Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Time scale of glycation in collagen of bovine pericardium-derived bio-tissues

Glycosylation is the process of combining one or more glucose molecules (or other monosaccharides) with molecules of a different nature (which are therefore glycosylated). In biochemistry, glycosylation is catalyzed by several specific enzymes, and assumes considerable importance since it occurs mainly at the expense of proteins and phospholipids which are thus transformed into glycoproteins and glycolipids. Conversely, in diabetes and aging, glycation of proteins is a phenomenon of non-enzymatic nature and thus not easily controlled. Glycation of collagen distorts its structure, renders the extracellular matrix stiff and brittle and at the same time lowers the degradation susceptibility thereby preventing renewal. Based on models detailed in this paper and with parameters determined from experimental data, we describe the glycation of type 1 collagen in bovine pericardium derived bio-tissues, upon incubation in glucose and ribose. With arginine and lysine/hydroxylysine amino acids as the primary sites of glycation and assuming that the topological polar surface area of the sugar molecules determines the glycation rates, we modelled the glycation as a function of time and determined the glycation rate and thus the progression of glycation as well as the resulting volume increase.

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De Caro, Liberato; Terzi, Alberta; Fusaro, Luca; Altamura, Davide; Boccafoschi, Francesca; Bunk, Oliver; Giannini, Cinzia