Non-enzymatic glycation and cross-linking (Maillard reaction) are well known processes which accelerate the aging of key biological molecules. For example, non-enzymatic glycation of macromolecules such as proteins and certain phospholipids (e.g., phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine) appears to play an important role in the evolution of diabetic complications. Moreover, glycation is involved in aging of structural proteins such as collagen andelastin and in food spoilage. The first two intermediates in this process are glucosylsamines (a.k.a Schiff bases) and fructosamines (a.k.a Amadori products).
Dartmouth researchers have now found that certain natural amines and alpha-thiolamines, such as those found in heart and skeletal muscles, act as effective transglycating agents which break down the very first intermediate of non-enzymatic glycation process (the Schiff base) by removing the glucose moiety from the intermediate. Accordingly, compositions containing these materials are likely to be useful in preventing and/or arresting the aging of key proteins, conferring both economic and medical benefits as a result thereof. For instance, as dietary supplemements, these materials could stop systemic nonenzymatic glycation and thereby preventing the deleterious effects resulting from this process. Use of these compounds in foodstuffs, holds the promise for retarding food spoilage thereby increasing their shelf-life and greater availability to consumers. Since the compounds in question are natural constituents of cells and are routinely consumed in foods such as meat and fish, it is extremely unlikely that their use as dietary supplements or additives in foods would have any negative side effects.
This technology is claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 11/756,689. Because of the great potential of these compounds and their apparent safety we are very enthusiastic about their potential and are seeking an industrial partner interested in their further development and commercialization. (Ref: J333)
Last Updated: 7/24/12