Carbamoylation correlates of cyanate neuropathy and cyanide poisoning: Relevance to the biomarkers of cassava cyanogenesis and motor system toxicity

Samuel Kimani, Victor Moterroso, Mike Lasarev, Sinei Kipruto, Fred Bukachi, Charles Maitai, Larry David, Desire Tshala-Katumbay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


We sought to elucidate the protein carbamoylation patterns associated with cyanate neuropathy relative to cyanide poisoning. We hypothesized that under a diet deficient in sulfur amino acids (SAA), the carbamoylation pattern associated with cyanide poisoning is similar to that of cyanate neuropathy. Male rats (6-8 weeks old) were fed a diet with all amino acids (AAA) or 75%-deficiency in SAA and treated with 2.5 mg/kg/body weight (bw) NaCN, or 50 mg/kg/bw NaOCN, or 1 μl/g/bw saline, for up to 6 weeks. Albumin and spinal cord proteins were analyzed using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Only NaOCN induced motor deficits with significant levels of carbamoylation. At Day 14, we found a diet-treatment interaction effect on albumin carbamoylation (p = 0.07). At Day 28, no effect was attributed to diet (p = 0.71). Mean number of NaCN-carbamoylated sites on albumin was 47.4% higher relative to vehicle (95% CI:16.7-86.4%). Only NaOCN carbamoylated spinal cord proteins, prominently, under SAA-restricted diet. Proteins targets included myelin basic and proteolipid proteins, neurofilament light and glial fibrillary acidic proteins, and 2', 3' cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase. Under SAA deficiency, chronic but not acute cyanide toxicity may share biomarkers and pathogenetic similarities with cyanate neuropathy. Prevention of carbamoylation may protect against the neuropathic effects of cyanate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number647
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Carbamoylation
  • Cyanate
  • Cyanide
  • Neuropathy
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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