Glyoxalase I disruption and external carbonyl stress impair mitochondrial function in human induced pluripotent stem cells and derived neurons

Transl Psychiatry. 2021 May 8;11(1):275. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01392-w.


Carbonyl stress, a specific form of oxidative stress, is reported to be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; however, little is known regarding the underlying mechanism. Here, we found that disruption of GLO1, the gene encoding a major catabolic enzyme scavenging the carbonyl group, increases vulnerability to external carbonyl stress, leading to abnormal phenotypes in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The viability of GLO1 knockout (KO)-hiPSCs decreased and activity of caspase-3 was increased upon addition of methylglyoxal (MGO), a reactive carbonyl compound. In the GLO1 KO-hiPSC-derived neurons, MGO administration impaired neurite extension and cell migration. Further, accumulation of methylglyoxal-derived hydroimidazolone (MG-H1; a derivative of MGO)-modified proteins was detected in isolated mitochondria. Mitochondrial dysfunction, including diminished membrane potential and dampened respiratory function, was observed in the GLO1 KO-hiPSCs and derived neurons after addition of MGO and hence might be the mechanism underlying the effects of carbonyl stress. The susceptibility to MGO was partially rescued by the administration of pyridoxamine, a carbonyl scavenger. Our observations can be used for designing an intervention strategy for diseases, particularly those induced by enhanced carbonyl stress or oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Lactoylglutathione Lyase* / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Pyruvaldehyde


  • Pyruvaldehyde
  • GLO1 protein, human
  • Lactoylglutathione Lyase