Protein thiol oxidation does not change in skeletal muscles of aging female mice

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Oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species is proposed to cause age related muscle wasting (sarcopenia). Reversible oxidation of protein thiols by reactive oxygen species can affect protein function, so we evaluated whether muscle wasting in normal aging was associated with a pervasive increase in reversible oxidation of protein thiols or with an increase in irreversible oxidative damage to macromolecules. In gastrocnemius muscles of C57BL/6J female mice aged 3, 15, 24, 27, and 29 months there was no age related increase in protein thiol oxidation. In contrast, there was a significant correlation (R (2) = 0.698) between increasing protein carbonylation, a measure of irreversible oxidative damage to proteins, and loss of mass of gastrocnemius muscles in aging female mice. In addition, there was an age-related increase in lipofuscin content, an aggregate of oxidised proteins and lipids, in quadriceps limb muscles in aging female mice. However, there was no evidence of an age-related increase in malondialdehyde or F-2-isoprostanes levels, which are measures of oxidative damage to lipids, in gastrocnemius muscles. In summary, this study does not support the hypothesis that a pervasive increase in protein thiol oxidation is a contributing factor to sarcopenia. Instead, the data are consistent with an aging theory which proposes that molecular damage to macromolecules leads to the structural and functional disorders associated with aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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