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Marks’ Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach, 2nd Edition

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Marks’ Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach, 2nd Edition

Medical Education Biochemistry

Colleen M. Smith PhD Allan D. Marks MD Michael A. Lieberman PhD

Marks' Basic Medical Biochemistry, 2e Faculty Resource Center

ISBN: 0-7817-2145-8

Table of Contents Sample Material

Now in its second edition, Basic Medical Biochemistry continues to provide a unique clinically based approach to the subject that is perfect for medical students. The authors use patient vignettes throughout the book to emphasize the importance of biochemistry to medicine, delivering a text that is specifically oriented toward clinical application and understanding. More >>1 mM Ca2+

Cell 2

Cell membrane p120

β α

Catenins

Actin filament

B. β-catenin and APC in gene transcription

Degradation

β-catenin

APC

Inactivation of APC Activation of gene transcription DNA

myc

Fig. 18.12. A. Catenins and cadherins. E-cadherin molecules form intercellular, calciumdependent homodimers with cadherins from another cell, resulting in cell–cell adhesion. The cytoplasmic portion of E-cadherin is complexed to a variety of catenins, which anchor the cadherin to the actin cytoskeleton. B. Catenin and APC in transcription. The APC complex activates -catenin for proteolytic degradation. If APC is inactivated, -catenin levels increase. It acts as a transcription factor that increases synthesis of myc and other genes regulating cell cycle progression.

a balance between oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. The Patched receptor protein inhibits Smoothened, its co-receptor protein. Binding of a hedgehog ligand to Patched releases the inhibition of Smoothened, which then transmits an activating signal to the nucleus, stimulating new gene transcription. Smoothened is a protooncogene, and patched is a tumor suppressor gene. If patched loses its function (definition of a tumor suppressor), then Smoothened can signal the cell to proliferate, even in the absence of a hedgehog signal. Conversely, if smoothened undergoes a gain of function mutation (definition of an oncogene), it can signal in the absence of the hedgehog signal, even in the presence of Patched. Inherited mutations in either smoothened or patched will lead to an increased incidence of basal cell carcinoma.

C. Tumor Suppressor Genes That Affect Cell Adhesion The cadherin family of glycoproteins mediates calcium- dependent cell–cell adhesion. Cadherins frorm intercellular complexes binding cells together (Fig. 18.12A). They are anchored intracellularly by catenins, which bind to actin filaments. Loss of E-cadherin expression may contribute to the ability of cancer cells to detach and migrate in metastasis. Individuals who inherit a mutation in E cadherin (this mutation is designated as CDH1) are sharply predisposed to developing diffuse type gastric cancer. The catenin proteins have two functions; in addition to anchoring cadherins to the cytoskeleton, they act as transcription factors (Fig. 18.12B). -Catenin also binds to a complex containing the regulatory protein APC (adenomatous polyposis coli), which activates it for degradation. When the appropriate signal activates APC, -catenin levels increase, and it travels to the nucleus, where it activates myc and cyclin D1 transcription, leading to cell proliferation. APC is a tumor suppressor gene. If it is inactivated, it cannot bind -catenin and inhibit cell proliferation. Mutations in APC or proteins interacting with it are found in the vast majority of sporadic human colon cancer. Inherited mutations in APC lead to the most common form of hereditary colon cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis.

V. CANCER AND APOPTOSIS In the body, superfluous or unwanted cells are destroyed by a pathway called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Apoptosis is a regulated energy-dependent sequence of events by which a cell self-destructs. In this suicidal process, the cell shrinks, the chromatin condenses, and the nucleus fragments. The cell membrane forms blebs (outpouches), and the cell breaks up into membrane-enclosed apoptotic vesicles (apoptotic bodies) containing varying amounts of cytoplasm, organelles, and DNA fragments. Phosphatidylserine, a lipid on the inner leaflet of the cell membrane, is exposed on the external surface of these apoptotic vesicles. It is one of the phagocytic markers recognized by macrophages and other nearby phagocytic cells that engulf the apoptotic bodies. Apoptosis is a normal part of multiple processes in complex organisms: embryogenesis, the maintenance of proper cell number in tissues, the removal of infected or otherwise injured cells, the maintenance of the immune system, and aging. It can be initiated by injury, radiation, free radicals or other toxins, withdrawal of growth

A form of apoptosis is a normal part of embryonic development. For example, the development of the nervous system uses apoptosis to destroy neurons that have not made the proper connections with target cells. Neurons are produced in excess, and more than 50% of developing neurons are eliminated by programmed cell death. Those neurons that have made the correct connections survive by secreting growth factors that block apoptosis.

CHAPTER 18 / THE MOLECULER BIOLOGY OF CANCER

factors or hormones, binding of pro-apoptotic cytokines, or interactions with cytotoxic T cells in the immune system. Apoptosis can protect organisms from the negative effect of mutations by destroying cells with irreparably damaged DNA before they proliferate. Just as an excess of a growth signal can produce an excess of unwanted cells, the failure of apoptosis to remove excess or damaged cells can contribute to the development of cancer.

329

Death receptor

Mitochondrion

A. Normal Pathways to Apoptosis Apoptosis can be divided into three general phases: an initiation phase, a signal integration phase, and an execution phase. Apoptosis can be initiated by external signals that work through death receptors, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), or deprivation of growth hormones (Fig. 18.13). It can also be initiated by intracellular events that affect mitochondrial integrity (e.g., oxygen deprivation, radiation), and irreparably damaged DNA. In the signal integration phase, these pro-apoptotic signals are balanced against anti-apoptotic cell survival signals by several pathways, including members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. The execution phase is carried out by proteolytic enzymes called caspases. 1.

Active initiator caspases Execution procaspases Proteolysis

Active execution caspases

CASPASES

Caspases are cysteine proteases that cleave peptide bonds next to an aspartate residue. They are present in the cell as procaspases, zymogen-type enzyme precursors activated by proteolytic cleavage of the inhibitory portion of their polypeptide chain. The different caspases are generally divided into two groups according to their function: initiator caspases, which specifically cleave other procaspases, and execution caspases, which cleave other cellular proteins involved in maintaining cellular integrity (see Fig. 18.13). The initiator caspases are activated through two major signaling pathways; the death receptor pathway and the mitochondrial integrity pathway. They activate the execution caspases, which cleave protein kinases involved in cell adhesion, lamins that form the inner lining of the nuclear envelope, actin and other proteins required for cell structure, and DNA repair enzymes. They also cleave an inhibitor protein of the endonuclease CAD (caspaseactivated DNase). With destruction of the nuclear envelope, additional endonucleases (Ca2+- and Mg2+ -dependent) also become activated. 2.

bcl-2

THE DEATH RECEPTOR PATHWAY TO APOPTOSIS

The death receptors are a subset of TNF-1 receptors, which includes Fas/CD95, TNFReceptor 1 (TNF-R1) and Death Receptor 3 (DR3). These receptors form a trimer that binds TNF-1 or another death ligand on its external domain and adaptor proteins to its intracellular domain (Fig.18.14). The activated TNF–receptor complex forms the scaffold for binding two molecules of procaspase 8, which autocatalytically cleave each other to form active caspase 8. Caspase 8 is an initiator caspase that activates execution caspases 3, 6, and 7. Caspase 8 also cleaves a Bcl-2 protein, Bid, to a form that activates the mitochondrial integrity pathway to apoptosis. 3. THE MITOCHONDRIAL INTEGRITY PATHWAY TO APOPTOSIS

Apoptosis is also induced by intracellular signals indicating that cell death should occur. Examples of these signals include growth factor withdrawal, cell injury, the release of certain steroids, and an inability to maintain low levels of intracellular calcium. All of these treatments, or changes, lead to release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria (Fig. 18.15). Cytochrome c is a necessary protein component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain that is a loosely bound to the outside of the inner mitochondrial membrane. Its release initiates apoptosis.

Cellular proteins Apoptotic fragments

Fig. 18.13. Major components in apoptosis.

330

SECTION THREE / GENE EXPRESSION AND THE SYNTHESIS OF PROTEINS

Cytotoxic T-cell

Ligand

Death receptor

FADD

Cell membrane Adaptor protein Initiator caspases Bcl-2protein tBid

+

Procaspase 8

Caspase 8 Autocatalysis +

Inactive execution caspases Procaspase 3 Procaspase 6 Procaspase 7

+

Mitochondrial permeability increase

Bid Execution caspases 3 (Active) 6 7

Chromatin condensation DNA fragmentation Surface alterations

Fig. 18.14. The death receptor pathway to apoptosis. The ligand (usually a cell surface protein on another cell) binds to the death receptor, which makes a scaffold for autocatalytic activation of caspase 8. Active caspase 8 directly cleaves apoptotic execution caspases. However, the pathway also activates Bid, which acts on mitochondrial membrane integrity.

In the cytosol, cytochrome c binds Apaf (pro-apoptotic protease activating factor). The Apaf/cytochrome c complex binds caspase 9, an initiator caspase, to form an active complex called the apoptosome. The apoptosome in turn activates execution caspases by zymogen cleavage. 4. Table 18.3 Bcl-2 Family Members

Anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 Bcl-x Bcl-w Proapoptotic Channel Forming Bax Bak Bok Pro-apoptotic BH3-Only Bad Bid Bod/Bim Roughly 30 Bcl-2 family members are currently known. These proteins play tissue-specific as well as signal pathway–specific roles in regulating apoptosis. The tissue-specificity is overlapping. For example, Bcl-2 is expressed in hair follicles, kidney, small intestines, neurons, and the lymphoid system, whereas Bcl-x is expressed in the nervous system and hematopoietic cells.

INTEGRATION OF PRO- AND ANTI-APOPTOTIC SIGNALS BY THE BCL-2 FAMILY OF PROTEINS

The Bcl-2 family members are decision-makers that integrate prodeath and antideath signals to determine whether the cell should commit suicide. Both pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family exist (Table 18.3). The antiapoptotic Bcl-2 –type proteins (including Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bcl-wL) have at least two ways of antagonizing death signals. They insert into the outer mitochondrial membrane to antagonize channel-forming pro-apoptotic factors, therby decreasing cytochrome c release. They may also bind cytoplasmic Apaf so that it cannot form the apoptosome complex (Fig. 18.16). These anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins are opposed by pro-apoptotic family members that fall into two categories: ion-channel forming members and the BH3-only members. The pro-death ion channel forming members, such as Bax, are very similar to the anti-apoptotic family members, except that they do not contain the binding domain for Apaf. They have the other structural domains, however, and when they dimerize with When Bcl-2 is mutated, and oncogenic, it is usually overexpressed, for example, in follicular lymphoma and CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia). Overexpression of Bcl-2 disrupts the normal regulation of pro and anti-apoptotic factors and tips the balance to an anti-apoptotic stand. This leads to an inability to destroy cells with damaged DNA, such that mutations can accumulate within the cell. Bcl-2 is also a multi-drug resistance protein and if over-expressed will block the induction of apoptosis by antitumor agents by rapidly removing them from the cell. Thus, strategies are being developed to reduce Bcl-2 levels in tumors over-expressing it before initiating drug or radiation treatment.

331

CHAPTER 18 / THE MOLECULER BIOLOGY OF CANCER

pro-apoptotic BH3-only members in the outer mitochondrial membrane, they form an ion channel that promotes cytochrome c release rather than inhibiting it (see Fig. 18.16). The pro-death BH3-only proteins (e.g., Bim and Bid) contain only the structural domain that allows them to bind to other bcl-2 family members (the BH3 domain), and not the domains for binding to the membrane or forming ion channels. Their binding activates the pro-death family members and inactivates the anti-apoptotic members. When the cell receives a signal from a pro-death agonist, a BH3 protein like Bid is activated (see Fig. 18.16). The BH3 protein activates Bax (an ion-channel forming pro-apoptotic channel member), which stimulates release of cytochrome c. Normally Bcl-2 acts as a death antagonist by binding Apaf and keeping it in an inactive state. However, at the same time that Bid is activating Bax, Bid also binds to Bcl-2, thereby disrupting the Bcl-2/Apaf complex and freeing Apaf to bind to released cytochrome c to form the apoptosome.

Death signals

Mitochondrion

Apaf-1

Cytochrome ATP Apoptosome

B. Cancer Cells Bypass Apoptosis Apoptosis should be triggered by a number of stimuli, such as withdrawal of growth factors, elevation of p53 in response to DNA damage, monitoring of DNA damage by repair enzymes, or by release of TNF or other immune factors. However, mutations in oncogenes can create apoptosis-resistant cells. One of the ways this occurs is through activation of growth factor–dependent signaling pathways that inhibit apoptosis, such as the PDGF/Akt/BAD pathway. Nonphosphorylated BAD acts like Bid in promoting apoptosis (see Fig. 18.16). Binding of the platelet-derived growth factor to its receptor activates PI-3 kinase, which phosphorylates and activates the serine/threonine kinase Akt (protein kinase B, see Chapter 11, section III.B.3). Activation of Akt results in the phosphorylation of the pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein BAD, which inactivates it. The PDGF/Akt/BAD pathway illustrates the requirement of normal cells for growth factor stimulation to prevent cell death. One of the features of neoplastic transformation is the loss of growth factor dependence for survival. The MAP kinase pathway is also involved in regulating apoptosis and sends cell survival signals. MAP kinase kinase phosphorylates and activates another protein kinase known as RSK. Like Akt, RSK phosphorylates BAD and inhibits its activity. Thus, BAD acts as a site of convergence for the PI-3 kinase/Akt and MAP kinase pathways in signaling cell survival. Gain-of-function mutations in the genes controlling these pathways, such as ras, creates apoptosis- resistant cells. Stimulus Growth factor deprivation Steroids Irradiation Chemotherapeutic drugs

Anti-apoptosis

Apaf/Bcl-XL (inactive)

Bcl-2 BH3-only (Bid)

Mitochondrion

Bax

Bcl-XL Apaf

Caspase 9 Apoptosome

cyclochrome C

Pro-apoptosis

Fig. 18.16. Roles of the Bcl-2 family members in regulating apoptosis. Bcl-2, which is antiapoptotic, binds Bid (or tBid) and blocks formation of channels that allow cytochrome c release from the mitochondria. Death signals result in activation of a BH3-only protein such as Bid, which can lead to mitochondrial pore formation, swelling, and release of cytochrome c. Bid binds to and activates the membrane ion-channel protein Bax, activating cytochrome c release, which binds to Apaf and leads to formation of the apoptosome.

Procaspase 9

Active caspase 9

Execution procaspases

Active

Fig. 18.15. The mitochondrial integrity pathway releases cytochrome c, which binds to Apaf and forms a multimeric complex called the apoptosome. The apoptosome converts procaspase 9 to active caspase, which it releases into the cytosol.

332

SECTION THREE / GENE EXPRESSION AND THE SYNTHESIS OF PROTEINS

Cell type Gene alteration

VI. CANCER REQUIRES MULTIPLE MUTATIONS

Normal epithelium

Cancer takes a long time to develop in humans because multiple genetic alterations are required to transform normal cells into malignant cells (see Fig. 18.1). A single change in one oncogene or tumor suppressor gene in an individual cell is not adequate for transformation. For example, if cells derived from biopsy specimens of normal cells are not already “immortalized,” that is, able to grow in culture indefinitely, addition of the ras oncogene to the cells is not sufficient for transformation. However, additional mutations in a combination of oncogenes, for example ras and myc, can result in transformation (Fig. 18.17). Epidemiologists have estimated that four to seven mutations are required for normal cells to be transformed. Cells accumulate multiple mutations through clonal expansion. When DNA damage occurs in a normally proliferative cell, a population of cells with that mutation is produced. Expansion of the mutated population enormously increases the probability of a second mutation in a cell containing the first mutation. After one or more mutations in proto-oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, a cell may proliferate more rapidly in the presence of growth stimuli and with further mutations grow autonomously, that is, independent of normal growth controls. Enhanced growth increases the probability of further mutations. Some families have a strong predisposition to cancer. Individuals in these families have inherited a mutation or deletion of one allele of a tumor suppressor gene, and as progeny of that cell proliferate, mutations can occur in the second allele, leading to a loss of control of cellular proliferation. These familial cancers include familial retinoblastoma, familial adenomatous polyps of the colon, and multiple endocrine neoplasia, one form of which involves tumors of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal medulla (MEN type II). Studies of benign and malignant polyps of the colon show that these tumors have a number of different genetic abnormalities. The incidence of these mutations increases with the level of malignancy. In the early stages, normal cells of the intestinal epithelium proliferate, develop mutations in the APC gene, and polyps develop. This change is associated with a mutation in the ras proto-oncogene that converts it to an active oncogene. Progression to the next stage is associated with a deletion or alteration of a tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 5. Subsequently, mutations occur in chromosome 18, inactivating a gene that may be involved in cell adhesion, and in chromosome 17, inactivating the p53 tumor suppressor gene. The

Loss of APC Hyperproliferative epithelium

Early adenoma Activation of Ras Intermediate adenoma Loss of a tumor suppressor gene Late adenoma Loss of p53 activity Carcinoma Other alterations Metastasis

Fig. 18.17. Possible steps in the development of colon cancer. The changes do not always occur in this order, but the most benign tumors have the lowest frequency of mutations, and the most malignant have the highest frequency.

Nick O’Tyne had been smoking for 40 years before he developed lung cancer. The fact that cancer takes so long to develop has made it difficult to prove that the carcinogens in cigarette smoke cause lung cancer. Studies in England and Wales show that cigarette consumption by men began to increase in the early 1900s. Followed by a 20-year lag, the incidence in lung cancer in men also began to rise. Women began smoking later, in the 1920s. Again the incidence of lung cancer began to increase after a 20-year lag. 200

4,000 Smoking

150

Lung cancer

3,000 Smoking

2,000

100

Men Women

1,000

50

Lung cancer

0 1900

0 1920

1940

1960

1980

Annual deaths from lung cancer (per 100,000 population)

Annual per capita consumption of cigarettes

5,000

CHAPTER 18 / THE MOLECULER BIOLOGY OF CANCER

333

2003 Estimated cancer deaths, United States percent distribution of sites by sex 2% Brain Esophagus 4% Lung 31% Liver 3% Pancreas 5% Kidney 3% Colon & rectum 10% Prostate 10% Urinary 3%

15% Breast 25% Lung 6% Pancreas 11% Colon & rectum 5% Ovary 3% Uterus

Leukemia & Lymphomas

8%

All other 23%

8% Leukemia & Lymphomas 25% All other

Fig. 18.18. Estimated cancer deaths by site and sex. Data from The American Cancer Society, Inc: Cancer Facts and Figures, 2003.

cells become malignant, and further mutations result in growth that is more aggressive and metastatic. This sequence of mutations is not always followed precisely, but an accumulation of mutations in these genes is found in a large percentage of colon carcinomas.

VII. AT THE MOLECULAR LEVEL, CANCER IS MANY DIFFERENT DISEASES More than 20% of the deaths in the United States each year are caused by cancer, with tumors of the lung, large intestine, and the breast being the most common (Fig. 18.18). Different cell types typically use different mechanisms through which they lose the ability to control their own growth. An examination of the genes involved in the development of cancer shows that a particular type of cancer can arise in multiple ways. For example, Patched and Smoothened are the receptor and co-receptor for the signaling peptide, sonic hedgehog. Either mutation of smoothened, an oncogene, or inactivation of patched, a tumor suppressor gene, can give rise to basal cell carcinoma. Similarly, transforming growth factor and its signal transduction proteins SMAD4/DPC are part of the same growth-inhibiting pathway, and either may be absent in colon cancer. Thus, treatments which are successful for one patient with colon cancer may not be successful in a second patient with colon cancer because of the differences in the molecular basis of each individual’s disease (this now also appears to be the case with breast cancer as well). Medical practice in the future will require identifying the molecular lesions involved in a particular disease and developing appropriate treatments accordingly. The use of gene chip technology (see Chapter 17) to genotype tumor tissues will aid greatly in allowing patient specific treatments to be developed.

CLINICAL COMMENTS Mannie Weitzels. The treatment of a symptomatic patient with CML whose white blood cell count is in excess of 50,000 cells/mL is usually initiated with busulfan. Alkylating agents such as cyclophos-

A new treatment for CML based on rational drug design was recently introduced. The fusion protein BcrAbl is found only in the transformed cells expressing the Philadelphia chromosome and not in normal cells. Once the structure of Bcr-Abl was determined, the drug Gleevec was designed to specifically bind to and inhibit only the active site of the fusion protein and not the normal protein. Gleevec was successful in blocking Bcr-Abl function, thereby stopping cell proliferation, and in some cells would induce apoptosis, so the cells would die. Because normal cells do not express the hybrid protein, they were not affected by the drug. The problem with this treatment is that some patients suffered relapses, and when their Bcr-Abl proteins were studied it was found in some patients that the fusion protein had a single amino acid substitution near the active site that prevented Gleevec from binding to the protein. Other patients had an amplification of the Bcr-Abl gene product. Thus, Gleevec is a promising first step in designing drugs specifically targeted to tumor cells and is leading the way for rational drug design in the treatment of cancer.

334

SECTION THREE / GENE EXPRESSION AND THE SYNTHESIS OF PROTEINS

phamide have been used alone or in combination with busulfan. Purine and pyrimidine antagonists and hydroxyurea (an inhibitor of the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase, which converts ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides for DNA synthesis) are sometimes effective in CML as well. In addition, trials with both - and -interferon have shown promise in increasing survival in these patients. Interestingly, the latter agents have been associated with the disappearance of the Philadelphia chromosome in dividing marrow cells of some patients treated in this way. The TNM system standardizes the classification of tumors. The T stands for the stage of tumor (the higher the number, the worse the prognosis), the N stands for the number of lymph nodes that are affected by the tumor (again, the higher the number, the worse the prognosis), and M stands for the presence of metastasis (0 for none, 1 for the presence of metastatic cells).

Nick O’ Tyne. Surgical resection of the primary lung cancer with an attempt at cure was justified in Nick O’Tyne, who had a good prognosis with a T1,N1,M0 staging classification preoperatively. Without some evidence of spread to the central nervous system at that time, a preoperative CT scan of the brain would not have been justified. This conservative approach would require scanning of all of the potential sites for metastatic disease from a non–small cell cancer of the lung in all patients who present in this way. In an era of runaway costs of health care delivery, such an approach could not be considered cost-effective. Unfortunately, Mr. O’Tyne developed a metastatic lesion in the right temporal cortex of his brain. Because metastases were almost certainly present in other organs, Mr. O’Tyne’s brain tumor was not treated surgically. In spite of palliative radiation therapy to the brain, Mr. O’Tyne succumbed to his disease just 9 months after its discovery, an unusually virulent course for this malignancy. On postmortem examination, it was found that his body was riddled with metastatic disease. Colin Tuma. Colin Tuma requires yearly colonoscopies to check for new polyps in his intestinal tract. Because the development of a metastatic adenoma requires a number of years (because of the large numbers of mutations that must occur), yearly checks will enable new polyps to be identified and removed before malignant tumors develop.

Mutations associated with malignant melanomas include ras (gainof-function in growth signal transduction oncogene), p53 (loss of function of tumor suppressor gene), p16 (loss of function in Cdk inhibitor tumor suppressor gene), Cdk4 (gain of function in a cell cycle progression oncogene) and cadherin/catenin regulation (loss of regulation that requires attachment).

Mel Anoma. The biopsy of Mel Anoma’s excised mole showed that it was not malignant. The most important clinical sign of a malignant melanoma is a change in color in a pigmented lesion. Unlike benign (nondysplastic) nevi, melanomas exhibit striking variations in pigmentation, appearing in shades of black, brown, red, dark blue, and gray. Additional clinical warning signs of a melanoma are: enlargement of a preexisting mole, itching or pain in a preexisting mole, development of a new pigmented lesion during adult life, and irregularity of the borders of a pigmented lesion. Mel Anoma was advised to conduct a monthly self-examination, to have a clinical skin examination once or twice yearly, to avoid sunlight, and to use appropriate sunscreens.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Viruses and human cancer. Three RNA retroviruses are associated with the development of cancer in humans: HTLV-1, HIV, and hepatitis C. There are also DNA viruses associated with cancer. HTLV-1. HTLV-1 causes adult T-cell leukemia. The HTLV-1 genome encodes a protein Tax, which is a transcriptional coactivator. The cellular proto-oncogenes c-sis and c-fos are activated by Tax, thereby altering the normal controls on cellular proliferation and leading to malignancy. Thus, tax is a viral oncogene without a counterpart in the host cell genome.

CHAPTER 18 / THE MOLECULER BIOLOGY OF CANCER

335

HIV. Infection with HIV, the virus causing acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS), leads to the development of neoplastic disease through several mechanisms. HIV infection leads to immunosuppression and, consequently, loss of immune-mediated tumor surveillance. HIV-infected individuals are predisposed to non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which results from an overproduction of T cell lymphocytes. The HIV genome encodes a protein, Tat, a transcription factor that activates transcription of the interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 genes in infected T cells. IL-6 and IL-10 are growth factors that promote proliferation of T cells and, thus, their increased production may contribute to the development of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Tat can also be released from infected cells and act as an angiogenic (blood vessel forming) growth factor. This property is thought to contribute to the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma. DNA viruses. Some DNA viruses also cause human cancer, but by different mechanisms. Three DNA tumor virus families, SV40, papillomavirus, and adenovirus, encode proteins that inactivate pRb and p53. By interfering with the G1/S checkpoint, these oncoproteins increase the probability that mutations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes will be incorporated into the genome of infected cells, thereby increasing the probability of transformation. The Epstein-Barr virus encodes a Bcl-2 protein that restricts apoptosis of the infected cell.

Suggested References Culotta E, Koshland D Jr. Molecule of the year: p53 sweeps through cancer research. Science 1993;262:1958–1959. Tamm I, Schriever F, and Dorhen B. Apoptosis: implications of basic research for clinical oncology. The Lancet Oncology 2001;2:33–42. Vogelstein B, Fearon ER, Hamilton SR, et al. Genetic alterations during colorectal tumor development. N Engl J Med 1988;319:525. Bertram JS. The molecular biology of cancer. Molecular Aspects Med 2000;21:167–223. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Raff M, et al. Cancer. Chapter 23. In Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th Ed. New York: Garland Scientific, 2002:1313–1362. Weinberg RA. How cancer arises. Sci Am 1996:275:62–70.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 18 1.

The ras oncogene in Colin Tuma’s malignant polyp differs from the c-ras proto-oncogene only in the region that encodes the N-terminus of the protein. This portion of the normal and mutant sequences is shown below:

10 20 30 Normal A T G A C G G A A T A T A A G C T G G T G G T G G T G G G C G C C G G C G G T Mutant A T G A C G G A A T A T A A G C T G G T G G T G G T G G G C G C C G T C G G T

This mutation is similar to the mutation found in the ras oncogene in various tumors. What type of mutation converts the ras proto-oncogene to an oncogene? (A) An insertion that disrupts the reading frame of the protein (B) A deletion that disrupts the reading frame of the protein (C) A missense mutation that changes one amino acid within the protein (D) A silent mutation that has no change in amino acid sequence of the protein (E) An early termination that creates a stop codon in the reading frame of the protein

336

2.

SECTION THREE / GENE EXPRESSION AND THE SYNTHESIS OF PROTEINS

The mechanism through which Ras becomes an oncogenic protein is which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

Ras remains bound to GAP. Ras can no longer bind cAMP. Ras has lost its GTPase activity. Ras can no longer bind GTP. Ras can no longer be phosphorylated by MAP kinase.

Which of the following statements best describes a characteristic of oncogenes? (A) All retroviruses contain at least one oncogene. (B) Retroviral oncogenes were originally obtained from a cellular host chromosome. (C) Proto-oncogenes are genes, found in retroviruses, that have the potential to transform normal cells when inappropriately expressed. (D) The oncogenes that lead to human disease are different from those that lead to tumors in animals. (E) Oncogenes are mutated versions of normal viral gene products.

4.

When p53 increases in response to DNA damage, which of the following events occur? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

p53 induces transcription of cdk4. p53 induces transcription of cyclin D. p53 binds E2F to activate transcription. p53 induces transcription of p21. p53 directly phosphorylates the transcription factor jun.

A tumor suppressor gene is best described by which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

A gain-of-function mutation leads to uncontrolled proliferation. A loss-of-function mutation leads to uncontrolled proliferation. When expressed, the gene suppresses viral genes from being expressed. When expressed, the gene specifically blocks the G1/S checkpoint. When expressed, the gene induces tumor formation.

SECTION FOUR

Fuel Oxidation and The Generation of ATP ll physiologic processes in living cells require energy transformation. Cells convert the chemical bond energy in foods into other forms, such as an electrochemical gradient across the plasma membrane, or the movement of muscle fibers in an arm, or assembly of complex molecules such as DNA (Fig. 1). These energy transformations can be divided into three principal phases: (1) oxidation of fuels (fat, carbohydrate, and protein), (2) conversion of energy from fuel oxidation into the highenergy phosphate bonds of ATP, and (3) utilization of ATP phosphate bond energy to drive energy-requiring processes. The first two phases of energy transformation are part of cellular respiration, the overall process of using O2 and energy derived from oxidizing fuels to generate ATP. We need to breathe principally because our cells require O2 to generate adequate amounts of ATP from the oxidation of fuels to CO2. Cellular respiration uses over 90% of the O2 we inhale. In phase 1 of respiration, energy is conserved from fuel oxidation by enzymes that transfer electrons from the fuels to the electron-accepting coenzymes NAD and FAD, which are reduced to NADH and FAD(2H), respectively (Fig. 2). The pathways for the oxidation of most fuels (glucose, fatty acids, ketone bodies, and many amino acids) converge in the generation of the activated 2-carbon acetyl group in acetyl CoA. The complete oxidation of the acetyl group to CO2 occurs in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, which collects the energy mostly as NADH and FAD(2H). In phase 2 of cellular respiration, the energy derived from fuel oxidation is converted to the high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP by the process of oxidative phosphorylation (see Fig. 2). Electrons are transferred from NADH and FAD(2H) to O2 by the electron transport chain, a series of electron transfer proteins that are located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Oxidation of NADH and FAD(2H) by O2 generates an electrochemical potential across the inner mitochondrial membrane in the form of a transmembrane proton gradient (p). This electrochemical potential drives the synthesis of ATP form ADP and Pi by a transmembrane enzyme called ATP synthase (or F0F1ATPase). In phase 3 of cellular respiration, the high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP are used for processes such as muscle contraction (mechanical work), maintaining low intracellular Na concentrations (transport work), synthesis of larger molecules such as DNA in anabolic pathways (biosynthetic work), or detoxification (biochemical work). As a consequence of these processes, ATP is either directly or indirectly hydrolyzed to ADP and inorganic phosphate (Pi), or to AMP and pyrophosphate (PPi). Cellular respiration occurs in mitochondria (Fig. 3). The mitochondrial matrix, which is the compartment enclosed by the inner mitochondrial membrance, contains almost all of the enzymes for the TCA cycle and oxidation of fatty acids,

A

O2 Fuels

ATP Pi

O2 CO2 Cellular response

ADP

Fig. 1. Energy transformations in fuel metabolism. When ATP energy is transformed into cellular responses, such as muscle contraction, ATP is cleaved to ADP and Pi (inorganic phosphate). In cellular respiration, O2 is used for regenerating ATP from oxidation of fuels to CO2.

337

Fatty acids Amino acids

Glucose ATP

NADH

NADH Pyruvate

FAD(2H)

NADH

Nitrogen Urea

Acetyl CoA Ketone bodies

Phase 1 of respiration The oxidation of fuels

TCA cycle CO2 CO2 FAD(2H) NADH O2

electron transport chain

H2O ATP

Phase 2 of respiration ATP generation from oxidative phosphorylation

+ + H+ + ∆p +

ADP + Pi

Fig. 2. Cellular respiration. p the proton gradient.

an-: -emia: hyper-: hypo-: -osis: -uria:

338

Definitions of prefixes and suffixes used in describing clinical conditions: Without Blood Excessive, above normal Deficient, below normal Abnormal or diseased state Urine

ketone bodies, and most amino acids. The inner mitochondrial membrane contains the protein complexes of the electron transport chain and ATP synthase, the enzyme complex that generates ATP from ADP and Pi. Some of the subunits of these complexes are encoded by mitochondrial DNA, which resides in the matrix. ATP is generated in the matrix, but most of the energy-using processes in the cell occur outside of the mitochondrion. As a consequence, newly generated ATP must be continuously transported to the cytosol by protein transporters in the impermeable inner mitochondrial membrane and by diffusion through pores in the more permeable outer mitochondrial membrane. The rates of fuel oxidation and ATP utilization are tightly coordinated through feedback regulation of the electron transport chain and the pathways of fuel oxidation. Thus, if less energy is required for work, more fuel is stored as glycogen or fat in adipose tissue. The basal metabolic rate (BMR), caloric balance, and G (the change in Gibbs free energy, which is the amount of energy available to do useful work) are quantitative ways of describing energy requirements and the energy that can be derived from fuel oxidation. The various types of enzyme regulation described in Chapter 9 are all used to regulate the rate of oxidation of different fuels to meet energy requirements. Fatty acids are a major fuel in the body. After eating, we store excess fatty acids and carbohydrates that are not oxidized as fat (triacylglycerols) in adipose tissue. Between meals, these fatty acids are released and circulate in blood bound to albumin. In muscle, liver, and other tissues, fatty acids are oxidized to acetyl CoA in the pathway of -oxidation. NADH and FAD(2H) generated from -oxidation are reoxidized by O2 in the electron transport chain, thereby generating ATP (see Fig. 2). Small amounts of certain fatty acids are oxidized through other pathways that convert them to either oxidizable fuels or urinary excretion products (e.g., peroxisomal -oxidation). Not all acetyl CoA generated from -oxidation enters the TCA cycle. In the liver, acetyl CoA generated from -oxidation of fatty acids can also be converted to the

ketone bodies acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate. Ketone bodies are taken up by muscle and other tissues, which convert them back to acetyl CoA for oxidation in the TCA cycle. They become a major fuel for the brain during prolonged fasting. Amino acids derived from dietary or body proteins are also potential fuels that can be oxidized to acetyl CoA, or converted to glucose and then oxidized (see Fig. 2). These oxidation pathways, like those of fatty acids, generate NADH or FAD(2H). Ammonia, which can be formed during amino acid oxidation, is toxic. It is therefore converted to urea in the liver and excreted in the urine. There are more than 20 different amino acids, each with a somewhat different pathway for oxidation of the carbon skeleton and conversion of its nitrogen to urea. Because of the complexity of amino acid metabolism, use of amino acids as fuels is considered separately in Section Seven, Nitrogen Metabolism. Glucose is a universal fuel used to generate ATP in every cell type in the body (Fig. 4). In glycolysis, 1 mole of glucose is converted to 2 moles of pyruvate and 2 moles of NADH by cytosolic enzymes. Small amounts of ATP are generated when high-energy pathway intermediates transfer phosphate to ADP in a process termed substrate level phosphorylation. In aerobic glycolysis, the NADH produced from glycolysis is reoxidized by O2 via the electron transport chain, and pyruvate enters the TCA cycle. In anaerobic glycolysis, the NADH is reoxidized by conversion of pyruvate to lactate, which enters the blood. Although anaerobic glycolysis has a low ATP yield, it is important for tissues with a low oxygen supply and few mitochondria (e.g., the kidney medulla), or tissues experiencing diminished blood flow (ischemia). All cells continuously use ATP and require a constant supply of fuels to provide energy for the generation of ATP. Chapters 1 through 3 of this text outline the basic patterns of fuel utilization in the human and provide information about dietary components. The pathologic consequences of metabolic problems in fuel oxidation can be grouped into 2 categories: (1) lack of a required product, or (2) excess of a substrate or pathway intermediate. The product of fuel oxidation is ATP, and an inadequate rate of ATP production occurs under a wide variety of medical conditions. Extreme conditions that interfere with ATP generation from oxidative phosphorylation, such as complete oxygen deprivation (anoxia), or cyanide poisoning, are fatal. A myocardial infarction is caused by a lack of adequate blood flow to regions of the heart (ischemia), thereby depriving cardiomyocytes of oxygen and fuel. Hyperthyroidism is associated with excessive heat generation from fuel oxidation, and in hypothyroidism, ATP generation can decrease to a fatal level. Conditions such as malnutrition, anorexia nervosa, or excessive alcohol consumption may decrease availability of thiamine, Fe2, and other vitamins and minerals required by the enzymes of fuel oxidation. Mutations in mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA result in deficient ATP generation from oxidative metabolism. In contrast, problems arising from an excess of substrate or fuel are seen in diabetes mellitus, which may result in a potentially fatal ketoacidosis. Lactic acidosis occurs with problems of oxidative metabolism.

TCA cycle enzymes

Outer mitochondrial membrane

β – oxidation

ATP

ATP synthase

Intermembrane space Inner mitochondrial membrane

Electron transport chain

Matrix

Mitochondrial DNA

Permeable membrane

Fig. 3. Oxidative metabolism in mitochondria. The inner mitochondrial membrane forms infoldings, called cristae, which enclose the mitochondrial matrix. Most of the enzymes for the TCA cycle, the -oxidation of fatty acids, and for mitochondrial DNA synthesis are found in the matrix. ATP synthase and the protein complexes of the electron transport chain are embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane. The outer mitochondrial membrane is permeable to small ions, but the inner mitochondrial membrane is impermeable.

Glucose ATP NADH Pyruvate NADH Lactate Anaerobic glycolysis

Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

Fig. 4. Glycolysis. In glycolysis, glucose is converted to pyruvate. If the pyruvate is reduced to lactate, the pathway does not require O2 and is called anaerobic glycolysis. If this pyruvate is converted instead to acetyl CoA and oxidized in the TCA cycle, glycolysis requires O2 and is aerobic.

339

19

Cellular Bioenergetics: ATP And O2

Bioenergetics refers to cellular energy transformations. The ATP-ADP cycle. In cells, the chemical bond energy of fuels is transformed into the physiologic responses necessary for life. The central role of the high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP in these processes is summarized in the ATP-ADP cycle (Fig. 19.1). To generate ATP through cellular respiration, fuels are degraded by oxidative reactions that transfer most of their chemical bond energy to NAD and FAD to generate the reduced form of these coenzymes, NADH and FAD(2H). When NADH and FAD(2H) are oxidized by O2 in the electron transport chain, the energy is used to regenerate ATP in the process of oxidative phosphorylation. Energy available from cleavage of the high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP can be used directly for mechanical work (e.g., muscle contraction) or for transport work (e.g., a Na gradient generated by Na, KATPase). It can also be used for biochemical work (energy-requiring chemical reactions), such as anabolic pathways (biosynthesis of large molecules like proteins) or detoxification reactions. Phosphoryl transfer reactions, protein conformational changes, and the formation of activated intermediates containing high energy bonds (e.g., UDP-sugars) facilitate these energy transformations. Energy released from foods that is not used for work against the environment is transformed into heat. ATP homeostasis. Fuel oxidation is regulated to maintain ATP homeostasis (homeo, same; stasis, state). Regardless of whether the level of cellular fuel utilization is high (with increased ATP consumption), or low (with decreased ATP consumption), the available ATP within the cell is maintained at a constant level by appropriate increases or decreases in the rate of fuel oxidation. Problems in ATP homeostasis and energy balance occur in obesity, hyperthyroidism, and myocardial infarction. Energy from Fuel Oxidation. Fuel oxidation is exergonic; it releases energy. The maximum quantity of energy released that is available for useful work (e.g., ATP synthesis) is called G0, the change in Gibbs free energy at pH 7.0 under standard conditions. Fuel oxidation has a negative G0, that is, the products have a lower chemical bond energy than the reactants and their formation is energetically favored. ATP synthesis from ADP and inorganic phosphate is endergonic; it requires energy and has a positive G0. To proceed in our cells, all pathways must have a negative G0. How is this accomplished for anabolic pathways such as glycogen synthesis? These metabolic pathways incorporate reactions that expend high-energy bonds to compensate for the energy-requiring steps. Because the G0s for a sequence of reactions are additive, the overall pathway becomes energetically favorable. Fuels are oxidized principally by donating electrons to NAD and FAD, which then donate electrons to O2 in the electron transport chain. The caloric value of a fuel is related to its G0 for transfer of electrons to O2, and its reduction potential, E° (a measure of its willingness to donate, or accept,

Heat

ATP

CO2 Energy production Carbohydrate Lipid Protein

O2

Energy utilization Muscle contraction Active ion transport Biosynthesis Detoxification Thermogenesis

ADP + Pi

Fig. 19.1. ATP-ADP cycle.

341

342

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

In the thermodynamic perspective of energy expenditure, where energy intake to the body exceeds energy expended, the difference is effectively stored as fat.

Total energy expenditure = Heat produced + work on environment

Energy intake (food)

Metabolism

electrons). Because fatty acids are more reduced than carbohydrates, they have a higher caloric value. The high affinity of oxygen for electrons (a high positive reduction potential) drives fuel oxidation forward, with release of energy that can be used for ATP synthesis in oxidative phosphorylation. However, smaller amounts of ATP can be generated without the use of O2 in anaerobic glycolysis. Fuel oxidation can also generate NADPH, which usually donates electrons to biosynthetic pathways and detoxification reactions. For example, in some reactions catalyzed by oxygenases, NADPH is the electron donor and O2 the electron acceptor.

Energy storage (fat)

Physical activity variable Adaptive thermogenesis Obligatory energy expenditure Cellular and organ functions

The portion of food that is metabolized is regulated to match the total energy expenditure of the body. A certain amount of the energy is obligatory (the amount of energy expended to do the work of the cells, the BMR). Some energy is also expended for adaptive thermogenesis, heat generated in response to cold or diet. An additional amount of energy is used for physical exercise (work against the environment). To voluntarily store less energy as fat, we can vary our caloric intake through dietary changes or our energy expenditure through changes in our physical exercise. Cora Nari suffered a heart attack 8 months ago and had a significant loss of functional heart muscle. The pain she is experiencing is called angina pectoris, which is a crushing or constricting pain located in the center of the chest, often radiating to the neck or arms (see Ann Jeina, Chapters 6 and 7). The most common cause of angina pectoris is partial blockage of coronary arteries from atherosclerosis. The heart muscle cells beyond the block receive an inadequate blood flow and oxygen, and die when ATP production falls too low.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Otto Shape is a 26-year old medical student who has completed his first year of medical school. He is 70 inches tall and began medical school weighing 154 lb, within his ideal weight range (see Chapter 1). By the time he finished his last examination in his first year, he weighed 187 lb. He had calculated his BMR at approximately 1,680 kcal, and his energy expenditure for physical exercise equal to 30% of his BMR. He planned on returning to his premedical school weight in 6 weeks over the summer by eating 576 kcal less each day and playing 7 hours of tennis every day. However, he did a summer internship instead of playing tennis. When Otto started his second year of medical school, he weighed 210 lb. X.S. Teefore (excess T4) is a 26-year-old man who noted heat intolerance with heavy sweating, heart palpitations, and tremulousness. Over the past 4 months, he has lost weight in spite of a good appetite. He is sleeping poorly and describes himself as feeling “jittery inside.” On physical examination, his heart rate is rapid (116 beats/min) and he appears restless and fidgety. His skin feels warm, and he is perspiring profusely. A fine hand tremor is observed as he extends his arms in front of his chest. His thyroid gland appears to be diffusely enlarged and, on palpation, is approximately 3 times normal size. Thyroid function tests confirm that Mr. Teefore’s thyroid gland is secreting excessive amounts of the thyroid hormones T4 (tetraiodothyronine) and T3 (triiodothyronine), the major thyroid hormones present in the blood. Cora Nari is a 64-year-old woman who had a myocardial infarction 8 months ago. Although she managed to lose 6 lb since that time, she remains overweight and has not reduced the fat content of her diet adequately. The graded aerobic exercise program she started 5 weeks after her infarction is now followed irregularly, falling far short of the cardiac conditioning intensity prescribed by her cardiologist. She is readmitted to the hospital cardiac care unit (CCU) after experiencing a severe “viselike pressure” in the mid-chest area while cleaning ice from the windshield of her car. The electrocardiogram (ECG) shows evidence of a new posterior wall myocardial infarction. Signs and symptoms of left ventricular failure are present.

I.

ENERGY AVAILABLE TO DO WORK

The basic principle of the ATP-ADP cycle is that fuel oxidation generates ATP, and hydrolysis of ATP to ADP provides the energy to perform most of the work required in the cell. ATP has therefore been called the energy currency of our cells. Like the

343

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

one dollar bill, it has a defined value, is required to obtain goods and services, and disappears before we know it. To keep up with the demand, we must constantly replenish our ATP supply through the use of O2 for fuel oxidation. The amount of energy from ATP cleavage available to do useful work is related to the difference in energy levels between the products and substrates of the reaction and is called the change in Gibbs free energy, G (, difference; G, Gibbs free energy). In cells, the G for energy production from fuel oxidation must be greater than the G of energy-requiring processes, such as protein synthesis and muscle contraction, for life to continue.

A. The High-Energy Phosphate Bonds of ATP

The heart is a specialist in the transformation of ATP chemical bond energy into mechanical work. Each single heartbeat uses approximately 2% of the ATP in the heart. If the heart were not able to regenerate ATP, all its ATP would be hydrolyzed in less than 1 minute. Because the amount of ATP required by the heart is so high, it must rely on the pathway of oxidative phosphorylation for generation of this ATP. In Cora Nari’s heart, hypoxia is affecting her ability to generate ATP.

The amount of energy released or required by bond cleavage or formation is determined by the chemical properties of the substrates and products. The bonds between the phosphate groups in ATP are called phosphoanhydride bonds (Fig. 19.2). When these bonds are hydrolyzed, energy is released because the products of the reaction (ADP and phosphate) are more stable, with lower bond energies, than the reactants (ATP and H2O). The instability of the phosphoanhydride bonds arises from their negatively charged phosphate groups, which repel each other and strain the bonds between them. It takes energy to make the phosphate groups stay together. In contrast, there are fewer negative charges in ADP to repel each other. The phosphate group as a free anion is more stable than it is in ATP because of an increase in resonance structures (i.e., the electrons of the oxygen double bond are shared by all the oxygen atoms). As a consequence, ATP hydrolysis is energetically favorable and proceeds with release of energy as heat. In the cell, ATP is not directly hydrolyzed. Energy released as heat from ATP hydrolysis cannot be transferred efficiently into energy-requiring processes, such as biosynthetic reactions or maintaining an ion gradient. Instead, cellular enzymes directly transfer the phosphate group to a metabolic intermediate or protein that is part of the energy-requiring process (a phosphoryl transfer reaction).

B. Change in Free Energy (G) During a Reaction How much energy can be obtained from ATP hydrolysis to do the work required in the cell? The maximum amount of useful energy that can be obtained from a NH2 C

High energy phosphate bonds O

O –

O

P –

O

HC

C N

C

C

N

OCH2

P –

O

O

O

γ

β

α

H H OH

N

Adenine CH

HC

N

H2O

O O

P

N

NH2

O

Hydrolysis H

H

O

O –

O

P –

OH

O

+

O

O

D – Ribose

+ H+

OH

N

C

N CH N

O O

P

C

OCH2

P –

O

O

H H OH

H

H

OH

Adenosine 5' – triphosphate

Phosphate

Adenosine 5' – diphosphate

ATP

Pi

ADP

Fig. 19.2. Hydrolysis of ATP to ADP and inorganic phosphate (Pi). Cleavage of the phosphoanhydride bonds between either the and phosphates or the and phosphates releases the same amount of energy, approximately 7.3 kcal/mole. However, hydrolysis of the phosphateadenosine bond (a phosphoester bond) releases less energy ( 3.4 kcal/mole), and consequently, this bond is not considered a high-energy phosphate bond. During ATP hydrolysis, the change in disorder during the reaction is small and so G values at physiologic temperature (37oC) are similar to those at standard temperature (25oC). G is affected by pH, which alters the ionization state of the phosphate groups of ATP and by the intracellular concentration of Mg 2 ions, which bind to the and phosphate groups of ATP.

344

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

reaction is called G, the change in Gibbs free energy. The value of G for a reaction can be influenced by the initial concentration of substrates and products, by temperature, pH, and pressure. The G0 for a reaction refers to the energy change for a reaction starting at 1 M substrate and product concentrations and proceeding to equilibrium (equilibrium, by definition, occurs when there is no change in substrate and product concentrations with time). G0 is the value for G0 under standard conditions (pH 7.0, [H2O] 55 M, and 25oC), as well as standard concentrations (Table 19.1). G0 is equivalent to the chemical bond energy of the products minus that of the reactants, corrected for energy that has gone into entropy (an increase in amount of molecular disorder). This correction for change in entropy is very small for most reactions occurring in cells, and, thus, the G0 for hydrolysis of various chemical bonds reflects the amount of energy available from that bond. The value of 7.3 kcal/mole (-30.5 kJ/mole) that is generally used for the G0 of ATP hydrolysis is, thus, the amount of energy available from hydrolysis of ATP under standard conditions that can be spent on energy-requiring processes; it defines the “monetary value” of our “ATP currency.” Although the difference between cellular conditions (pH 7.3, 37°C) and standard conditions is very small, the difference between cellular concentrations of ATP, ADP, and Pi and the standard 1-M concentrations is huge and greatly affects the availability of energy in the cell.

C. Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions The reaction catalyzed by phosphoglucomutase (PGM) is reversible and functions in the synthesis of glycogen from glucose as well as the degradation of glycogen back to glucose. If the G0 for conversion of glucose 6-P to glucose 1-P is 1.65 kcal/mole, what is the G0 of the reverse reaction?

The value of G0tells you whether the reaction requires or releases energy, the amount of energy involved, and the ratio of products to substrates at equilibrium. The negative value for the G0 of ATP hydrolysis indicates that, if you begin with equimolar (1 M) concentrations of substrates and products, the reaction proceeds in Table 19.1. Thermodynamic Expressions, Laws, and Constants Definitions G G0 G0 H S Keq E0 ~P

Change in free energy, or Gibbs free energy Standard free energy change, G at 1 M concentrations of substrates and products Standard free energy change at 25ºC, pH 7.0 Change in enthalpy, or heat content Change in entropy, or increase in disorder Equilibrium constant at 25ºC, pH 7.0, incorporating [H2O] 55.5 M and [H] 10-7 M in the constant Change in reduction potential Biochemical symbol for a high-energy phosphate bond, i.e., a bond which is hydrolyzed with the release of more than about 7 kcal/mole of heat

Laws of thermodynamics First law of thermodynamics, the conservation of energy: In any physical or chemical change, the total energy of a system, including its surroundings, remains constant. Second law of thermodynamics: The universe tends toward disorder. In all natural processes, the total entropy of a system always increases. Constants Units of G and H cal/mole or J/mole: 1 cal 4.18 J T, Absolute temperature: K, Kelvin 273 ºC (25ºC 298º K) R, Universal gas constant: 1.99 cal/mole·K or 8.31 J/mole·K F, Faraday constant: F 23 kcal/mole-volt or 96,500 J/V·mole Units of E0 , volts Formulas G H-TS G0 RTln K G0 nFE° ln 2.303 log10

eq

345

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

Table 19.2. A General Expression for G To generalize the expression for G, consider a reaction in which → cC dD aA bB ← The small letters denote a moles of A will combine with b moles of B to produce c moles of C and d moles of D. I

I

¢G0 RT In K eq RT In

[C]ceq [D]deq [A]aeq [B]beq

The G0 for the reverse reaction is 1.65 kcal. The change in free energy is the same for the forward and reverse directions, but has an opposite sign. Because negative G0 values indicate favorable reactions, this reaction under standard conditions favors the conversion of glucose 1-P to glucose 6-P.

and I

¢G ¢G0 RT In

[C]c [D]d [A]a [B]b

O –

O

P –

the forward direction with the release of energy. From initial concentrations of 1 M, the ATP concentration will decrease, and ADP and Pi will increase until equilibrium is reached. For a reaction in which a substrate S is converted to a product P, the ratio of the product concentration to the substrate concentration at equilibrium is given by: Equation 1:

O

O

CH2 O H H HO OH H

H H OH OH

Glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) PGM HOCH2 O

G0 RTIn [P]/[S]

H H

H

(see Table 19.2. for a more general form of this equation; R is equal to the gas constant (1.98 calories/mole-degree Kelvin), and T is equal to the temperature in degrees Kelvin). Thus, the difference in chemical bond energies of the substrate and product (G0) determines the concentration of each at equilibrium. Reactions such as ATP hydrolysis are exergonic (release energy) or exothermic (release heat). They have a negative G0 and release energy while proceeding in the forward direction to equilibrium. Endergonic, or endothermic, reactions have a positive G0 for the forward direction (the direction shown), and the backward direction is favored. For example, in the pathway of glycogen synthesis, phosphoglucomutase converts glucose-6-P to glucose-1-P. Glucose-1-P has a higher phosphate bond energy than glucose-6-P because the phosphate is on the aldehyde carbon (Fig 19.3). The G0 for the forward direction (glucose-1-P S glucose-6-P) is, therefore, positive. Beginning at equimolar concentrations of both compounds, there is a net conversion of glucose-1-P back to glucose-6-P and, at equilibrium, the concentration of glucose-6-P is higher than glucose-1-P. The exact ratio is determined by G0 for the reaction. It is often said that a reaction with a negative G proceeds spontaneously in the forward direction, meaning that products accumulate at the expense of reactants. However, G is not an indicator of the velocity of the reaction, or the rate at which equilibrium can be reached. In the cell, the velocity of the reaction depends on the efficiency and amount of enzyme available to catalyze the reaction (see Chapter 9), and, therefore, “spontaneously” in this context can be misleading.

HO OH

H O P

II. ENERGY TRANSFORMATIONS TO DO MECHANICAL AND TRANSPORT WORK To do work in the cell, a mechanism must be available for converting the chemical bond energy of ATP into another form, such as an Na gradient across a membrane. These energy transformations usually involve intermediate steps in which ATP is bound to a protein, and cleavage of the bound ATP results in a conformational change of the protein.

O O– –

H

OH

O

Glucose 1-phosphate (G1P) For G6P G1P: ∆G0' = +1.6 kcal/mole [G1P] ∆G0' = –RT1n [G6P]

Fig. 19.3. The phosphoglucomutase reaction. The forward direction is involved in converting glucose to glycogen, and the reverse direction in converting glycogen to glucose 6-P. The G0 for the conversion of glucose 6-P to glucose 1-P is 1.65 kcal/mole. What is the ratio of [glucose-1-P] to [glucose-6-P] at equilibrium?

346

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

1

2

1

Actin filament Myosin head

2

ATP

ATP Dissociation of actin – myosin

Myosin thick filament

Hydrolysis of ATP by myosin head

1

2

1

3

2

1

ADP

2

ADP + Pi

Actin filament slides to new position ADP

H2O

Pi

Fig. 19.4. A simplified diagram of myosin ATPase. Muscle fiber is made of thick filaments composed of bundles of the protein myosin, and thin filaments composed of the protein actin (which is activated by Ca2 binding). At many positions along the actin filament, a terminal domain of a myosin molecule, referred to as the “head,” binds to a specific site on the actin. The myosin head has an ATP binding site and is an ATPase; it can hydrolyze ATP to ADP and Pi. (1) As ATP binds to myosin, the conformation of myosin changes, and it dissociates from the actin. (2) Myosin hydrolyzes the ATP, again changing conformation. (3) When Pi dissociates, the myosin head reassociates with activated actin at a new position. (4) As ADP dissociates, the myosin again changes conformation, or tightens. This change of conformation at multiple association points between actin and myosin slides the actin filament forward (5).

In equation 1 of Table 19.2, G0 RT ln Keq. For this reaction, Keq [glucose-1-phosphate]/[glucose-6phosphate]. The constant R is 1.99 10 3 kcal/mole- oK, and T is (273 25) oK, so RT equals 0.593 kcal/mole. Substituting in equation 1 then gives 1.65 0.593 ln [glucose-1P]/[glucose-6-P]. Thus, ln[glucose 1-P]/[glucose 6-P] 2.78, and [glucose-1-P]/ [glucose-6-phosphate] e 2.78, or 0.062. So the ratio of [glucose-1-P] to [glucose-6-P] at equilibrium is 0.062.

Otto Shape has not followed his proposed diet and exercise regimen and has been gaining weight. He has a positive caloric balance, because his daily energy expenditure is less than his daily energy intake (see Chapter 2). Although the energy expenditure for physical exercise is only approximately 30% of the BMR (basal metabolic rate) in a sedentary individual, it can be 100% or more of the BMR in a person who exercises strenuously for several hours or more. The large increase in ATP utilization for muscle contraction during exercise accounts for its contribution to the daily energy expenditure.

A. Mechanical Work In mechanical work, the high-energy phosphate bond of ATP is converted into movement by changing the conformation of a protein (Fig.19.4.). For example, in contracting muscle fibers, the hydrolysis of ATP while it is bound to myosin ATPase changes the conformation of myosin so that it is in a “cocked” position ready to associate with the sliding actin filament. Thus, exercising muscle fibers have almost a hundred-fold higher rate of ATP utilization and caloric requirements than resting muscle fibers. Motor proteins, such as kinesins that transport chemicals along fibers, provide another example of mechanical work in a cell.

B. Transport Work In transport work, called active transport, the high-energy phosphate bond of ATP is used to transport compounds against a concentration gradient (see Chapter10, The equations for calculating G are based on the first law of thermodynamics (see Table 19.1). The change in chemical bond energy that occurs during a reaction is H, the change in enthalpy of the reaction. At constant temperature and pressure, H is equivalent to the chemical bond energy of the products minus that of the reactants. G, the maximum amount of useful work available from a reaction, is equal to H minus TS. TS is a correction for the amount of energy that has gone into an increase in the entropy (disorder in arrangement of molecules) of the system. G H TS where H the change in enthalpy, T is the temperature of the system in Kelvin, and S is the change in entropy, or increased disorder of the system. S is often negligible in reactions such as ATP hydrolysis in which the number of substrates (H2O, ATP) and products (ADP, Pi) are equal and no gas is formed. Under these conditions, the values for G at physiologic temperature (37oC) are similar to those at standard temperature (25oC)

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

Fig.10.12). In P-ATPases (plasma membrane ATPases) and V-ATPases (vesicular ATPases), the chemical bond energy of ATP is used to reversibly phosphorylate the transport protein and change its conformation. For example, as Na, K-ATPase binds and cleaves ATP, it becomes phosphorylated and changes its conformation to release 3 Na ions to the outside of the cell, thereby building up a higher extracellular than intracellular concentration of Na. Na re-enters the cell on cotransport proteins that drive the uptake of amino acids and many other compounds into the cell. Thus, Na must be continuously transported back out. The expenditure of ATP for Na transport occurs even while we sleep and is estimated to account for 10 to 30% of our BMR. A large number of other active transporters also convert ATP chemical bond energy into an ion gradient (membrane potential). Vesicular ATPases pump protons into lysosomes. Ca2ATPases in the plasma membrane move Ca2 out of the cell against a concentration gradient. Similar Ca2ATPases pump Ca2 into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum and the sarcoplasmic reticulum (in muscle). Thus, a considerable amount of energy is expended in maintaining a low cytoplasmic Ca2 level.

X.S. Teefore has increased blood levels of thyroid hormones, which accelerate basal metabolic processes that use ATP in our organs (e.g., Na,K-ATPase), thereby increasing the BMR. An increased BMR was used for a presumptive diagnosis of hyperthyroidism before development of the tests to measure T3 and T4. Because X.S. Teefore did not fully compensate for his increased ATP requirements with an increased caloric intake, he was in negative caloric balance and lost weight.

Glucose

III. BIOCHEMICAL WORK The high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP are also used for biochemical work. Biochemical work occurs in anabolic pathways, which are pathways that synthesize large molecules (e.g., DNA, glycogen, triacylglycerols, and proteins) from smaller compounds. Biochemical work also occurs when toxic compounds are converted to nontoxic compounds that can be excreted (e.g., the liver converts NH4 ions to urea in the urea cycle). In general, formation of chemical bonds between two organic molecules (e.g., C-C bonds in fatty acid synthesis or C-N bonds in protein synthesis) requires energy and is therefore biochemical work. How do our cells get these necessary energy-requiring reactions to occur? To answer this question, the next sections consider how energy is used to synthesize glycogen from glucose (Fig 19.5). Glycogen is a storage polysaccharide consisting of glucosyl units linked together through glycosidic bonds. If an anabolic pathway, such as glycogen synthesis, were to have an overall positive G0, the cell would be full of glucose and intermediates of the pathway, but very little glycogen would be formed. To avoid this, cells do biochemical work and spend enough of their ATP currency to give anabolic pathways an overall negative G0.

347

Glucose transport

1

Glucose ATP

2

3

ADP

Glucose 6– P 4

Glycolysis H2O 2 Pi

6

Glucose 1– P UTP

5 PPi UDP–Glucose

7

Glycogen n Glycogen n +1

Approximately 70% of our resting daily energy requirement arises from work carried out by our largest organs: the heart, brain, kidneys, and liver. Using their rate of oxygen consumption and a P/O ratio of 2.5, it can be estimated that each of these organs is using and producing several times its own weight in ATP each day. The heart, which rhythmically contracts, is using this ATP for mechanical work. In contrast, skeletal muscles in a resting individual use far less ATP per gram of tissue. The kidney has an ATP consumption per gram of tissue similar to that of the heart and is using this ATP largely for transport work to recover usable nutrients and maintain pH and electrolyte balance. The brain, likewise, uses most of its ATP for transport work, maintaining the ion gradients necessary for conduction of the nerve impulse. The liver, in contrast, has a high rate of ATP consumption and utilization to carry out metabolic work (biosynthesis and detoxification). Estimated Daily Use of ATP (g ATP/g tissue) Heart 16 Brain 6 Kidneys 24 Liver 6 Skeletal Muscle (rest) 0.3 Skeletal Muscle (running) 23.6

UDP

Fig. 19.5. Energetics of glycogen synthesis. Compounds containing high-energy bonds are shown in blue. (1) Glucose is transported into the cell. (2) Glucose phosphorylation uses the high-energy phosphate bond (~P) of ATP in a phosphoryl transfer step. (4) Conversion of glucose 6-phosphate to glucose 1-phosphate by phosphoglucomutase. (5) UDP-Glucose pyrophosphorylase cleaves a ~P bond in UTP, releasing pyrophosphate and forming UDPglucose, an activated intermediate. (6) The pyrophosphate is hydrolyzed, releasing additional energy. (7) The phosphoester bond of UDP-glucose is cleaved during the addition of a glucosyl unit to the end of a glycogen polysaccharide chain. The UDP-glucose acts as the leaving group in this reaction. Glucose-6phosphate also can be metabolized via glycolysis (3) when energy is required.

348

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

A. G0 Values Are Additive Reactions in which chemical bonds are formed between two organic molecules are usually catalyzed by enzymes that transfer energy from cleavage of ATP in a phosphoryl transfer reaction or by enzymes that cleave a high-energy bond in an activated intermediate of the pathway. Because the G0 values in a reaction sequence are additive, the pathway acquires an overall negative G0, and the reactions in the pathway will occur to move toward an equilibrium state where the concentration of final products is greater than that of the initial reactants. 1.

Given a G0 of 1.65 kcal/mole for the conversion of glucose-6-P to glucose-1-P, and a G0 of 4.0 kcal/mole for the conversion of glucose ATP to glucose-6-P ADP, what is the value of G0 for the conversion of glucose to glucose-1-P?

PHOSPHORYL TRANSFER REACTIONS

One of the characteristics of Gibbs free energy is that G0 values for consecutive steps or reactions in a sequence can be added together to obtain a single value for the overall process. Thus, the high-energy phosphate bonds of ATP can be used to drive a reaction forward that would otherwise be highly unfavorable energetically. Consider, for example, synthesis of glucose 6-P from glucose, the first step in glycolysis and glycogen synthesis (see Fig.19.5, circle 2). If the reaction were to proceed by addition of inorganic phosphate to glucose, glucose-6-P synthesis would have a positive G0 value of 3.3 kcal/mole (Table 19.3). However, when this reaction is coupled to cleavage of the high-energy ATP bond through a phosphoryl transfer reaction, the G0for glucose-6-P synthesis acquires a net negative value of minus 4.0 kcal/mole, which can be calculated from the sum of the two reactions. Glucose 6-P cannot be transported back out of the cell, and therefore the net negative G0for glucose 6-P synthesis helps the cell to trap glucose for its own metabolic needs. The net value for synthesis of glucose 6-P from glucose and ATP would be the same whether or not the two reactions were catalyzed by the same enzyme, were catalyzed by two separate enzymes, or were not catalyzed by an enzyme at all, because it is dictated by the amount of energy in the chemical bonds being broken and formed. 2.

ACTIVATED INTERMEDIATES IN GLYCOGEN SYNTHESIS

To synthesize glycogen from glucose, energy is provided by the cleavage of 3 highenergy phosphate bonds in ATP, UTP, and pyrophosphate (PPi)(see Fig. 19.5, Steps 2, 5, and 6). Energy transfer is facilitated by phosphoryl group transfer and by formation of an activated intermediate (UDP-glucose). Step 4, the conversion of glucose 6-phosphate to glucose 1-P, has a positive G0. This step is pulled and pushed in the desired direction by the accumulation of substrate and removal of product in reactions that have a negative G0 from cleavage of high-energy bonds. In Step 5, the UTP high-energy phosphate bond is cleaved to form the activated sugar, UDPglucose (Fig 19.6). This reaction is further facilitated by cleavage of the high-energy bond in the pyrophosphate (Step 6) that is released in Step 5 (approximately 7.7 kcal). In Step 7, cleavage of the bond between UDP and glucose in the activated intermediate provides the energy for attaching the glucose moiety to the end of the glycogen molecule (approximately 3.3 kcal). In general, the amount of ATP phosphate bond energy used in an anabolic pathway, or detoxification pathway, must provide the pathway with an overall negative G0, so that the concentration of products is favored over that of reactants. Table 19.3. G0 for the Transfer of a Phosphate from ATP to Glucose Glucose Pi S glucose-6-P H2O ATP H2O S ADP Pi Sum: glucose ATP S glucose-6-P ADP

G0 3.3 kcal/mole G0 7.3 kcal/mole G0 4.0 kcal/mole

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

349

O HOCH2

C

O

HN

H H

H

HO OH

H O P

O O –

H

OH

O

O

O C O CH2

P –

CH N

CH

O

O

H H HO

H

H

OH

Uridine diphosphate glucose (UDP–glucose)

Fig. 19.6. UDP-glucose contains a high-energy pyrophosphate bond, shown in blue.

B. G Depends on Substrate and Product Concentration G0 reflects the energy difference between reactants and products at specific concentrations (each at 1 M) and standard conditions (pH 7.0, 25oC). However, these are not the conditions prevailing in cells, where variations from “standard conditions” are relevant to determining actual free energy changes and hence the direction in which reactions are likely to occur. One aspect of free energy changes contributing to the forward direction of anabolic pathways is the dependence of G, the free energy change of a reaction, on the initial substrate and product concentrations. Reactions in the cell with a positive G0 can proceed in the forward direction if the concentration of substrate is raised to high enough levels, or if the concentration of product is decreased to very low levels. Product concentrations can be very low if, for example, the product is rapidly used in a subsequent energetically favorable reaction, or if the product diffuses or is transported away. 1.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN G AND G0

The driving force toward equilibrium starting at any concentration of substrate and product is expressed by G, and not by G0, which is the free energy change to reach equilibrium starting with 1 M concentrations of substrate and product. For a reaction in which the substrate S is converted to the product P: Equation 2 G G0 RT ln [P]/[S]

(see Table 19.2, for the general form of this equation). The expression for G has two terms: G0, the energy change to reach equilibrium starting at equal and 1 M concentrations of substrates and products, and the second term, the energy change to reach equal concentrations of substrate and product starting from any initial concentration. (When [P] [S] and [P]/[S] 1, the ln of [P]/[S] is 0, and G G0). The second term will be negative for all concentrations of substrate greater than product, and the greater the substrate concentration, the more negative this term will be. Thus, if the substrate concentration is suddenly raised high enough or the product concentration decreased low enough, G (the sum of the first and second terms) will also be negative, and conversion of substrate to product becomes thermodynamically favorable. 2.

