Role of glutamine in human carbohydrate metabolism in kidney and other tissues. (1/3706)

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body and is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid. Until recently, the understanding of many aspects of glutamine metabolism was based on animal and in vitro data. However, recent studies using isotopic and balance techniques have greatly advanced the understanding of glutamine metabolism in humans and its role in glucose metabolism in the kidney and other tissues. There is now evidence that in postabsorptive humans, glutamine is an important glucose precursor and makes a significant contribution to the addition of new carbon to the glucose carbon pool. The importance of alanine for gluconeogenesis, viewed in terms of the addition of new carbons, is less than previously assumed. It appears that glutamine is predominantly a renal gluconeogenic substrate, whereas alanine gluconeogenesis is essentially confined to the liver. As shown recently, renal gluconeogenesis contributes 20 to 25% to whole-body glucose production. Moreover, glutamine has been shown not only to stimulate net muscle glycogen storage but also to stimulate gluconeogenesis in normal humans. Finally, in humans with type II diabetes, conversion of glutamine to glucose is increased (more so than that of alanine). The available evidence on the hormonal regulation of glutamine gluconeogenesis in kidney and liver and its alterations under pathological conditions are discussed.  (+info)

The biochemical role of glutamine 188 in human galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase. (2/3706)

The substitution of arginine for glutamine at amino acid 188 (Q188R) ablates the function of human galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) and is the most common mutation causing galactosemia in the white population. GALT catalyzes two consecutive reactions. The first reaction binds UDP-glucose (UDP-Glu), displaces glucose-1-phosphate (glu-1-P), and forms the UMP-GALT intermediate. In the second reaction, galactose-1-phosphate (gal-1-P) is bound, UDP-galactose (UDP-Gal) is released, and the free enzyme is recycled. In this study, we modeled glutamine, asparagine, and a common mutation arginine at amino acid 188 on the three-dimensional model of the Escherichia coli GALT-UMP protein crystal. We found that the amide group of the glutamine side chain could provide two hydrogen bonds to the phosphoryl oxygens of UMP with lengths of 2.52 and 2.82 A. Arginine and asparagine could provide only one hydrogen bond of 2. 52 and 3.02 A, respectively. To test this model, we purified recombinant human Gln188-, Arg188-, and Asn188-GALT and analyzed the first reaction in the absence of gal-1-P by quantitating glu-1-P released using enzyme-linked methods. Gln188-GALT displaced 80 +/- 7. 0 nmol glu-1-P/mg GALT/min in the first reaction. By contrast, both Arg188- and Asn188-GALT released more glu-1-P (170 +/- 8.0 and 129 +/- 28.4 nmol/mg GALT/min, respectively). The overall, double displacement reaction was quantitated in the presence of gal-1-P. Gln188-GALT produced 80,030 +/- 5,910 nmol glu-1-P/mg GALT/min, whereas the mutant Arg188- and Asn188-GALT released only 600 +/- 71. 2 and 2960 +/- 283.6 nmole glu-1-P/mg GALT/min, respectively. We conclude from these data that glutamine at position 188 stabilizes the UMP-GALT intermediate through hydrogen bonding and enables the double displacement of both glu-1-P and UDP-Gal. The substitution of arginine or asparagine at position 188 reduces hydrogen bonding and destabilizes UMP-GALT. The unstable UMP-GALT allows single displacement of glu-1-P with release of free GALT but impairs the subsequent binding of gal-1-P and displacement of UDP-Gal.  (+info)

Kinetic impairment of nitrogen and muscle glutamine metabolisms in old glucocorticoid-treated rats. (3/3706)

