The effect of nonenzymatic glycosylation on the susceptibility of fibrin to degradation by the specific fibrinolytic enzyme plasmin was evaluated using both a fibrin plate assay anda fluorogenic synthetic plasmin substrate assay. Data from both types of experiments demonstrate that nonenzymatic glycosylation reduces the susceptibility of fibrin to plasmin degradation. Acetylation and carbamylation have qualitatively similar effects, indicating that chemical modification of lysine amino groups is the underlying phenomenon responsible for the observed degradative defect produced by glucose. Experimental conditions that increased the rate of nonenzymatic protein glycosylation (higher monosaccharide concentration, glucose-6-phosphate) were associated with correspondingly greater degrees of resistance to degradation by plasmin. Such reduced degradation of nonenzymatically glycosylated proteins in vivo may contribute to the accumulation of fibrin and several other proteins observed in those tissues most frequently affected by the complications of diabetes.

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