THE REVERSIBILITY OF THE PHOSPHOGLUCOMUTASE REACTION IN THE CELL

The effect of substrate and product concentration on G and the direction of a reaction in the cell can be illustrated with conversion of glucose-6-P to glucose-1-P, the

G0 for the overall reaction is the sum of the individual reactions, and is 2.35 kcal. The individual reactions are: Glucose ATP S glucose 6-P ADP G0 4.0 kcal/mole Glucose 6-P S glucose 1-P G0 1.65 kcal/mole Sum: Glucose ATP S glucose 1-P ADP G0 2.35 kcal/mole Thus, the cleavage of ATP has made the synthesis of glucose-1-P from glucose energetically favorable.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

The G of ATP hydrolysis in cells can be very different than G0. The synthesis of ATP rather than its hydrolysis becomes the energetically favorable direction if the [ATP] drops just a little or the [ADP] or [Pi] increase just a little over equilibrium values. Thus, as ATP is hydrolyzed in energy-requiring reactions, the change in the sign of G promotes ATP synthesis.

O 2–

C ~ OPO3 H C

C. Activated Intermediates with High Energy Bonds Many biochemical pathways form activated intermediates containing high-energy bonds to facilitate biochemical work. The term “high-energy bond” is a biologic term defined by the G0 for ATP hydrolysis; any bond that can be hydrolyzed with the release of approximately as much, or more, energy than ATP is called a highenergy bond. The high-energy bond in activated intermediates, such as UDPglucose in glycogen synthesis, facilitate energy transfer.

OH 2–

CH2OPO3

1,3 –Bisphosphoglycerate

O C

reaction catalyzed by phosphoglucomutase in the pathway of glycogen synthesis (see Fig. 19.3). The reaction has a small positive G0 for glucose 1-P synthesis (1.65.kcal/mole) and at equilibrium, the ratio of [glucose 1-P]/[glucose 6-P] is approximately 6 to 94 (which you calculated in Question 2). However, if another reaction uses glucose 1-P such that this ratio suddenly becomes 3 to 94, there is now a driving force for converting more glucose 6-P to glucose 1-P and restoring the equilibrium ratio. Substitution in equation 2 gives G, the driving force to equilibrium, as 1.65 RT ln [G1P]/[G6P] 1.65 ( 2.06) 0.41, which is a negative value. Thus, a decrease in the ratio of product to substrate has converted the synthesis of glucose 1-P from a thermodynamically unfavorable to a thermodynamically favorable reaction that will proceed in the forward direction until equilibrium is reached.

O– 2–

C ~ OPO3 CH2

1.

ATP, UTP, GTP, AND CTP

Cells use GTP and CTP, as well as UTP and ATP, to form activated intermediates. Different anabolic pathways generally use different nucleotides as their direct source of high phosphate bond energy: UTP is used for combining sugars, CTP in lipid synthesis, and GTP in protein synthesis. The high-energy phosphate bonds of UTP, GTP, and CTP are energetically equivalent to ATP and are synthesized from ATP by nucleoside diphosphokinases and nucleoside monophosphokinases. For example, UTP is formed from UDP by a nucleoside diphosphokinase in the reaction:

Phosphoenolpyruvate ATP UDP4UTP ADP. O

H +

H2N

N~P O C

O– N CH3 CH2 COO

ADP is converted back to ATP by the process of oxidative phosphorylation, using energy supplied by fuel oxidation. Energy-requiring reactions often generate the nucleoside diphosphate ADP. Adenylate kinase, an important enzyme in cellular energy balance, is a nucleoside monophosphate kinase that transfers a phosphate from one ADP to another ADP to form ATP and AMP:

ADP ADP4AMP ATP

Creatine phosphate

O CH3

This enzyme, thus, can regenerate ATP under conditions in which ATP utilization is required.

C ~ SCoA

Acetyl CoA

Fig. 19.7. Some compounds with high-energy bonds. 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate and phosphoenolpyruvate are intermediates of glycolysis. Creatine phosphate is a high-energy phosphate reservoir and shuttle in brain, muscle, and spermatozoa. Acetyl CoA is a precursor of the TCA cycle. The high-energy bonds are shown in blue.

2.

OTHER COMPOUNDS WITH HIGH-ENERGY BONDS

In addition to the nucleoside triphosphates, other compounds containing highenergy bonds are formed to facilitate energy transfer in anabolic and catabolic pathways (e.g., 1,3- bisphosphoglycerate in glycolysis and acetyl CoA in the TCA cycle) (Fig.19.7). Creatine phosphate contains a high-energy phosphate bond that allows it to serve as an energy reservoir for ATP synthesis and transport in muscle cells, neurons, and spermatozoa. All of these high-energy bonds are “unstable,” and their hydrolysis yields substantial free energy because the products are much more stable, as a result of electron resonance within their structures.

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

351

IV. THERMOGENESIS According to the first law of thermodynamics, energy cannot be destroyed. Thus, energy from oxidation of a fuel (its caloric content) must be equal to the amount of heat released, the work performed against the environment, and the increase in order of molecules in our bodies. Some of the energy from fuel oxidation is converted into heat as the fuel is oxidized and some heat is generated as ATP is used to do work. If we become less efficient in converting energy from fuel oxidation into ATP, or if we use an additional amount of ATP for muscular contraction, we will oxidize an additional amount of fuel to maintain ATP homeostasis (constant cellular ATP levels). With the oxidation of additional fuel, we release additional heat. Thus, heat production is a natural consequence of “burning fuel.” Thermogenesis refers to energy expended for the purpose of generating heat in addition to that expended for ATP production. To maintain our body at 37C, despite changes in environmental temperature, it is necessary to regulate fuel oxidation and its efficiency (as well as heat dissipation). In shivering thermogenesis, we respond to sudden cold with asynchronous muscle contractions (shivers) that increase ATP utilization and, therefore, fuel oxidation and the release of energy as heat. In nonshivering thermogenesis (adaptive thermogenesis), the efficiency of converting energy from fuel oxidation into ATP is decreased. More fuel needs to be oxidized to maintain constant ATP levels and, thus, more heat is generated.

V. ENERGY FROM FUEL OXIDATION Fuel oxidation provides energy for bodily processes principally through generation of the reduced coenzymes, NADH and FAD(2H). They are used principally to generate ATP in oxidative phosphorylation. However, fuel oxidation also generates NADPH, which is most often used directly in energy-requiring processes. Carbohydrates also may be used to generate ATP through a nonoxidative pathway, called anaerobic glycolysis.

X.S. Teefore has increased thyroid hormone levels that increase his rate of ATP utilization and fuel oxidation. An excess of thyroid hormones also may affect the efficiency of ATP production, resulting in fewer ATP produced for a given O2 consumption. The increased rate of ATP utilization and diminished efficiency stimulates oxidative metabolism, resulting in a much greater rate of heat production. The hyperthyroid patient, therefore, complains of constantly feeling hot (heat intolerance) and sweaty. (Perspiration allows dissipation of excess heat through evaporation from the skin surface.)

A. Energy Transfer from Fuels through Oxidative Phosphorylation Fuel oxidation is our major source of ATP and our major means of transferring energy from the chemical bonds of the fuels to cellular energy-requiring processes. The amount of energy available from a fuel is equivalent to the amount of heat that is generated when a fuel is burned. To conserve this energy for the generation of ATP, the process of cellular respiration transforms the energy from the chemical bonds of fuels into the reduction state of electron-accepting coenzymes, NAD and FAD (circle 1, Fig. 19.8). As these compounds transfer electrons to O2 in the electron transport chain, most of this energy is transformed into an electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane (circle 2, Fig. 19.8). Much of the energy in the electrochemical gradient is used to regenerate ATP from ADP in oxidative phosphorylation (phosphorylation that requires O2). 1.

OXIDATION-REDUCTION REACTIONS

Oxidation-reduction reactions always involve a pair of chemicals: an electron donor, which is oxidized in the reactions, and an electron acceptor, which is reduced in the reaction. In fuel metabolism, the fuel donates electrons, and is oxidized, and NAD and FAD accept electrons, and are reduced. When is NAD, rather than FAD, used in a particular oxidation-reduction reaction? It depends on the chemical properties of the electron donor and the enzyme catalyzing the reaction. In oxidation reactions, NAD accepts two electrons as a hydride ion to form NADH, and a proton (H) is released into the medium (Fig 19.9). It is generally used for metabolic reactions involving oxidation of alcohols and aldehydes. In contrast,

Oxidation is the loss of electrons, and reduction is the gain of electrons. Remember LEO GER: Loss of Electrons Oxidation; Gain of Electrons Reduction. Compounds are oxidized in the body in essentially three ways: (1) the transfer of electrons from the compound as a hydrogen atom or a hydride ion, (2) the direct addition of oxygen from O2, and (3) the direct donation of electrons (e.g., Fe 2 S Fe3) (see Chapter 5). Fuel oxidation involves the transfer of electrons as a hydrogen atom or a hydride ion and, thus, reduced compounds have more hydrogen relative to oxygen than the oxidized compounds. Consequently, aldehydes are more reduced than acids, and alcohols are more reduced than aldehydes.

352

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Inner mitochondrial membrane Pyruvate

Pyruvate

1

NADH

O2 H 2O H+ H+ + + +

2 ∆pH ∆ψ

Acetyl CoA

FAD (2H)

ADP + Pi

∆p

TCA cycle CO2

ATP

– – –

Mitochondrion

Fig. 19.8. Overview of energy transformations in oxidative phosphorylation. The electrochemical potential gradient across the mitochondrial membrane is represented by pH, the proton gradient, and , the membrane potential. The role of the electrochemical potential in oxidative phosphorylation is discussed in more depth in Chapter 21.

FAD accepts two electrons as hydrogen atoms, which are donated singly from separate atoms (e.g., formation of a double bond or a disulfide)(Fig. 19.10). As the reduced coenzymes donate these electrons to O2 through the electron transport chain, they are reoxidized. The energy derived from reoxidation of NADH and FAD(2H) is available for the generation of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation. In our analogy of ATP as currency, the reduced coenzymes are our “paychecks” for oxidizing fuels. Because our cells spend ATP so fast, we must immediately convert our paychecks into ATP cash. O

H ••

C NH2 +

N

O –

O

P

O

CH2 H

O

H

Nicotinamide H

HO

H

OH NH2

O

C N

C

N

C

N

CH HC –

O

P

O

CH2

O H

H HO

N O

H OR

H

NAD+ R=H O NADP + R= P

O–

O

Fig. 19.9. Reduction of NAD and NADP. These structurally related coenzymes are reduced by accepting two electrons as H: , the hydride ion.

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

353

H

O

H H3C H3C

N

C

N

N

N H C

O •

H

H

CH2

NH2

H C OH Riboflavin

N

H C OH –

H C OH

O

CH2

P

O

O

O O

P

N

H

N O H2C

N

H

O

O H H HO

H

H

OH

Fig. 19.10. Reduction of FAD. FAD accepts two electrons as two hydrogen atoms and is reduced. The reduced coenzyme is denoted in this text as FAD(2H) because it often accepts a total of two electrons one at a time, never going to the fully reduced form, FADH2. FMN (flavin mononucleotide) consists of riboflavin with one phosphate group attached.

2.

REDUCTION POTENTIAL

Each oxidation/reduction reaction makes or takes a fixed amount of energy, (G0), which is directly proportional to the E° (the difference in reduction potentials of the oxidation-reduction pair). The reduction potential of a compound, E°, is a measure in volts of the energy change when that compound accepts electrons (becomes reduced); minus E° is the energy change when the compound donates electrons (becomes oxidized). E° can be considered an expression of the willingness of the compound to accept electrons. Some examples of reduction potentials are shown in Table 19.4. Oxygen, which is the best electron acceptor, has the largest positive reduction potential (i.e., is the most willing to accept electrons and be reduced). As a consequence, the transfer of electrons from all compounds to O2 is energetically favorable and occurs with energy release. The more negative the reduction potential of a compound, the greater is the energy available for ATP generation when that compound passes its electrons to oxygen. The G0 for transfer of electrons from NADH to O2 is greater than the transfer from FAD(2H) to O2 (see the reduction potential values for NADH and FAD(2H) in Table 19.4). Thus, the energy available for ATP synthesis from NADH is approximately 53 kcal, and approximately 41 kcal from the FAD-containing flavoproteins in the electron transport chain. Table 19.4. Reduction Potentials of Some Oxidation-Reduction Half-Reactions Reduction Half-Reactions 1/2 O2 2H 2 e S H2O Cytochrome a-Fe3 1 e S cytochrome a-Fe2 CoQ 2H 2 e S CoQH2 Fumarate 2H 2 e S succinate Oxalacetate 2H 2 e S malate Acetaldehyde 2H 2 e S ethanol Pyruvate 2H 2 e S lactate Riboflavin 2H 2 e S riboflavin-H2 NAD 2H 2 e S NADH H Acetate 2H 2 e S acetaldehyde

E0 at pH 7.0 0.816 0.290 0.060 0.030 0.102 0.163 0.190 0.200 0.320 0.468

To calculate the free energy change of an oxidation-reduction reaction, the reduction potential of the electron donor (NADH) is added to that of the acceptor (O2). The E0 for the net reaction is calculated from the sum of the half reactions. For NADH donation of electrons, it is 0.320 volts, opposite of that shown in Table 4 (remember, Table 4 shows the E0 for accepting electrons), and for O2 acceptance, it is 0.816. The number of electrons being transferred is 2 (so, n 2). The direct relationship between the energy changes in oxidation-reduction reactions and G0 is expressed by the equation G0 n F E0 where n is the number of electrons transferred and F is Faraday’s constant (23 kcal/mole - volt). Thus, a value of approximately -53 kcal/mole is obtained for the energy available for ATP synthesis by transferring two electrons from NADH to oxygen.

354

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Otto Shape decided to lose weight by decreasing his intake of fat and alcohol (ethanol), and increasing his content of carbohydrates. Compare the structure of ethanol with that of glucose and fatty acids (below). On the basis of their oxidation state, which compound provides the most energy (calories) per gram? HOH2C

(HC

O C H

OH)4

Glucose CH3CH2OH Ethanol O CH3

(CH2)16

C

OH

3.

CALORIC VALUES OF FUELS

The caloric value of a food is directly related to its oxidation state, which is a measure of G0 for transfer of electrons from that fuel to O2. The electrons donated by the fuel are from its C-H and C-C bonds. Fatty acids such as palmitate (CH3(CH2)14COOH) have a caloric value of roughly 9 kcal/g. Glucose is already partially oxidized and has a caloric value of only about 4 kcal/g. The carbons, on an average, contain fewer C-H bonds from which to donate electrons. The caloric value of a food is applicable in humans only if our cells have enzymes that can oxidize that fuel by transferring electrons from the fuel to NAD, NADP, or FAD. When we burn wood in a fireplace, electrons are transferred from cellulose and other carbohydrates to O2, releasing energy as heat. However, wood has no caloric content for humans; we cannot digest it and convert cellulose to a form that can be oxidized by our enzymes. Cholesterol, although a lipid, also has no caloric value for us because we cannot oxidize the carbons in its complex ring structure in reactions that generate NADH, FAD(2H), or NADPH.

A fatty acid

B. NADPH in Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Glucose 2 ADP, Pi

~P intermediates 2 ATP NADH Pyruvate

Lactate

Anaerobic glycolysis

Fig. 19.11. Anaerobic glycolysis. Phosphate is transferred from high-energy intermediates of the pathway to ADP. Because NADH from the pathway is reoxidized by reduction of pyruvate to lactate, no oxygen is required.

Oxidases O2 + 4e–, 4H+ O2 + SH2

2H2O S + H2O2

NADP is similar to NAD and has the same reduction potential. However, NADP has an extra phosphate group on the ribose, which affects its enzyme binding (see Fig. 19.9). Consequently, most enzymes use either NAD or NADP, but seldom both. In certain reactions, fuels are oxidized by transfer of electrons to NADP to form NADPH. For example, glucose 6-P dehydrogenase, in the pentose phosphate pathway, transfers electrons from glucose 6-P to NADP instead of NAD. NADPH usually donates electrons to biosynthetic reactions such as fatty acid synthesis, and to detoxification reactions that use oxygen directly. Consequently, the energy in its reduction potential is usually used in energy-requiring reactions without first being converted to ATP currency.

C. Anaerobic Glycolysis Not all ATP is generated by fuel oxidation. In anaerobic glycolysis, glucose is degraded in reactions that form high-energy phosphorylated intermediates of the pathway (Fig.19.11). These activated high-energy intermediates provide the energy for the generation of ATP from ADP without involving electron transfer to O2. Therefore, this pathway is called anaerobic glycolysis, and ATP is generated from substrate level phosphorylation rather than oxidative phosphorylation (see Chapter 22). Anaerobic glycolysis is a critical source of ATP for cells that have a decreased O2 supply, either because they are physiologically designed that way (e.g., cells in the kidney medulla), or because their supply of O2 has been pathologically decreased (e.g., coronary artery disease).

Monooxygenases O2 + S + Electron donor– XH2 H2O + Electron + donor– X

S

OH

Dioxygenases S

+ O2

SO2

Fig. 19.12. Oxidases and oxygenases. The fate of O2 is shown in blue. S represents an organic substrate.

VI. OXYGENASES AND OXIDASES NOT INVOLVED IN ATP GENERATION Approximately 90 to 95% of the oxygen we consume is used by the terminal oxidase in the electron transport chain for ATP generation via oxidative phosphorylation. The remainder of the O2 is used directly by oxygenases and other oxidases, enzymes that oxidize a compound in the body by transferring electrons directly to O2 (Fig. 19.12). The large positive reduction potential of O2 makes all of these reactions extremely favorable thermodynamically, but the electronic structure of O2 slows the speed of electron transfer. These enzymes, therefore, contain a metal ion that facilitates reduction of O2.

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

A. Oxidases Oxidases transfer electrons from the substrate to O2, which is reduced to water (H2O) or to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The terminal protein complex in the electron transport chain, called cytochrome oxidase, is an oxidase because it accepts electrons donated to the chain by NADH and FAD(2H) and uses these to reduce O2 to water. Most of the other oxidases in the cell form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), instead of H2O, and are called peroxidases. Peroxidases are generally confined to peroxisomes to protect DNA and other cellular components from toxic free radicals (compounds containing single electrons in an outer orbital) generated by hydrogen peroxide.

B. Oxygenases Oxygenases, in contrast to oxidases, incorporate one or both of the atoms of oxygen into the organic substrate (see Fig 19.12). Monooxygenases, enzymes that incorporate one atom of oxygen into the substrate and the other into H2O, are often named hydroxylases (e.g., phenylalanine hydroxylase, which adds a hydroxyl group to phenylalanine to form tyrosine) or mixed function oxidases. Monooxygenases require an electron donor-substrate, such as NADPH, a coenzyme such as FAD, which can transfer single electrons, and a metal or similar compound that can form a reactive oxygen complex (Fig.19.13). They are usually found in the endoplasmic reticulum, and occasionally in mitochondria. Dioxygenases, enzymes that incorporate both atoms of oxygen into the substrate, are used in the pathways for converting arachidonate into prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes.

355

In palmitate and other fatty acids, most carbons are more reduced than those in glucose or ethanol (more of the carbons have electrons in carbon–hydrogen bonds). Therefore, fatty acids have the greatest caloric content/gram, 9 kcal. In glucose, the carbons have already formed bonds with oxygen, and fewer electrons in C-H bonds are available to generate energy. Thus, the complete oxidation of glucose gives roughly 4 kcal/g. In ethanol, one carbon is a methyl group with C–H bonds, and one has an OH group. Therefore the oxidation state is intermediate between glucose and fatty acids, and ethanol thus has 7 kcal/g.

NADPH + H+

NADP+

FAD FMN CYP-450 Fe-Heme

VII. ENERGY BALANCE Our total energy expenditure is equivalent to our oxygen consumption (Fig. 19.14). The resting metabolic rate (energy expenditure of a person at rest, at 25°C, after an overnight fast) accounts for approximately 60 to 70% of our total energy expenditure and O2 consumption, and physical exercise accounts for the

Total oxygen consumption in the Standard state

Total mitochondrial oxygen consumption

Total ATP consumption in the Standard state Protein synthesis

Mitochondrial

Coupled to ATP synthesis

Na+/K+ ATPase Ca2+ ATPase Gluconeogenesis Urea synthesis Myosin ATPase

Nonmitochondrial

Uncoupled by proton leak

Others (including RNA synthesis and substrate cycling)

Fig. 19.14. Estimated contribution of processes to energy utilization in standard state. Copied, with permission, from Rolfe DFS, Brown GC. Cellular energy utilization and molecular origin of standard metabolic rate in mammals. Physiol Rev 1997;77:731-758.

RH, O2

ROH, H2O

Fig. 19.13. Cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases. Electrons are donated by NADPH to O2 and the substrate. The flavin coenzymes FAD and FMN in one subunit transfer single electrons to cytochrome P450, which is an Feheme containing protein that absorbs light at a wavelength of 450 nm. The enzyme is embedded in a membrane, usually the endoplasmic reticulum.

356

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

remainder. Of the resting metabolic rate, approximately 90 to 95% of O2 consumption is used by the mitochondrial electron transport chain, and only 5 to 10% is required for nonmitochondrial oxidases and oxygenases and is not related to ATP synthesis. Approximately 20 to 30% of the energy from this mitochondrial O2 consumption is lost by proton leak back across the mitochondrial membrane, which dissipates the electrochemical gradient without ATP synthesis. The remainder of our O2 consumption is used for ATPases that maintain ion gradients and for biosynthetic pathways. ATP homeostasis refers to the ability of our cells to maintain constant levels of ATP despite fluctuations in the rate of utilization. Thus, increased utilization of ATP for exercise or biosynthetic reactions increases the rate of fuel oxidation. The major mechanism employed is feedback regulation; all of the pathways of fuel oxidation leading to generation of ATP are feedback-regulated by ATP levels, or by compounds related to the concentration of ATP. In general, the less ATP used, the less fuel will be oxidized to generate ATP. According to the first law of thermodynamics, the energy (cal) in our consumed fuel can never be lost. Consumed fuel is either oxidized to meet the energy demands of the basal metabolic rate exercise, or it is stored as fat. Thus, an intake of calories in excess of those expended results in weight gain. The simple statement, “If you eat too much and don’t exercise, you will get fat,” is really a summary of the bioenergetics of the ATP-ADP cycle.

CLINICAL COMMENTS Otto Shape. Otto Shape visited his physician, who noted the increased weight. He recommended several diet modifications to Otto that would decrease the caloric content of his diet and pointed out the importance of exercise for weight reduction. He reminded Otto that the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society recommended 45 to 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise 5 to 7 days per week. He also reminded Otto that he would want to be a role model for his patients. Otto decided to begin an exercise regimen that includes an hour of running each day.

The thyroid gland secretes the thyroid hormones tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) (see Fig. 11.8 for the structure of T3). T3 is the most active form of the hormone. T4 is synthesized and secreted in approximately 10 times greater amounts than T3. Hepatocytes (liver cells) and other cells contain a deiodinase that removes one of the iodines from T4, converting it to T3. T3 exerts its effects on tissues by regulating the transcription of specific genes involved in energy metabolism (see Chapter 16, section III.C.2., Fig. 16.14).

X.S. Teefore. Mr. Teefore exhibited the classical signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism (increased secretion of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4) including a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland). Thyroid function tests confirmed this diagnosis. Thyroid hormones (principally T3 ) modulate cellular energy production and utilization through their ability to increase the gene transcription of many proteins involved in intermediary metabolism, including enzymes in the TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. They increase the rate of ATP utilization by Na, K-ATPase, and other enzymes. They also affect the efficiency of energy transformations, so that either more fuel must be oxidized to maintain a given level of ATP, or more ATP must be expended to achieve the desired physiological response. The loss of weight experienced by X.S. Teefore, in spite of a very good appetite, reflects his increased caloric requirements and a less efficient utilization of fuels. The result is an enhanced oxidation of adipose tissue stores as well as a catabolic effect on muscle and other protein-containing tissues. Through mechanisms that are not well understood, increased levels of thyroid hormone in the blood also increase the activity or “tone” of the sympathetic (adrenergic) nervous system. An activated sympathetic nervous system leads to a more rapid and forceful heartbeat (tachycardia and palpitations), increased nervousness (anxiety and insomnia), tremulousness (a sense of shakiness or jitteriness), and other symptoms.

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

Cora Nari. Cora Nari was in left ventricular heart failure (LVF) when she presented to the hospital with her second heart attack in 8 months. The diagnosis of LVF was based, in part, on her rapid heart rate (104 beats/min) and respiratory rate. On examining her lungs, her physician heard respiratory rales, caused by inspired air bubbling in fluid that had filled her lung air spaces secondary to LVF. This condition is referred to as congestive heart failure. Cora Nari’s rapid heart rate (tachycardia) resulted from a reduced capacity of her ischemic, failing left ventricular muscle to eject a normal amount of blood into the arteries leading away from the heart with each contraction. The resultant drop in intraarterial pressure signaled a reflex response in the central nervous system that, in turn, caused an increase in heart rate in an attempt to bring the total amount of blood leaving the left ventricle each minute (the cardiac output) back toward a more appropriate level to maintain systemic blood pressure. Treatment of Cora’s congestive heart failure will include efforts to reduce the workload of the heart with diuretics and other “load reducers,” attempts to improve the force of left ventricular contraction with digitalis and other “inotropes,” and the administration of oxygen by nasal cannula to reduce the injury caused by lack of blood flow (ischemia) to the viable heart tissue in the vicinity of the infarction.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Active Transport and Cell Death. Most of us cannot remember when we first learned that we would die if we stopped breathing. But exactly how cells die from a lack of oxygen is an intriguing question. Pathologists generally describe two histologically distinct types of cell death: necrosis and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Cell death from a lack of O2, such as occurs during a myocardial infarction, can be very rapid, and is considered necrosis. The lack of ATP for the active transport of Na and Ca2 triggers some of the death cascades leading to necrosis (Fig. 19.15). The influx of Na and loss of the Na gradient across the plasma membrane is an early event accompanying ATP depletion during interruption of the O2 supply. One consequence of the increased intracellular Na concentration is that other transport processes driven by the Na gradient are impaired. For example, the Na / H exchanger, which normally pumps out H generated from metabolism in exchange for extracellular Na, can no longer function, and intracellular pH may drop. The increased intracellular H may impair ATP generation from anaerobic glycolysis. As a consequence of increased intracellular ion concentrations, water enters the cells and hydropic swelling occurs. Swelling is accompanied by the release of creatine kinase MB subunits, troponin I, and troponin C into the blood. These enzymes are measured in the blood as indicators of a myocardial infarction (see Chapters 6 and 7). Swelling is an early event and is considered a reversible stage of cell injury. Normally, intracellular Ca2 concentration is carefully regulated to fluctuate at low levels (intracellular Ca2 concentration is less than 10-7 M, compared with approximately 10-3 M in extracellular fluid). Fluctuations of Ca2 concentration at these low levels regulate myofibrillar contraction, energy metabolism, and other cellular processes. However, when Ca2 concentration is increased above this normal range, it triggers cell death (necrosis). High Ca2 concentrations activate a phospholipase that increases membrane permeability, resulting in further loss of ion gradients across the cell membrane. They also trigger opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, which results in loss of mitochondrial function and further impairs oxidative phosphorylation. Intracellular Ca2 levels may increase as a result of cell swelling, the lack of ATP for ATP-dependent Ca2 pumps, or the loss of the Na gradient. Normally,

357

Congestive heart failure occurs when the weakened pumping action of the ischemic left ventricular heart muscle causes back pressure to increase in the vessels which bring oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left side of the heart. The pressure inside these pulmonary vessels eventually reaches a critical level above which water from the blood moves down a “pressure gradient” from the capillary lumen into alveolar air spaces of the lung (transudation). The patient experiences shortness of breath as the fluid in the air spaces interferes with oxygen exchange from the inspired air into arterial blood, causing hypoxia. The hypoxia then stimulates the respiratory center in the central nervous system, leading to a more rapid respiratory rate in an effort to increase the oxygen content of the blood. As the patient inhales deeply, the physician hears gurgling sounds (known as inspiratory rales) with a stethoscope placed over the posterior lung bases. These sounds represent the bubbling of inspired air as it enters the fluid-filled pulmonary alveolar air spaces.

Hypoxia Decreased mitochondrial electron transport chain Decreased ATP and adenine nucleotides Increased Na+

Increased Ca2+

Cellular swelling Increased plasma membrane permeability

Mitochondrial permeability transition

Fig. 19.15. Hypoxia, Ca2, Na, and cell death. Without an adequate O2 supply, decreased ATP synthesis from oxidative phosphorylation results in an increase of cytoplasmic Na and Ca2 ions. Increased ions levels can trigger death cascades that involve increased permeability of the plasma membrane, loss of ion gradients, decreased cytosolic pH, mitochondrial Ca2 overload, and a change in mitochondrial permeability called the mitochondrial permeability transition. The solid lines show the first sequence of events; the dashed lines show how these events feedback to accelerate the mitochondrial deterioration, making recovery of oxidative phosphorylation impossible.

358

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Ca2-ATPases located in the plasma membrane pump Ca2- out of the cell. Ca2ATPases in the endoplasmic reticulum, and in the sarcoplasmic reticulum of heart and other muscles, sequester Ca2 within the membranes, where it is bound by a lowaffinity binding protein. Ca2 is released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum in response to a nerve impulse, which signals contraction, and the increase of Ca2 stimulates both muscle contraction and the oxidation of fuels. Within the heart, another Ca2 transporter protein, the Na/Ca2 exchange transporter, coordinates the efflux of Ca2 in exchange for Na, so that Ca2 is extruded with each contraction.

Suggested References Nelson DL, Lehninger AL, Cox MM. Lehninger Principles of biochemistry. Chapter 14. In: Principles of Bioenergetics. New York: Worth, 2000:490–526. Hanson RW. The role of ATP in metabolism. Biochem Educ1989;17:86–92. Rolfe DES, Brown GC. Cellular energy utilization and molecular origin of standard metabolic rate in mammals. Physiol Rev 1997;77:731–758.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 19 1.

The highest-energy phosphate bond in ATP is located between which of the following groups? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

Adenosine and phosphate Ribose and phosphate Ribose and adenine Two hydroxyl groups in the ribose ring Two phosphate groups

Which of the following bioenergetic terms or phrases is correctly defined? (A) The first law of thermodynamics states that the universe tends towards a state of increased order. (B) The second law of thermodynamics states that the total energy of a system remains constant. (C) The change in enthalpy of a reaction is a measure of the total amount of heat that can be released from changes in the chemical bonds. (D) G of a reaction is the standard free energy change measured at 37C and a pH of 7.4. (E) A high-energy bond is a bond that releases more than 3 kcal/mole of heat when it is hydrolyzed.

3.

Which statement best describes the direction a chemical reaction will follow? (A) A reaction with a positive free energy will proceed in the forward direction if the substrate concentration is raised high enough. (B) Under standard conditions, a reaction will proceed in the forward direction if the free energy G is positive. (C) The direction of a reaction is independent of the initial substrate and product concentrations because the direction is determined by the change in free energy. (D) The concentration of all of the substrates must be higher than all of the products to proceed in the forward direction. (E) The enzyme for the reaction must be working at better than 50% of its maximum efficiency for the reaction to proceed in the forward direction.

4.

A patient, Mr. Perkins, has just suffered a heart attack. As a consequence, his heart would display which of the following changes? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

An increased intracellular O2 concentration An increased intracellular ATP concentration An increased intracellular H concentration A decreased intracellular Ca2 concentration A decreased intracellular Na concentration

CHAPTER 19 / CELLULAR BIOENERGETICS: ATP AND O 2

5.

Which of the following statements correctly describes reduction of one of the electron carriers, NAD or FAD? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

NAD accepts two electrons as hydrogen atoms to form NADH2. NAD accepts two electrons that are each donated from a separate atom of the substrate. NAD accepts two electrons as a hydride ion to form NADH. FAD releases a proton as it accepts two electrons. FAD must accept two electrons at a time.

359

20 The TCA cycle is frequently called the Krebs cycle because Sir Hans Krebs first formulated its reactions into a cycle. It is also called the “citric acid cycle” because citrate was one of the first compounds known to participate. The most common name for this pathway, the tricarboxylic acid or TCA cycle, denotes the involvement of the tricarboxylates citrate and isocitrate. The major pathways of fuel oxidation generate acetyl CoA, which is the substrate for the TCA cycle. In the first step of the TCA cycle, the acetyl portion of acetyl CoA combines with the 4carbon intermediate oxaloacetate to form citrate (6 carbons), which is rearranged to form isocitrate. In the next two oxidative decarboxylation reactions, electrons are transferred to NAD to form NADH, and 2 molecules of electron-depleted CO2 are released. Subsequently, a high- energy phosphate bond in GTP is generated from substrate level phosphorylation. In the remaining portion of the TCA cycle, succinate is oxidized to oxaloacetate with the generation of one FAD(2H) and one NADH. The net reaction of the TCA cycle, which is the sum of the equations for individual steps, shows that the two carbons of the acetyl group have been oxidized to two molecules of CO2, with conservation of energy as three molecules of NADH, one of FAD(2H), and one of GTP.

Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle

The TCA cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle) accounts for over two thirds of the ATP generated from fuel oxidation. The pathways for oxidation of fatty acids, glucose, amino acids, acetate, and ketone bodies all generate acetyl CoA, which is the substrate for the TCA cycle. As the activated 2-carbon acetyl group is oxidized to two molecules of CO2, energy is conserved as NADH, FAD(2H), and GTP (Fig. 20.1). NADH and FAD(2H) subsequently donate electrons to O2 via the electron transport chain, with the generation of ATP from oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, the TCA cycle is central to energy generation from cellular respiration. Within the TCA cycle, the oxidative decarboxylation of -ketoglutarate is catalyzed by the multisubunit -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, which contains the coenzymes thiamine-pyrophosphate, lipoate, and FAD. A similar complex, the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC), catalyzes the oxidation of pyruvate to acetyl CoA, thereby providing a link between the pathways of glycolysis and the TCA cycle (see Fig. 20.1) The two-carbon acetyl group is the ultimate source of the electrons that are transferred to NAD and FAD and also the carbon in the two CO2 molecules that are produced. Oxaloacetate is used and regenerated in each turn of the cycle (see Fig. 20.1). However, when cells use intermediates of the TCA cycle for Glucose

Fatty acids

Pyruvate

Ketone bodies

CO2 Acetate

NADH + H+

Acetyl CoA

Amino acids CoASH

Oxaloacetate (4c)

Citrate (6c)

Malate (4c)

Isocitrate (6c)

Fumarate (4c) Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle Succinate (4c)

NADH + H+

FAD (2H)

CO2

α-Ketoglutarate (5c) GTP GDP

SuccinylCoA (4c)

NADH + H+ CO2

Net reaction Acetyl CoA + 3 NAD+ + FAD 2 CO2 + CoASH + 3 NADH + 3H+ + GDP + Pi + 2 H2O + FAD (2H) + GTP

Fig. 20.1. Summary of the TCA cycle. 360

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

361

biosynthetic reactions, the carbons of oxaloacetate must be replaced by anaplerotic (filling up) reactions, such as the pyruvate carboxylase reaction. The TCA cycle occurs in the mitochondrion, where its flux is tightly coordinated with the rate of the electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation through feedback regulation that reflects the demand for ATP. The rate of the TCA cycle is increased when ATP utilization in the cell is increased through the response of several enzymes to ADP levels, the NADH/ NAD ratio, the rate of FAD(2H) oxidation or the Ca2 concentration. For example, isocitrate dehydrogenase is allosterically activated by ADP. There are two general consequences to impaired functioning of the TCA cycle: (1) an inability to generate ATP from fuel oxidation, and (2) an accumulation of TCA cycle precursors. For example, inhibition of pyruvate oxidation in the TCA cycle results in its reduction to lactate, which can cause a lactic acidosis. The most common situation leading to an impaired function of the TCA cycle is a relative lack of oxygen to accept electrons in the electron transport chain.

WAITING

ROOM

Otto Shape, a 26-year-old medical student, has faithfully followed his diet and aerobic exercise program of daily tennis and jogging (see Chapter 19). He has lost a total of 33 lb and is just 23 lb from his college weight of 154 lb. His exercise capacity has markedly improved; he can run for a longer time at a faster pace before noting shortness of breath or palpitations of his heart. Even his test scores in his medical school classes have improved. Ann O’ Rexia suffers from anorexia nervosa (see Chapters 1, 3, and 9). In addition to a low body weight, decreased muscle mass, glycogen, and fat stores, she has iron-deficiency anemia (see Chapter 16). She has started to gain weight, and is trying a daily exercise program. However, she constantly feels weak and tired. When she walks, she feels pain in her calf muscles. On this visit to her nutritionist, they discuss the vitamin content of her diet, and its role in energy metabolism. Al Martini has been hospitalized for congestive heart failure (see Chapter 8) and for head injuries sustained while driving under the influence of alcohol (Chapters 9 and 10). He completed an alcohol detoxification program, enrolled in a local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group, and began seeing a psychologist. During this time, his alcohol-related neurologic and cardiac manifestations of thiamine deficiency partially cleared. However, in spite of the support he was receiving, he began drinking excessive amounts of alcohol again while eating poorly. Three weeks later, he was readmitted with symptoms of “high output” heart failure.

I.

REACTIONS OF THE TCA CYCLE

In the TCA cycle, the 2-carbon acetyl group of acetyl CoA is oxidized to 2 CO2 molecules (see Fig. 20.1). The function of the cycle is to conserve the energy from this oxidation, which it accomplishes principally by transferring electrons from intermediates of the cycle to NAD and FAD. The eight electrons donated by the acetyl group eventually end up in three molecules of NADH and one of FAD(2H) (Fig. 20.2). As a consequence, ATP can be generated from oxidative phosphorylation when NADH and FAD(2H) donate these electrons to O2 via the electron transport chain.

Vitamins and minerals required for the TCA cycle and anaplerotic reactions Niacin (NAD) Riboflavin (FAD) Pantothenate (CoA) Thiamine Biotin Mg2 Ca2 Fe2 Phosphate

H O •• H C • • C ~ SCoA •• H ••

THE

Acetyl CoA

Fig. 20.2. The acetyl group of acetyl CoA. Acetyl CoA donates eight electrons to the TCA cycle, which are shown in blue, and two carbons. The high-energy bond is shown by a ~. The acetyl group is the ultimate source of the carbons in the two molecules of CO2 that are produced, and the source of electrons in the one molecule of FAD(2H) and 3 molecules NADH, which have each accepted two electrons. However, the same carbon atoms and electrons that enter from one molecule of acetyl CoA do not leave as CO2, NADH, or FAD(2H) within the same turn of the cycle.

362

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Synthases, such as citrate synthase, catalyze condensation of two organic molecules to form a carbon–carbon bond. Dehydrogenases, such as isocitrate dehydrogenase, are enzymes that remove electron-containing hydrogen or hydride atoms from a substrate and transfer them to electron-accepting coenzymes, such as NAD or FAD. Aconitase is an isomerase, an enzyme that catalyzes an internal rearrangement of atoms or electrons. In aconitase, a hydroxyl group is being transferred from one carbon to another. An iron cofactor in the enzyme facilitates this transfer.

Initially, the acetyl group is incorporated into citrate, an intermediate of the TCA cycle (Fig. 20.3). As citrate progresses through the cycle to oxaloacetate, it is oxidized by four dehydrogenases (isocitrate dehydrogenase, -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, and malate dehydrogenase), which transfer electrons to NAD or FAD. The isomerase aconitase rearranges electrons in citrate, thereby forming isocitrate, to facilitate an electron transfer to NAD. Although no O2 is introduced into the TCA cycle, the two molecules of CO2 produced have more oxygen than the acetyl group. These oxygen atoms are ultimately derived from the carbonyl group of acetyl CoA, two molecules of water added by fumarase and citrate synthase, and the PO42- added to GDP. The overall yield of energy-containing compounds from the TCA cycle is 3 NADH, 1 FAD(2H), and 1 GTP. The high-energy phosphate bond of GTP is generated from substrate level phosphorylation catalyzed by succinate thiokinase (succinyl CoA synthetase). As the NADH and FAD(2H) are reoxidized in the electron transport chain, approximately 2.5 ATP are generated for each NADH, and 1.5 ATP

CH3C

O SCoA

Acetyl CoA –

COO C

CoASH

O citrate synthase

CH2 malate dehydrogenase

COO Oxaloacetate

CH2

H2O

HO

C

COO–

CH2 aconitase

COO– HO

COO–

CH

COO Citrate

NADH + H+

NAD+

COO– CH2

CH2 COO– Malate

H

C

COO–

HO

C

H –

COO Isocitrate

electron H2O

transport

ATP

chain

fumarase –

NAD+

Oxidative phosphorylation

COO HC

H2O

COO–

CH

CH2 FADH(2H) FAD

succinate dehydrogenase

isocitrate dehydrogenase

CH2

NADH + H+

COO– CH2 CoASH

CH2 –

GDP + Pi GTP

O

COO–

COO– α – Ketoglutarate

CH2

CO2

CH2

COO Succinate succinate thiokinase

C NAD+

C

CoASH O

α –ketoglutarate dehydrogenase

˜

COO– Fumarate

CO2

NADH + H+

O2

SCoA Succinyl CoA

Fig. 20.3. Reactions of the TCA cycle. The oxidation-reduction enzymes and coenzymes are shown in blue. Entry of the two carbons of acetyl CoA into the TCA cycle are indicated with blue dashed boxes. The carbons released as CO2 are shown with black dashed boxes.

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

for the FAD(2H). Consequently, the net energy yield from the TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation is about 10 high-energy phosphate bonds for each acetyl group oxidized.

A. Formation and Oxidation of Isocitrate The TCA cycle begins with condensation of the activated acetyl group and oxaloacetate to form the 6-carbon intermediate citrate, a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme citrate synthase (see Fig. 20.3). Because oxaloacetate is regenerated with each turn of the cycle, it is not really considered a substrate of the cycle, or a source of electrons or carbon. In the next step of the TCA cycle, the hydroxyl (alcohol) group of citrate is moved to an adjacent carbon so that it can be oxidized to form a keto group. The isomerization of citrate to isocitrate is catalyzed by the enzyme aconitase, which is named for an intermediate of the reaction. The enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase catalyzes the oxidation of the alcohol group and the subsequent cleavage of the carboxyl group to release CO2 (an oxidative decarboxylation).

B. -Ketoglutarate to Succinyl CoA The next step of the TCA cycle is the oxidative decarboxylation of -ketoglutarate to succinyl CoA, catalyzed by the -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (see Fig. 20.3). The dehydrogenase complex contains the coenzymes thiamine pyrophosphate, lipoic acid, and FAD. In this reaction, one of the carboxyl groups of -ketoglutarate is released as CO2, and the adjacent keto group is oxidized to the level of an acid, which then combines with CoASH to form succinyl CoA (see Fig. 20.3). Energy from the reaction is conserved principally in the reduction state of NADH, with a smaller amount present in the high-energy thioester bond of succinyl CoA.

C. Generation of GTP Energy from the succinyl CoA thioester bond is used to generate GTP from GDP and Pi in the reaction catalyzed by succinate thiokinase (see Fig. 20.3). This reaction is an example of substrate level phosphorylation. By definition, substrate level phosphorylation is the formation of a high-energy phosphate bond where none previously existed without the use of molecular O2 (in other words, NOT oxidative phosphorylation). The high-energy phosphate bond of GTP is energetically equivalent to that of ATP, and can be used directly for energy-requiring reactions like protein synthesis.

D. Oxidation of Succinate to Oxaloacetate Up to this stage of the TCA cycle, two carbons have been stripped of their available electrons and released as CO2. Two pairs of these electrons have been transferred to 2 NAD, and one GTP has been generated. However, two additional pairs of electrons arising from acetyl CoA still remain in the TCA cycle as part of succinate. The remaining steps of the TCA cycle transfer these two pairs of electrons to FAD and NAD and add H2O, thereby regenerating oxaloacetate. The sequence of reactions converting succinate to oxaloacetate begins with the oxidation of succinate to fumarate (see Fig. 20.3). Single electrons are transferred from the two adjacent -CH2- methylene groups of succinate to an FAD bound to succinate dehydrogenase, thereby forming the double bond of fumarate. From the reduced enzyme-bound FAD, the electrons are passed into the electron transport chain. An OH group and a proton from water add to the double bond of fumarate, converting it to malate. In the last reaction of the TCA cycle, the alcohol group of malate is oxidized to a keto group through the donation of electrons to NAD.

363

Otto Shape’s exercise program increases his rate of ATP utilization and his rate of fuel oxidation in the TCA cycle. The TCA cycle generates NADH and FAD(2H), and the electron transport chain transfers electrons from NADH and FAD(2H) to O2, thereby creating the electrochemical potential that drives ATP synthesis from ADP. As ATP is used in the cell, the rate of the electron transport chain increases. The TCA cycle and other fuel oxidative pathways respond by increasing their rates of NADH and FAD(2H) production.

Succinate thiokinase is also known as succinyl CoA synthetase. Both names refer to the reverse direction of the reaction, i.e., the conversion of succinate to the thioester succinyl CoA, utilizing energy from GTP. Synthases, such as citrate synthase, differ from synthetases in that synthetases cleave a high- energy phosphate bond in ATP, UTP, CTP, or GTP, and synthases do not.

From Figure 20.3, which enzymes in the TCA cycle release CO2? How many moles of oxaloacetate are consumed in the TCA cycle for each mole of CO2 produced? The succinate to oxaloacetate sequence of reactions—oxidation through formation of a double bond, addition of water to the double bond, and oxidation of the resultant alcohol to a ketone is found in many oxidative pathways in the cell, such as the pathways for the oxidation of fatty acids, and oxidation of the branched chain amino acids. Ann O’Rexia has been malnourished for some time, and has developed subclinical deficiencies of many vitamins, including riboflavin. The coenzymes FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide) and FMN (flavin mononucleotide) are synthesized from the vitamin riboflavin. Riboflavin is actively transported into cells, where the enzyme flavokinase adds a phosphate to form FMN. FAD synthetase then adds AMP to form FAD. FAD is the major coenzyme in tissues and is generally found tightly bound to proteins, with about 10% being covalently bound. Its turnover in the body is very slow, and people can live for long periods on low intakes without displaying any signs of a riboflavin deficiency.

364

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Isocitrate dehydrogenase releases the first CO2, and -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase releases the second CO2. There is no net consumption of oxaloacetate in the TCA cycle—the first step use an oxaloacetate, and the last step produces one. The utilization and regeneration of oxaloacetate is the “cycle” part of the TCA cycle.

With regeneration of oxaloacetate, the TCA cycle is complete; the chemical bond energy, carbon, and electrons donated by the acetyl group have been converted to CO2, NADH, FAD(2H), GTP, and heat.

II. COENZYMES OF THE TCA CYCLE The enzymes of the TCA cycle rely heavily on coenzymes for their catalytic function. Isocitrate dehydrogenase and malate dehydrogenase use NAD as a coenzyme, and succinate dehydrogenase uses FAD. Citrate synthase catalyzes a reaction that uses a CoA derivative, acetyl CoA. The -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex uses thiamine pyrophosphate, lipoate and FAD as bound coenzymes, and NAD and CoASH as substrates. Each of these coenzymes has unique structural features that enable it to fulfill its role in the TCA cycle.

One of Otto Shape’s tennis partners told him that he had heard about a health food designed for athletes that contained succinate. The advertisement made the claim that succinate would provide an excellent source of energy during exercise because it could be metabolized directly without oxygen. Do you see anything wrong with this statement?

A. FAD and NAD Both FAD and NAD are electron-accepting coenzymes. Why is FAD used in some reactions and NAD in others? Their unique structural features enable FAD and NAD to act as electron acceptors in different types of reactions, and play different physiological roles in the cell. FAD is able to accept single electrons (H•), and forms a half-reduced single electron intermediate (Fig. 20.4). It thus participates in reactions in which single electrons are transferred independently from two different atoms, which occurs in double bond formation (e.g., succinate to fumarate) and disulfide bond formation (e.g., lipoate to lipoate disulfide in the -ketoglutarate

1e–, H+

H

O CH3

N

CH3

N

NH

1e–, H+

O

N

1e–,

CH2

H+

Riboflavin

HCOH

FMN

Single electron

HCOH

CH3

N+ •

CH3

N

H

O– NH N

O

Single electron 1 e–, H+

O

CH3

N

CH3

N

N H

NH

R

R

FADH •

FADH2

(half reduced semiquinone)

(fully reduced)

O

HCOH CH2 FAD

O –

O

P

O

O –

O

P

NH2

O

N

N

O CH2 H

N

O

H

H

OH

OH

N

H

Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN)

Fig. 20.4. One-electron steps in the reduction of FAD. When FAD and FMN accept single electrons, they are converted to the half-reduced semiquinone, a semistable free radical form. They can also accept two electrons to form the fully reduced form, FADH2. However, in most dehydrogenases, FADH2 is never formed. Instead, the first electron is shared with a group on the protein as the next electron is transferred. Therefore, in this text, overall acceptance of two electrons by FAD has been denoted by the more general abbreviation, FAD(2H).

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

COO–

COO–

CH2 H

H O

C

CH2

CO2

COO

C H

C

COO

O

H

C NH2 +

N

α-Ketoglutarate

CH2

isocitrate dehydrogenase

••

Isocitrate

O

O COO C NH2

+

H+

N

R

R

NAD+

NADH

Fig. 20.5. Oxidation and decarboxylation of isocitrate. The alcohol group (C—OH) is oxidized to a ketone, with the C—H electrons donated to NAD as the hydride ion. Subsequent electron shifts in the pyridine ring remove the positive charge. The H of the OH group dissociates into water as a proton, H. NAD, the electron acceptor, is reduced.

dehydrogenase reaction). In contrast, NAD accepts a pair of electrons as the hydride ion (H), which is attracted to the carbon opposite the positively-charged pyridine ring (Fig. 20.5). This occurs, for example, in the oxidation of alcohols to ketones by malate dehydrogenase and isocitrate dehydrogenase. The nicotinamide ring accepts a hydride ion from the C-H bond, and the alcoholic hydrogen is released into the medium as a positively charged proton, H. The free radical, single-electron forms of FAD are very reactive, and FADH can lose its electron through exposure to water or the initiation of chain reactions. As a consequence, FAD must remain very tightly, sometimes covalently, attached to its enzyme while it accepts and transfers electrons to another group bound on the enzyme (Fig 20.6). Because FAD interacts with many functional groups on amino acid side chains in the active site, the E0 for enzyme-bound FAD varies greatly and can be greater or much less than that of NAD. In contrast, NAD and NADH are more like substrate and product than coenzymes. NADH plays a regulatory role in balancing energy metabolism that FAD(2H) cannot because FAD(2H) remains attached to its enzyme. Free NAD binds to a dehydrogenase and is reduced to NADH, which is then released into the medium where it can bind and inhibit a different dehydrogenase. Consequently, oxidative enzymes are controlled by the NADH/NAD ratio, and do not generate NADH faster than it can be reoxidized in the electron transport chain. The regulation of the TCA cycle and other pathways of fuel oxidation by the NADH/NAD ratio is part of the mechanism for coordinating the rate of fuel oxidation to the rate of ATP utilization.

B. Role of CoA in the TCA Cycle CoASH, the acylation coenzyme, participates in reactions through the formation of a thioester bond between the sulfur (S) of CoASH and an acyl group (e.g., acetyl

FAD has been referred to as a married coenzyme, and NAD is its promiscuous cousin. FAD faithfully accepts only electrons from a substrate that is bound to the same enzyme (or enzyme complex), and donates these without leaving that enzyme. It does this repeatedly while still attached to its enzyme. NAD, conversely, may accept electrons when bound to any dehydrogenase, and leaves the enzyme immediately afterward. It donates these electrons while bound to a different dehydrogenase, such as NADH dehydrogenase in the electron transport chain. It really gets around!

365

The claim that succinate oxidation could produce energy without oxygen is wrong. It was probably based on the fact that succinate is oxidized to fumarate by the donation of electrons to FAD. However, ATP can only be generated from this process when these electrons are donated to oxygen in the electron transport chain. The energy generated by the electron transport chain is used for ATP synthesis in the process of oxidative phosphorylation. After the covalently bound FAD(2H) is oxidized back to FAD by the electron transport chain, succinate dehydrogenase can oxidize another succinate molecule.

Succinate

Fumarate

His– FAD Fe – S CoQ ETC acceptor

Inner mitochondrial membrane

CoQH2 Succinate dehydrogenase

Fig. 20.6. Succinate dehydrogenase contains covalently bound FAD. As a consequence, succinate dehydrogenase and similar flavoproteins reside in the inner mitochondrial membrane where they can directly transfer electrons into the electron transport chain. The electrons are transferred from the covalently bound FAD to an Fe-S complex on the enzyme, and then to coenzyme Q in the electron transport chain (see Chapter 21). Thus, FAD does not have to dissociate from the enzyme to transfer its electrons. All the other enzymes of the TCA cycle are found in the mitochondrial matrix.

366

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

CoASH is synthesized from the vitamin pantothenate in a sequence of reactions which phosphorylate pantothenate, add the sulfhydryl portion of CoA from cysteine, and then add AMP and an additional phosphate group from ATP (see Fig. 8.12). Pantothenate is widely distributed in foods (pantos means everywhere), so it is unlikely that Ann O’Rexia has developed a pantothenate deficiency. Although CoA is required in approximately 100 different reactions in mammalian cells, no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) has been established for pantothenate, in part because indicators have not yet been found which specifically and sensitively reflect a deficiency of this vitamin in the human. The reported symptoms of pantothenate deficiency (fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite) are characteristic of vitamin deficiencies in general.

δ COO– γ CH2 β CH2 α C O –

COO

α – Ketoglutarate NAD+ CoASH CO2

Thiamine– P P Lipoate FAD α – ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex

NADH + H+

δ COO– γ CH2 β CH2 O

α C SCoA Succinyl CoA

Fig. 20.8. Oxidative decarboxylation of ketoglutarate. The -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex oxidizes -ketoglutarate to succinyl CoA. The carboxyl group is released as CO2. The keto group on the -carbon is oxidized, and then forms the acyl CoA thioester, succinyl CoA. The , , , and on succinyl CoA refer to the sequence of atoms in -ketoglutarate.

A

O OAA

O CH3

C

~ SCoA

HO

Acetyl CoA

B O

O –

O

C

CH2

HS-CoA

CH2

Succinyl CoA

C~

Pi

C

CH2

C

O O–

C O O– Citrate GTP

CoASH

O

O –

SCoA

O–

CH2

citrate synthase

GDP

C

O

C

CH2

CH2

C O–

Succinate

Fig. 20.7. Utilization of the high-energy thioester bond of acyl CoAs. Energy transformations are shown in blue. A. The energy released by hydrolysis of the thioester bond of acetyl CoA in the citrate synthase reaction contributes a large negative G0 to the forward direction of the TCA cycle. B. The energy of the succinyl CoA thioester bond is used for the synthesis of the high-energy phosphate bond of GTP.

CoA, succinyl CoA) (Fig. 20.7). The complete structure of CoASH and its vitamin precursor, pantothenate, is shown in Figure 8.12. A thioester bond differs from a typical oxygen ester bond because S, unlike O, does not share its electrons and participate in resonance formations. One of the consequences of this feature of sulfur chemistry is that the carbonyl carbon, the -carbon and the -carbon of the acyl group in a CoA thioester can be activated for participation in different types of reactions (e.g., in the citrate synthase reaction, the -carbon methyl group is activated for condensation with oxaloacetate, see Figs. 20.3 and 20.7A). Another consequence is that the thioester bond is a high-energy bond that has a large negative G0 of hydrolysis (approximately–13 kcal/mole). The energy from cleavage of the high-energy thioester bonds of succinyl CoA and acetyl CoA is used in two different ways in the TCA cycle. When the succinyl CoA thioester bond is cleaved by succinate thiokinase, the energy is used directly for activating an enzyme-bound phosphate that is transferred to GDP (see Fig. 20.7B). In contrast, when the thioester bond of acetyl CoA is cleaved in the citrate synthase reaction, the energy is released, giving the reaction a large negative G0 of –7.7 kcal/mole. The large negative G0 for citrate formation helps to keep the TCA cycle going in the forward direction.

C. The -Ketoacid Dehydrogenase Complexes The -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex is one of a three-member family of similar -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes. The other members of this family are the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, and the branched chain amino acid -keto acid dehydrogenase complex. Each of these complexes is specific for a different keto acid structure. In the sequence of reactions catalyzed by the complexes, the ketoacid is decarboxylated (i.e., releases the carboxyl group as CO2) (Fig.20.8). The keto group is oxidized to the level of a carboxylic acid, and then combined with CoASH to form an acyl CoA thioester (e.g., succinyl CoA). All of the -ketoacid dehydrogenase complexes are huge enzyme complexes composed of multiple subunits of three different enzymes, E1, E2, and E3 (Fig. 20.9). E1 is an -ketoacid decarboxylase which contains thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP); it cleaves off the carboxyl group of the -keto acid. E2 is a transacylase containing lipoate; it transfers the acyl portion of the -keto acid from thiamine to CoASH. E3 is dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, which contains

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

OH R CH

C

S

acid DH

1

R

TPP

α –Keto

CO2

O

COO–

α – Keto acid

E1

α –Keto

FAD (2H) Dihydrolipoyl DH E3

S Lip

4

E2

Trans Ac

Trans Ac

3

2

acid DH Lip TPP

FAD

Trans Ac

HS

O S C

SH Lip SH

367

NAD+

5 NADH + H+

O R C

SCoA

CoASH R

Fig. 20.9. Mechanism of -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes (including -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, pyruvate dehydrogenase and the branched-chain -keto acid dehydrogenase complex). R represents the portion of the -ketoacid that begins with the carbon. In ketoglutarate, R is CH2-CH2-COOH. In pyruvate, R is CH3. The individual steps in the oxidative decarboxylation of -keto acids are catalyzed by three different subunits: E1, -ketoacid decarboxylase (-ketoglutarate decarboxylase); E2, transacylase (trans-succinylase), and E3, dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase. Circle 1: Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) on E1 decarboxylates the -ketoacid and forms a covalent intermediate with the remaining portion. Circle 2: The acyl portion of the -keto acid is transferred by TPP on E1 to lipoate on E2, which is a transacylase. Circle 3: E2 transfers the acyl group from lipoate to CoASH. This process has reduced the lipoyl disulfide bond to sulfhydryl groups (dihydrolipoyl). Circle 4: E3, dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase (DH) transfers the electrons from reduced lipoate to its tightly bound FAD molecule, thereby oxidizing lipoate back to its original disulfide form. Circle 5: The electrons are then transferred from FAD(2H) to NAD to form NADH.

FAD; it transfers electrons from reduced lipoate to NAD. The collection of 3 enzyme activities into one huge complex enables the product of one enzyme to be transferred to the next enzyme without loss of energy. Complex formation also increases the rate of catalysis because the substrates for E2 and E3 remain bound to the enzyme complex. 1.

THIAMINE PYROPHOSPHATE IN THE -KETOGLUTARATE DEHYDROGENASE COMPLEX

Thiamine pyrophosphate is synthesized from the vitamin thiamine by the addition of pyrophosphate (see Fig. 8.11). The pyrophosphate group binds magnesium, which binds to amino acid side chains on the enzyme. This binding is relatively weak for a coenzyme, so thiamine turns over rapidly in the body, and a deficiency can develop rapidly in individuals on a thiamine-free or low thiamine diet. The general function of thiamine pyrophosphate is the cleavage of a carboncarbon bond next to a keto group. In the -ketoglutarate, pyruvate, and branched chain -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes, the functional carbon on the thiazole ring forms a covalent bond with the -keto carbon, thereby cleaving the bond between the -keto carbon and the adjacent carboxylic acid group (see Fig. 8.11 for the mechanism of this reaction). Thiamine pyrophosphate is also a coenzyme for transketolase in the pentose phosphate pathway, where it similarly cleaves the carbon-carbon bond next to a keto group. In thiamine deficiency, -ketoglutarate, pyruvate, and other -keto acids accumulate in the blood. 2.

LIPOATE

Lipoate is a coenzyme found only in -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes. It is synthesized in the human from carbohydrate and amino acids, and does not require

The E0 for FAD accepting electrons is 0.20 (see Table 19.4). The E0 for NAD accepting electrons is 0.32. Thus, transfer of electrons from FAD(2H) to NAD is energetically unfavorable. How do the -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes allow this electron transfer to occur?

In Al Martini’s heart failure, which is caused by a dietary deficiency of the vitamin thiamine, pyruvate dehydrogenase, -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, and the branched chain -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes are less functional than normal. Because heart muscle, skeletal muscle, and nervous tissue have a high rate of ATP production from the NADH produced by the oxidation of pyruvate to acetyl CoA and of acetyl CoA to CO2 in the TCA cycle, these tissues present with the most obvious signs of thiamine deficiency. In Western societies, gross thiamine deficiency is most often associated with alcoholism. The mechanism for active absorption of thiamine is strongly and directly inhibited by alcohol. Subclinical deficiency of thiamine from malnutrition or anorexia may be common in the general population and is usually associated with multiple vitamin deficiencies.

368

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

The E0 values were calculated in a test tube under standard conditions. When FAD is bound to an enzyme, as it is in the -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes, amino acid side chains can alter its E0 value. Thus, the transfer of electrons from the bound FAD(2H) to NAD in dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase is actually energetically favorable.

Arsenic poisoning is caused by the presence of a large number of different arsenious compounds that are effective metabolic inhibitors. Acute accidental or intentional arsenic poisoning requires high doses and involves arsenate (AsO42) and arsenite (AsO2). Arsenite, which is 10 times more toxic than arsenate, binds to neighboring sulfhydryl groups, such as those in dihydrolipoate and in nearby cysteine pairs (vicinal) found in keto acid dehydrogenase complexes and in succinic dehydrogenase. Arsenate weakly inhibits enzymatic reactions involving phosphate, including the enzyme glyceraldehyde 3-P dehydrogenase in glycolysis (see Chapter 22). Thus both aerobic and anaerobic ATP production can be inhibited. The low doses of arsenic compounds found in water supplies are a major public health concern, but are associated with increased risk of cancer rather than direct toxicity. O CH2

CH2

CH2 CH S

CH2

CH2

C N lysine– H transacylase

CH2

S

a vitamin precursor. Lipoate is attached to the transacylase enzyme through its carboxyl group, which is covalently bound to the terminal -NH2 of a lysine in the protein (Fig. 20.10). At its functional end, lipoate contains a disulfide group that accepts electrons when it binds the acyl fragment of -ketoglutarate. It can thus act like a long flexible -CH2- arm of the enzyme that reaches over to the decarboxylase to pick up the acyl fragment from thiamine and transfer it to the active site containing bound CoASH. It then swings over to dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase to transfer electrons from the lipoyl sulfhydryl groups to FAD. 3.

FAD AND DIHYDROLIPOYL DEHYDROGENASE

FAD on dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase accepts electrons from the lipoyl sulfhydryl groups and transfers them to bound NAD. FAD thus accepts and transfers electrons without leaving its binding site on the enzyme. The direction of the reaction is favored by interactions of FAD with groups on the enzyme, which change its reduction potential and by the overall release of energy from cleavage and oxidation of -ketoglutarate.

III. ENERGETICS OF THE TCA CYCLE Like all metabolic pathways, the TCA cycle operates with an overall net negative G0 (Fig 20.11). The conversion of substrates to products is, therefore, energetically favorable. However, some of the reactions, such as the malate dehydrogenase reaction, have a positive value.

enzyme

Acetyl CoA

Lipoamide (oxidized)

CoA

TPP–intermediate

Oxaloacetate – 7.7 kcal

NADH + H+

Citrate

NAD+ O CH2

CH2

CH2 CH HS

S

O

CH2

CH2

CH2

+ 7.1 kcal

C

+ 1.5 kcal Isocitrate

Malate N lysine– H transacylase

NAD+

enzyme

C

H2O

– 5.3 kcal

0 kcal

CO2

CH2 CH2 COO–

Fig. 20.10. Function of lipoate. Lipoate is attached to the -amino group on the lysine side chain of the tranacylase enzyme (E2). The oxidized lipoate disulfide form is reduced as it accepts the acyl group from thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) attached to E1. The example shown is for the -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex.

NADH + H+

α – Ketoglutarate

Fumarate FAD(2H)

0 kcal

FAD Succinate

– 0.7 kcal CoA

– 8 kcal CoA

Succinyl CoA GTP Pi GDP

NAD+ NADH + H+ CO2

Fig. 20.11. Approximate G0 values for the reactions in the TCA cycle, given for the forward direction. The reactions with large negative G0 values are shown in blue. The standard free energy (G0) refers to the free energy change for conversion of 1 mole of substrate to 1 mole of product under standard conditions (see Chapter 19).

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

A. Overall Efficiency of the TCA Cycle The reactions of the TCA cycle are extremely efficient in converting energy in the chemical bonds of the acetyl group to other forms. The total amount of energy available from the acetyl group is about 228 kcal/mole (the amount of energy that could be released from complete combustion of 1 mole of acetyl groups to CO2 in a bomb calorimeter). The products of the TCA cycle (NADH, FAD(2H), and GTP) contain about 207 kcal (Table 20.1). Thus, the TCA cycle reactions are able to conserve about 90% of the energy available from the oxidation of acetyl CoA.

B. Thermodynamically and Kinetically Reversible and Irreversible reactions Three reactions in the TCA cycle have large negative values for G0 that strongly favor the forward direction: the reactions catalyzed by citrate synthase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, and -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (see Fig. 20.11). Within the TCA cycle, these reactions are physiologically irreversible for two reasons: the products do not rise to high enough concentrations under physiological conditions to overcome the large negative G0 values, and the enzymes involved catalyze the reverse reaction very slowly. These reactions make the major contribution to the overall negative G0 for the TCA cycle, and keep it going in the forward direction. In contrast to these irreversible reactions, the reactions catalyzed by aconitase and malate dehydrogenase have a positive G0 for the forward direction, and are thermodynamically and kinetically reversible. Because aconitase is rapid in both directions, equilibrium values for the concentration ratio of products to substrates is maintained, and the concentration of citrate is about 20 times that of isocitrate. The accumulation of citrate instead of isocitrate facilitates transport of excess citrate to the cytosol, where it can provide a source of acetyl CoA for pathways like fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. It also allows citrate to serve as an inhibitor of citrate synthase when flux through isocitrate dehydrogenase is decreased. Likewise, the equilibrium constant of the malate dehydrogenase reaction favors the accumulation of malate over oxaloacetate, resulting in a low oxaloacetate concentration that is influenced by the NADH/NAD ratio. Thus, there is a net flux of oxaloacetate towards malate in the liver during fasting (due to fatty acid oxidation, which raises the NADH/NAD ratio), and malate can then be transported out of the mitochondria to provide a substrate for gluconeogenesis.

369

Table 20.1. Energy Yield of the TCA Cycle kcal/mole 3 NADH: 3 53 1 FAD(2H) 1 GTP Sum

159 41 7 207

Chapter 19 explains the values given for energy yield from NADH and FAD(2H).

The net standard free energy change for the TCA cycle, G0, can be calculated from the sum of the G0 values for the individual reactions. The G0, 13 kcal, is the amount of energy lost as heat. It can be considered the amount of energy spent to ensure that oxidation of the acetyl group to CO2 goes to completion. This value is surprisingly small. However, oxidation of NADH and FAD(2H) in the electron transport chain helps to make acetyl oxidation more energetically favorable and pull the TCA cycle forward.

Otto Shape had difficulty losing weight because human fuel utilization is too efficient. His adipose tissue fatty acids are being converted to acetyl CoA, which is being oxidized in the TCA cycle, thereby generating NADH and FAD(2H). The energy in these compounds is used for ATP synthesis from oxidative phosphorylation. If his fuel utilization were less efficient and his ATP yield were lower, he would have to oxidize much greater amounts of fat to get the ATP he needs for exercise.

