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Journal Articles Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Year : 2016

Protein carbamylation is a hallmark of aging


Aging is a progressive process determined by genetic and acquired factors. Among the latter are the chemical reactions referred to as nonenzymatic posttranslational modifications (NEPTMs), such as glycoxidation, which are responsible for protein molecular aging. Carbamylation is a more recently described NEPTM that is caused by the nonenzymatic binding of isocyanate derived from urea dissociation or myeloperoxidase-mediated catabolism of thiocyanate to free amino groups of proteins. This modification is considered an adverse reaction, because it induces alterations of protein and cell properties. It has been shown that carbamylated proteins increase in plasma and tissues during chronic kidney disease and are associated with deleterious clinical outcomes, but nothing is known to date about tissue protein carbamylation during aging. To address this issue, we evaluated homocitrulline rate, the most characteristic carbamylation-derived product (CDP), over time in skin of mammalian species with different life expectancies. Our results show that carbamylation occurs throughout the whole lifespan and leads to tissue accumulation of carbamylated proteins. Because of their remarkably long half-life, matrix proteins, like type I collagen and elastin, are preferential targets. Interestingly, the accumulation rate of CDPs is inversely correlated with longevity, suggesting the occurrence of still unidentified protective mechanisms. In addition, homocitrulline accumulates more intensely than carboxymethyl-lysine, one of the major advanced glycation end products, suggesting the prominent role of carbamylation over glycoxidation reactions in age-related tissue alterations. Thus, protein carbamylation may be considered a hallmark of aging in mammalian species that may significantly contribute in the structural and functional tissue damages encountered during aging.

Dates and versions

hal-02331282 , version 1 (24-10-2019)



Laëtitia Gorisse, Christine Pietrement, Vincent Vuiblet, Christian Schmelzer, Martin Köhler, et al.. Protein carbamylation is a hallmark of aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2016, 113 (5), pp.1191-1196. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1517096113⟩. ⟨hal-02331282⟩


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