(1/291) An inhibitor of exported Mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase selectively blocks the growth of pathogenic mycobacteria in axenic culture and in human monocytes: extracellular proteins as potential novel drug targets.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacteria export abundant quantities of proteins into their extracellular milieu when growing either axenically or within phagosomes of host cells. One major extracellular protein, the enzyme glutamine synthetase, is of particular interest because of its link to pathogenicity. Pathogenic mycobacteria, but not nonpathogenic mycobacteria, export large amounts of this protein. Interestingly, export of the enzyme is associated with the presence of a poly-L-glutamate/glutamine structure in the mycobacterial cell wall. In this study, we investigated the influence of glutamine synthetase inhibitors on the growth of pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacteria and on the poly-L-glutamate/glutamine cell wall structure. The inhibitor L-methionine-S-sulfoximine rapidly inactivated purified M. tuberculosis glutamine synthetase, which was 100-fold more sensitive to this inhibitor than a representative mammalian glutamine synthetase. Added to cultures of pathogenic mycobacteria, L-methionine- S-sulfoximine rapidly inhibited extracellular glutamine synthetase in a concentration-dependent manner but had only a minimal effect on cellular glutamine synthetase, a finding consistent with failure of the drug to cross the mycobacterial cell wall. Remarkably, the inhibitor selectively blocked the growth of pathogenic mycobacteria, all of which release glutamine synthetase extracellularly, but had no effect on nonpathogenic mycobacteria or nonmycobacterial microorganisms, none of which release glutamine synthetase extracellularly. The inhibitor was also bacteriostatic for M. tuberculosis in human mononuclear phagocytes (THP-1 cells), the pathogen's primary host cells. Paralleling and perhaps underlying its bacteriostatic effect, the inhibitor markedly reduced the amount of poly-L-glutamate/glutamine cell wall structure in M. tuberculosis. Although it is possible that glutamine synthetase inhibitors interact with additional extracellular proteins or structures, our findings support the concept that extracellular proteins of M. tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacteria are worthy targets for new antibiotics. Such proteins constitute readily accessible targets of these relatively impermeable organisms, which are rapidly developing resistance to conventional antibiotics.  (+info)

(2/291) Inorganic nitrogen assimilation by the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas capsulata.

The photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas capsulata lacks glutamate dehydrogenase and normally uses the glutamine synthetase/glutamate synthase sequence of reactions for assimilation of N2 and ammonia. The glutamine synthetase in cell-free extracts of the organism is completely sedimented by centrifugation at 140,000 X g for 2 h, is inhibited by L-alanine but not by adenosine 5'-monophosphate, and exhibits two apparent Km values for ammonia (ca. 13 muM and 1 mM).  (+info)

(3/291) Effects in vivo of decreased plasma and intracellular muscle glutamine concentration on whole-body and hindquarter protein kinetics in rats.

Glutamine is considered to be a 'conditionally' essential amino acid. During situations of severe stress like sepsis or after trauma there is a fall in plasma glutamine levels, enhanced glutamine turnover and intracellular muscle glutamine depletion. Under these conditions, decreased intramuscular glutamine concentration correlates with reduced rates of protein synthesis. It has therefore been hypothesized that intracellular muscle glutamine levels have a regulatory role in muscle protein turnover rates. Administration of the glutamine synthetase inhibitor methionine sulphoximine (MSO) was used to decrease glutamine levels in male Wistar rats. Immediately after the MSO treatment (t=0 h), and at t=6 h and t=12 h, rats received intraperitoneal injections (10 ml/100 g body weight) with glutamine (200 mM) to test whether this attenuated the fall in plasma and intracellular muscle glutamine. Control animals received alanine and saline after MSO treatment, while saline was also given to a group of normal rats. At t=18 h rats received a primed constant infusion of L-[2,6-3H]phenylalanine. A three-pool compartment tracer model was used to measure whole-body protein turnover and muscle protein kinetics. Administration of MSO resulted in a 40% decrease in plasma glutamine and a 60% decrease in intracellular muscle glutamine, both of which were successfully attenuated by glutamine infusions. The decreased intracellular muscle glutamine levels had no effect on whole-body protein turnover or muscle protein kinetics. Also, glutamine supplementation did not alter these parameters. Alanine supplementation increased both hindquarter protein synthesis and breakdown but the net balance of phenylalanine remained unchanged. In conclusion, our results show that decreased plasma and muscle glutamine levels have no effect on whole-body protein turnover or muscle protein kinetics. Therefore, it is unlikely that, in vivo, the intracellular muscle concentration of glutamine is a major regulating factor in muscle protein kinetics.  (+info)