IV. REGULATION OF THE TCA CYCLE The oxidation of acetyl CoA in the TCA cycle and the conservation of this energy as NADH and FAD(2H) is essential for generation of ATP in almost all tissues in the body. In spite of changes in the supply of fuels, type of fuels in the blood, or rate of ATP utilization, cells maintain ATP homeostasis (a constant level of ATP). The rate of the TCA cycle, like that of all fuel oxidation pathways, is principally regulated to correspond to the rate of the electron transport chain, which is regulated by the ATP/ADP ratio and the rate of ATP utilization (see Chapter 21). The major sites of regulation are shown in Fig 20.12. Two major messengers feed information on the rate of ATP utilization back to the TCA cycle: (a) the phosphorylation state of ATP, as reflected in ATP and ADP levels, and (b) the reduction state of NAD, as reflected in the ratio of NADH/NAD. Within the cell, even within the mitochondrion, the total adenine nucleotide pool (AMP, ADP, plus ATP) and the total NAD pool (NAD plus NADH) are relatively constant. Thus, an increased rate of ATP utilization results in a small decrease of ATP concentration and an increase of ADP. Likewise, increased NADH oxidation to NAD by the electron transport chain increases the rate of pathways producing NADH. Under normal physiological conditions, the TCA cycle and other

As Otto Shape exercises, his myosin ATPase hydrolyzes ATP to provide the energy for movement of myofibrils. The decrease of ATP and increase of ADP stimulates the electron transport chain to oxidize more NADH and FAD(2H). The TCA cycle is stimulated to provide more NADH and FAD(2H) to the electron transport chain. The activation of the TCA cycle occurs through a decrease of the NADH/NAD ratio, an increase of ADP concentration, and an increase of Ca2. Although regulation of the transcription of genes for TCA cycle enzymes is too slow to respond to changes of ATP demands during exercise, the number and size of mitochondria increase during training. Thus, Otto Shape is increasing his capacity for fuel oxidation as he trains.

370

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Fuel oxidation

Acetyl CoA CoA Oxaloacetate

Citrate

NADH

NAD+

NADH

Citrate

H+ + NADH malate dehydrogenase

citrate synthase

NAD+

T Isocitrate

Malate

Isocitrate dehydrogenase + – +

H2O Fumarate

α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase

electron transport chain

FAD(2H) FAD

– +

Succinate

GTP Pi

ADP NADH Ca2+

O2

C

H+ H+

H2O NAD+

ADP + Pi

NADH + H+

ATP

CO2

α – Ketoglutarate

NADH Ca2+

Succinyl CoA

CoA

E

CoA NAD+ NADH + H+

CO2

GDP

Fig. 20.12. Major regulatory interactions in the TCA cycle. The rate of ATP hydrolysis controls the rate of ATP synthesis, which controls the rate of NADH oxidation in the electron transport chain (ETC). All NADH and FAD(2H) produced by the cycle donate electrons to this chain (shown on the right). Thus, oxidation of acetyl CoA in the TCA cycle can go only as fast as electrons from NADH enter the electron transport chain, which is controlled by the ATP and ADP content of the cells. The ADP and NADH concentrations feed information on the rate of oxidative phosphorylation back to the TCA cycle. Isocitrate dehydrogenase (DH), -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (DH), and malate dehydrogenase (DH) are inhibited by increased NADH concentration. The NADH/NAD ratio changes the concentration of oxaloacetate. Citrate is a product inhibitor of citrate synthase. ADP is an allosteric activator of isocitrate dehydrogenase. During muscular contraction, increased Ca2 concentrations activate isocitrate DH and -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (as well as pyruvate dehydrogenase).

oxidative pathways respond so rapidly to increased ATP demand that the ATP concentration does not significantly change.

A. Regulation of Citrate Synthase The principles of pathway regulation are summarized in Table 20.2. In pathways subject to feedback regulation, the first step of the pathway must be regulated so that Table 20.2. Generalizations on the Regulation of Metabolic Pathways 1. Regulation matches function. The type of regulation use depends on the function of the pathway. Tissue-specific isozymes may allow the features of regulatory enzymes to match somewhat different functions of the pathway in different tissues. 2. Regulation of metabolic pathways occurs at rate-limiting steps, the slowest steps, in the pathway. These are reactions in which a small change of rate will affect the flux through the whole pathway. 3. Regulation usually occurs at the first committed step of a pathway or at metabolic branchpoints. In human cells, most pathways are interconnected with other pathways and have regulatory enzymes for every branchpoint. 4. Regulatory enzymes often catalyze physiologically irreversible reactions. These are also the steps that differ in biosynthetic and degradative pathways. 5. Many pathways have “feedback” regulation, that is, the endproduct of the pathway controls the rate of its own synthesis. Feedback regulation may involve inhibition of an early step in the pathway (feedback inhibition) or regulation of gene transcription. 6. Human cells use compartmentation to control access of substrate and activators or inhibitors to different enzymes. 7. Hormonal regulation integrates responses in pathways requiring more than one tissue. Hormones generally regulate fuel metabolism by: a. Changing the phosphorylation state of enzymes. b. Changing the amount of enzyme present by changing its rate of synthesis (often induction or repression of mRNA synthesis) or degradation. c. Changing the concentration of an activator or inhibitor.

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

precursors flow into alternate pathways if product is not needed. Citrate synthase, which is the first enzyme of the TCA cycle, is a simple enzyme that has no allosteric regulators. Its rate is controlled principally by the concentration of oxaloacetate, its substrate, and the concentration of citrate, a product inhibitor, competitive with oxaloacetate.(see Fig. 20.12). The malate-oxaloacetate equilibrium favors malate, so the oxaloacetate concentration is very low inside the mitochondrion, and is below the Km,app (see Chapter 9, section I.A.4) of citrate synthase. When the NADH/NAD ratio decreases, the ratio of oxaloacetate to malate increases. When isocitrate dehydrogenase is activated, the concentration of citrate decreases, thus relieving the product inhibition of citrate synthase. Thus, both increased oxaloacetate and decreased citrate levels regulate the response of citrate synthase to conditions established by the electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation. In the liver, the NADH/NAD ratio helps determine whether acetyl CoA enters the TCA cycle or goes into the alternate pathway for ketone body synthesis.

A + ADP, K m 0.1 mM No ADP K m 0.5 mM

v

[Isocitrate]

B

B. Allosteric Regulation of Isocitrate Dehydrogenase Another generalization that can be made about regulation of metabolic pathways is that it occurs at the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting (slowest) step in a pathway (see Table 20.2). Isocitrate dehydrogenase is considered one of the ratelimiting steps of the TCA cycle, and is allosterically activated by ADP and inhibited by NADH (Fig. 20.13). In the absence of ADP, the enzyme exhibits positive cooperativity; as isocitrate binds to one subunit, other subunits are converted to an active conformation (see Chapter 9, section III.A on allosteric enzymes). In the presence of ADP, all of the subunits are in their active conformation, and isocitrate binds more readily. Consequently, the Km,app (the S0.5) shifts to a much lower value. Thus, at the concentration of isocitrate found in the mitochondrial matrix, a small change in the concentration of ADP can produce a large change in the rate of the isocitrate dehydrogenase reaction. Small changes in the concentration of the product, NADH, and of the cosubstrate, NAD, also affect the rate of the enzyme more than they would a nonallosteric enzyme.

371

6 fold activation v

No ADP [ADP]

C

v

C. Regulation of -Ketoglutarate Dehydrogenase The -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, although not an allosteric enzyme, is product-inhibited by NADH and succinyl CoA, and may also be inhibited by GTP (see Fig. 20.12). Thus, both -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and isocitrate dehydrogenase respond directly to changes in the relative levels of ADP and hence the rate at which NADH is oxidized by electron transport. Both of these enzymes are also activated by Ca2. In contracting heart muscle, and possibly other muscle tissues, the release of Ca2 from the sarcoplasmic reticulum during muscle contraction may provide an additional activation of these enzymes when ATP is being rapidly hydrolyzed.

D. Regulation of TCA Cycle Intermediates Regulation of the TCA cycle serves two functions: it ensures that NADH is generated fast enough to maintain ATP homeostasis and it regulates the concentration of TCA cycle intermediates. For example, in the liver, a decreased rate of isocitrate dehydrogenase increases citrate concentration, which stimulates citrate efflux to the cytosol. A number of regulatory interactions occur in the TCA cycle, in addition to those mentioned above, that control the levels of TCA intermediates and their flux into pathways that adjoin the TCA cycle.

V. PRECURSORS OF ACETYL CoA Compounds enter the TCA cycle as acetyl CoA or as an intermediate that can be converted to malate or oxaloacetate. Compounds that enter as acetyl CoA are

[NADH]

Fig. 20.13. Allosteric regulation of isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH). Isocitrate dehydrogenase has eight subunits, and two active sites. Isocitrate, NAD, and NADH bind in the active site; ADP and Ca2 are activators and bind to separate allosteric sites. A. A graph of velocity versus isocitrate concentration shows positive cooperativity (sigmoid curve) in the absence of ADP. The allosteric activator ADP changes the curve into one closer to a rectangular hyperbola, and decreases the Km (S0.5) for isocitrate. B. The allosteric activation by ADP is not an all-or-nothing response. The extent of activation by ADP depends on its concentration. C. Increases in the concentration of product, NADH, decrease the velocity of the enzyme through effects on the allosteric activation.

372

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Acetate (acetic acid) is present in the diet, and can be produced from the oxidation of ethanol. Roman soldiers carried vinegar, a dilute solution of acetic acid. The acidity of the vinegar made it a relatively safe source of drinking water because many kinds of pathogenic bacteria do not grow well in acid solutions. The acetate, which is activated to acetyl CoA, provided an excellent fuel for muscular exercise.

oxidized to CO2. Compounds that enter as TCA cycle intermediates replenish intermediates that have been used in biosynthetic pathways, such as gluconeogenesis or heme synthesis, but cannot be fully oxidized to CO2.

A. Sources of Acetyl CoA Acetyl CoA serves as a common point of convergence for the major pathways of fuel oxidation. It is generated directly from the -oxidation of fatty acids and degradation of the ketone bodies -hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate (Fig. 20.14). It is also formed from acetate, which can arise from the diet or from ethanol oxidation. Glucose and other carbohydrates enter glycolysis, a pathway common to all cells, and are oxidized to pyruvate. The amino acids alanine and serine are also converted to pyruvate. Pyruvate is oxidized to acetyl CoA by the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. A number of amino acids, such as leucine and isoleucine are also oxidized to acetyl CoA. Thus, the final oxidation of acetyl CoA to CO2 in the TCA cycle is the last step in all the major pathways of fuel oxidation.

B. Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) oxidizes pyruvate to acetyl CoA, thus linking glycolysis and the TCA cycle. In the brain, which is dependent on the oxidation of glucose to CO2 to fulfill its ATP needs, regulation of the PDC is a life and death matter. 1.

STRUCTURE OF PDC

PDC belongs to the -ketoacid dehydrogenase complex family and, thus, shares structural and catalytic features with the -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex and the branched chain -ketoacid dehydrogenase complex (Fig. 20.15). It contains the same three basic types of catalytic subunits: (1) pyruvate decarboxylase subunits that bind thiamine-pyrophosphate (E1); (2) transacetylase subunits that bind lipoate (E2), and (3) dihyrolipoyl dehydrogenase subunits that bind FAD (E3) (see Fig. 20.9). Although the E1 and E2 enzymes in PDC are relatively specific for pyruvate, the same dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase participates in all of the -ketoacid dehydrogenase

COO–

O CH3 CH2

CH3

O C COO–

Pyruvate NAD+ CoASH CO2 NADH + H+ CH3

Thiamine – P P Lipoate FAD Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex O C ~ SCoA

Acetyl CoA

Fig. 20.15. Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) catalyzes oxidation of the -ketoacid pyruvate to acetyl CoA.

O

H

C

H

C

+

H3N OH

HO

C

H

CH2

H

C

OH

C

CH2

C

H

C

OH

CH3

COOH

CH3

CH2

C 6

The fatty acid, palmitate

OH

O

The ketone body, acetoacetate

CH2OH The sugar, glucose

H

CH3

O C

CH2

C

OH O

Pyruvate

The amino acid, alanine CH2OH CH3 Ethanol

O CH3

C

SCoA

Fig. 20.14. Origin of the acetyl group from various fuels. Acetyl CoA is derived from the oxidation of fuels. The portions of fatty acids, ketone bodies, glucose, pyruvate, the amino acid alanine, and ethanol that are converted to the acetyl group of acetyl CoA are shown in blue.

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

complexes. In addition to these three types of subunits, the PDC complex contains one additional catalytic subunit, protein X, which is a transacetylase. Each functional component of the PDC complex is present in multiple copies (e.g., bovine heart PDC has 30 subunits of E1, 60 subunits of E2, and 6 subunits each of E3 and X). The E1 enzyme is itself a tetramer of two different types of subunits, and . 2.

REGULATION OF PDC

PDC activity is controlled principally through phosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, which inhibits the enzyme, and dephosphorylation by pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase, which activates it (Fig. 20.16). Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase and pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase are regulatory subunits within the PDC complex and act only on the complex. PDC kinase transfers a phosphate from ATP to specific serine hydroxyl (ser-OH) groups on pyruvate decarboxylase (E1). PDC phosphatase removes these phosphate groups by hydrolysis. Phosphorylation of just one serine on the PDC E1 subunit can decrease its activity by over 99%. PDC kinase is present in complexes as tissue-specific isozymes that vary in their regulatory properties. PDC kinase is, itself, inhibited by ADP and pyruvate. Thus, when rapid ATP utilization results in an increase of ADP, or when activation of glycolysis increases pyruvate levels, PDC kinase is inhibited, and PDC remains in an active, nonphosphorylated form. PDC phosphatase requires Ca2 for full activity. In the heart, increased intramitochondrial Ca2 during rapid contraction activates the phosphatase, thereby increasing the amount of active, nonphosphorylated PDC. PDC is also regulated through inhibition by its products, acetyl CoA and NADH. This inhibition is stronger than regular product inhibition because their binding to

Pi PDC inactive ADP ADP Pyruvate Acetyl CoA NADH

– – + +

kinase

phosphatase

+

ATP

Ca2+

Pi PDC active

Pyruvate

+

CoASH NAD+

Acetyl CoA CO2

+

NADH

Fig. 20.16. Regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). PDC kinase, a subunit of the enzyme, phosphorylates PDC at a specific serine residue, thereby converting PDC to an inactive form. The kinase is inhibited by ADP and pyruvate. PDC phosphatase, another subunit of the enzyme, removes the phosphate, thereby activating PDC. The phosphatase is activated by Ca2. When the substrates, pyruvate and CoASH, are bound to PDC, the kinase activity is inhibited and PDC is active. When the products acetyl CoA and NADH bind to PDC, the kinase activity is stimulated, and the enzyme is phosphorylated to the inactive form. E1 and the kinase exist as tissue-specific isozymes with overlapping tissue specificity, and somewhat different regulatory properties.

373

Deficiencies of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) are among the most common inherited diseases leading to lacticacidemia and, like pyruvate carboxylase deficiency, are grouped into the category of Leigh’s disease. In its severe form, PDC deficiency presents with overwhelming lactic acidosis at birth, with death in the neonatal period. In a second form of presentation, the lactic academia is moderate, but there is profound psychomotor retardation with increasing age. In many cases, concomitant damage to the brain stem and basal ganglia lead to death in infancy. The neurological symptoms arise because the brain has a very limited ability to use fatty acids as a fuel, and is, therefore, dependent on glucose metabolism for its energy supply. The most common PDC genetic defects are in the gene for the subunit of E1. The E1 -gene is X-linked. Because of its importance in central nervous system metabolism, pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency is a problem in both males and females, even if the female is a carrier. For this reason, it is classified as an X-linked dominant disorder.

374

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

PDC stimulates its phosphorylation to the inactive form. The substrates of the enzyme, CoASH and NAD, antagonize this product inhibition. Thus, when an ample supply of acetyl CoA for the TCA cycle is already available from fatty acid oxidation, acetyl CoA and NADH build up and dramatically decrease their own further synthesis by PDC. PDC can also be rapidly activated through a mechanism involving insulin, which plays a prominent role in adipocytes. In many tissues, insulin may, slowly over time, increase the amount of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex present. The rate of other fuel oxidation pathways that feed into the TCA cycle is also increased when ATP utilization increases. Insulin, other hormones and diet control the availability of fuels for these oxidative pathways.

VI. TCA CYCLE INTERMEDIATES AND ANAPLEROTIC REACTIONS A. TCA Cycle Intermediates are Precursors for Biosynthetic Pathways Pyruvate, citrate, -ketoglutarate and malate, ADP, ATP, and phosphate (as well as many other compounds) have specific transporters in the inner mitochondrial membrane that transport compounds between the mitochondrial matrix and cytosol in exchange for a compound of similar charge. In contrast, CoASH, acetyl CoA, other CoA derivatives, NAD and NADH, and oxaloacetate, are not transported at a metabolically significant rate. To obtain cytosolic acetyl CoA, many cells transport citrate to the cytosol, where it is cleaved to acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate by citrate lyase.

The intermediates of the TCA cycle serve as precursors for a variety of different pathways present in different cell types (Fig. 20.17). This is particularly important in the central metabolic role of the liver. The TCA cycle in the liver is often called an “open cycle” because there is such a high efflux of intermediates. After a high carbohydrate meal, citrate efflux and cleavage to acetyl CoA provides acetyl units for cytosolic fatty acid synthesis. During fasting, gluconeogenic precursors are converted to malate, which leaves the mitochondria for cytosolic gluconeogenesis. The liver also uses TCA cycle intermediates to synthesize carbon skeletons of amino acids. Succinyl CoA may be removed from the TCA cycle to form heme in cells of the liver and bone marrow. In the brain, -ketoglutarate is converted to glutamate and then to -aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter. In skeletal muscle, -ketoglutarate is converted to glutamine, which is transported through the blood to other tissues.

B. Anaplerotic Reactions Removal of any of the intermediates from the TCA cycle removes the 4 carbons that are used to regenerate oxaloacetate during each turn of the cycle. With depletion of oxaloacetate, it is impossible to continue oxidizing acetyl CoA. To enable the TCA Acetyl CoA Amino acid synthesis

Citrate

Fatty acid synthesis

α – Ketoglutarate

Amino acid synthesis

Oxaloacetate TCA cycle

Gluconeogenesis

Malate

Succinyl CoA

Neurotransmitter (brain)

Heme synthesis

Fig. 20.17. Efflux of intermediates from the TCA cycle. In the liver, TCA cycle intermediates are continuously withdrawn into the pathways of fatty acid synthesis, amino acid synthesis, gluconeogenesis, and heme synthesis. In brain, -ketoglutarate is converted to glutamate and GABA, both neurotransmitters.

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

cycle to keep running, cells have to supply enough four-carbon intermediates from degradation of carbohydrate or certain amino acids to compensate for the rate of removal. Pathways or reactions that replenish the intermediates of the TCA cycle are referred to as anaplerotic (“filling up”).

375

COOH ATP +

– HCO3

+C

O

CH3 Pyruvate

1.

PYRUVATE CARBOXYLASE IS A MAJOR ANAPLEROTIC ENZYME

Pyruvate carboxylase is one of the major anaplerotic enzymes in the cell. It catalyzes the addition of CO2 to pyruvate to form oxaloacetate (Fig. 20.18). Like most carboxylases, pyruvate carboxylase contains biotin, which forms a covalent intermediate with CO2 in a reaction requiring ATP and Mg2 (see Fig. 8.12, Chap. 8). The activated CO2 is then transferred to pyruvate to form the carboxyl group of oxaloacetate. Pyruvate carboxylase is found in many tissues, such as liver, brain, adipocytes, and fibroblasts, where its function is anaplerotic. Its concentration is high in liver and kidney cortex, where there is a continuous removal of oxaloacetate and malate from the TCA cycle to enter the gluconeogenic pathway. Pyruvate carboxylase is activated by acetyl CoA and inhibited by high concentrations of many acyl CoA derivatives. As the concentration of oxaloacetate is depleted through the efflux of TCA cycle intermediates, the rate of the citrate synthase reaction decreases and acetyl CoA concentration rises. The acetyl CoA then activates pyruvate carboxylase to synthesize more oxaloacetate. 2.

AMINO ACID DEGRADATION FORMS TCA CYCLE INTERMEDIATES

The pathways for oxidation of many amino acids convert their carbon skeletons into 5- and 4-carbon intermediates of the TCA cycle that can regenerate oxaloacetate (Fig 20.19). Alanine and serine carbons can enter through pyruvate carboxylase (see Fig.20.19, circle 1). In all tissues with mitochondria (except for, surprisingly, the liver), oxidation of the two branched chain amino acids isoleucine and valine to succinyl CoA forms a major anaplerotic route (see Fig.20.19, circle 3). In the liver, other compounds forming propionyl CoA (e.g., methionine, thymine and odd-chain length or branched fatty acids) also enter the TCA cycle as succinyl CoA. In most tissues, glutamine is taken up from the blood, converted to glutamate, and then oxidized to -ketoglutarate, forming another major anaplerotic route (see Fig.20.19, circle 2). However, the TCA cycle cannot be resupplied with intermediates by even chain length fatty acid oxidation, or ketone body oxidation, which forms only acetyl CoA. In the TCA cycle, two carbons are lost from citrate before succinyl CoA is formed, and, therefore, there is no net conversion of acetyl carbon to oxaloacetate. Pyruvate carboxylase deficiency is one of the genetic diseases grouped together under the clinical manifestations of Leigh’s disease (subacute necrotizing encephalopathy). In the mild form, the patient presents early in life with delayed development and a mild-to-moderate lactic acidemia. Patients who survive are severely mentally retarded, and there is a loss of cerebral neurons. In the brain, pyruvate carboxylase is present in the astrocytes, which use TCA cycle intermediates to synthesize glutamine. This pathway is essential for neuronal survival. The major cause of the lactic acidemia is that cells dependent on pyruvate carboxylase for an anaplerotic supply of oxaloacetate cannot oxidize pyruvate in the TCA cycle (because of low oxaloacetate levels), and the liver cannot convert pyruvate to glucose (because the pyruvate carboxylase reaction is required for this pathway to occur), so the excess pyruvate is converted to lactate.

pyruvate biotin carboxylase + Acetyl CoA

COOH C

O + ADP + Pi

CH2 COO– Oxaloacetate

Fig. 20.18. Pyruvate carboxylase reaction. Pyruvate carboxylase adds a carboxyl group from bicarbonate (which is in equilibrium with CO2) to pyruvate to form oxaloacetate. Biotin is used to activate and transfer the CO2. The energy to form the covalent biotin–CO2 complex is provided by the high-energy phosphate bond of ATP, which is cleaved in the reaction. The enzyme is activated by acetyl CoA.

Biotin is a vitamin. A deficiency of biotin is very rare in humans because it is required in such small amounts and is synthesized by intestinal bacteria. However, an interesting case of biotin deficiency arose in a man eating a diet composed principally of peanuts and raw egg whites. Egg whites contain a biotin binding protein, avidin. Since he did not denature avidin by cooking the egg whites, it depleted his diet of biotin.

376

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Amino acids

Pyruvate Carbohydrates Fatty acids Amino acids

CO2 ATP

1 ADP + Pi

Acetyl CoA

Oxaloacetate

Citrate

Aspartate

5 Isocitrate

Malate

Amino acids

CO2 Amino acids

4

α – Ketoglutarate

Fumarate

TA

Glutamate

2 GDH

CO2 Succinate

Succinyl CoA

NADH

3 Valine Isoleucine

Propionyl CoA

+

NH4

NAD+

Odd chain fatty acids

Fig. 20.19. Major anaplerotic pathways of the TCA cycle. 1 and 3 (blue arrows) are the two major anabolic pathways. (1) Pyruvate carboxylase (2) Glutamate is reversibly converted to -ketoglutarate by transaminases (TA) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) in many tissues. (3) The carbon skeletons of valine and isoleucine, a 3-carbon unit from odd chain fatty acid oxidation, and a number of other compounds enter the TCA cycle at the level of succinyl CoA. Other amino acids are also degraded to fumarate (4) and oxaloacetate (5), principally in the liver.

CLINICAL COMMENTS

In skeletal muscle and other tissues, ATP is generated by anaerobic glycolysis when the rate of aerobic respiration is inadequate to meet the rate of ATP utilization. Under these circumstances, the rate of pyruvate production exceeds the cell’s capacity to oxidize NADH in the electron transport chain, and hence, to oxidize pyruvate in the TCA cycle. The excess pyruvate is reduced to lactate. Because lactate is an acid, its accumulation affects the muscle and causes pain and swelling.

Otto Shape. Otto Shape is experiencing the benefits of physical conditioning. A variety of functional adaptations in the heart, lungs, vascular system, and skeletal muscle occur in response to regular graded exercise. The pumping efficiency of the heart increases, allowing a greater cardiac output with fewer beats per minute and at a lower rate of oxygen utilization. The lungs extract a greater percentage of oxygen from the inspired air, allowing fewer respirations per unit of activity. The vasodilatory capacity of the arterial beds in skeletal muscle increases, promoting greater delivery of oxygen and fuels to exercising muscle. Concurrently, the venous drainage capacity in muscle is enhanced, ensuring that lactic acid will not accumulate in contracting tissues. These adaptive changes in physiological responses are accompanied by increases in the number, size, and activity of skeletal muscle mitochondria, along with the content of TCA cycle enzymes and components of the electron transport chain. These changes markedly enhance the oxidative capacity of exercising muscle. Ann O’Rexia. Ann O’Rexia is experiencing fatigue for a number of reasons. She has iron deficiency anemia, which affects both ironcontaining hemoglobin in her red blood cells, iron in aconitase and succinic dehydrogenase, as well as iron in the heme proteins of the electron

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

transport chain. She may also be experiencing the consequences of multiple vitamin deficiencies, including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin (the vitamin precursor of NAD). It is less likely, but possible, that she also has subclinical deficiencies of pantothenate (the precursor of CoA) or biotin. Because of this, Ann’s muscle must use glycolysis as their primary source of energy, which results in sore muscles. Riboflavin deficiency generally occurs in conjunction with other watersoluble vitamin deficiencies. The classic deficiency symptoms are cheilosis (inflammation of the corners of the mouth), glossitis (magenta tongue), and seborrheic (“greasy”) dermatitis. It is also characterized by sore throat, edema of the pharyngeal and oral mucus membranes, and normochromic, normocytic anemia associated with pure red cell cytoplasia of the bone marrow. However, it is not known whether the glossitis and dermatitis are actually due to multiple vitamin deficiencies. Al Martini. Al Martini presents a second time with an alcohol-related high output form of heart failure sometimes referred to as “wet” beriberi, or as the “beriberi heart” (see Chapter 9). The term “wet” refers to the fluid retention which may eventually occur when left ventricular contractility is so compromised that cardiac output, although initially relatively “high,” cannot meet the “demands” of the peripheral vascular beds, which have dilated in response to the thiamine deficiency. The cardiomyopathy is directly related to a reduction in the normal biochemical function of the vitamin thiamine in heart muscle. Inhibition of the -keto acid dehydrogenase complexes causes accumulation of -keto acids in heart muscle (and in blood), resulting in a chemically-induced cardiomyopathy. Impairment of two other functions of thiamine may also contribute to the cardiomyopathy. Thiamine pyrophosphate serves as the coenzyme for transketolase in the pentose phosphate pathway, and pentose phosphates accumulate in thiamine deficiency. In addition, thiamine triphosphate (a different coenzyme form) may function in Na conductance channels. Immediate treatment with large doses (50–100 mg) of intravenous thiamine may produce a measurable decrease in cardiac output and increase in peripheral vascular resistance as early as 30 minutes after the initial injection. Dietary supplementation of thiamine is not as effective because ethanol consumption interferes with thiamine absorption. Because ethanol also affects the absorption of most watersoluble vitamins, or their conversion to the coenzyme form, Al Martini was also given a bolus containing a multivitamin supplement.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Compartmentation of Mitochondrial Enzymes. The mitochondrion forms a structural, functional, and regulatory compartment within the cell. The inner mitochondrial membrane is impermeable to anions and cations, and compounds can cross the membrane only on specific transport proteins. The enzymes of the TCA cycle, therefore, have more direct access to products of the previous reaction in the pathway than they would if these products were able to diffuse throughout the cell. Complex formation between enzymes also restricts access to pathway intermediates. Malate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase may form a loosely associated complex. The multienzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase and -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complexes are examples of substrate channeling by tightly bound enzymes; only the transacylase enzyme has access to the thiamine-bound intermediate of the reaction, and only lipoamide dehydrogenase has access to reduced lipoic acid.

377

Riboflavin has a wide distribution in foods, and small amounts are present as coenzymes in most plant and animal tissues. Eggs, lean meats, milk, broccoli, and enriched breads and cereals are especially good sources. A portion of our niacin requirement can be met by synthesis from tryptophan. Meat (especially red meat), liver, legumes, milk, eggs, alfalfa, cereal grains, yeast, and fish are good sources of niacin and tryptophan.

Beri-beri, now known to be caused by thiamine deficiency, was attributed to lack of a nitrogenous component in food by Takaki, a Japanese surgeon, in 1884. In 1890, Eijkman, a Dutch physician working in Java, noted that the polyneuritis associated with beri-beri could be prevented by rice bran that had been removed during polishing. Thiamine is present in the bran portion of grains, and abundant in pork and legumes. In contrast to most vitamins, milk and milk products, seafood, fruits, and vegetables are NOT good sources of thiamine.

Thiamine “Now polished rice isn’t nice”, Said the Dutchman Eijkman. Whole grains are a far better Source of thiamine. For beri-beri is very, very Hard on your nerves, you see. Polyneuritis and an enlarged heart May both accompany A very bad diet, a very sad diet A diet thiamine-free. And many who dine, only on wine Or consume brandy, whiskey or gin May never recover, if you don’t discover They can’t absorb thiamine. Wernicke-Korsakoff describe the signs And the confusion in the minds Of patients with this deficiency. So good doctors remember, try to recall Before you charge your fee, To give an injection, im or iv Of this vitamin B. —revised from an anonymous author

378

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Matrix protein hsp 70

1 Cytosol

N

+++

TOM complex

OM

Compartmentation plays an important role in regulation. The close association between the rate of the electron transport chain and the rate of the TCA cycle is maintained by their mutual access to the same pool of NADH and NAD in the mitochondrial matrix. NAD, NADH, CoASH, and acyl CoA derivatives have no transport proteins and cannot cross the mitochondrial membrane. Thus, all of the dehydrogenases compete for the same NAD molecules, and are inhibited when NADH rises. Likewise, accumulation of acyl CoA derivatives (e.g., acetyl CoA) within the mitochondrial matrix affects other CoA-utilizing reactions, either by competing at the active site or limiting CoASH availability.

IMS

2

+++ TIM complex

∆ψ

IM

––– ATP

ADP mt hsp 70

+++

N

ADP ATP

Matrix

+++ hsp 60

+++

ATP

N

3

ADP

N

Matrix processing protease +

N

Fig. 20.20. Model for the import of nuclearencoded proteins into the mitochondrial matrix. The matrix preprotein with its positively charged N-terminal presequence is shown in blue. Abbreviations: OM, outer mitochondrial membrane; IMS, intramembrane space; IM, inner mitochondrial membrane; TOM, translocases of the outer mitochondrial membrane; TIM, translocases of the inner mitochondrial membrane; mthsp70, mitochondrial heat shock protein 70.

Import of Nuclear Encoded Proteins. All mitochondrial matrix proteins, such as the TCA cycle enzymes, are encoded by the nuclear genome. They are imported into the mitochondrial matrix as unfolded proteins that are pushed and pulled through channels in the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes (Fig. 20.20). Proteins destined for the mitochondrial matrix have a targeting N-terminal presequence of about 20 amino acids that includes several positively charged amino acid residues. They are synthesized on free ribosomes in the cytosol and maintain an unfolded conformation by binding to hsp70 chaperonins. This basic presequence binds to a receptor in a TOM complex (translocators of the outer membrane) (see Fig. 20.20, step 1). The TOM complexes consist of channel proteins, assembly proteins and receptor proteins with different specificities (e.g., TOM20 binds the matrix protein presequence). Negatively charged acidic residues on the receptors and in the channel pore assist in translocation of the matrix protein through the channel, presequence first. The matrix preprotein is translocated across the inner membrane through a TIM complex (translocases of the inner membrane) (see Fig. 20.20, step 2). Insertion of the preprotein into the TIM channel is driven by the potential difference across the membrane, . Mitochondrial hsp70 (mthsp70), which is bound to the matrix side of the TIM complex, binds the incoming preprotein and may “ratchet” it through the membrane. ATP is required for binding of mthsp70 to the TIM complex and again for the subsequent dissociation of the mthsp70 and the matrix preprotein. In the matrix, the preprotein may require another heat shock protein, hsp60, for proper folding. The final step in the import process is cleavage of the signal sequence by a matrix processing protease (see Fig. 20.20, step 3). Proteins of the inner mitochondrial membrane are imported through a similar process, using TOM and TIM complexes containing different protein components.

Suggested References Robinson, BH. Lactic acidemia: Disorders of pyruvate carboxylase and pyruvate dehydrogenase. In: Scriver CR, Beudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds: The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. Vol. I. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:4451–4480.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 20 1.

Which of the following coenzymes is unique to -ketoacid dehydrogenase complexes? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

NAD FAD GDP H2O Lipoic acid

CHAPTER 20 / TRICARBOXYLIC ACID CYCLE

2.

A patient diagnosed with thiamine deficiency exhibited fatigue and muscle cramps. The muscle cramps have been related to an accumulation of metabolic acids. Which of the following metabolic acids is most likely to accumulate in a thiamine deficiency? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

It is embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane. It is inhibited by NADH. It contains bound FAD. It contains Fe-S centers. It is regulated by a kinase.

During exercise, stimulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle results principally from which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

Isocitric acid Pyruvic acid Succinic acid Malic acid Oxaloacetic acid

Succinate dehydrogenase differs from all other enzymes in the TCA cycle in that it is the only enzyme that displays which of the following characteristics? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

379

Allosteric activation of isocitrate dehydrogenase by increased NADH Allosteric activation of fumarase by increased ADP A rapid decrease in the concentration of four carbon intermediates Product inhibition of citrate synthase Stimulation of the flux through a number of enzymes by a decreased NADH/NAD ratio

Coenzyme A is synthesized from which of the following vitamins? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Niacin Riboflavin Vitamin A Pantothenate Vitamin C

21

Most cells are dependent on oxidative phosphorylation for ATP homeostasis. The ability to generate ATP depends on O2 and an intact inner mitochondrial membrane. During oxygen deprivation from ischemia (a low blood flow), an inability to generate energy from the electron transport chain results in an increased permeability of this membrane and mitochondrial swelling. Mitochondrial swelling is a key element in the pathogenesis of irreversible cell injury leading to cell lysis and death (necrosis).

Oxidative Phosphorylation and Mitochondrial Function

Energy from fuel oxidation is converted to the high-energy phosphate bonds of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by the process of oxidative phosphorylation. Most of the energy from oxidation of fuels in the TCA cycle and other pathways is conserved in the form of the reduced electron-accepting coenzymes, NADH and FAD(2H). The electron transport chain oxidizes NADH and FAD(2H), and donates the electrons to O2, which is reduced to H2O (Fig. 21.1). Energy from reduction of O2 is used for phosphorylation of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to ATP by ATP synthase (F0 F1 ATPase). The net yield of oxidative phosphorylation is approximately 2.5 moles of ATP per mole of NADH oxidized, or 1.5 moles of ATP per mole of FAD(2H) oxidized. Chemiosmotic model of ATP synthesis. The chemiosmotic model explains how energy from transport of electrons to O2 is transformed into the highenergy phosphate bond of ATP (see Fig. 21.1). Basically, the electron transport chain contains three large protein complexes (I, III, and IV) that span the inner mitochondrial membrane. As electrons pass through these complexes in a series of oxidation–reduction reactions, protons are transferred from the mitochondrial matrix to the cytosolic side of the inner mitochondrial membrane. The pumping of protons generates an electrochemical gradient (p) across the membrane composed of the membrane potential and the proton gradient. ATP synthase contains a proton pore through the inner mitochondrial membrane and a catalytic headpiece that protrudes into the matrix. As protons are driven

Cytochrome c 4H+

Intermembrane space

2H+

nH+

+ + + ∆p

Inner membrane Mitochondrial matrix

4H+

Electrochemical potential

c CoQ

– – – NADH + H+

NAD+

NADH dehydrogenase Complex I

Coenzyme Q

Cytochrome b–c1 Complex III

2H+ +

1

H2O

2 O2

Cytochrome oxidase Complex IV

ADP ATP + Pi ATP synthase

Fig. 21.1. Oxidative phosphorylation. Blue arrows show the path of electron transport from NADH to O2. As electrons pass through the chain, protons are pumped from the mitochondrial matrix to the intermembrane space, thereby establishing an electochemical potential gradient, p, across the inner mitochondrial membrane. The positive and negative charges on the membrane denote the membrane potential (). p drives protons into the matrix through a pore in ATP synthase, which uses the energy to form ATP from ADP and Pi. 380

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

381

into the matrix through the pore, they change the conformation of the headpiece, which releases ATP from one site and catalyzes formation of ATP from ADP and Pi at another site. Deficiencies of electron transport. In cells, complete transfer of electrons from NADH and FAD(2H) through the chain to O2 is necessary for ATP generation. Impaired transfer through any complex can have pathologic consequences. Fatigue can result from iron-defeciency anemia, which decreases Fe for Fe-S centers and cytochromes. Cytochrome c1 oxidase, which contains the O2 binding site, is inhibited by cyanide. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is maternally inherited, encodes some of the subunits of the electron transport chain complexes and ATP synthase. Oxphos diseases are caused by mutations in nuclear DNA or mt DNA that decrease mitochondrial capacity for oxidative phosphorylation. Regulation of oxidative phosphorylation. The rate of the electron transport chain is coupled to the rate of ATP synthesis by the transmembrane electochemical gradient. As ATP is used for energy-requiring processes and ADP levels increase, proton influx through the ATP synthase pore generates more ATP, and the electron transport chain responds to restore p. In uncoupling, protons return to the matrix by a mechanism that bypasses the ATP synthase pore, and the energy is released as heat. Proton leakage, chemical uncouplers, and regulated uncoupling proteins increase our metabolic rate and heat generation. Mitochondria and cell death. Although oxidative phosphorylation is a mitochondrial process, most ATP utilization occurs outside of the mitochondrion. ATP synthesized from oxidative phosphorylation is actively transported from the matrix to the intermembrane space by adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT). Porins form voltage-dependent anion channels (VDAC) through the outer mitochondrial membrane for the diffusion of H2O, ATP metabolites, and other ions. Under certain types of stress, ANT, VDAC, and other proteins form a nonspecific open channel known as the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This pore is associated with events that lead rapidly to necrotic cell death.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Cora Nari was recovering uneventfully from her heart attack 1 month earlier (see Chapter 19), when she won the Georgia State lottery. When she heard her number announced over television, she experienced crushing chest pain, grew short of breath, and passed out. She regained consciousness as she was being rushed to the hospital emergency room. On initial examination, her blood pressure was extremely high and her heart rhythm irregular. Her blood levels of CK-MB and TnI (troponin I) were elevated. An electrocardiogram showed unequivocal evidence of severe lack of oxygen (ischemia) in the muscles of the anterior and lateral walls of her heart. Life support measures including nasal oxygen were initiated. An intravenous drip of nitroprusside, a vasodilating agent, was started in an effort to reduce her hypertension. After her blood pressure was well controlled, a decision was made to administer intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) in an attempt to break up any intracoronary artery blood clots in vessels supplying the ischemic myocardium (thrombolytic therapy).

Cora Nari is experiencing a second myocardial infarction. Ischemia (a low blood flow) has caused hypoxia (low levels of oxygen) in her heart muscle, resulting in inadequate generation of ATP for the maintenance of low intracellular Na and Ca2 levels (see Chapter 19). As a consequence, cells have become swollen and the cytosolic proteins creatine kinase (MB isoform) and troponin (heart isoform) have leaked into the blood. (See Ann Jeina, Chapters 6 and 7).

382

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

An 123I thyroid uptake and scan performed on X.S. Teefore confirmed that his hyperthyroidism was the result of Graves disease (see Chapter 19). Graves disease, also known as diffuse toxic goiter, is an autoimmune genetic disorder caused by the generation of human thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins. These immunoglobulins stimulate enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter) and excess secretion of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. As a consequence, Mr. Teefore’s heat intolerance and sweating were growing worse with time. Ivy Sharer, an intravenous drug abuser, appeared to be responding well to her multidrug regimens to treat pulmonary tuberculosis and AIDS (see Chapters 11, 12, 15, and 16). In the past 6 weeks, however, she has developed increasing weakness in her extremities to the point that she has difficulty carrying light objects or walking. Physical examination indicates a diffuse proximal and distal muscle weakness associated with muscle atrophy. The muscles are neither painful on motion nor tender to compression. The blood level of the muscle enzymes, creatine phosphokinase (CK) and aldolase, are normal. An electromyogram (EMG) revealed a generalized reduction in the muscle action potentials, suggestive of a primary myopathic process. Proton spectroscopy of her brain and upper spinal cord showed no anatomic or biochemical abnormalities. The diffuse and progressive skeletal muscle weakness was out of proportion to that expected from her AIDS or her tuberculosis. This information led her physicians to consider the possibility that her skeletal muscle dysfunction might be drug induced.

I.

OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION

Generation of ATP from oxidative phosphorylation requires an electron donor (NADH or FAD(2H)), an electron acceptor (O2), an intact inner mitochondrial membrane that is impermeable to protons, all the components of the electron transport chain, and ATP synthase. It is regulated by the rate of ATP utilization. Arlyn Foma, who has a follicular type non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was being treated with the anthracycline drug doxorubicin (see Chapter 16). During the course of his treatment, he developed biventricular heart failure. Although doxorubicin is a highly effective anticancer agent against a wide variety of human tumors, its clinical use is limited by a specific, cumulative, dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. Impairment of mitochondrial function may play a major role in this toxicity. Doxorubicin binds to cardiolipin, a lipid component of the inner membrane of mitochondria, where it might directly affect components of oxidative phosphorylation. Doxorubicin inhibits succinate oxidation, inactivates cytochrome oxidase, interacts with CoQ, affects ion pumps, and inhibits ATP synthase, resulting in decreased ATP levels and mildly swollen mitochondria. It decreases the ability of the mitochondria to sequester Ca2 and increases free radicals (highly reactive single-electron forms) leading to damage of the mitochondrial membrane (see Chapter 24). It also might affect heart function indirectly through other mechanisms.

A. Overview of Oxidative Phosphorylation Our understanding of oxidative phosphorylation is based on the chemiosmotic hypothesis, which proposes that the energy for ATP synthesis is provided by an electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. This electrochemical gradient is generated by the components of the electron transport chain, which pump protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane as they sequentially accept and donate electrons (see Fig. 21.1). The final acceptor is O2, which is reduced to H2O. 1.

ELECTRON TRANSFER FROM NADH TO O2

In the electron transport chain, electrons donated by NADH or FAD(2H) are passed sequentially through a series of electron carriers embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Each of the components of the electron transfer chain is oxidized as it accepts an electron, and then reduced as it passes the electrons to the next member of the chain. From NADH, electrons are transferred sequentially through NADH dehydrogenase (complex I), CoQ (coenzyme Q), the cytochrome b-c1 complex (complex III), cytochrome c, and finally cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV). NADH dehydrogenase, the cytochrome b-c1 complex and cytochrome c oxidase are each multisubunit protein complexes that span the inner mitochondrial membrane. CoQ is a lipid soluble quinone that is not protein-bound and is free to diffuse in the lipid membrane. It transports electrons from complex I to complex III and is an intrinsic part of the proton pumps for each of these complexes. Cytochome c is a small protein in the inner membrane space that transfers electrons from the b–c1

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

complex to cytochrome oxidase. The terminal complex, cytochrome c oxidase, contains the binding site for O2. As O2 accepts electrons from the chain, it is reduced to H2O.

Cytosolic side nH+ ++++++++

2.

THE ELECTROCHEMICAL POTENTIAL GRADIENT

At each of the three large membrane-spanning complexes in the chain, electron transfer is accompanied by proton pumping across the membrane. There is an energy drop of approximately 16 kcal in reduction potential as electrons pass through each of these complexes, which provides the energy required to move protons against a concentration gradient. The membrane is impermeable to protons, so they cannot diffuse through the lipid bilayer back into the matrix. Thus, in actively respiring mitochondria, the intermembrane space and cytosol may be approximately 0.75 pH units lower than the matrix. The transmembrane movement of protons generates an electrochemical gradient with two components: the membrane potential (the external face of the membrane is charged positive relative to the matrix side) and the proton gradient (the inter membrane space has a higher proton concentration and is therefore more acidic than the matrix) (Fig. 21.2). The electrochemical gradient is sometimes called the proton motive force because it is the energy pushing the protons to re-enter the matrix to equilibrate on both sides of the membrane. The protons are attracted to the more negatively charged matrix side of the membrane, where the pH is more alkaline. 3.

ATP SYNTHASE

ATP synthase (F0F1ATPase), the enzyme that generates ATP, is a multisubunit enzyme containing an inner membrane portion (F0) and a stalk and headpiece (F1) that project into the matrix (Fig. 21.3). The 12 c subunits in the membrane form a rotor that is attached to a central asymmetric shaft composed of the and subunits. The headpiece is composed of three subunit pairs. Each subunit contains a catalytic site for ATP synthesis. The headpiece is held stationary by a subunit attached to a long b subunit connected to subunit a in the membrane.

Matrix

δ

α β

β

α

α β F1 Headpiece

b2 H+

γ ε a

C5 C1 C 2 C3 C4 H+ Cytoplasmic side

Fig. 21.3. ATP synthase (F0F1ATPase).

F0 Pore

383

∆ψ

Proton motive force

––––––––

H+ H+ H+ ∆pH H+

nH+ Matrix side

Fig. 21.2. Proton motive force (electrochemical gradient) across the inner mitochondrial membrane. The proton motive force consists of a membrane potential, , and a proton gradient, denoted by pH for the difference in pH across the membrane. The electrochemical potential is called the proton motive force because it represents the potential energy driving protons to return to the more negatively charged alkaline matrix.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

P+

AT P

AD Pi

ADP + Pi

1

Energy

ADP + Pi

AT P

ATP

2

ADP + Pi

ATP

+P

i

B. Oxidation–Reduction Components of the Electron Transport Chain

AD P

ATP

The influx of protons through the proton channel turns the rotor. The proton channel is formed by the c subunits on one side and the a subunit on the other side. Although continuous, it has two offset portions, one portion directly open to the intermembrane space and one portion directly open to the matrix. In the current model, each c subunit contains a glutamyl carboxyl group that extends into the proton channel. As this carboxyl group accepts a proton from the intermembrane space, the c subunit rotates into the hydrophobic lipid membrane. The rotation exposes a different proton-containing c subunit to the portion of the channel directly open to the matrix side. Because the matrix has a lower proton concentration, the glutamyl carboxylic acid group releases a proton into the matrix portion of the channel. Rotation is completed by an attraction between the negatively charged glutamyl residue and a positively charged arginyl group on the a subunit. According to the binding change mechanism, as the asymmetric shaft rotates to a new position, it forms different binding associations with the subunits (Fig. 21.4). The new position of the shaft alters the conformation of one subunit so that it releases a molecule of ATP and another subunit spontaneously catalyzes synthesis of ATP from inorganic phosphate, one proton, and ADP. Thus, energy from the electrochemical gradient is used to change the conformation of the ATP synthase subunits so that the newly synthesized ATP is released. Twelve c subunits are hypothesized, and it takes 12 protons to complete one turn of the rotor and synthesize three ATP.

Fig. 21.4. Binding change mechanism for ATP synthesis. The three subunit pairs of the ATP synthase headpiece have binding sites that can exist in three different conformations, depending on the position of the stalk subunit. Step 1: When ADP Pi bind to an open site and the proton influx rotates the spindle (represented by the arrow), the conformation of the subunits change and ATP is released from one site. (ATP dissociation is, thus, the energy-requiring step). Bound ADP and Pi combine to form ATP at another site. Step 2: As the ADP Pi bind to the new open site, and the shaft rotates, the conformations of the sites change again, and ATP is released. ADP and Pi combine to form another ATP.

FMN, like FAD, is synthesized from the vitamin riboflavin. It contains the electron-accepting flavin ring structure, but not the adenosine monophosphate (AMP) portion of FAD (see Fig. 19.10). Severe riboflavin deficiency decreases the ability of mitochondria to generate ATP from oxidative phosphorylation due to the lack of FMN in the electron carriers.

Electron transport to O2 occurs via a series of oxidation–reduction steps in which each successive component of the chain is reduced as it accepts electrons and oxidized as it passes electrons to the next component of the chain. The oxidation–reduction components of the chain include flavin mononucleotide (FMN), Fe-S centers, CoQ, and Fe in the cytochromes b, c1, c, a, and a3. Cu is also a component of cytochromes a and a3 (Fig. 21.5). With the exception of CoQ, all of these electron acceptors are tightly bound to the protein subunits of the carriers. The reduction potential of each complex of the chain is at a lower energy level than the previous complex, so that energy is released as electrons pass through each complex. This energy is used to move protons against their concentration gradient, so that they become concentrated on the cytosolic side of the inner membrane. 1.

NADH DEHYDROGENASE

NADH dehydrogenase is an enormous 42-subunit complex that contains a binding site for NADH, several FMN and iron-sulfur (Fe-S) center binding proteins, and binding sites for CoQ (see Fig 21.5). An FMN accepts two electrons from NADH and is able to pass single electrons to the Fe-S centers (Fig. 21.6). Fe-S centers, which are able to delocalize single electrons into large orbitals, transfer electrons to and from CoQ. Fe-S centers are also present in other enzyme systems, such as other proteins, which transfer electrons to CoQ, in the cytochrome b–c1 complex, and in aconitase in the TCA cycle. 2.

SUCCINATE DEHYDROGENASE AND OTHER FLAVOPROTEINS

In addition to NADH dehydrogenase, succinic dehydrogenase and other flavoproteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane also pass electrons to CoQ (see Fig. 21.5). Succinate dehydrogenase is part of the TCA cycle. ETF-CoQ oxidoreductase accepts electrons from ETF (electron transferring flavoprotein), which acquires them from fatty acid oxidation and other pathways. Both of these flavoproteins have Fe-S centers. -Glycerophosphate dehydrogenase is a flavoprotein that is part of a shuttle for reoxidizing cytosolic NADH.

385

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

Intermembrane space 4H+ CoQH2

Fe-S FMN

Glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase

I

NADH NAD+ NADH dehydrogenase

FAD

CoQ Fe-S (FAD)

2H+ Cyt c

Fe-s

CoQH2

FAD

CoQ II Fe-S

4H+

CuA

Cyt c1

Cyt a Cyt a3 CuB IV

Cyt b

III

Succinate

1/2 O2 + 2H+ H2O

Succinate ETF: Q dehydrogenase oxidoreductase

Cytochrome b-c1 complex

Cytochrome c oxidase

Matrix

Fig. 21.5. Components of the electron transfer chain. NADH dehydrogenase (complex I) spans the membrane and has a proton pumping mechanism involving CoQ. The electrons go from CoQ to cytochrome b–c1 complex (complex III), and electron transfer does NOT involve complex II. Succinate dehydrogenase (complex II), glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and ETF:Q oxidoreductase (shown in blue) all transfer electrons to CoQ, but do not span the membrane and do not have a proton pumping mechanism. As CoQ accepts protons from the matrix side, it is converted to QH2. Electrons are transferred from complex III to complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase) by cytochrome c, a small cytochrome in the intermembrane space that has reversible binding sites on the b–c1 complex and cytochrome c oxidase.

The free energy drop between NADH and CoQ of approximately 13 to 14 kcal is able to support movement of four protons. However, the FAD in succinate dehydrogenase (as well as ETF-CoQ oxidoreductase and -glycerophosphate dehydrogenase) is at roughly the same energy level as CoQ, and there is no energy released as they transfer electrons to CoQ. These proteins do not span the membrane and consequently do not have a proton pumping mechanism.

Pr Cys S Fe

S Pr

Cys

S

Fe

3.

COENZYME Q

CoQ is the only component of the electron transport chain that is not protein bound. The large hydrophobic side chain of 10 isoprenoid units (50 carbons) confers lipid solubility, and CoQ is able to diffuse through the lipids of the inner mitochondrial membrane (Fig. 21.7). When the oxidized quinone form accepts a single electron, it forms a free radical (a compound with a single electron in an orbital). The transfer of single electrons makes it the major site for generation of toxic oxygen free radicals in the body (see Chapter 24). The long side chain of CoQ has 10 of the 5-carbon isoprenoid units, and is sometimes called CoQ10. It is also called ubiquinone (the quinone found everywhere) because quinones with similar structures are found in all plants and animals. CoQ can be synthesized in the human from precursors derived from carbohydrates and fat. The long isoprenoid side chain is formed in the pathway that produces the isoprenoid precursors of cholesterol. CoQ10 is sometimes prescribed for patients recovering from a myocardial infarction, in an effort to increase their exercise capacity.

O

OH e– + H+

O Fully oxidized or quinone form (Q)

– Semiquinone form (free radical, Q•– )

S Cys Pr

S S

Fe S Cys Pr

Fig. 21.6. Fe4S4 center. In Fe-S centers, the Fe is chelated to free sulfur (S) atoms, and to cysteine sulfhydryl groups on proteins. Other FeS centers contain Fe2S2. The protein subunits are sometimes called non-heme iron proteins. When these proteins are treated with acid, the free sulfur produces hydrogen sulfide (H2S)— the familiar smell of rotten eggs.

OH e– + H+

•O

S

Fe

CH3O

CH3

CH3

CH3O

[CH2CH

CCH2 ] 10H

OH Reduced or quinol form (dihydroquinol, QH2)

Fig. 21.7. Coenzyme Q contains a quinone with a long lipophilic side chain comprising 10 isoprenoid units (thus, it is sometimes called CoQ10.) CoQ can accept one electron (e ) to become the half-reduced form, or 2 e to become fully reduced.

386

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

The semiquinone can accept a second electron and two protons from the matrix side of the membrane to form the fully reduced quinone. The mobility of CoQ in the membrane, its ability to accept one or two electrons, and its ability to accept and donate protons enable it to participate in the proton pumps for both complexes I and III as it shuttles electrons between them (see Section I.C.). 4. Although iron deficiency anemia is characterized by decreased levels of hemoglobin and other ironcontaining proteins in the blood, the ironcontaining cytochromes and Fe-S centers of the electron transport chain in tissues such as skeletal muscle are affected as rapidly. Fatigue in iron deficiency anemia, in patients such as Ann O’Rexia (see Chapter 16), results, in part, from the lack of electron transport for ATP production.

CYTOCHROMES

The remainder of the components in the electron transport chain are cytochromes (see Fig. 21.5). Each cytochrome is a protein that contains a bound heme (i.e., an Fe atom bound to a porphyrin nucleus similar in structure to the heme in hemoglobin) (Fig. 21.8). Because of differences in the protein component of the cytochromes and small differences in the heme structure, each heme has a different reduction potential. The cytochromes of the b-c1 complex have a higher energy level than those of cytochrome oxidase (a and a3). Thus, energy is released by electron transfer between complexes III and IV. The iron atoms in the cytochromes are in the Fe3 state. As they accept an electron, they are reduced to Fe2. As they are reoxidized to Fe3, the electrons pass to the next component of the electron transport chain. 5.

COPPER (CU) AND THE REDUCTION OF OXYGEN

The last cytochrome complex is cytochrome oxidase, which passes electrons from cytochrome c to O2 (see Fig. 21.5). It contains cytochromes a and a3 and the oxygen binding site. A whole oxygen molecule, O2, must accept four electrons to be reduced to 2 H2O. Bound copper (Cu) ions in the cytochrome oxidase complex facilitate the collection of the four electrons and the reduction of O2. Cytochrome oxidase has a much lower Km for O2 than myoglobin (the hemecontaining intracellular oxygen carrier) or hemoglobin (the heme-containing oxygen transporter in the blood). Thus, O2 is “pulled” from the erythrocyte to myoglobin, and from myoglobin to cytochrome oxidase, where it is reduced to H2O.

CH3 (CH2 CH3

CH

C

CH2)3 H

CH2

H C OH The iron in the heme in hemoglobin, unlike the iron in the heme of cytochromes, never changes its oxidation state (it is Fe2 in hemoglobin). If the iron in hemoglobin were to become oxidized (Fe3), the oxygen-binding capacity of the molecule would be lost. Normally, the protein structures binding the heme either protect the iron from oxidation (such as the globin proteins), or allow oxidation to occur (such as happens in the cytochromes). However, in hemoglobin M, a rare hemoglobin variant found in the human population, a tyrosine is substituted for the histidine at position F8 in the normal hemoglobin A. This tyrosine stabilizes the Fe3 form of heme, and these subunits cannot bind oxygen. This is a lethal condition if homozygous.

HC

O C H –

COO

CH2

CH N

CH3

N Fe N

CH2

CH

N HC

CH2

CH CH2

CH3

CH2 COO–

Fig. 21.8. Heme A. Heme A is found in cytochromes a and a3. Cytochromes are proteins containing a heme chelated with an iron atom. Hemes are derivatives of protoporphyrin IX. Each cytochrome has a heme with different modifications of the side chains (indicated with dashed lines), resulting in a slightly different reduction potential and, consequently, a different position in the sequence of electron transfer.

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

C. Pumping of Protons One of the tenets of the chemiosmotic theory is that energy from the oxidation–reduction reactions of the electron transport chain is used to transport protons from the matrix to the intermembrane space. This proton pumping is generally facilitated by the vectorial arrangement of the membrane spanning complexes. Their structure allows them to pick up electrons and protons on one side of the membrane and release protons on the other side of the membrane as they transfer an electron to the next component of the chain. The direct physical link between proton movement and electron transfer can be illustrated by an examination of the Q cycle for the b-c1 complex (Fig. 21.9). The Q cycle involves a double cycle of CoQ reduction and oxidation. CoQ accepts two protons at the matrix side together with two electrons; it then releases protons into the intermembrane space while donating one electron back to another component of the cytochrome b-c1 complex and one to cytochrome c. The mechanism for pumping protons at the NADH dehydrogenase complex is not well understood, but it involves a Q cycle in which the Fe-S centers and FMN might participate. However, transmembrane proton movement at cytochrome c oxidase probably involves direct transport of the proton through a series of bound water molecules or amino acid side chains in the protein, a mechanism that has been described as a “proton wire.” The significance of the direct link between the electron transfer and proton movement is that one cannot occur without the other. Thus, when protons are not being used for ATP synthesis, the proton gradient and the membrane potential build up. This “proton back-pressure” controls the rate of proton pumping, which controls electron transport and O2 consumption.

D. Energy Yield from the Electron Transport Chain The overall free energy release from oxidation of NADH by O2 is approximately 53 kcal, and from FAD(2H), it is approximately 41 kcal. This G0 is so negative Intermembrane space

4H+

2 2e–

2QH2

2e– 2 ISP

1

2Q

2

2 C1

C

2e–

2e–

3

2e–

Transferring 2 electrons From NADH to O2 Pumps just 10 protons That’s the best that it can do

bH Q

4 e– – e

Q–• QH2 Matrix

Transferring an electron Down the E.T. chain Takes Fe 3 to Fe 2 And back to 3 again. Transferring 4 electrons To an oxygen Takes some Cu ions And Fe porphyrin.

bL Q-Pool

Electron Transport Chain Transferring 2 electrons To Coenzyme Q Takes Fe-S proteins And riboflavin, too.

Inner mitochondrial membrane 2H+

Fig. 21.9. The proton motive Q cycle for the b–c1 complex. (1) From 2 QH2, electrons go down two different paths: one path is through an FeS center protein (ISP) toward cytochrome c (shown with blue arrows). Another path is “backward” to one of the b cytochromes, shown with dashed arrows. (2) Electrons are transferred from ISP through cytochrome c1. Cytochrome c, which is in the intermembrane space, binds to the b–c1 complex to accept an electron. (3) Returning electrons go through another b cytochrome and are directed toward the matrix. (4) At the matrix side, electrons and 2H are accepted by Q. Q, Coenzyme Q; Q•¯, CoQ semiquinone; QH2, CoQ hydroquinone.

Transferring 2 electrons From reduced FAD Pumps only 6 protons And makes less ATP. —C.M. Smith

387

388

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Cora Nari has a lack of oxygen in the anterior and lateral walls of her heart caused by severe ischemia (lack of blood flow) resulting from clots formed at the site of ruptured atherosclerotic plaques. The limited availability of O2 to act as an electron acceptor will decrease proton pumping and generation of an electrochemical potential gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. As a consequence, the rate of ATP generation in her heart will decrease, thereby triggering events that lead to irreversible cell injury. Intravenous nitroprusside rapidly lowers elevated blood pressure through its direct vasodilating action. Fortunately, it was only required in Cora Nari’s case for several hours. During prolonged infusions of 24 to 48 hours or more, nitroprusside is converted to cyanide, an inhibitor of the cytochrome c oxidase complex. Because small amounts of cyanide are detoxified in the liver by conversion to thiocyanate, which is excreted in the urine, the conversion of nitroprusside to cyanide can be monitored by following blood thiocyanate levels.

that the chain is never reversible; we never synthesize oxygen from H2O. It is so negative that it drives NADH and FAD(2H) formation from the pathways of fuel oxidation, such as the TCA cycle and glycolysis, to completion. Overall, each NADH donates two electrons, equivalent to the reduction of 1⁄2 of an O2 molecule. A generally (but not universally) accepted estimate of the stoichiometry of ATP synthesis is that four protons are pumped at complex I, four protons at complex III, and two at complex IV. With four protons translocated for each ATP synthesized, an estimated 2.5 ATPs are formed for each NADH oxidized and 1.5 ATPs for each of the other FAD(2H)-containing flavoproteins that donate electrons to CoQ. (This calculation neglects proton requirements for the transport of phosphate and substrates from the cytosol, as well as the basal proton leak.) Thus, only approximately 30% of the energy available from NADH and FAD(2H) oxidation by O2 is used for ATP synthesis. Some of the remaining energy in the electrochemical potential is used for the transport of anions and Ca2 into the mitochondrion. The remainder of the energy is released as heat. Consequently, the electron transport chain is also our major source of heat.

E. Respiratory Chain Inhibition and Sequential Transfer In the cell, electron flow in the electron transport chain must be sequential from NADH or a flavoprotein all the way to O2 to generate ATP (see Fig. 21.5). In the absence of O2, there is no ATP generated from oxidative phosphorylation because electrons back up in the chain. Even complex I cannot pump protons to generate the electrochemical gradient, because every molecule of CoQ already has electrons that it cannot pass down the chain without an O2 to accept them at the end. The action of the respiratory chain inhibitor cyanide, which binds to cytochrome oxidase, is similar to that of anoxia; it prevents proton pumping by all three complexes. Complete inhibition of the b-c1 complex prevents pumping at cytochrome

Cyanide binds to the Fe3 in the heme of the cytochrome aa3 component of cytochrome c oxidase and prevents electron transport to O2. Mitochondrial respiration and energy production cease, and cell death rapidly occurs. The central nervous system is the primary target for cyanide toxicity. Acute inhalation of high concentrations of cyanide (e.g., smoke inhalation during a fire) provokes a brief central nervous system stimulation rapidly followed by convulsion, coma, and death. Acute exposure to lower amounts can cause lightheadedness, breathlessness, dizziness, numbness, and headaches. Cyanide is present in the air as hydrogen cyanide (HCN), in soil and water as cyanide salts (e.g., NaCN), and in foods as cyanoglycosides. Most of the cyanide in the air usually comes from automobile exhaust. Examples of populations with potentially high exposures include active and passive smokers, people who are exposed to house or other building fires, residents who live near cyanide- or thiocyanate-containing hazardous waste sites, and workers involved in a number of manufacturing processes (e.g., photography or pesticide application.) Cyanoglycosides such as amygdalin are present in edible plants such as almonds, pits from stone fruits (e.g., apricots, peaches, plums, cherries), sorghum, cassava, soybeans, spinach, lima beans, sweet potatoes, maize, millet, sugar cane, and bamboo shoots. HO

CH2OH O HO

HO

HO

OCH2 O HO

OH

CN O

C H

Amygdalin, a cyanoglycoside HCN is released from cyanoglycosides by -glucosidases present in the plant or in intestinal bacteria. Small amounts are inactivated in the liver principally by rhodanase, which converts it to thiocyanate. In the United States, toxic amounts have been ingested as ground apricot pits, either due to health food promotion or as a treatment for cancer. The drug Laetrile (amygdalin) was used as a cancer therapeutic agent, although it was banned in the United States because it was ineffective and potentially toxic. Commercial fruit juices made from unpitted fruit could provide toxic amounts of cyanide, particularly in infants or children. In countries in which cassava is a dietary staple, improper processing results in retention of its high cyanide content at potentially toxic levels.

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

oxidase because there is no donor of electrons; it prevents pumping at complex I because there is no electron acceptor. Although complete inhibition of any one complex inhibits proton pumping at all of the complexes, partial inhibition of proton pumping can occur when only a fraction of the molecules of a complex contain bound inhibitor. The partial inhibition results in a partial decrease of the maximal rate of ATP synthesis.

389

A decreased activity of the electron transport chain can result from inhibitors as well as from mutations in mtDNA and nuclear DNA. Why does an impairment of the electron transport chain result in lactic acidosis?

II. OXPHOS DISEASES Clinical diseases involving components of oxidative phosphorylation (referred to as OXPHOS diseases) are among the most commonly encountered degenerative diseases. The clinical pathology may be caused by gene mutations in either mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or nuclear DNA (nDNA) that encode proteins required for normal oxidative phosphorylation.

A. Mitochondrial DNA and OXPHOS Diseases The mtDNA is a small 16,569 nucleotide pair, double-stranded, circular DNA. It encodes 13 subunits of the complexes involved in oxidative phosphorylation: 7 of the 42 subunits of complex I (NADH dehydrogenase complex), 1 of the 11 subunits of complex III (cytochrome b-c1 complex), 3 of 13 of the subunits of complex IV (cytochrome oxidase), and two subunits of the F0 portion ATP–synthase complex. In addition, mtDNA encodes the necessary components for translation of its mRNA: a large and small rRNA and 22 tRNAs. Mutations in mtDNA have been identified as deletions, duplications, or point mutations (Table 21.1). The genetics of mutations in mtDNA are defined by maternal inheritance, replicative segregation, threshold expression, a high mtDNA mutation rate, and the accumulation of somatic mutations with age. The maternal inheritance pattern reflects the exclusive transmission of mtDNA from the mother to her children. The egg contains approximately 300,000 molecules of mtDNA packaged into mitochondria. These are

Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is responsible for producing most of the ATP that our cells require. The genes responsible for the polypeptides that comprise the OXPHOS complexes within the mitochondria are located within either the nuclear DNA (nDNA) or the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). A broad spectrum of human disorders (the OXPHOS diseases) may result from genetic mutations or nongenetic alterations (spontaneous mutations) in either the nDNA or the mtDNA. Increasingly, such changes appear to be responsible for at least some aspects of common disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer disease, depressive disorders, and a host of less well-known clinical entities.

Table 21.1 Examples of OXPHOS Diseases Arising from mtDNA Mutations Syndrome Characteristic Symptoms mtDNA Mutation I. mtDNA rearrangements in which genes are deleted or duplicated. Kearns-Sayre syndrome

Onset before 20 years of age, characterized by opthalmoplegia, atypical retinitis pigmentosa, mitochondrial myopathy, and one of the following: cardiac conduction defect, cerebellar syndrome, or elevated CSF proteins.

Deletion of contiguous segments of tRNA and OXPHOS polypeptides, or duplication mutations consisting of tandemly arranged normal mtDNA and an mtDNA with a deletion mutation.

