Glycation of proteins, nucleotides and basic phospholipids by glucose, glyoxal, methylglyoxal, 3-deoxyglucosone and other saccharide derivatives is potentially damaging to the proteome and mutagenic. It is now recognized that there is an enzymatic defence against glycation – a group of enzymes that suppress the physiological levels of potent glycating agents and repair glycated proteins: glyoxalase I, aldehyde reductases and dehydrogenases, amadoriase and fructosamine 3-phosphokinase. The enzymatic defence against glycation influences morbidity and the efficiency of drug therapy in certain diseases. Improved understanding of the balance between glycation and the enzymatic anti-glycation defence will advance disease diagnosis and therapy.

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