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REVIEW: Glycation, Glycolysis, and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Is There Any Connection?

V. I. Muronetz1,2*, A. K. Melnikova2, Z. N. Seferbekova2, K. V. Barinova1,2, and E. V. Schmalhausen1

1Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia; E-mail: vimuronets@belozersky.msu.ru

2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, 119234 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received May 5, 2017; Revision received May 23, 2017
This review considers the interrelation between different types of protein glycation, glycolysis, and the development of amyloid neurodegenerative diseases. The primary focus is on the role of the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase in changing the concentration of carbonyl compounds – first and foremost, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate and methylglyoxal. It has been suggested that various modifications of the enzyme – from the oxidation of the sulfhydryl groups of the active site to glycation with sugars – can lead to its inactivation, which causes a direct increase in glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate concentration and an indirect increase in the content of other aldehydes. This “primary inactivation” of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promotes its glycation with aldehydes, including its own substrate, and a further irreversible decrease in its activity. Such a cycle can lead to numerous consequences – from the induction of apoptosis, which is activated by modified forms of the enzyme, to glycation of amyloidogenic proteins by glycolytic aldehydes. Of particular importance during the inhibition of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is an increase in the content of the glycating compound methylglyoxal, which is much more active than reducing sugars (glucose, fructose, and others). In addition, methylglyoxal is formed by two pathways – in the cascade of reactions during glycation and from glycolytic aldehydes. The ability of methylglyoxal to glycate proteins makes it the main participant in this protein modification. We consider the effect of glycation on the pathological transformation of amyloidogenic proteins and peptides – β-amyloid peptide, α-synuclein, and prions. Our primary focus is on the glycation of monomeric forms of these proteins with methylglyoxal, although most works are dedicated to the analysis of the presence of “advanced glycation end products” in the already formed aggregates and fibrils of amyloid proteins. In our opinion, the modification of aggregates and fibrils is secondary in nature and does not play an important role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. The glycation of amyloid proteins with carbonyl compounds can be one of the triggers of their transformation into toxic forms. The possible role of glycation of amyloidogenic proteins in the prevention of their modification by ubiquitin and the SUMO proteins due to a disruption of their degradation is separately considered.
KEY WORDS: glycation, glycolysis, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, methylglyoxal, α-synuclein, β-amyloid peptide, prion

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297917080028