Pearson syndrome

Systemic disorder of oxidative phosphorylation that predominantly affects bone marrow

(same as above)

II. mtDNA point mutations in tRNA or ribosomal RNA genes MERRF (myoclonic epilepsy and ragged-red fiber disease)

Progressive myoclonic epilepsy, a mitochondrial myopathy with ragged-red fibers, and a slowly progressive dementia. Onset of symptoms: late childhood to adult

tRNAlys

MELAS (mitochondrial myopathy, encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes)

Progressive neurodengenerative disease characterized by stoke-like episodes first occurring between 5 and 15 years of age and a mitochondrial myopathy

80-90% mutations in tRNAleu

III. mtDNA missense mutations in OXPHOS polypeptides Leigh disease (subacute necrotizing encephaolpathy)

Mean age of onset, 1.5–5 years; clinical manifestations included optic atrophy, opththalmoplegia, nystagmus, respiratory abnormalities, ataxia, hypotonia, spasticity, and developmental delay or regression.

7–20 % of cases have mutations in Fo subunits of F0-F1-ATPase.

LHON (Leber hereditary optic neuropathy)

Late onset, acute optic atrophy.

90% of European and Asian cases result from mutation in NADH dehydrogenase.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

The effect of inhibition of electron transport is an impaired oxidation of pyruvate, fatty acids, and other fuels. In many cases, the inhibition of mitochondrial electron transport results in higher than normal levels of lactate and pyruvate in the blood and an increased lactate/pyruvate ratio. NADH oxidation requires the completed transfer of electrons from NADH to O2, and a defect anywhere along the chain will result in the accumulation of NADH and decrease of NAD. The increase in NADH/NAD inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase and causes the accumulation of pyruvate. It also increases the conversion of pyruvate to lactate, and elevated levels of lactate appear in the blood. A large number of genetic defects of the proteins in respiratory chain complexes have, therefore, been classified together as “congenital lactic acidosis.” A patient experienced spontaneous muscle jerking (myoclonus) in her mid-teens, and her condition progressed over 10 years to include debilitating myoclonus, neurosensory hearing loss, dementia, hypoventilation, and mild cardiomyopathy. Energy metabolism was affected in the central nervous system, heart, and skeletal muscle, resulting in lactic acidosis. A history indicated that the patient’s mother, her grandmother, and two maternal aunts had symptoms involving either nervous or muscular tissue (clearly a case of maternal inheritance). However, no other relative had identical symptoms. The symptoms and history of the patient are those of myoclonic epileptic ragged red fiber disease (MERRF). The affected tissues (central nervous system and muscle) are two of the tissues with the highest ATP requirements. Most cases of MERRF are caused by a point mutation in mitochondrial tRNAlys (mtRNAlys). The mitochondria, obtained by muscle biopsy, are enlarged and show abnormal patterns of cristae. The muscle tissue also shows ragged red fibers.

How does shivering generate heat?

retained during fertilization, whereas those of the sperm do not enter the egg or are lost. Usually, some mitochondria are present with the mutant mtDNA and some with normal (wild-type) DNA. As cells divide during mitosis and meiosis mitochondria replicate by fission, but various amounts of mitochondria with mutant and wild-type DNA are distributed to each daughter cell (replicative segregation). Thus, any cell can have a mixture of mitochondria, each with mutant or wild-type mtDNAs (heteroplasmy). The mitotic and meiotic segregation of the heteroplasmic mtDNA mutation results in variable oxidative phosphorylation deficiencies between patients with the same mutation, and even among a patient’s own tissues. The disease pathology usually becomes worse with age, because a small amount of normal mitochondria might confer normal function and exercise capacity while the patient is young. As the patient ages, somatic (spontaneous) mutations in mtDNA accumulate from the generation of free radicals within the mitochondria (see Chapter 24). These mutations frequently become permanent, partly because mtDNA does not have access to the same repair mechanisms available for nuclear DNA (high mutation rate). Even in normal individuals, somatic mutations result in a decline of oxidative phosphorylation capacity with age (accumulation of somatic mutations with age). At some stage, the ATP-generating capacity of a tissue falls below the tissue-specific threshold for normal function (threshhold expression). In general, symptoms of these defects would appear in one or more of the tissues with the highest ATP demands: nervous tissue, heart, skeletal muscle, and kidney.

B. Other Genetic Disorders of Oxidative Phosphorylation Genetic mutations also have been reported for mitochondrial proteins encoded by nuclear DNA. Most of the estimated 1,000 proteins required for oxidative phosphorylation are encoded by nuclear DNA, whereas mtDNA encodes only 13 subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation complexes (including ATP synthase). Nuclear DNA encodes the additional 70 or more subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation complexes, as well as adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) and other anion translocators. Coordinate regulation of expression of nuclear and mtDNA, import of proteins into the mitochondria, assembly of the complexes, and regulation of mitochondrial fission are nuclear encoded. Nuclear DNA mutations differ from mtDNA mutations in several important respects. These mutations do not show a pattern of maternal inheritance but are usually autosomal recessive. The mutations are uniformly distributed to daughter cells and therefore are expressed in all tissues containing the allele for a particular tissuespecific isoform. However, phenotypic expression still will be most apparent in tissues with high ATP requirements.

III. COUPLING OF ELECTRON TRANSPORT AND ATP SYNTHESIS The electrochemical gradient couples the rate of the electron transport chain to the rate of ATP synthesis. Because electron flow requires proton pumping, electron flow cannot occur faster than protons are used for ATP synthesis (coupled oxidative phosphorylation) or returned to the matrix by a mechanism that short circuits the ATP synthase pore (uncoupling). The nuclear respiratory factors (NRF-1 and NRF-2) are nuclear transcription factors that bind to and activate promotor regions of the nuclear genes encoding subunits of the respiratory chain complexes, including cytochrome c. They also activate the transcription of the nuclear gene for the mitochondrial transcription factor (mTF)-A. The protein product of this gene translocates into the mitochondrial matrix, where it stimulates transcription and replication of the mitochondrial genome.

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

A. Regulation through Coupling As ATP chemical bond energy is used by energy-requiring reactions, ADP and Pi concentrations increase. The more ADP present to bind to the ATP synthase, the greater will be proton flow through the ATP synthase pore, from the intermembrane space to the matrix. Thus, as ADP levels rise, proton influx increases, and the electrochemical gradient decreases (Fig 21.10). The proton pumps of the electron transport chain respond with increased proton pumping and electron flow to maintain the electrochemical gradient. The result is increased O2 consumption. The increased oxidation of NADH in the electron transport chain and the increased concentration of ADP stimulate the pathways of fuel oxidation, such as the TCA cycle, to supply more NADH and FAD(2H) to the electron transport chain. For example, during exercise, we use more ATP for muscle contraction, consume more oxygen, oxidize more fuel (which means burn more calories), and generate more heat from the electron transport chain. If we rest, and the rate of ATP utilization decreases, proton influx decreases, the electrochemical gradient increases, and proton “backpressure” decreases the rate of the electron transport chain. NADH and FAD(2H) cannot be oxidized as rapidly in the electron transport chain, and consequently, their build-up inhibits the enzymes that generate them. The system is poised to maintain very high levels of ATP at all times. In most tissues, the rate of ATP utilization is nearly constant over time. However, in skeletal muscles, the rates of ATP hydrolysis change dramatically as the muscle goes from rest to rapid contraction. Even under these circumstances, ATP concentration decreases by only approximately 20% because it is so rapidly regenerated. In the heart, Ca2 activation of TCA cycle enzymes provides an extra push to NADH generation, so that neither ATP nor NADH levels fall as ATP demand is increased. The electron transport chain has a very high capacity and can respond very rapidly to any increase in ATP utilization.

B. Uncoupling ATP Synthesis from Electron Transport When protons leak back into the matrix without going through the ATP synthase pore, they dissipate the electrochemical gradient across the membrane without generating ATP. This phenomenon is called “uncoupling” oxidative phosphorylation. It occurs with chemical compounds, known as uncouplers, and it occurs physiologically with uncoupling proteins that form proton conductance channels through the membrane. Uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation results in increased oxygen consumption and heat production as electron flow and proton pumping attempt to maintain the electrochemical gradient. 1.

391

Shivering results from muscular contraction, which increases the rate of ATP hydrolysis. As a consequence of proton entry for ATP synthesis, the electron transport chain is stimulated. Oxygen consumption increases, as does the amount of energy lost as heat by the electron transport chain.

NADH

5

e–

NAD+ H+

3

O2 H2O

1

4

ADP + Pi ATP Matrix

H+ 2 Cytosolic side

Fig. 21.10. The concentration of ADP (or the phosphate potential -[ATP]/[ADP][Pi]) controls the rate of oxygen consumption. (1) ADP is phosphorylated to ATP by ATP synthase. (2) The release of the ATP requires proton flow through ATP synthase into the matrix. (3) The use of protons from the intermembrane space for ATP synthesis decreases the proton gradient. (4) As a result, the electron transport chain pumps more protons, and oxygen is reduced to H2O. (5) As NADH donates electrons to the electron transport chain, NAD is regenerated and returns to the TCA cycle or other NADHproducing pathways.

CHEMICAL UNCOUPLERS OF OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION

Chemical uncouplers, also known as proton ionophores, are lipid-soluble compounds that rapidly transport protons from the cytosolic to the matrix side of the inner mitochondrial membrane (Fig. 21.11). Because the proton concentration is higher in the intermembrane space than in the matrix, uncouplers pick up protons from the intermembrane space. Their lipid solubility enables them to diffuse through the inner mitochondrial membrane while carrying protons and release these A skeletal muscle biopsy performed on Ivy Sharer indicated proliferation of subsarcolemmal mitochondria with degeneration of muscle fibers (ragged-red fibers) in approximately 55% of the total fibers observed. An analysis of mitochondrial (mtDNA) indicated no genetic mutations but did show a moderate quantitative depletion of mtDNA. Ivy Sharer’s AIDS was being treated with zidovudine (AZT), which also can act as an inhibitor of the mitochondrial DNA polymerase (polymerase ). A review of the drugs’ potential adverse effects showed that, rarely, it may cause varying degrees of mtDNA depeletion in different tissues, including skeletal muscle. The depletion may cause a severe mitochondrial myopathy, including “ragged-red fiber” accumulation within the skeletal muscle cells associated with ultrastructural abnormalities in their mitochondria.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Matrix H+ NO2 HO

H+ H+

NO2 H+ High [H+ ] causes outside protons to bond to DNP molecules

H+ NO2 –

O NO2

Low [H+ ] inside causes protons to dissociate from DNP molecules

Inner mitochondrial membrane

Fig. 21.11. Dinitrophenol (DNP) is lipid soluble and can therefore diffuse across the membrane. It has a dissociable proton with a pKa near 7.2. Thus, in the intermembrane space where [H ] is high (pH low), DNP picks up a proton, which it carries across the membrane. At the lower proton concentration of the matrix, the H dissociates. As a consequence, cells cannot maintain their electrochemical gradient or synthesize ATP. DNP was once recommended in the United States as a weight loss drug, based on the principle that decreased [ATP] and increased electron transport stimulate fuel oxidation. However, several deaths resulted from its use.

protons on the matrix side. The rapid influx of protons dissipates the electrochemical potential gradient; therefore, the mitochondria are unable to synthesize ATP. Eventually, mitochondrial integrity and function are lost. 2.

Salicylate, which is a degradation product of aspirin in the human, is lipid soluble and has a dissociable proton. In high concentrations, as in salicylate poisoning, salicylate is able to partially uncouple mitochondria. The decline of ATP concentration in the cell and consequent increase of AMP in the cytosol stimulates glycolysis. The overstimulation of the glycolytic pathway (see Chapter 22) results in increased levels of lactic acid in the blood and a metabolic acidosis. Fortunately, Dennis Veere did not develop this consequence of aspirin poisoning (see Chapter 4).

UNCOUPLING PROTEINS AND THERMOGENESIS

Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) form channels through the inner mitochondrial membrane that are able to conduct protons from the intermembrane space to the matrix, thereby short-circuiting ATP synthase. UCP1 (thermogenin) is associated with heat production in brown adipose tissue. The major function of brown adipose tissue is nonshivering thermogenesis, whereas the major function of white adipose tissue is the storage of triacylglycerols in white lipid droplets. The brown color arises from the large number of mitochondria that participate. Human infants, who have little voluntary control over their environment and may kick their blankets off at night, have brown fat deposits along the neck, the breastplate, between the scapulae, and around the kidneys to protect them from cold. However, there is very little brown fat in most adults. In response to cold, sympathetic nerve endings release norepinephrine, which activates a lipase in brown adipose tissue that releases fatty acids from triacylglycerols (Fig 21.12). Fatty acids serve as a fuel for the tissue (i.e., are oxidized to generate the electrochemical potential gradient and ATP) and participate directly in the proton conductance channel by activating UCP1 along with reduced CoQ. When UCP1 is activated by purine nucleotides, fatty acids, and CoQ, it transports protons from the cytosolic side of the inner mitochondrial membrane back into the mitochondrial matrix without ATP generation. Thus, it partially uncouples oxidative phosphorylation and generates additional heat. The uncoupling proteins exist as a family of proteins: UCP1 (thermogenin) is expressed in brown adipose tissue; UCP2 is found in most cells, UCP3 is found principally in skeletal muscle; UCP4 and UCP5 are found in the brain. These are highly regulated proteins that, when activated, increase the amount of energy from fuel oxidation that is being released as heat. Because they affect metabolic efficiency, differences in the level of UCPs (particularly skeletal muscle UCP3) may contribute to the tendency toward obesity in some individuals or populations. UCPs also may decrease the amount of reduced CoQ available to form oxygen free radicals, thereby decreasing mitochondrial and cell injury.

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

393

Hypothalamus Cold Sympathetic nerve

Heat

Norepinephrine

Triglyceride

Thermogenin

H+

Respiratory chain Mitochondrion

Fatty acid

O2

H2O

Brown fat cell

Fig. 21.12. Brown fat is a tissue specialized for nonshivering thermogenesis. Cold or excessive food intake stimulates the release of norepinephrine from the sympathetic nerve endings. As a result, a lipase is activated that releases fatty acids for oxidation. The proton conductance protein, thermogenin, is activated, and protons are brought into the matrix. This stimulates the electron transport chain, which increases its rate of NADH and FAD(2H) oxidation and produces more heat.

3.

PROTON LEAK AND RESTING METABOLIC RATE

A low level of proton leak across the inner mitochondrial membrane occurs in our mitochondria all of the time, and our mitochondria thus are normally partially uncoupled. It has been estimated that more than 20% of our resting metabolic rate is the energy expended to maintain the electrochemical gradient dissipated by our basal proton leak (also referred to as global proton leak). Some of the proton leak results from permeability of the membrane associated with proteins embedded in the lipid bilayer. An unknown amount may result from uncoupling proteins.

IV. TRANSPORT THROUGH INNER AND OUTER MITOCHONDRIAL MEMBRANES Most of the newly synthesized ATP that is released into the mitochondrial matrix must be transported out of the mitochondria, where it is used for energy-requiring processes such as active ion transport, muscle contraction, or biosynthetic reactions. Likewise, ADP, phosphate, pyruvate, and other metabolites must be transported into the matrix. This requires transport of compounds through both the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes.

A. Transport through the Inner Mitochondrial Membrane The inner mitochondrial membrane forms a tight permeability barrier to all polar molecules, including ATP, ADP, Pi, anions such as pyruvate, and cations such as Ca2, H, and K. Yet the process of oxidative phosphorylation depends on rapid and continuous transport of many of these molecules across the inner mitochondrial membrane (Fig. 21.13). Ions and other polar molecules are transported across the inner mitochondrial membrane by specific protein translocases that nearly balance charge during the transport process. Most of the exchange transport is a form of active transport that generally uses energy from the electrochemical potential gradient, either the membrane potential or the proton gradient.

The inner and outer membranes differ substantially in their lipid content. The inner mitochondrial membrane is 22% cardiolipin and contains almost no cholesterol. The outer membrane resembles the cell membrane; it is less than 3% cardiolipin and approximately 45% cholesterol.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

HK ADP

Membrane potential + ++++ ––––

Proton gradient

Pi, Pyruvate ANT O

ATP ––––

O2

HO

H+

O–

P –

H+

O

Mitochondrial matrix

H+

ne

ADP + Pi

H+ Symport

em

Citrate

bra

ATP

+

AC VD

Electrochemical potential gradient

ATP – – – Antiport ADP ATP –ADP translocase

––

Inn

++

Ca2+

H+

er

m

COO– C

O

Symport CH3

Fig. 21.13. Transport of compounds across the inner and outer mitochondrial membranes. The electrochemical potential gradient drives the transport of ions across the inner mitochondrial membrane on specific translocases. Each translocase is composed of specific membranespanning helices that bind only specific compounds (ANT; adenine nucleotide translocase). In contrast, the outer membrane contains relatively large unspecific pores called VDAC (voltage-dependent anion channels) through which a wide range of ions diffuse. These bind cytosolic proteins such as hexokinase (HK), which enables HK to have access to newly exported ATP.

ANT is an antiport, an exchange protein that translocates one ion in exchange for a molecule of similar charge. In contrast, the phosphate transporter and the pyruvate transporter are symports, which are translocases that co-transport two molecules of opposite charge. The Ca2 channel is called a uniporter because no other ions are involved. All of the metabolites entering or leaving the TCA cycle are transported across the inner mitochondrial membrane by specific transport proteins. This includes the dicarboxylate transporter (phosphate–malate exchange), the tricarboxylate transporter (citrate–malate exchange), the aspartate-glutamate transporter, and the malate--ketoglutarate transporter.

Investigators reported finding antibodies against cardiac ATP-ADP translocase in an individual who died of a viral cardiomyopathy. How could these antibodies result in death?

ATP-ADP translocase (also called ANT for adenine nucleotide translocase) transports ATP formed in the mitochondrial matrix to the intermembrane space in a specific 1:1 exchange for ADP produced from energy-requiring reactions outside of the mitochondria (see Fig. 21.13). Because ATP contains four negative charges and ADP only three, the exchange is promoted by the electrochemical potential gradient, because the net effect is the transport of one negative charge from the matrix to the cytosol. Similar antiports exist for most metabolic anions. In contrast, inorganic phosphate and pyruvate are transported into the mitochondrial matrix on specific transporters called symports together with a proton. A specific transport protein for Ca2 uptake, called the Ca2 uniporter, is driven by the electrochemical potential gradient, which is negatively charged on the matrix side of the membrane relative to the cytosolic side.

B. Transport through the Outer Mitochondrial Membrane Whereas the inner mitochondrial membrane is highly impermeable, the outer mitochondrial membrane is permeable to compounds with a molecular weight up to approximately 6,000 daltons because it contains large nonspecific pores called voltage-dependent anion channels (VDAC) that are formed by mitochondrial porins (see Fig. 21.13). Unlike most transport proteins, which are membrane-spanning helices with specific binding sites, VDACs are composed of porin homodimers that form a -barrel with a relatively large nonspecific water-filled pore through the center. These channels are “open” at low transmembrane potential, with a preference for anions such as phosphate, chloride, pyruvate, citrate, and adenine nucleotides.

CHAPTER 21 / OXIDATIVE PHOSPHORYLATION AND MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

As ATP is hydrolyzed during muscular contraction, ADP is formed. This ADP must exchange into the mitochondria on ATP-ADP translocase to be converted back to ATP. Inhibition of ATP-ADP translocase results in rapid depletion of the cytosol ATP levels and loss of cardiac contractility.

VDACs thus facilitate translocation of these anions between the intermembrane space and the cytosol. A number of cytosolic kinases, such as the hexokinase that initiates glycolysis, bind to the cytosolic side of the channel, where they have ready access to newly synthesized ATP.

C. The Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore The mitochondrial permeability transition involves the opening of a large nonspecific pore (called MPTP, the mitochondrial permeability transition pore) through the inner mitochondrial membrane and outer membranes at sites where they form a junction (Fig. 21.14). The basic components of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore are adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT), the voltage-dependant anion channel (VDAC), and cyclophilin D (which is a cis-trans isomerase for the proline peptide bond). Normally ANT is a closed pore that functions specifically in a 1:1 exchange of matrix ATP for ADP in the intermembrane space. However, increased mitochondrial matrix Ca2, excess phosphate, or ROS (reactive oxygen species that form oxygen or oxygen–nitrogen radicals) can activate opening of the pore. Conversely, ATP on the cytosolic side of the pore (and possibly a pH below 7.0) and a membrane potential across the inner membrane protect against pore opening. Opening of the MPTP can be triggered by ischemia (hypoxia), which results in a temporary lack of O2 for maintaining the proton gradient and ATP synthesis. When the proton gradient is not being generated by the electron transport chain, ATP synthase runs backward and hydrolyzes ATP in an attempt to restore the gradient, thus rapidly depleting cellular levels of ATP. As ATP is hydrolyzed to ADP, the ADP is converted to adenine, and the nucleotide pool is no longer able to protect against pore opening. This can lead to a downward spiral of cellular events. A lack of ATP for maintaining the low intracellular Ca2 can contribute to pore opening. When the MPTP pore opens, protons will flood in, and maintaining a proton gradient becomes impossible. Anions and cations enter the matrix, mitochondrial swelling ensues, and the mitochondria become irreversibly damaged. The result is cell lysis and death (necrosis).

CLINICAL COMMENTS Cora Nari. Thrombolysis stimulated by intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) restored O2 to Cora Nari’s heart muscle and successfully decreased the extent of ischemic damage. The rationale for the use of TPA within 4 to 6 hours after the onset of a myocardial infarction relates

395

In addition to a normal role in movement of molecules across the mitochondrial outer membrane, VDACs appear to have roles in processes leading to cell death. These roles are influenced by proteins that bind to the VDACs. By forming a component of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, VDACs may contribute to events leading to cell necrosis. Alternatively, binding of pro-apoptotic or anti-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family may change the permeability of the outer membrane so as to either favor or block events leading to programmed cell death (apoptosis).

Outer mitochondrial membrane

Inner mitochondrial membrane Bax Ca2+ Pi ROS ∆p

+ –

ANT

V D A C

ATP [H+ ]

CD Bcl-2

Inter membrane space

Fig. 21.14. The mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). In the MPTP, ANT is thought to complex with VDAC. The conformation of ANT is regulated by cyclophilin D (CD), and Ca2. VDACs bind a number of proteins, including Bcl2 and Bax, which regulate apoptosis. The change to an open pore is activated by Ca2 , depletion of adenine nucleotides, and oxygen radicals (ROS) that alter SH groups. It is inhibited by the electrochemical potential gradient (p), by cytosolic ATP, and by a low cytosolic pH.

As infusion of TPA lysed the clot blocking blood flow to Cora Nari’s heart, oxygenated blood was reintroduced into the ischemic heart. Although oxygen may rapidly restore the capacity to generate ATP, it often increases cell death, a phenomenon called ischemia–reperfusion injury. During ischemia, a number of factors may protect heart cells against ireversible injury and cell death until oxygen is reintroduced. The stimulation of anaerobic glycolysis in the cytosol generates ATP without oxygen as glucose is converted to lactic acid. Lactic acid decreases cytosolic pH. Both cytosolic ATP and a lowering of the pH protect against opening of the MPTP. In addition, Ca2 uptake by mitochondria requires a membrane potential, and it is matrix Ca2 that activates opening of the MPTP. Thus, depending on the severity of the ischemic insult, the MPTP may not open, or may open and reseal, until oxygen is reintroduced. Then, depending on the sequence of events, reestablishment of the proton gradient, mitochondrial uptake of Ca2, or an increase of pH above 7.0 may activate the MPTP before the cell has recovered. In addition, the reintroduction of O2 generates oxygen free radicals, particularly through free radical forms of CoQ in the electron transport chain. These also may open the MPTP. The role of free radicals in ischemia–reperfusion injury is covered in more detail in Chapter 24.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

to the function of the normal intrinsic fibrinolytic system (see Chapter 45). This system is designed to dissolve unwanted intravascular clots through the action of the enzyme plasmin, a protease that digests the fibrin matrix within the clot. TPA stimulates the conversion of plasminogen to its active form, plasmin. The result is a lysis of the thrombus and improved blood flow through the previously obstructed vessel, allowing fuels and oxygen to reach the heart cells. The human TPA protein used in Mrs. Nari is produced by recombinant DNA technology (see Chapter 17). This treatment rapidly restored oxygen supply to the heart. In addition to increased transcription of genes encoding TCA cycle enzymes and certain other enzymes of fuel oxidation, thyroid hormones increase the level of UCP2 and UCP3. In hyperthyroidism, the efficiency with which energy is derived from the oxidation of these fuels is significantly less than normal. As a consequence of the increased rate of the electron transport chain, hyperthyroidism results in increased heat production. Patients with hyperthyroidism, such as X.S. Teefore, complain of constantly feeling hot and sweaty.

X.S. Teefore. Mr. Teefore could be treated with antithyroid drugs, by subtotal resection of the thyroid gland, or with radioactive iodine. Successful treatment normalizes thyroid hormone secretion, and all of the signs, symptoms, and metabolic alterations of hyperthyroidism quickly subside. Ivy Sharer. In the case of Ivy Sharer, a diffuse myopathic process was superimposed on her AIDS and her pulmonary tuberculosis, either of which could have caused progressive weakness. In addition, she could have been suffering from a congenital mtDNA myopathy, symptomatic only as she ages. A systematic diagnostic process, however, finally led her physician to conclude that her myopathy was caused by a disorder of oxidative phosphorylation induced by her treatment with zidovudine (AZT). Fortunately, when AZT was discontinued, Ivy’s myopathic symptoms gradually subsided. A repeat skeletal muscle biopsy performed 4 months later showed that her skeletal muscle cell mtDNA had been restored to normal and that she had experienced a reversible drug-induced disorder of oxidative phosphorylation.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS

Cytochrome c allosterically activates cytosolic apoptosis activating factor (Apaf-1), which activates the initiator caspase-9. Caspase-9, in turn, activates effector caspases-3, -6, and -7 through proteolytic cleavage, which then degrade cytoplasmic proteins. AIF, which has a nuclear targeting sequence, is transported into the nucleus, where it initiates chromatin condensation and degradation. Caspase-2 and caspase-9 also activate CAD, which migrates to the nucleus and hydrolyzes bonds in nuclear DNA.

Mitochondria and Apoptosis The loss of mitochondrial integrity is a major route initiating apoptosis (see Chapter 18, section V). The intermembrane space contains procaspases 2, 3, and 9, which are proteolytic enzymes that are in the zymogen form (i.e., must be proteolytically cleaved to be active). It also contains apoptosis initiating factor (AIF) and caspase-activated DNAase (CAD). Cytochrome c, which is loosely bound to the outer mitochondrial membrane, may also enter the intermembrane space when the electrochemical potential gradient is lost. The release of cytochrome c and the other proteins into the cytosol initiates apoptosis. But how are cytochrome c and the other proteins released? The VDAC pore is not large enough to allow the passage of proteins. A number of theories have been proposed, each supported and contradicted by experimental evidence. One is that Bax (a member of the Bcl-2 family of proteins that forms an ion channel in the outer mitochondrial membrane) allows the entry of ions into the intermembrane space, causing swelling of this space and rupture of the outer mitochondrial membrane. Another theory is that Bax and VDAC (which is known to bind Bax and other Bcl-2 family members) combine to form an extremely large pore, much larger than formed by either alone. Finally, it is possible that the MPTP or ANT participate in rupture of the outer membrane, but close in a way that still provides the energy for apoptosis. Suggested References Boyer PD. A perspective of the binding change mechanism for ATP synthesis. FASEB J 1989;3:2164–2178. Brown GC. Control of respiration and ATP synthesis in mammalian mitochondria and cells. Biochem J 1992;284:1–11.

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Lactic acidosis and mitochondrial myopathy in a young woman. Nutr Rev 1988;46:157–163. Halestrap AP. The mitochondrial permeability transition: its molecular mechanism and role in reperfusion injury. Biochem Soc Symp 1999;66:181–203. Lowell BB, Spiegelman BM. Towards a molecular understanding of adaptive thermogenesis. Nature 2000;404:652–660. Olson RD, Mushlin PS. Doxorubicin cardiotoxicity: analysis of prevailing hypotheses. FASEB J 1990;4:3076–3086. Shoffner JM. Oxidative phosphorylation diseases. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, vol II. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:2367–2424.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 21 1.

Consider the following experiment. Carefully isolated liver mitochondria are incubated in the presence of a limiting amount of malate. Three minutes after adding the substrate, cyanide is added, and the reaction is allowed to proceed for another 7 minutes. At this point, which of the following components of the electron transfer chain will be in an oxidized state? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

Consider the following experiment. Carefully isolated liver mitochondria are placed in a weakly buffered solution. Malate is added as an energy source, and an increase in oxygen consumption confirms that the electron transfer chain is functioning properly within these organelles. Valinomycin and potassium are then added to the mitochondrial suspension. Valinomycin is a drug that allows potassium ions to freely cross the inner mitochondrial membrane. What is the effect of valinomycin on the proton motive force that had been generated by the oxidation of malate? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

The proton motive force will be reduced to a value of zero There will be no change in the proton motive force The proton motive force will be increased The proton motive force will be decreased, but to a value greater than zero The proton motive force will be decreased to a value less than zero

Dinitrophenol acts as an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation by which of the following mechanisms? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

Complex I Complex II Complex III Coenzyme Q Cytochrome C

Activating the H-ATPase Activating coenzyme Q Blocking proton transport across the inner mitochondrial membrane Allowing for proton exchange across the inner mitochondrial membrane Enhancing oxygen transport across the inner mitochondrial membrane

A 25-year-old female presents with chronic fatigue. A series of blood tests are ordered, and the results suggest that her red blood cell count is low because of iron deficiency anemia. Such a deficiency would lead to fatigue because of which of the following? (A) Her decrease in Fe-S centers is impairing the transfer of electrons in the electron transport chain. (B) She is not producing as much H2O in the electron transport chain, leading to dehydration, which has resulted in fatigue. (C) Iron forms a chelate with NADH and FAD(2H) that is necessary for them to donate their electrons to the electron transport chain. (D) Iron acts as a cofactor for -ketoglutarate DH in the TCA cycle, a reaction required for the flow of electrons through the electron transport chain. (E) Iron accompanies the protons that are pumped from the mitochondrial matrix to the cytosolic side of the inner mitochondrial membrane. Without iron, the proton gradient cannot be maintained to produce adequate ATP.

398

5.

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Which of the following would be expected for a patient with an OXPHOS disease? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

A high ATP:ADP ratio in the mitochondria A high NADH:NAD ratio in the mitochondria A deletion on the X chromosome A high activity of complex II of the electron transport chain A defect in the integrity of the inner mitochondrial membrane

22

Generation of ATP from Glucose: Glycolysis

Glucose is the universal fuel for human cells. Every cell type in the human is able to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from glycolysis, the pathway in which glucose is oxidized and cleaved to form pyruvate. The importance of glycolysis in our fuel economy is related to the availability of glucose in the blood, as well as the ability of glycolysis to generate ATP in both the presence and absence of O2. Glucose is the major sugar in our diet and the sugar that circulates in the blood to ensure that all cells have a continuous fuel supply. The brain uses glucose almost exclusively as a fuel. Glycolysis begins with the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose 6-phosphate (glucose-6-P) by hexokinase (HK). In subsequent steps of the pathway, one glucose-6-P molecule is oxidized to two pyruvate molecules with generation of two molecules of NADH (Fig. 22.1). A net generation of two molecules of ATP occurs through direct transfer of high-energy phosphate from intermediates of the pathway to ADP (substrate level phosphorylation). Glycolysis occurs in the cytosol and generates cytosolic NADH. Because NADH cannot cross the inner mitochondrial membrane, its reducing equivalents are transferred to the electron transport chain by either the malate-aspartate shuttle or the glycerol 3-phosphate shuttle (see Fig. 22.1). Pyruvate is then oxidized completely to CO2 by pyruvate dehydrogenase and the TCA cycle. Complete aerobic oxidation of glucose to CO2 can generate approximately 30 to 32 moles of ATP per mole of glucose. When cells have a limited supply of oxygen (e.g., kidney medulla), or few or no mitrochondria (e.g., the red cell), or greatly increased demands for ATP (e.g., skeletal muscle during high-intensity exercise), they rely on anaerobic glycolysis for generation of ATP. In anaerobic glycolysis, lactate dehydrogenase oxidizes the NADH generated from glycolysis by reducing pyruvate to lactate (Fig. 22.2). Because O2 is not required to reoxidize the NADH, the pathway is referred to as anaerobic. The energy yield from anaerobic glycolysis (2 moles of ATP per mole of glucose) is much lower than the yield from aerobic oxidation. The lactate (lactic acid) is released into the blood. Under pathologic conditions that cause hypoxia, tissues may generate enough lactic acid to cause lactic acidemia. In each cell, glycolysis is regulated to ensure that ATP homeostasis is maintained, without using more glucose than necessary. In most cell types, hexokinase (HK), the first enzyme of glycolysis, is inhibited by glucose 6-phosphate (see Fig. 22.1). Thus, glucose is not taken up and phosphorylated by a cell unless glucose-6-P enters a metabolic pathway, such as glycolysis or glycogen synthesis. The control of glucose-6-P entry into glycolysis occurs at phosphofructokinase-1(PFK-1), the rate-limiting enzyme of the pathway. PFK-1 is allosterically inhibited by ATP and allosterically activated by AMP. AMP increases in the cytosol as ATP is hydrolyzed by energy-requiring reactions.

For glucose 6-phosphate and other sugar phosphoesters, the phosphate group will be denoted with “P,” as in glucose-6-P.

399

400

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Glucose ATP

hexokinase

Glucose-6-P

Fructose-6-P ATP

phosphofructokinase-1

Fructose-1,6-bisP 2 NADH 4 ATP Pyruvate Shuttle system Pyruvate Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

H+

H+ Electron transport chain

O2 CO2 H2O NADH ADP + Pi ATP

ATP synthase Mitochondrion

H+

Fig. 22.1. Overview of glycolysis and the TCA cycle.

Glycolysis has functions in addition to ATP production. For example, in liver and adipose tissue, this pathway generates pyruvate as a precursor for fatty acid biosynthesis. Glycolysis also provides precursors for the synthesis of compounds such as amino acids and 5-carbon sugar phosphates. Glucose ATP NADH Pyruvate

THE

WAITING

ROOM

NADH Lactate Anaerobic glycolysis

Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

Fig. 22.2. Anaerobic glycolysis (shown in blue). The conversion of glucose to lactate generates 2 ATP from substrate-level phosphorylation. Because there is no net generation of NADH, there is no need for O2, and, thus, the pathway is anaerobic.

Lopa Fusor is a 68-year-old woman who is admitted to the hospital emergency room with very low blood pressure (80/40 mm Hg) caused by an acute hemorrhage from a previously diagnosed ulcer of the stomach. Lopa’s bleeding stomach ulcer has reduced her effective blood volume severely enough to compromise her ability to perfuse (deliver blood to) her tissues. She is, therefore, a “low perfuser.” She is also known to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a result of 42 years of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day. Her respiratory rate is rapid and labored, her skin is cold and clammy, and her lips are slightly blue (cyanotic). She appears anxious and moderately confused.

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

As appropriate emergency measures are taken to stabilize her and elevate her blood pressure, blood is sent for immediate blood typing and cross-matching, so that blood transfusions can be started. A battery of laboratory tests are ordered, including venous hemoglobin, hematocrit, and lactate levels, and arterial blood pH, partial pressures of oxygen (pO2) and carbon dioxide (pCO2), bicarbonate, and oxygen saturation. Results show that the hemorrhaging and COPD have resulted in hypoxemia, with decreased oxygen delivery to her tissues, and both a respiratory and metabolic acidosis. Otto Shape, a 26-year-old medical student, had gained weight during his first sedentary year in medical school. During his second year, he began watching his diet, jogging for an hour 4 times each week, and playing tennis twice a week. He has decided to compete in a 5-km race. To prepare for the race, he begins training with wind sprints, bouts of alternately running and walking. Ivan Applebod is a 56-year-old morbidly obese accountant (see Chapters 1–3). He decided to see his dentist because he felt excruciating pain in his teeth when he ate ice cream. He really likes sweets and keeps hard candy in his pocket. The dentist noted from Mr. Applebod’s history that he had numerous cavities as a child in his baby teeth. At this visit, the dentist found cavities in two of Mr.Applebod’s teeth.

I.

401

The hematocrit (the percentage of the volume of blood occupied by packed red blood cells) and hemoglobin content (g hemoglobin in 100 mL blood) are measured to determine whether the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is adequate. They can be decreased by conditions that interfere with erythropoiesis (synthesis of red blood cells in bone marrow), such as iron deficiency. They also can be decreased during chronic bleeding, but not during immediate acute hemorrhage, if interstitial fluid replaces the lost blood volume and dilutes out the red blood cells. The pCO2 and pO2 are the partial pressures of CO2 and O2 in the blood. The pO2 and oxygen saturation determine whether adequate oxygen is available for tissues. Measurement of the pCO2 and bicarbonate can distinguish between a metabolic and a respiratory acidosis (see Chapter 4).

GLYCOLYSIS

Glycolysis is one of the principle pathways for generating ATP in cells and is present in all cell types. The central role of glycolysis in fuel metabolism is related to its ability to generate ATP with, and without, oxygen. The oxidation of glucose to pyruvate generates ATP from substrate-level phosphorylation (the transfer of phosphate from high-energy intermediates of the pathway to ADP) and NADH. Subsequently, the pyruvate may be oxidized to CO2 in the TCA cycle and ATP generated from electron transfer to oxygen in oxidative phosphorylation. However, if the pyruvate and NADH from glycolysis are converted to lactate (anaerobic glycolysis), ATP can be generated in the absence of oxygen, via substrate-level phosphorylation. Glucose is readily available from our diet, internal glycogen stores, and the blood. Carbohydrate provides 50% or more of the calories in most diets, and glucose is the major carbohydrate. Other dietary sugars, such as fructose and galactose, are oxidized by conversion to intermediates of glycolysis. Glucose is stored in cells as glycogen, which can provide an internal source of fuel for glycolysis in emergency situations (e.g., decreased supply of fuels and oxygen during ischemia, a low blood flow). Insulin and other hormones maintain blood glucose at a constant level (glucose homeostasis), thereby ensuring that glucose is always available to cells that depend on glycolysis for generation of ATP. In addition to serving as an anaerobic and aerobic source of ATP, glycolysis is an anabolic pathway that provides biosynthetic precursors. For example, in liver and adipose tissue, this pathway generates pyruvate as a precursor for fatty acid biosynthesis. Glycolysis also provides precursors for the synthesis of compounds such as amino acids and ribose-5-phosphate, the precursor of nucleotides. The integration of glycolysis with other anabolic pathways is discussed in Chapter 36.

A. The Reactions of Glycolysis The glycolytic pathway, which cleaves 1 mole of glucose to 2 moles of the 3-carbon compound pyruvate, consists of a preparative phase and an ATP-generating phase. In the initial preparative phase of glycolysis, glucose is phosphorylated

After a high-carbohydrate meal, glucose is the major fuel for almost all tissues. Exceptions include intestinal mucosal cells, which transport glucose from the gut into the blood, and cells in the proximal convoluted tubule of the kidney, which return glucose from the renal filtrate to the blood. During fasting, the brain continues to oxidize glucose because it has a limited capacity for the oxidation of fatty acids or other fuels. Cells also continue to use glucose for the portion of their ATP generation that must be met by anaerobic glycolysis, due to either a limited oxygen supply or a limited capacity for oxidative phosphorylation (e.g., the red blood cell).

402

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Glucose Phase I: Preparative phase

ATP ATP

Fructose 1,6 – bisphosphate

2 Triose phosphates

Phase II: ATP–generating phase

2 NADH 2 ATP 2 ATP 2 Pyruvate

Fig. 22.3. Phases of the glycolytic pathway.

CH2OH O H

H

HO OH H

H OH OH

Glucose ATP ADP

hexokinase glucokinase (liver)

2–

CH2OPO3 O H

H

HO OH H

H OH OH

twice by ATP and cleaved into two triose phosphates (Fig. 22.3). The ATP expenditure in the beginning of the preparative phase is sometimes called “priming the pump,” because this initial utilization of 2 moles of ATP/ mole of glucose results in the production of 4 moles of ATP/mole of glucose in the ATP-generating phase. In the ATP-generating phase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (a triose phosphate) is oxidized by NAD and phosphorylated using inorganic phosphate. The highenergy phosphate bond generated in this step is transferred to ADP to form ATP. The remaining phosphate is also rearranged to form another high-energy phosphate bond that is transferred to ADP. Because there were 2 moles of triose phosphate formed, the yield from the ATP-generating phase is 4 ATP and 2 NADH. The result is a net yield of 2 moles of ATP, 2 moles of NADH, and 2 moles of pyruvate per mole of glucose. 1.

CONVERSION OF GLUCOSE TO GLUCOSE 6-PHOSPHATE

Glucose metabolism begins with transfer of a phosphate from ATP to glucose to form glucose-6-P (Fig. 22.4). Phosphorylation of glucose commits it to metabolism within the cell because glucose-6-P cannot be transported back across the plasma membrane. The phosphorylation reaction is irreversible under physiologic conditions because the reaction has a high negative G0. Phosphorylation does not, however, commit glucose to glycolysis. Glucose-6-P is a branchpoint in carbohydrate metabolism. It is a precursor for almost every pathway that uses glucose, including glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and glycogen synthesis. From the opposite point of view, it also can be generated from other pathways of carbohydrate metabolism, such as glycogenolysis (breakdown of glycogen), the pentose phosphate pathway, and gluconeogenesis (the synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources). Hexokinases, the enzymes that catalyze the phosphorylation of glucose, are a family of tissue-specific isoenzymes that differ in their kinetic properties. The isoenzyme found in liver and cells of the pancreas has a much higher Km than other hexokinases and is called glucokinase. In many cells, some of the hexokinase is bound to porins in the outer mitochondrial membrane (voltage-dependent anion channels; see Chapter 21), which gives these enzymes first access to newly synthesized ATP as it exits the mitochondria.

Glucose–6– P

2. Other Glycolysis pathways

Pentose phosphate pathway

Glycogen synthesis

Fig. 22.4. Glucose 6-phosphate metabolism.

Hexokinases, other kinases, and many other enzymes that catalyze reactions involving the hydrolysis of ATP require Mg2. The Mg2 forms a complex with the phosphate groups of ATP. Kinases also require K.

CONVERSION OF GLUCOSE-6-P TO THE TRIOSE PHOSPHATES

In the remainder of the preparative phase of glycolysis, glucose-6-P is isomerized to fructose 6-phosphate (fructose-6-P), again phosphorylated, and subsequently cleaved into two 3-carbon fragments (Fig 22.5). The isomerization, which positions a keto group next to carbon 3, is essential for the subsequent cleavage of the bond between carbons 3 and 4. The next step of glycolysis, phosphorylation of fructose-6-P to fructose 1,6bisphosphate (fructose-1,6-bisP) by phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), is generally considered the first committed step of the pathway. This phosphorylation requires ATP and is thermodynamically and kinetically irreversible. Therefore, PFK-1 irrevocably commits glucose to the glycolytic pathway. PFK-1 is a regulated enzyme in cells, and its regulation controls the entry of glucose into glycolysis. Like hexokinase, it exists as tissue-specific isoenzymes whose regulatory properties match variations in the role of glycolysis in different tissues. Fructose-1,6-bisP is cleaved into two phosphorylated 3-carbon compounds (triose phosphates) by aldolase (see Fig. 22.5). Dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) is isomerized to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (glyceraldehyde-3-P), which is a triose phosphate. Thus, for every mole of glucose entering glycolysis, 2 moles of glyceraldehyde-3-P continue through the pathway.

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

403

O

O H

C

H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

ATP

H

C

H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

ADP

hexokinase (glucokinase in liver)

CH2OH C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

phosphoglucose isomerase

2– CH2OPO3

CH2OH

2–

CH2OPO3

Fructose 6– phosphate

Glucose 6– phosphate

D – Glucose

Portion isomerized from aldehyde to keto sugar

ATP phosphofructokinase –1 2–

CH2OPO3

ADP

C

O

2–

CH2OPO3 Aldol cleavage

C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OH aldolase

Dihydroxyacetone phosphate

triose phosphate isomerase

O 2–

CH2OPO3

H

C

H

C

OH 2–

Fructose 1,6 – bisphosphate

CH2OPO3

Glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate Pi

glyceraldehyde 3 –phosphate dehydrogenase

NAD+ NADH + H+ High energy acyl-phosphate H

O 2–

C ~ OPO3 C

OH 2–

CH2OPO3

1,3 – Bisphosphoglycerate ADP High energy enolic phosphate C C

ATP

O

O –

O

ATP ADP

O

CH3 Pyruvate

pyruvate kinase

O –

C

O

C~

2– OPO3

CH2 Phosphoenol pyruvate

phosphoglycerate kinase

H2O H enolase

O –

C

O

C

2– OPO3

CH2OH 2 – Phosphoglycerate

H phosphoglycero – mutase

C

O–

C

OH 2–

CH2OPO3

3 – Phosphoglycerate

Fig. 22.5. Reactions of glycolysis. High-energy phosphates are shown in blue.

Aldolase is named for the mechanism of the forward reaction, which is an aldol cleavage, and the mechanism of the reverse reaction, which is an aldol condensation. The enzyme exists as tissue-specific isoenzymes, which all catalyze the cleavage of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate but differ in their specificities for fructose 1-P. The enzyme uses a lysine residue at the active site to form a covalent bond with the substrate during the course of the reaction. Inability to form this covalent linkage inactivates the enzyme.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

3.

Kinases transfer a phosphate from ATP to another compound. Hexokinase transfers a phosphate to glucose or another hexose to form a hexose phosphate. 3-Phosphoglycerate kinase is named for the reaction that is the reverse of glycolysis, transfer of phosphate from ATP to 3-phosphoglycerate to form 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate. Pyruvate kinase is also named for the reverse reaction (phosphorylation of pyruvate by ATP), although this direction does not occur under physiologic conditions.

OXIDATION AND SUBSTRATE LEVEL PHOSPHORYLATION

In the next part of the glycolytic pathway, glyceraldehyde-3-P is oxidized and phosphorylated so that subsequent intermediates of glycolysis can donate phosphate to ADP to generate ATP. The first reaction in this sequence, catalyzed by glyceraldehyde-3-P dehydrogenase, is really the key to the pathway (see Fig. 22.5). This enzyme oxidizes the aldehyde group of glyceraldehyde-3-P to an enzyme-bound carboxyl group and transfers the electrons to NAD to form NADH. The oxidation step is dependent on a cysteine residue at the active site of the enzyme, which forms a high-energy thioester bond during the course of the reaction. The high-energy intermediate immediately accepts an inorganic phosphate to form the high-energy acyl phosphate bond in 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate, releasing the product from the cysteine residue on the enzyme. This high-energy phosphate bond is the start of substrate-level phosphorylation (the formation of a high-energy phosphate bond where none previously existed, without the utilization of oxygen). In the next reaction, the phosphate in this bond is transferred to ADP to form ATP by 3-phosphoglycerate kinase. The energy of the acyl phosphate bond is high enough (13 kcal/mole) so that transfer to ADP is an energetically favorable process. 3-phosphoglycerate is also a product of this reaction. To transfer the remaining low-energy phosphoester on 3-phosphoglycerate to ADP, it must be converted into a high-energy bond. This conversion is accomplished by moving the phosphate to the second carbon (forming 2-phosphoglycerate) and then removing water to form phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). The enolphosphate bond is a high-energy bond (its hydrolysis releases approximately 14 kcal/mole of energy), so the transfer of phosphate to ADP by pyruvate kinase is energetically favorable (see Fig. 22.5). This final reaction converts PEP to pyruvate. 4.

SUMMARY OF THE GLYCOLYTIC PATHWAY

The overall net reaction in the glycolytic pathway is: Glucose 2NAD+ 2Pi 2ADP S 2Pyruvate 2NADH 4H 2ATP 2H2O The pathway occurs with an overall negative G0 of approximately –22 kcal. Therefore, it cannot be reversed without the expenditure of energy.

B. Oxidative Fates of Pyruvate and NADH The confusion experienced by Lopa Fusor in the emergency room is caused by an inadequate delivery of oxygen to the brain. Neurons have very high ATP requirements, and most of this ATP is provided by aerobic oxidation of glucose to pyruvate in glycolysis, and pyruvate oxidation to CO2 in the TCA cycle. The brain has little or no capacity to oxidize fatty acids, and, therefore, its glucose consumption is high (approximately 125–150 g/day in the adult). Its oxygen demands are also high. If cerebral oxygen supply were completely interrupted, the brain would last only 10 seconds. The only reason consciousness lasts longer during anoxia or asphyxia is that there is still some oxygen in the lungs and in circulating blood. A decrease of blood flow to approximately 1⁄2 of the normal rate results in a loss of consciousness.

The NADH produced from glycolysis must be continuously reoxidized back to NAD to provide an electron acceptor for the glyceraldehyde-3-P dehydrogenase reaction and prevent product inhibition. Without oxidation of this NADH, glycolysis cannot continue. There are two alternate routes for oxidation of cytosolic NADH (Fig. 22.6). One route is aerobic, involving shuttles that transfer reducing equivalents across the mitochondrial membrane and ultimately to the electron transport chain and oxygen (see Fig. 22.6A). The other route is anaerobic (without the use of oxygen). In anaerobic glycolysis, NADH is reoxidized in the cytosol by lactate dehydrogenase, which reduces pyruvate to lactate (see Fig. 22.6B). The fate of pyruvate depends on the route used for NADH oxidation. If NADH is reoxidized in a shuttle system, pyruvate can be used for other pathways, one of which is oxidation to acetyl-CoA and entry into the TCA cycle for complete oxidation. Alternatively, in anaerobic glycolysis, pyruvate is reduced to lactate and diverted away from other potential pathways. Thus, the use of the shuttle systems allows for more ATP to be generated than by anaerobic glycolysis by both oxidizing the cytoplasmically derived NADH in the electron transport chain and by allowing pyruvate to be oxidized completely to CO2. The reason that shuttles are required for the oxidation of cytosolic NADH by the electron transport chain is that the inner mitochondrial membrane is impermeable

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

A. Aerobic glycolysis

B. Anaerobic glycolysis

Glucose 2 ADP + 2Pi

405

Glucose 2 NAD+

2 NADH+ + 2H+ 2 Pyruvate

2 ATP

X

XH2 Glycerol– 3 – P and Malate– aspartate shuttles

2 ADP + 2Pi

Electron transport chain

2 NAD+

2 NADH+ + 2H+ 2 Pyruvate 2 Lactate Lactate dehydrogenase

2 ATP

Acetyl CoA NADH TCA cycle

CO2

O2

H2O ADP + Pi

FAD(2H) ATP Mitochondrion

Fig. 22.6. Alternate fates of pyruvate. A. The pyruvate produced by glycolysis enters mitochondria and is oxidized to CO2 and H2O. The reducing equivalents in NADH enter mitochondria via a shuttle system. B. Pyruvate is reduced to lactate in the cytosol, thereby using the reducing equivalents in NADH.

to NADH, and no transport protein exists that can directly translocate NADH across this membrane. Consequently, NADH is reoxidized to NAD in the cytosol by a reaction that transfers the electrons to DHAP in the glycerol 3-phosphate (glycerol3-P) shuttle and oxaloacetate in the malate–aspartate shuttle. The NAD that is formed in the cytosol returns to glycolysis while glycerol-3-P or malate carry the reducing equivalents that are ultimately transferred across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Thus, these shuttles transfer electrons and not NADH per se. 1.

Pyruvate

NAD+

NADHcytosol H FADmitochondria S NAD cytosol FAD(2H)mitochondria MALATE–ASPARTATE SHUTTLE

Many tissues contain both the glycerol-3-P shuttle and the malate–aspartate shuttle. In the malate–aspartate shuttle (Fig. 22.8), cytosolic NAD is regenerated by cytosolic malate dehydrogenase, which transfers electrons from NADH to cytosolic oxaloacetate to form malate. Malate is transported across the inner mitochondrial membrane by a specific translocase, which exchanges malate for -ketoglutarate. In the matrix, malate is oxidized back to oxaloacetate by mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase, and NADH is generated. This NADH can donate electrons to the electron transport chain with generation of approximately 2.5 moles of ATP per mole of NADH. The newly formed oxaloacetate cannot pass back through the inner mitochondrial membrane under physiologic conditions, so aspartate is used to

NADH + H+ Cytosolic glycerol-3-P dehydrogenase

GLYCEROL 3–PHOSPHATE SHUTTLE

The glycerol 3–phosphate shuttle is the major shuttle in most tissues. In this shuttle, cytosolic NAD is regenerated by cytoplasmic glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, which transfers electrons from NADH to DHAP to form glycerol 3-phosphate (Fig. 22.7). Glycerol 3-phosphate then diffuses through the outer mitochondrial membrane to the inner mitochondrial membrane, where the electrons are donated to a membrane-bound flavin adenive dinucleofide (FAD)-containing glycerophosphate dehydrogenase. This enzyme, like succinate dehydrogenase, ultimately donates electrons to CoQ, resulting in an energy yield of approximately 1.5 ATP from oxidative phosphorylation. Dihydroxyacetone phosphate returns to the cytosol to continue the shuttle. The sum of the reactions in this shuttle system is simply:

2.

Glucose

Glycerol– 3 – P

Dihydroxyacetone– P

Mitochondrial glycerol-3-P dehydrogenase

Inner mitochondrial membrane FAD

FAD (2H)

Electron transport chain

Fig. 22.7. Glycerol 3-phosphate shuttle. Because NAD and NADH cannot cross the mitochondrial membrane, shuttles transfer the reducing equivalents into mitochondria. Dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) is reduced to glycerol-3-P by cytosolic glycerol 3-P dehydrogenase, using cytosolic NADH produced in glycolysis. Glycerol-3-P then reacts in the inner mitochondrial membrane with mitochondrial glycerol-3-P dehydrogenase, which transfers the electrons to FAD and regenerates DHAP, which returns to the cytosol. The electron transport chain transfers the electrons to O2, which generates approximately 1.5 ATP for each FAD(2H) that is oxidized.

406

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Cytosol

Mitochondrion

Glucose 2 NAD+

Malate

2 NADH

Oxaloacetate

2 Pyruvate

Malate

NAD+

Oxaloacetate

NADH

α -KG

α -KG

Glutamate

Glutamate

TA

TA

Aspartate

electron transport chain

Aspartate

Inner mitochondrial membrane

Fig. 22.8. Malate–aspartate shuttle. NADH produced by glycolysis reduces oxaloacetate (OAA) to malate, which crosses the mitochondrial membrane and is reoxidized to OAA. The mitochondrial NADH donates electrons to the electron transport chain, with 2.5 ATPs generated for each NADH. To complete the shuttle, oxaloacetate must return to the cytosol, although it cannot be directly transported on a translocase. Instead, it is transaminated to aspartate, which is then transported out to the cytosol, where it is transaminated back to oxaloacetate. The translocators exchange compounds in such a way that the shuttle is completely balanced. TA = transamination reaction. -KG = -ketoglutarate.

return the oxaloacetate carbon skeleton to the cytosol. In the matrix, transamination reactions transfer an amino group to oxaloacetate to form aspartate, which is transported out to the cytosol (using an aspartate/glutamate exchange translocase) and converted back to oxaloacetate through another transamination reaction. The sum of all the reactions of this shuttle system is simply:

Glycolysis NADH + H+

O

NAD+

C

O

C

O

CH3 Pyruvate

O C

lactate dehydrogenase

H C

NADHcytosol NADmatrix S NADcytosol NADHmatrix.

O– OH

CH3 Lactate

Fig. 22.9. Lactate dehydrogenase reaction. Pyruvate, which may be produced by glycolysis, is reduced to lactate. The reaction, which occurs in the cytosol, requires NADH and is catalyzed by lactate dehydrogenase. This reaction is readily reversible.

What are the energy-generating steps as pyruvate is completely oxidized to carbon dioxide to generate 12.5 molecules of ATP per pyruvate?

C. Anaerobic Glycolysis When the oxidative capacity of a cell is limited (e.g., the red blood cell, which has no mitochondria), the pyruvate and NADH produced from glycolysis cannot be oxidized aerobically. The NADH is therefore oxidized to NAD in the cytosol by reduction of pyruvate to lactate. This reaction is catalyzed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (Fig. 22.9). The net reaction for anaerobic glycolysis is: Glucose 2 ADP 2 Pi S 2 Lactate 2 ATP 2 H2O 2 H 1.

ENERGY YIELD OF AEROBIC VERSUS ANAEROBIC GLYCOLYSIS

In both aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, each mole of glucose generates 2 moles of ATP, 2 of NADH and 2 of pyruvate. The energy yield from anaerobic glycolysis (glucose to 2 lactate) is only 2 moles of ATP per mole of glucose, as the NADH is recycled to NAD by reducing pyruvate to lactate. Neither the NADH nor pyruvate produced is thus used for further energy generation. However, when oxygen is available, and cytosolic NADH can be oxidized via a shuttle system, pyruvate can also enter the mitochondria and be completely oxidized to CO2 via PDH and the TCA cycle. The oxidation of pyruvate via this route generates roughly 12.5 moles of ATP per mole of pyruvate. If the cytosolic NADH is oxidized by the glycerol 3-P shuttle, approximately 1.5 moles of ATP are produced per NADH. If, instead, the NADH is oxidized by the malate–aspartate shuttle, approximately 2.5 moles are produced. Thus, the two NADH molecules produced during glycolysis can lead to 3 to 5 molecules of ATP being produced, depending on which shuttle system is used to transfer the reducing equivalents. Because each pyruvate produced can give rise to 12.5 molecules of ATP, altogether 30 to 32 molecules of ATP can be produced from one mole of glucose oxidized to carbon dioxide.

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CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

In response to the hypoxemia caused by Lopa Fusor’s COPD, she has increased hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) in her tissues. HIF-1 is a gene transcription factor found in tissues throughout the body (including brain, heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, and white blood cells) that plays a homeostatic role in coordinating tissue responses to hypoxia. Each tissue will respond with a subset of the following changes. HIF-1 increases transcription of the genes for many of the glycolytic enzymes, including PFK-1, enolase, phosphoglycerate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase. HIF-1 also increases synthesis of a number of proteins that enhance oxygen delivery to tissues, including erythropoietin, which increases the generation of red blood cells in bone marrow; vascular endothelial growth factor, which regulates angiogenesis (formation of blood vessels); and inducible nitric oxide synthase, which synthesizes nitric oxide, a vasodilator. As a consequence, Mrs. Fusor was able to maintain hematocrit and hemoglobin levels that were on the high side of the normal range, and her tissues had an increased capacity for anaerobic glycolysis.

To produce the same amount of ATP per unit time from anaerobic glycolysis as from the complete aerobic oxidation of glucose to CO2, anaerobic glycolysis must occur approximately 15 times faster, and use approximately 15 times more glucose. Cells achieve this high rate of glycolysis by expressing high levels of glycolytic enzymes. In certain skeletal muscles and in most cells during hypoxic crises, high rates of glycolysis are associated with rapid degradation of internal glycogen stores to supply the required glucose-6-P. 2.

ACID PRODUCTION IN ANAEROBIC GLYCOLYSIS

Anaerobic glycolysis results in acid production in the form of H. Glycolysis forms pyruvic acid, which is reduced to lactic acid. At an intracellular pH of 7.35, lactic acid dissociates to form the carboxylate anion, lactate, and H (the pKa for lactic acid is 3.85). Lactate and the H are both transported out of the cell into interstitial fluid by a transporter on the plasma membrane and eventually diffuse into the blood. If the amount of lactate generated exceeds the buffering capacity of the blood, the pH drops below the normal range, resulting in lacticacidosis (see Chapter 4). 3.

TISSUES DEPENDENT ON ANAEROBIC GLYCOLYSIS

Many tissues, including red and white blood cells, the kidney medulla, the tissues of the eye, and skeletal muscles, rely on anaerobic glycolysis for at least a portion of their ATP requirements (Table 22.1). Tissues (or cells) that are heavily dependent on anaerobic glycolysis usually have a low ATP demand, high levels of glycolytic enzymes, and few capillaries, such that oxygen must diffuse over a greater distance to reach target cells. The lack of mitochondria, or the increased rate of glycolysis, is often related to some aspect of cell function. For example, the mature red blood cell has no mitochondria because oxidative metabolism might interfere with its function in transporting oxygen bound to hemoglobin. Some of the lactic acid generated by anaerobic glycolysis in skin is secreted in sweat, where it acts as an antibacterial agent. Many large tumors use anaerobic glycolysis for ATP production, and lack capillaries in their core. In tissues with some mitochondria, both aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis occur simultaneously. The relative proportion of the two pathways depends on the mitochondrial oxidative capacity of the tissue and its oxygen supply and may vary between cell types within the same tissue because of cell distance from the capillaries. When a cell’s energy demand exceeds the capacity of the rate of the electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP, glycolysis is activated, and the increased NADH/NAD ratio will direct excess pyruvate into lactate. Because under these conditions pyruvate dehydrogenase, the TCA cycle, and the electron transport chain are operating as fast as they can, anaerobic glycolysis is meeting the need for additional ATP.

The dental caries in Ivan Applebod’s mouth were caused principally by the low pH generated from lactic acid production by oral bacteria. Below a pH of 5.5, decalcification of tooth enamel and dentine occurs. Lactobacilli and S. mutans are major contributors to this process because almost all of their energy is derived from the conversion of glucose or fructose to lactic acid, and they are able to grow well at the low pH generated by this process. Mr. Applebod’s dentist explained that bacteria in his dental plaque could convert all the sugar in his candy into acid in less than 20 minutes. The acid is buffered by bicarbonate and other buffers in saliva, but saliva production decreases in the evening. Thus, the acid could dissolve the hydroxyapatite in his tooth enamel during the night.

Table 22.1. Major Tissue Sites of Lactate Production in a Resting Man. An average 70-kg man consumes about 300 g of carbohydrate per day. Daily Lactate Production (g/day) Total lactate production Red blood cells Skin Brain Skeletal muscle Renal medulla Intestinal muscosa Other tissues

115 29 20 17 16 15 8 10

In the complete oxidation of pyruvate to carbon dioxide, four steps generate NADH (pyruvate dehydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, and malate dehydrogenase). One step generates FAD(2H) (succinate dehydrogenase), and one substrate level phosphorylation (succinate thiokinase). Thus, because each NADH generates 2.5 ATPs, the overall contribution by NADH is 10 ATP molecules. The FAD(2H) generates an additional 1.5 ATP, and the substrate-level phosphorylation provides one more. Therefore, 10 1.5 1 = 12.5 molecules of ATP.

408

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

The tissues of the eye are also partially dependent on anaerobic glycolysis. Vitreous body

Ciliary body Iris

Retina

Lens Pupil Cornea

Fovea centralis

Aqueous humor Ciliary muscle

Choroid Sclera

The eye contains cells that transmit or focus light, and these cells cannot, therefore, be filled with opaque structures such as mitochondria, or densely packed capillary beds. The corneal epithelium generates most of its ATP aerobically from its few mitochondria but still metabolizes some glucose anaerobically. Oxygen is supplied by diffusion from the air. The lens of the eye is composed of fibers that must remain birefringent to transmit and focus light, so mitochondria are nearly absent. The small amount of ATP required (principally for ion balance) can readily be generated from anaerobic glycolysis even though the energy yield is low. The lens is able to pick up glucose and release lactate into the vitreous body and aqueous humor. It does not need oxygen and has no use for capillaries.

Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is a tetramer composed of A subunits (also called M for skeletal muscle form) and B subunits (also called H for heart). Different tissues produce different amounts of the two subunits, which then combine randomly to form five different tetramers (M4, M3H1, M2H2, M1H3, and H4). These isoenzymes differ only slightly in their properties, with the kinetic properties of the M4 form facilitating conversion of pyruvate to lactate in skeletal muscle and the H4 form facilitating conversion of lactate to pyruvate in the heart.

4.

FATE OF LACTATE

Lactate released from cells undergoing anaerobic glycolysis is taken up by other tissues (primarily the liver, heart, and skeletal muscle) and oxidized back to pyruvate. In the liver, the pyruvate is used to synthesize glucose (gluconeogenesis), which is returned to the blood. The cycling of lactate and glucose between peripheral tissues and liver is called the Cori cycle (Fig. 22.10). In many other tissues, lactate is oxidized to pyruvate, which is then oxidized to CO2 in the TCA cycle. Although the equilibrium of the lactate dehydrogenase reaction favors lactate production, flux occurs in the opposite direction if NADH is being rapidly oxidized in the electron transport chain (or being used for gluconeogenesis): Lactate NAD S Pyruvate NADH H The heart, with its huge mitochondrial content and oxidative capacity, is able to use lactate released from other tissues as a fuel. During an exercise such as bicycle riding, lactate released into the blood from skeletal muscles in the leg might be used by resting skeletal muscles in the arm. In the brain, glial cells and astrocytes produce lactate, which is used by neurons or released into the blood.

II. OTHER FUNCTIONS OF GLYCOLYSIS Glycolysis, in addition to providing ATP, generates precursors for biosynthetic pathways (Fig. 22.11). Intermediates of the pathway can be converted to ribose 5phosphate, the sugar incorporated into nucleotides such as ATP. Other sugars, such as UDP-glucose, mannose, and sialic acid, are also formed from intermediates of glycolysis. Serine is synthesized from 3-phosphoglycerate, and alanine from pyruvate. The backbone of triacylglycerols, glycerol 3-phosphate, is derived from dihydroxyacetone phosphate in the glycolytic pathway. The liver is the major site of biosynthetic reactions in the body. In addition to those pathways mentioned previously, the liver synthesizes fatty acids from the pyruvate generated by glycolysis. It also synthesizes glucose from lactate, glycerol 3-phosphate, and amino acids in the gluconeogenic pathway, which is principally a reversal of glycolysis. Consequently, in liver, many of the glycolytic enzymes exist as isoenzymes with properties suited for these functions. The bisphosphoglycerate shunt is a “side reaction” of the glycolytic pathway in which 1,3-bis-phosphoglycerate is converted to 2,3-bis-phosphoglycerate (2,3BPG). Red blood cells form 2,3-BPG to serve as an allosteric inhibitor of oxygen binding to heme (see Chapter 44). 2,3-BPG reenters the glycolytic pathway via dephosphorylation to 3-phosphoglycerate. 2,3-BPG also functions as a coenzyme in the conversion of 3-phosphoglycerate to 2-phosphoglycerate by the glycolytic Cori Cycle

RBC Liver

Glucose

Glucose

Glucose

6 ATP Gluconeogenesis

Blood

Glycolysis 2 ATP

2 Lactate

2 Lactate

2 Lactate

Fig. 22.10. Cori cycle. Glucose, produced in the liver by gluconeogenesis, is converted by glycolysis in muscle, red blood cells, and many other cells, to lactate. Lactate returns to the liver and is reconverted to glucose by gluconeogenesis.

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

Glucose

5 carbon sugars

Glucose-6-P Glycerol– P 1,3 bisphosphoglycerate

Triglyceride Fatty acids

2,3 bisphosphoglycerate Serine

3-phosphoglycerate

Alanine

Pyruvate

Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

Glutamate and other amino acids

Fig. 22.11. Biosynthetic functions of glycolysis. Compounds formed from intermediates of glycolysis are shown in blue. These pathways are discussed in subsequent chapters of the book. Dotted lines indicate that more than one step is required for the conversion shown in the figure.

enzyme phosphoglyceromutase. Because 2,3-BPG is not depleted by its role in this catalytic process, most cells need only very small amounts.

III. REGULATION OF GLYCOLYSIS BY THE NEED FOR ATP One of the major functions of glycolysis is the generation of ATP, and, therefore, the pathway is regulated to maintain ATP homeostasis in all cells. Phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1) and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), which links glycolysis and the TCA cycle, are both major regulatory sites that respond to feedback indicators of the rate of ATP utilization (Fig. 22.12). The supply of glucose-6-P for glycolysis is tissue dependent and can be regulated at the steps of glucose transport into cells, glycogenolysis (the degradation of glycogen to form glucose), or the rate of glucose phosphorylation by hexokinase isoenzymes. Other regulatory mechanisms integrate the ATP-generating role of glycolysis with its anabolic roles. All of the regulatory enzymes of glycolysis exist as tissue-specific isoenzymes, which alter the regulation of the pathway to match variations in conditions and needs in different tissues. For example, in the liver, an isoenzyme of pyruvate kinase introduces an additional regulatory site in glycolysis that contributes to the inhibition of glycolysis when the reverse pathway, gluconeogenesis, is activated.

