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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Photolysis of desmosine and isodesmosine by ultraviolet light.

1. Desmosine and isodesmosine were separated by ion-exchange and paper chromatography, after acid hydrolysis of purified elastin from beef ligamentum nuchae. The fractions obtained by ion-exchange chromatography were clearly mixtures of related compounds. The desmosine fraction could be resolved into seven compounds and the isodesmosine into four by paper chromatography. 2. Desmosine was maximally degraded by irradiation at 274 nm and isodesmosine at 285 nm. These wavelengths did not correspond to the absorption maxima of the cross links, but to shoulders of the main absorption peaks. 3. When irradiated at their optimum wavelengths, but at various pH, both desmosine and isodesmosine seemed quite stable at pH greater than 8. 5. Between pH 8 and 5, the photolytic rate was maximum and decreased slightly at more acidic pH. Below pH 4.0, one of the products of photolysis was free lysine. 4. In analogy to the mechanism of the photolytic degradation of N-methyl pyridinium chloride, it appears that the (iso)desmosines were degraded via the formation of an open amino aldehyde, which was hydrolysed at acid pH to give free lysine and a substituted glutaconic aldehyde.[1]


  1. Photolysis of desmosine and isodesmosine by ultraviolet light. Baurain, R., Larochelle, J.F., Lamy, F. Eur. J. Biochem. (1976) [Pubmed]
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