Oxidatively induced structural alteration of glutamine synthetase assessed by analysis of spin label incorporation kinetics: Relevance to Alzheimer's disease

D. Allan Butterfield, Kenneth Hensley, Pamela Cole, Ramachandran Subramaniam, Michael Aksenov, Marina Aksenova, Paul M. Bummer, Boyd E. Haley, John M. Carney

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165 Scopus citations

Abstract

The activity of the astrocytic enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS) is decreased in the Alzheimer's disease brain, which may have relevance to mechanisms of chronic excitotoxicity. The molecular perturbation(s) that results in GS inactivation is not known, although oxidative lesioning of the enzyme is one likely cause. To assess structural perturbation induced in GS by metal-catalyzed oxidation, a series of spin-labeling studies were undertaken. Ovine GS was oxidized by exposure to iron/hydrogen peroxide and subsequently labeled with the thiol-specific nitroxide probe MTS [(1-oxyl- 2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-pyrroline-3-methyl)methanethiosulfonate]. The reaction of MTS with cysteine residues within GS was monitored in real time by electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometry. Structural perturbation of GS, manifested as decreased thiol accessibility, was inferred from an apparent decrease in the rate constant for the second-order reaction of MTS with protein thiols. A subsequent spin-labeling study was undertaken to compare the structural integrity of GS purified and isolated from Alzheimer's disease-afflicted brain (AD-GS) with that of GS isolated from nondemented, age-matched control brain (C-GS). The rate constant for reaction of MTS with AD-GS was markedly decreased relative to that for the reaction of spin label with C-GS. The kinetic data were partially corroborated by spectroscopic data obtained from circular dichroism analysis of control and peroxide-treated ovine GS. In an adjunct experiment, the interaction of GS with a synthetic analogue of the Alzheimer's-associated β-amyloid peptide, known to induce free radical oxidative stress, indicated strong interaction of the enzyme with the peptide as reflected by a decrease in the rate constant for MTS binding to reactive protein thiols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2451-2457
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1997

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Glutamine synthetase
  • Protein oxidation
  • Spin labeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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