Advanced glycation end product (AGE) modified proteins in tears of diabetic patients

Zhenjun Zhao*, Jingfang Liu, Bingyin Shi, Shuixiang He, Xiaoli Yao, Mark D P Willcox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: High glucose level in diabetic patients may lead to advanced glycation end product (AGE) modified proteins. This study investigated AGE modified proteins in tears and compared their levels in diabetic patients (DM) with nondiabetic controls (CTL). Methods: Basal tears were collected from DM with (DR) or without (DNR) retinopathy and CTL. Total AGE modified proteins were detected quantitatively by a dot immunobinding assay. The AGE modified proteins were separated in 1Dand 2D-SDS gels and detected by western-blotting. The individual AGE modified proteins were also compared between groups using densitometry. Results: Compared with the CTL group, tear concentrations of AGE modified proteins were significantly elevated in DR and DNR groups. The concentration of AGE modified proteins in diabetic tears were positively correlated with AGE modified hemoglobin (HbA1c) and postprandial blood glucose level (PBG). Western blotting of AGE modified proteins from 1D-SDS gels showed several bands, the major one at around 60 kDa. The intensities of AGE modified protein bands were higher in DM tears than in CTL tears. Western blotting from 2D-SDS gels showed a strongly stained horizontal strip, which corresponded to the major band in 1D-SDS gels. Most of the other AGE modified protein species were within molecular weight of 30-60 kDa, PI 5.2-7.0. Densitometry analysis demonstrated several AGE modified proteins were elevated in DR or DNR tears. Conclusions: Total and some individual AGE modified proteins were elevated in DM tears. AGE modified proteins in tears may be used as biomarkers to diagnose diabetes and/or diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1576-1584
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Vision
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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