Aged rats are more sensitive to injury, possibly through an impairment of nitrogen and glutamine (Gln) metabolisms mediated by glucocorticoids. We studied the metabolic kinetic response of adult and old rats during glucocorticoid treatment. The male Sprague-Dawley rats were 24 or 3 mo old. Both adult and old rats were divided into 7 groups. Groups labeled G3, G5, and G7 received, by intraperitoneal injection, 1.50 mg/kg of dexamethasone (Dex) for 3, 5, and 7 days, respectively. Groups labeled G3PF, G5PF, and G7PF were pair fed to the G3, G5, or G7 groups and were injected with an isovolumic solution of NaCl. One control group comprised healthy rats fed ad libitum. The response to aggression induced specifically by Dex (i.e., allowing for variations in pair-fed controls) appeared later in the aged rats (decrease in nitrogen balance from day 1 in adults but only from day 4 in old rats). The adult rats rapidly adapted to Dex treatment, whereas the catabolic state worsened until the end of treatment in the old rats. Gln homeostasis was not maintained in the aged rats; despite an early increase in muscular Gln synthetase activity, the Gln pool was depleted. These results suggest a kinetic impairment of both nitrogen and muscle Gln metabolisms in response to Dex with aging.  (+info)

Paraoxonase 192 Gln/Arg gene polymorphism, coronary artery disease, and myocardial infarction in type 2 diabetes. (4/3706)

Paraoxonase is an HDL-associated enzyme implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by protecting lipoproteins against peroxidation. Its biallelic gene polymorphism at codon 192 (glutamine/arginine) has been associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). To further evaluate the role of this paraoxonase gene polymorphism for CAD in type 2 diabetes, we determined the paraoxonase genotype in 288 type 2 diabetic patients (170 with and 118 without angiographically documented CAD). The paraoxonase 192 Gln/Arg genotype was assessed using polymerase chain reaction followed by AlwI digestion. The frequency of the Gln allele was 0.656 in the CAD patients and 0.746 in the controls (chi2 = 5.36, P = 0.02). Compared with the Gln/Gln genotypes, the age-adjusted odds ratio for CAD was 1.78 (95% CI 1.08-2.96, P = 0.02) in subjects carrying at least one Arg allele. In the multivariate analysis, this association was even stronger after correction for the possible confounders age, sex, smoking history, and hypertension. Among current and former smokers, the odds ratio (OR) for having CAD among patients with at least one Arg allele was 3.58 (1.45-9.53, P < 0.01). The paraoxonase Arg allele was not associated with the history of myocardial infarction (OR 1.20 [0.73-1.99, NS]), but was with the extent of CAD (OR for three-vessel disease 1.92 [1.15-3.27, P = 0.01]). Our data indicate that the 192 Arg allele of the human paraoxonase gene is a risk factor for CAD but not myocardial infarction in type 2 diabetic patients, a risk factor further modified by cigarette smoking. This risk could possibly be explained by a reduced ability of the paraoxonase Arg isoform to protect lipoproteins against peroxidation.  (+info)

Analysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures. (5/3706)

The geometrical properties of zinc binding sites in a dataset of high quality protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank have been examined to identify important differences between zinc sites that are directly involved in catalysis and those that play a structural role. Coordination angles in the zinc primary coordination sphere are compared with ideal values for each coordination geometry, and zinc coordination distances are compared with those in small zinc complexes from the Cambridge Structural Database as a guide of expected trends. We find that distances and angles in the primary coordination sphere are in general close to the expected (or ideal) values. Deviations occur primarily for oxygen coordinating atoms and are found to be mainly due to H-bonding of the oxygen coordinating ligand to protein residues, bidentate binding arrangements, and multi-zinc sites. We find that H-bonding of oxygen containing residues (or water) to zinc bound histidines is almost universal in our dataset and defines the elec-His-Zn motif. Analysis of the stereochemistry shows that carboxyl elec-His-Zn motifs are geometrically rigid, while water elec-His-Zn motifs show the most geometrical variation. As catalytic motifs have a higher proportion of carboxyl elec atoms than structural motifs, they provide a more rigid framework for zinc binding. This is understood biologically, as a small distortion in the zinc position in an enzyme can have serious consequences on the enzymatic reaction. We also analyze the sequence pattern of the zinc ligands and residues that provide elecs, and identify conserved hydrophobic residues in the endopeptidases that also appear to contribute to stabilizing the catalytic zinc site. A zinc binding template in protein crystal structures is derived from these observations.  (+info)

Deamidation of alpha-A crystallin from nuclei of cataractous and normal human lenses. (6/3706)

