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(1/487) A possible role for the pentose phosphate pathway of spermatozoa in gamete fusion in the mouse.

Glucose metabolism is essential for successful gamete fusion in the mouse. Although the metabolic activity of the oocyte does not appear to play a significant role in the fusion step, the metabolic role of the spermatozoon is not known. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize the role of glucose metabolism in mouse spermatozoa. Initially, the high-affinity glucose transporter GLUT3 was identified in mouse sperm. In characterizing the glucose metabolism of mouse sperm, we have shown 1) that mouse epididymal spermatozoa have a functional pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), implying that they produce NADPH, which is required for reducing reactions, and ribose 5-phosphate, which is required for nucleic acid synthesis; and 2) that sperm are able to fuse with the oocyte when NADPH is substituted for glucose, suggesting that sperm need to produce NADPH via the PPP in order to be able to achieve fertilization. The existence of an NADPH-regulated event that influences the ability of the sperm to fuse with the oocyte is envisaged.  (+info)

(2/487) Characterization of glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway activity during sperm entry into the mouse oocyte.

Studying the events that occur during gamete fusion and sperm decondensation in the oocyte remains difficult because sperm-oocyte fusion and subsequent sperm decondensation represent a short part of the fertilization process, and their exact timing is difficult to determine. There is therefore a need for greater understanding of the events that occur during this period. The main purpose of this study was to examine the metabolic aspects of this time frame by characterizing glucose metabolism (glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathway [PPP] activities) during sperm fusion and decondensation into zona-free oocytes in mice. The metabolism of glucose through both glycolysis and the PPP was measured in ovulated MII oocytes, free of cumulus cells, and the levels of glucose metabolized were found to be low. Upon sperm entry, both glycolytic and PPP activity increased substantially. To determine whether this elevation in glucose metabolism was part of the activation process, the metabolism of parthenogenetically activated oocytes was measured, and no increase in metabolism was observed. The characterization of glucose metabolism during sperm fusion and decondensation into the oocyte, and comparison to parthenogenetically activated oocytes, showed that the fertilizing sperm is responsible for an increase in both glycolytic and PPP activity during fusion and/or decondensation. The significance of this observation during the fertilization process and for the developing embryo is as yet unclear and warrants further investigation.  (+info)

(3/487) In vivo operation of the pentose phosphate pathway in frog oocytes is limited by NADP+ availability.

Evolution of CO2 from labelled glucose microinjected into frog oocytes in vivo may be ascribed to the pentose-P pathway, as measured by radioactive CO2 production from [1-(14)C] and [6-(14)C]glucose. Coinjection of NADP+ and [14C]glucose significantly stimulated 14CO2 production. The effect depends on the amount of NADP+ injected, half maximal stimulation being obtained at 0.13 mM. The increase in CO2 production was also observed with microinjected glucose-1-P, glucose-6-P or fructose-6-P used as substrates. Phenazine methosulfate, mimicked the effects of NADP+. A high NADPH/NADP+ ratio of 4.3 was found in the cells, the intracellular concentration of NADP+ being 19 microM.  (+info)

(4/487) METATOOL: for studying metabolic networks.

MOTIVATION: To reconstruct metabolic pathways from biochemical and/or genome sequence data, the stoichiometric and thermodynamic feasibility of the pathways has to be tested. This is achieved by characterizing the admissible region of flux distributions in steady state. This region is spanned by what can be called a convex basis. The concept of 'elementary flux modes' provides a mathematical tool to define all metabolic routes that are feasible in a given metabolic network. In addition, we define 'enzyme subsets' to be groups of enzymes that operate together in fixed flux proportions in all steady states of the system. RESULTS: Algorithms for computing the convex basis and elementary modes developed earlier are briefly reviewed. A newly developed algorithm for detecting all enzyme subsets in a given network is presented. All of these algorithms have been implemented in a novel computer program named METATOOL, whose features are outlined here. The algorithms are illustrated by an example taken from sugar metabolism. AVAILABILITY: METATOOL is available from ftp://bmsdarwin.brookes.ac. uk/pub/software/ibmpc/metatool. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: http://www. biologie.hu-berlin.de/biophysics/Theory/tpfeiffer/metatoo l.html  (+info)

(5/487) Metabolism of radiolabeled glucose by mouse oocytes and oocyte-cumulus cell complexes.

