Acetaldehyde adducts with proteins: Binding of [14C]acetaldehyde to serum albumin

Terrence M. Donohue, Dean J. Tuma, Michael F. Sorrell

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Acetaldehyde, the immediate oxidation product of ethanol metabolism, was assessed for its ability to bind covalently to a purified protein in solution. Bovine serum albumin (BSA)2 2 Abbreviations used: BSA, bovine serum albumin; TCA, trichloroacetic acid; PTA, phosphotungstic acid. was used as the model protein incubated in the presence of 0.2 mm [14C]acetaldehyde at pH 7.4 and at 37 °C. Acetaldehyde formed both stable and unstable adducts with serum albumin. Unstable adducts were identified following stabilization with the reducing agent sodium borohydride. We examined both types of binding using trichloroacetic acid precipitation, gel filtration, and dialysis as means to separate bound from free acetaldehyde. All three methods of analysis gave comparable results except that the number of stable acetaldehyde adducts with albumin were significantly lower following separation by dialysis. The effects of l-cysteine, l-lysine, and reduced glutathione were assessed for their abilities as competitive reagents to decrease binding of [14C]acetaldehyde to BSA. Addition of cysteine caused a rather dramatic concentration-dependent reduction in [14C]acetaldehyde binding to BSA when compared to that caused by lysine which displayed a relatively mild effect on covalent binding. The presence of glutathione caused a concentration-dependent decrease in protein-bound radioactivity that was stronger than that by lysine but not as effective as cysteine. The ability of each reagent to reverse the formation of preformed acetaldehyde adducts with BSA was also examined. Only l-cysteine effectively decreased the number of unstable acetaldehyde adducts with BSA while stable binding of acetaldehyde remained essentially unaffected by any of the three reagents. These results indicate that acetaldehyde can covalently bind to protein and form unstable as well as stable adducts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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