Special Issue "Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Arthur J.L. Cooper

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: pyridoxal 5'-phosphate enzymes; enzyme mechanisms; bioactivation mechanisms; neurochemistry; neurodegenerative diseases; chemoprevention; and 1-C; nitrogen; sulfur and selenium biochemistry; transglutaminases (protein cross linking enzymes)
Guest Editor
Dr. Thomas M. Jeitner

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York 10595, USA
E-Mail
Interests: oxidative stress and neurodegenerative disorders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Glutamate is an abundant amino acid in most mammalian tissues and is centrally important in nitrogen metabolism and homeostasis. For example, the concentrations of glutamate in brain range from 10–2 to 10–1 M in the parenchyma and synaptic vesicles, respectively. In this tissue, glutamate acts as the most important excitatory neurotransmitter and therefore its extracellular concentrations are limited to 10–6 M amounts. Higher concentrations result in excitotoxicity. Thus, the brain has an extraordinary ability to maintain glutamate in the various compartments at remarkably precise concentrations. In the liver, glutamate is a major source of ammonia for urea synthesis via the glutamate dehydrogenase reaction. Coupling of glutamate-linked amino acid aminotransferases to the glutamate dehydrogenase reaction causes excess amino acid nitrogen to be excreted as urea. Glutamine is a major source of nitrogen and energy for dividing cells including cancer cells. Much of the glutamine in these cells is converted to glutamate, which in turn is a source of the TCA cycle component α-ketoglutarate. Finally, owing to its central importance in N and energy metabolism it is not surprising that many diseases (e.g., hyperammonemia, urea cycle disorders, neurodegenerative diseases) are associated with disturbance of metabolic pathways in which glutamate participates.

Prof. Dr. Arthur J. L. Cooper
Dr. Thomas M. Jeitner
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Glutamate
  • glutamine
  • α-ketoglutarate
  • glutamate-utilizing aminotransferases
  • glutamine synthetase
  • glutaminase
  • glutamate dehydrogenase
  • γ-glutamyltransferase
  • glutathione

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Enzymology of 2-Hydroxyglutarate, 2-Hydroxyglutaramate and 2-Hydroxysuccinamate and Their Relationship to Oncometabolites
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
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Abstract
Many enzymes make “mistakes”. Consequently, repair enzymes have evolved to correct these mistakes. For example, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (mMDH) slowly catalyze the reduction of 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) to the oncometabolite l-2-hydroxyglutarate (l-2-HG). l-2-HG dehydrogenase corrects this [...] Read more.
Many enzymes make “mistakes”. Consequently, repair enzymes have evolved to correct these mistakes. For example, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (mMDH) slowly catalyze the reduction of 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) to the oncometabolite l-2-hydroxyglutarate (l-2-HG). l-2-HG dehydrogenase corrects this error by converting l-2-HG to 2-OG. LDH also catalyzes the reduction of the oxo group of 2-oxoglutaramate (2-OGM; transamination product of l-glutamine). We show here that human glutamine synthetase (GS) catalyzes the amidation of the terminal carboxyl of both the l- and d- isomers of 2-HG. The reaction of 2-OGM with LDH and the reaction of l-2-HG with GS generate l-2-hydroxyglutaramate (l-2-HGM). We also show that l-2-HGM is a substrate of human ω-amidase. The product (l-2-HG) can then be converted to 2-OG by l-2-HG dehydrogenase. Previous work showed that 2-oxosuccinamate (2-OSM; transamination product of l-asparagine) is an excellent substrate of LDH. Finally, we also show that human ω-amidase converts the product of this reaction (i.e., l-2-hydroxysuccinamate; l-2-HSM) to l-malate. Thus, ω-amidase may act together with hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenases to repair certain “mistakes” of GS and LDH. The present findings suggest that non-productive pathways for nitrogen metabolism occur in mammalian tissues in vivo. Perturbations of these pathways may contribute to symptoms associated with hydroxyglutaric acidurias and to tumor progression. Finally, methods for the synthesis of l-2-HGM and l-2-HSM are described that should be useful in determining the roles of ω-amidase/4- and 5-C compounds in photorespiration in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Decreased STAT3 Phosphorylation Mediates Cell Swelling in Ammonia-Treated Astrocyte Cultures
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 18 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 2 December 2016
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Abstract
Brain edema, due largely to astrocyte swelling, and the subsequent increase in intracranial pressure and brain herniation, are major complications of acute liver failure (ALF). Elevated level of brain ammonia has been strongly implicated in the development of astrocyte swelling associated with ALF. [...] Read more.
