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3-Deoxy-D-glucosone is a highly reactive 2-oxoaldehyde intermediate of the Maillard reaction. It is produced during oxidative stress in response to excess sugar consumption and in association with diabetes. It is also derived from fructose, which is present in high levels in diabetic patients, by a self-condensation reaction. It is a precursor for the formation of advanced glycation endproducts.
Frequently used as a reference for the analysis and detection of glucose degradation products and glycating agents. Also used for cross-linking studies as it readily reacts with protein amino groups.