This site is devoted to dipeptide Carnosine and its derivatives which are able to protect biological structures from oxidative damage.
Carnosine is a rather simple molecule, but it has different properties very usefull for cellular metabolism - being the buffer of protons and metals of variable valency, scavenger of free radicals and active sugars, Carnosine acts as polifunctional protector of cells and tissues in different extreme conditions - oxidative stress, exatotoxic disorders of excitable tissues, injuries, deficit of immune system, etc.
What is Carnosine?
Carnosine (sago, carnis - meat), C9H14O3N4, a dipeptide (β -alanylhistidine), composed of amino acids β-alanine and L-histidine. It was discovered by Gulevich B.C. in meat extract in 1900. Its molecular mass is 226, It crystallizes in the form of colourless prickles, has good solubility in water, and is insoluble in alcohol. It is found in skeletal muscles of most vertebrates. There are kinds of fish in which both Carnosine itself and the amino acids of which it is composed are absent (or either L-gistidin or Beta-alanine is only present); There is no carnosine in the muscles of invertebrates. The content of carnosine in muscles of vertebrates varies from 200 to 400 mg% of raw muscles and depends on their structure and function; its content in human muscles is 100-150 mg%.
The effects of carnosine on biochemical processes are various, however, the whole biological role of carnosine has not been determined yet.
Addition of carnosine to the solution, washing isolated nervous and muscular preparation, stimulates rehabilitation of contractions of a tired muscle (the phenomenon by Severin).