Post-translational protein modification by carotenoid cleavage products

Nilesh M. Kalariya, Kota V. Ramana, Satish K. Srivastava, Frederik J.G.M. van Kuijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Carotenoids are known to generate various aldehydes, known as carotenoid-derived aldehydes (CDAs), which could efficiently react with protein or DNA. In this in vitro model study, interaction between CDA and protein has been studied. Various proteins were incubated with CDA, and protein modification and adduct formation were confirmed by using matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization time-of-flight, amino acid analysis, and measuring enzyme activity on modification with CDA. Using radiolabeled NaB(3H)H4 and Raney nickel as well as sulfhydryl assay (Ellman's reagent), we confirmed that CDA could conjugate with cysteine through a thioether linkage. The carbonyl assay using 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine revealed the possible involvement of Schiff's base reaction between CDA and lysine. The adducts formed between β-apo-8-carotenal (BA8C) and N-acetylcysteine and BA8C and N-acetyllysine were confirmed by HPLC and ESI-MS. Our results suggest that CDA could alter protein function by post-translational interaction with cysteine and lysine by thioether linkage and by schiff's based bonds, respectively. Thus, the formation of CDA adducts with proteins could alter functional properties of proteins responsible for maintaining cell homeostasis and thereby cause cellular toxicity. In view of these observations, further studies are required to understand the delicate balance between beneficial and/or harmful effects of carotenoids as a dietary supplement to slow age-related macular degeneration progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-116
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Aldehyde
  • Carotenoid
  • Protein adduct
  • Schiff's base linkage
  • Thioether linkage


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