Dicarbonyls and Advanced Glycation End-Products in the Development of Diabetic Complications and Targets for Intervention

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 May 5;18(5):984. doi: 10.3390/ijms18050984.


Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are non-enzymatic protein and amino acid adducts as well as DNA adducts which form from dicarbonyls and glucose. AGE formation is enhanced in diabetes and is associated with the development of diabetic complications. In the current review, we discuss mechanisms that lead to enhanced AGE levels in the context of diabetes and diabetic complications. The methylglyoxal-detoxifying glyoxalase system as well as alternative pathways of AGE detoxification are summarized. Therapeutic approaches to interfere with different pathways of AGE formation are presented.

Keywords: 3-deoxyglucosone; advanced glycation end-products; aldose reductase; diabetes; glyoxal; glyoxalase; methylglyoxal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism*
  • Glyoxal / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Maillard Reaction / drug effects


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Glyoxal