A. Relationship between ATP, ADP, and AMP Concentrations The AMP levels within the cytosol provide a better indicator of the rate of ATP utilization than the ATP concentration itself (Fig. 22.13). The concentration of AMP

409

410

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Glucose – hexokinase Glucose– 6 – P

Fructose– 6 – P ATP

phosphofructokinase–1 + AMP, F-2,6-bisP – ATP, citrate ADP Fructose–1,6 –bis P

Glyceraldehyde– 3 – P Pi NAD+ NADH + H+ 1,3 – Bisphosphoglycerate

ATP PEP pyruvate kinase

+ F-1,6-bisP – ATP NAD+

ATP

NADH

Lactate

Pyruvate

Pyruvate NAD+ NADH 5

ATP

Acetyl CoA

Mitochondrion

Rest Exercise

Fig. 22.12. Major sites of regulation in the glycolytic pathway. Hexokinase and phosphofructokinase-1 are the major regulatory enzymes in skeletal muscle. The activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase in the mitochondrion determines whether pyruvate is converted to lactate or to acetyl CoA. The regulation shown for pyruvate kinase only occurs for the liver (L) isoenzyme.

4 Concentration (mM)

+ ADP, Ca2+ – NADH, Acetyl CoA

pyruvate dehydrogenase

3

2 ADP 1

AMP

Fig. 22.13. Changes in ATP, ADP, and AMP concentrations in skeletal muscle during exercise. The concentration of ATP decreases by only approximately 20% during exercise, and the concentration of ADP rises. The concentration of AMP, produced by the adenylate kinase reaction, increases manyfold and serves as a sensitive indicator of decreasing ATP levels.

in the cytosol is determined by the equilibrium position of the adenylate kinase reaction. adenylate kinase 2 ADP 4 AMP ATP The equilibrium is such that hydrolysis of ATP to ADP in energy-requiring reactions increases both the ADP and AMP contents of the cytosol. However, ATP is present in much higher quantities than AMP or ADP, so that a small decrease of ATP concentration in the cytosol causes a much larger percentage increase in the small AMP pool. In skeletal muscles, for instance, ATP levels are approximately 5 mM and decrease by no more than 20% during strenuous exercise (see Fig. 22.13). At the same time, ADP levels may increase by 50%, and AMP levels, which are in

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CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

the micromolar range, increase by 300%. AMP activates a number of metabolic pathways, including glycolysis, glycogenolysis, and fatty acid oxidation (particularly in muscle tissues), to ensure that ATP homeostasis is maintained.

A 1.0 + AMP or Fructose–2,6 – bisP

B. Regulation of Hexokinases

v

Hexokinases exist as tissue-specific isoenzymes whose regulatory properties reflect the role of glycolysis in different tissues. In most tissues, hexokinase is a low-Km enzyme with a high affinity for glucose (see Chapter 9). It is inhibited by physiologic concentrations of its product, glucose-6-P (see Fig. 22.12). If glucose-6-P does not enter glycolysis or another pathway, it accumulates and decreases the activity of hexokinase. In the liver, the isoenzyme glucokinase is a high-Km enzyme that is not readily inhibited by glucose-6-P. Thus, glycolysis can continue in liver even when energy levels are high so that anabolic pathways, such as the synthesis of the major energy storage compounds, glycogen and fatty acids, can occur.

C. Regulation of PFK-1

V max

1

2

3

4

5

Fructose 6–phosphate (mM)

B 1.0

Phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1) is the rate-limiting enzyme of glycolysis and controls the rate of glucose-6-P entry into glycolysis in most tissues. PFK-1 is an allosteric enzyme that has a total of six binding sites: two are for substrates (Mg-ATP and fructose-6-P) and four are allosteric regulatory sites (see Fig. 22.12). The allosteric regulatory sites occupy a physically different domain on the enzyme than the catalytic site. When an allosteric effector binds, it changes the conformation at the active site and may activate or inhibit the enzyme (see also Chapter 9). The allosteric sites for PFK-1 include an inhibitory site for MgATP, an inhibitory site for citrate and other anions, an allosteric activation site for AMP, and an allosteric activation site for fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (fructose-2,6-bisP) and other bisphosphates. Several different tissue-specific isoforms of PFK-1 are affected in different ways by the concentration of these substrates and allosteric effectors, but all contain these four allosteric sites. 1.

ALLOSTERIC REGULATION OF PFK-1 BY AMP AND ATP

ATP binds to two different sites on the enzyme, the substrate binding site and an allosteric inhibitory site. Under physiologic conditions in the cell, the ATP concentration is usually high enough to saturate the substrate binding site and inhibit the enzyme by binding to the ATP allosteric site. This effect of ATP is opposed by AMP, which binds to a separate allosteric activator site (Figure 22.14). For most of the PFK-1 isoenzymes, the binding of AMP increases the affinity of the enzyme for fructose 6-P (e.g., shifts the kinetic curve to the left). Thus, increases in AMP concentration can greatly increase the rate of the enzyme (see Fig. 22.14), particularly when fructose-6-P concentrations are low. 2.

+ AMP or Fructose–2,6– bisP v

V max

2

4

6

8

10

ATP (mM)

Fig. 22.14. Regulation of PFK-1 by AMP, ATP and fructose-2,6-bisP. A. AMP and fructose 2,6-bisphosphate activate PFK-1. B. ATP increases the rate of the reaction at low concentrations, but allosterically inhibits the enzyme at high concentrations.

REGULATION OF PFK-1 BY FRUCTOSE 2,6-BISPHOSPHATE

Fructose-2,6-bisP is also an allosteric activator of PFK-1 that opposes the ATP inhibition. Its effect on the rate of activity of PFK-1 is qualitatively similar to that of AMP, but it has a separate binding site. Fructose-2,6-bisP is NOT an intermediate Otto Shape has started high-intensity exercise that will increase the production of lactate in his exercising skeletal muscles. In skeletal muscles, the amount of aerobic versus anaerobic glycolysis that occurs varies with intensity of the exercise, with duration of the exercise, with the type of skeletal muscle fiber involved, and with the level of training. Human skeletal muscles are usually combinations of type I fibers (called fast glycolytic fibers, or white muscle fibers) and type IIb fibers (called slow oxidative fibers, or red muscle fibers). The designation of fast or slow refers to their rate of shortening, which is determined by the isoenzyme of myosin ATPase present. Compared with glycolytic fibers, oxidative fibers have a higher content of mitochondria and myoglobin, which gives them a red color. The gastrocnemius, a muscle in the leg used for running, has a high content of type IIb fibers. However, these fibers will still produce lactate during sprints when the ATP demand exceeds their oxidative capacity.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

PFK-1 exists as a group of tissuespecific isoenzymes whose regulatory features match the role of glycolysis in different tissues. Three different types of PFK-1 isoenzyme subunits exist: M (muscle), L (liver), and C. The three subunits show variable expression in different tissues, with some tissues having more than one type. For example, mature human muscle expresses only the M subunit, the liver expresses principally the L subunit, and erythrocytes express both the M and the L subunits. The C subunit is present in highest levels in platelets, placenta, kidney, and fibroblasts but is relatively common to most tissues. Both the M and L subunits are sensitive to AMP and ATP regulation, but the C subunits are much less so. Active PFK-1 is a tetramer, composed of four subunits. Within muscle, the M4 form predominates but within tissues that express multiple isoenzymes of PFK-1 heterotetramers can form that have full activity.

of glycolysis but is synthesized by an enzyme that phosphorylates fructose 6-phosphate at the 2 position. The enzyme is therefore named phosphofructokinase-2 (PFK-2); it is a bifunctional enzyme with two separate domains, a kinase domain and a phosphatase domain. At the kinase domain, fructose-6-P is phosphorylated to fructose-2,6-bisP and at the phosphatase domain, fructose-2,6-bisP is hydrolyzed back to fructose-6-P. PFK-2 is regulated through changes in the ratio of activity of the two domains. For example, in skeletal muscles, high concentrations of fructose6-P activate the kinase and inhibit the phosphatase, thereby increasing the concentration of fructose-2,6-bisP and activating glycolysis. PFK-2 also can be regulated through phosphorylation by serine/threonine protein kinases. The liver isoenzyme contains a phosphorylation site near the amino terminal that decreases the activity of the kinase and increases the phosphatase activity. This site is phosphorylated by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase A) and is responsible for decreased levels of liver fructose-2,6-bisP during fasting conditions (as modulated by circulating glucagon levels, which is discussed in detail in Chapters 26 and 31). The cardiac isoenzyme contains a phosphorylation site near the carboxy terminal that can be phosphorylated in response to adrenergic activators of contraction (such as norepinephrine) and by increased AMP levels. Phosphorylation at this site increases the kinase activity and increases fructose-2, 6-bisP levels, thereby contributing to the activation of glycolysis. 3.

Under ischemic conditions, AMP levels within the heart rapidly increase because of the lack of ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation. The increase in AMP levels activates an AMP-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase B), which phosphorylates the heart isoenzyme of PFK-2 to activate its kinase activity. This results in increased levels of fructose-2,6-bisP, which activates PFK-1 along with AMP such that the rate of glycolysis can increase to compensate for the lack of ATP production via aerobic means.

ALLOSTERIC INHIBITION OF PFK-1 AT THE CITRATE SITE

The function of the citrate–anion allosteric site is to integrate glycolysis with other pathways. For example, the inhibition of PFK-1 by citrate may play a role in decreasing glycolytic flux in the heart during the oxidation of fatty acids.

D. Regulation of Pyruvate Kinase Pyruvate kinase exists as tissue-specific isoenzymes. The form present in brain and muscle contains no allosteric sites, and pyruvate kinase does not contribute to the regulation of glycolysis in these tissues. However, the liver isoenzyme can be inhibited through phosphorylation by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase, and by a number of allosteric effectors that contribute to the inhibition of glycolysis during fasting conditions. These allosteric effectors include activation by fructose-1,6-bisP, which ties the rate of pyruvate kinase to that of PFK-1, and inhibition by ATP, which signifies high energy levels.

E. Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Regulation and Glycolysis During Cora Nari’s myocardial infarction (see Chapter 20), her heart had a limited supply of oxygen and blood-borne fuels. The absence of oxygen for oxidative phosphorylation would decrease the levels of ATP and increase those of AMP, an activator of PFK-1 and the AMP-dependent protein kinase, resulting in a compensatory increase of anaerobic glycolysis and lactate production. However, obstruction of a vessel leading to her heart would decrease lactate removal, resulting in a decrease of intracellular pH. Under these conditions, at very low pH levels, glycolysis is inhibited and unable to compensate for the lack of oxidative phosphorylation.

Pyruvate dehydrogenase is also regulated principally by the rate of ATP utilization (see Chapter 20) through rapid phosphorylation to an inactive form. Thus, in a normal respiring cell, with an adequate supply of O2, glycolysis and the TCA cycle are activated together, and glucose can be completely oxidized to CO2. However, when tissues do not have an adequate supply of O2 to meet their ATP demands, the increased NADH/NAD ratio inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase, but AMP activates glycolysis. A proportion of the pyruvate will then be reduced to lactate to allow glycolysis to continue.

IV. LACTIC ACIDEMIA Lactate production is a normal part of metabolism. In the absence of disease, elevated lactate levels in the blood are associated with anaerobic glycolysis during exercise. In lactic acidosis, lactic acid accumulates in blood to levels that significantly affect the pH (lactate levels greater than 5 mM and a decrease of blood pH below 7.2).

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

Lactic acidosis generally results from a greatly increased NADH/NAD ratio in tissues (Fig.22.15). The increased NADH concentration prevents pyruvate oxidation in the TCA cycle and directs pyruvate to lactate. To compensate for the decreased ATP production from oxidative metabolism, PFK-1, and, therefore, the entire glycolytic pathway is activated. For example, consumption of high amounts of alcohol, which is rapidly oxidized in the liver and increases NADH levels, can result in a lactic acidosis. Hypoxia in any tissue increases lactate production as cells attempt to compensate for a lack of O2 for oxidative phosphorylation. A number of other problems that interfere either with the electron transport chain or pyruvate oxidation in the TCA cycle result in lactic acidemia (see Fig.22.15). For example, OXPHOS diseases (inherited deficiencies in subunits of complexes in the electron transport chain, such as MERFF) increase the NADH/NAD ratio and

Lactate and pyruvate are in equilibrium in the cell, and the ratio of lactate to pyruvate reflects the NADH/NAD ratio. Both acids are released into blood, and the normal ratio of lactate to pyruvate in blood is approximately 25:1. This ratio can provide a useful clinical diagnostic tool. Because lactic acidemia can be the result of a number of problems, such as hypoxia, MERFF, thiamine deficiency, and pyruvate dehdyrogenase deficiency, under which of these conditions would you expect the lactate/pyruvate ratio in blood to be much greater than normal?

Lopa Fusor had a decreased arterial pO2 and elevated arterial pCO2 caused by underperfusion of her lungs. The elevated CO2 content resulted in an increase of H2CO3 and acidity of the blood (see Chapter 4). The decreased O2 delivery to tissues resulted in increased lactate production from anaerobic glycolysis, and an elevation of serum lactate to 10 times normal levels. The reduction in her arterial pH to 7.18 (reference range, 7.35–7.45) resulted, therefore, from both a mild respiratory acidosis (elevated pCO2) and a more profound metabolic acidosis (elevated serum lactate level).

Decreased oxidation of NADH and FAD(2H) in the ET chain results in pyruvate lactate and fatty acids triglyceride

Glucose NAD+

Fatty acids

NADH

Glycerol– P

Pyruvate NADH

LDH

Triglyceride Fatty acyl carnitine

NAD+ Pyruvate

Lactate

PDH

Fatty acyl CoA

NADH

NADH, FAD(2H)

Acetyl CoA ATP CO2

ADP OAA

TCA cycle

Deficiencies or inhibition of TCA cycle enzymes (nuclear encoded) inhibit acetyl CoA oxidation, leading to increased pyruvate and lactate formation

ADP F0F1–ATPase

NADH

ATP O2

FAD SDH

H2O

Cytochrome oxidase Complex IV

Cyt c

Cu, Fe

Anoxia, ischemia, cyanide, CO poisoning and other interruptions of the ET chain prevent electron flow and ATP synthesis, so glycolysis operates anaerobically to produce ATP, and lactate is formed

Fig. 22.15. Pathways leading to lactic acidemia.

Cytochrome b–c, Complex III Fe

413

CoQ

FAD FaCoA – DH

NADH–DH Complex I Fe–S FMN

Genetic defects in proteins encoded by mtDNA (some subunits of Complexes I, III, IV and F0F1–ATPase) decrease electron transport and ATP synthesis, so glycolysis operates anaerobically to produce ATP, and lactate is formed

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Hypoxia and inherited deficiencies of subunits in the electron transport chain impair NADH oxidation, resulting in a higher NADH/NAD ratio in the cell, and, therefore, a higher lactate/pyruvate ratio in blood. In contrast, conditions that cause lactic acidemia as a result of defects in the enzymes of pyruvate metabolism (thiamine deficiency or pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency) would increase both pyruvate and lactate in the blood and have little effect on the ratio.

inhibit PDH (see Chapter 21). Impaired PDH activity from an inherited deficiency of E1 (the decarboxylase subunit of the complex), or from severe thiamine deficiency, increases blood lactate levels (see Chapter 20). Pyruvate carboxylase deficiency also can result in lactic acidosis (see Chapter 20), because of an accumulation of pyruvate. Lactic acidosis can also result from inhibition of lactate utilization in gluconeogenesis (e.g., hereditary fructose intolerance, which is due to a defective aldolase gene). If other pathways that use glucose-6-P are blocked, glucose-6-P can be shunted into glycolysis and lactate production (e.g., glucose 6-phosphatase deficiency).

CLINICAL COMMENTS

O H2C O

O (α 1,6) bond H2C O

O CH2OH

H2C

O

O

O

O n

(α 1,3) bond

H2C O

O H2C

CH2OH

O

O

O

O n

Fig. 22.16. General structure of dextran. Glucosyl residues are linked by -1,3, -1,6, and some -1,4 bonds.

Lopa Fusor was admitted to he hospital with severe hypotension caused by an acute hemorrhage. Her plasma lactic acid level was elevated and her arterial pH was low. The underlying mechanism for Ms. Fusor’s derangement in acid-base balance is a severe reduction in the amount of oxygen delivered to her tissues for cellular respiration (hypoxemia). Several concurrent processes contributed to this oxygen lack. The first was her severely reduced blood pressure caused by a brisk hemorrhage from a bleeding gastric ulcer. The blood loss led to hypoperfusion and, therefore, reduced delivery of oxygen to her tissues. The marked reduction in the number of red blood cells in her circulation caused by blood loss further compromised oxygen delivery. The preexisting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) added to her hypoxemia by decreasing her ventilation, and, therefore, the transfer of oxygen to her blood (low pO2). In addition, her COPD led to retention of carbon dioxide (high pCO2), which caused a respiratory acidosis because the retained CO2 interacted with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), which dissociates to H and bicarbonate. In skeletal muscles, lactate production occurs when the need for ATP exceeds the capacity of the mitochondria for oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, increased lactate production accompanies an increased rate of the TCA cycle. The extent to which skeletal muscles use aerobic versus anaerobic glycolysis to supply ATP varies with the intensity of exercise. At low-intensity exercise, the rate of ATP utilization is lower, and fibers can generate this ATP from oxidative phosphorylation, with the complete oxidation of glucose to CO2. However, when Otto Shape sprints, a high-intensity exercise, the ATP demand exceeds the rate at which the electron transport chain and TCA cycle can generate ATP from oxidative phosphorylation. The increased AMP level signals the need for additional ATP and stimulates PFK-1. The NADH/NAD ratio directs the increase in pyruvate production toward lactate. The fall in pH causes muscle fatigue and pain. As he trains, the amount of mitochondria and myoglobin will increase in his skeletal muscle fibers, and these fibers will rely less on anaerobic glycolysis. Ivan Applebod had two sites of dental caries: one on a smooth surface and one in a fissure. The decreased pH resulting from lactic acid production by lactobacilli, which grow anaerobically within the fissure, is a major cause of fissure caries. Streptococs mutans (S. mutans) plays a major role in smooth surface caries because it secretes dextran, an insoluble polysaccharide, which forms the base for plaque. S. mutans contains dextran-sucrase, a glucosyltransferase that transfers glucosyl units from dietary sucrose (the glucose-fructose disaccharide in sugar and sweets) to form the (1S6) and (1S3) linkages between the glucosyl units in dextran (Fig. 22.16). Dextran-sucrase is specific for sucrose and does not catalyze the polymerization of free glucose, or glucose from other disaccharides or polysaccharides. Thus sucrose is responsible for the cariogenic potential of candy. The sticky water-insoluble dextran mediates the attachment of S. mutans and other

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

415

bacteria to the tooth surface. This also keeps the acids produced from these bacteria close to the enamel surface. Fructose from sucrose is converted to intermediates of glycolysis and is rapidly metabolized to lactic acid. Other bacteria present in the plaque produce different acids from anaerobic metabolism, such as acetic acid and formic acid. The decrease in pH that results initiates demineralization of the hydroxyapatite of the tooth enamel. Ivan Applebod’s caries in his baby teeth could have been caused by sucking on bottles containing fruit juice. The sugar in fruit juice is also sucrose, and babies who fall asleep with a bottle of fruit juice in their mouth may develop caries. Rapid decay of these baby teeth can harm the development of their permanent teeth.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS How is the first high-energy bond created in the glycolytic pathway? This is the work of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase reaction, which converts glyceraldehyde-3-P to 1,3 bisphosphglycerate. This reaction can be considered to be two separate half reactions, the first being the oxidation of glyceraldehyde-3-P to 3-phosphoglycerate, and the second the addition of inorganic phosphate to 3-phosphoglycerate to produce 1,3 bisphosphoglycerate. The G0 for the first reaction is approximately 12 kcal/mole; for the second reaction, it is approximately 12 kcal/mole. Thus, although the first half reaction is extremely favorable, the second half reaction is unfavorable and would not proceed under cellular conditions. So how does the enzyme help this reaction to proceed? This is accomplished through the enzyme forming a covalent bond with the substrate, using an essential cysteine residue at the active site to form a high-energy thioester linkage during the course of the reaction

+ H+ NAD H H

1

C

O

C

OH

CH2O P

H

OH C S

H

C

OH

+

Cys

NADH O C ~S

2 H

CH2O P

C

Cys

OH

CH2O P

Glyceraldehyde–3– P NAD+

3

NAD+

NADH H S

Cys NAD+

O C ~O P H

C

OH

CH2O P

4

O C ~S

Pi H

C

NADH

Cys

OH

CH2O P

Fig. 22.17. Mechanism of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase reaction. 1. The enzyme forms a covalent linkage with the substrate, using a cysteine group at the active site. The enzyme also contains bound NAD close to the active site. 2. The substrate is oxidized, forming a high-energy thioester linkage (in blue), and NADH. 3. NADH has a low affinity for the enzyme and is replaced by a new molecule of NAD . 4. Inorganic phosphate attacks the thioester linkage, releasing the product 1,3 bisphosphoglycerate, and regenerating the active enzyme in a form ready to initiate another reaction.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

(Fig. 22.17). Thus, the energy that would be released as heat in the oxidation of glyceraldehyde-3-P to 3-phosphoglycerate is conserved in the thioester linkage that is formed (such that the G0 of the formation of the thioester intermediate from glyceraldehyde-3-P is close to zero). Then, replacement of the sulfur with inorganic phosphate to form the final product, 1,3 bisphosphoglycerate, is relatively straightforward, as the G0 for that conversion is also close to zero, and the acylphosphate bond retains the energy from the oxidation of the aldehyde. This is one example of how covalent catalysis by an enzyme can result in the conservation of energy between different bond types.

Suggested References Cole AS, Eastoe JE. Biochemistry and Oral Biology. 2nd Ed. Boston: Butterworth, 1988:490–519. Robinson BH. Lacticacidemia: Disorders of pyruvate carboxylase and pyruvate dehydrogenase. In: Scriver CR, Beudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, vol. 1. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001: 4451–4480.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 22 1.

A major role of glycolysis is which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

Starting with glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and synthesizing one molecule of pyruvate, the net yield of ATP and NADH would be which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F) (G) (H) (I)

3.

To synthesize glucose To generate energy To produce FAD(2H) To synthesize glycogen To use ATP to generate heat

1 ATP, 1 NADH 1 ATP, 2 NADH 1 ATP, 4 NADH 2 ATP, 1 NADH 2 ATP, 2 NADH 2 ATP, 4 NADH 3 ATP, 1 NADH 3 ATP, 2 NADH 3 ATP, 4 NADH

When glycogen is degraded, glucose 1-phosphate is formed. Glucose 1-phosphate can then be isomerized to glucose 6-phosphate. Starting with glucose 1-phosphate, and ending with 2 molecules of pyruvate, what is the net yield of glycolysis, in terms of ATP and NADH formed? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F) (G) (H) (I)

1 ATP, 1 NADH 1 ATP, 2 NADH 1 ATP, 3 NADH 2 ATP, 1 NADH 2 ATP, 2 NADH 2 ATP, 3 NADH 3 ATP, 1 NADH 3 ATP, 2 NADH 3 ATP, 3 NADH

CHAPTER 22 / GENERATION OF ATP FROM GLUCOSE: GLYCOLYSIS

4.

Which of the following statements correctly describes an aspect of glycolysis? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

ATP is formed by oxidative phosphorylation. 2 ATP are used in the beginning of the pathway. Pyruvate kinase is the rate-limiting enzyme. One pyruvate and three CO2 are formed from the oxidation of one glucose molecule. The reactions take place in the matrix of the mitochondria.

How many moles of ATP are generated by the complete aerobic oxidation of 1 mole of glucose to 6 moles of CO2? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2–4 10–12 18–22 30–32 60–64

417

23

Oxidation of Fatty Acids and Ketone Bodies

Fatty acids are a major fuel for humans and supply our energy needs between meals and during periods of increased demand, such as exercise. During overnight fasting, fatty acids become the major fuel for cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle, and liver. The liver converts fatty acids to ketone bodies (acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate), which also serve as major fuels for tissues (e.g., the gut). The brain, which does not have a significant capacity for fatty acid oxidation, can use ketone bodies as a fuel during prolonged fasting. The route of metabolism for a fatty acid depends somewhat on its chain length. Fatty acids are generally classified as very-long-chain length fatty acids (greater than C20 ), long-chain fatty acids (C12–C20), medium-chain fatty acids (C6–C12), and short-chain fatty acids (C4). ATP is generated from oxidation of fatty acids in the pathway of -oxidation. Between meals and during overnight fasting, long-chain fatty acids are released from adipose tissue triacylglycerols. They circulate through blood bound to albumin (Fig. 23.1). In cells, they are converted to fatty acyl CoA derivatives by acyl CoA synthetases. The activated acyl group is transported into the mitochondrial matrix bound to carnitine, where fatty acyl CoA is regenerated. In the pathway of -oxidation, the fatty acyl group is sequentially oxidized to yield FAD(2H), NADH, and acetyl CoA. Subsequent oxidation of NADH and FAD(2H) in the electron transport chain, and oxidation of acetyl CoA to CO2 in the TCA cycle, generates ATP from oxidative phosphorylation. Many fatty acids have structures that require variations of this basic pattern. Long-chain fatty acids that are unsaturated fatty acids generally require additional isomerization and oxidation–reduction reactions to rearrange their double bonds during -oxidation. Metabolism of water-soluble medium-chain-length fatty acids does not require carnitine and occurs only in liver. Odd-chain-length fatty acids undergo -oxidation to the terminal three-carbon propionyl CoA, which enters the TCA cycle as succinyl CoA. Fatty acids that do not readily undergo mitochondrial -oxidation are oxidized first by alternate routes that convert them to more suitable substrates or to urinary excretion products. Excess fatty acids may undergo microsomal -oxidation, which converts them to dicarboxylic acids that appear in urine. Very-long-chain fatty acids (both straight chain and branched fatty acids such as phytanic acid) are whittled down to size in peroxisomes. Peroxisomal - and -oxidiation generates hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), NADH, acetyl CoA, or propionyl CoA and a short- to medium-chain-length acyl CoA. The acyl CoA products are transferred to mitochondria to complete their metabolism. In the liver, much of the acetyl CoA generated from fatty acid oxidation is converted to the ketone bodies, acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate, which enter the blood (see Fig. 23.1). In other tissues, these ketone bodies are converted to acetyl 418

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

Long-chain Fatty acid-albumin

1 ATP CoA

Fatty acid binding proteins

Plasma membrane

2 Fatty acyl CoA Outer mitochondrial membrane

Carnatine CoA

3

Fatty acyl carnitine Inner mitochondrial membrane

Carnatine CoA Fatty acyl CoA

β-oxidation spiral 4

FAD (2H) NADH

5

Acetyl CoA

(Liver) Ketone bodies

TCA cycle

2CO2

NADH, FAD (2H), GTP

Fig. 23.1. Overview of mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid metabolism. (1) Fatty acid binding proteins (FaBP) transport fatty acids across the plasma membrane and bind them in the cytosol. (2) Fatty acyl CoA synthetase activates fatty acids to fatty acyl CoAs. (3) Carnitine transports the activated fatty acyl group into mitochondria. (4) -oxidation generates NADH, FAD(2H), and acetyl CoA (5) In the liver, acetyl CoA is converted to ketone bodies

CoA, which is oxidized in the TCA cycle. The liver synthesizes ketone bodies but cannot use them as a fuel. The rate of fatty acid oxidation is linked to the rate of NADH, FAD(2H), and acetyl CoA oxidation, and, thus, to the rate of oxidative phosphorylation and ATP utilization. Additional regulation occurs through malonyl CoA, which inhibits formation of the fatty acyl carnitine derivatives. Fatty acids and ketone bodies are used as a fuel when their level increases in the blood, which is determined by hormonal regulation of adipose tissue lipolysis.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Otto Shape was disappointed that he did not place in his 5-km race and has decided that short-distance running is probably not right for him. After careful consideration, he decides to train for the marathon by running 12 miles three times per week. He is now 13 pounds over his ideal weight, and he plans on losing this weight while studying for his Pharmacology finals. He considers a variety of dietary supplements to increase his endurance and selects one containing carnitine, CoQ, pantothenate, riboflavin, and creatine.

419

420

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

The liver transaminases measured in the blood are aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which was formerly called serum glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which was formerly called serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT). Elevation of liver enzymes reflects damage of the liver plasma membrane.

Lofata Burne is a 16-year-old girl. Since age 14 months she has experienced recurrent episodes of profound fatigue associated with vomiting and increased perspiration, which required hospitalization. These episodes occurred only if she fasted for more than 8 hours. Because her mother gave her food late at night and woke her early in the morning for breakfast, Lofata’s physical and mental development had progressed normally. On the day of admission for this episode, Lofata had missed breakfast, and by noon she was extremely fatigued, nauseated, sweaty, and limp. She was unable to hold any food in her stomach and was rushed to the hospital, where an infusion of glucose was started intravenously. Her symptoms responded dramatically to this therapy. Her initial serum glucose level was low at 38 mg/dL (reference range for fasting serum glucose levels 70–100). Her blood urea nitrogen (BUN) level was slightly elevated at 26 mg/dL (reference range 8–25) as a result of vomiting, which led to a degree of dehydration. Her blood levels of liver transaminases were slightly elevated, although her liver was not palpably enlarged. Despite elevated levels of free fatty acids (4.3 mM) in the blood, blood ketone bodies were below normal. Di Abietes, a 27-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus, had been admitted to the hospital in a ketoacidotic coma a year ago (see Chapter 4). She had been feeling drowsy and had been vomiting for 24 hours before that admission. At the time of admission, she was clinically dehydrated, her blood pressure was low, and her breathing was deep and rapid (Kussmaul breathing). Her pulse was rapid, and her breath had the odor of acetone. Her arterial blood pH was 7.08 (reference range, 7.36–7.44), and her blood ketone body levels were 15 mM (normal is approximately 0.2 mM for a person on a normal diet).

I. During Otto’s distance running (a moderate-intensity exercise), decreases in insulin and increases in insulin counterregulatory hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, increase adipose tissue lipolysis. Thus, his muscles are being provided with a supply of fatty acids in the blood that they can use as a fuel.

Lofata Burne developed symptoms during fasting, when adipose tissue lipolysis was elevated. Under these circumstances, muscle tissue, liver, and many other tissues are oxidizing fatty acids as a fuel. After overnight fasting, approximately 60 to 70% of our energy supply is derived from the oxidation of fatty acids.

FATTY ACIDS AS FUELS

The fatty acids oxidized as fuels are principally long-chain fatty acids released from adipose tissue triacylglycerol stores between meals, during overnight fasting, and during periods of increased fuel demand (e.g., during exercise). Adipose tissue triacylglycerols are derived from two sources; dietary lipids and triacylglycerols synthesized in the liver. The major fatty acids oxidized are the long-chain fatty acids, palmitate, oleate, and stearate, because they are highest in dietary lipids and are also synthesized in the human. Between meals, a decreased insulin level and increased levels of insulin counterregulatory hormones (e.g., glucagon) activate lipolysis, and free fatty acids are transported to tissues bound to serum albumin. Within tissues, energy is derived from oxidation of fatty acids to acetyl CoA in the pathway of -oxidation. Most of the enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation are present as 2-3 isoenzymes, which have different but overlapping specificities for the chain length of the fatty acid. Metabolism of unsaturated fatty acids, odd-chain-length fatty acids, and mediumchain-length fatty acids requires variations of this basic pattern. The acetyl CoA produced from fatty acid oxidation is principally oxidized in the TCA cycle or converted to ketone bodies in the liver.

A. Characteristics of Fatty Acids Used as Fuels Fat constitutes approximately 38% of the calories in the average North American diet. Of this, more than 95% of the calories are present as triacylglycerols (3 fatty acids esterified to a glycerol backbone). During ingestion and absorption, dietary triacylglycerols are broken down into their constituents and then reassembled for transport to adipose tissue in chylomicrons (see Chapter 2). Thus, the fatty acid composition of adipose triacylglycerols varies with the type of food consumed.

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

The most common dietary fatty acids are the saturated long-chain fatty acids palmitate (C16) and stearate (C18), the monounsaturated fatty acid oleate (C18:1), and the polyunsaturated essential fatty acid, linoleate (C18:2) (To review fatty acid nomenclature, consult Chapter 5). Animal fat contains principally saturated and monounsaturated long-chain fatty acids, whereas vegetable oils contain linoleate and some longer-chain and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They also contain smaller amounts of branched-chain and odd-chain-length fatty acids. Medium-chain-length fatty acids are present principally in dairy fat (e.g., milk and butter), maternal milk, and vegetable oils. Adipose tissue triacylglycerols also contain fatty acids synthesized in the liver, principally from excess calories ingested as glucose. The pathway of fatty acid synthesis generates palmitate, which can be elongated to form stearate, and unsaturated to form oleate. These fatty acids are assembled into triacylglycerols and transported to adipose tissue as the lipoprotein VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein).

B. Transport and Activation of Long-Chain Fatty Acids Long-chain fatty acids are hydrophobic and water insoluble. In addition, they are toxic to cells because they can disrupt the hydrophobic bonding between amino acid side chains in proteins. Consequently, they are transported in the blood and in cells bound to proteins. 1.

CELLULAR UPTAKE OF LONG-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS

During fasting and other conditions of metabolic need, long-chain fatty acids are released from adipose tissue triacylglycerols by lipases. They travel in the blood bound in the hydrophobic binding pocket of albumin, the major serum protein (see Fig. 23.1). Fatty acids enter cells both by a saturable transport process and by diffusion through the lipid plasma membrane. A fatty acid binding protein in the plasma membrane facilitates transport. An additional fatty acid binding protein binds the fatty acid intracellularly and may facilitate its transport to the mitochondrion. The free fatty acid concentration in cells is, therefore, extremely low. 2.

ACTIVATION OF LONG-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS

Fatty acids must be activated to acyl CoA derivatives before they can participate in -oxidation and other metabolic pathways (Fig. 23.2). The process of activation involves an acyl CoA synthetase (also called a thiokinase) that uses ATP energy to form the fatty acyl CoA thioester bond. In this reaction, the bond of ATP is cleaved to form a fatty acyl AMP intermediate and pyrophosphate (PPi). Subsequent cleavage of PPi helps to drive the reaction. The acyl CoA synthetase that activates long-chain fatty acids, 12 to 20 carbons in length, is present in three locations in the cell: the endoplasmic reticulum, outer mitochondrial membranes, and peroxisomal membranes (Table 23.1). This enzyme has no activity toward C22 or longer fatty acids, and little activity below C12. In contrast, the synthetase for activation of very-long-chain fatty acids is present in peroxisomes, and the medium-chain-length fatty acid activating enzyme is present only in the mitochondrial matrix of liver and kidney cells. 3.

FATES OF FATTY ACYL COAS

Fatty acyl CoA formation, like the phosphorylation of glucose, is a prerequisite to metabolism of the fatty acid in the cell (Fig. 23.3). The multiple locations of the longchain acyl CoA synthetase reflects the location of different metabolic routes taken by fatty acyl CoA derivatives in the cell (e.g., triacylglycerol and phospholipid synthesis

421

422

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Fatty acyl CoA Energy β-oxidation ketogenesis

O ATP

Membrane lipids Phospholipids Sphingolipids

O

P

O P

O –

O O

O

O

Fatty acid

P

O

Adenosine

O–

O

R C O

Storage Triacylglycerols

Fig. 23.3. Major metabolic routes for longchain fatty acyl CoAs. Fatty acids are activated to acyl CoA compounds for degradation in mitochondrial -oxidation, or incorporation into triacylglycerols or membrane lipids. When -oxidation is blocked through an inherited enzyme deficiency, or metabolic regulation, excess fatty acids are diverted into triacylglycerol synthesis.

fatty acyl CoA synthetase

O Fatty acyl AMP (enzyme-bound)

R

C

CoASH fatty acyl CoA synthetase

Fatty acyl CoA

R

O

P

Adenosine

O

+ O P O P O– O–

O

••

O

O

O

O–

Pyrophosphate AMP

inorganic pyrophosphatase

O C ~ SCoA

2 Pi

Fig. 23.2. Activation of a fatty acid by a fatty acyl CoA synthetase. The fatty acid is activated by reacting with ATP to form a high-energy fatty acyl AMP and pyrophosphate. The AMP is then exchanged for CoA. Pyrophosphate is cleaved by a pyrophosphatase.

Table 23.1. Chain-Length Specificity of Fatty Acid Activation and Oxidation Enzymes Enzyme

Chain Length

Comments

Very Long Chain

14–26

Only found in peroxisomes

Long Chain

12–20

Enzyme present in membranes of ER, mitochondria, and peroxisomes to facilitate different metabolic routes of acyl CoAs.

Acyl CoA synthetases

Medium Chain

6–12

Exists as many variants, present only in mitochondrial matrix of kidney and liver. Also involved in xenobiotic metabolism.

Acetyl

2–4

Present in cytoplasm and possibly mitochondrial matrix

Acyltransferases CPTI

12–16

Although maximum activity is for fatty acids 12–16 carbons long, it also acts on many smaller acyl CoA derivatives

Medium Chain (Octanoylcarnitine transferase)

6–12

Substrate is medium-chain acyl CoA derivatives generated during peroxisomal oxidation.

Carnitine:acetyl transferase

2

High level in skeletal muscle and heart to facilitate use of acetate as a fuel

Acyl CoA Dehydrogenases VLCAD

14–20

Present in inner mitochondrial membrane

LCAD MCAD

12–18 4–12

Members of same enzyme family, which also includes acyl CoA dehydrogenases for carbon skeleton of branched-chain amino acids.

SCAD

4–6

Other enzymes Enoyl CoA hydratase, Short-chain

>4

Also called crotonase. Activity decreases with increasing chain length.

L-3-Hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase, Short-Chain

4–16

Activity decreases with increasing chain length

Acetoacetyl CoA thiolase

4

Specific for acetoacetyl CoA

Trifunctional Protein

12–16

Complex of long-chain enoyl hydratase, acyl CoA dehydrogenase and a thiolase with broad specificity. Most active with longer chains.

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

in the endoplasmic reticulum, oxidation and plasmalogen synthesis in the peroxisome, and -oxidation in mitochondria). In the liver and some other tissues, fatty acids that are not being used for energy generation are re-incorporated (re-esterified) into triacylglycerols. 4.

TRANSPORT OF LONG-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS INTO MITOCHONDRIA

Carnitine serves as the carrier that transports activated long chain fatty acyl groups across the inner mitochondrial membrane (Fig. 23.4). Carnitine acyl transferases are able to reversibly transfer an activated fatty acyl group from CoA to the hydroxyl group of carnitine to form an acylcarnitine ester. The reaction is reversible, so that the fatty acyl CoA derivative can be regenerated from the carnitine ester. Carnitine:palmitoyltransferase I (CPTI; also called carnitine acyltransferase I, CATI), the enzyme that transfers long-chain fatty acyl groups from CoA to carnitine, is located on the outer mitochondrial membrane (Fig. 23.5). Fatty acylcarnitine crosses the inner mitochondrial membrane with the aid of a translocase. The fatty acyl group is transferred back to CoA by a second enzyme, carnitine:palmitoyltransferase II (CPTII or CATII). The carnitine released in this reaction returns to the cytosolic side of the mitochondrial membrane by the same translocase that brings fatty acylcarnitine to the matrix side. Long-chain fatty acyl CoA, now located within the mitochondrial matrix, is a substrate for -oxidation. Carnitine is obtained from the diet or synthesized from the side chain of lysine by a pathway that begins in skeletal muscle, and is completed in the liver. The reactions use S-adenosylmethionine to donate methyl groups, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is also required for these reactions. Skeletal muscles have a

ATP + CoA Fatty acid

423

A number of inherited diseases in the metabolism of carnitine or acylcarnitines have been described. These include defects in the following enzymes or systems: the transporter for carnitine uptake into muscle; CPT I; carnitineacylcarnitine translocase; and CPTII. Classical CPTII deficiency, the most common of these diseases, is characterized by adolescent to adult onset of recurrent episodes of acute myoglobinuria precipitated by prolonged exercise or fasting. During these episodes, the patient is weak, and may be somewhat hypoglycemic with diminished ketosis (hypoketosis), but metabolic decompensation is not severe. Lipid deposits are found in skeletal muscles. CPK levels, and long-chain acylcarnitines are elevated in the blood. CPTII levels in fibroblasts are approximately 25% of normal. The remaining CPTII activity probably accounts for the mild effect on liver metabolism. In contrast, when CPTII deficiency has presented in infants, CPT II levels are below 10% of normal, the hypoglycemia and hypoketosis are severe, hepatomegaly occurs from the triacylglycerol deposits, and cardiomyopathy is also present.

Cytosol

AMP + PPi

Fatty acyl CoA Carnitine palmitoyl – transferase I

Acyl CoA synthetase

(CPT I )

Outer mitochondrial membrane CoA

Fatty acyl CoA

Fatty acylcarnitine

Carnitine Carnitine palmitoyl – transferase II

Carnitine acylcar – nitine translocase

Matrix

(CPT II )

CH3 O

CoA

CH3

Fatty acylcarnitine Carnitine

CH3

Inner mitochondrial membrane

Fatty acyl CoA

β – oxidation Fig. 23.5. Transport of long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria. The fatty acyl CoA crosses the outer mitochondrial membrane. Carnitine palmitoyl transferase I in the outer mitochondrial membrane transfers the fatty acyl group to carnitine and releases CoASH. The fatty acyl carnitine is translocated into the mitochondrial matrix as carnitine moves out. Carnitine palmitoyl transferase II on the inner mitochondrial membrane transfers the fatty acyl group back to CoASH, to form fatty acyl CoA in the matrix.

(CH2)n C

+

N

CH3

CH2 O

CH CH2 COO–

Fatty acylcarnitine

Fig. 23.4. Structure of fatty acylcarnitine. Carnitine: palmitoyl transferases catalyze the reversible transfer of a long-chain fatty acyl group from the fatty acyl CoA to the hydroxyl group of carnitine. The atoms in the dashed box originate from the fatty acyl CoA.

424

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Otto Shape’s power supplement contains carnitine. However, his body can synthesize enough carnitine to meet his needs, and his diet contains carnitine. Carnitine deficiency has been found only in infants fed a soy-based formula that was not supplemented with carnitine. His other supplements likewise probably provide no benefit, but are designed to facilitate fatty acid oxidation during exercise. Riboflavin is the vitamin precursor of FAD, which is required for acyl CoA dehydrogenases and ETFs. CoQ is synthesized in the body, but it is the recipient in the electron transport chain for electrons passed from complexes I and II and the ETFs. Some reports suggest that supplementation with pantothenate, the precursor of CoA, improves performance.

COASH

α O

H3C

C~ SCoA

β Palmitoyl CoA

high-affinity uptake system for carnitine, and most of the carnitine in the body is stored in skeletal muscle.

C. -Oxidation of Long-Chain Fatty Acids The oxidation of fatty acids to acetyl CoA in the -oxidation spiral conserves energy as FAD(2H) and NADH. FAD(2H) and NADH are oxidized in the electron transport chain, generating ATP from oxidative phosphorylation. Acetyl CoA is oxidized in the TCA cycle or converted to ketone bodies. 1.

THE -OXIDATION SPIRAL

The fatty acid -oxidation pathway sequentially cleaves the fatty acyl group into 2carbon acetyl CoA units, beginning with the carboxyl end attached to CoA (Fig. 23.6). Before cleavage, the -carbon is oxidized to a keto group in two reactions that generate NADH and FAD(2H); thus, the pathway is called -oxidation. As each acetyl group is released, the cycle of -oxidation and cleavage begins again, but each time the fatty acyl group is 2 carbons shorter. There are four types of reactions in the -oxidation pathway (Fig. 23.7). In the first step, a double bond is formed between the - and -carbons by an acyl CoA dehydrogenase that transfers electrons to FAD. The double bond is in the trans

Mitochondrial matrix

CH3

β

CH2

CH2

O

α

C ~ SCoA

CH2

Fatty acyl CoA

[total C = n]

H3C

FAD

1

O

acyl CoA dehydrogenase

C ~ SCoA

+ O CH3 C~ SCoA 7 Repetitions of the β–oxidation spiral

CH3

CH2

~ 1.5 ATP

FAD (2H)

β

O CH

CH

C ~ SCoA

trans ∆2 Fatty enoyl CoA

Acetyl CoA

8 Acetyl CoA

Fig. 23.6. Overview of -oxidation. Oxidation at the -carbon is followed by cleavage of the — bond, releasing acetyl CoA and a fatty acyl CoA that is two carbons shorter than the original. The carbons cleaved to form acetyl CoA are shown in blue. Successive spirals of -oxidation completely cleave an evenchain fatty acyl CoA to acetyl CoA.

H2O

2 enoyl CoA hydratase

β–Oxidation Spiral

CH2

CH3

β

OH CH

CH2

C ~ SCoA

L – β – Hydroxy acyl CoA

NAD+

3 β-hydroxy acyl CoA dehydrogenase

CH3

O

CH2

β

NADH + H+ O C

~ 2.5 ATP

O CH2

C ~ SCoA

β – Keto acyl CoA

CoASH

4 β-keto thiolase

O CH3 [total C =(n – 2)]

CH2 C SCoA + CH3 Fatty acyl CoA

O C ~ SCoA Acetyl CoA

Fig. 23.7. Steps of -oxidation . The four steps are repeated until an even-chain fatty acid is completely converted to acetyl CoA. The FAD(2H) and NADH are reoxidized by the electron transport chain, producing ATP.

425

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

configuration (a 2-trans double bond). In the next step, an OH from water is added to the -carbon, and an H from water is added to the -carbon. The enzyme is called an enoyl hydratase (hydratases add the elements of water, and “ene” in a name denotes a double bond). In the third step of -oxidation, the hydroxyl group on the -carbon is oxidized to a ketone by a hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase. In this reaction, as in the conversion of most alcohols to ketones, the electrons are transferred to NAD to form NADH. In the last reaction of the sequence, the bond between the - and -carbons is cleaved by a reaction that attaches CoASH to the -carbon, and acetyl CoA is released. This is a thiolytic reaction (lysis refers to breakage of the bond, and thio refers to the sulfur), catalyzed by enzymes called -ketothiolases. The release of two carbons from the carboxyl end of the original fatty acyl CoA produces acetyl CoA and a fatty acyl CoA that is two carbons shorter than the original. The shortened fatty acyl CoA repeats these four steps until all of its carbons are converted to acetyl CoA. -Oxidation is, thus, a spiral rather than a cycle. In the last spiral, cleavage of the four-carbon fatty acyl CoA (butyryl CoA) produces two acetyl CoA. Thus, an even chain fatty acid such as palmitoyl CoA, which has 16 carbons, is cleaved seven times, producing 7 FAD(2H), 7 NADH, and 8 acetyl CoA. 2.

ENERGY YIELD OF -OXIDATION

Like the FAD in all flavoproteins, FAD(2H) bound to the acyl CoA dehydrogenases is oxidized back to FAD without dissociating from the protein (Fig. 23.8). Electron transfer flavoproteins (ETF) in the mitochondrial matrix accept electrons from the enzyme-bound FAD(2H) and transfer these electrons to ETF-QO (electron transfer flavoprotein -CoQ oxidoreductase) in the inner mitochondrial membrane. ETF-QO, also a flavoprotein, transfers the electrons to CoQ in the electron transport chain. Oxidative phosphorylation thus generates approximately 1.5 ATP for each FAD(2H) produced in the -oxidation spiral. The total energy yield from the oxidation of 1 mole of palmityl CoA to 8 moles of acetyl CoA is therefore 28 moles of ATP: 1.5 for each of the 7 FAD(2H), and 2.5 for each of the 7 NADH. To calculate the energy yield from oxidation of 1 mole of palmitate, two ATP need to be subtracted from the total because two high-energy phosphate bonds are cleaved when palmitate is activated to palmityl CoA. 3.

The -oxidation spiral uses the same reaction types seen in the TCA cycle when succinate is converted to oxaloacetate.

CH2

CH2

H C

H C

Palmitoyl CoA

Palmitoloyl CoA

FAD Acyl CoA DH

FAD (2H) Acyl CoA DH

FAD (2H) ETF

FAD ETF

FAD ETF • QO

FAD (2H) ETF • QO

CoQH2

CoQ Electron transport chain

Fig. 23.8. Transfer of electrons from acyl CoA dehydrogenase to the electron transport chain. Abbreviations: ETF, electron-transferring flavoprotein; ETF-QO, electron-transferring flavoprotein–Coenzyme Q oxidoreductase.

What is the total ATP yield for the oxidation of 1 mole of palmitic acid to carbon dioxide and water?

CHAIN LENGTH SPECIFITY IN -OXIDATION

The four reactions of -oxidation are catalyzed by sets of enzymes that are each specific for fatty acids with different chain lengths (see Table 23.1). The acyl dehydrogenases, which catalyze the first step of the pathway, are part of an enzyme family that have four different ranges of specificity. The subsequent steps of the spiral use enzymes specific for long- or short-chain enoyl CoAs. Although these enzymes are structurally distinct, their specificity overlaps to some extent. After reviewing Lofata Burne’s previous hospital records, a specialist suspected that Lofata’s medical problems were caused by a disorder in fatty acid metabolism. A battery of tests showed that Lofata’s blood contained elevated levels of several partially oxidized medium-chain fatty acids, such as octanoic acid (8:0) and 4-decenoic acid (10:1, 4). A urine specimen showed an increase in organic acid metabolites of medium-chain fatty acids containing 6 to 10 carbons, including medium-chain acylcarnitine derivatives. The profile of acylcarnitine species in the urine was characteristic of a genetically determined medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency. In this disease, long-chain fatty acids are metabolized by -oxidation to a medium-chain-length acyl CoA, such as octanoyl CoA. Because further oxidation of this compound is blocked in MCAD deficiency, the medium chain acyl group is transferred back to carnitine. These acylcarnitines are water soluble and appear in blood and urine. The specific enzyme deficiency was demonstrated in cultured fibroblasts from Lofata’s skin as well as in her circulating monocytic leukocytes. In LCAD deficiency, fatty acylcarnitines accumulate in the blood. Those containing 14 carbons predominate. However, these do not appear in the urine.

426

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Palmitic acid is 16 carbons long, with no double bonds, so it requires 7 oxidation spirals to be completely converted to acetyl-CoA. After 7 spirals, there are 7 FAD(2H), 7 NADH, and 8 acetyl-CoA. Each NADH yields 2.5 ATP, each FAD(2H) yields 1.5 ATP, and each acetyl-CoA yields 10 ATP as it is processed around the TCA cycle. This then yields 17.5 10.5 80.5 108 ATP. However, activation of palmitic acid to palmityl-CoA requires two high-energy bonds, so the net yield is 108 – 2, or 106 moles of ATP. Linoleate, although high in the diet, cannot be synthesized in the human and is an essential fatty acid. It is required for formation of arachidonate, which is present in plasma lipids, and is used for eicosanoid synthesis. Therefore, only a portion of the linoleate pool is rapidly oxidized.

As the fatty acyl chains are shortened by consecutive cleavage of two acetyl units, they are transferred from enzymes that act on longer chains to those that act on shorter chains. Medium- or short-chain fatty acyl CoAs that may be formed from dietary fatty acids, or transferred from peroxisomes, enter the spiral at the enzyme most active for fatty acids of their chain length 4.

Approximately one half of the fatty acids in the human diet are unsaturated, containing cis double bonds, with oleate (C18:1, 9) and linoleate (18:2,9,12) being the most common. In -oxidation of saturated fatty acids, a trans double bond is created between the 2nd and 3rd ( and ) carbons. For unsaturated fatty acids to undergo the -oxidation spiral, their cis double bonds must be isomerized to trans double bonds that will end up between the 2nd and 3rd carbons during -oxidation, or the double bond must be reduced. The process is illustrated for the polyunsaturated fatty acid linoleate in Fig. 23.9. Linoleate undergoes -oxidation until one double bond is between carbons 3 and 4 near the carboxyl end of the fatty acyl chain, and the other is between carbons 6 and 7. An isomerase moves the double bond from the 3,4 position so that it is trans and in the 2,3 position, and -oxidation continues. When a conjugated pair of double bonds is formed (two double bonds separated by one single bond) at positions 2 and 4, an NADPH-dependent reductase reduces the pair to one trans double bond at position 3. Then isomerization and -oxidation resume. In oleate (C18:1, 9), there is only one double bond between carbons 9 and 10. It is handled by an isomerization reaction similar to that shown for the double bond at position 9 of linoleate. 5.

The medium-chain-length acyl CoA synthetase has a broad range of specificity for compounds of approximately the same size that contain a carboxyl group, such as drugs (salicylate, from aspirin metabolism, and valproate, which is used to treat epileptic seizures), or benzoate, a common component of plants. Once the drug acyl CoA is formed, the acyl group is conjugated with glycine to form a urinary excretion product. With certain disorders of fatty acid oxidation, medium- and short-chain fatty acylglycines may appear in the urine, together with acylcarnitines or dicarboxylic acids.

OXIDATION OF UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS

ODD-CHAIN-LENGTH FATTY ACIDS

Fatty acids containing an odd number of carbon atoms undergo -oxidation, producing acetyl CoA, until the last spiral, when five carbons remain in the fatty acyl CoA. In this case, cleavage by thiolase produces acetyl CoA and a three-carbon fatty acyl CoA, propionyl CoA (Fig. 23.10). Carboxylation of propionyl CoA yields methylmalonyl CoA, which is ultimately converted to succinyl CoA in a vitamin B12–dependent reaction (Fig. 23.11). Propionyl CoA also arises from the oxidation of branched chain amino acids. The propionyl CoA to succinyl CoA pathway is a major anaplerotic route for the TCA cycle and is used in the degradation of valine, isoleucine, and a number of other compounds. In the liver, this route provides precursors of oxaloacetate, which is converted to glucose. Thus, this small proportion of the odd-carbonnumber fatty acid chain can be converted to glucose. In contrast, the acetyl CoA formed from -oxidation of even-chain-number fatty acids in the liver either enters the TCA cycle, where it is principally oxidized to CO2, or is converted to ketone bodies.

D. Oxidation of Medium-Chain-Length Fatty Acids Dietary medium-chain-length fatty acids are more water soluble than long-chain fatty acids and are not stored in adipose triacylglyce. After a meal, they enter the blood and pass into the portal vein to the liver. In the liver, they enter the mitochondrial matrix by the monocarboxylate transporter and are activated to acyl CoA derivatives in the mitochondrial matrix (see Fig. 23.1). Medium-chain-length acyl CoAs, like long-chain acyl CoAs, are oxidized to acetyl CoA via the -oxidation spiral. Medium-chain acyl CoAs also can arise from the peroxisomal oxidation pathway.

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

12

9 1

18

O

C SCoA

β oxidation (three spirals) 4

427

Linoleolyl CoA cis – ∆9, cis – ∆12

3 Acetyl CoA 3

O C

2

cis – ∆3, cis – ∆6

SCoA

enoyl CoA isomerase 4

2

1

C

3

SCoA

trans – ∆2, cis – ∆6

O One spiral of β oxidation and the first step of the second spiral 5

4

Acetyl CoA

2

SCoA

1

C

3

trans – ∆2, cis – ∆4

O NADPH + H+

2,4-dienoyl CoA reductase

5

NADP+ 1

3 4

O C

2

trans – ∆3

SCoA

enoyl CoA isomerase 5

1

3 4

2

O C

trans – ∆2

SCoA

β oxidation (four spirals) 5 Acetyl CoA

Fig. 23.9. Oxidation of linoleate. After three spirals of -oxidation (dashed lines), there is now a 3,4 cis double bond and a 6,7 cis double bond. The 3,4 cis double bond is isomerized to a 2,3-trans double bond, which is in the proper configuration for the normal enzymes to act. One spiral of -oxidation occurs, plus the first step of a second spiral. A reductase that uses NADPH now converts these two double bonds (between carbons 2 and 3 and carbons 4 and 5) to one double bond between carbons 3 and 4 in a trans configuration. The isomerase (which can act on double bonds that are in either the cis or the trans configuration) moves this double bond to the 2,3-trans position, and -oxidation can resume.

O

ω

O CH3 CH2

E. Regulation of -Oxidation Fatty acids are used as fuels principally when they are released from adipose tissue triacylglycerols in response to hormones that signal fasting or increased demand. Many tissues, such as muscle and kidney, oxidize fatty acids completely to CO2 and H2O. In these tissues, the acetyl CoA produced by -oxidation enters the TCA cycle. The FAD(2H) and the NADH from -oxidation and the TCA cycle are

C ~ SCoA

C ~ SCoA

Propionyl CoA

O CH3 C ~ SCoA Acetyl CoA

Fig. 23.10. Formation of propionyl CoA from odd-chain fatty acids. Successive spirals of -oxidation cleave each of the bonds marked with dashed lines, producing acetyl CoA except for the three carbons at the -end, which produce propionyl CoA.

428

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

H

H

H

C

C

H

H

O C SCoA

Propionyl CoA –

HCO 3 ATP propionyl CoA carboxylase

Biotin AMP + PPi

H

H

H

C

C

H

O C SCoA

C O– O

D –Methylmalonyl

CoA

methylmalonyl CoA epimerase

H

H

H

C

C

H

C

O

O C O– SCoA

L –Methylmalonyl

methylmalonyl CoA mutase

H

O

CoA

coenzyme B12

H

H

C

C

C

H

O C O–

SCoA

Succinyl CoA

Fig. 23.11. Conversion of propionyl CoA to succinyl CoA. Succinyl CoA, an intermediate of the TCA cycle, can form malate, which can be converted to glucose in the liver through the process of gluconeogenesis. Certain amino acids also form glucose by this route (see Chapter 39).

As Otto Shape runs, his skeletal muscles increase their use of ATP and their rate of fuel oxidation. Fatty acid oxidation is accelerated by the increased rate of the electron transport chain. As ATP is used and AMP increases, an AMPdependent protein kinase acts to facilitate fuel utilization and maintain ATP homeostasis. Phosphorylation of acetyl CoA carboxylase results in a decreased level of malonyl CoA and increased activity of carnitine: palmitoyl CoA transferase I. At the same time, AMP-dependent protein kinase facilitates the recruitment of glucose transporters into the plasma membrane of skeletal muscle, thereby increasing the rate of glucose uptake. AMP and hormonal signals also increase the supply of glucose 6-P from glycogenolysis. Thus, his muscles are supplied with more fuel, and all the oxidative pathways are accelerated.

reoxidized by the electron transport chain, and ATP is generated. The process of oxidation is regulated by the cells’ requirements for energy (i.e., by the levels of ATP and NADH), because fatty acids cannot be oxidized any faster than NADH and FAD(2H) are reoxidized in the electron transport chain. Fatty acid oxidation also may be restricted by the mitochondrial CoASH pool size. Acetyl CoASH units must enter the TCA cycle or another metabolic pathway to regenerate CoASH required for formation of the fatty acyl CoA derivative from fatty acyl carnitine. An additional type of regulation occurs at carnitine:palmitoyltransferase I (CPTI). Carnitine:palmitoyltransferase I is inhibited by malonyl CoA, which is synthesized in the cytosol of many tissues by acetyl CoA carboxylase (Fig. 23.12). Acetyl CoA carboxylase is regulated by a number of different mechanisms, some of which are tissue dependent. In skeletal muscles and liver, it is inhibited when phosphorylated by protein kinase B, an AMP-dependent protein kinase. Thus, during exercise when AMP levels increase, AMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylates acetyl CoA carboxylase, which becomes inactive. Consequently, malonyl CoA levels decrease, carnitine:palmitoyltransferase I is activated, and the -oxidation of fatty acids is able to restore ATP homeostasis and decrease AMP levels. In liver, in addition to the regulation by the AMP-dependent protein kinase acetyl CoA carboxylase is activated by insulin-dependent mechanisms, which promotes the conversion of malonyl CoA to palmitate in the fatty acid synthesis pathway. Thus, in the liver, malonyl CoA inhibition of CPTI prevents newly synthesized fatty acids from being oxidized. -oxidation is strictly an aerobic pathway, dependent on oxygen, a good blood supply, and adequate levels of mitochondria. Tissues that lack mitochondria, such

1 Fatty acid

ATP ADP

– AMP-PK (muscle, liver) 2 Malonyl CoA Acetyl CoA Acetyl CoA Fatty acyl carnitine carboxylase + Insulin (liver) NADH FAD (2H) – β-oxidation Fatty acyl CoA –

3 Electron transport chain

Acetyl CoA

Fig. 23.12. Regulation of -oxidation. (1) Hormones control the supply of fatty acids in the blood. (2) Carnitine:palmitoyl transferase I is inhibited by malonyl CoA, which is synthesized by acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC). AMP-PK is the AMP-dependent protein kinase. (3) The rate of ATP utilization controls the rate of the electron transport chain, which regulates the oxidative enzymes of -oxidation and the TCA cycle.

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

429

as red blood cells, cannot oxidize fatty acids by -oxidation. Fatty acids also do not serve as a significant fuel for the brain. They are not used by adipocytes, whose function is to store triacylglycerols to provide a fuel for other tissues. Those tissues that do not use fatty acids as a fuel, or use them only to a limited extent, are able to use ketone bodies instead.

II. ALTERNATE ROUTES OF FATTY ACID OXIDATION Fatty acids that are not readily oxidized by the enzymes of -oxidation enter alternate pathways of oxidation, including peroxisomal - and -oxidation and microsomal -oxidation. The function of these pathways is to convert as much as possible of the unusual fatty acids to compounds that can be used as fuels or biosynthetic precursors, and to convert the remainder to compounds that can be excreted in bile or urine. During prolonged fasting, fatty acids released from adipose triacylglycerols may enter the -oxidation or peroxisomal -oxidation pathway, even though they have a normal composition. These pathways not only use fatty acids, but they act on xenobiotic carboxylic acids that are large hydrophobic molecules resembling fatty acids.

Xenobiotic: a term used to cover all organic compounds that are foreign to an organism. This can also include naturally occurring compounds that are administered by alternate routes or at unusual concentrations. Drugs can be considered xenobiotics.

A. Peroxisomal Oxidation of Fatty Acids A small proportion of our diet consists of very-long-chain fatty acids (20 or more carbons) or branched-chain fatty acids arising from degradative products of chlorophyll. Very-long-chain fatty acid synthesis also occurs within the body, especially in cells of the brain and nervous system, which incorporate them into the sphingolipids of myelin. These fatty acids are oxidized by peroxisomal - and -oxidation pathways, which are essentially chain-shortening pathways.

O R

CH2 CH2 C SCoA FAD FADH2 H R C

1.

VERY-LONG-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS

Very-long-chain fatty acids of 24 to 26 carbons are oxidized exclusively in peroxisomes by a sequence of reactions similar to mitochondrial -oxidation in that they generate acetyl CoA and NADH. However, the peroxisomal oxidation of straightchain fatty acids stops when the chain reaches 4 to 6 carbons in length. Some of the long-chain fatty acids also may be oxidized by this route. The long-chain fatty acyl CoA synthetase is present in the peroxisomal membrane, and the acyl CoA derivatives enter the peroxisome by a transporter that does not require carnitine. The first enzyme of peroxisomal -oxidation is an oxidase, which donates electrons directly to molecular oxygen and produces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) (Fig.23.13). (In contrast, the first enzyme of mitochondrial -oxidation is a dehydrogenase that contains FAD and transfers the electrons to the electron transport chain via ETF.) Thus, the first enzyme of peroxisomal oxidation is not linked to energy production. The three remaining steps of -oxidation are catalyzed by enoyl-CoA hydratase, hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase, and thiolase, enzymes with activities similar to those found in mitochondrial -oxidation, but coded for by different genes. Thus, one NADH and one acetyl CoA are generated for each turn of the spiral. The peroxisomal -oxidation spiral continues generating acetyl CoA until a medium-chain acyl CoA, which may be as short as butyryl CoA, is produced (Fig. 23.14). Within the peroxisome, the acetyl groups can be transferred from CoA to carnitine by an acetylcarnitine transferase, or they can enter the cytosol. A similar reaction converts medium-chain-length acyl CoAs and the short-chain butyryl CoA to acyl carnitine derivatives. These acylcarnitines diffuse from the peroxisome to the mitochondria, pass through the outer mitochondrial membrane, and are transported through the inner mitochondrial membrane via the carnitine translocase system.

H2O2 O2

O C C H

SCoA

Fig. 23.13. Oxidation of fatty acids in peroxisomes. The first step of -oxidation is catalyzed by an FAD-containing oxidase. The electrons are transferred from FAD(2H) to O2, which is reduced to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

A number of inherited deficiencies of peroxisomal enzymes have been described. Zellweger’s syndrome, which results from defective peroxisomal biogenesis, leads to complex developmental and metabolic phenotypes affecting principally the liver and the brain. One of the metabolic characteristics of these diseases is an elevation of C26:0, and C26:1 fatty acid levels in plasma. Refsum’s disease is caused by a deficiency in a single peroxisomal enzyme, the phytanoyl CoA hydroxylase that carries out -oxidation of phytanic acid. Symptoms include retinitis pigmentosa, cerebellar ataxia, and chronic polyneuropathy. Because phytanic acid is obtained solely from the diet, placing patients on a low– phytanic acid diet has resulted in marked improvement.

430

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

VLCFA

Outer mitochondrial membrane

VLCFA CoA

Inner mitochondrial membrane CoASH Carnitine CAT

VLACS VLCFA CoA (H2O2)n

C P T 1

(Acetyl CoA)n

(NADH)n SCFA CoA MCFA CoA

CAT

Acetylcarnitine

Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

Acetylcarnitine

NADH CO2, H2O

CAC

MCFA CoA SCFA CoA

COT SCFA-carnitine MCFA-carnitine

SCFA-carnitine MCFA-carnitine n turns of β-oxidation

Further CPT II

Peroxisome

β-oxidation

Mitochondrion

Fig. 23.14. Chain-shortening by peroxisomal -oxidation. Abbreviations: VLCFA, very-long-chain fatty acyl; VLACS, very-long-chain acylCoA synthetase; MCFA, medium-chain fatty acyl; SCFA, short-chain fatty acyl; CAT, carnitine:acetyltransferase; COT, carnitine:octanoyltransferase; CAC: carnitine:acylcarnitine carrier; CPT1, carnitine: palmitoyltransferase 1; CPT2, carnitine: palmityltransferase 2; OMM, outer mitochondrial membrane; IMM, inner mitochondrial membrane. Very-long-chain fatty acyl CoAs and some long-chain fatty acyl CoAs are oxidized in peroxisomes through n cycles of -oxidation to the stage of a short- to medium-chain fatty acyl CoA. These short to medium fatty acyl CoAs are converted to carnitine derivatives by COT or CAT in the peroxisomes. In the mitochondria, SCFA-carnitine are converted back to acyl CoA derivatives by either CPT2 or CAT.

β –oxidation CH3

CH3

CH3

CH3

COO–

CH3

α –oxidation Fig. 23.15. Oxidation of phytanic acid. A peroxisomal -hydroxylase oxidizes the -carbon, and its subsequent oxidation to a carboxyl group releases the carboxyl carbon as CO2. Subsequent spirals of peroxisomal -oxidation alternately release propionyl and acetyl CoA. At a chain length of approximately 8 carbons, the remaining branched fatty acid is transferred to mitochondria as a medium-chain carnitine derivative.

