Age-dependent accumulation of N epsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine and N epsilon-(carboxymethyl)hydroxylysine in human skin collagen

Biochemistry. 1991 Feb 5;30(5):1205-10. doi: 10.1021/bi00219a007.


N epsilon-(Carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) is formed on oxidative cleavage of carbohydrate adducts to lysine residues in glycated proteins in vitro [Ahmed et al. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 8816-8821; Dunn et al. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 10964-10970]. We have shown that, in human lens proteins in vivo, the concentration of fructose-lysine (FL), the Amadori adduct of glucose to lysine, is constant with age, while the concentration of the oxidation product, CML, increases significantly with age [Dunn et al. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 9464-9468]. In this work we extend our studies to the analysis of human skin collagen. The extent of glycation of insoluble skin collagen was greater than that of lens proteins (4-6 mmol of FL/mol of lysine in collagen versus 1-2 mmol of FL/mol of lysine in lens proteins), consistent with the lower concentration of glucose in lens, compared to plasma. In contrast to lens, there was a slight but significant age-dependent increase in glycation of skin collagen, 33% between ages 20 and 80. As in lens protein, CML, present at only trace levels in neonatal collagen, increased significantly with age, although the amount of CML in collagen at 80 years of age, approximately 1.5 mmol of CML/mol of lysine, was less than that found in lens protein, approximately 7 mmol of CML/mol of lysine. The concentration of N epsilon-(carboxymethyl)hydroxylysine (CMhL), the product of oxidation of glycated hydroxylysine, also increased with age in collagen, in parallel with the increase in CML, from trace levels at infancy to approximately 5 mmol of CMhL/mol of hydroxylysine at age 80.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Hydroxylysine / metabolism
  • Lens, Crystalline / metabolism
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Skin


  • N(epsilon)-(carboxymethyl)hydroxylysine
  • Hydroxylysine
  • N(6)-carboxymethyllysine
  • Collagen
  • Lysine