Identification of glucose-derived cross-linking sites in ribonuclease A

Zhenyu Dai, Benlian Wang, Gang Sun, Xingjun Fan, Vernon E. Anderson, Vincent M. Monnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The accumulation of glycation derived cross-links has been widely implicated in extracellular matrix damage in aging and diabetes, yet little information is available on the cross-linking sites in proteins and the intra- versus intermolecular character of cross-linking. Recently, glucosepane, a 7-membered heterocycle formed between lysine and arginine residues, has been found to be the single major crosslink known so far to accumulate during aging. As an approach toward identification of glucose derived cross-linking sites, we have preglycated ribonuclease A first for for 14 days with 500 mM glucose, followed by a 4-week incubation in absence of glucose. MALDI-TOF analysis of tryptic digests revealed the presence of Amadori products (δm/z = 162) at K1, K7, K37 and K41, in accordance with previous studies. In addition, K66, K98 and K104 were also modified by Amadori products. Intramolecular glucosepane cross-links were observed at K41-R39 and K98-R85. Surprisingly, the only intermolecular cross-link observed was the 3-deoxyglucosone-derived DODIC at K1-R39. The identity of cross-linked peptides was confirmed by sequencing with tandem mass spectrometry. Recombinant ribonuclease A mutants R39A, R85A, and K91A were produced, purified, and glycated to further confirm the importance of these sites on protein cross-linking. These data provide the first documentation that both intramolecular and intermolecular cross-links form in glucose-incubated proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2756-2768
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • AGEs
  • Cross-linking
  • Glucosepane
  • Glycation
  • Glycation sites
  • Ribonuclease A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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