They are converted back to acyl CoAs by carnitine: acyltransferases appropriate for their chain length and enter the normal pathways for -oxidation and acetyl CoA metabolism. The electrons from NADH and acetyl CoA can also pass from the peroxisome to the cytosol. The export of NADH-containing electrons occurs through use of a shuttle system similar to those described for NADH electron transfer into the mitochondria. Peroxisomes are present in almost every cell type and contain many degradative enzymes, in addition to fatty acyl CoA oxidase, that generate hydrogen peroxide. H2O2 can generate toxic free radicals. Thus, these enzymes are confined to peroxisomes, where the H2O2 can be neutralized by the free radical defense enzyme, catalase. Catalase converts H2O2 to water and O2. 2.

LONG-CHAIN BRANCHED-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS

Two of the most common branched-chain fatty acids in the diet are phytanic acid and pristanic acid, which are degradation products of chlorophyll and thus are consumed in green vegetables (Fig.23.15). Animals do not synthesize branched-chain fatty acids. These two multi-methylated fatty acids are oxidized in peroxisomes to the level of a branched C8 fatty acid, which is then transferred to mitochondria. The pathway thus is similar to that for the oxidation of straight very-long-chain fatty acids. Phytanic acid, a multi-methylated C20 fatty acid, is first oxidized to pristanic acid using the -oxidation pathway (see Fig.23.15). Phytanic acid hydroxylase introduces a hydroxyl group on the -carbon, which is then oxidized to a carboxyl group with release of the original carboxyl group as CO2. By shortening the fatty acid by one carbon, the methyl groups will appear on the -carbon rather than the

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

-carbon during the -oxidation spiral, and can no longer interfere with oxidation of the -carbon. Peroxisomal -oxidation thus can proceed normally, releasing propionyl CoA and acetyl CoA with alternate turns of the spiral. When a medium chain length of approximately eight carbons is reached, the fatty acid is transferred to the mitochondrion as a carnitine derivative, and -oxidation is resumed.

Fatty acids also may be oxidized at the -carbon of the chain (the terminal methyl group) by enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum (Fig. 23.16). The -methyl group is first oxidized to an alcohol by an enzyme that uses cytochrome P450, molecular oxygen, and NADPH. Dehydrogenases convert the alcohol group to a carboxylic acid. The dicarboxylic acids produced by -oxidation can undergo -oxidation, forming compounds with 6 to 10 carbons that are water-soluble. Such compounds may then enter blood, be oxidized as medium-chain fatty acids, or be excreted in urine as medium-chain dicarboxylic acids. The pathways of peroxisomal and -oxidation, and microsomal -oxidation, are not feedback regulated. These pathways function to decrease levels of waterinsoluble fatty acids or of xenobiotic compounds with a fatty acid–like structure that would become toxic to cells at high concentrations. Thus, their rate is regulated by the availability of substrate.

III. METABOLISM OF KETONE BODIES Overall, fatty acids released from adipose triacylglycerols serve as the major fuel for the body during fasting. These fatty acids are completely oxidized to CO2 and H2O by some tissues. In the liver, much of the acetyl CoA generated from -oxidation of fatty acids is used for synthesis of the ketone bodies acetoacetate and hydroxybutyrate, which enter the blood (Fig. 23.17). In skeletal muscles and other

Fatty acid

β – oxidation

Liver

Acetyl CoA

Acetoacetate

β – Hydroxybutyrate

O CH3

Ketone bodies

Acetoacetate

β –Hydroxybutyrate

CO2 + H2O

Muscle

Fig. 23.17. The ketone bodies, acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate, are synthesized in the liver. Their principle fate is conversion back to acetyl CoA and oxidation in the TCA cycle in other tissues.

O–

(CH2)n C

ω O HO

B. -Oxidation of Fatty Acids

431

CH2

O

(CH2)n

C O–

O

O

C (CH2)n

– C O

Fig. 23.16. -Oxidation of fatty acids converts them to dicarboxylic acids.

Normally, -oxidation is a minor process. However, in conditions that interfere with -oxidation (such as carnitine deficiency or deficiency in an enzyme of -oxidation), -oxidation produces dicarboxylic acids in increased amounts. These dicarboxylic acids are excreted in the urine. Lofata Burne was excreting dicarboxylic acids in her urine, particularly adipic acid (which has 6 carbons) and suberic acid (which has 8 carbons). –OOC—CH2—CH2—CH2—CH2—COO– Adipic acid –OOC—CH2—CH2—CH2—CH2—CH2— CH2—COO–Suberic acid

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

tissues, these ketone bodies are converted back to acetyl CoA, which is oxidized in the TCA cycle with generation of ATP. An alternate fate of acetoacetate in tissues is the formation of cytosolic acetyl CoA.

A. Synthesis of Ketone Bodies In the liver, ketone bodies are synthesized in the mitochondrial matrix from acetyl CoA generated from fatty acid oxidation (Fig. 23.18). The thiolase reaction of fatty acid oxidation, which converts acetoacetyl CoA to two molecules of acetyl CoA, is a reversible reaction, although formation of acetoacetyl-CoA is not the favored direction. It can, thus, when acetyl-CoA levels are high, generate acetoacetyl CoA O CH3

O

C ~ SCoA

+

CH3

thiolase

C ~ SCoA

2 Acetyl CoA

CoASH O C

CH3

CH2

~

C

Acetoacetyl CoA

O

SCoA O CH3

HMG CoA synthase

OH CH3

C ~ SCoA

CoASH

C

O CH2

C

O–

CH2 C

~

432

3 – Hydroxy– 3 – methyl glutaryl CoA (HMG CoA)

O

SCoA HMG CoA lysase

Acetyl CoA O

CH3 D – β – hydroxybutyrate

C

NAD+ OH CH

CH2

C

NADH + H+

dehydrogenase

CH3

O O–

Acetoacetate Spontaneous

CO2 O

O CH2

C

O– D – β – Hydroxybutyrate

CH3

C

CH3

Acetone

Fig. 23.18. Synthesis of the ketone bodies acetoacetate, -hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. The portion of HMG-CoA shown in blue is released as acetyl CoA, and the remainder of the molecule forms acetoacetate. Acetoacetate is reduced to -hydroxybutyrate or decarboxylated to acetone. Note that the dehydrogenase that interconverts acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate is specific for the D-isomer. Thus, it differs from the dehydrogenases of -oxidation, which act on 3-hydroxy acyl CoA derivatives and is specific for the L-isomer.

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

for ketone body synthesis. The acetoacetyl CoA will react with acetyl CoA to produce 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA). The enzyme that catalyzes this reaction is HMG-CoA synthase. In the next reaction of the pathway, HMG-CoA lyase catalyzes the cleavage of HMG-CoA to form acetyl CoA and acetoacetate. Acetoacetate can directly enter the blood or it can be reduced by -hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase to -hydroxybutyrate, which enters the blood (see Fig. 23.18). This dehydrogenase reaction is readily reversible and interconverts these two ketone bodies, which exist in an equilibrium ratio determined by the NADH/NAD ratio of the mitochondrial matrix. Under normal conditions, the ratio of -hydroxybutyrate to acetoacetate in the blood is approximately 1:1. An alternate fate of acetoacetate is spontaneous decarboxylation, a nonenzymatic reaction that cleaves acetoacetate into CO2 and acetone (see Fig. 23.18). Because acetone is volatile, it is expired by the lungs. A small amount of acetone may be further metabolized in the body.

B. Oxidation of Ketone Bodies as Fuels Acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate can be oxidized as fuels in most tissues, including skeletal muscle, brain, certain cells of the kidney, and cells of the intestinal mucosa. Cells transport both acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate from the circulating blood into the cytosol, and into the mitochondrial matrix. Here -hydroxybutyrate is oxidized back to acetoacetate by -hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase. This reaction produces NADH. Subsequent steps convert acetoacetate to acetyl CoA (Fig. 23.19). In mitochondria, acetoacetate is activated to acetoacetyl CoA by succinyl CoA:acetoacetate CoA transferase. As the name suggests, CoA is transferred from succinyl CoA, a TCA cycle intermediate, to acetoacetate. Although the liver produces ketone bodies, it does not use them, because this thiotransferase enzyme is not present in sufficient quantity. Acetoacetyl CoA is cleaved to two molecules of acetyl CoA by acetoacetyl CoA thiolase, the same enzyme involved in -oxidation. The principal fate of this acetyl CoA is oxidation in the TCA cycle. The energy yield from oxidation of acetoacetate is equivalent to the yield for oxidation of 2 acetyl CoA in the TCA cycle (20 ATP) minus the energy for activation of acetoacetate (1 ATP). The energy of activation is calculated at one high-energy phosphate bond, because succinyl CoA is normally converted to succinate in the TCA cycle, with generation of one molecule of GTP (the energy equivalent of ATP). However, when the high-energy thioester bond of succinyl CoA is transferred to acetoacetate, succinate is produced without the generation of this GTP. Oxidation of -hydroxybutyrate generates one additional NADH. Therefore the net energy yield from one molecule of -hydroxybutyrate is approximately 21.5 molecules of ATP.

C. Alternate Pathways of Ketone Body Metabolism Although fatty acid oxidation is usually the major source of ketone bodies, they also can be generated from the catabolism of certain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. These amino acids are called ketogenic amino acids because their carbon skeleton is catabolized to acetyl CoA or acetoacetyl CoA, which may enter the pathway of ketone body synthesis in liver. Leucine and isoleucine also form acetyl CoA and acetoacetyl CoA in other tissues, as well as the liver. Acetoacetate can be activated to acetoacetyl CoA in the cytosol by an enzyme similar to the acyl CoA synthetases. This acetoacetyl CoA can be used directly in cholesterol synthesis. It also can be cleaved to two molecules of acetyl CoA by a cytosolic thiolase. Cytosolic acetyl CoA is required for processes such as acetylcholine synthesis in neuronal cells.

OH CH3

C

433

O CH2

C O–

H

D – β – Hydroxybutyrate

NAD+

D – β– hydroxybutyrate

dehyrdogenase

NADH + H+

O CH3

C

O CH2

C O–

Acetoacetate Succinyl CoA

Succinyl CoA: acetoacetate CoA transferase

Succinate

O CH3

C

O CH2

C SCoA

Acetoacetyl CoA CoASH thiolase

O CH3

O

+

C

CH3

SCoA

C SCoA

2 Acetyl CoA

Fig. 23.19. Oxidation of ketone bodies. Hydroxybutyrate is oxidized to acetoacetate, which is activated by accepting a CoA group from succinyl CoA. Acetoacetyl CoA is cleaved to two acetyl CoA, which enter the TCA cycle and are oxidized.

Ketogenic diets, which are high-fat diets with a 3:1 ratio of lipid to carbohydrate, are being used to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. The reason for its effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy is not known. Ketogenic diets are also used to treat children with pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. Ketone bodies can be used as a fuel by the brain in the absence of pyruvate dehydrogenase. They also can provide a source of cytosolic acetyl CoA for acetylcholine synthesis. They often contain medium-chain triglycerides, which induce ketosis more effectively than long-chain triglycerides.

434

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

IV. THE ROLE OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES IN FUEL HOMEOSTASIS

A. Preferential Utilization of Fatty Acids As fatty acids increase in the blood, they are used by skeletal muscles and certain other tissues in preference to glucose. Fatty acid oxidation generates NADH and FAD(2H) through both -oxidation and the TCA cycle, resulting in relatively high NADH/NAD ratios, acetyl CoA concentration, and ATP/ADP or ATP/AMP levels. In skeletal muscles, AMP-dependent protein kinase (see Section I.E.) adjusts the concentration of malonyl CoA so that CPT1 and -oxidation operate at a rate that is able to sustain ATP homeostasis. With adequate levels of ATP obtained from fatty acid (or ketone body) oxidation, the rate of glycolysis is decreased. The activity of the regulatory enzymes in glycolysis and the TCA cycle (pyruvate dehydrogenase and PFK-1) are decreased by the changes in concentration of their allosteric regulators (ADP, an activator of PDH, 6.0 Blood glucose and ketones (mmole/ liter)

Children are more prone to ketosis than adults because their body enters the fasting state more rapidly. Their bodies use more energy per unit mass (because their muscle-to-adiposetissue ratio is higher), and liver glycogen stores are depleted faster (the ratio of their brain mass to liver mass is higher). In children, blood ketone body levels reach 2 mM in 24 hours; in adults, it takes more than 3 days to reach this level. Mild pediatric infections causing anorexia and vomiting are the commonest cause of ketosis in children. Mild ketosis is observed in children after prolonged exercise, perhaps attributable to an abrupt decrease in muscular use of fatty acids liberated during exercise. The liver then oxidizes these fatty acids and produces ketone bodies.

Fatty acids are used as fuels whenever fatty acid levels are elevated in the blood, that is, during fasting, starvation, as a result of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, or during long-term low- to mild-intensity exercise. Under these conditions, a decrease in insulin and increased levels of glucagon, epinephrine, or other hormones stimulate adipose tissue lipolysis. Fatty acids begin to increase in the blood approximately 3 to 4 hours after a meal and progressively increase with time of fasting up to approximately 2 to 3 days (Fig. 23.20). In the liver, the rate of ketone body synthesis increases as the supply of fatty acids increases. However, the blood level of ketone bodies continues to increase, presumably because their utilization by skeletal muscles decreases. After 2 to 3 days of starvation, ketone bodies rise to a level in the blood that enables them to enter brain cells, where they are oxidized, thereby reducing the amount of glucose required by the brain. During prolonged fasting, they may supply as much as two thirds of the energy requirements of the brain. The reduction in glucose requirements spares skeletal muscle protein, which is a major source of amino acid precursors for hepatic glucose synthesis from gluconeogenesis.

β – Hydroxybutyrate

5.0

Glucose

4.0

3.0

2.0

Free fatty acids

1.0

Acetoacetate

0 0

10

20

30

40

Days of fasting

Fig. 23.20. Levels of ketone bodies in the blood at various times during fasting. Glucose levels remain relatively constant, as do levels of fatty acids. Ketone body levels, however, increase markedly, rising to levels at which they can be used by the brain and other nervous tissue. From Cahill GF Jr, Aoki TT. Med Times 1970;98:109.

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

decreases in concentration; NADH, and acetyl CoA, inhibitors of PDH, are increased in concentration under these conditions; and ATP and citrate, inhibitors of PFK-1, are increased in concentration). As a consequence, glucose6-P accumulates. Glucose-6-P inhibits hexokinase, thereby decreasing the rate of entry of glucose into glycolysis, and its uptake from the blood. In skeletal muscles, this pattern of fuel metabolism is facilitated by the decrease in insulin concentration (see Chapter 36). Preferential utilization of fatty acids does not, however, restrict the ability of glycolysis to respond to an increase in AMP or ADP levels, such as might occur during exercise or oxygen limitation.

B. Tissues That Use Ketone Bodies Skeletal muscles, the heart, the liver, and many other tissues use fatty acids as their major fuel during fasting and other conditions that increase fatty acids in the blood. However, a number of other tissues (or cell types), such as the brain, use ketone bodies to a greater extent. For example, cells of the intestinal muscosa, which transport fatty acids from the intestine to the blood, use ketone bodies and amino acids during starvation, rather than fatty acids. Adipocytes, which store fatty acids in triacylglycerols, do not use fatty acids as a fuel during fasting but can use ketone bodies. Ketone bodies cross the placenta, and can be used by the fetus. Almost all tissues and cell types, with the exception of liver and red blood cells, are able to use ketone bodies as fuels.

C. Regulation of Ketone Body Synthesis A number of events, in addition to the increased supply of fatty acids from adipose triacylglycerols, promote hepatic ketone body synthesis during fasting. The decreased insulin/glucagon ratio results in inhibition of acetyl CoA carboxylase and decreased malonyl CoA levels, which activates CPTI, thereby allowing fatty acyl CoA to enter the pathway of -oxidation. (Fig. 23.21). When oxidation of fatty acyl CoA to acetyl CoA generates enough NADH and FAD(2H) to supply the ATP needs of the liver, acetyl CoA is diverted from the TCA cycle into ketogenesis and oxaloacetate in the TCA cycle is diverted toward malate and into glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis). This pattern is regulated by the NADH/NAD ratio, which is relatively high during -oxidation. As the length of time of fasting continues, increased transcription of the gene for mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase facilitates high rates of ketone body production. Although the liver has been described as “altruistic” because it provides ketone bodies for other tissues, it is simply getting rid of fuel that it does not need.

CLINICAL COMMENTS As Otto Shape runs, he increases the rate at which his muscles oxidize all fuels. The increased rate of ATP utilization stimulates the electron transport chain, which oxidizes NADH and FAD(2H) much faster, thereby increasing the rate at which fatty acids are oxidized. During exercise, he also uses muscle glycogen stores, which contribute glucose to glycolysis. In some of the fibers, the glucose is used anaerobically, thereby producing lactate. Some of the lactate will be used by his heart, and some will be taken up by the liver to be converted to glucose. As he trains, he increases his mitochondrial capacity, as well as his oxygen delivery, resulting in an increased ability to oxidize fatty acids and ketone bodies. As he runs, he increases fatty acid release from adipose tissue triacylglycerols. In the liver, fatty acids are being converted to ketone bodies, providing his muscles with another fuel. As a consequence, he experiences mild ketosis after his 12-mile run.

435

The level of total ketone bodies in Lofata Burne’s blood greatly exceeds normal fasting levels and the mild ketosis produced during exercise. In a person on a normal mealtime schedule, total blood ketone bodies rarely exceed 0.2 mM. During prolonged fasting, they may rise to 4 to 5 mM. Levels above 7 mM are considered evidence of ketoacidosis, because the acid produced must reach this level to exceed the bicarbonate buffer system in the blood and compensatory respiration (Kussmaul’s respiration) (see Chapter 4).

Why can’t red blood cells use ketone bodies for energy?

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Red blood cells lack mitochondria, which is the site of ketone body utilization.

1

Fatty acids CPTI ( Malonyl CoA)

2

FA-carnitine

FA-CoA

FAD (2H)

3

ATP

β-oxidation

NADH

5 Acetyl CoA

4

Acetoacetyl CoA

Ketone bodies

Oxaloacetate NADH NAD+

Citrate Malate

Gluconeogenesis TCA cycle

Fig. 23.21. Regulation of ketone body synthesis. (1) The supply of fatty acids is increased. (2) The malonyl CoA inhibition of CPTI is lifted by inactivation of acetyl CoA carboxylase. (3) -Oxidation supplies NADH and FAD(2H), which are used by the electron transport chain for oxidative phosphorylation. As ATP levels increase, less NADH is oxidized, and the NADH/NAD ratio is increased. (4) Oxaloacetate is converted into malate because of the high NADH levels, and the malate enters the cytoplasm for gluconeogenesis,. (5) Acetyl CoA is diverted from the TCA cycle into ketogenesis, in part because of low oxaloacetate levels, which reduces the rate of the citrate synthase reaction.

More than 25 enzymes and specific transport proteins participate in mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism. At least 15 of these have been implicated in inherited diseases in the human.

Recently, medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency, the cause of Lofata Burne’s problems, has emerged as one of the most common of the inborn errors of metabolism, with a carrier frequency ranging from 1 in 40 in northern European populations to less than 1 in 100 in Asians. Overall, the predicted disease frequency for MCAD deficiency is 1 in 15,000 persons. MCAD deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by the substitution of a T for an A at position 985 of the MCAD gene. This mutation causes a lysine to replace a glutamate residue in the protein, resulting in the production of an unstable dehydrogenase. The most frequent manifestation of MCAD deficiency is intermittent hypoketotic hypoglycemia during fasting (low levels of ketone bodies and low levels of glucose in the blood). Fatty acids normally would be oxidized to CO2 and H2O under these conditions. In MCAD deficiency, however, fatty acids are oxidized only until they reach medium-chain length As a result, the body must rely to a greater extent on oxidation of blood glucose to meet its energy needs. However, hepatic gluconeogenesis appears to be impaired in MCAD. Inhibition of gluconeogenesis may be caused by the lack of hepatic fatty acid oxidation to supply the energy required for gluconeogenesis, or by the accumulation of unoxidized fatty acid metabolites that inhibit gluconeogenic enzymes. As a consequence, liver glycogen stores are depleted more rapidly, and hypoglycemia results. The decrease in hepatic fatty acid oxidation results in less acetyl CoA for ketone body synthesis, and consequently a hypoketotic hypoglycemia develops. Some of the symptoms once ascribed to hypoglycemia are now believed to be caused by the accumulation of toxic fatty acid intermediates, especially in those

CHAPTER 23 / OXIDATION OF FATTY ACIDS AND KETONE BODIES

patients with only mild reductions in blood glucose levels. Lofata Burne’s mild elevation in the blood of liver transaminases may reflect an infiltration of her liver cells with unoxidized medium-chain fatty acids. The management of MCAD-deficient patients includes the intake of a relatively high-carbohydrate diet and the avoidance of prolonged fasting. Di Abietes, a 26-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes mellitus, was admitted to the hospital in diabetic ketoacidosis. In this complication of diabetes mellitus, an acute deficiency of insulin, coupled with a relative excess of glucagon, results in a rapid mobilization of fuel stores from muscle (amino acids) and adipose tissue (fatty acids). Some of the amino acids are converted to glucose, and fatty acids are converted to ketones (acetoacetate, -hydroxybutyrate, and acetone). The high glucagon: insulin ratio promotes the hepatic production of ketones. In response to the metabolic “stress,” the levels of insulin-antagonistic hormones, such as catecholamines, glucocorticoids, and growth hormone, are increased in the blood. The insulin deficiency further reduces the peripheral utilization of glucose and ketones. As a result of this interrelated dysmetabolism, plasma glucose levels reach 500 mg/dL (27.8 mmol/L) or more (normal fasting levels are 70–100 mg/dL, or 3.9–5.5 mmol/L), and plasma ketones rise to levels of 8 to 15 mmol/L or more (normal is in the range of 0.2–2 mmol/L, depending on the fed state of the individual). The increased glucose presented to the renal glomeruli induces an osmotic diuresis, which further depletes intravascular volume, further reducing the renal excretion of hydrogen ions and glucose. As a result, the metabolic acidosis worsens, and the hyperosmolarity of the blood increases, at times exceeding 330 mOsm/kg (normal is in the range of 285–295 mOsm/kg). The severity of the hyperosmolar state correlates closely with the degree of central nervous system dysfunction and may end in coma and even death if left untreated.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS The unripe fruit of the akee tree produces a toxin, hypoglycin, which causes a condition known as Jamaican vomiting sickness. The victims of the toxin are usually unwary children who eat this unripe fruit and develop a severe hypoglycemia, which is often fatal. Although hypoglycin causes hypoglycemia, it acts by inhibiting an acyl CoA dehydrogenase involved in -oxidation that has specificity for short- and mediumchain fatty acids. Because more glucose must be oxidized to compensate for the decreased ability of fatty acids to serve as fuel, blood glucose levels may fall to extremely low levels. Fatty acid levels, however, rise because of decreased oxidation. As a result of the increased fatty acid levels, -oxidation increases, and dicarboxylic acids are excreted in the urine. The diminished capacity to oxidize fatty acids in liver mitochondria results in decreased levels of acetyl CoA, the substrate for ketone body synthesis.

Suggested References Laffel L. Ketone bodies: a review of physiology, pathophysiology and application of monitoring to diabetes. Diabetes Metab Rev 1999;15:412–426. Roe CR, Ding J. Mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation disorders. In: Scriver CR, Beudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, vol 1, 8th Ed. New York: McGrawHill, 2001: 2297–2326.

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Wanders JA, Jakobs C, Skjeldal OH. Refsum disease. In: Scriver CR, Beudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, vol 1, 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001: 3303–3321. Ronald JA, Tein I. Metabolic myopathies. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology 1996;3:59–98.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 23 1.

A lack of the enzyme ETF:CoQ oxidoreductase leads to death. This is due to which of the following reasons? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

The ATP yield from the complete oxidation of 1 mole of a C18:0 fatty acid to carbon dioxide and water would be closest to which ONE of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

Oxidation, hydration, oxidation, carbon-carbon bond breaking Oxidation, dehydration, oxidation, carbon-carbon bond breaking Oxidation, hydration, reduction, carbon-carbon bond breaking Oxidation, dehydration, reduction, oxidation, carbon-carbon bond breaking Reduction, hydration, oxidation, carbon-carbon bond breaking

An individual with a deficiency of an enzyme in the pathway for carnitine synthesis is not eating adequate amounts of carnitine in the diet. Which of the following effects would you expect during fasting as compared with an individual with an adequate intake and synthesis of carnitine? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

105 115 120 125 130

The oxidation of fatty acids is best described by which of the following sets of reactions? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

The energy yield from glucose utilization is dramatically reduced. The energy yield from alcohol utilization is dramatically reduced. The energy yield from ketone body utilization is dramatically reduced. The energy yield from fatty acid utilization is dramatically reduced. The energy yield from glycogen utilization is dramatically reduced.

Fatty acid oxidation is increased. Ketone body synthesis is increased. Blood glucose levels are increased. The levels of dicarboxylic acids in the blood would be increased. The levels of very-long-chain fatty acids in the blood would be increased.

At which one of the periods listed below will fatty acids be the major source of fuel for the tissues of the body? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Immediately after breakfast Minutes after a snack Immediately after dinner While running the first mile of a marathon While running the last mile of a marathon

24

Oxygen Toxicity and Free Radical Injury

O2 is both essential to human life and toxic. We are dependent on O2 for oxidation reactions in the pathways of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation, detoxification, and biosynthesis. However, when O2 accepts single electrons, it is transformed into highly reactive oxygen radicals that damage cellular lipids, proteins, and DNA. Damage by reactive oxygen radicals contributes to cellular death and degeneration in a wide range of diseases (Table 24.1). Radicals are compounds that contain a single electron, usually in an outside orbital. Oxygen is a biradical, a molecule that has two unpaired electrons in separate orbitals (Fig. 24.1). Through a number of enzymatic and nonenzymatic processes that routinely occur in cells, O2 accepts single electrons to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are highly reactive oxygen radicals, or compounds that are readily converted in cells to these reactive radicals. The ROS formed by reduction of O2 are the radical superoxide (O2¯ ), the nonradical hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 ), and the hydroxyl radical (OH• ). ROS may be generated nonenzymatically, or enzymatically as accidental byproducts or major products of reactions. Superoxide may be generated nonenzymatically from CoQ, or from metal-containing enzymes (e.g., cytochrome P450, xanthine oxidase, and NADPH oxidase). The highly toxic hydroxyl radical is formed nonenzymatically from superoxide in the presence of Fe3 or Cu by the Fenton reaction, and from hydrogen peroxide in the Haber–Weiss reaction. Oxygen radicals and their derivatives can be deadly to cells. The hydroxyl radical causes oxidative damage to proteins and DNA. It also forms lipid peroxides and malondialdehyde from membrane lipids containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. In some cases, free radical damage is the direct cause of a disease state (e.g., tissue damage initiated by exposure to ionizing radiation). In neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, or in ischemia-reperfusion injury, ROS may perpetuate the cellular damage caused by another process. Oxygen radicals are joined in their destructive damage by the free radical nitric oxide (NO) and the reactive oxygen species hypochlorous acid (HOCl). NO

Oxygen is a biradical O2 which forms –

ROS

O2 H2O2 OH•

Fig 24.1. O2 is a biradical. It has two antibonding electrons with parallel spins, denoted by the parallel arrows. It has a tendency to form toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as superoxide (O2), the nonradical hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and the hydroxyl radical (OH•).

Table 24.1. Some Disease States Associated with Free Radical Injury Atherogenesis Emphysema bronchitis Duchenne-type muscular dystrophy Pregnancy/preeclampsia Cervical cancer Alcohol-induced liver disease Hemodialysis Diabetes Acute renal failure Aging Retrolental fibroplasia

Cerebrovascular disorders Ischemia/reperfusion injury Neurodegenerative disorders Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) Alzheimer’s disease Down’s syndrome Ischemia/reperfusion injury following stroke Oxphos diseases (Mitochondrial DNA disorders) Multiple sclerosis Parkinson’s disease

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Cell defenses: Antioxidants Enzymes ROS RNOS

Oxidative stress

Fig 24.2. Oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when the rate of ROS and RNOS production overbalances the rate of their removal by cellular defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms include a number of enzymes and antioxidants. Antioxidants usually react nonenzymatically with ROS.

The basal ganglia are part of a neuronal feedback loop that modulates and integrates the flow of information from the cerebral cortex to the motor neurons of the spinal cord. The neostriatum is the major input structure from the cerebral cortex. The substantia nigra pars compacta consists of neurons that provide integrative input to the neostriatum through pigmented neurons that use dopamine as a neurotransmitter (the nigrastriatal pathway). Integrated information feeds back to the basal ganglia and to the cerebral cortex to control voluntary movement. In Parkinson’s disease, a decrease in the amount of dopamine reaching the basal ganglia results in the movement disorder.

In ventricular fibrillation, rapid premature beats from an irritative focus in ventricular muscle occur in runs of varying duration. Persistent fibrillation compromises cardiac output, leading to death. This arrythmia can result from severe ischemia (lack of blood flow) in the ventricular muscle of the heart caused by clots forming at the site of a ruptured atherosclerotic plaque. However, Cora Nari’s rapid beats began during the infusion of TPA as the clot was lysed. Thus, they probably resulted from reperfusing a previously ischemic area of her heart with oxygenated blood. This phenomenon is known as ischemia–reperfusion injury, and it is caused by cytotoxic ROS derived from oxygen in the blood that reperfuses previously hypoxic cells. Ischemic–reperfusion injury also may occur when tissue oxygenation is interrupted during surgery or transplantation.

combines with O2 or superoxide to form reactive nitrogen oxygen species (RNOS), such as the nonradical peroxynitrite or the radical nitrogen dioxide. RNOS are present in the environment (e.g., cigarette smoke) and generated in cells. During phagocytosis of invading microorganisms, cells of the immune system produce O2¯ , HOCl, and NO through the actions of NADPH oxidase, myeloperoxidase, and inducible nitric oxide synthase, respectively. In addition to killing phagocytosed invading microorganisms, these toxic metabolites may damage surrounding tissue components. Cells protect themselves against damage by ROS and other radicals through repair processes, compartmentalization of free radical production, defense enzymes, and endogenous and exogenous antioxidants (free radical scavengers). The defense enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) removes the superoxide free radical. Catalase and glutathione peroxidase remove hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxides. Vitamin E, vitamin C, and plant flavonoids act as antioxidants. Oxidative stress occurs when the rate of ROS generation exceeds the capacity of the cell for their removal (Fig. 24.2).

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Two years ago, Les Dopaman (less dopamine), a 62-year-old man, noted an increasing tremor of his right hand when sitting quietly (resting tremor). The tremor disappeared if he actively used this hand to do purposeful movement. As this symptom progressed, he also complained of stiffness in his muscles that slowed his movements (bradykinesia). His wife noticed a change in his gait; he had begun taking short, shuffling steps and leaned forward as he walked (postural imbalance). He often appeared to be staring ahead with a rather immobile facial expression. She noted a tremor of his eyelids when he was asleep and, recently, a tremor of his legs when he was at rest. Because of these progressive symptoms and some subtle personality changes (anxiety and emotional lability), she convinced Les to see their family doctor. The doctor suspected that her patient probably had primary or idiopathic parkinsonism (Parkinson’s disease) and referred Mr. Dopaman to a neurologist. In Parkinson’s disease, neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta, containing the pigment melanin and the neurotransmitter dopamine, degenerate. Cora Nari had done well since the successful lysis of blood clots in her coronary arteries with the use of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (TPA)(see Chapters 19 and 21). This therapy had quickly relieved the crushing chest pain (angina) she experienced when she won the lottery. At her first office visit after discharge from the hospital, Cora’s cardiologist told her she had developed multiple premature contractions of the ventricular muscle of her heart as the clots were being lysed. This process could have led to a life-threatening arrhythmia known as ventricular fibrillation. However, Cora’s arrhythmia responded quickly to pharmacologic suppression and did not recur during the remainder of her hospitalization.

I.

O2 AND THE GENERATION OF ROS

The generation of reactive oxygen species from O2 in our cells is a natural everyday occurrence. They are formed as accidental products of nonenzymatic and enzymatic

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

reactions. Occasionally, they are deliberately synthesized in enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Ultraviolet radiation and pollutants in the air can increase formation of toxic oxygen-containing compounds.

A. The Radical Nature of O2 A radical, by definition, is a molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an orbital. A free radical is a radical capable of independent existence. (Radicals formed in an enzyme active site during a reaction, for example, are not considered free radicals unless they can dissociate from the protein to interact with other molecules.) Radicals are highly reactive and initiate chain reactions by extracting an electron from a neighboring molecule to complete their own orbitals. Although the transition metals (e.g., Fe, Cu, and Mo) have single electrons in orbitals, they are not usually considered free radicals because they are relatively stable, do not initiate chain reactions, and are bound to proteins in the cell. The oxygen atom is a biradical, which means it has two single electrons in different orbitals. These electrons cannot both travel in the same orbital because they have parallel spins (spin in the same direction). Although oxygen is very reactive from a thermodynamic standpoint, its single electrons cannot react rapidly with the paired electrons found in the covalent bonds of organic molecules. As a consequence, O2 reacts slowly through the acceptance of single electrons in reactions that require a catalyst (such as a metal-containing enzyme). O2 is capable of accepting a total of four electrons, which reduces it to water (Fig. 24.3). When O2 accepts one electron, superoxide is formed. Superoxide is still a radical because it has one unpaired electron remaining. This reaction is not thermodynamically favorable and requires a moderately strong reducing agent that can donate single electrons (e.g., CoQH· in the electron transport chain). When superoxide accepts an electron, it is reduced to hydrogen peroxide, which is not a radical. The hydroxyl radical is formed in the next one-electron reduction step in the reduction sequence. Finally, acceptance of the last electron reduces the hydroxyl radical to H2O.

441

The two unpaired electrons in oxygen have the same (parallel) spin and are called antibonding electrons. In contrast, carbon–carbon and carbon–hydrogen bonds each contain two electrons, which have antiparallel spins and form a thermodynamically stable pair. As a consequence, O2 cannot readily oxidize a covalent bond because one of its electrons would have to flip its spin around to make new pairs. The difficulty in changing spins is called the spin restriction. Without the spin restriction, organic life forms could not have developed in the oxygen atmosphere on earth because they would be spontaneously oxidized by O2. Instead, O2 is confined to slower one-electron reactions catalyzed by metals (or metalloenzymes).

O2 Oxygen e– –

O2

Superoxide e–, 2H+

H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide e–, H+

B. Characteristics of Reactive Oxygen Species Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are oxygen-containing compounds that are highly reactive free radicals, or compounds readily converted to these oxygen free radicals in the cell. The major oxygen metabolites produced by one-electron reduction of oxygen (superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and the hydroxyl radical) are classified as ROS (Table 24.2). Reactive free radicals extract electrons (usually as hydrogen atoms) from other compounds to complete their own orbitals, thereby initiating free radical chain reactions. The hydroxyl radical is probably the most potent of the ROS. It initiates chain reactions that form lipid peroxides and organic radicals and adds directly to compounds. The superoxide anion is also highly reactive, but has limited lipid solubility and cannot diffuse far. However, it can generate the more reactive hydroxyl and hydroperoxy radicals by reacting nonenzymatically with hydrogen peroxide in the Haber–Weiss reaction (Fig 24.4). Hydrogen peroxide, although not actually a radical, is a weak oxidizing agent that is classified as an ROS because it can generate the hydroxyl radical (OH•). Transition metals, such as Fe2 or Cu, catalyze formation of the hydroxyl radical from hydrogen peroxide in the nonenzymatic Fenton reaction (see Fig. 24.4.).

H2O + OH • Hydroxyl radical e–, H+

H2O

Fig 24.3. Reduction of oxygen by four oneelectron steps. The four one-electron reduction steps for O2 progressively generate superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and the hydroxyl radical plus water. Superoxide is sometimes written O2¯· to better illustrate its single unpaired electron. H2O2, the half-reduced form of O2, has accepted two electrons and is, therefore, not an oxygen radical.

To decrease occurrence of the Fenton reaction, accessibility to transition metals, such as Fe2 and Cu , are highly restricted in cells, or in the body as a whole. Events that release iron from cellular storage sites, such as a crushing injury, are associated with increased free radical injury.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Table 24.2. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen–Oxygen Species (RNOS) Reactive Species

Properties

O2 Superoxide anion

Produced by the electron transport chain and at other sites. Cannot diffuse far from the site of origin. Generates other ROS.

H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide

Not a free radical, but can generate free radicals by reaction with a transition metal (e.g., Fe2 ). Can diffuse into and through cell membranes.

OH• Hydroxyl radical

The most reactive species in attacking biologic molecules. Produced from H2O2 in the Fenton reaction in the presence of Fe2 or Cu.

RO•·, R•, R-S• Organic radicals

Organic free radicals (R denotes remainder of the compound.) Produced from ROH, RH (e.g., at the carbon of a double bond in a fatty acid) or RSH by OH•· attack.

RCOO•· Peroxyl radical

An organic peroxyl radical, such as occurs during lipid degradation (also denoted LOO•)

HOCl Hypochlorous acid

Produced in neutrophils during the respiratory burst to destroy invading organisms. Toxicity is through halogenation and oxidation reactions. Attacking species is OCl

O2 Tc Singlet oxygen

Oxygen with antiparallel spins. Produced at high oxygen tensions from absorption of uv light. Decays so fast that it is probably not a significant in vivo source of toxicity.

NO Nitric oxide

RNOS. A free radical produced endogenously by nitric oxide synthase. Binds to metal ions. Combines with O2 or other oxygen-containing radicals to produce additional RNOS.

ONOO Peroxynitrite

RNOS. A strong oxidizing agent that is not a free radical. It can generate NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), which is a radical.

The Haber–Weiss reaction –

+

O2

H2O2

Superoxide

Hydrogen peroxide H+

O2

+

+

H2O

Oxygen

Water

•OH Hydroxyl radical

The Fenton reaction H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide Fe2+ Fe3+ •OH Hydroxyl radical

+

OH– Hydroxyl ion

Fig 24.4. Generation of the hydroxyl radical by the nonenzymatic Haber–Weiss and Fenton reactions. In the simplified versions of these reactions shown here, the transfer of single electrons generates the hydroxyl radical. ROS are shown in blue. In addition to Fe2, Cu and many other metals can also serve as singleelectron donors in the Fenton reaction.

Because hydrogen peroxide is lipid soluble, it can diffuse through membranes and generate OH• at localized Fe2- or Cu-containing sites, such as the mitochondria. Hydrogen peroxide is also the precursor of hypochlorous acid (HOCl), a powerful oxidizing agent that is produced endogenously and enzymatically by phagocytic cells. Organic radicals are generated when superoxide or the hydroxyl radical indiscriminately extract electrons from other molecules. Organic peroxy radicals are intermediates of chain reactions, such as lipid peroxidation. Other organic radicals, such as the ethoxy radical, are intermediates of enzymatic reactions that escape into solution (see Table 24.2). An additional group of oxygen-containing radicals, termed RNOS, contain nitrogen as well as oxygen. These are derived principally from the free radical nitric oxide (NO), which is produced endogenously by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. Nitric oxide combines with O2 or superoxide to produce additional RNOS.

C. Major Sources of Primary Reactive Oxygen Species in the Cell ROS are constantly being formed in the cell; approximately 3 to 5% of the oxygen we consume is converted to oxygen free radicals. Some are produced as accidental by-products of normal enzymatic reactions that escape from the active site of metal-containing enzymes during oxidation reactions. Others, such as hydrogen peroxide, are physiologic products of oxidases in peroxisomes. Deliberate production of toxic free radicals occurs in the inflammatory response. Drugs, natural radiation, air pollutants, and other chemicals also can increase formation of free radicals in cells. 1.

CoQ GENERATES SUPEROXIDE

One of the major sites of superoxide generation is Coenzyme Q (CoQ) in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (Fig. 24.5). The one-electron reduced form of CoQ (CoQH•) is free within the membrane and can accidentally transfer an electron to dissolved O2, thereby forming superoxide. In contrast, when O2 binds to cytochrome oxidase and accepts electrons, none of the O2 radical intermediates are released from the enzyme, and no ROS are generated.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

With insufficient oxygen, Cora Nari’s ischemic heart muscle mitochondria were unable to maintain cellular ATP levels, resulting in high intracellular Na and Ca2 levels. The reduced state of the electron carriers in the absence of oxygen, and loss of mitochondrial ion gradients or membrane integrity, leads to increased superoxide production once oxygen becomes available during reperfusion. The damage can be self-perpetuating, especially if iron bound to components of the electron transport chain becomes available for the Fenton reaction, or the mitochondrial permeability transition is activated.

443

NAD+

NADH

NADH dehydrogenase

FMN/ Fe–S

O2

CoQH •

CoQ

O2

2.

Most of the oxidases, peroxidases, and oxygenases in the cell bind O2 and transfer single electrons to it via a metal. Free radical intermediates of these reactions may be accidentally released before the reduction is complete. Cytochrome P450 enzymes are a major source of free radicals “leaked” from reactions. Because these enzymes catalyze reactions in which single electrons are transferred to O2 and an organic substrate, the possibility of accidentally generating and releasing free radical intermediates is high (see Chapters 19 and 25). Induction of P450 enzymes by alcohol, drugs, or chemical toxicants leads to increased cellular injury. When substrates for cytochrome P450 enzymes are not present, its potential for destructive damage is diminished by repression of gene transcription. Hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxides are generated enzymatically as major reaction products by a number of oxidases present in peroxisomes, mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum. For example, monoamine oxidase, which oxidatively degrades the neurotransmitter dopamine, generates H2O2 at the mitochondrial membrane of certain neurons. Peroxisomal fatty acid oxidase generates H2O2 rather than FAD(2H) during the oxidation of very-long-chain fatty acids (see Chapter 23). Xanthine oxidase, an enzyme of purine degradation that can reduce O2 to O2or H2O2 in the cytosol, is thought to be a major contributor to ischemia–reperfusion injury, especially in intestinal mucosal and endothelial cells. Lipid peroxides are also formed enzymatically as intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of many eicosanoids, including leukotrienes and prostaglandins. 3.

Fe – S

OXIDASES, OXYGENASES, AND PEROXIDASES

IONIZING RADIATION

Cosmic rays that continuously bombard the earth, radioactive chemicals, and xrays are forms of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation has a high enough energy level that it can split water into the hydroxyl and hydrogen radicals, thus leading to radiation damage to the skin, mutations, cancer, and cell death (Fig. 24.6). It also may generate organic radicals through direct collision with organic cellular components.

Production of ROS by xanthine oxidase in endothelial cells may be enhanced during ischemia–reperfusion in Cora Nari’s heart. In undamaged tissues, xanthine oxidase exists as a dehydrogenase that uses NAD rather than O2 as an electron acceptor in the pathway for degradation of purines (hypoxanthine 4 xanthine 4 uric acid (see Chapter 41). When O2 levels decrease, phosphorylation of ADP to ATP decreases, and degradation of ADP and adenine through xanthine oxidase increases. In the process, xanthine dehydrogenase is converted to an oxidase. As long as O2 levels are below the high Km of the enzyme for O2, little damage is done. However, during reperfusion when O2 levels return to normal, xanthine oxidase generates H2O2 and O2 at the site of injury.

Cytochrome b – c1, Fe-H Fe-H c O2 H2O

Fe-H– Cu Cytochrome aa3

Fig 24.5. Generation of superoxide by CoQ in the electron transport chain. In the process of transporting electrons to O2, some of the electrons escape when CoQH• accidentally interacts with O2 to form superoxide. Fe-H represents the Fe-heme center of the cytochromes.

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), which is used as a solvent in the dry-cleaning industry, is converted by cytochrome P450 to a highly reactive free radical that has caused hepatocellular necrosis in workers. When the enzyme-bound CCl4 accepts an electron, it dissociates into CCl3· and Cl·. The CCl3· radical, which cannot continue through the P450 reaction sequence, “leaks” from the enzyme active site and initiates chain reactions in the surrounding polyunsaturated lipids of the endoplasmic reticulum. These reactions spread into the plasma membrane and to proteins, eventually resulting in cell swelling, accumulation of lipids, and cell death. Les Dopaman, who is in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, is treated with a monoamine oxidase B inhibitor. Monoamine oxidase is a coppercontaining enzyme that inactivates dopamine in neurons, producing H2O2. The drug was originally administered to inhibit dopamine degradation. However, current theory suggests that the effectiveness of the drug is also related to decrease of free radical formation within the cells of the basal ganglia. The dopaminergic neurons involved are particularly susceptible to the cytotoxic effects of ROS and RNOS that may arise from H2O2.

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H2O Ionizing radiation

hv

•OH Hydroxyl radical

+

H• Hydrogen atom

Fig 24.6. Generation of free radicals from radiation.

The appearance of lipofuscin granules in many tissues increases during aging. The pigment lipofuscin (from the Greek “lipos” for lipids and the Latin “fuscus” for dark) consists of a heterogeneous mixture of cross-linked polymerized lipids and protein formed by reactions between amino acid residues and lipid peroxidation products, such as malondialdehyde. These cross-linked products are probably derived from peroxidatively damaged cell organelles that were autophagocytized by lysosomes but could not be digested. When these dark pigments appear on the skin of the hands in aged individuals, they are referred to as “liver spots,” a traditional hallmark of aging. In Les Dopaman and other patients with Parkinson’s disease, lipofuscin appears as Lewy bodies in degenerating neurons. Evidence of protein damage shows up in many diseases, particularly those associated with aging. In patients with cataracts, proteins in the lens of the eye exhibit free radical damage and contain methionine sulfoxide residues and tryptophan degradation products.

II. OXYGEN RADICAL REACTIONS WITH CELLULAR COMPONENTS Oxygen radicals produce cellular dysfunction by reacting with lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and DNA to extract electrons (summarized in Fig. 24.7). Evidence of free radical damage has been described in over 100 disease states. In some of these diseases, free radical damage is the primary cause of the disease; in others, it enhances complications of the disease.

A. Membrane Attack: Formation of Lipid and Lipid Peroxy Radicals Chain reactions that form lipid free radicals and lipid peroxides in membranes make a major contribution to ROS-induced injury (Fig. 24.8). An initiator (such as a hydroxyl radical produced locally in the Fenton reaction) begins the chain reaction. It extracts a hydrogen atom, preferably from the double bond of a polyunsaturated fatty acid in a membrane lipid. The chain reaction is propagated when O2 adds to form lipid peroxyl radicals and lipid peroxides. Eventually lipid degradation occurs, forming such products as malondialdehyde (from fatty acids with three or more double bonds), and ethane and pentane (from the -terminal carbons of 3 and 6 fatty acids, respectively). Malondialdehyde appears in the blood and urine and is used as an indicator of free radical damage. Peroxidation of lipid molecules invariably changes or damages lipid molecular structure. In addition to the self-destructive nature of membrane lipid peroxidation, the aldehydes that are formed can cross-link proteins. When the damaged lipids are the constituents of biologic membranes, the cohesive lipid bilayer arrangement and stable structural organization is disrupted (see Fig. 24.7). Disruption of mitochondrial membrane integrity may result in further free radical production.

Respiratory enzymes

Protein damage

Mitochondrial damage Membrane damage

SER RER

DNA damage

Nucleus (DNA)

DNA

O2– OH•

H2O Na+ Ca

Cell swelling

2+

Increased permeability Massive influx of Ca2+ Lipid peroxidation

Fig 24.7. Free radical–mediated cellular injury. Superoxide and the hydroxyl radical initiate lipid peroxidation in the cellular, mitochondrial, nuclear, and endoplasmic reticulum membranes. The increase in cellular permeability results in an influx of Ca2 , which causes further mitochondrial damage. The cysteine sulfhydryl groups and other amino acid residues on proteins are oxidized and degraded. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA can be oxidized, resulting in strand breaks and other types of damage. RNOS (NO, NO2, and peroxynitrite) have similar effects.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

B. Proteins and Peptides In proteins, the amino acids proline, histidine, arginine, cysteine, and methionine are particularity susceptible to hydroxyl radical attack and oxidative damage. As a consequence of oxidative damage, the protein may fragment or residues cross-link with other residues. Free radical attack on protein cysteine residues can result in cross-linking and formation of aggregates that prevents their degradation. However, oxidative damage increases the susceptibility of other proteins to proteolytic digestion. Free radical attack and oxidation of the cytsteine sulfhydryl residues of the tripeptide glutathione (-glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine; see section V.A.3.) increases oxidative damage throughout the cell. Glutathione is a major component of cellular defense against free radical injury, and its oxidation reduces its protective effects.

445

A. Initiation LH + •OH

L • + OH

y

x

L•

B. Propagation L• +

O2

LOO •

+

LOO • LOOH + L •

LH • O O

y

x

C. DNA Oxygen-derived free radicals are also a major source of DNA damage. Approximately 20 types of oxidatively altered DNA molecules have been identified. The nonspecific binding of Fe2 to DNA facilitates localized production of the hydroxyl radical, which can cause base alterations in the DNA (Fig. 24.9). It also can attack the deoxyribose backbone and cause strand breaks. This DNA damage can be repaired to some extent by the cell (see Chapter 12), or minimized by apoptosis of the cell.

LOO • H O O

y

x

Lipid peroxide LOOH

III. NITRIC OXIDE AND REACTIVE NITROGEN-OXYGEN SPECIES (RNOS) Nitric oxide (NO) is an oxygen-containing free radical which, like O2, is both essential to life and toxic. NO has a single electron, and therefore binds to other compounds containing single electrons, such as Fe3. As a gas, it diffuses through the cytosol and lipid membranes and into cells. At low concentrations, it functions physiologically as a neurotransmitter and a hormone that causes vasodilation. However, at high concentrations, it combines with O2 or with superoxide to form additional reactive and toxic species containing both nitrogen and oxygen (RNOS). RNOS are involved in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and in chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

C. Degradation y

O

+ O

Malondialdehyde Degraded lipid peroxide

D. Termination LOO • +

Nitroglycerin, in tablet form, is often given to patients with coronary artery disease who experience ischemia-induced chest pain (angina). The nitroglycerin decomposes in the blood, forming NO, a potent vasodilator, which increases blood flow to the heart and relieves the angina.

LOOH + LH

L•

A. Nitric Oxide Synthase At low concentrations, nitric oxide serves as a neurotransmitter or a hormone. It is synthesized from arginine by nitric oxide synthases (Fig 24.10). As a gas, it is able to diffuse through water and lipid membranes, and into target cells. In the target cell, it exerts its physiologic effects by high-affinity binding to Fe-heme in the enzyme guanylyl cyclase, thereby activating a signal transduction cascade. However, NO is rapidly inactivated by nonspecific binding to many molecules, and therefore cells that produce NO need to be close to the target cells. The body has three different tissue-specific isoforms of NO synthase, each encoded by a different gene: neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS, isoform I), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS, isoform II), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS, isoform III). nNOS and eNOS are tightly regulated by Ca2 concentration to produce the small amounts of NO required for its role as a neurotransmitter and hormone. In contrast, iNOS is present in many cells of the immune system and cell types with a similar lineage, such as macrophages and

x

O O H

or L• +

Vit E

Vit E• +

L•

LH

+

Vit E•

LH

+

Vit EOX

Fig 24.8. Lipid peroxidation: a free radical chain reaction. A. Lipid peroxidation is initiated by a hydroxyl or other radical that extracts a hydrogen atom from a polyunsaturated lipid (LH), thereby forming a lipid radical (L•). B. The free radical chain reaction is propagated by reaction with O2, forming the lipid peroxy radical (LOO•) and lipid peroxide (LOOH). C. Rearrangements of the single electron result in degradation of the lipid. Malondialdehyde, one of the compounds formed, is soluble and appears in blood. D. The chain reaction can be terminated by vitamin E and other lipid-soluble antioxidants that donate single electrons. Two subsequent reduction steps form a stable, oxidized antioxidant.

446

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

brain astroglia. This isoenzyme of nitric oxide synthase is regulated principally by induction of gene transcription, and not by changes in Ca2 concentration. It produces high and toxic levels of NO to assist in killing invading microorganisms. It is these very high levels of NO that are associated with generation of RNOS and NO toxicity.

O C

N

N

N H

HN H2N

Guanine

B. NO Toxicity The toxic actions of NO can be divided into two categories: direct toxic effects resulting from binding to Fe-containing proteins, and indirect effects mediated by compounds formed when NO combines with O2 or with superoxide to form RNOS.

•OH O C HN

N

1. OH

H2N

N

N H

8-hydroxyguanine

Fig 24.9. Conversion of guanine to 8-hydroxyguanine by the hydroxy radical. The amount of 8-hydroxyguanosine present in cells can be used to estimate the amount of oxidative damage they have sustained. The addition of the hydroxyl group to guanine allows it to mispair with T residues, leading to the creation of a daughter molecule with an A-T base pair in this position.

DIRECT TOXIC EFFECTS OF NO

NO, as a radical, exerts direct toxic effects by combining with Fe-containing compounds that also have single electrons. Major destructive sites of attack include FeS centers (e.g., electron transport chain complexes I-III, aconitase) and Fe-heme proteins (e.g., hemoglobin and electron transport chain cytochromes). However, there is usually little damage because NO is present in low concentrations and Feheme compounds are present in excess capacity. NO can cause serious damage, however, through direct inhibition of respiration in cells that are already compromised through oxidative phosphorylation diseases or ischemia. 2.

RNOS TOXICITY

When present in very high concentrations (e.g., during inflammation), NO combines nonenzymatically with superoxide to form peroxynitrite (ONOO ), or with O2 to form N2O3 (Fig. 24.11). Peroxynitrite, although not a free radical, is a strong Arginine Nitric oxide synthase

NO• O2

NO• 2 NO2

NO• Nitric oxide (free radical)

Citrulline

N2O3 Nitrogen trioxide (nitrosating agent)

O2– NO• ONOO–

NO2–

Peroxynitrite (strong oxidizing agent)

Nitrite

physiologic pH

H+

Arginine HONO2

NADPH

FORMS OF RNOS

Diet, Intestinal bacteria

Peroxynitrous acid

O2 NO synthase (Fe-Heme, FAD, FMN)

NO Nitric oxide

NADP+ Citrulline

Fig 24.10. Nitric oxide synthase synthesizes the free radical NO. Like cytochrome P450 enzymes, NO synthase uses Fe-heme, FAD, and FMN to transfer single electrons from NADPH to O2.

NO3– Nitrate ion (safe)

OH– + NO2+

•OH Hydroxyl radical +

Nitronium ion (nitrating agent)

NO2• Nitrogen dioxide (free radical)

Smog Organic smoke Cigarettes

Fig 24.11. Formation of RNOS from nitric oxide. RNOS are shown in blue. The type of damage caused by each RNOS is shown in parentheses. Of all the nitrogen–oxygen-containing compounds shown, only nitrate is relatively nontoxic.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

oxidizing agent that is stable and directly toxic. It can diffuse through the cell and lipid membranes to interact with a wide range of targets, including protein methionine and -SH groups (e.g., Fe-S centers in the electron transport chain). It also breaks down to form additional RNOS, including the free radical nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an effective initiator of lipid peroxidation. Peroxynitrite products also nitrate aromatic rings, forming compounds such as nitrotyrosine or nitroguanosine. N2O3, which can be derived either from NO2 or nitrite, is the agent of nitrosative stress, and nitrosylates sulfhydryl and similarily reactive groups in the cell. Nitrosylation will usually interefere with the proper functioning of the protein or lipid that has been modified. Thus, RNOS can do as much oxidative and free radical damage as non–nitrogen-containing ROS, as well as nitrating and nitrosylating compounds. The result is widespread and includes inhibition of a large number of enzymes; mitochondrial lipid peroxidation; inhibition of the electron transport chain and energy depletion; single-stranded or double-stranded breaks in DNA; and modification of bases in DNA.

447

NO2 is one of the toxic agents present in smog, automobile exhaust, gas ranges, pilot lights, cigarette smoke, and smoke from forest fires or burning buildings.

IV. FORMATION OF FREE RADICALS DURING PHAGOCYTOSIS AND INFLAMMATION In response to infectious agents and other stimuli, phagocytic cells of the immune system (neutrophils, eosinophils, and monocytes/macrophages) exhibit a rapid consumption of O2 called the respiratory burst. The respiratory burst is a major source of superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, the hydroxyl radical, hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and RNOS. The generation of free radicals is part of the human antimicrobial defense system and is intended to destroy invading microorganisms, tumor cells, and other cells targeted for removal.

A. NADPH Oxidase The respiratory burst results from the activity of NADPH oxidase, which catalyzes the transfer of an electron from NADPH to O2 to form superoxide (Fig. 24.12). NADPH oxidase is assembled from cytosol and membranous proteins recruited into the phagolysosome membrane as it surrounds an invading microorganism. Superoxide is released into the intramembranous space of the phagolysosome, where it is generally converted to hydrogen peroxide and other ROS that are effective against bacteria and fungal pathogens. Hydrogen peroxide is formed by superoxide dismutase, which may come from the phagocytic cell or the invading microorganism.

B. Myeloperoxidase and HOCl The formation of hypochlorous acid from H2O2 is catalyzed by myeloperoxidase, a heme-containing enzyme that is present only in phagocytic cells of the immune system (predominantly neutrophils). Myeloperoxidase Dissociation H2O2 Cl H S HOCl H2O S OCl H H2O Myeloperoxidase contains two Fe heme-like centers, which give it the green color seen in pus. Hypochlorous acid is a powerful toxin that destroys bacteria within seconds through halogenation and oxidation reactions. It oxidizes many Fe and S-containing groups (e.g., sulfhydryl groups, iron-sulfur centers, ferredoxin, heme-proteins, methionine), oxidatively decarboxylates and deaminates proteins, and cleaves peptide bonds. Aerobic bacteria under attack rapidly lose membrane

In patients with chronic granulomatous disease, phagocytes have genetic defects in NADPH oxidase. NADPH oxidase has four different subunits (two in the cell membrane and two recruited from the cytosol), and the genetic defect may be in any of the genes that encode these subunits. The membrane catalytic subunit of NADPH oxidase is a 91-kDa flavocytochrome glycoprotein. It transfers electrons from bound NADPH to FAD, which transfers them to the Fe–heme components. The membranous -subunit (p22) is required for stabilization. Two additional cytosolic proteins (p47phox and p67phox) are also required for assembly of the complex. Rac, a monomeric GTPase in the Ras subfamily of the Rho superfamily (see Chapter 9), is also required for assembly. The 91-kDa subunit is affected most often in X-linked chronic granulatomous disease, whereas the -subunit is affected in a rare autosomal recessive form. The cytosolic subunits are affected most often in patients with the autosomal recessive form of granulomatous disease. In addition to their enhanced susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections, these patients suffer from an apparent dysregulation of normal inflammatory responses.

448

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

NADPH

O2

1

NADPH oxidase

NADP+

O2

NO

2

6

Bacterium H2O2 HOCL

iNOS

5

3

Fe2+

Cl–

Fe3+

myeloperoxidase

4

OH •

ONOO– Bacterium

Invagination of neutrophil's cytoplasmic membrane

Fig 24.12. Production of reactive oxygen species during the phagocytic respiratory burst by activated neutrophils. (1) Activation of NADPH oxidase on the outer side of the plasma membrane initiates the respiratory burst with the generation of superoxide. During phagocytosis, the plasma membrane invaginates, so superoxide is released into the vacuole space. (2) Superoxide (either spontaneously or enzymatically via superoxide dismutase [SOD]) generates H2O2. (3) Granules containing myeloperoxidase are secreted into the phagosome, where myeloperoxidase generates HOCl and other halides. (4) H2O2 can also generate the hydroxyl radical from the Fenton reaction. (5) Inducible nitric oxide synthase may be activated and generate NO. (6) Nitric oxide combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, which may generate additional RNOS. The result is an attack on the membranes and other components of phagocytosed cells, and eventual lysis. The whole process is referred to as the respiratory burst because it lasts only 30 to 60 minutes and consumes O2.

transport, possibly because of damage to ATP synthase or electron transport chain components (which reside in the plasma membrane of bacteria).

C. RNOS and Inflammation

During Cora Nari’s ischemia (decreased blood flow), the ability of her heart to generate ATP from oxidative phosphorylation was compromised. The damage appeared to accelerate when oxygen was first reintroduced (reperfused) into the tissue. During ischemia, CoQ and the other single-electron components of the electron transport chain become saturated with electrons. When oxygen is reintroduced (reperfusion), electron donation to O2 to form superoxide is increased. The increase of superoxide results in enhanced formation of hydrogen peroxide and the hydroxyl radical. Macrophages in the area to clean up cell debris from ischemic injury produce nitric oxide, which may further damage mitochondria by generating RNOS that attack Fe-S centers and cytochromes in the electron transport chain membrane lipids. Thus, the RNOS may increase the infarct size.

When human neutrophils of the immune system are activated to produce NO, NADPH oxidase is also activated. NO reacts rapidly with superoxide to generate peroxynitrite, which forms additional RNOS. NO also may be released into the surrounding medium, to combine with superoxide in target cells. In a number of disease states, free radical release by neutrophils or macrophages during an inflammation contributes to injury in the surrounding tissues. During stroke or myocardial infarction, phagocytic cells that move into the ischemic area to remove dead cells may increase the area and extent of damage. The selfperpetuating mechanism of radical release by neutrophils during inflammation and immune complex formation may explain some of the features of chronic inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. As a result of free radical release, the immunoglobulin G (IgG) proteins present in the synovial fluid are partially oxidized, which improves their binding with the rheumatoid factor antibody. This binding, in turn, stimulates the neutrophils to release more free radicals.

V. CELLULAR DEFENSES AGAINST OXYGEN TOXICITY Our defenses against oxygen toxicity fall into the categories of antioxidant defense enzymes, dietary and endogenous antioxidants (free radical scavengers), cellular compartmentation, metal sequestration, and repair of damaged cellular components. The antioxidant defense enzymes react with ROS and cellular products of free radical chain reactions to convert them to nontoxic products. Dietary antioxidants, such as vitamin E and flavonoids, and endogenous antioxidants, such as urate, can

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

449

Fe sequestration Hemosiderin

Ferritin

H2O2

catalase

Peroxisomes

SOD

GSH O2– SOD

Compartmentation

Lipid bilayer of all cellular membranes

Mitochondrion glutathione peroxidase

Vitamin E + β –carotene

SOD + glutatathione peroxidase + GSH

Fig 24.13 Compartmentation of free radical defenses. Various defenses against ROS are found in the different subcellular compartments of the cell. The location of free radical defense enzymes (shown in blue) matches the type and amount of ROS generated in each subcellular compartment. The highest activities of these enzymes are found in the liver, adrenal gland, and kidney, where mitochondrial and peroxisomal contents are high, and cytochrome P450 enzymes are found in abundance in the smooth ER. The enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase are present as isozymes in the different compartments. Another form of compartmentation involves the sequestration of Fe, which is stored as mobilizable Fe in ferritin. Excess Fe is stored in nonmobilizable hemosiderin deposits. Glutathione (GSH) is a nonenzymatic antioxidant.

terminate free radical chain reactions. Defense through compartmentation refers to separation of species and sites involved in ROS generation from the rest of the cell (Fig. 24.13). For example, many of the enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide are sequestered in peroxisomes with a high content of antioxidant enzymes. Metals are bound to a wide range of proteins within the blood and in cells, preventing their participation in the Fenton reaction. Iron, for example, is tightly bound to its storage protein, ferritin and cannot react with hydrogen peroxide. Repair mechanisms for DNA, and for removal of oxidized fatty acids from membrane lipids, are available to the cell. Oxidized amino acids on proteins are continuously repaired through protein degradation and resynthesis of new proteins.

A. Antioxidant Scavenging Enzymes The enzymatic defense against ROS includes superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. 1.

2 O2–

Cytoplasm

SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE (SOD)

Conversion of superoxide anion to hydrogen peroxide and O2 (dismutation) by superoxide dismutase (SOD) is often called the primary defense against oxidative stress because superoxide is such a strong initiator of chain reactions (Fig 24.14). SOD exists as three isoenzyme forms, a Cu-Zn2 form present in the cytosol, a Mn2 form present in mitochondria, and a Cu-Zn2 form found extracellularly. The activity of Cu-Zn2 SOD is increased by chemicals or conditions (such as hyperbaric oxygen) that increase the production of superoxide.

Superoxide 2H+ Superoxide dismutase

O2 H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide

Fig 24.14. Superoxide dismutase converts superoxide to hydrogen peroxide, which is nontoxic unless converted to other ROS.

In the body, iron and other metals are sequestered from interaction with ROS or O2 by their binding to transport proteins (haptoglobin, hemoglobin, transferrin, ceruloplasmin, and metallothionein) in the blood, and to intracellular storage proteins (ferritin, hemosiderin). Metals also are found bound to many enzymes, particularly those that react with O2. Usually, these enzymes have reaction mechanisms that minimize nonspecific single-electron transfer from the metal to other compounds.

The intracellular form of the Cu –Zn2 superoxide dismutase is encoded by the SOD1 gene. To date, 58 mutations in this gene have been discovered in individuals affected by familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). How a mutation in this gene leads to the symptoms of this disease has yet to be understood. It is important to note that only 5 to 10% of the total cases of diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are caused by the familial form.

Why does the cell need such a high content of SOD in mitochondria?

Premature infants with low levels of lung surfactant (see Chapter 33) require oxygen therapy. The level of oxygen must be closely monitored to prevent retinopathy and subsequent blindness (the retinopathy of prematurity) and to prevent bronchial pulmonary dysplasia. The tendency for these complications to develop is enhanced by the possibility of low levels of SOD and vitamin E in the premature infant.

450

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Mitochondria are major sites for generation of superoxide from the interaction of CoQ and O2. The Mn2 superoxide dismutase present in mitochondria is not regulated through induction/repression of gene transcription, presumably because the rate of superoxide generation is always high. Mitochondria also have a high content of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase, and can thus convert H2O2 to H2O and prevent lipid peroxidation.

2 H2O2 Hydrogen peroxide Catalase (peroxisomes)

2 H2O + O2

Fig 24.15. Catalase reduces hydrogen peroxide. (ROS is shown in a blue box).

Selenium (Se) is present in human proteins principally as selenocysteine (cysteine with the sulfur group replaced by Se, abbreviated sec). This amino acid functions in catalysis, and has been found in 11 or more human enzymes, including the four enzymes of the glutathione peroxidase family. Selenium is supplied in the diet as selenomethionine from plants (methionine with the Se replacing the sulfur), selenocysteine from animal foods, and inorganic selenium. Se from all of these sources can be converted to selenophosphate. Selenophosphate reacts with a unique tRNA containing bound serine to form a selenocysteine-tRNA, which incorporates selenocystiene into the appropriate protein as it is being synthesized. Se homeostasis in the body is controlled principally through regulation of its secretion as methylated Se. The current dietary requirement is approximately 70 g/day for adult males and 55 g for females. Deficiency symptoms reflect diminished antioxidant defenses and include symptoms of vitamin E deficiency.

2.

CATALASE

Hydrogen peroxide, once formed, must be reduced to water to prevent it from forming the hydroxyl radical in the Fenton reaction or Haber–Weiss reactions (see Fig. 24.4) One of the enzymes capable of reducing hydrogen peroxide is catalase (Fig.24.15). Catalase is found principally in peroxisomes, and to a lesser extent in the cytosol and microsomal fraction of the cell. The highest activities are found in tissues with a high peroxisomal content (kidney and liver). In cells of the immune system, catalase serves to protect the cell against its own respiratory burst. 3.

GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASE AND GLUTATHIONE REDUCTASE

Glutathione (-glutamylcysteinylglycine) is one of the body’s principal means of protecting against oxidative damage (see also Chapter 29). Glutathione is a tripeptide composed of glutamate, cysteine, and glycine, with the amino group of cysteine joined in peptide linkage to the -carboxyl group of glutamate (Fig. 24.16). In reactions catalyzed by glutathione peroxidases, the reactive sulfhydryl groups reduce hydrogen peroxide to water and lipid peroxides to nontoxic alcohols. In these reactions, two glutathione molecules are oxidized to form a single molecule, glutathione disulfide. The sulfhydryl groups are also oxidized in nonenzymatic chain terminating reactions with organic radicals. Glutathione peroxidases exist as a family of selenium enzymes with somewhat different properties and tissue locations. Within cells, they are found principally in the cytosol and mitochondria, and are the major means for removing H2O2 produced outside of peroxisomes. They contribute to our dietary requirement for selenium and account for the protective effect of selenium in the prevention of free radical injury. Once oxidized glutathione (GSSG) is formed, it must be reduced back to the sulfhydryl form by glutathione reductase in a redox cycle (Fig. 24.17). Glutathione reductase contains an FAD, and catalyzes transfer of electrons from NADPH to the disulfide bond of GSSG. NADPH is, thus, essential for protection against free radical injury. The major source of NADPH for this reaction is the pentose phosphate pathway (see Chapter 29).

