Acrolein induces selective protein carbonylation in synaptosomes

C. F. Mello, R. Sultana, M. Piroddi, J. Cai, W. M. Pierce, J. B. Klein, D. A. Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Acrolein, the most reactive of the α,β-unsaturated aldehydes, is endogenously produced by lipid peroxidation, and has been found increased in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Although it is known that acrolein increases total protein carbonylation and impairs the function of selected proteins, no study has addressed which proteins are selectively carbonylated by this aldehyde. In this study we investigated the effect of increasing concentrations of acrolein (0, 0.005, 0.05, 0.5, 5, 50 μM) on protein carbonylation in gerbil synaptosomes. In addition, we applied proteomics to identify synaptosomal proteins that were selectively carbonylated by 0.5 μM acrolein. Acrolein increased total protein carbonylation in a dose-dependent manner. Proteomic analysis (two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry) revealed that tropomyosin-3-gamma isoform 2, tropomyosin-5, β-actin, mitochondrial Tu translation elongation factor (EF-Tumt) and voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) were significantly carbonylated by acrolein. Consistent with the proteomics studies that have identified specifically oxidized proteins in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain, the proteins identified in this study are involved in a wide variety of cellular functions including energy metabolism, neurotransmission, protein synthesis, and cytoskeletal integrity. Our results suggest that acrolein may significantly contribute to oxidative damage in AD brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-679
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 13 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from NIH to D.A.B. [AG-10836; AG-0549]. C.F.M. is the recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship from CAPES (BEX0262/05-6), Brazil.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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