Beneficial role of amino acids in mitigating cytoskeletal actin glycation and improving F-actin content: In vitro

K. N. Sulochana, C. Indra, M. Rajesh, V. Srinivasan, S. Ramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The actin filaments present in circulating leukocytes facilitate their passage through microvenules and capillaries by helping in their deformability. Decreased deformability of granulocytes is now known to cause occlusion of the retinal microcapillaries leading to hypoxia and the subsequent development of diabetic retinopathy. Structural and functional loss of proteins, due to non-enzymatic glycation and glycoxidation, has been reported to cause diabetic pathogenesis. As amino acids have been earlier reported to have antidiabetic properties, the present study involves the investigation of the susceptibility of the cytoskeletal actin to glycation and its mitigation by free amino acids. This study also involves quantifying F-actin in cultured mononuclear cells obtained from diabetic and normal healthy volunteers and on the effect of glucose and free amino acids on F-actin content. Methods: Commercial non-muscle actin and actin immuno-precipitated from granulocytes obtained from (a) normal healthy human volunteers and (b) patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were subjected to glycation studies using [U] 14C glucose. The effect of free amino acids, as antiglycating agents, was determined using various concentrations of lysine, arginine, alanine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. F-actin content in cultured mononuclear cells was estimated by flow cytometry using fluorescein isothiocynate (FITC)-Phalloidin. Results: Commercial actin at physiological conditions of pH and temperature was found to undergo non-enzymatic glycation. The extent of in vitro glycation was significantly low (P<0.001) in actin isolated from patients with type2 diabetes when compared to the non-diabetic group, suggesting an increased in vitro structural modification of actin in patients with diabetes. All the free amino acids tested were found to have varying degrees of antiglycating effect. The F-actin content in the intact mononuclear cells obtained from diabetic patients was found to be low when compared with normal healthy volunteers (P<0.001). Similarly the F-actin content was significantly low when the normal mononuclear cells were incubated with glucose. This effect was reversed upon the addition of free amino acids to the incubation mixture. Conclusions: Free amino acids can play a positive role in improving leukocyte deformability by mitigating cytoskeletal actin glycation and improving F-actin content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalGlycoconjugate Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiglycation
  • Cytoskeletal actin
  • Free amino acids and diabetes mellitus
  • Glycation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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