Cigarette smoke blocks cross-linking of elastin in vitro

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1983 Feb;127(2):189-92. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1983.127.2.189.


Water-soluble components of the gas phase of filtered cigarette smoke inhibit formation of covalent desmosine cross-links during conversion of tropoelastin to elastin in vitro. These same smoke components also suppress lysyl-oxidase-catalyzed oxidation of lysine epsilon-amino groups in tropoelastin (the chemical step preceding formation of all elastin cross-links, including desmosine) in a dose-dependent fashion. However, gas phase smoke does not block the oxidation of diaminopentane by lysyl oxidase. Thus, gas phase cigarette smoke may possess substrate-directed (rather than enzyme-directed) inhibitory components capable of interfering with elastin cross-linking in vitro. Similar effects occurring in smokers' lungs could impede elastin repair and contribute to the development of pulmonary emphysema.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Chickens
  • Desmosine / biosynthesis
  • Elastin / metabolism*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Smoke*
  • Solutions
  • Swine
  • Tobacco*


  • Smoke
  • Solutions
  • Desmosine
  • Elastin