The cysteine residue in beta-lactoglobulin reacts with oxidized tyrosine residues in beta-casein to give casein-lactoglobulin dimers

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Proteins are modified during milk processing and storage, with sidechain oxidation and crosslinking being major consequences. Despite the prevalence and importance of proteins in milk, and particularly caseins (∼80% of total content), the nature of the cross-links formed by oxidation, and their mechanisms of formation, are poorly characterized. In this study, we investigated the formation and stability of cross-links generated by the nucleophilic addition of Cys residues to quinones generated on oxidation of Tyr residues. The mechanisms and stability of these adducts was explored using ubiquitin as a model protein, and β-casein. Ubiquitin and β-casein were oxidized using a rose Bengal/visible light/O2 system, or by the enzyme tyrosinase. The oxidized proteins were incubated with glutathione or β-lactoglobulin (non-oxidized, but unfolded by treatment at 70 °C), before analysis by SDS-PAGE, immunoblotting and LC-MS. Our data indicate that Cys-quinone adducts are readily-formed, and are stable for >48 h. Thus, oxidized β-casein reacts efficiently with the thermally unfolded β-lactoglobulin, likely via Michael addition of the exposed Cys to a Tyr-derived quinone. These data provide a novel, and possibly general, mechanism of protein cross-link formation, and provides information of the stability of these species that have potential as markers of protein quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109482
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Beta-casein, Beta-lactoglobulin, Photosensitization, Protein cross-linking, Quinone, Thiol

ID: 331788537