Brain edema, due largely to astrocyte swelling, and the subsequent increase in intracranial pressure and brain herniation, are major complications of acute liver failure (ALF). Elevated level of brain ammonia has been strongly implicated in the development of astrocyte swelling associated with ALF. The means by which ammonia brings about astrocyte swelling, however, is incompletely understood. Recently, oxidative/nitrosative stress and associated signaling events, including activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), as well as activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), have been implicated in the mechanism of ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling. Since these signaling events are known to be regulated by the transcription factor, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), we examined the state of STAT3 activation in ammonia-treated cultured astrocytes, and determined whether altered STAT3 activation and/or protein expression contribute to the ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling. STAT3 was found to be dephosphorylated (inactivated) at Tyrosine705 in ammonia-treated cultured astrocytes. Total STAT3 protein level was also reduced in ammonia-treated astrocytes. We also found a significant increase in protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type-1 (PTPRT-1) protein expression in ammonia-treated cultured astrocytes, and that inhibition of PTPRT-1 enhanced the phosphorylation of STAT3 after ammonia treatment. Additionally, exposure of cultured astrocytes to inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatases diminished the ammonia-induced cell swelling, while cultured astrocytes over-expressing STAT3 showed a reduction in the astrocyte swelling induced by ammonia. Collectively, these studies strongly suggest that inactivation of STAT3 represents a critical event in the mechanism of the astrocyte swelling associated with acute liver failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Ornithine Aminotransferase, an Important Glutamate-Metabolizing Enzyme at the Crossroads of Multiple Metabolic Pathways
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Ornithine δ-aminotransferase (OAT, E.C. 2.6.1.13) catalyzes the transfer of the δ-amino group from ornithine (Orn) to α-ketoglutarate (aKG), yielding glutamate-5-semialdehyde and glutamate (Glu), and vice versa. In mammals, OAT is a mitochondrial enzyme, mainly located in the liver, intestine, brain, and kidney. In [...] Read more.
Ornithine δ-aminotransferase (OAT, E.C. 2.6.1.13) catalyzes the transfer of the δ-amino group from ornithine (Orn) to α-ketoglutarate (aKG), yielding glutamate-5-semialdehyde and glutamate (Glu), and vice versa. In mammals, OAT is a mitochondrial enzyme, mainly located in the liver, intestine, brain, and kidney. In general, OAT serves to form glutamate from ornithine, with the notable exception of the intestine, where citrulline (Cit) or arginine (Arg) are end products. Its main function is to control the production of signaling molecules and mediators, such as Glu itself, Cit, GABA, and aliphatic polyamines. It is also involved in proline (Pro) synthesis. Deficiency in OAT causes gyrate atrophy, a rare but serious inherited disease, a further measure of the importance of this enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Glutamine-Glutamate Cycle Flux Is Similar in Cultured Astrocytes and Brain and Both Glutamate Production and Oxidation Are Mainly Catalyzed by Aspartate Aminotransferase
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
The glutamine-glutamate cycle provides neurons with astrocyte-generated glutamate/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and oxidizes glutamate in astrocytes, and it returns released transmitter glutamate/GABA to neurons after astrocytic uptake. This review deals primarily with the glutamate/GABA generation/oxidation, although it also shows similarity between metabolic rates in [...] Read more.
