Hba1c is formed by Glycation or Glycosylation?

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is formed through a process called glycation, not glycosylation. Glycation refers to the non-enzymatic attachment of glucose molecules to proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids, forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs). In the case of HbA1c, glucose molecules attach to hemoglobin in red blood cells, primarily to the beta chain of hemoglobin A, forming a stable complex known as HbA1c.

The formation of HbA1c occurs continuously over the lifespan of red blood cells (approximately 120 days in circulation), reflecting the average blood glucose levels over the preceding 2 to 3 months. As a result, HbA1c serves as an important marker for long-term glycemic control in individuals with diabetes mellitus.

Glycosylation, on the other hand, refers to the enzymatic attachment of carbohydrate moieties (such as sugars) to proteins, lipids, or other molecules. Unlike glycation, which occurs non-enzymatically and is influenced by factors such as glucose concentration and duration of exposure, glycosylation is a highly regulated process involved in various physiological functions, including protein folding, cell signaling, and immune response. Glycosylation plays a crucial role in the structure and function of many proteins in the body.