PURPOSE: To quantitate the extent of deamidation of asparagine-101, glutamine-50, and glutamine-6 of alpha-A crystallin in the nucleus from human cataractous and normal lenses. METHODS: Reverse phase chromatography was used to prepare alpha-A crystallin from total proteins of the nucleus from cataractous and age-matched normal human lenses. Synthetic peptides were made corresponding to the expected amidated and deamidated tryptic fragments containing asparagine-101, glutamine-50, and glutamine-6. The peptides were used to identify and quantitate amidated and deamidated forms of tryptic fragments from alpha-A crystallin eluting from a reverse phase column. RESULTS: Significant amounts of deamidation of asparagine-101 and glutamine-50, but not glutamine-6, were present in alpha-A crystallin from nuclear sections of both cataractous and age-matched normal lenses. Quantitative analysis of tryptic peptides containing these residues indicated no statistical difference in deamidation in cataractous versus normal lenses. CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant difference in the extent of deamidation of asparagine-101, glutamine-50, and glutamine-6 for alpha-A crystallin, purified from the nucleus of cataractous versus age-matched normal lenses. These results strongly suggest that deamidation of these residues does not play a role in the biogenesis of human nuclear cataract.  (+info)

Subunit interface selectivity of the alpha-neurotoxins for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. (7/3706)

Peptide toxins selective for particular subunit interfaces of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor have proven invaluable in assigning candidate residues located in the two binding sites and for determining probable orientations of the bound peptide. We report here on a short alpha-neurotoxin from Naja mossambica mossambica (NmmI) that, similar to other alpha-neurotoxins, binds with high affinity to alphagamma and alphadelta subunit interfaces (KD approximately 100 pM) but binds with markedly reduced affinity to the alphaepsilon interface (KD approximately 100 nM). By constructing chimeras composed of portions of the gamma and epsilon subunits and coexpressing them with wild type alpha, beta, and delta subunits in HEK 293 cells, we identify a region of the subunit sequence responsible for the difference in affinity. Within this region, gammaPro-175 and gammaGlu-176 confer high affinity, whereas Thr and Ala, found at homologous positions in epsilon, confer low affinity. To identify an interaction between gammaGlu-176 and residues in NmmI, we have examined cationic residues in the central loop of the toxin and measured binding of mutant toxin-receptor combinations. The data show strong pairwise interactions or coupling between gammaGlu-176 and Lys-27 of NmmI and progressively weaker interactions with Arg-33 and Arg-36 in loop II of this three-loop toxin. Thus, loop II of NmmI, and in particular the face of this loop closest to loop III, appears to come into close apposition with Glu-176 of the gamma subunit surface of the binding site interface.  (+info)

Solution structure of the alpha-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin. (8/3706)

The three-dimensional solution structure of the alpha-subunit in the alpha, beta heterodimeric human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), deglycosylated with endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase-B (dg-alpha hCG), was determined using 2D homonuclear and 2D heteronuclear 1H, 13C NMR spectroscopy at natural abundance in conjunction with the program package XPLOR. The distance geometry/simulated annealing protocol was modified to allow for the efficient modelling of the cystine knot motif present in alpha hCG. The protein structure was modelled with 620 interproton distance restraints and the GlcNAc residue linked to Asn78 was modelled with 30 protein-carbohydrate and 3 intraresidual NOEs. The solution structure of dg-alpha hCG is represented by an ensemble of 27 structures. In comparison to the crystal structure of the dimer, the solution structure of free dg-alpha hCG exhibits: (a) an increased structural disorder (residues 33-57); (b) a different backbone conformation near Val76 and Glu77; and (c) a larger flexibility. These differences are caused by the absence of the interactions with the beta-subunit. Consequently, in free dg-alpha hCG, compared to the intact dimer, the two hairpin loops 20-23 and 70-74 are arranged differently with respect to each other. The beta-GlcNAc(78) is tightly associated with the hydrophobic protein-core in between the beta-hairpins. This conclusion is based on the NOEs from the axial H1, H3, H5 atoms and the N-acetyl protons of beta-GlcNAc(78) to the protein-core. The hydrophobic protein-core between the beta-hairpins is thereby shielded from the solvent.  (+info)