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Methylglyoxal-Glyoxalase 1 Balance: The Root of Vascular Damage

Research Unit (URT) of the Institute of Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology “G. Salvatore”, National Council of Research, 80131 Naples, Italy
Department of Translational Medical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80131 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Casper G. Schalkwijk
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 188;
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Glyoxalase System)
PDF [1031 KB, uploaded 18 January 2017]


The highly reactive dicarbonyl methylglyoxal (MGO) is mainly formed as byproduct of glycolysis. Therefore, high blood glucose levels determine increased MGO accumulation. Nonetheless, MGO levels are also increased as consequence of the ineffective action of its main detoxification pathway, the glyoxalase system, of which glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) is the rate-limiting enzyme. Indeed, a physiological decrease of Glo1 transcription and activity occurs not only in chronic hyperglycaemia but also with ageing, during which MGO accumulation occurs. MGO and its advanced glycated end products (AGEs) are associated with age-related diseases including diabetes, vascular dysfunction and neurodegeneration. Endothelial dysfunction is the first step in the initiation, progression and clinical outcome of vascular complications, such as retinopathy, nephropathy, impaired wound healing and macroangiopathy. Because of these considerations, studies have been centered on understanding the molecular basis of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes, unveiling a central role of MGO-Glo1 imbalance in the onset of vascular complications. This review focuses on the current understanding of MGO accumulation and Glo1 activity in diabetes, and their contribution on the impairment of endothelial function leading to diabetes-associated vascular damage. View Full-Text
Keywords: methylglyoxal; glyoxalase; vascular function; insulin-resistance methylglyoxal; glyoxalase; vascular function; insulin-resistance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nigro, C.; Leone, A.; Raciti, G.A.; Longo, M.; Mirra, P.; Formisano, P.; Beguinot, F.; Miele, C. Methylglyoxal-Glyoxalase 1 Balance: The Root of Vascular Damage. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 188.

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