This study was carried out to examine the metabolism of [1-14C]-, [6-14C]-, and [5-3H]glucose by oocyte-cumulus cell complexes (OCC) and denuded oocytes (DO) and to test the hypothesis that metabolism of glucose through the pentose phosphate pathway is associated with meiotic induction. OCC or DO were cultured in hanging drops suspended from the cap of a microfuge tube, with NaOH serving as a trap to collect released 3H2O or 14CO2. Preliminary experiments established that this culture system supports both spontaneous and ligand-induced meiotic maturation. An initial time course experiment (1.5-6 h) showed that hypoxanthine-treated OCC from eCG-primed animals metabolized glucose principally via glycolysis, with an increase to 2.7-fold in response to FSH. Though more [1-14C]glucose was oxidized than [6-14C]glucose, its metabolism was about two orders of magnitude less than that of [5-3H]glucose. Also, FSH significantly increased oxidation of [1-14C]glucose but not [6-14C]glucose, indicating a preferential activation of the pentose phosphate pathway. Pyrroline carboxylate, an activator of the pentose phosphate pathway, increased the activity of this pathway to over 2-fold but failed to affect glucose oxidation through the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Glycolytic metabolism was increased by 25%. The addition of pyruvate to pyruvate-free medium resulted in significant reduction in the metabolism of all three glucose analogues. In OCC retrieved from hCG-injected, primed mice and cultured under hormone-free conditions, metabolic responses were similar to those in FSH-treated complexes cultured in hypoxanthine. DO metabolized glucose, but at a much reduced rate when compared to OCC. Pyruvate reduced the consumption of all three glucose analogues by DO. Pyrroline carboxylate reduced [5-3H]glucose metabolism by DO but had little effect on [1-14C]- and [6-14C]glucose oxidation. These data demonstrate metabolism of glucose by both DO and OCC, but reveal that cumulus cells are more active than the oocyte in this regard. In addition, induction of maturation by FSH, hCG, or pyrroline carboxylate was accompanied by a significant increase in the oxidation of [1-14C]glucose but not [6-14C]glucose by OCC, supporting a proposed role for the pentose phosphate pathway in meiotic induction.  (+info)

(6/487) Hyperproduction of tryptophan by Corynebacterium glutamicum with the modified pentose phosphate pathway.

A classically derived tryptophan-producing Corynebacterium glutamicum strain was recently significantly improved both by plasmid-mediated amplification of the genes for the rate-limiting enzymes in the terminal pathways and by construction of a plasmid stabilization system so that it produced more tryptophan. This engineered strain, KY9218 carrying pKW9901, produced 50 g of tryptophan per liter from sucrose after 80 h in fed-batch cultivation without antibiotic pressure. Analysis of carbon balances showed that at the late stage of the fermentation, tryptophan yield decreased with a concomitant increase in CO2 yield, suggesting a transition in the distribution of carbon flow from aromatic biosynthesis toward the tricarboxylic acid cycle via glycolysis. To circumvent this transition by increasing the supply of erythrose 4-phosphate, a direct precursor of aromatic biosynthesis, the transketolase gene of C. glutamicum was coamplified in the engineered strain by using low- and high-copy-number plasmids which were compatible with the resident plasmid pKW9901. The presence of the gene in low copy numbers contributed to improvement of tryptophan yield, especially at the late stage, and led to accumulation of more tryptophan (57 g/liter) than did its absence, while high-copy-number amplification of the gene resulted in a tryptophan production level even lower than that resulting from the absence of the gene due to reduced growth and sugar consumption. In order to assemble all the cloned genes onto a low-copy-number plasmid, the high-copy-number origin of pKW9901 was replaced with the low-copy-number one, generating low-copy-number plasmid pSW9911, and the transketolase gene was inserted to yield pIK9960. The pSW9911-carrying producer showed almost the same fermentation profiles as the pKW9901 carrier in fed-batch cultivation without antibiotic pressure. Under the same culture conditions, however, the pIK9960 carrier achieved a final tryptophan titer of 58 g/liter, which represented a 15% enhancement over the titers achieved by the pKW9901 and pSW9911 carriers.  (+info)

(7/487) Vestigial respiratory burst activity in wound macrophages.

Macrophages from experimental wounds in rats were tested for their capacity to generate reactive oxygen intermediates. Measurements of superoxide and H2O2 release, O-2-dependent lucigenin chemiluminescence, oxygen consumption, hexose monophosphate shunt flux, and NADPH oxidase activity in cell lysates indicated, at best, the presence of a vestigial respiratory burst response in these cells. The inability of wound cells to release O-2 was not rekindled by priming with endotoxin or interferon-gamma in vivo or in vitro. NADPH oxidase activity in a cell-free system demonstrated that wound macrophage membranes, but not their cytosols, were capable of sustaining maximal rates of O-2 production when mixed with their corresponding counterparts from human neutrophils. Immune detection experiments showed wound macrophages to be particularly deficient in the cytosolic component of the NADPH oxidase p47-phox. Addition of recombinant p47-phox to the human neutrophil-cell membrane/wound macrophage cytosol cell-free oxidase assay, however, failed to support O-2 production. Present findings indicate an unexpected deficit of wound macrophages in their capacity to generate reactive oxygen intermediates.  (+info)

(8/487) Evidence for the presence of the reductive pentose phosphate cycle in a filamentous anoxygenic photosynthetic bacterium, Oscillochloris trichoides strain DG-6.

Studies on autotrophic CO2 fixation by the filamentous anoxygenic photosynthetic bacterium Oscillochloris trichoides strain DG-6 demonstrated that, unlike other green bacteria, this organism metabolized CO2 via the reductive pentose phosphate cycle. Both key enzymes of this cycle--ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and phosphoribulokinase--were detected in cell extracts. The main product of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate-dependent CO2 fixation was 3-phosphoglyceric acid. KCN, which is known to be a competitive inhibitor of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, completely inhibited the CO2 assimilation by whole cells as well as by cell extracts of O. trichoides. The 13C/12C carbon isotope fractionation during photoautotrophic growth of O. trichoides was -19.7/1000, which is close to that obtained for autotrophic organisms that use ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase as the primary carboxylation enzyme. Cell extracts of O. trichoides contained all the enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle except 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase. No activity of isocitrate lyase, a key enzyme of the glyoxylate shunt, was found in cell extracts of O. trichoides DG-6.  (+info)