Folate and homocysteine metabolism in copper-deficient rats.
To investigate the effect of copper deficiency on folate and homocysteine metabolism, we measured plasma, red-cell and hepatic folate, plasma homocysteine and vitamin B-12 concentrations, and hepatic methionine synthase activities in rats. Two groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed semi-purified diets containing either 0. 1 mg (copper-deficient group) or 9.2 mg (control group) of copper per kg. After 6 weeks of dietary treatment, copper deficiency was established as evidenced by markedly decreased plasma and hepatic copper concentrations in rats fed the low-copper diet. Plasma, red-cell, hepatic folate, and plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations were similar in both groups, whereas plasma homocysteine concentrations in the copper-deficient group were significantly higher than in the control group (P<0.05). Copper deficiency resulted in a 21% reduction in hepatic methionine synthase activity as compared to the control group (P<0.01). This change most likely caused the increased hepatic 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and plasma homocysteine concentrations in the copper-deficient group. Our results indicate that hepatic methionine synthase may be a cuproenzyme, and plasma homocysteine concentrations are influenced by copper nutriture in rats. These data support the concept that copper deficiency can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. (+info)
Co-ordinate variations in methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase, and the cobalamin cofactors in human glioma cells during nitrous oxide exposure and the subsequent recovery phase.
We investigated the co-ordinate variations of the two cobalamin (Cbl)-dependent enzymes, methionine synthase (MS) and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM), and measured the levels of their respective cofactors, methylcobalamin (CH3Cbl) and adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl) in cultured human glioma cells during nitrous oxide exposure and during a subsequent recovery period of culture in a nitrous oxide-free atmosphere (air). In agreement with published data, MS as the primary target of nitrous oxide was inactivated rapidly (initial rate of 0.06 h(-1)), followed by reduction of CH3Cbl (to <20%). Both enzyme activity and cofactor levels recovered rapidly when the cells were subsequently cultured in air, but the recovery was completely blocked by the protein-synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide. During MS inactivation, there was a reduction of cellular AdoCbl and holo-MCM activity (measured in the absence of exogenous AdoCbl) to about 50% of pre-treatment levels. When the cells were transferred to air, both AdoCbl and holo-MCM activity recovered, albeit more slowly than the MS system. Notably, the regain of the holo-MCM and AdoCbl was enhanced rather than inhibited by cycloheximide. These findings confirm irreversible damage of MS by nitrous oxide; hence, synthesis of the enzyme is required to restore its activity. In contrast, restoration of holo-MCM activity is only dependent on repletion of the AdoCbl cofactor. We also observed a synchronous fluctuation in AdoCbl and the much larger hydroxycobalamin pool during the inactivation and recovery phase, suggesting that the loss and repletion of AdoCbl reflect changes in intracellular Cbl homoeostasis. Our data demonstrate that the nitrous oxide-induced changes in MS and CH3Cbl are associated with reversible changes in both MCM holoactivity and the AdoCbl level, suggesting co-ordinate distribution of Cbl cofactors during depletion and repletion. (+info)
Reversal of ethanol-induced hepatic steatosis and lipid peroxidation by taurine: a study in rats.
Alcohol (ethanol) was administered chronically to female Sprague-Dawley rats in a nutritionally adequate, totally liquid diet for 28 days. This resulted in significant hepatic steatosis and lipid peroxidation. When taurine was administered for 2 days following alcohol withdrawal it was found to reduce alcohol-induced lipid peroxidation and completely reversed hepatic steatosis. The reversal of hepatic steatosis was demonstrated both biochemically and histologically. Two days following alcohol withdrawal, the apparent activity of the alcohol-inducible form of cytochrome P450 (CYP2E1) was unchanged although total cytochrome P450 content was increased. In addition, alcohol significantly inhibited hepatic methionine synthase activity and increased homocysteine excretion in urine. Although alcohol did not affect the urinary excretion of taurine (a non-invasive marker of liver damage), levels of serum and hepatic taurine were markedly raised in animals given taurine following their treatment with alcohol, compared to animals given taurine alone. There was evidence of slight bile duct injury in animals treated with alcohol and with alcohol followed by taurine, as indicated by raised serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and cholesterol. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was also slightly raised. The effects of taurine on reversing hepatic steatosis may be due to the enhanced secretion of hepatic triglycerides. It is suggested that increased bile flow as a result of taurine treatment may have contributed to the removal of lipid peroxides. These in-vivo findings demonstrate for the first time that hepatic steatosis and lipid peroxidation, occurring as a result of chronic alcohol consumption, can be reversed by administration of taurine to rats for 2 days. (+info)
A new class of cobalamin transport mutants (btuF) provides genetic evidence for a periplasmic binding protein in Salmonella typhimurium.
No periplasmic binding protein has been demonstrated for the ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type cobalamin transporter BtuCD. New mutations (btuF) are described that affect inner-membrane transport. The BtuF protein has a signal sequence and resembles the periplasmic binding proteins of several other ABC transporters. (+info)
Molecular basis for methionine synthase reductase deficiency in patients belonging to the cblE complementation group of disorders in folate/cobalamin metabolism.
