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Moran, J; Caballero-Benitez, A; Alavez, S; Uribe, RM (2004)

REGULATION OF GLUTAMATE-SYNTHESIZING ENZYMES BY NMDA AND POTASSIUM IN CEREBELLAR GRANULE CELLS

EUR J NEUROSCI 19(8):2030-2038
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The presence of 25 mm potassium (KCl) or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) in cultured cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) induces a trophic effect, including a specific regulation of the enzymes involved in the glutamate neurotransmitter synthesis. In this study we explored the effect of these conditions on the cytosolic and mitochondrial isoenzymes of aspartate aminotransferase (AAT), and phosphate-activated glutaminase (PAG) in CGN. We found that NMDA and KCl increased the AAT total activity by 40% and 70%, respectively This effect was mediated by an augmentation in the protein levels (68% by NMDA, 58% by KCl). NMDA raised the V-max and KCl raised both the maximol velocity (V-max) and Michaelis constant (K-m) of AAT. NMDA increased cytosolic AAT activity by 30% and mitochondrial activity by 70%; KCl increased cytosolic and mitochondrial AAT activity by 60% and 100%, respectively This activation was also related to an increase in the protein levels. The effect of both conditions on the activity and protein levels were more pronounced in mitochondrial than cytosolic AAT and the increment elicited by KCl was higher in both isoforms than that produced by NMIDA. The PAG and AAT mRNA levels were also regulated by incubation with NMIDA and KCl similarly to the observed changes in the protein levels. These results suggest that NMDA receptor stimulation during CGN development differentially regulates the two AAT isoenzymes involved in the maturation of CGN and that the regulation of both AAT and PAG occurs also at the mRNA expression level, suggesting the involvement of a mechanism of gene expression regulation.