Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The spectrophotometric protein carbonyl assay is used as an indicator of protein damage by free radical reactions in vitro and in a variety of pathologies. We investigated model proteins and a variety of oxidative and non-oxidative reactions, as well as what effects hemoglobin, myoglobin, and cytochrome c might have on levels of protein carbonyls. We show that oxidative as well as non-oxidative mechanisms introduce carbonyl groups into proteins, providing a moiety for quantification with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH). Bovine serum albumin exposed to oxidative scenarios, such as hypochlorous acid, peroxynitrite, and metal-catalyzed oxidation exhibited variable, but increased levels of carbonyls. Other non-oxidative modification systems, in which proteins are incubated with various aldehydes, such as malondialdehyde, acrolein, glycolaldehyde, and glyoxal also generated significant amounts of carbonyls. Furthermore, purified myoglobin, hemoglobin, and cytochrome c show high absorbance at the same wavelengths as DNPH. The high levels observed are due to the innate absorbance of hemoglobin, myoglobin, and cytochrome c near the assay spectra of DNPH. These studies show that carbonyl content could be due to oxidative as well as non-oxidative mechanisms and that heme-containing compounds may effect carbonyl quantification.