Protein lipoxidation refers to the modification by electrophilic lipid oxidation products to form covalent adducts, which for many years has been considered as a deleterious consequence of oxidative stress. Oxidized lipids or phospholipids containing carbonyl moieties react readily with lysine to form Schiff bases; alternatively, oxidation products containing α,β-unsaturated moieties are susceptible to nucleophilic attack by cysteine, histidine or lysine residues to yield Michael adducts, overall corresponding to a large number of possible protein adducts. The most common detection methods for lipoxidized proteins take advantage of the presence of reactive carbonyl groups to add labels, or use antibodies. These methods have limitations in terms of specificity and identification of the modification site. The latter question is satisfactorily addressed by mass spectrometry, which enables the characterization of the adduct structure. This has allowed the identification of lipoxidized proteins in physiological and pathological situations. While in many cases lipoxidation interferes with protein function, causing inhibition of enzymatic activity and increased immunogenicity, there are a small number of cases where lipoxidation results in gain of function or activity. For certain proteins lipoxidation may represent a form of redox signaling, although more work is required to confirm the physiological relevance and mechanisms of such processes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Posttranslational Protein modifications in biology and Medicine. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
- mass spectrometry
- nitro-fatty acids