Methionine synthase reductase (MSR) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder of folate/cobalamin metabolism leading to hyperhomocysteinemia, hypo- methioninemia and megaloblastic anemia. Deficiency in MSR activity occurs as the result of a defect in the MSR enzyme, which is required for the reductive activation of methionine synthase (MS). MS itself is responsible for the folate/cobalamin-dependent conversion of homo- cysteine to methionine. We have recently cloned the cDNA corresponding to the MSR protein, a novel member of the ferredoxin-NADP(+)reductase (FNR) family of electron transferases. We have used RT-PCR, heteroduplex, single-strand conformation poly- morphism (SSCP) and DNA sequence analyses to reveal 11 mutations in eight patients from seven families belonging to the cblE complementation group of patients of cobalamin metabolism that is defective in the MSR protein. The mutations include splicing defects leading to large insertions or deletions, as well as a number of smaller deletions and point mutations. Apart from an intronic substitution found in two unrelated patients, the mutations appear singular among individuals. Of the eleven, three are nonsense mutations, allowing for the identification of two patients for whom little if any MSR protein should be produced. The remaining eight involve point mutations or in-frame disruptions of the coding sequence and are distributed throughout the coding region, including proposed FMN, FAD and NADPH binding sites. These data demonstrate a unique requirement for MSR in the reductive activation of MS. (+info)
A polymorphism of the methionine synthase gene: association with plasma folate, vitamin B12, homocyst(e)ine, and colorectal cancer risk.
We previously reported (J. Chen et al., Cancer Res., 56: 4862-4864, 1996; J. Ma et al., Cancer Res., 57: 1098-1102, 1997) that a 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphism (677C-->T, ala-->val) was associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer. In this study, we examined the relationship of a polymorphism (2756A-->G, asp-->gly) in the gene (MTR) for methionine synthase, another important enzyme in the same folate/methionine/homocyst(e)ine metabolic pathway, with risk of colorectal cancer among 356 cases and 476 cancer-free controls. The frequency of the homozygous variant genotype (gly/gly) was slightly lower among cases (3%) than controls (5%). The odds ratio for the gly/gly genotype was 0.59 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.27-1.27] compared with those with the homozygous wild type (asp/asp). There were no significant differences in plasma levels of folate, vitamin B12, and homocyst(e)ine (tHcy) among the MTR genotypes, in contrast to the MTHFR polymorphism. However, similar to the interaction observed for the MTHFR polymorphism among men who consumed less than 1 alcoholic drink/day, those with the gly/gly genotype had a lower risk of colorectal cancer with an odds ratio of 0.27 (95% CI, 0.09-0.81) compared with those with the asp/asp genotype. The possible association of the MTR polymorphism with lower risk of colorectal cancer especially among those with low alcohol consumption, in the same direction as for the MTHFR polymorphism, is intriguing. However, our study had limited statistical power because of the low frequency of the MTR variant genotype, which is reflected in the wide CIs. Hence, these findings need to be confirmed in larger populations. (+info)
Heterologous high level expression, purification, and enzymological properties of recombinant rat cobalamin-dependent methionine synthase.
Rat methionine synthase was expressed chiefly as apoenzyme in recombinant baculovirus-infected insect cells (Yamada, K., Tobimatsu, T., and Toraya, T. (1998) Biosci. Biotech. Biochem. 62, 2155-2160). The apoenzyme produced was very unstable, and therefore, after complexation with methylcobalamin, the functional holoenzyme was purified to homogeneity. The specific activity and apparent K(m) values for substrates were in good agreement with those obtained with purified rat liver enzyme. The electronic spectrum of the purified recombinant enzyme resembled that of cob(II)alamin and changed to a methylcobalamin-like one upon incubation of the enzyme with titanium(III) and S-adenosylmethionine. The rate of oxidative inactivation of the enzyme in the absence of S-adenosylmethionine was slower with a stronger reducing agent like titanium(III). The nucleotide moiety, especially the phosphodiester group, was shown to play an important role in the binding of the coenzyme to apoprotein and thus for catalysis. Upon incubation with the apoenzyme in the absence of a reducing agent, cyano- and aquacobalamin were not effective or were effective only slightly in reconstituting holoenzyme. Ethyl- and propylcobalamin formed inactive complexes with apoenzyme, which were converted to holoenzyme by photolytic activation. Adenosylcobalamin was not able to form a complex with apoenzyme, which was convertible to holoenzyme by photoirradiation. (+info)
Characterization and functional expression of cDNAs encoding methionine-sensitive and -insensitive homocysteine S-methyltransferases from Arabidopsis.
Plants synthesize S-methylmethionine (SMM) from S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet), and methionine (Met) by a unique reaction and, like other organisms, use SMM as a methyl donor for Met synthesis from homocysteine (Hcy). These reactions comprise the SMM cycle. Two Arabidopsis cDNAs specifying enzymes that mediate the SMM --> Met reaction (SMM:Hcy S-methyltransferase, HMT) were identified by homology and authenticated by complementing an Escherichia coli yagD mutant and by detecting HMT activity in complemented cells. Gel blot analyses indicate that these enzymes, AtHMT-1 and -2, are encoded by single copy genes. The deduced polypeptides are similar in size (36 kDa), share a zinc-binding motif, lack obvious targeting sequences, and are 55% identical to each other. The recombinant enzymes exist as monomers. AtHMT-1 and -2 both utilize l-SMM or (S,S)-AdoMet as a methyl donor in vitro and have higher affinities for SMM. Both enzymes also use either methyl donor in vivo because both restore the ability to utilize AdoMet or SMM to a yeast HMT mutant. However, AtHMT-1 is strongly inhibited by Met, whereas AtHMT-2 is not, a difference that could be crucial to the control of flux through the HMT reaction and the SMM cycle. Plant HMT is known to transfer the pro-R methyl group of SMM. This enabled us to use recombinant AtHMT-1 to establish that the other enzyme of the SMM cycle, AdoMet:Met S-methyltransferase, introduces the pro-S methyl group. These opposing stereoselectivities suggest a way to measure in vivo flux through the SMM cycle. (+info)