(4/291) Glutamine synthetase expression in muscle is regulated by transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms.

Skeletal muscle exports glutamine (Gln) and increases the expression of the enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS) in response to physiological stress. Acute stress or direct glucocorticoid administration raises muscle GS mRNA levels dramatically without a parallel increase in GS protein levels. In the lung, this discrepancy is caused by feedback destabilization of the GS protein by its product Gln. It was hypothesized that muscle GS protein levels increase during stress only when the intracellular Gln pool has been depleted. Adult male rats were injected with the glucocorticoid hormone dexamethasone (DEX) to mimic the acute stress response and with the GS inhibitor methionine sulfoximine (MSO) to deplete muscle Gln stores. DEX increased GS mRNA levels by 2.8-fold but increased GS protein levels by an average of only 40%. MSO diminished muscle GLN levels by 68% and caused GS protein levels to rise in accordance with GS mRNA. Chronic stress was mimicked using 6 days of MSO treatment, which produced anorexia, 23% loss of body weight, and 64% decrease in muscle Gln levels, as well as pronounced increases in both muscle GS mRNA (26-fold) and protein levels (35-fold) without elevation of plasma glucocorticoid levels. Calorie-restricted pair-fed animals exhibited lesser increases in muscle GS mRNA (8-fold) and protein levels (5-fold) without a decline in muscle Gln content. Thus regulation of GS expression in both acute and chronic stress involved both transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms, perhaps affected by muscle Gln content.  (+info)

(5/291) Effects of inhibiting glutamine synthetase and blocking glutamate uptake on b-wave generation in the isolated rat retina.

The purpose of the present experiments was to evaluate the contribution of the glutamate-glutamine cycle in retinal glial (Muller) cells to photoreceptor cell synaptic transmission. Dark-adapted isolated rat retinas were superfused with oxygenated bicarbonate-buffered media. Recordings were made of the b-wave of the electroretinogram as a measure of light-induced photoreceptor to ON-bipolar neuron transmission. L-methionine sulfoximine (1-10 mM) was added to superfusion media to inhibit glutamine synthetase, a Muller cell specific enzyme, by more than 99% within 5-10 min, thereby disrupting the conversion of glutamate to glutamine in the Muller cells. Threo-hydroxyaspartic acid and D-aspartate were used to block glutamate transporters. The amplitude of the b-wave was well maintained for 1-2 h provided 0.25 mM glutamate or 0.25 mM glutamine was included in the media. Without exogenous glutamate or glutamine the amplitude of the b-wave declined by about 70% within 1 h. Inhibition of glutamate transporters led to a rapid (2-5 min) reversible loss of the b-wave in the presence and absence of the amino acids. In contrast, inhibition of glutamine synthetase did not alter significantly either the amplitude of the b-wave in the presence of glutamate or glutamine or the rate of decline of the b-wave found in the absence of these amino acids. Excellent recovery of the b-wave was found when 0.25 mM glutamate was resupplied to L-methionine sulfoximine-treated retinas. The results suggest that in the isolated rat retina uptake of released glutamate into photoreceptors plays a more important role in transmitter recycling than does uptake of glutamate into Muller cells and its subsequent conversion to glutamine.  (+info)

(6/291) Cysteine control over glutathione homeostasis in Chinese hamster fibroblasts overexpressing a gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase activity.

Gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS) catalyses the first step of glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis and is considered to be the rate-limiting step of this pathway. In several experimental systems, GCS overexpression has been associated with GSH pool expansion and drug resistance. In this report, we describe a mutant line of Chinese hamster fibroblasts that overexpress this activity by 4-5 times, due to the amplification of the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of GCS. These mutant cells contained a wild-type steady-state level of GSH and, after depletion, synthesized GSH at the same rate as wild-type cells because their rate of endogenous production of cysteine was limiting. An exogenous supply of cysteine expanded the pool of GSH in mutant cells by 80% but did not increase that of wild-type cells, and, in GSH-depleted cells, increased the rate of GSH biosynthesis by eight and 35-times in wild-type and mutant cells, respectively. These experiments indicated that GCS overexpression had no consequence on the metabolism of GSH, unless a supply of cysteine was provided. Mutant cells were not resistant to cisplatin or nitrogen mustard.  (+info)

(7/291) Glucocorticoids induce glutamine synthetase in folliculostellate cells of rat pituitary glands in vivo and in vitro.

Glutamine synthetase (GS) is a glucocorticoid-inducible enzyme that has a key role for glutamate metabolism in the central and peripheral nervous system. In this study GS activity was measured and the amount of immunoreactive GS (ir-GS) cells in the rat anterior pituitary gland was quantified as a function of age. In addition, the effects of GS inhibitors, glucocorticoid administration, and adrenalectomy on GS activity were examined. Some of the ir-GS cells were also immunoreactive for S100 protein (ir-S100) which is a known marker for folliculostellate cells (FS) in the anterior pituitary. FS cells expressing GS were first detected in 3-d-old rats, and this cell population, expressed as the immunostained cell area divided by a standard unit area, increased as a function of age. The percentages of FS cells also expressing GS were 0.2, 6.4, 25 and 74% at 3 d, 30 d, 60 d and 2 y of age, respectively. GS enzyme activity also increased in parallel with the increase of ir-GS cell population maturation. The subcutaneous injection of methionine sulphoximine, a GS and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase inhibitor, reduced pituitary GS activity by 83%, but increased the population of ir-GS cells 3.5-fold in 30-d-old rats. Buthionine sulphoximine, a specific inhibitor of y-glutamylcysteine synthetase, had little effect on GS activity or the ir-GS cell population. Neither methionine sulphoximine nor buthionine sulphoximine changed the population of ir-S100 protein cells (FS cells). Dexamethasone and hydrocortisone increased the population of ir-GS cells by 3.1 and 4.2-fold, respectively, within 12 h after administration. A significant increase of GS activity due to the injection of glucocorticoids was observed in the anterior pituitary, but not in the brain, retina or liver of immature rats. Adrenalectomy did not cause decrease of pituitary GS activity, and dexamethasone administration increased GS activity in both adrenalectomised and intact rats. In the monolayer culture of anterior pituitary cells, glucocorticoids increased GS activity by x 1.5, and methionine sulphoximine reduced the activity by over 94%. These results demonstrate that GS in folliculostellate cells is a glucocorticoid-inducible enzyme in vivo and in vitro, and that the age-dependent increase of GS activity is independent of endogenous adrenal glucocorticoids.  (+info)

(8/291) Mutational analysis of Asp51 of Anabaena azollae glutamine synthetase. D51E mutation confers resistance to the active site inhibitors L-methionine-DL-sulfoximine and phosphinothricin.

The role of Asp51 in the catalytic activity of glutamine synthetase from the cyanobacterium Anabaena azollae has been analyzed. Five mutant enzymes, D51S, D51A, D51E, D51N and D51R, were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis and characterized. Asp51 appears to participate in the binding of ammonium ion, as affinity for this substrate was affected in all cases, although it varied according to the charge and/or size of the amino-acid residue, decreasing in the order Glu > Asn > Ser > Ala. The replacement of Asp51 by Glu (D51E) conferred besides a high resistance to the herbicides L-methionine-DL-sulfoximine and phosphinothricin, as a result of a decreased phosphorylation ability.  (+info)