Oxidative damage in rat brain during aging: Interplay between energy and metabolic key target proteins

F. Di Domenico, M. Perluigi, D. A. Butterfield, C. Cornelius, V. Calabrese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Aging is characterized by a gradual and continuous loss of physiological functions and responses particularly marked in the central nervous system. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can react with all major biological macromolecules such as carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Since proteins are the major components of biological systems and regulate multiple cellular pathways, oxidative damage of key proteins are considered to be the principal molecular mechanisms leading to age-related deficits. Recent evidences support the notion that a decrease of energy metabolism in the brain contribute to neuronal loss and cognitive decline associated with aging. In the present study we identified selective protein targets which are oxidized in aged rats compared with adult rats. Most of the oxidatively modified proteins we found in the present study are key proteins involved in energy metabolism and ATP production. Oxidative modification of these proteins was associated with decreased enzyme activities. In addition, we also found decreased levels of thiol reducing system. Our study demonstrated that oxidative damage to specific proteins impairs energy metabolism and ATP production thus contributing to shift neuronal cells towards a more oxidized environment which ultimately might compromise multiple neuronal functions. These results further confirm that increased protein oxidation coupled with decreased reducing systems are characteristic hallmarks of aging and aging-related degenerative processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2184-2192
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • ATP synthesis
  • Aging
  • Carbonylation
  • Protein oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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