Project Details


Glutamine plays an important biosynthetic role in all mammalian cells. Glutamine is used by the liver during diabetes, the kidney during metabolic acidosis and the mammary gland during lactation, it is also a major respiratory fuel for many rapidly dividing cells including cancer cells. The major enzymes of glutamine catabolism in mammalian tissues are two isozymes of phosphate activated glutaminase. The liver type is found exclusively in adult liver while the other enzyme (kidney-type) is found in all other glutamine utilizing tissues, including fetal liver and hepatoma cells. The aim of the work described is to characterize and understand the role and regulation of phosphate activated glutaminase in rat liver. This work stems from the observation that hepatic glutaminase activity is increased 4-fold during streptozotocin diabetes. The enzyme has been purified, specific antibodies raised against it and used to identify a putative cDNA. The identify of the cDNA will be confirmed by comparison of the DNA and amino acid sequences, hybrid selection of mRNA and analysis of fusion peptide. The cDNA will be used to determine the relative abundance of mRNA and the rate of transcription hepatic glutaminase gene in liver from control and diabetic rats. Extracellular stimuli involved in the regulation of hepatic glutaminase gene expression will be identified using isolated hepatocytes and hepatoma cells. The cDNA will be used to identify genomic sequences encoding liver-type glutaminase and other glutamine utilizing enzymes. The distribution of liver- and kidney-type glutaminase (activity, protein and mRNA) will be determined in different hepatoma cells and in rat liver at different stages of development. Chromatin structure will be analyzed in cells showing differential expression of the two genes. These systems offer a unique model for the study of tissue-specific, hormonal and developmental regulation of glutaminase gene expression. The results will provide valuable insights into why there are two enzymes and what their functions are in the different cell types.
Effective start/end date7/1/8912/31/92


  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: $79,848.00


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