A central role for intermolecular dityrosine cross-linking of fibrinogen in high molecular weight advanced oxidation protein product (AOPP) formation

Graziano Colombo, Marco Clerici, Daniela Giustarini, Nicola Portinaro, Salvatore Badalamenti, Ranieri Rossi, Aldo Milzani, Isabella Dalle-Donne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) are dityrosine cross-linked and carbonyl-containing protein products formed by the reaction of plasma proteins with chlorinated oxidants, such as hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Most studies consider human serum albumin (HSA) as the main protein responsible for AOPP formation, although the molecular composition of AOPPs has not yet been elucidated. Here, we investigated the relative contribution of HSA and fibrinogen to generation of AOPPs. Methods: AOPP formation was explored by SDS-PAGE, under both reducing and non-reducing conditions, as well as by analytical gel filtration HPLC coupled to fluorescence detection to determine dityrosine and pentosidine formation. Results: Following exposure to different concentrations of HOCl, HSA resulted to be carbonylated but did not form dityrosine cross-linked high molecular weight aggregates. Differently, incubation of fibrinogen or HSA/fibrinogen mixtures with HOCl at concentrations higher than 150 μM induced the formation of pentosidine and high molecular weight (HMW)-AOPPs (> 200 kDa), resulting from intermolecular dityrosine cross-linking. Dityrosine fluorescence increased in parallel with increasing HMW-AOPP formation and increasing fibrinogen concentration in HSA/fibrinogen mixtures exposed to HOCl. This conclusion is corroborated by experiments where dityrosine fluorescence was measured in HOCl-treated human plasma samples containing physiological or supra-physiological fibrinogen concentrations or selectively depleted of fibrinogen, which highlighted that fibrinogen is responsible for the highest fluorescence from dityrosine. Conclusions: A central role for intermolecular dityrosine cross-linking of fibrinogen in HMW-AOPP formation is shown. General significance: These results highlight that oxidized fibrinogen, instead of HSA, is the key protein for intermolecular dityrosine formation in human plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBBA - General Subjects
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Advanced oxidation protein products
  • Albumin
  • Dityrosine
  • Fibrinogen
  • Human plasma
  • Hypochlorous acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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