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Role of specific aminotransferases in de novo glutamate synthesis and redox shuttling in the retina

LaNoue, K.F.; Berkich, D.A.; Conway, Myra E.; Barber, A.J.; Hu, L.Y.; Taylor, C.; Hutson, Susan M.


K.F. LaNoue

D.A. Berkich

Myra Conway
Professor in Biomedical Sciences

A.J. Barber

L.Y. Hu

C. Taylor

Susan M. Hutson


In this study aminotransferase inhibitors were used to determine the relative importance of different aminotransferases in providing nitrogen for de novo glutamate synthesis in the retina. Aminooxyacetate, which inhibits all aminotransferases, blocked de novo glutamate synthesis from H(14)CO(3)(-) by more than 60%. Inhibition of neuronal cytosolic branched chain amino acid transamination by gabapentin or branched chain amino acid transport by the L-system substrate analog, 2-amino-bicyclo-(2,2,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid, lowered total de novo synthesis of glutamate by 30%, suggesting that branched chain amino acids may account for half of the glutamate nitrogen contributed by transamination reactions. L-cycloserine, an inhibitor of alanine aminotransferase, inhibited glutamate synthesis less than 15% when added in the presence of 5 mM pyruvate but 47% in the presence of 0.2 mM pyruvate. Although high levels of pyruvate blunted the inhibitory effectiveness of L-cycloserine, the results indicate that, under physiological conditions, alanine as well as branched chain amino acids are probably the predominant sources of glutamate nitrogen in ex vivo retinas. The L-cycloserine results were also used to evaluate activity of the malate/aspartate shuttle. In this shuttle, cytosolic aspartate (synthesized in mitochondria) generates cytosolic oxaloacetate that oxidizes cytosolic NADH via malate dehydrogenase. Because L-cycloserine inhibits cytosolic but not mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase, L-cycloserine should prevent the utilization of aspartate but not its generation, thereby increasing levels of (14)C-aspartate. Instead, L-cycloserine caused a significant decline in (14)C-aspartate. The results suggest the possibility that shuttle activity is low in retinal Müller cells. Low malate/aspartate shuttle activity may be the molecular basis for the high rate of aerobic glycolysis in retinal Müller cells. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2001
Journal Journal of Neuroscience Research
Print ISSN 0360-4012
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 66
Issue 5
Pages 914-922
APA6 Citation LaNoue, K., Berkich, D., Conway, M. E., Barber, A., Hu, L., Taylor, C., & Hutson, S. M. (2001). Role of specific aminotransferases in de novo glutamate synthesis and redox shuttling in the retina. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 66(5), 914-922