The glutamine-glutamate cycle provides neurons with astrocyte-generated glutamate/γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and oxidizes glutamate in astrocytes, and it returns released transmitter glutamate/GABA to neurons after astrocytic uptake. This review deals primarily with the glutamate/GABA generation/oxidation, although it also shows similarity between metabolic rates in cultured astrocytes and intact brain. A key point is identification of the enzyme(s) converting astrocytic α-ketoglutarate to glutamate and vice versa. Most experiments in cultured astrocytes, including those by one of us, suggest that glutamate formation is catalyzed by aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) and its degradation by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH). Strongly supported by results shown in Table 1 we now propose that both reactions are primarily catalyzed by AAT. This is possible because the formation occurs in the cytosol and the degradation in mitochondria and they are temporally separate. High glutamate/glutamine concentrations abolish the need for glutamate production from α-ketoglutarate and due to metabolic coupling between glutamate synthesis and oxidation these high concentrations render AAT-mediated glutamate oxidation impossible. This necessitates the use of GDH under these conditions, shown by insensitivity of the oxidation to the transamination inhibitor aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA). Experiments using lower glutamate/glutamine concentration show inhibition of glutamate oxidation by AOAA, consistent with the coupled transamination reactions described here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
The Glutamate Dehydrogenase Pathway and Its Roles in Cell and Tissue Biology in Health and Disease
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) is a hexameric enzyme that catalyzes the reversible conversion of glutamate to α-ketoglutarate and ammonia while reducing NAD(P)+ to NAD(P)H. It is found in all living organisms serving both catabolic and anabolic reactions. In mammalian tissues, oxidative deamination of [...] Read more.
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) is a hexameric enzyme that catalyzes the reversible conversion of glutamate to α-ketoglutarate and ammonia while reducing NAD(P)+ to NAD(P)H. It is found in all living organisms serving both catabolic and anabolic reactions. In mammalian tissues, oxidative deamination of glutamate via GDH generates α-ketoglutarate, which is metabolized by the Krebs cycle, leading to the synthesis of ATP. In addition, the GDH pathway is linked to diverse cellular processes, including ammonia metabolism, acid-base equilibrium, redox homeostasis (via formation of fumarate), lipid biosynthesis (via oxidative generation of citrate), and lactate production. While most mammals possess a single GDH1 protein (hGDH1 in the human) that is highly expressed in the liver, humans and other primates have acquired, via duplication, an hGDH2 isoenzyme with distinct functional properties and tissue expression profile. The novel hGDH2 underwent rapid evolutionary adaptation, acquiring unique properties that enable enhanced enzyme function under conditions inhibitory to its ancestor hGDH1. These are thought to provide a biological advantage to humans with hGDH2 evolution occurring concomitantly with human brain development. hGDH2 is co-expressed with hGDH1 in human brain, kidney, testis and steroidogenic organs, but not in the liver. In human cerebral cortex, hGDH1 and hGDH2 are expressed in astrocytes, the cells responsible for removing and metabolizing transmitter glutamate, and for supplying neurons with glutamine and lactate. In human testis, hGDH2 (but not hGDH1) is densely expressed in the Sertoli cells, known to provide the spermatids with lactate and other nutrients. In steroid producing cells, hGDH1/2 is thought to generate reducing equivalents (NADPH) in the mitochondria for the biosynthesis of steroidal hormones. Lastly, up-regulation of hGDH1/2 expression occurs in cancer, permitting neoplastic cells to utilize glutamine/glutamate for their growth. In addition, deregulation of hGDH1/2 is implicated in the pathogenesis of several human disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Multiple Forms of Glutamate Dehydrogenase in Animals: Structural Determinants and Physiological Implications
Received: 2 October 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) of animal cells is usually considered to be a mitochondrial enzyme. However, this enzyme has recently been reported to be also present in nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum and lysosomes. These extramitochondrial localizations are associated with moonlighting functions of GDH, which include [...] Read more.
