3-Deoxyfructose concentrations are increased in human plasma and urine in diabetes

K J Wells-Knecht, T J Lyons, D R McCance, S R Thorpe, M S Feather, J W Baynes

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3-Deoxyglucosone (3-DG) is a reactive dicarbonyl sugar thought to be a key intermediate in the nonenzymatic polymerization and browning of proteins by glucose. 3-DG may be formed in vivo from fructose, fructose 3-phosphate, or Amadori adducts to protein, such as N epsilon-fructoselysine (FL), all of which are known to be elevated in body fluids or tissues in diabetes. Modification of proteins by 3-DG formed in vivo is thought to be limited by enzymatic reduction of 3-DG to less reactive species, such as 3-deoxyfructose (3-DF). In this study, we have measured 3-DF, as a metabolic fingerprint of 3-DG, in plasma and urine from a group of diabetic patients and control subjects. Plasma and urinary 3-DF concentrations were significantly increased in the diabetic compared with the control population (0.853 +/- 0.189 vs. 0.494 +/- 0.072 microM, P <0.001, and 69.9 +/- 44.2 vs. 38.7 +/- 16.1 nmol/mg creatinine, P <0.001, respectively). Plasma and urinary 3-DF concentrations correlated strongly with one another, with HbA1c (P <0.005 in all cases), and with urinary FL (P <0.02 and P = 0.005, respectively). The overall increase in 3-DF concentrations in plasma and urine in diabetes and their correlation with other indexes of glycemic control suggest that increased amounts of 3-DG are formed in the body during hyperglycemia in diabetes and then metabolized to 3-DF. These observations are consistent with a role for increased formation of the dicarbonyl sugar 3-DG in the accelerated browning of tissue proteins in diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1152-6
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1994


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biological Markers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated
  • Humans
  • Ketoses
  • Lysine
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis


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