B. Nonenzymatic Antioxidants (Free Radical Scavengers) Free radical scavengers convert free radicals to a nonradical nontoxic form in nonenzymatic reactions. Most free radical scavengers are antioxidants, compounds A.

B.

COO– CH2

Glycine GSH + HSG

HN C HS GSH

CH2

O

H2O2

HN C

Glutathione peroxidase

Cysteine

CH

2H2O O

GSSG

CH2 CH2

Glutathione disulfide Glutamate

HCNH3+ COO–

Fig 24.16. Glutathione peroxidase reduces hydrogen peroxide to water. A. The structure of glutathione. The sulfhydryl group of glutathione, which is oxidized to a disulfide, is shown in blue. B. Glutathione peroxidase transfer electrons from glutathione (GSH) to hydrogen peroxide.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

451

CH3

H2O2

HO NADP+

2 GSH Glutathione peroxidase

Glutathione reductase

GSSG

NADPH H+

Pentose phosphate pathway

2 H2O

H3C

O

Phytyl

CH3

α – Tocopherol LOO •

Fig 24.17. Glutathione redox cycle. Glutathione reductase regenerates reduced glutathione. (ROS is shown in the blue box).

LOOH CH3

that neutralize free radicals by donating a hydrogen atom (with its one electron) to the radical. Antioxidants, therefore, reduce free radicals and are themselves oxidized in the reaction. Dietary free radical scavengers (e.g., vitamin E, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, and flavonoids) as well as endogenously produced free radical scavengers (e.g., urate and melatonin) have a common structural feature, a conjugated double bond system that may be an aromatic ring. 1.

•O H3C

O

Phytyl

CH3 Tocopheryl radical LOO •

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E (-tocopherol), the most widely distributed antioxidant in nature, is a lipid-soluble antioxidant vitamin that functions principally to protect against lipid peroxidation in membranes (see Fig. 24.13). Vitamin E comprises a number of tocopherols that differ in their methylation pattern. Among these, tocopherol is the most potent antioxidant and present in the highest amount in our diet (Fig. 24.18). Vitamin E is an efficient antioxidant and nonenzymatic terminator of free radical chain reactions, and has little pro-oxidant activity. When Vitamin E donates an electron to a lipid peroxy radical, it is converted to a free radical form that is stabilized by resonance. If this free radical form were to act as a pro-oxidant and abstract an electron from a polyunsaturated lipid, it would be oxidizing that lipid and actually propagate the free radical chain reaction. The chemistry of vitamin E is such that it has a much greater tendency to donate a second electron and go to the fully oxidized form.

CH3 O H3C

O O CH3 O L

Phytyl

H2O LOOH OH

CH3 O H3C

Phytyl

O CH3

Tocopheryl quinone

2.

ASCORBIC ACID

Although ascorbate (vitamin C) is an oxidation-reduction coenzyme that functions in collagen synthesis and other reactions, it also plays a role in free radical defense. Reduced ascorbate can regenerate the reduced form of vitamin E through donating electrons in a redox cycle (Fig. 24.19). It is water-soluble and circulates unbound in blood and extracellular fluid, where it has access to the lipid-soluble vitamin E present in membranes and lipoprotein particles. 3.

CAROTENOIDS

Carotenoids is a term applied to -carotene (the precursor of vitamin A) and similar compounds with functional oxygen-containing substituents on the rings, such as zeaxanthin and lutein (Fig. 24.20). These compounds can exert antioxidant effects, as well as quench singlet O2 (singlet oxygen is a highly reactive oxygen species in which there are no unpaired electrons in the outer orbitals, but there is one orbital that is completely empty). Epidemiologic studies have shown a correlation between diets high in fruits and vegetables and health benefits, leading to the hypothesis that carotenoids might slow the progression of cancer, atherosclerosis, and other degenerative diseases by acting as chain-breaking antioxidants. However, in clinical

Fig 24.18. Vitamin E (-tocopherol) terminates free radical lipid peroxidation by donating single electrons to lipid peroxyl radicals (LOO•) to form the more stable lipid peroxide, LOOH. In so doing, the -tocopherol is converted to the fully oxidized tocopheryl quinone.

Vitamin E is found in the diet in the lipid fractions of some vegetable oils and in liver, egg yolks, and cereals. It is absorbed together with lipids, and fat malabsorption results in symptomatic deficiencies. Vitamin E circulates in the blood in lipoprotein particles. Its deficiency causes neurologic symptoms, probably because the polyunsaturated lipids in myelin and other membranes of the nervous system are particularly sensitive to free radical injury.

452

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

HO 5

HO 6

–e–

H

O 4 3

O

1 2

O– L –Ascorbate

H

O

–H

+ e–

HO

– e–

H

+

+ H+ OH

HO

O O

O +e–

O OH

O OH O

O

Ascorbyl radical

Dehydro– L – ascorbic acid

Fig 24.19. L-Ascorbate (the reduced form) donates single electrons to free radicals or disulfides in two steps as it is oxidized to dehydro-L-ascorbic acid. Its principle role in free radical defense is probably regeneration of vitamin E. However, it also may react with superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite, the hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals, and NO2.

β-carotene

Macular carotenoids Zeaxanthin

OH

HO Lutein

OH

HO

Fig 24.20. Carotenoids are compounds related in structure to -carotene. Lutein and zeathanthin (the macular carotenoids) are analogs containing hydroxyl groups. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that individuals with a higher intake of foods containing vitamin E, -carotene, and vitamin C have a somewhat lower risk of cancer and certain other ROS-related diseases than do individuals on diets deficient in these vitamins. However, studies in which well-nourished populations were given supplements of these antioxidant vitamins found either no effects or harmful effects compared with the beneficial effects from eating foods containing a wide variety of antioxidant compounds. Of the pure chemical supplements tested, there is evidence only for the efficacy of vitamin E. In two clinical trials, -carotene (or -carotene vitamin A) was associated with a higher incidence of lung cancer among smokers and higher mortality rates. In one study, vitamin E intake was associated with a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke (possibly because of vitamin K mimicry).

trials, -carotene supplements had either no effect or an undesirable effect. Its ineffectiveness may be due to the pro-oxidant activity of the free radical form. In contrast, epidemiologic studies relating the intake of lutein and zeoxanthin with decreased incidence of age-related macular degeneration have received progressive support. These two carotenoids are concentrated in the macula (the central portion of the retina) and are called the macular carotenoids. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the United States among persons older than 50 years of age, and it affects 1.7 million people worldwide. In AMD, visual loss is related to oxidative damage to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the choriocapillaris epithelium. The photoreceptor/retinal pigment complex is exposed to sunlight, it is bathed in near arterial levels of oxygen, and the membranes contain high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids, all of which are conducive to oxidative damage. Lipofuscin granules, which accumulate in the RPE throughout life, may serve as photosensitizers, initiating damage by absorbing blue light and generating singlet oxygen that forms other radicals. Dark sunglasses are protective. Epidemiologic studies showed that the intake of lutein and zeanthin in dark green leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach and collard greens) also may be protective. Lutein and zeaxanthein accumulate in the macula and protect against free radical damage by absorbing blue light and quenching singlet oxygen.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

4.

OTHER DIETARY ANTIOXIDANTS

OH

Flavonoids are a group of structurally similar compounds containing two spatially separate aromatic rings that are found in red wine, green tea, chocolate, and other plant-derived foods (Fig. 24.21). Flavonoids have been hypothesized to contribute to our free radical defenses in a number of ways. Some flavonoids inhibit enzymes responsible for superoxide anion production, such as xanthine oxidase. Others efficiently chelate Fe and Cu, making it impossible for these metals to participate in the Fenton reaction. They also may act as free radical scavengers by donating electrons to superoxide or lipid peroxy radicals, or stabilize free radicals by complexing with them. It is difficult to tell how much dietary flavonoids contribute to our free radical defense system; they have a high pro-oxidant activity and are poorly absorbed. Nonetheless, we generally consume large amounts of flavonoids (approximately 800 mg/day), and there is evidence that they can contribute to the maintenance of vitamin E as an antioxidant. 5.

ENDOGENOUS ANTIOXIDANTS

A number of compounds synthesized endogenously for other functions, or as urinary excretion products, also function nonenzymatically as free radical antioxidants. Uric acid is formed from the degradation of purines and is released into extracellular fluids, including blood, saliva, and lung lining fluid (Fig. 24.22). Together with protein thiols, it accounts for the major free radical trapping capacity of plasma. It is particularly important in the upper airways, where there are few other antioxidants. It can directly scavenge hydroxyl radicals, oxyheme oxidants formed between the reaction of hemoglobin and peroxy radicals, and peroxyl radicals themselves. Having acted as a scavenger, uric acid produces a range of oxidation products that are subsequently excreted. Melatonin, which is a secretory product of the pineal gland, is a neurohormone that functions in regulation of our circadian rhythm, light–dark signal transduction, and sleep induction. In addition to these receptor-mediated functions, it functions as a nonenzymatic free radical scavenger that donates an electron (as hydrogen) to “neutralize” free radicals. It also can react with ROS and RNOS to form addition products, thereby undergoing suicidal transformations. Its effectiveness is related to both its lack of pro-oxidant activity and its joint hydrophilic/hydrophobic nature that allows it to pass through membranes and the blood-brain barrier.

O HN

N

O

N H

OH N H Uric acid

H O CH3 O

453

CH2

CH2

N C

CH3

N H Melatonin

Fig 24.22. Endogenous antioxidants. Uric acid and melatonin both act to successively neutralize several molecules of ROS.

OH O

HO

OH OH

O A flavonoid

Fig 24.21. The flavonoid quercetin. All flavonoids have the same ring structure, shown in blue. They differ in ring substituents (=O, -OH, and OCH3). Quercetin is effective in Fe chelation and antioxidant activity. It is widely distributed in fruits (principally in the skins) and in vegetables (e.g., onions).

454

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

CLINICAL COMMENTS

Dopamine inactivation

1

MAO O2

H2O2 Fe2+

2 O2–

•OH

NO RNOS

3 Lipid peroxidation Protein oxidation DNA strand breaks

4

Lipofuscin

Neuronal degeneration

Reduced dopamine release

Fig 24.23. A model for the role of ROS and RNOS in neuronal degradation in Parkinson’s disease. 1. Dopamine levels are reduced by monoamine oxidase, which generates H2O2. 2. Superoxide also can be produced by mitochondria, which SOD will convert to H2O2. Iron levels increase, which allows the Fenton reaction to proceed, generating hydroxyl radicals. 3. NO, produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase, reacts with superoxide to form RNOS. 4. The RNOS and hydroxyl radical lead to radical chain reactions that result in lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, the formation of lipofuscin, and neuronal degeneration. The end result is a reduced production and release of dopamine, which leads to the clinical symptoms observed.

Les Dopaman has “primary” parkinsonism. The pathogenesis of this disease is not well established and may be multifactorial (Fig. 24.23). The major clinical disturbances in Parkinson’s disease are a result of dopamine depletion in the neostriatum, resulting from degeneration of dopaminergic neurons whose cell bodies reside in the substantia nigra pars compacta. The decrease in dopamine production is the result of severe degeneration of these nigrostriatal neurons. Although the agent that initiates the disease is unknown, a variety of studies support a role for free radicals in Parkinson’s disease. Within these neurons, dopamine turnover is increased, dopamine levels are lower, glutathione is decreased, and lipofuscin (Lewy bodies) is increased. Iron levels are higher, and ferritin, the storage form of iron, is lower. Furthermore, the disease is mimicked by the compound 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP), an inhibitor of NADH dehydrogenase that increases superoxide production in these neurons. Even so, it is not known whether oxidative stress makes a primary or secondary contribution to the disease process. Drug therapy is based on the severity of the disease. In the early phases of the disease, a monoamine oxidase B-inhibitor is used that inhibits dopamine degradation and decreases hydrogen peroxide formation. In later stages of the disease, patients are treated with levodopa (L-dopa), a precursor of dopamine. Cora Nari experienced angina caused by severe ischemia in the ventricular muscle of her heart. The ischemia was caused by clots that formed at the site of atherosclerotic plaques within the lumen of the coronary arteries. When TPA was infused to dissolve the clots, the ischemic area of her heart was reperfused with oxygenated blood, resulting in ischemic–reperfusion injury. In her case, the reperfusion injury resulted in ventricular fibrillation. During ischemia, several events occur simultaneously in cardiomyocytes. A decreased O2 supply results in decreased ATP generation from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and inhibition of cardiac muscle contraction. As a consequence, cytosolic AMP concentration increases, activating anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid production. If ATP levels are inadequate to maintain Na, K -ATPase activity, intracellular Na increases, resulting in cellular swelling, a further increase in H concentration, and increases of cytosolic and subsequently mitochondrial Ca2 levels. The decrease in ATP and increase in Ca2 may open the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, resulting in permanent inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation. Damage to lipid membranes is further enhanced by Ca2 activation of phospholipases. Reperfusion with O2 allows recovery of oxidative phosphorylation, provided that the mitochondrial membrane has maintained some integrity and the mitochondrial transition pore can close. However, it also increases generation of free radicals. The transfer of electrons from CoQ• to O2 to generate superoxide is increased. Endothelial production of superoxide by xanthine oxidase also may increase. These radicals may go on to form the hydroxyl radical, which can enhance the damage to components of the electron transport chain and mitochondrial lipids, as well as activate the

Currently, an intense study of ischemic insults to a variety of animal organs is underway, in an effort to discover ways of preventing reperfusion injury. These include methods designed to increase endogenous antioxidant activity, to reduce the generation of free radicals, and, finally, to develop exogenous antioxidants that, when administered before reperfusion, would prevent its injurious effects. Each of these approaches has met with some success, but their clinical application awaits further refinement. With the growing number of invasive procedures aimed at restoring arterial blood flow through partially obstructed coronary vessels, such as clot lysis, balloon or laser angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass grafting, development of methods to prevent ischemia–reperfusion injury will become increasingly urgent.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

455

mitochondrial permeability transition. As macrophages move into the area to clean up cellular debris, they may generate NO and superoxide, thus introducing peroxynitrite and other free radicals into the area. Depending on the route and timing involved, the acute results may be cell death through necrosis, with slower cell death through apoptosis in the surrounding tissue. In Cora Nari’s case, oxygen was restored before permanent impairment of oxidative phosphorylation had occurred and the stage of irreversible injury was reached. However, reintroduction of oxygen induced ventricular fibrillation, from which she recovered.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Protection Against Ozone in Lung Lining Fluid The lung lining fluid, a thin fluid layer extending from the nasal cavity to the most distal lung alveoli, protects the epithelial cells lining our airways from ozone and other pollutants. Although ozone is not a radical species, many of its toxic effects are mediated through generation of the classical ROS, as well as generation of aldehydes and ozonides. Polyunsaturated fatty acids represent the primary target for ozone, and peroxidation of membrane lipids is the most important mechanism of ozone-induced injury. However, ozone also oxidizes proteins. The lung lining fluid has two phases; a gel-phase that traps microorganisms and large particles, and a sol (soluble) phase containing a variety of ROS defense mechanisms that prevent pollutants from reaching the underlying lung epithelial cells (Fig. 24.24). When the ozone level of inspired air is low, ozone is neutralized principally by uric acid (UA) present in the fluid lining the nasal cavity. In the proximal and distal regions of the respiratory tract, glutathione (GSH) and ascorbic acid (AA), in addition to UA, react directly with ozone. Ozone that escapes this antioxidant screen may react directly with proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates (CHO) to generate secondary oxidants, such as lipid peroxides, that can initiate chain reactions. A second layer of defense protects against these oxidation and peroxidation products: -tocopherol (vitamin E) and glutathione react directly with lipid radicals; glutathione peroxidase reacts with hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxides, and

Although most individuals are able to protect against small amounts of ozone in the atmosphere, even slightly elevated ozone concentrations produce respiratory symptoms in 10 to 20% of the healthy population.

OZONE

Mucus Lung lining fluid

GSH

AA

UA

ROS Neut

Protein

α-Toc GSH-Px EC-SOD

Lipid

CHO

Secondary oxidants

Epithelial cell

Blood capillary

Fig 24.24. Protection against ozone in the lung lining fluid. GSH, glutathione; AA, ascorbic acid (vitamin C); UA, uric acid; CHO, carbohydrate; -TOC, vitamin E; GSH-Px, glutathione peroxidase; ED-SOD, extracellular superoxide dismutase; Neut, neutrophil.

456

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD) converts superoxide to hydrogen peroxide. However, oxidative stress may still overwhelm even this extensive defense network because ozone also promotes neutrophil migration into the lung lining fluid. Once activated, the neutrophils (Neut) produce a second wave of ROS (superoxide, HOCl, and NO).

Suggested References Gutteridge JMC, Halliwell B. Antioxidants in Nutrition, Health and Disease. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Halestrap AP. The mitochondrial permeability transition: its molecular mechanism and role in reperfusion injury. Biochem Soc Symp 1999;66:181–203. Mudway IS, Kelly FJ. Ozone and the lung: a sensitive issue. Mol Aspects Med 2000;21:1–48. Pietta P-G. Flavonoids as antioxidants. J Nat Prod 2000;63:1035–1042. Reiter RJ, Tan D-X, Wenbo A, Manchester LC, Karownik M, Calvo JR. Pharmacology and physiology of melatonin in the reduction of oxidative stress in vivo. Biol Signals Recept 2000;9:160–171. Shigenaga MK, Hagen TM, Ames BN. Oxidative damage and mitochondrial decay in aging. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1994;92:10771–10778. Winkler BS, Boulton ME, Gottsch JD, Sternberg P. Oxidative damage and age-related macular degeneration. Molecular Vision 1999;5:32. Zhang Y, Dawson, VL, Dawson, TM. Oxidative stress and genetics in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. Neurobiol Dis 2000;7:240–250.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 24 1.

Which of the following vitamins or enzymes is unable to protect against free radical damage? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F)

2.

Superoxide dismutase catalyzes which of the following reactions? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

-Carotene Glutathione peroxidase Superoxide dismutase Vitamin B6 Vitamin C Vitamin E

O2 e 2H yields H2O2 2 O2 2H yields H2O2 O2 O2 HO• H yields CO2 H2O H2O2 O2 yields 4 H2O O2 H2O2 H yields 2 H2O O2

The mechanism of vitamin E as an antioxidant is best described by which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Vitamin E binds to free radicals and sequesters them from the contents of the cell. Vitamin E participates in the oxidation of the radicals. Vitamin E participates in the reduction of the radicals. Vitamin E forms a covalent bond with the radicals, thereby stabilizing the radical state. Vitamin E inhibits enzymes that produce free radicals.

CHAPTER 24 / OXYGEN TOXICITY AND FREE RADICAL INJURY

4.

An accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in a cellular compartment can be converted to dangerous radical forms in the presence of which metal? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

457

Se Fe Mn Mg Mb

The level of oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA is 10 times greater than that to nuclear DNA. This could be due, in part, to which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Superoxide dismutase is present in the mitochondria. The nucleus lacks glutathione. The nuclear membrane presents a barrier to reactive oxygen species. The mitochondrial membrane is permeable to reactive oxygen species. Mitochondrial DNA lacks histones.

25

Metabolism of Ethanol

Ethanol is a dietary fuel that is metabolized to acetate principally in the liver, with the generation of NADH. The principal route for metabolism of ethanol is through hepatic alcohol dehydrogenases, which oxidize ethanol to acetaldehyde in the cytosol (Fig. 25.1). Acetaldehyde is further oxidized by acetaldehyde dehydrogenases to acetate, principally in mitochondria. Acetaldehyde, which is toxic, also may enter the blood. NADH produced by these reactions is used for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation through oxidative phosphorylation. Most of the acetate enters the blood and is taken up by skeletal muscles and other tissues, where it is activated to acetyl CoA and is oxidized in the TCA cycle. Approximately 10 to 20% of ingested ethanol is oxidized through a microsomal oxidizing system (MEOS), comprising cytochrome P450 enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum (especially CYP2E1). CYP2E1 has a high Km for ethanol and is inducible by ethanol. Therefore, the proportion of ethanol metabolized through this route is greater at high ethanol concentrations, and greater after chronic consumption of ethanol. Acute effects of alcohol ingestion arise principally from the generation of NADH, which greatly increases the NADH/NAD ratio of the liver. As a consequence, fatty acid oxidation is inhibited, and ketogenesis may occur. The elevated NADH/NAD ratio may also cause lactic acidosis and inhibit gluconeogenesis. Ethanol metabolism may result in alchohol-induced liver disease, including hepatic steatosis (fatty liver), alcohol-induced hepatitis, and cirrhosis. The principal toxic products of ethanol metabolism include acetaldehyde and free radicals. Acetaldehyde forms adducts with proteins and other compounds. The hydroxyethyl radical produced by MEOS and other radicals produced during

ADH Acetaldehyde O CH3 C H NAD+

ALDH

NADH + H+

Acetate O CH3 C OH

Ethanol CH3CH2OH

+ NADH NAD + +H

Liver

Muscle Acetaldehyde

ACS Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

Acetate

Blood

Acetate

FAD (2H)

CO2

3 NADH, 3 H+

Fig. 25.1. The major route for metabolism of ethanol and use of acetate by the muscle. (ADH, alcohol dehydrogenase; ALDH, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase; ACS, acetyl-CoA synthetase). 458

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

459

inflammation cause irreversible damage to the liver. Many other tissues are adversely affected by ethanol, acetaldehyde, or by the consequences of hepatic dysmetabolism and injury. Genetic polymorphisms in the enzymes of ethanol metabolism may be responsible for individual variations in the development of alcoholism or the development of liver cirrhosis.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

A dietary history for Ivan Applebod showed that he had continued his habit of drinking scotch and soda each evening while watching TV, but he did not add the ethanol calories to his dietary intake. He justifies this calculation on the basis of a comment he heard on a radio program that calories from alcohol ingestion “don’t count” because they are empty calories that do not cause weight gain. Al Martini was found lying semiconscious at the bottom of the stairs by his landlady when she returned from an overnight visit with friends. His face had multiple bruises and his right forearm was grotesquely angulated. Nonbloody dried vomitus stained his clothing. Mr. Martini was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. In addition to multiple bruises and the compound fracture of his right forearm, he had deep and rapid (Kussmaul) respirations and was moderately dehydrated. Initial laboratory studies showed a relatively large anion gap of 34 mmol/L (reference range 9–15 mmol/L). An arterial blood gas analysis confirmed the presence of a metabolic acidosis. Mr. Martini’s blood alcohol level was only slightly elevated. His serum glucose was 68 mg/dL (low normal). Jean Ann Tonich, a 46-year-old commercial artist, recently lost her job because of absenteeism. Her husband of 24 years had left her 10 months earlier. She complains of loss of appetite, fatigue, muscle weakness, and emotional depression. She has had occasional pain in the area of her liver, at times accompanied by nausea and vomiting. On physical examination she appears disheveled and pale. The physician notes tenderness to light percussion over her liver and detects a small amount of ascites (fluid within the peritoneal cavity around the abdominal organs). The lower edge of her liver is palpable about 2 inches below the lower margin of her right rib cage, suggesting liver enlargement, and feels somewhat more firm and nodular than normal. Jean Ann’s spleen is not palpably enlarged. There is a suggestion of mild jaundice. No obvious neurologic or cognitive abnormalities are present. After detecting a hint of alcohol on Jean Ann’s breath, the physician questions her about possible alcohol abuse, which she denies. With more intensive questioning, however, Jean Ann admits that for the last 5 or 6 years she began drinking gin on a daily basis (approximately 4–5 drinks, or 68–85 g ethanol) and eating infrequently. Laboratory tests showed that her serum ethanol level on the initial office visit was 245 mg/dL (0.245%). A serum ethanol level above 150 mg/dL (0.15%) is considered indicative of inebriation.

I.

ETHANOL METABOLISM

Ethanol is a small molecule that is both lipid and water soluble. It is, therefore, readily absorbed from the intestine by passive diffusion. A small percentage of ingested ethanol (0-5%) enters the gastric mucosal cells of the upper GI tract (tongue, mouth,

The anion gap is calculated by subtracting the sum of the value for serum chloride and for the serum HCO3 content from the serum sodium concentration. If the gap is greater than normal, it suggests that acids such as the ketone bodies acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate are present in the blood in increased amounts.

Jaundice is a yellow discoloration involving the sclerae (the “whites”’ of the eyes) and skin. It is caused by the deposition of bilirubin, a yellow degradation product of heme. Bilirubin accumulates in the blood under conditions of liver injury, bile duct obstruction, and excessive degradation of heme.

Jean Ann Tonich’s admitted ethanol consumption exceeds the definition of moderate drinking. Moderate drinking is now defined as not more than two drinks per day for men, but only one drink per day for women. A drink is defined as 12 oz of regular beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz distilled spirits (80 proof).

460

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

CH3 CH2OH Ethanol NAD+ ADH NADH + H+ O CH3 C

H

Acetaldehyde NAD+ ALDH NADH + H+ O CH3 C

O–

Acetate

Fig. 25.2. The pathway of ethanol metabolism (ADH, alcohol dehydrogenase; ALDH, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase).

CH3 CH2OH Ethanol M E O S

NADPH + H+ + O2 NADP+ + 2H2O

A. Alcohol Dehydrogenase

O ER

CH3 C

esophagus, and stomach), where it is metabolized. The remainder enters the blood. Of this, 85 to 98% is metabolized in the liver, and only 2 to 10% is excreted through the lungs or kidneys. The major route of ethanol metabolism in the liver is through liver alcohol dehydrogenase, a cytosolic enzyme that oxidizes ethanol to acetaldehyde with reduction of NAD to NADH (Fig.25.2). If it is not removed by metabolism, acetaldehyde exerts toxic actions in the liver and can enter the blood and exert toxic effects in other tissues. Approximately 90% of the acetaldehyde that is generated is further metabolized to acetate in the liver. The major enzyme involved is a low Km mitochondrial acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), which oxidizes acetaldehyde to acetate with generation of NADH (see Fig. 25.2). Acetate, which has no toxic effects, may be activated to acetyl CoA in the liver (where it can enter either the TCA cycle or the pathway for fatty acid synthesis). However, most of the acetate that is generated enters the blood and is activated to acetyl CoA in skeletal muscles and other tissues (see Fig. 25.1). Acetate is generally considered nontoxic and is a normal constituent of the diet. The other principal route of ethanol oxidation in the liver is the microsomal ethanol oxidizing system (MEOS), which also oxidizes ethanol to acetaldehyde (Fig. 25.3). The principal microsomal enzyme involved is a cytochrome P450 mixed-function oxidase isozyme (CYP2E1), which uses NADPH as an additional electron donor and O2 as an electron acceptor. This route accounts for only 10 to 20% of ethanol oxidation in a moderate drinker. Each of the enzyme activities involved in ethanol metabolism (alcohol dehydrogenase, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, and CYP2E1) exist as a family of isoenzymes. Individual variations in the quantity of these isoenzymes influence a number of factors, such as the rate of ethanol clearance from the blood, the degree of inebriation exhibited by an individual, and differences in individual susceptibility to the development of alcohol-induced liver disease.

H

Acetaldehyde

Fig. 25.3. The reaction catalyzed by MEOS (which includes CYP2E1) in the endoplasmic reticulum.

Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) exists as a family of isoenzymes with varying specificity for chain length of the alcohol substrate (Table 25.1). Ethanol is a small molecule that does not exhibit much in the way of unique structural characteristics and, at high concentrations, is nonspecifically metabolized by many members of the ADH family. The alcohol dehydrogenases that exhibit the highest specificity for ethanol are the class I alcohol dehydrogenases. We have three genes for class I alcohol dehydrogenases, each of which exists as allelic variants (polymorphisms).

Table 25.1. Isozymes of Medium-Chain-Length Alcohol Dehydrogenases Gene

Sub-Unit

Tissue Distribution

Properties

I

Class

ADH 1 ADH 2 ADH 3

Most abundant in liver and adrenal glands. Much lower levels in kidney, lung, colon, small intestine, eye, ovary, blood vessels. None in brain or heart

Km of 0.05–4 mM for ethanol. Active only with ethanol. High tissue capacity.

II

ADH 4

Primarily liver, lower levels in GI tract

Km of 34 mM for ethanol.

III

ADH 5

IV

ADH 7

Present in highest levels in upper GI tract, gingiva and mouth, esophagus, down to the stomach. Not present in liver.

Km of 28 mM. It is the most active of medium-chain alcohol DH toward retinal.

V

ADH 6

-

May be highest in fetal liver.

Some activity toward ethanol

Ubiquitously expressed, but at higher levels in liver. The only isozyme present in germinal cells.

Relatively inactive toward ethanol. Active mainly toward long-chain alcohols, and -OH fatty acids.

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

The class I alcohol dehydrogenases are present in high quantities in the liver, representing approximately 3% of all soluble protein. These alcohol dehydrogenases, commonly referred to collectively as liver alcohol dehydrogenase, have low Kms for ethanol between 0.05 and 4 mM (high affinities). Thus, the liver is the major site of ethanol metabolism and the major site at which the toxic metabolite acetaldehyde is generated. Although the class IV and class II enzymes make minor contributions to ethanol metabolism, they may contribute to its toxic effects. Ethanol concentrations can be quite high in the upper GI tract (e.g., beer is approximately 0.8 M ethanol), and acetaldehyde generated here by class IV enzymes (gastric ADH) might contribute to the risk for cancer associated with heavy drinking. Class II ADH genes are expressed primarily in the liver and at lower levels in the lower gastrointestinal tract.

B. Acetaldehyde Dehydrogenases Acetaldehyde is oxidized to acetate, with the generation of NADH, by acetaldehyde dehydrogenases (see Fig. 25.2). More than 80% of acetaldehyde oxidation in the human liver is normally catalyzed by mitochondrial acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), which has a high affinity for acetaldehyde and is highly specific. However, individuals with a common allelic variant of ALDH2 have a greatly decreased capacity for acetaldehyde metabolism Most of the remainder of acetaldehyde oxidation occurs through a cytosolic acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH1). Additional aldehyde dehydrogenases act on a variety of organic alcohols, toxins, and pollutants.

C. Fate of Acetate Metabolism of acetate requires activation to acetyl CoA by acetyl CoA synthetase in a reaction similar to that catalyzed by fatty acyl CoA synthetases (Fig. 25.4). In liver, the principle isoform of acetyl CoA synthetase (ACS I) is a cytosolic enzyme that generates acetyl CoA for the cytosolic pathways of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis. Acetate entry into these pathways is under regulatory control by mechanisms involving cholesterol or insulin. Thus, most of the acetate generated enters the blood. Acetate is taken up and oxidized by other tissues, notably heart and skeletal muscle, which have a high concentration of the mitochondrial acetyl CoA synthetase isoform (ACSII). This enzyme is present in the mitochondrial matrix. It therefore generates acetyl CoA that can directly enter the TCA cycle and be oxidized to CO2.

D. Microsomal Ethanol Oxidizing System Ethanol is also oxidized to acetaldehyde in the liver by the microsomal ethanol oxidizing system, which comprises members of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes. Ethanol and NADPH both donate electrons in the reaction, which reduces O2 to 2H2O (Fig. 25.5). The cytochrome P450 enzymes all have two The accumulation of acetaldehyde causes nausea and vomiting, and, therefore, inactive acetaldehyde dehydrogenases are associated with a distaste for alcoholic beverages and protection against alcoholism. In one of the common allelic variants of ALDH2 (ALDH2*2), a single substitution increases the Km for acetaldehyde 260-fold (lowers the affinity) and decreases the Vmax 10-fold, resulting in a very inactive enzyme. Homozygosity for the ALDH2*2 allele affords absolute protection against alcoholism; no individual with this genotype has been found among alcoholics. Alcoholics are frequently treated with acetaldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitors (e.g., disulfiram) to help them abstain from alcohol intake. Unfortunately, alcoholics who continue to drink while taking this drug are exposed to the toxic effects of elevated acetaldehyde levels.

461

The human has at least seven, and possibly more, genes that code for specific isoenzymes of mediumchain-length alcohol dehydrogenases, the major enzyme responsible for the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde in the human. These different alcohol dehydrogenases have an approximately 60 to 70% identity and are assumed to have arisen from a common ancestral gene similar to the class III isoenzyme many millions of years ago. The class I alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH 1, ADH 2, and ADH 3) are all present in high concentration in the liver, and have a relatively high affinity and capacity for ethanol at low concentrations. (These properties are quantitatively reflected by their low Km, a parameter discussed in Chapter 9). They have a 90 to 94% sequence identity and are able to form both homo- and hetero-dimers, among themselves (e.g., or ). However, none of the ADHs can form dimers with an ADH from another class. The three genes for class I alcohol dehydrogenases are arranged in tandem, head to tail, on chromosome 4. The genes for the other classes of alcohol dehydrogenase are also on chromosome 4 in nearby locations.

ADH 2 and ADH 3 are present as functional polymorphisms that differ in their properties. Genetic polymorphisms for ADH partially account for the observed differences in ethanol elimination rates among various individuals or populations. Although susceptibility to alcoholism is a complex function of genetics and socioeconomic factors, possession of the ADH 2*2 allele, which encodes a relatively fast ADH (high Vmax), is associated with a decreased susceptibility to alcoholism—presumably because of nausea and flushing caused by acetaldehyde accumulation (because the aldehyde dehydrogenase gene cannot keep up with the amount of acetaldehyde produced). This particular allele has a relatively high frequency in the East Asian population and a low frequency among white Europeans. In contrast, the ADH 2*1/2*1 genotype (homozygous for allele 1 of the ADH 2 gene) is a risk factor for the development of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a neuropsychiatric syndrome commonly associated with alcoholism.

462

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

O CH3

C

O–

Acetate acetyl CoA synthetase

CoASH + ATP AMP + PPi

CH3

C

O SCoA

1.

Acetyl CoA

Fig. 25.4. The activation of acetate to acetyl CoA

NADP+, H+

NADPH FAD e– e–

RH O2

major catalytic protein components: an electron-donating reductase system that transfers electrons from NADPH (cytochrome P450 reductase) and a cytochrome P450. The cytochrome P450 protein contains the binding sites for O2 and the substrate (e.g., ethanol) and carries out the reaction. The enzymes are present in the endoplasmic reticulum, which on isolation from disrupted cells forms a membrane fraction after centrifugation that was formerly called “microsomes” by biochemists.

ROH, H2O

FMN Fe – heme

MEOS is part of the superfamily of cytochrome P450 enzymes, all of which catalyze similar oxidative reactions. Within the superfamily, at least 10 distinct gene families are found in mammals. More than 100 different cytochrome P450 isozymes exist within these 10 gene families. Each isoenzyme has a distinct classification according to its structural relationship with other isoenzymes. The isoenzyme that has the highest activity toward ethanol is called CYP2E1. A great deal of overlapping specificity exists among the various P450 isoenzymes, and ethanol is also oxidized by several other P450 isoenzymes. “MEOS” refers to the combined ethanol oxidizing activity of all the P450 enzymes. CYP2E1 has a much higher Km for ethanol than the class I alcohol dehydrogenases (11 mM [51 mg/dL] compared with 0.05–4 mM [0.23 to 18.4 mg/dL]). Thus, a greater proportion of ingested ethanol is metabolized through CYP2E1 at high levels of ethanol consumption than at low levels. 2.

Cytochrome Cytochrome P450 reductase P450

Fig. 25.5. General structure of cytochrome P450 enzymes. O2 binds to the P450 Fe-heme in the active site and is activated to a reactive form by accepting electrons. The electrons are donated by the cytochrome P450 reductase, which contains an FAD plus an FMN or Fe-S center to facilitate the transfer of single electrons from NADPH to O2. The P450 enzymes involved in steroidogenesis have a somewhat different structure. For CYP2E1, RH is ethanol (CH3CH2OH) and ROH is acetaldehyde (CH3COH). CYP represents cytochrome P450. P450 is an Fe-heme similar to that found in the cytochromes of the electron transport chain (“P” denotes the heme pigment, and 450 is the wavelength of visible light absorbed by the pigment). In CYP2E1, the “2” refers to the gene family, which comprises isoenzymes with greater than 40% amino acid sequence identity. The “E” refers to the subfamily, a grouping of isoenzymes with greater than 55 to 60% sequence identity, and the “1” refers to the individual enzymes within this subfamily.

CYP2E1

INDUCTION OF P450 ENZYMES

The P450 enzymes are inducible both by their most specific substrate and by substrates for some of the other cytochrome P450 enzymes. Chronic consumption of ethanol increases hepatic CYP2E1 levels approximately 5- to 10-fold. However, it also causes a twofold to fourfold increase in some of the other P450s from the same subfamily, from different subfamilies, and even from different gene families. The endoplasmic reticulum undergoes proliferation, with a general increase in the content of microsomal enzymes, including those that are not directly involved in ethanol metabolism. The increase in CYP2E1 with ethanol consumption occurs through transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational regulation. Increased levels of mRNA, resulting from induction of gene transcription or stabilization of message, are found in actively drinking patients. The protein is also stabilized against degradation. In general, the mechanism for induction of P450 enzymes by their substrates occurs through the binding of the substrate (or related compound) to an intracellular receptor protein, followed by binding of the activated receptor to a response element in the target gene. Whether ethanol induction of CYP2E1 follows this general pattern has not yet been shown.

Overlapping specificity in the catalytic activity of P450 enzymes and in their inducers is responsible for several types of drug interactions. For example, phenobarbital, a barbiturate long used as a sleeping pill or for treatment of epilepsy, is converted to an inactive metabolite by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases CYP2B1 and CYP2B2. After treatment with phenobarbital, CYP2B2 is increased 50- to 100-fold. Individuals who take phenobarbital for prolonged periods develop a drug tolerance as CYP2B2 is induced, and the drug is metabolized to an inactive metabolite more rapidly. Consequently, these individuals use progressively higher doses of phenobarbital. Ethanol is an inhibitor of the phenobarbital-oxidizing P450 system. When large amounts of ethanol are consumed, the inactivation of phenobarbital is directly or indirectly inhibited. Therefore, when high doses of phenobarbital and ethanol are consumed at the same time, toxic levels of the barbiturate can accumulate in the blood.

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

Although induction of CYP2E1 increases ethanol clearance from the blood, it has negative consequences. Acetaldehyde may be produced faster than it can be metabolized by acetaldehyde dehydrogenases, thereby increasing the risk of hepatic injury. An increased amount of acetaldehyde can enter the blood and can damage other tissues. In addition, cytochrome P450 enzymes are capable of generating free radicals, which also may lead to increased hepatic injury and cirrhosis (see Chapter 24).

E. Variations in the Pattern of Ethanol Metabolism The routes and rates of ethanol oxidation vary from individual to individual. Differences in ethanol metabolism may influence whether an individual becomes a chronic alcoholic, develops alcohol-induced liver disease, or develops other diseases associated with increased alcohol consumption (such as hepatocarcinogenesis, lung cancer, or breast cancer). Factors that determine the rate and route of ethanol oxidation in individuals include: • Genotype—Polymorphic forms of alcohol dehydrogenases and acetaldehyde dehydrogenases can greatly affect the rate of ethanol oxidation and the accumulation of acetaldehyde. CYP2E1 activity may vary as much as 20-fold between individuals, partly because of differences in the inducibility of different allelic variants. • Drinking history—The level of gastric alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) decreases and CYP2E1 increases with the progression from a naïve, to a moderate, and to a heavy and chronic consumer of alcohol. • Gender—Blood levels of ethanol after consuming a drink are normally higher for women than for men, partly because of lower levels of gastric ADH activity in women. After chronic consumption of ethanol, gastric ADH decreases in both men and women, but the gender differences become even greater. Gender differences in blood alcohol levels also occur because women are normally smaller. Furthermore, in females, alcohol is distributed in a 12% smaller water space because a woman’s body composition consists of more fat and less water than that of a man. • Quantity—The amount of ethanol an individual consumes over a small amount of time determines its metabolic route. Small amounts of ethanol are metabolized most efficiently through the low Km pathway of class I ADH and class II ALDH. Little accumulation of NADH occurs to inhibit ethanol metabolism via these dehydrogenases. However, when higher amounts of ethanol are consumed in a short period, a disproportionately greater amount is metabolized through MEOS. MEOS, which has a much higher Km for ethanol, functions principally at high concentrations of ethanol. A higher activity of MEOS would be expected to correlate with tendency to develop alcohol-induced liver disease, because both acetaldehyde and free radical levels would be increased.

F. The Energy Yield of Ethanol Oxidation The ATP yield from ethanol oxidation to acetate varies with the route of ethanol metabolism. If ethanol is oxidized by the major route of cytosolic ADH and mitochondrial ALDH, one cytosolic and one mitochondrial NADH are generated with a maximum yield of 5 ATP. Oxidation of acetyl CoA in the TCA cycle and electron transport chain leads to the generation of 10 high-energy phosphate bonds. However, activation of acetate to acetyl CoA requires two high-energy phosphate bonds (one in the cleavage of ATP to AMP pyrophosphate and one in the cleavage of pyrophosphate to phosphate), which must be subtracted. Thus the maximum total energy yield is 13 moles of ATP per mole of ethanol. In contrast, oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde by CYP2E1 consumes energy in the form of NADPH, which is equivalent to 2.5 ATP. Thus, for every mole of

463

As blood ethanol concentration rises above 18 mM (the legal intoxication limit is now defined as 0.08% in most states of the United States, which is approximately 18 mM), the brain and central nervous system are affected. Induction of CYP2E1 increases the rate of ethanol clearance from the blood, thereby contributing to increased alcohol tolerance. However, the apparent ability of a chronic alcoholic to drink without appearing inebriated is partly a learned behavior.

464

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

At Ivan Applebod’s low level of ethanol consumption, ethanol is oxidized to acetate via ADH and ALDH in the liver and the acetate is activated to acetyl CoA and oxidized to CO2 in skeletal muscle and other tissues. The overall energy yield of 13 ATP per ethanol molecule accounts for the caloric value of ethanol, approximately 7 Cal/g. However, chronic consumption of substantial amounts of alcohol does not have the effect on body weight expected from the caloric intake. This is partly attributable to induction of MEOS, resulting in a proportionately greater metabolism of ethanol through MEOS with its lower energy yield (only approximately 8 ATP). In general, weight loss diets recommend no, or low, alcohol consumption because ethanol calories are “empty” in the sense that alcoholic beverages are generally low in vitamins, essential amino acids, and other required nutrients, but not empty of calories.

ethanol metabolized by this route, only a maximum of 8.0 moles of ATP can be generated (10 ATP from acetylCoA oxidation through the TCA cycle, minus 2 for acetate activation; the NADH generated by aldehyde dehydrogenase is balanced by the loss of NADPH in the MEOS step).

II. TOXIC EFFECTS OF ETHANOL METABOLISM Alcohol-induced liver disease, a common and sometimes fatal consequence of chronic ethanol abuse, may manifest itself in three forms: fatty liver, alcohol-induced hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Each may occur alone, or they may be present in any combination in a given patient. Alcohol-induced cirrhosis is discovered in up to 9% of all autopsies performed in the United States, with a peak incidence in patients 40 to 55 years of age. However, ethanol ingestion also has acute effects on liver metabolism, including inhibition of fatty acid oxidation and stimulation of triacylglycerol synthesis, leading to a fatty liver. It also can result in ketoacidosis or lactic acidosis and cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, depending on the dietary state. These effects are considered reversible. In contrast, acetaldehyde and free radicals generated from ethanol metabolism can result in alcohol-induced hepatitis, a condition in which the liver is inflamed and cells become necrotic and die. Diffuse damage to hepatocytes results in cirrhosis, characterized by fibrosis (scarring), disturbance of the normal architecture and blood flow, loss of liver function and, ultimately, hepatic failure.

A. Acute Effects of Ethanol Arising from the Increased NADH /NAD Ratio Many of the acute effects of ethanol ingestion arise from the increased NADH/NAD ratio in the liver (Fig. 25.6). At lower levels of ethanol intake, the rate of ethanol oxidation is regulated by the supply of ethanol (usually determined by how much ethanol we consume) and the rate at which NADH is reoxidized in the electron transport chain. NADH is not a very effective product inhibitor of ADH or ALDH, and there is no other feedback regulation by ATP, ADP, or AMP. As a consequence, NADH generated in the cytosol and mitochondria tends to accumulate, increasing the NADH/NAD ratio to high levels (see Fig. 25.6, circle 1). The increase is even greater as the mitochondria become damaged from acetaldehyde or free radical injury. 1.

The hyperlipidemia is greatly enhanced if fat is ingested with ethanol. Thus, “happy hour” foods (e.g., pizza, fried potato skins with sour cream, nachos, and deep-fried peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon) are exactly the wrong things to eat while drinking. Steamed vegetables or salads with your beer would be much better for your liver.

CHANGES IN FATTY ACID METABOLISM

The high NADH/NAD ratio generated from ethanol oxidation inhibits the oxidation of fatty acids, which accumulate in the liver (see Fig. 25.6, circles 2 and 3) These fatty acids are re-esterified into triacylglycerols by combining with glycerol 3-P. The increased NADH/NAD ratio increases the availability of glycerol 3-P by promoting its synthesis from intermediates of glycolysis. The triacylglycerols are incorporated into VLDL (very-low-density lipoproteins), which accumulate in the liver and enter the blood, resulting in an ethanol-induced hyperlipidemia. Although just a few drinks may result in hepatic fat accumulation, chronic consumption of alcohol greatly enhances the development of a fatty liver. Re-esterification of fatty acids into triacylglycerols by fatty acyl CoA transferases in the ER is enhanced (see Fig. 25.6). Because the transferases are microsomal enzymes, they are induced by ethanol consumption just as MEOS is induced. The result is a fatty liver (hepatic steatosis). The source of the fatty acids can be dietary fat, fatty acids synthesized in the liver, or fatty acids released from adipose tissue stores. Adipose tissue lipolysis increases after ethanol consumption, possibly because of a release of epinephrine.

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

465

NADPH

9

Interference, inhibition of drug metabolism

MEOS

Ethanol ADH

1

Acetyldehyde (toxin) NADH

ALDH NADH

H+ H+

e t c

TCA cycle

4

Glucose Gluconeogenesis

NADH FAD (2H)

Glycolysis DHAP

NAD+ Lactate

NADH Oxaloacetate

5

Ketone bodies β-oxidation

Ketoacidosis

2

Acetyl CoA NAD+

Glycerol 3-phosphate

Pyruvate

6

Malate

Acetyl CoA

NADH

NADH

Acetate (blood)

Acetate

8 Glycerol Alanine and other gluconeogenic precursors

3 Fatty acyl CoA

Fatty acids

ER Triacylglycerols Fatty steatosis VLDL

Purines

7 Lactate acidemia

Uric acid

Hypoglycemia

Hyperlipidemia

– Gout

Urine

Fig. 25.6. Acute effects of ethanol metabolism on lipid metabolism in the liver. (1) Metabolism of ethanol generates a high NADH/NAD ratio. (2) The high NADH/NAD ratio inhibits fatty acid oxidation and the TCA cycle, resulting in accumulation of fatty acids. (3) Fatty acids are re-esterified to glycerol 3-P by acyltransferases in the endoplasmic reticulum. Glycerol 3-P levels are increased because a high NADH/NAD ratio favors its formation from dihydroxyacetone phosphate (an intermediate of glycolysis). Ethanol-stimulated increases of endoplasmic reticulum enzymes also favors triacylglycerol formation. (4) NADH generated from ethanol oxidation can meet the requirements of the cell for ATP generation from oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, acetyl CoA oxidation in the TCA cycle is inhibited. (5) The high NADH/NAD ratio shifts oxaloacetate (OAA) toward malate, and acetyl CoA is directed into ketone body synthesis. Options 6–8 are discussed in the text.

2.

ALCOHOL-INDUCED KETOACIDOSIS.

Fatty acids that are oxidized are converted to acetyl CoA and subsequently to ketone bodies (acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate). Enough NADH is generated from oxidation of ethanol and fatty acids that there is no need to oxidize acetyl CoA in the TCA cycle. The very high NADH/NAD ratio shifts all of the oxaloacetate in the TCA cycle to malate, leaving the oxaloacetate levels too low for citrate synthase to synhesize citrate (see Fig. 25.6, circle 4). The acetyl CoA enters the pathway for ketone body synthesis instead of the TCA cycle. Although ketone bodies are being produced at a high rate, their metabolism in other tissues is restricted by the supply of acetate, which is the preferred fuel. Thus, the blood concentration of ketone bodies may be much higher than found under normal fasting conditions.

Al Martini’s admitting physician suspected an alcohol-induced ketoacidosis superimposed on a starvation ketoacidosis. Tests showed that his plasma free fatty acid level was elevated, and his plasma -hydroxybutyrate level was 40 times the upper limit of normal. The increased NADH/NAD ratio from ethanol consumption inhibited the TCA cycle and shifted acetyl CoA from fatty acid oxidation into the pathway of ketone body synthesis.

466

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

3.

LACTIC ACIDOSIS, HYPERURICEMIA, AND HYPOGLYCEMIA

Another consequence of the very high NADH/NAD ratio is that the balance in the lactate dehydrogenase reaction is shifted toward lactate, resulting in a lacticacidosis (see Fig. 25.6, circle 6). The elevation of blood lactate may decrease excretion of uric acid (see Fig. 25.6, circle 7) by the kidney. Consequently patients with gout (which results from precipitated uric acid crystals in the joints) are advised not to drink excessive amounts of ethanol. Increased degradation of purines also may contribute to hyperuricemia. The increased NADH/NAD ratio also can cause hypoglycemia in a fasting individual who has been drinking and is dependent on gluconeogenesis to maintain blood glucose levels (Fig. 25.6, circles 6 and 8). Alanine and lactate are major gluconeogenic precursors that enter gluconeogenesis as pyruvate. The high NADH/NAD ratio shifts the lactate dehydrogenase equilibrium to lactate, so that pyruvate formed from alanine is converted to lactate and cannot enter gluconeogenesis. The high NADH/NAD ratio also prevents other major gluconeogenic precursors, such as oxaloacetate and glycerol, from entering the gluconeogenic pathway. In contrast, ethanol consumption with a meal may result in a transient hyperglycemia, possibly because the high NADH/NAD ratio inhibits glycolysis at the glyceraldehyde-3-P dehydrogenase step.

B. Acetaldehyde Toxicity Many of the toxic effects of chronic ethanol consumption result from accumulation of acetaldehyde, which is produced from ethanol both by alcohol dehydrogenases and MEOS. Acetaldehyde accumulates in the liver and is released into the blood after heavy doses of ethanol (Fig. 25.7). It is highly reactive and binds covalently to amino groups, sulfhydryl groups, nucleotides, and phospholipids to form “adducts.” The noncaloric effect of heavy and chronic ethanol ingestion that led Ivan Applebod to believe ethanol has no calories may be partly attributable to uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. The hepatic mitochondria from tissues of chronic alcoholics may be partially uncoupled and unable to maintain the transmembrane proton gradient necessary for normal rates of ATP synthesis. Consequently, a greater proportion of the energy in ethanol would be converted to heat. Metabolic disturbances such as the loss of ketone bodies in urine, or futile cycling of glucose, also might contribute to a dimished energy value for ethanol.

1.

ACETALDEHYDE AND ALCOHOL-INDUCED HEPATITIS

One of the results of acetaldehyde-adduct formation with amino acids is a general decrease in hepatic protein synthesis (see Fig. 25.7, circle 1). Calmodulin, ribonuclease, and tubulin are some of the proteins affected. Proteins in the heart and other tissues also may be affected by acetaldehyde that appears in the blood. As a consequence of forming acetaldehyde adducts of tubulin, there is a diminished secretion of serum proteins and VLDL lipoproteins from the liver. The liver synthesizes many blood proteins, including serum albumin, blood coagulation factors, and transport proteins for vitamins, steroids, and iron. These proteins accumulate in the liver, together with lipid. The accumulation of proteins results in an influx of water (see Fig. 25.7, circle 6) within the hepatocytes and a swelling of the liver that contributes to portal hypertension and a disruption of hepatic architecture. 2.

ACETALDEHYDE AND FREE RADICAL DAMAGE

Acetaldehyde adduct formation enhances free radical damage. Acetaldehyde binds directly to glutathione and diminishes its ability to protect against H2O2 and prevent lipid peroxidation (see Fig. 25.7, circle 2). It also binds to free radical defense enzymes. Damage to mitochondria from acetaldehyde and free radicals perpetuates a cycle of toxicity (see Fig. 25.7, circles 3 and 4). With chronic consumption of ethanol, mitochondria become damaged, the rate of electron transport is inhibited, and oxidative phosphorylation tends to become uncoupled. Fatty acid

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

467

H2O Oxidized glutathione

Lipid peroxidation Toxic radicals (ROS)

3 NADPH

+

NAD

2

1 Binding to glutathione

NADP+

Proteins (clotting factors) Binding to microtubules

Proteins

– Impaired protein secretion

MEOS

ADH

Ethanol

Binding to glutathione

Amino acids

Acetylaldehyde

NADH

Acetylaldehyde Acetylaldehyde

4 Free radical injury Release of enzymes ALT and AST Swelling H2O

6

e t c

NADH

Acetate

Acetate

Fatty acids Glycerol-3-P

5

Triacylglycerols

VLDL

VLDL

Protein and lipid accumulation due to impaired secretion H2O

Fig. 25.7. The development of alcohol-induced hepatitis. (1) Acetaldehyde adduct formation decreases protein synthesis and impairs protein secretion. (2) Free radical injury results partly from acetaldehyde adduct formation with glutathione. (3) Induction of MEOS increases formation of free radicals, which leads to lipid peroxidation and cell damage. (4) Mitochondrial damage inhibits the electron transport chain, which decreases acetaldehyde oxidation. (5) Microtubule damage increases VLDL and protein accumulation. (6) Cell damage leads to release of the hepatic enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST).

oxidation is decreased even further, thereby enhancing lipid accumulation (see Fig. 25.7, circle 5). The mitochondrial changes further impair mitochondrial acetaldehyde oxidation, thereby initiating a cycle of progressively increasing acetaldehyde damage.

C. Ethanol and Free Radical Formation Increased oxidative stress in the liver during chronic ethanol intoxication arises from increased production of free radicals, principally by CYP2E1. FAD and FMN in the reductase and heme in the cytochrome P450 system transfer single electrons, thus operating through a mechanism that can generate free radicals. The hydroxyethyl radical (CH3CH2O.) is produced during ethanol metabolism and can be released as a free radical. Induction of CYP2E1, as well as other cytochrome P450 enzymes, can increase the generation of free radicals from drug metabolism and from the activation of toxins and carcinogens (see Fig. 25.7, circle 3). These effects are enhanced by acetaldehyde-adduct damage. Phospholipids, the major lipid in cellular membranes, are a primary target of peroxidation caused by free radical release. Peroxidation of lipids in the inner mitochondrial membrane may contribute to the inhibition of electron transport and uncoupling of mitochondria, leading to inflammation and cellular necrosis. Induction of CYP2E1 and other P450 cytochromes also increases formation of other radicals and the activation of hepatocarcinogens.

468

SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Because of the possibility of mild alcoholic hepatitis and perhaps chronic alcohol-induced cirrhosis, the physician ordered liver function studies on Jean Ann Tonich. The tests indicated an alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of 46 units/L (reference range 5–30) and an aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level of 98 units/L (reference range 10–30). The concentration of these enzymes is high in hepatocytes. When hepatocellular membranes are damaged in any way, these enzymes are released into the blood. Jean Ann Tonich’s serum alkaline phosphatase level was 151 units/L (reference range 56–155 for an adult female). The serum total bilirubin level was 2.4 mg/dL (reference range 0.2–1.0). These tests show impaired capacity for normal liver function. Her blood hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were slightly below the normal range, consistent with a toxic effect of ethanol on red blood cell production by bone marrow. Serum folate, vitamin B12 and iron levels were also slightly suppressed. Folate is dependent on the liver for its activation and recovery from the enterohepatic circulation. Vitamin B12 and iron are dependent on the liver for synthesis of their blood carrier proteins. Thus, Jean Ann Tonich shows many of the consequences of hepatic damage.

In liver fibrosis, disruption of the normal liver architecture, including sinusoids, impairs blood from the portal vein. Increased portal vein pressure (portal hypertension) causes capillaries to anastomose (to meet and unite or run into each other) and form thin-walled dilated esophageal venous conduits known as esophageal varices. When these burst, there is hemorrhaging into the gastrointestinal tract. The bleeding can be very profuse because of the high venous pressure within these varices in addition to the adverse effect of impaired hepatic function on the production of blood clotting proteins.

D. Hepatic Cirrhosis and Loss of Liver Function Liver injury is irreversible at the stage that hepatic cirrhosis develops. Initially the liver may be enlarged, full of fat, crossed with collagen fibers (fibrosis), and have nodules of regenerating hepatocytes ballooning between the fibers. As liver function is lost, the liver becomes shrunken (Laennec’s cirrhosis). During the development of cirrhosis, many of the normal metabolic functions of the liver are lost, including biosynthetic and detoxification pathways. Synthesis of blood proteins, including blood coagulation factors and serum albumin, is decreased. The capacity to incorporate amino groups into urea is decreased, resulting in the accumulation of toxic levels of ammonia in the blood. Conjugation and excretion of the yellow pigment bilirubin (a product of heme degradation) is diminished, and bilirubin accumulates in the blood. It is deposited in many tissues, including the skin and sclerae of the eyes, causing the patient to become visibly yellow. Such a patient is said to be jaundiced.

CLINICAL COMMENTS Ivan Applebod. When ethanol consumption is low (less than 15% of the calories in the diet), it is efficiently used to produce ATP, thereby contributing to Ivan Applebod’s weight gain. However, in individuals with chronic consumption of large amounts of ethanol, the caloric content of ethanol is not converted to ATP as effectively. Some of the factors that may contribute to this decreased efficiency include mitochondrial damage (inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation and uncoupling) resulting in the loss of calories as heat, increased recycling of metabolites such as ketone bodies, and inhibition of the normal pathways of fatty acid and glucose oxidation. In addition, heavier drinkers metabolize an increased amount of alcohol through MEOS, which generates less ATP. Al Martini. Al Martini was suffering from acute effects of high ethanol ingestion in the absence of food intake. Both heavy ethanol consumption and low caloric intake increase adipose tissue lipolysis and elevate blood fatty acids. As a consequence of his elevated hepatic NADH/NAD ratio, acetyl CoA produced from fatty acid oxidation was diverted from the TCA cycle into the pathway of ketone body synthesis. Because his skeletal muscles were using acetate as a fuel, ketone body utilization was diminished, resulting in ketoacidosis. Al Martini’s moderately low blood glucose level also suggests that his high hepatic NADH level prevented pyruvate and glycerol from entering the gluconeogenic pathway. Pyruvate is diverted to lactate, which may have contributed to his metabolic acidosis and anion gap. Rehydration with intravenous fluids containing glucose and potassium was initiated. His initial potassium was low, possibly secondary to vomiting. An orthopedic surgeon was consulted regarding the compound fracture of his right forearm. Jean Ann Tonich. Jean Ann Tonich’s signs and symptoms, as well as her laboratory profile, were consistent with the presence of mild reversible alcohol-induced hepatocellular inflammation (alcohol-induced hepatitis) superimposed on a degree of irreversible scarring of liver tissues known as chronic alcoholic (Laennec’s) cirrhosis of the liver. The chronic inflammatory process associated with long-term ethanol abuse in patients such as Jean Ann Tonich is accompanied by increases in the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Her elevated bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase were consistent with hepatic damage. Her values for ALT and

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

AST were significantly below those seen in acute viral hepatitis. In addition, the ratio of the absolute values for serum ALT and AST often differ in the two diseases, tending to be greater than 1 in acute viral hepatitis and less than 1 in chronic alcohol-induced cirrhosis. The reason for the difference in ratio of enzyme activities released is not understood, but a lower level of ALT in the serum may be attributable to an alcohol-induced deficiency of pyridoxal phosphate. In addition, serologic tests for viral hepatitis were nonreactive. Her serum folate, vitamin B12, and iron levels were also slightly suppressed, indicating impaired nutritional status. Jean Ann Tonich was strongly cautioned to abstain from alcohol immediately and to improve her nutritional status. In addition, Jean Ann was referred to the hospital drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit for appropriate psychological therapy and supportive social counseling. The physician also arranged for a follow-up office visit in 2 weeks.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Fibrosis in Chronic Alcohol-Induced Liver Disease Fibrosis is the excessive accumulation of connective tissue in parenchymal organs. In the liver, it is a frequent event following a repeated or chronic insult of sufficient intensity (such as chronic ethanol intoxication or infection by a hepatitis virus) to trigger a “wound healing–like” reaction. Regardless of the insult, the events are similar: an overproduction of extracellular matrix components occurs, with the tendency to progress into sclerosis, accompanied by a degenerative alteration in the composition of matrix components. (Table 25.2) Some individuals (fewer than 20% of those who chronically consume alcohol) go on to develop cirrhosis. The development of hepatic fibrosis after ethanol consumption is related to stimulation of the mitogenic development of stellate (Ito) cells into myofibroblasts, and stimulation of the production of collagen type I and fibronectin by these cells. The stellate cells are perisinusoidal cells lodged in the space of Disse that produce extracellular matrix protein. Normally the space of Disse contains basement membrane–-like collagen (collagen type IV) and laminin. As the stellate cells are activated, they change from a resting cell filled with lipids and vitamin A to one that proliferates, loses its vitamin A content, and secretes large quantities of extracellular matrix components. One of the initial events in the activation and proliferation of stellate cells is the activation of Kupffer cells, which are macrophages resident in the liver sinusoids

Table 25.2. Hepatic Injury Stage of Injury

Main Features

Fibrosis: Increase of connective tissue Accumulation of both fibrillar and basement membrane–like collagens Increase of laminen and fibronectin Thickening of connective tissue septae Capillarization of the sinusoids Sclerosis: Aging of fibrotic tissue Decrease of hyaluronic acid and heparan sulfate proteoglycans Increase of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans Progressive fragmentation and disappearance of elastic fibers Distortion of sinusoidal architecture and parenchymal damage Cirrhosis: End-stage process of liver fibrotic degeneration Whole liver heavily distorted by thick bands of collagen surrounding nodules of hepatocytes with regenerative foci

469

Although the full spectrum of alcohol-induced liver disease may be present in a well-nourished individual, the presence of nutritional deficiencies enhances the progression of the disease. Ethanol creates nutritional deficiencies in a number of different ways. The ingestion of ethanol reduces the gastrointestinal absorption of foods containing essential nutrients, including vitamins, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. For example, ethanol interferes with absorption of folate, thiamine, and other nutrients. Secondary malabsorption can occur through gastrointestinal complications, pancreatic insufficiency, and impaired hepatic metabolism or impaired hepatic storage of nutrients, such as vitamin A. Changes in the level of transport proteins produced by the liver also strongly affect nutrient status.

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SECTION FOUR / FUEL OXIDATION AND THE GENERATION OF ATP

Hepatocyte

Acetaldehyde Kupffer cell

Acetaldehydeprotein adducts Lipid peroxidation products

Actived Kupffer cell Respiratory burst ROS NO TGF-β

Stellate cell (Vitamin A)

Stimulated stellate cell

Extracellular matrix Collagen

Metallo Proteases

FIBROSIS

Fig. 25.8. Proposed model for the development of hepatic fibrosis involving hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, and stellate (Ito) cells. ROS, reactive oxygen species; NO, nitric oxide: TGF1, transforming growth factor 1.

Cytokines are proteins produced by inflammatory cells that serve as communicators with other cells. Chemokines are even smaller proteins produced by inflammatory cells that promote migration of other inflammatory cells (e.g., from the blood into the site of injury).

(Fig.25.8). The Kupffer cells are probably activated by a product of the damaged hepatocytes, such as necrotic debris, iron, ROS, acetaldehyde, or aldehyde products of lipid peroxidation. Kupffer cells also may produce acetaldehyde from ethanol internally through their own MEOS pathway. Activated Kupffer cells produce a number of products that contribute to activation of stellate cells. They generate additional ROS through NADPH oxidase during the oxidative burst and NOS through inducible NO synthase (see Chapter 24). In addition, they secrete an impressive array of growth factors, such as cytokines, chemokines, prostaglandins, and other reactive molecules. The cytokine transforming growth factor 1 (TGF1), produced by both Kupffer cells and sinusoidal endothelial cells, is a major player in the activation of stellate cells. Once activated, the stellate cells produce collagen and proteases, leading to an enhanced fibrotic network within the liver.

Suggested References Lieber CS. Medical disorders of alcoholism. New England J Med 1995;33:1058–1065. Lieber CS. Cytochrome P-4502E1: Its physiological and pathological role. Physiol Rev 1997;77:517–544. Mezey E. Metabolic effects of alcohol. Fed Proc 1985;44:134–138. Poli G. Pathogenesis of liver fibrosis: Role of oxidative stress. Mol Aspects Med 2000;21:49–98.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 25 1.

The fate of acetate, the product of ethanol metabolism, is which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

It is taken up by other tissues and activated to acetyl CoA. It is toxic to the tissues of the body and can lead to hepatic necrosis. It is excreted in bile. It enters the TCA cycle directly to be oxidized. It is converted into NADH by alcohol dehydrogenase.

CHAPTER 25 / METABOLISM OF ETHANOL

2.

Which of the following would be expected to occur after acute alcohol ingestion? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

471

The activation of fatty acid oxidation Lactic acidosis The inhibition of ketogenesis An increase in the NAD/NADH ratio An increase in gluconeogenesis

A chronic alcoholic is in treatment for alcohol abuse. The drug disulfiram is prescribed for the patient. This drug deters the consumption of alcohol by which of the following mechanisms? (A) (B) (C) (D)

Inhibiting the absorption of ethanol so that an individual cannot become intoxicated, regardless of how much he drinks Inhibiting the conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde, which would cause the excretion of unmetabolized ethanol Blocking the conversion of acetaldehyde to acetate, which causes the accumulation of acetaldehyde Activating the excessive metabolism of ethanol to acetate, which causes inebriation with consumption of a small amount of alcohol (E) Preventing the excretion of acetate, which causes nausea and vomiting 4.

Induction of CYP2E1 would result in which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

A decreased clearance of ethanol from the blood A decrease in the rate of acetaldehyde production A low possibility of the generation of free radicals Protection from hepatic damage An increase of one’s alcohol tolerance level

Which one of the following consequences of chronic alcohol consumption is irreversible? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Inhibition of fatty acid oxidation Activation of triacylglycerol synthesis Ketoacidosis Lactic acidosis Liver cirrhosis

SECTION FIVE

Carbohydrate Metabolism lucose is central to all of metabolism. It is the universal fuel for human cells and the source of carbon for the synthesis of most other compounds. Every human cell type uses glucose to obtain energy. The release of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas aids in the body’s use and storage of glucose. Other dietary sugars (mainly fructose and galactose) are converted to glucose or to intermediates of glucose

G

metabolism. Glucose is the precursor for the synthesis of an array of other sugars required for the production of specialized compounds, such as lactose, cell surface antigens, nucleotides, or glycosaminoglycans. Glucose is also the fundamental precursor of noncarbohydrate compounds; it can be converted to lipids (including fatty acids, cholesterol, and steroid hormones), amino acids, and nucleic acids. Only those compounds that are synthesized from vitamins, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized from glucose in humans. More than 40% of the calories in the typical diet in the United States are obtained from starch, sucrose, and lactose. These dietary carbohydrates are converted to glucose, galactose, and fructose in the digestive tract (Fig. 1). Monosaccharides are absorbed from the intestine, enter the blood, and travel to the tissues where they are metabolized. After glucose is transported into cells, it is phosphorylated by a hexokinase to form glucose 6-phosphate. Glucose 6-phosphate can then enter a number of metabolic pathways. The three that are common to all cell types are glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and glycogen synthesis (Fig. 2). In tissues, fructose and galactose are converted to intermediates of glucose metabolism. Thus, the fate of these sugars parallels that of glucose (Fig. 3). The major fate of glucose 6-phosphate is oxidation via the pathway of glycolysis (see Chapter 22), which provides a source of ATP for all cell types. Cells that lack mitochondria cannot oxidize other fuels. They produce ATP from anaerobic glycolysis (the conversion of glucose to lactic acid). Cells that contain mitochondria

Blood

Starch Lactose

Sucrose

Fructose Glucose Intestine

Galactose

Fig 1. Overview of carbohydrate digestion. The major carbohydrates of the diet (starch, lactose, and sucrose) are digested to produce monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, and galactose), which enter the blood.

