Nonenzymatic modification of proteins is one of the key pathogenic factors in diabetic complications. Uncovering the mechanisms of protein damage caused by glucose is fundamental to understanding this pathogenesis and in the development of new therapies. We investigated whether the mechanism involving reactive oxygen species can propagate protein damage in glycation reactions beyond the classical modifications of lysine and arginine residues. We have demonstrated that glucose can cause specific oxidative modification of tryptophan residues in lysozyme and inhibit lysozyme activity. Furthermore, modification of tryptophan residues was also induced by purified albumin-Amadori, a ribose-derived model glycation intermediate. The AGE inhibitor pyridoxamine (PM) prevented the tryptophan modification, whereas another AGE inhibitor and strong carbonyl scavenger, aminoguanidine, was ineffective. PM specifically inhibited generation of hydroxyl radical from albumin-Amadori and protected tryptophan from oxidation by hydroxyl radical species. We conclude that oxidative degradation of either glucose or the protein-Amadori intermediate causes oxidative modification of protein tryptophan residues via hydroxyl radical and can affect protein function under physiologically relevant conditions. This oxidative stress-induced structural and functional protein damage can be ameliorated by PM via sequestration of catalytic metal ions and scavenging of hydroxyl radical, a mechanism that may contribute to the reported therapeutic effects of PM in the complications of diabetes.