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1.  Dopamine-Derived Biological Reactive Intermediates and Protein Modifications: Implications for Parkinson’s Disease 
Chemico-biological interactions  2011;192(1-2):118-121.
Dopamine (DA) undergoes monoamine oxidase catalyzed oxidative deamination to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL), which is metabolized primarily to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) via aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Previous studies demonstrated DOPAL to be neurotoxic, more so than DA and other metabolites, and implicated the aldehyde intermediate as a factor in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the mechanism for generation of DOPAL at aberrant levels and the pathways for toxicity are not conclusively known. Various models for DA catabolism revealed the susceptibility of DOPAL biotransformation (e.g., ALDH) to products of oxidative stress, e.g., 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, at physiologic/pathologic levels and agents that induce oxidative stress. An elevated concentration of DOPAL correlated with increased protein modification with subsequent work demonstrating significant reactivity of the DA-derived electrophile toward protein nucleophiles compared to DA and other metabolites, e.g., DOPAC. The addition of DOPAL to proteins proceeds via reaction of the aldehyde with Lys residues, yielding a Schiff base; however, post-adduction chemistry occurs for the DOPAL-modification resulting in protein cross-linking. Preliminary work indicates enzymes in DA synthesis and catabolism to be cellular targets for DOPAL. Functional consequences for elevated levels of the DA-derived aldehyde and protein modification may include adverse cellular effects. These data implicate DOPAL as a toxic and reactive intermediate potentially serving as a “chemical trigger” for some stage of PD pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3109112  PMID: 21238438
dopamine; 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde; Parkinson’s disease; protein modification; biological reactive intermediate
2.  Protein Reactivity of 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde, a Toxic Dopamine Metabolite, is Dependent on both the Aldehyde and Catechol 
Chemical research in toxicology  2009;22(7):1256-1263.
Dopamine (DA) has been implicated as an endogenous neurotoxin to explain the selective neurodegeneration as observed for Parkinson's disease (PD). However, previous work demonstrated 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL) to be more toxic than DA. DOPAL is generated as a part of DA catabolism via the activity of monoamine oxidase and the mechanism of DOPAL toxicity is proposed to involve protein modification. Previous studies have demonstrated protein reactivity via the aldehyde moiety; however, DOPAL contains two reactive functional groups (catechol and aldehyde) both with the potential for protein adduction. The goal of this work was to determine whether protein modification by DOPAL occurs via a thiol-reactive quinone generated from oxidation of the catechol, which is known to occur for DA, or if the aldehyde forms adducts with amine nucleophiles. To accomplish this objective, the reactivity of DOPAL towards N-acetyl-lysine (NAL), N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and two model proteins was determined. In addition, several DOPAL analogues were obtained and used for comparison of reactivity. Results demonstrate that at pH 7.4 and 37°C, the order of DOPAL reactivity is NAL ≫ NAC and the product of NAL and DOPAL is stable in the absence of reducing agent. Moreover, DOPAL will react with model proteins, but in the presence of amine-selective modifiers citraconic anhydride and 2-iminothiolane hydrochloride, the reactivity of DOPAL towards the proteins is diminished. In addition, DOPAL-mediated protein cross-linking is observed when a model protein or a protein mixture (i.e. mitochondria lysate) are treated with DOPAL at concentrations of 5-100 μM. Protein cross-linking was diminished in the presence of ascorbate, suggesting the involvement of a quinone in DOPAL-mediated protein modification. These data indicate DOPAL to be highly reactive towards protein nucleophiles with the potential for protein cross-linking.
PMCID: PMC2717024  PMID: 19537779

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