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) of animal cells is usually considered to be a mitochondrial enzyme. However, this enzyme has recently been reported to be also present in nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum and lysosomes. These extramitochondrial localizations are associated with moonlighting functions of GDH, which include acting as a serine protease or an ATP-dependent tubulin-binding protein. Here, we review the published data on kinetics and localization of multiple forms of animal GDH taking into account the splice variants, post-translational modifications and GDH isoenzymes, found in humans and apes. The kinetic properties of human GLUD1 and GLUD2 isoenzymes are shown to be similar to those published for GDH1 and GDH2 from bovine brain. Increased functional diversity and specific regulation of GDH isoforms due to alternative splicing and post-translational modifications are also considered. In particular, these structural differences may affect the well-known regulation of GDH by nucleotides which is related to recent identification of thiamine derivatives as novel GDH modulators. The thiamine-dependent regulation of GDH is in good agreement with the fact that the non-coenzyme forms of thiamine, i.e., thiamine triphosphate and its adenylated form are generated in response to amino acid and carbon starvation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Minireview on Glutamine Synthetase Deficiency, an Ultra-Rare Inborn Error of Amino Acid Biosynthesis
Received: 20 July 2016 / Revised: 3 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 19 October 2016
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Abstract
Glutamine synthetase (GS) is a cytosolic enzyme that produces glutamine, the most abundant free amino acid in the human body. Glutamine is a major substrate for various metabolic pathways, and is thus an important factor for the functioning of many organs; therefore, deficiency [...] Read more.
Glutamine synthetase (GS) is a cytosolic enzyme that produces glutamine, the most abundant free amino acid in the human body. Glutamine is a major substrate for various metabolic pathways, and is thus an important factor for the functioning of many organs; therefore, deficiency of glutamine due to a defect in GS is incompatible with normal life. Mutations in the human GLUL gene (encoding for GS) can cause an ultra-rare recessive inborn error of metabolism—congenital glutamine synthetase deficiency. This disease was reported until now in only three unrelated patients, all of whom suffered from neonatal onset severe epileptic encephalopathy. The hallmark of GS deficiency in these patients was decreased levels of glutamine in body fluids, associated with chronic hyperammonemia. This review aims at recapitulating the clinical history of the three known patients with congenital GS deficiency and summarizes the findings from studies done along with the work-up of these patients. It is the aim of this paper to convince the reader that (i) this disorder is possibly underdiagnosed, since decreased concentrations of metabolites do not receive the attention they deserve; and (ii) early detection of GS deficiency may help to improve the outcome of patients who could be treated early with metabolites that are lacking in this condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
How Glutamate Is Managed by the Blood–Brain Barrier
Received: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 8 October 2016
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Abstract
A facilitative transport system exists on the blood–brain barrier (BBB) that has been tacitly assumed to be a path for glutamate entry to the brain. However, glutamate is a non-essential amino acid whose brain content is much greater than plasma, and studies in [...] Read more.
A facilitative transport system exists on the blood–brain barrier (BBB) that has been tacitly assumed to be a path for glutamate entry to the brain. However, glutamate is a non-essential amino acid whose brain content is much greater than plasma, and studies in vivo show that glutamate does not enter the brain in appreciable quantities except in those small regions with fenestrated capillaries (circumventricular organs). The situation became understandable when luminal (blood facing) and abluminal (brain facing) membranes were isolated and studied separately. Facilitative transport of glutamate and glutamine exists only on the luminal membranes, whereas Na+-dependent transport systems for glutamate, glutamine, and some other amino acids are present only on the abluminal membrane. The Na+-dependent cotransporters of the abluminal membrane are in a position to actively transport amino acids from the extracellular fluid (ECF) into the endothelial cells of the BBB. These powerful secondary active transporters couple with the energy of the Na+-gradient to move glutamate and glutamine into endothelial cells, whereupon glutamate can exit to the blood on the luminal facilitative glutamate transporter. Glutamine may also exit the brain via separate facilitative transport system that exists on the luminal membranes, or glutamine can be hydrolyzed to glutamate within the BBB, thereby releasing ammonia that is freely diffusible. The γ-glutamyl cycle participates indirectly by producing oxoproline (pyroglutamate), which stimulates almost all secondary active transporters yet discovered in the abluminal membranes of the BBB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes of Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease)
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