 3.74 times greater in the P0 protein and 2.8 times greater in the high-molecular-weight material that did not enter the gel.

In whole brain, a 2.4-fold increase in the amount of nonenzymatic glycosylation was observed when diabetic was compared with normal, while diabetic brain myelin (CNS-M) was 3.8 times more glycosylated than normal brain myelin. SDS-PAGE of diabetic and normal CNS-M, like that of PNS-M, showed no differences in the pattern of protein bands or in the distribution of glycosylated adducts. The amount of incorporated radioactivity, however, was 3.18 times greater in the proteolipid region, 2.37 times greater for basic myelin protein, and 2.9 times greater for the high-molecular-weight proteins that did not enter the gel.

This excessive nonenzymatic glycosylation of the main peripheral and central nervous system myelin components may contribute to the functional abnormalities of myelinated neurons associated with diabetes.

  • Received December 13, 1982.
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