Glycoxidation of biological macromolecules: a critical approach to halt the menace of glycation

Glycobiology. 2014 Nov;24(11):979-90. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwu057. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Glycation is the result of covalent bonding of a free amino group of biological macromolecules with a reducing sugar, which results in the formation of a Schiff base that undergoes rearrangement, dehydration and cyclization to form a more stable Amadori product. The final products of nonenzymatic glycation of biomacromolecules like DNA, proteins and lipids are known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs may be generated rapidly or over long times stimulated by distinct triggering mechanisms, thereby accounting for their roles in multiple settings and disease states. Both Schiff base and Amadori glycation products generate free radicals resulting in decline of antioxidant defense mechanisms and can damage cellular organelles and enzymes. This critical review primarily focuses on the mechanistic insight of glycation and the most probable route for the formation of glycation products and their therapeutic interventions. Furthermore, the prevention of glycation reaction using therapeutic drugs such as metformin, pyridoxamine and aminoguanidine (AG) are discussed with special emphasis on the novel concept of the bioconjugation of these drugs like, AG with gold nanoparticles (GNPs). At or above 10 mM concentration, AG is found to be toxic and therefore has serious health concerns, and the study warrants doing this novel bioconjugation of AG with GNPs. This approach might increase the efficacy of the AG at a reduced concentration with low or no toxicity. Using the concept of synthesis of GNPs with abovementioned drugs, it is assumed that toxicity of various drugs which are used at high doses can be minimized more effectively.

Keywords: advanced glycation end products; antiglycation; gold nanoparticle; oxidative stress; therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cyclization
  • DNA / chemistry
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA / chemistry


  • Proteins
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Glucose