Glucose Glycogen Glucose –1– P

Glucose–6–P

Glycogen synthesis

Pentose phosphate pathway

Pentose phosphates

Glycolysis

Pyruvate

Fig 2. Major pathways of glucose metabolism. 473

Glucose

Glucose Glycogen ATP Glucose–1– P

Glucose–6– P

Pyruvate

Lactate

Galactose

Glucose– 6 – P

Fructose

Pyruvate

Fig 3. Overview of fructose and galactose metabolism. Fructose and galactose are converted to intermediates of glucose metabolism. Acetyl CoA

E T C

ATP

TCA cycle NADH FAD (2H) CO2

Fig 4. Conversion of glucose to lactate or to CO2. ETC electron transport chain.

Glucose

oxidize glucose to CO2 and H2O via glycolysis and the TCA cycle (Fig. 4). Some tissues, such as the brain, depend on the oxidation of glucose to CO2 and H2O for energy because they have a limited capacity to use other fuels. Glucose produces the intermediates of glycolysis and the TCA cycle that are used for the synthesis of amino acids and both the glycerol and fatty acid moieties of triacylglycerols (Fig. 5). Another important fate of glucose 6-phosphate is oxidation via the pentose phosphate pathway, which generates NADPH. The reducing equivalents of NADPH are used for biosynthetic reactions and for the prevention of oxidative damage to cells (see Chapter 24). In this pathway, glucose is oxidatively decarboxylated to 5-carbon sugars (pentoses), which may reenter the glycolytic pathway. They also may be used for nucleotide synthesis (Fig. 6). There are also non-oxidative reactions, which can convert six- and five-carbon sugars.

Glycine Glycerol – P

Serine

TG

Cysteine Alanine

Pyruvate

Oxidative Reactions Glucose

Biosynthesis NADPH

Prevention of oxidative damage

FA G–6–P Pentose phosphates

Acetyl CoA OAA TCA cycle

Glutamate and other amino acids

Nucleotides Pyruvate

Non-oxidative Reactions Glucose G–6–P

Fig 5. Conversion of glucose to amino acids and to the glycerol and fatty acid (FA) moieties of triacylglycerols (TG). OAA oxaloacetate.

F– 6 – P Pentose phosphates G–3– P Nucleotides Pyruvate

Fig 6. Overview of the pentose phosphate pathway. The oxidative reactions generate both NADPH and pentose phosphates. The non-oxidative reactions only generate pentose phosphates.

474

Glucose

Glucose–6 – P Glucuronides

Glucose–1 – P Glycogen

UDP–Glucuronate UDP– Glucose

Glycoproteins Glycolipids Proteoglycans

UDP– Galactose Glucose

Lactose

Fig 7. Products derived from UDP-glucose.

Glucose 6-phosphate is also converted to UDP-glucose, which has many functions in the cell (Fig. 7). The major fate of UDP-glucose is the synthesis of glycogen, the storage polymer of glucose. Although most cells have glycogen to provide emergency supplies of glucose, the largest stores are in muscle and liver. Muscle glycogen is used to generate ATP during muscle contraction. Liver glycogen is used to maintain blood glucose during fasting and during exercise or periods of enhanced need. UDP-Glucose is also used for the formation of other sugars, and galactose and glucose are interconverted while attached to UDP. UDP-Galactose is used for lactose synthesis in the mammary gland. In the liver, UDP-glucose is oxidized to UDPglucuronate, which is used to convert bilirubin and other toxic compounds to glucuronides for excretion (see Fig. 7). Nucleotide sugars are also used for the synthesis of proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycolipids (see Fig. 7). Proteoglycans are major carbohydrate components of the extracellular matrix, cartilage, and extracellular fluids (such as the synovial fluid of joints), and they are discussed in more detail in Chapter 49. Most extracellular proteins are glycoproteins, i.e., they contain covalently attached carbohydrates. For both cell membrane glycoproteins and glycolipids, the carbohydrate portion extends into the extracellular space. All cells are continuously supplied with glucose under normal circumstances; the body maintains a relatively narrow range of glucose concentration in the blood (approximately 80-100 mg/dL) in spite of the changes in dietary supply and tissue demand as we sleep and exercise. This process is called glucose homeostasis. Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) are prevented by a release of glucose from the large glycogen stores in the liver (glycogenolysis); by synthesis of glucose from lactate, glycerol, and amino acids in liver (gluconeogenesis) (Fig. 8); and to a limited extent by a release of fatty acids from adipose tissue stores (lipolysis) to provide an alternate fuel when glucose is in short supply. High blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) are prevented both by the conversion of glucose to glycogen and by its conversion to triacylglycerols in liver and adipose tissue. Thus, the pathways for glucose utilization as a fuel cannot be considered as totally separate from pathways involving amino acid and fatty acid metabolism (Fig. 9).

Blood Glycogen Glucose

Glycogenolysis Glucose– 1 – P

Glucose– 6 – P Gluconeogenesis

Glycerol–3 –P

Glycerol PEP Alanine Pyruvate

Lactate

OAA TCA cycle

Fig 8. Production of blood glucose from glycogen (by glycogenolysis) and from alanine, lactate, and glycerol (by gluconeogenesis). PEP phosphoenolpyruvate; OAA oxaloacetate. 475

Glucose Glycoproteins Glycolipids Proteoglycans

Glucuronides

Glycogen

UDP–Glucuronate

UDP–Glucose Glucose– 1– P

Galactose

Glucose– 6 – P

UDP–Galactose

Pentose– P

Glucose

Fructose

Lactose

DHAP

Amino acids

Glycerol– 3 – P

Glycerol

PEP

TG

Pyruvate

Alanine

Lactate FA

Acetyl CoA OAA TCA cycle CO2 Glutamate and other amino acids

Fig 9. Overview of the major pathways of glucose metabolism. Pathways for production of blood glucose are shown by dashed lines. FA fatty acids; TG triacylglycerols; OAA oxaloacetate; PEP phosphoenolpyruvate; UDP-G UDP-glucose; DHAP dihydroxyacetone phosphate.

Intertissue balance in the utilization and storage of glucose during fasting and feeding is accomplished principally by the actions of the hormones of metabolic homeostasis—insulin and glucagon (Fig. 10). However, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and other hormones are also involved in intertissue adjustments of supply and demand in response to changes of physiologic state.

Glucagon release

Blood glucose

Insulin release

Glycogenolysis

Glycogen synthesis

Gluconeogenesis

Fatty acid synthesis

Lipolysis

Triglyceride synthesis

Liver glycolysis

Liver glycolysis

Fig 10. Pathways regulated by the release of glucagon (in response to a lowering of blood glucose levels) and insulin (released in response to an elevation of blood glucose levels). Tissue-specific differences occur in the response to these hormones, as detailed in the subsequent chapters of this section.

476

26

Basic Concepts in the Regulation of Fuel Metabolism by Insulin, Glucagon, and Other Hormones

All cells continuously use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and require a constant supply of fuels to provide energy for ATP generation. Insulin and glucagon are the two major hormones that regulate fuel mobilization and storage. Their function is to ensure that cells have a constant source of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids for ATP generation and for cellular maintenance (Fig. 26.1). Because most tissues are partially or totally dependent on glucose for ATP generation and for production of precursors of other pathways, insulin and glucagon maintain blood glucose levels near 80 to 100 mg/dL (90 mg/dL is the same as 5 mM), despite the fact that carbohydrate intake varies considerably over the course of a day. The maintenance of constant blood glucose levels (glucose homeostasis) requires these two hormones to regulate carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acid metabolism in accordance with the needs and capacities of individual tissues. Basically, the dietary intake of all fuels in excess of immediate need is stored, and the appropriate fuel is mobilized when a demand occurs. For example, when dietary glucose is not available in sufficient quantities that all tissues can use it, fatty acids are mobilized and made available to skeletal muscle for use as a fuel (see Chapters 2 and 23), and the liver can convert fatty acids to ketone bodies for use by the brain. Fatty acids spare glucose for use by the brain and other glucose-dependent tissues (such as the red blood cell). The concentrations of insulin and glucagon in the blood regulate fuel storage and mobilization (Fig. 26.2). Insulin, released in response to carbohydrate ingestion, promotes glucose utilization as a fuel and glucose storage as fat and glycogen. Insulin is also the major anabolic hormone of the body. It increases protein synthesis and cell growth in addition to fuel storage. Blood insulin levels decrease as glucose is taken up by tissues and used. Glucagon, the major counterregulatory hormone of insulin, is decreased in response to a carbohydrate meal and elevated during fasting. Its concentration in the blood signals the absence of dietary glucose, and it promotes glucose production via glycogenolysis (glycogen degradation) and gluconeogenesis (glucose synthesis from amino acids and other noncarbohydrate precursors). Increased levels of glucagon relative to insulin also stimulate the mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue. Epinephrine (the fight or flight hormone) and cortisol (a glucocorticoid released from the adrenal cortex in response to fasting and chronic stress) have effects on fuel metabolism that oppose those of insulin. These two hormones are therefore also considered insulin counterregulatory hormones. Insulin and glucagon are polypeptide hormones synthesized as prohormones in the and cells, respectively, in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Proinsulin is cleaved into mature insulin and C-peptide in vesicles and precipitated

Brain [ATP]

Glucose

Liver Ketone bodies

Fatty acids

Adipocyte

[ATP]

Skeletal muscle

Fig 26.1. Maintenance of fuel supplies to tissues. Glucagon release activates the pathways shown.

477

478

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A

Glucose Insulin

Liver

Triglyceride synthesis Glycogen synthesis Active glycolysis

B Liver

with Zn2. Insulin secretion is regulated principally by blood glucose levels. Glucagon is also synthesized as a prohormone and cleaved into mature glucagon within storage vesicles. Its release is regulated principally through suppression by glucose and by insulin. Glucagon exerts its effects on cells by binding to a receptor on the cell surface, which stimulates the synthesis of the intracellular second messenger, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) (Fig. 26.3). cAMP activates protein kinase A, which phosphorylates key regulatory enzymes, activating some and inhibiting others. Changes of cAMP levels also induce or repress the synthesis of a number of enzymes. Insulin promotes the dephosphorylation of these key enzymes. Insulin binds to a receptor on the cell surface, but the postreceptor events that follow differ from those stimulated by glucagon. Insulin binding activates both autophosphorylation of the receptor and the phosphorylation of other enzymes by the receptor’s tyrosine kinase domain (see Chapter 11, section III.B.3). The complete routes for signal transduction between this point and the final effects of insulin on the regulatory enzymes of fuel metabolism have not yet been fully established.

Glucose Glucagon Epinephrine Cortisol Glycogen degradation Gluconeogenesis

Fig 26.2. Insulin and the insulin counterregulatory hormones. (A) Insulin promotes glucose storage, as triglyceride (TG) or glycogen. (B) Glucagon, epinephrine, and cortisol promote glucose release from the liver, activating glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

Pancreas Low blood glucose Glucagon

Cell membrane

Receptor

Cytosol Second messenger (cAMP)

Cellular response (Activation of protein kinase A)

Fig 26.3. Cellular response to glucagon, which is released from the pancreas in response to a decrease in blood glucose levels.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Ann Sulin returned to her physician for her monthly office visit. She has been seeing her physician for over a year because of obesity and elevated blood glucose levels. She still weighed 198 lb, despite her insistence that she had adhered strictly to her diet. Her blood glucose level at the time of the visit, 2 hours after lunch, was 180 mg/dL (reference range 80–140). Bea Selmass is a 46-year-old woman who 6 months earlier began noting episodes of fatigue and confusion as she finished her daily pre-breakfast jog. These episodes were occasionally accompanied by blurred vision and an unusually urgent hunger. The ingestion of food relieved all of her symptoms within 25 to 30 minutes. In the last month, these attacks have occurred more frequently throughout the day, and she has learned to diminish their occurrence by eating between meals. As a result, she has recently gained 8 lb. A random serum glucose level done at 4:30 PM during her first office visit was subnormal at 46 mg/dL. Her physician, suspecting she had a form of fasting hypoglycemia, ordered a series of fasting serum glucose levels. In addition, he asked Bea to keep a careful daily diary of all of the symptoms that she experienced when her attacks were most severe.

I.

METABOLIC HOMEOSTASIS

Living cells require a constant source of fuels from which to derive ATP for the maintenance of normal cell function and growth. Therefore, a balance must be achieved between carbohydrate, fat, and protein intake, their storage when present in excess of immediate need, and their mobilization and synthesis when in demand. The balance between need and availability is referred to as metabolic homeostasis (Fig. 26.4). The intertissue integration required for metabolic homeostasis is achieved in three principal ways: • The concentration of nutrients or metabolites in the blood affects the rate at which they are used and stored in different tissues;

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

• Hormones carry messages to individual tissues about the physiologic state of the body and nutrient supply or demand; • The central nervous system uses neural signals to control tissue metabolism, directly or through the release of hormones. Insulin and glucagon are the two major hormones that regulate fuel storage and mobilization (see Fig. 26.2). Insulin is the major anabolic hormone of the body. It promotes the storage of fuels and the utilization of fuels for growth. Glucagon is the major hormone of fuel mobilization. Other hormones, such as epinephrine, are released as a response of the central nervous system to hypoglycemia, exercise, or other types of physiologic stress. Epinephrine and other stress hormones also increase the availability of fuels (Fig. 26.5). The special role of glucose in metabolic homeostasis is dictated by the fact that many tissues (e.g., the brain, red blood cells, the lens of the eye, the kidney medulla, exercising skeletal muscle) are dependent on glycolysis for all or a portion of their energy needs and require uninterrupted access to glucose on a second-to-second basis to meet their rapid rate of ATP utilization. In the adult, a minimum of 190 g glucose is required per day; approximately 150 g for the brain and 40 g for other tissues. Significant decreases of blood glucose below 60 mg/dL limit glucose metabolism in the brain and elicit hypoglycemic symptoms (as experienced by Bea Selmass), presumably because the overall process of glucose flux through the blood-brain barrier, into the interstitial fluid, and subsequently into the neuronal cells, is slow at low blood glucose levels because of the Km values of the glucose transporters required for this to occur (see Chapter 27) The continuous movement of fuels into and out of storage depots is necessitated by the high amounts of fuel required each day to meet the need for ATP. Disastrous results would occur if even a day’s supply of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids were left circulating in the blood. Glucose and amino acids would be at such high concentrations that the hyperosmolar effect would cause progressively severe neurologic deficits and even coma. The concentration of glucose and amino acids would be above the renal tubular threshold for these substances (the maximal concentration in the blood at which the kidney can completely resorb metabolites), and some of these compounds would be wasted as they spilled over into the urine. Nonenzymatic glycosylation of proteins would increase at higher blood glucose

+

Insulin

Blood fuel

Dietary Fuels: • Carbohydrate • Fat • Protein

Blood fuel

Fuel stores +

Growth

Neuronal signals

Glucagon +

Stress hormones

Blood fuel

Fuel utilization ATP Cell function

Fig 26.5. Signals that regulate metabolic homeostasis. The major stress hormones are epinephrine and cortisol.

479

Fatty acids provide an example of the influence that the level of a compound in the blood has on its own rate of metabolism. The concentration of fatty acids in the blood is the major factor determining whether skeletal muscles will use fatty acids or glucose as a fuel (see Chapter 23). In contrast, hormones are (by definition) carriers of messages between tissues. Insulin and glucagon, for example, are two hormonal messengers that participate in the regulation of fuel metabolism by carrying messages that reflect the timing and composition of our dietary intake of fuels. Epinephrine, however, is a flight-or-flight hormone that signals an immediate need for increased fuel availability. Its level is regulated principally through the activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Fuel availability

Tissue needs

• Blood level of nutrient • Hormone level • Nerve impulse

Fig 26.4. Metabolic homeostasis. The balance between fuel availability and the needs of tissues for different fuels is achieved by three types of messages: the level of the fuel or nutrients in the blood, the level of one of the hormones of metabolic homeostasis, or nerve impulses that affect tissue metabolism or the release of hormones.

480

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Hyperglycemia may cause a constellation of symptoms such as polyuria and subsequent polydipsia (increased thirst). The inability to move glucose into cells necessitates the oxidation of lipids as an alternative fuel. As a result adipose stores are used, and the patient with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus loses weight in spite of a good appetite. Extremely high levels of serum glucose can cause nonketotic hyperosmolar coma in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Such patients usually have sufficient insulin responsiveness to block fatty acid release and ketone body formation, but they are unable to significantly stimulate glucose entry into peripheral tissues. The severely elevated levels of glucose in the blood compared with inside the cell leads to an osmotic effect that causes water to leave the cells and enter the blood. Because of the osmotic diuretic effect of hyperglycemia, the kidney produces more urine, leading to dehydration, which in turn may lead to even higher levels of blood glucose. If dehydration becomes severe, further cerebral dysfunction occurs and the patient may become comatose. Chronic hyperglycemia also produces pathologic effects through the nonenzymatic glycosylation of a variety of proteins. Hemoglobin A (HbA), one of the proteins that becomes glycosylated, forms HbA1c (see Chapter 7). Ann Sulin’s high levels of HbA1c (14% of the total HbA, compared with the reference range of 4.7–6.4%) indicate that her blood glucose has been significantly elevated over the last 12 to 14 weeks, the half-life of hemoglobin in the bloodstream. All membrane and serum proteins exposed to high levels of glucose in the blood or interstitial fluid are candidates for nonenzymatic glycosylation. This process distorts protein structure and slows protein degradation, which leads to an accumulation of these products in various organs, thereby adversely affecting organ function. These events contribute to the long-term microvascular and macrovascular complications of diabetes mellitus, which include diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy (microvascular), in addition to coronary artery, cerebral artery, and peripheral artery insufficiency (macrovascular).

levels. Triacylglycerols circulate in cholesterol-containing lipoproteins, and the levels of these lipoproteins would be chronically elevated, increasing the likelihood of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Consequently, glucose and other fuels are continuously moved in and out of storage depots as needed.

II. MAJOR HORMONES OF METABOLIC HOMEOSTASIS The hormones that contribute to metabolic homeostasis respond to changes in the circulating levels of fuels that, in part, are determined by the timing and composition of our diet. Insulin and glucagon are considered the major hormones of metabolic homeostasis because they continuously fluctuate in response to our daily eating pattern. They provide good examples of the basic concepts of hormonal regulation. Certain features of the release and action of other insulin counterregulatory hormones, such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, will be described and compared with insulin and glucagon. Insulin is the major anabolic hormone that promotes the storage of nutrients: glucose storage as glycogen in liver and muscle, conversion of glucose to triacylglycerols in liver and their storage in adipose tissue, and amino acid uptake and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle (Fig. 26.6). It also increases the synthesis of albumin and other blood proteins by the liver. Insulin promotes the utilization of glucose as a fuel by stimulating its transport into muscle and adipose tissue. At the same time, insulin acts to inhibit fuel mobilization. Glucagon acts to maintain fuel availability in the absence of dietary glucose by stimulating the release of glucose from liver glycogen (see Chapter 28), by stimulating gluconeogenesis from lactate, glycerol, and amino acids (see Chapter 31), and, in conjunction with decreased insulin, by mobilizing fatty acids from adipose triacylglycerols to provide an alternate source of fuel (see Chapter 23 and Fig. 26.7). Its sites of action are principally the liver and adipose tissue; it has no influence on skeletal muscle metabolism because muscle cells lack glucagon receptors. The release of insulin from the beta cells of the pancreas is dictated primarily by the blood glucose level. The highest levels of insulin occur approximately 30 to 45 minutes after a high-carbohydrate meal (Fig. 26.8). They return to basal levels as the blood glucose concentration falls, approximately 120 minutes after the meal. The release of glucagon from the alpha cells of the pancreas, conversely, is controlled principally through suppression by glucose and insulin. Therefore, the lowest levels of glucagon occur after a high-carbohydrate meal. Because all of the effects of glucagon are opposed by insulin, the simultaneous stimulation of insulin release and suppression of glucagon secretion by a highcarbohydrate meal provides an integrated control of carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. Bea Selmass’s studies confirmed that her fasting serum glucose levels were below normal. She continued to experience the fatigue, confusion, and blurred vision she had described on her first office visit. These symptoms are called neuroglycopenic (neurologic symptoms resulting from an inadequate supply of glucose to the brain for the generation of ATP). Bea also noted the symptoms that are part of the adrenergic response to hypoglycemic stress. Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system (because of the low levels of glucose reaching the brain) results in the release of epinephrine, a stress hormone, from the adrenal medulla. Elevated epinephrine levels cause tachycardia, palpitations, anxiety, tremulousness, pallor, and sweating. In addition to the symptoms described by Bea Selmass, individuals may experience confusion, lightheadedness, headache, aberrant behavior, blurred vision, loss of consciousness, or seizures. Ms. Selmass’s doctor explained that the general diagnosis of “fasting” hypoglycemia was now established and that a specific cause for this disorder must be found.

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

Liver

Glycogen +

481

Protein +

Glucose

+

Fatty acids +

Amino acids

VLDL

Glucose

CO2 Glycogen

+

Fatty acids

Protein +

Skeletal muscle

+

Triacylglycerols

Adipocyte

Fig 26.6. Major sites of insulin action on fuel metabolism. stimulated by insulin; inhibited by insulin.

Insulin and glucagon are not the only regulators of fuel metabolism. The intertissue balance between the utilization and storage of glucose, fat, and protein is also accomplished by the circulating levels of metabolites in the blood, by neuronal signals, and by the other hormones of metabolic homeostasis (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, and others) (Table 26.1). These hormones oppose the actions of insulin by mobilizing fuels. Like glucagon, they are called insulin counterregulatory hormones (Fig. 26.9). Of all these hormones, only insulin and glucagon are synthe-

Liver

Glycogen +

– –

Glucose

+

Fatty acids Amino acids Glucose

Fatty acids +

Triacylglycerols

Fatty acids

No efffect

Skeletal muscle

Adipocyte

Fig 26.7. Major sites of glucagon action in fuel metabolism. pathways stimulated by glucagon; pathways inhibited by glucagon.

The message carried by glucagon is that “glucose is gone”; i.e., the current supply of glucose is inadequate to meet the immediate fuel requirements of the body.

482

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Table 26.1. Physiologic Actions of Insulin and Insulin Counterregulatory Hormones

High carbohydrate meal

Hormone Insulin

mg / dL

120

Function

Major Metabolic Pathways Affected

• Promotes fuel storage after

• Stimulates glucose storage as glyco-

a meal

gen (muscle and liver)

• Promotes growth

100

• Stimulates fatty acid synthesis and storage after a high-carbohydrate meal

Glucose

• Stimulates amino acid uptake and

80

protein synthesis Glucagon

µU / mL

120

• Mobilizes fuels • Maintains blood glucose levels during fasting

• Activates gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis (liver) during fasting

• Activates fatty acid release from adipose tissue

80

Insulin

Epinephrine

• Mobilizes fuels during acute stress

40

• Stimulates glucose production from glycogen (muscle and liver)

• Stimulates fatty acid release from adipose issue

Cortisol

• Provides for changing

• Stimulates amino acid mobilization

requirements over the long-term

from muscle protein

• Stimulates gluconeogenesis • Stimulates fatty acid release from

pg / mL

120

adipose issue

Glucagon 110 100 90 60

60

120

180

240

Minutes

Fig 26.8. Blood glucose, insulin, and glucagon levels after a high-carbohydrate meal. Low Blood Glucose

Hypothalamic regulatory center Pituitary ACTH Autonomic nervous system A cells Cortex Medulla Pancreas

Adrenal

Cortisol

Epinephrine

Norepinephrine

Glucagon

Fig 26.9. Major insulin counterregulatory hormones. The stress of a low blood glucose level mediates the release of the major insulin counterregulatory hormones through neuronal signals. Hypoglycemia is one of the stress signals that stimulates the release of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is released from the pituitary and stimulates the release of cortisol (a glucocorticoid) from the adrenal cortex. Neuronal signals stimulate the release of epinephrine from the adrenal medulla and norepinephrine from nerve endings. Neuronal signals also play a minor role in the release of glucagon. Although norepinephrine has counterregulatory actions, it is not a major counterregulatory hormone.

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

sized and released in direct response to changing levels of fuels in the blood. The release of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine is mediated by neuronal signals. Rising levels of the insulin counterregulatory hormones in the blood, reflect, for the most part, a current increase in the demand for fuel.

III. SYNTHESIS AND RELEASE OF INSULIN AND GLUCAGON A. Endocrine Pancreas Insulin and glucagon are synthesized in different cell types of the endocrine pancreas, which consists of microscopic clusters of small glands, the islets of Langerhans, scattered among the cells of the exocrine pancreas. The cells secrete glucagon, and the cells secrete insulin into the hepatic portal vein via the pancreatic veins.

B. Synthesis and Secretion of Insulin Insulin is a polypeptide hormone. The active form of insulin is composed of two polypeptide chains (the A-chain and the B-chain) linked by two interchain disulfide bonds. The A-chain has an additional intrachain disulfide bond (Fig. 26.10). Insulin, like many other polypeptide hormones, is synthesized as a preprohormone that is converted in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) to proinsulin. The “pre” sequence, a short hydrophobic signal sequence at the N-terminal end, is cleaved as it enters the lumen of the RER. Proinsulin folds into the proper conformation, and disulfide bonds are formed between the cysteine residues. It is then transported in microvesicles to the Golgi complex. It leaves the Golgi complex in storage vesicles, where a protease removes the C-peptide (a fragment with no hormonal activity) and a few small remnants, resulting in the formation of biologically active insulin (see Fig. 26.10). Zinc ions are also transported in these storage vesicles. Cleavage of the C-peptide decreases the solubility of the resulting insulin, which then coprecipitates with zinc. Exocytosis of the insulin storage vesicles from the cytosol of the cell into the blood is stimulated by rising levels of glucose in the blood bathing the cells. Glucose enters the cell via specific glucose transporter proteins known as GLUT2 (see Chapter 27). Glucose is phosphorylated through the action of glucokinase to form glucose 6-phosphate, which is metabolized through glycolysis, the TCA cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. These reactions result in an increase in ATP levels within the cell (circle 1 in Fig. 26.11). As the cell [ATP]/[ADP] ratio increases, the activity of a membrane-bound, ATP-dependent K channel (K ATP) is inhibited (i.e., the channel is closed)(circle 2 in Fig. 26.11). The closing of this channel leads to a membrane depolarization (circle 3, Fig. 26.11), which activates a voltage-gated Ca2 channel that allows Ca2 to enter the cell such that intracellular Ca2 levels increase significantly (circle 4, Fig. 26.11). The increase in intracellular Ca2 stimulates the fusion of insulin containing exocytotic vesicles with the plasma membrane, resulting in insulin secretion (circle 5, Fig. 26.11). Thus, an increase in glucose levels within the cells initiates insulin release. A form of diabetes known as MODY (maturity onset diabetes of the young) results from mutations in either pancreatic glucokinase or specific nuclear transcription factors. MODY type 2 is due to a glucokinase mutation that results in an enzyme with reduced activity, either due to an elevated Km for glucose or a reduced Vmax for the reaction. Because insulin release is dependent on normal glucose metabolism within the cell that yields a critical [ATP]/[ADP] ratio in the cell, individuals with this glucokinase mutation cannot significantly metabolize glucose unless glucose levels are higher than normal. Thus, although these patients can release insulin, they do so at higher than normal glucose levels, and are therefore almost always in a hyperglycemic state. Interestingly, however, these patients are somewhat resistant to the long-term complications of chronic hyperglycemia.

483

The message that insulin carries to tissues is that glucose is plentiful and it can be used as an immediate fuel or can be converted to storage forms such as triacylglycerol in adipocytes or glycogen in liver and muscle. Because insulin stimulates the uptake of glucose into tissues where it may be immediately oxidized or stored for later oxidation, this regulatory hormone lowers blood glucose levels. Therefore, one of the possible causes of Bea Selmass’s hypoglycemia is an insulinoma, a tumor that produces excessive insulin. Whenever an endocrine gland continues to release its hormone in spite of the presence of signals that normally would suppress its secretion, this persistent inappropriate release is said to be “autonomous.” Secretory neoplasms of endocrine glands generally produce their hormonal product autonomously in a chronic fashion. Autonomous hypersecretion of insulin from a suspected pancreatic -cell tumor (an insulinoma) can be demonstrated in several ways. The simplest test is to simultaneously draw blood for the measurement of both glucose and insulin at a time when the patient is spontaneously experiencing the characteristic adrenergic or neuroglycopenic symptoms of hypoglycemia. During such a test, Bea Selmass’s glucose levels fell to 45 mg/dL (normal 80–100), and her ratio of insulin to glucose was far higher than normal. The elevated insulin levels markedly increased glucose uptake by the peripheral tissues, resulting in a dramatic lowering of blood glucose levels. In normal individuals, as blood glucose levels drop, insulin levels also drop. Di Abietes has type 1 diabetes mellitus, formerly known as insulindependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This metabolic disorder is usually caused by antibody-mediated (autoimmune) destruction of the cells of the pancreas. Susceptibility to type 1 diabetes mellitus is, in part, conferred by a genetic defect in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region of cells which codes for the major histocompatibility complex II (MHC II). This protein presents an intracellular antigen to the cell surface for “self-recognition” by the cells involved in the immune response. Because of this defective protein, a cell-mediated immune response leads to varying degrees of cell destruction and eventually to dependence on exogenous insulin administration to control the levels of glucose in the blood.

484

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

20

Ala Leu Glu

Leu Ser Gly Ala Gly Pro Pro Gln Gly Gly Leu

Gly

C – Peptide

Leu

Glu Val

Gly

Gln

Ser 31

Gly

Leu

Val

Gln

Lys

Gln

Arg

Leu

Gly

Asp

Ile Val

NH2

Asn

Glu

Phe

S Cys

Val

A Chain

21

S

Asn

Gln Ser Ile Cys Ser Leu Tyr

Arg

Leu

S

Thr Pro

Insulin

His 10

Thr

S

Cys Gly

Tyr Phe

B Chain Leu

30

Lys

10

S

Ser

Arg

Glu Thr

Gln

Glu 1

Tyr

S

Cys

Asn

Leu

Ala

Cys Gln

His

Glu

COOH

Val Glu Gly Ala Leu Tyr Leu Val Cys 20

Glu

Arg

Gly

Phe

Fig 26.10. Cleavage of proinsulin to insulin. Proinsulin is converted to insulin by proteolytic cleavage, which removes the C-peptide and a few additional amino acid residues. Cleavage occurs at the arrows. From Murray RK, et al. Harper’s Biochemistry, 23rd Ed. Stanford, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1993:560.

C. Stimulation and Inhibition of Insulin Release The release of insulin occurs within minutes after the pancreas is exposed to a high glucose concentration. The threshold for insulin release is approximately 80 mg glucose/dL. Above 80 mg/dL, the rate of insulin release is not an all-or-nothing response but is proportional to the glucose concentration up to approximately 300 mg/dL glucose. As insulin is secreted, the synthesis of new insulin molecules is stimulated, so that secretion is maintained until blood glucose levels fall. Insulin is rapidly removed from the circulation and degraded by the liver (and, to a lesser Ca2+ +

∆ψ

3

[Ca2+]

K+

4 Fusion and exocytosis

Glucose

5

Insulin

2 Glycolysis 1 TCA cycle Oxidative phosphorylation

ATP

-cell

Fig 26.11. Release of insulin by the -cells. Details are provided in the text.

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

485

Table 26.2. Regulators of Insulin Releasea Major Regulators Glucose Minor regulators Amino acids Neural input Gut hormonesb Epinephrine (adrenergic) a

b

Effect

stimulates inhibits gut hormones that regulate fuel metabolism are discussed in Chapter 43.

extent, by kidney and skeletal muscle), so that blood insulin levels decrease rapidly once the rate of secretion slows. A number of factors other than the blood glucose concentration can modulate insulin release (Table 26.2). The pancreatic islets are innervated by the autonomic nervous system, including a branch of the vagus nerve. These neural signals help to coordinate insulin release with the secretory signals initiated by the ingestion of fuels. However, signals from the central nervous system are not required for insulin secretion. Certain amino acids also can stimulate insulin secretion, although the amount of insulin released during a high-protein meal is very much lower than that released by a high-carbohydrate meal. Gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP, a gut hormone released after the ingestion of food) also aids in the onset of insulin release. Epinephrine, secreted in response to fasting, stress, trauma, and vigorous exercise, decreases the release of insulin. Epinephrine release signals energy utilization, which indicates that less insulin needs to be secreted, as insulin stimulates energy storage.

D. Synthesis and Secretion of Glucagon Glucagon, a polypeptide hormone, is synthesized in the cells of the pancreas by cleavage of the much larger preproglucagon, a 160–amino acid peptide. Like insulin, preproglucagon is produced on the rough endoplasmic reticulum and is converted to proglucagon as it enters the ER lumen. Proteolytic cleavage at various sites produces the mature 29–amino acid glucagon (molecular weight 3,500) and larger glucagon-containing fragments (named glucagon-like peptides 1 and 2). Glucagon is rapidly metabolized, primarily in the liver and kidneys. Its plasma halflife is only about 3 to 5 minutes. Glucagon secretion is regulated principally by circulating levels of glucose and insulin. Increasing levels of each inhibit glucagon release. Glucose probably has both a direct suppressive effect on secretion of glucagon from the cell as well as an indirect effect, the latter being mediated by its ability to stimulate the release of insulin. The direction of blood flow in the islets of the pancreas carries insulin from the cells in the center of the islets to the peripheral cells, where it suppresses glucagon secretion. Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, such as Di Abietes, have almost undetectable levels of insulin in their blood. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, such as Ann Sulin, conversely, have normal or even elevated levels of insulin in their blood; however, the level of insulin in their blood is inappropriately low relative to their elevated blood glucose concentration. In type 2 diabetes mellitus, skeletal muscle, liver, and other tissues exhibit a resistance to the actions of insulin. As a result, insulin has a smaller than normal effect on glucose and fat metabolism in such patients. Levels of insulin in the blood must be higher than normal to maintain normal blood glucose levels. In the early stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus, these compensatory adjustments in insulin release may keep the blood glucose levels near the normal range. Over time, as the cells capacity to secrete high levels of insulin declines, blood glucose levels increase, and exogenous insulin becomes necessary.

Ann Sulin is taking a sulfonylurea compound known as glipizide to treat her diabetes. The sulfonylureas act on the K ATP channels on the surface of the pancreatic cells. The binding of the drug to these channels closes K channels (as do elevated ATP levels), which, in turn, increases Ca2 movement into the interior of the cell. This influx of calcium modulates the interaction of the insulin storage vesicles with the plasma membrane of the cell, resulting in the release of insulin into the circulation. Measurements of proinsulin and the connecting peptide between the and chains of insulin (Cpeptide) in Bea Selmass’s blood during her hospital fast provided confirmation that she had an insulinoma. Insulin and C-peptide are secreted in approximately equal proportions from the cell, but C-peptide is not cleared from the blood as rapidly as insulin. Therefore, it provides a reasonably accurate estimate of the rate of insulin secretion. Plasma C-peptide measurements are also potentially useful in treating patients with diabetes mellitus because they provide a way to estimate the degree of endogenous insulin secretion in patients who are receiving exogenous insulin, which lacks the C-peptide.

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Table 26.3 Regulators of Glucagon Releasea Major Regulators

Effect

Glucose Insulin Amino acids Minor regulators Cortisol Neural (stress) Epinephrine Gut hormones a

IV. MECHANISMS OF HORMONE ACTION For a hormone to affect the flux of substrates through a metabolic pathway, it must be able to change the rate at which that pathway proceeds by increasing or decreasing the rate of the slowest step(s). Either directly or indirectly, hormones affect the

High protein meal Nitrogen 90 85

6 7 8

Glucose 20 Insulin 10

200 Glucagon

180

Insulin (µU /mL) α Amino nitrogen (mg / dL)

The physiologic importance of insulin’s usual action of mediating the suppressive effect of glucose on glucagon secretion is apparent in patients with types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. Despite the presence of hyperglycemia, glucagon levels in such patients initially remain elevated (near fasting levels) either because of the absence of insulin’s suppressive effect or because of the resistance of the cells to insulin’s suppressive effect even in the face of adequate insulin levels in type 2 patients. Thus, these patients have inappropriately high glucagon levels, leading to the suggestion that diabetes mellitus is actually a “bi-hormonal” disorder.

Certain hormones stimulate glucagon secretion. Among these are the catecholamines (including epinephrine), cortisol, and certain gastrointestinal (gut) hormones (Table 26.3). Many amino acids also stimulate glucagon release (Fig. 26.12). Thus, the high levels of glucagon that would be expected in the fasting state do not decrease after a high-protein meal. In fact, glucagon levels may increase, stimulating gluconeogenesis in the absence of dietary glucose. The relative amounts of insulin and glucagon in the blood after a mixed meal are dependent on the composition of the meal, because glucose stimulates insulin release, and amino acids stimulate glucagon release.

Glucose (mg / dL)

In fasting subjects, the average level of immunoreactive glucagon in the blood is 75 pg/mL and does not vary as much as insulin during the daily fasting–feeding cycle. However, only 30 to 40% of the measured immunoreactive glucagon is mature pancreatic glucagon. The rest is composed of larger immunoreactive fragments also produced in the pancreas or in the intestinal L cells.

stimulates inhibits

Glucagon (pg /mL)

Amino acids induce both insulin and glucagon secretion. Although this may seem paradoxical, it actually makes good sense. Insulin release stimulates amino acid uptake by tissues and enhances protein synthesis. However, because glucagon levels also increase in response to a protein meal, gluconeogenesis is enhanced (at the expense of protein synthesis), and the amino acids that are taken up by the tissues serve as a substrate for gluconeogenesis. The synthesis of glycogen and triglycerides is also reduced when glucagon levels rise in the blood.

160 140 120 100 – 60

60

120 180 240

Minutes

Fig 26.12. Release of insulin and glucagon in response to a high-protein meal. This figure shows the increase in the release of insulin and glucagon into the blood after an overnight fast followed by the ingestion of 100 g protein (equivalent to a slice of roast beef). Insulin levels do not increase nearly as much as they do after a high-carbohydrate meal (see Fig. 26.8). The levels of glucagon, however, significantly increase above those present in the fasting state.

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

activity of specific enzymes or transport proteins that regulate the flux through a pathway. Thus, ultimately, the hormone must either cause the amount of the substrate for the enzyme to increase (if substrate supply is a rate-limiting factor), change the conformation at the active site by phosphorylating the enzyme, change the concentration of an allosteric effector of the enzyme, or change the amount of the protein by inducing or repressing its synthesis or by changing its turnover rate or location. Insulin, glucagon, and other hormones use all of these regulatory mechanisms to regulate the rate of flux in metabolic pathways. The effects mediated by phosphorylation or changes in the kinetic properties of an enzyme occur rapidly, within minutes. In contrast, it may take hours for induction or repression of enzyme synthesis to change the amount of an enzyme in the cell. The details of hormone action were previously described in Chapter 11 and are only summarized here.

A. Signal Transduction by Hormones That Bind to Plasma Membrane Receptors Hormones initiate their actions on target cells by binding to specific receptors or binding proteins. In the case of polypeptide hormones (such as insulin and glucagon), and catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine), the action of the hormone is mediated through binding to a specific receptor on the plasma membrane (see Chapter 11, section III). The first message of the hormone is transmitted to intracellular enzymes by the activated receptor and an intracellular second messenger; the hormone does not need to enter the cell to exert its effects. (In contrast, steroid hormones such as cortisol and the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine [T3] enter the cytosol and eventually move into the cell nucleus to exert their effects.) The mechanism by which the message carried by the hormone ultimately affects the rate of the regulatory enzyme in the target cell is called signal transduction. The three basic types of signal transduction for hormones binding to receptors on the plasma membrane are (a) receptor coupling to adenylate cyclase which produces cAMP, (b) receptor kinase activity, and (c) receptor coupling to hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2). The hormones of metabolic homeostasis each use one of these mechanisms to carry out their physiologic effect. In addition, some hormones and neurotransmitters act through receptor coupling to gated ion channels (previously described in Chapter 11). 1.

SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION BY INSULIN

Insulin initiates its action by binding to a receptor on the plasma membrane of insulin’s many target cells (see Fig. 11.13). The insulin receptor has two types of subunits, the -subunits to which insulin binds, and the -subunits, which span the membrane and protrude into the cytosol. The cytosolic portion of the -subunit has tyrosine kinase activity. On binding of insulin, the tyrosine kinase phosphorylates tyrosine residues on the -subunit (autophosphorylation) as well as on several other enzymes within the cytosol. A principal substrate for phosphorylation by the receptor, insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1), then recognizes and binds to various signal transduction proteins in regions referred to as SH2 domains. IRS-1 is involved in many of the physiologic responses to insulin through complex mechanisms that are the subject of intensive investigation. The basic tissue-specific cellular responses to insulin, however, can be grouped into five major categories: (a) insulin reverses glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation, (b) insulin works through a phosphorylation cascade that stimulates the phosphorylation of several enzymes, (c) insulin induces and represses the synthesis of specific enzymes, (d) insulin acts as a growth factor and has a general stimulatory effect on protein synthesis, and (e) insulin stimulates glucose and amino acid transport into cells (see Fig. 10 of section introduction, p. 484).

487

During the “stress” of hypoglycemia, the autonomic nervous system stimulates the pancreas to secrete glucagon, which tends to restore the serum glucose level to normal. The increased activity of the adrenergic nervous system (through epinephrine) also alerts a patient, such as Bea Selmass, to the presence of increasingly severe hypoglycemia. Hopefully, this will induce the patient to ingest simple sugars or other carbohydrates, which, in turn, will also increase glucose levels in the blood. Bea Selmass gained 8 lb before resection of her pancreatic insulinsecreting adenoma through this mechanism.

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A number of mechanisms have been proposed for the action of insulin in reversing glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation of the enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism. From the student’s point of view, the ability of insulin to reverse glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation occurs as if it were lowering cAMP and stimulating phosphatases that could remove those phosphates added by protein kinase A. In reality, the mechanism is more complex and still not fully understood. 2.

cAMP is the intracellular second messenger for a number of hormones that regulate fuel metabolism. The specificity of the physiologic response to each hormone results from the presence of specific receptors for that hormone in target tissues. For example, glucagon activates glucose production from glycogen in liver, but not in skeletal muscle because glucagon receptors are present in liver but absent in skeletal muscle. However, skeletal muscle has adenylate cyclase, cAMP, and protein kinase A, which can be activated by epinephrine binding to the 2 receptors in the membrane of muscle cells. Liver cells also have epinephrine receptors. Phosphodiesterase is inhibited by methylxanthines, a class of compounds that includes caffeine. Would the effect of a methylxanthine on fuel metabolism be similar to fasting or to a highcarbohydrate meal?

SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION BY GLUCAGON

The pathway for signal transduction by glucagon is one common to a number of hormones; the glucagon receptor is coupled to adenylate cyclase and cAMP production (see Fig. 11.11). Glucagon, through G proteins, activates the membranebound adenylate cyclase, increasing the synthesis of the intracellular second messenger 3,5-cyclic AMP (cAMP) (see Fig. 9.10). cAMP activates protein kinase A (cAMP-dependent protein kinase), which changes the activity of enzymes by phosphorylating them at specific serine residues. Phosphorylation activates some enzymes and inhibits others. The G proteins, which couple the glucagon receptor to adenylate cyclase, are proteins in the plasma membrane that bind guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and have dissociable subunits that interact with both the receptor and adenylate cyclase. In the absence of glucagon, the stimulatory Gs protein complex binds guanosine diphosphate (GDP) but cannot bind to the unoccupied receptor or adenylate cyclase (see Fig. 11.17). Once glucagon binds to the receptor, the receptor also binds the Gs complex, which then releases GDP and binds GTP. The -subunit then dissociates from the -subunits and binds to adenylate cyclase, thereby activating it. As the GTP on the -subunit is hydrolyzed to GDP, the subunit dissociates and recomplexes with the - and -subunits. Only continued occupancy of the glucagon receptor can keep adenylate cyclase active. Although glucagon works by activating adenylate cyclase, a few hormones inhibit adenylate cyclase. In this case, the inhibitory G protein complex is called a Gi complex. cAMP is very rapidly degraded to AMP by a membrane-bound phosphodiesterase. The concentration of cAMP is thus very low in the cell so that changes in its concentration can occur rapidly in response to changes in the rate of synthesis. The amount of cAMP present at any time is a direct reflection of hormone binding and the activity of adenylate cyclase. It is not affected by ATP, ADP, or AMP levels in the cell. cAMP transmits the hormone signal to the cell by activating protein kinase A (cAMP-dependent protein kinase). As cAMP binds to the regulatory subunits of protein kinase A, these subunits dissociate from the catalytic subunits, which are thereby activated (see Figs. 9.9 and 9.11). Activated protein kinase A phosphorylates serine residues of key regulatory enzymes in the pathways of carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Some enzymes are activated and others are inhibited by this change in phosphorylation state. The message of the hormone is terminated by the action of semispecific protein phosphatases that remove phosphate groups from the enzymes. The activity of the protein phosphatases is also controlled through hormonal regulation. Changes in the phosphorylation state of proteins that bind to cAMP response elements (CREs) in the promoter region of genes contribute to the regulation of gene transcription by a number of cAMP-coupled hormones (see Chapter 16). For instance, cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) is directly phosphorylated by protein kinase A, a step essential for the initiation of transcription. Phosphorylation at other sites on CREB, by a variety of kinases, also may play a role in regulating transcription.

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

The mechanism for signal transduction by glucagon illustrates some of the important principles of hormonal signaling mechanisms. The first principle is that specificity of action in tissues is conferred by the receptor on a target cell for glucagon. In general, the major actions of glucagon occur in liver, adipose tissue, and certain cells of the kidney that contain glucagon receptors. The second principle is that signal transduction involves amplification of the first message. Glucagon and other hormones are present in the blood in very low concentrations. However, these minute concentrations of hormone are adequate to initiate a cellular response because the binding of one molecule of glucagon to one receptor ultimately activates many protein kinase A molecules, each of which phosphorylates hundreds of downstream enzymes. The third principle involves integration of metabolic responses. For instance, the glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation of enzymes simultaneously activates glycogen degradation, inhibits glycogen synthesis, and inhibits glycolysis in the liver (see Fig. 10 in section introduction, p. 484.). The fourth principle involves augmentation and antagonism of signals. An example of augmentation involves the actions of glucagon and epinephrine (which is released during exercise). Although these hormones bind to different receptors, each can increase cAMP and stimulate glycogen degradation. A fifth principle is that of rapid signal termination. In the case of glucagon, both the termination of the Gs protein activation and the rapid degradation of cAMP contribute to signal termination.

B. Signal Transduction by Cortisol and Other Hormones That Interact with Intracellular Receptors Signal transduction by the glucocorticoid cortisol and other steroids and by thyroid hormone involves hormone binding to intracellular (cytosolic) receptors or binding proteins, after which this hormone–binding protein complex moves into the nucleus, where it interacts with chromatin. This interaction changes the rate of gene transcription in the target cells (see Chapter 16). The cellular responses to these hormones will continue as long as the target cell is exposed to the specific hormones. Thus, disorders that cause a chronic excess in their secretion will result in an equally persistent influence on fuel metabolism. For example, chronic stress such as that seen in prolonged sepsis may lead to varying degrees of glucose intolerance if high levels of epinephrine and cortisol persist. The effects of cortisol on gene transcription are usually synergistic to those of certain other hormones. For instance, the rates of gene transcription for some of the enzymes in the pathway for glucose synthesis from amino acids (gluconeogenesis) are induced by glucagon as well as by cortisol.

C. Signal Transduction by Epinephrine and Norepinephrine Epinephrine and norepinephrine are catecholamines (Fig. 26.13). They can act as neurotransmitters or as hormones. A neurotransmitter allows a neural signal to be transmitted across the juncture or synapse between the nerve terminal of a proximal nerve axon and the cell body of a distal neuron. A hormone, conversely, is released into the blood and travels in the circulation to interact with specific receptors on the plasma membrane or cytosol of the target organ. The general effect of these catecholamines is to prepare us for fight or flight. Under these acutely stressful circumstances, these “stress” hormones increase fuel mobilization, cardiac output, blood flow, etc., which enable us to meet these stresses. The catecholamines bind to adrenergic receptors (the term adrenergic refers to nerve cells or fibers that are part of the involuntary or autonomic nervous system, a system that employs norepinephrine as a neurotransmitter).

489

Inhibition of phosphodiesterase by methylxanthine would increase cAMP and have the same effects on fuel metabolism as would an increase of glucagon and epinephrine, in the fasted state. Increased fuel mobilization would occur through glycogenolysis (the release of glucose from glycogen), and through lipolysis (the release of fatty acids from triacylglycerols).

Protein kinases are a class of enzymes that change the activity of other enzymes by phosphorylating them at serine or tyrosine residues and are referred to as serine or tyrosine kinases, respectively. Serine kinases also phosphorylate some enzymes at threonine residues. Protein kinase A (a serine kinase) phosphorylates many of the enzymes in the pathways of fuel metabolism.

HO HO

H O

H CH3

C

C NH

H Epinephrine

HO HO

H

H O

H

C

C NH2

H H Norepinephrine

Fig 26.13. Structure of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are synthesized from tyrosine and act as both hormones and neurotransmitters. They are catecholamines, the term catechol referring to a ring structure containing two hydroxyl groups.

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Ann O’Rexia, to stay thin, frequently fasts for prolonged periods, but jogs every morning (see Chapter 2). The release of epinephrine and norepinephrine and the increase of glucagon and fall of insulin during her exercise provide coordinated and augmented signals that stimulate the release of fuels above the fasting levels. Fuel mobilization will occur, of course, only as long as she has fuel stored as triacylglycerols. Ann Sulin, a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus, is experiencing insulin resistance. Her levels of circulating insulin are normal to high, although inappropriately low for her elevated level of blood glucose. However, her insulin target cells, such as muscle and fat, do not respond as those of a nondiabetic subject would to this level of insulin. For most type 2 patients, the site of insulin resistance is subsequent to binding of insulin to its receptor; i.e., the number of receptors and their affinity for insulin is near normal. However, the binding of insulin at these receptors does not elicit most of the normal intracellular effects of insulin discussed earlier. Consequently, there is little stimulation of glucose metabolism and storage after a high-carbohydrate meal and little inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis.

There are nine different types of adrenergic receptors: 1A, 1B, 1D, 2A, 2B, 2C, 1, 2, and 3. Only the three and 1 receptors are discussed here. The three receptors work through the adenylate cyclase–cAMP system, activating a Gs protein, which activates adenylate cyclase, and eventually protein kinase A. The 1 receptor is the major adrenergic receptor in the human heart and is primarily stimulated by norepinephrine. On activation, the 1 receptor increases the rate of muscle contraction, in part because of PKA-mediated phosphorylation of phospholamban (see Chapter 47). The 2 receptor is present in liver, skeletal muscle, and other tissues and is involved in the mobilization of fuels (such as the release of glucose through glycogenolysis). It also mediates vascular, bronchial, and uterine smooth muscle contraction. Epinephrine is a much more potent agonist for this receptor than norepinephrine, whose major action is neurotransmission. The 3 receptor is found predominantly in adipose tissue and to a lesser extent in skeletal muscle. Activation of this receptor stimulates fatty acid oxidation and thermogenesis, and agonists for this receptor may prove to be beneficial weight loss agents. The 1 receptors, which are postsynaptic receptors, mediate vascular and smooth muscle contraction. They work through the phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate system (see Chapter 11, section III.B.2) through activation of a Gq protein, and phospholipase C-. This receptor also mediates glycogenolysis in liver.

CLINICAL COMMENTS Di Abietes has type 1 diabetes mellitus (formally designated insulindependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM) whereas Ann Sulin has type 2 diabetes mellitus (formally called non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus). Although the pathogenesis differs for these major forms of diabetes mellitus, both cause varying degrees of hyperglycemia. In type 1, the pancreatic cells are gradually destroyed by antibodies directed at a variety of proteins within the cells. As insulin secretory capacity by the cells gradually diminishes below a critical level, the symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia develop rapidly. In type 2 diabetes mellitus, these symptoms develop more subtly and gradually over the course of months or years. Eighty-five percent or more of type 2 patients are obese and, like Ivan Applebod, have a high waist–hip ratio with regard to adipose tissue disposition. This abnormal distribution of fat in the visceral (peri-intestinal) adipocytes is associated with reduced sensitivity of fat cells, muscle cells, and liver cells to the actions of insulin outlined above. This insulin resistance can be diminished through weight loss, specifically in the visceral depots. Bea Selmass underwent a high-resolution ultrasonographic (ultrasound) study of her upper abdomen, which showed a 2.6-cm mass in the midportion of her pancreas. With this finding, her physicians decided that further noninvasive studies would not be necessary before surgical exploration of her upper abdomen was performed. At the time of surgery, a yellow-white 2.8-cm mass consisting primarily of insulin-rich cells was resected from her pancreas. No cytologic changes of malignancy were seen on cytologic examination of the surgical specimen, and no gross evidence of malignant behavior by the tumor (such as local metastases) was found. Bea had an uneventful postoperative recovery and no longer experienced the signs and symptoms of insulin-induced hypoglycemia.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS One of the important cellular responses to insulin is the reversal of glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation of enzymes. Mechanisms proposed for this action include the inhibition of adenylate cyclase, a reduction of

CHAPTER 26 / BASIC CONCEPTS IN THE REGULATION OF FUEL METABOLISM BY INSULIN, GLUCAGON, AND OTHER HORMONES

491

cAMP levels, the stimulation of phosphodiesterase, the production of a specific protein (insulin factor), the release of a second messenger from a bound glycosylated phosphatidylinositol, and the phosphorylation of enzymes at a site that antagonizes protein kinase A phosphorylation. Not all of these physiologic actions of insulin occur in each of the insulin-sensitive organs of the body. Insulin is also able to antagonize the actions of glucagon at the level of specific induction or repression of key regulatory enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism. For instance, the rate of synthesis of mRNA for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, a key enzyme of the gluconeogenic pathway, is increased severalfold by glucagon (via cAMP) and decreased by insulin. Thus, all of the effects of glucagon, even the induction of certain enzymes, can be reversed by insulin. This antagonism is exerted through an insulin-sensitive hormone response element (IRE) in the promoter region of the genes. Insulin causes repression of the synthesis of enzymes that are induced by glucagon. The general stimulation of protein synthesis by insulin (its mitogenic or growthpromoting effect) appears to occur through both a general increase in rates of mRNA translation for a broad spectrum of structural proteins. These actions result from a phosphorylation cascade initiated by autophosphorylation of the insulin receptor and ending in the phosphorylation of subunits of proteins that bind to and inhibit eukaryotic protein synthesis initiation factors (eIFs). When phosphorylated, the inhibitory proteins are released from the eIFs, allowing translation of mRNA to be stimulated. In this respect, the actions of insulin are similar to those of hormones that act as growth factors and also have receptors with tyrosine kinase activity. In addition to signal transduction, activation of the insulin receptor mediates the internalization of receptor-bound insulin molecules increasing their subsequent degradation. Although unoccupied receptors can be internalized and eventually recycled to the plasma membrane, the receptor can be irreversibly degraded after prolonged occupation by insulin. The result of this process, referred to as receptor downregulation, is an attenuation of the insulin signal. The physiologic importance of receptor internalization on insulin sensitivity is poorly understood but could eventually lead to chronic hyperglycemia.

Suggested References •

• • • •

Kahn SE, Porte D Jr. -cell dysfunction in type 2 diabetes. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, 8th Ed. New York: McGrawHill, 2001:1407–1431. O’Brien C. Missing link in insulin’s path to protein production. Science 1994;266:542–543. Saltiel AR, Pessin JE. Insulin signalling pathways in time and space. Trends Cell Biol. 2002;12:65–71. Stride A, Hattersley AT. Different genes, different diabetes: lessons from maturity-onset diabetes of the young. Ann Med 2002;34:207–216. White MF, Kahn CR. The insulin signalling system. J Biol Chem 1994;269:1–4.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 26 1.

A patient with type I diabetes mellitus takes an insulin injection before eating dinner but then gets distracted and does not eat. Approximately 3 hours later, the patient becomes shaky, sweaty, and confused. These symptoms have occurred because of which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Increased glucagon release from the pancreas Decreased glucagon release from the pancreas High blood glucose levels Low blood glucose levels Elevated ketone body levels

492

2.

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Caffeine is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme cAMP phosphodiesterase. Which of the following consequences would you expect to occur in the liver after drinking two cups of strong expresso coffee? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

Assume that an increase in blood glucose concentration from 5 to 10 mM would result in insulin release by the pancreas. A mutation in pancreatic glucokinase can lead to MODY because of which of the following within the pancreatic -cell? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

An inability to raise cAMP levels An inability to raise ATP levels An inability to stimulate gene transcription An inability to activate glycogen degradation An inability to raise intracellular lactate levels

Which one of the following organs has the highest demand for glucose as a fuel? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

A prolonged response to insulin A prolonged response to glucagon An inhibition of protein kinase A An enhancement of glycolytic activity A reduced rate of glucose export to the circulation

Brain Muscle (skeletal) Heart Liver Pancreas

Glucagon release does not alter muscle metabolism because of which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Muscle cells lack adenylate cyclase. Muscle cells lack protein kinase A. Muscle cells lack G proteins. Muscle cells lack GTP. Muscle cells lack the glucagon receptor.

27 Digestion, Absorption, and Transport of Carbohydrates CH2OH O

CH2OH O

OH

O

OH

O

O

α1,4 OH

OH

n

Amylose

CH2OH O O

CH2OH O

OH

OH

O

O α1,6

OH CH2OH O

CH2 O

OH

O

OH

O OH

O OH

Amylopectin

HO

CH2OH O

CH2OH O OH O

OH

OH

β1,4 OH

OH Glucose

Galactose

Lactose

CH2OH O Glucose HO

n

Carbohydrates are the largest source of dietary calories for most of the world’s population. The major carbohydrates in the American diet are starch, lactose, and sucrose. The starches amylose and amylopectin are polysaccharides composed of hundreds to millions of glucosyl units linked together through -1,4 and -1,6 glycosidic bonds (Fig. 27.1). Lactose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and galactose, linked together through a -1,4 glycosidic bond. Sucrose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose, linked through an -1,2 glycosidic bond. The digestive processes convert all of these dietary carbohydrates to their constituent monosaccharides by hydrolyzing glycosidic bonds between the sugars. The digestion of starch begins in the mouth (Fig. 27.2). The salivary gland releases a-amylase, which converts starch to smaller polysaccharides called -dextrins. Salivary -amylase is inactivated by the acidity of the stomach (HCl). Pancreatic -amylase and bicarbonate are secreted by the exocrine pancreas into the lumen of the small intestine, where bicarbonate neutralizes the gastric secretions. Pancreatic -amylase continues the digestion of -dextrins, converting them to disaccharides (maltose), trisaccharides (maltotriose), and oligosaccharides called limit dextrins. Limit dextrins usually contain four to nine glucosyl residues and an isomaltose branch (two glucosyl residues attached through an -1,6 glycosidic bond). The digestion of the disaccharides lactose and sucrose, as well as further digestion of maltose, maltotriose and limit dextrins, occurs through disaccharidases attached to the membrane surface of the brush border (microvilli) of intestinal epithelial cells. Glucoamylase hydrolyzes the -1,4 bonds of dextrins. The sucrase–isomaltase complex hydrolyzes sucrose, most of maltose, and almost all of the isomaltose formed by glucoamylase from limit dextrins. Lactaseglycosylceramidase (-glycosidase) hydrolyzes the -glycosidic bonds in lactose and glycolipids. A fourth disaccharidase complex, trehalase, hydrolyzes the bond (an -1,1 glycosidic bond) between two glucosyl units in the sugar trehalose. The monosaccharides produced by these hydrolases (glucose, fructose, and galactose) are then transported into the intestinal epithelial cells.

OH OH

HOCH2 Fructose

O α1,2 O OH

CH2OH HO

Sucrose

Fig. 27.1. The structures of common dietary carbohydrates. For disaccharides and greater, the sugars are linked through glycosidic bonds between the anomeric carbon of one sugar and a hydroxyl group on another sugar. The glycosidic bond may be either or , depending on its position above or below the plane of the sugar containing the anomeric carbon. (see Chapter 5, Section II.A, to review terms used in the description of sugars). The starch amylose is a polysaccharide of glucose residues linked with -1,4 glycosidic bonds. Amylopectin is amylase with the addition of -1,6 glycosidic branchpoints. Dietary sugars may be monosaccharides (single sugar residues), disaccharides (two sugar residues), oligosaccharides (several sugar residues) or polysaccharides (hundreds of sugar residues). 493

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A common malabsorption syndrome, lactose intolerance, is characterized by nausea, diarrhea, and flatulence after ingesting dairy products or other foods containing lactose. One of the causes of lactose intolerance is a low level of lactase, which decreases after infancy in most of the world’s population (nonpersistant lactase or adult hypolactasia). However, lactase activity remains high in some populations (persistent lactase), including Northwestern Europeans and their descendants.

Starch Lactose Sucrose

salivary α –amylase

Sucrose Lactose

α–Dextrins

Stomach Pancreas

α –amylase HCO3– Tri - and Oligosaccharides Maltose, Isomaltose

maltase isomaltase

Sucrose Lactose

Small intestine

Glucose

sucrase

Glucose Fructose

lactase

Glucose Galactose

Fiber

Colon

Feces

Fig. 27.2. Overview of carbohydrate digestion. Digestion of the carbohydrates occurs first, followed by absorption of monosaccharides. Subsequent metabolic reactions occur after the sugars are absorbed.

Dietary fiber, composed principally of polysaccharides, cannot be digested by human enzymes in the intestinal tract. In the colon, dietary fiber and other nondigested carbohydrates may be converted to gases (H2, CO2, and methane) and shortchain fatty acids (principally acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid) by bacteria in the colon. Glucose, galactose, and fructose formed by the digestive enzymes are transported into the absorptive epithelial cells of the small intestine by protein-mediated Na-dependent active transport and facilitative diffusion. Monosaccharides are transported from these cells into the blood and circulate to the liver and peripheral tissues, where they are taken up by facilitative transporters. Facilitative transport of glucose across epithelial cells and other cell membranes is mediated by a family of tissue-specific glucose transport proteins (GLUT I–V). The type of transporter found in each cell reflects the role of glucose metabolism in that cell.

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

THE

WAITING

495

ROOM

Deria Voider is a 20-year-old exchange student from Nigeria who has noted gastrointestinal bloating, abdominal cramps, and intermittent diarrhea ever since arriving in the United States 6 months earlier. A careful history shows that these symptoms occur most commonly about 45 minutes to 1 hour after eating breakfast but may occur after other meals as well. Dairy products, not a part of Deria’s diet in Nigeria, were identified as the probable offending agent because her gastrointestinal symptoms disappeared when milk and milk products were eliminated from her diet. Ann Sulin’s fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels are frequently above the normal range in spite of good compliance with insulin therapy. Her physician has referred her to a dietician skilled in training diabetic patients in the successful application of an appropriate American Diabetes Association diet. As part of the program, Ms. Sulin is asked to incorporate foods containing fiber into her diet, such as whole grains (e.g., wheat, oats, corn), legumes (e.g., peas, beans, lentils), tubers (e.g., potatoes, peanuts), and fruits. Nona Melos (no sweets) is a 7-month-old baby girl, the second child born to unrelated parents. Her mother had a healthy, full-term pregnancy, and Nona’s birth weight was normal. She did not respond well to breastfeeding and was changed entirely to a formula based on cow’s milk at 4 weeks. Between 7 and 12 weeks of age, she was admitted to the hospital twice with a history of screaming after feeding but was discharged after observation without a specific diagnosis. Elimination of cow’s milk from her diet did not relieve her symptoms; Nona’s mother reported that the screaming bouts were worse after Nona drank juice and that Nona frequently had gas and a distended abdomen. At 7 months she was still thriving (weight above 97th percentile) with no abnormal findings on physical examination. A stool sample was taken.

I.

The dietary sugar in fruit juice and other sweets is sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose joined through their anomeric carbons. Nona Melos’ symptoms of pain and abdominal distension are caused by an inability to digest sucrose or absorb fructose, which are converted to gas by colonic bacteria. “Melos” is Latin for sweets, and her name means “no sweets.” Nona Melos’s stool sample had a pH of 5 and gave a positive test for sugar. The possibility of carbohydrate malabsorption was considered, and a hydrogen breath test was recommended.

DIETARY CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates are the largest source of calories in the average American diet and usually constitute 40 to 45% of our caloric intake. The plant starches amylopectin and amylose, which are present in grains, tubers, and vegetables, constitute approximately 50 to 60% of the carbohydrate calories consumed. These starches are polysaccharides, containing 10,000 to 1 million glucosyl units. In amylose, the glucosyl residues form a straight chain linked via -1,4 glycosidic bonds; in amylopectin, the -1,4 chains contain branches connected via -1,6 glycosidic bonds (see Fig. 27.1). The other major sugar found in fruits and vegetables is sucrose, a disaccharide of glucose and fructose (see Fig. 27.1). Sucrose and small amounts of the monosaccharides glucose and fructose are the major natural sweeteners found in fruit, honey, and vegetables. Dietary fiber, that portion of the diet that cannot be digested by human enzymes of the intestinal tract, is also composed principally of plant polysaccharides and a polymer called lignan. Most foods derived from animals, such as meat or fish, contain very little carbohydrate except for small amounts of glycogen (which has a structure similar to amylopectin) and glycolipids. The major dietary carbohydrate of animal origin is lactose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and galactose found exclusively in milk and milk products (see Fig. 27.1).

Sweeteners, in the form of sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup (starch, partly hydrolyzed and isomerized to fructose), also appear in the diet as additives to processed foods. On average, a person in the United States consumes 65 lb added sucrose and 40 lb high-fructose corn syrup solids per year.

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Starch blockers had been marketed many years ago as a means of losing weight without having to exercise or reduce your daily caloric intake. Starch blockers were based on a protein found in beans, which blocked the action of amylase. Thus, as the advertisements proclaimed, one could eat a large amount of starch during a meal, and as long as you took the starch blocker, the starch would pass through the digestive track without being metabolized. Unfortunately, this was too good to be true, and starch blockers were never shown to be effective in aiding weight loss. This was probably because of a combination of factors, such as inactivation of the inhibitor by the low pH in the stomach, and an excess of amylase activity as compared with the amount of starch blocker ingested. Recently this issue has been revisited, as a starch blocker from wheat has been developed that may work as advertised, although much more work is required to determine whether this amylase inhibitor will be safe and effective in humans.

Although all cells require glucose for metabolic functions, neither glucose nor other sugars are specifically required in the diet. Glucose can be synthesized from many amino acids found in dietary protein. Fructose, galactose, xylose, and all the other sugars required for metabolic processes in the human can be synthesized from glucose.

II. DIGESTION OF DIETARY CARBOHYDRATES In the digestive tract, dietary polysaccharides and disaccharides are converted to monosaccharides by glycosidases, enzymes that hydrolyze the glycosidic bonds between the sugars. All of these enzymes exhibit some specificity for the sugar, the glycosidic bond ( or ), and the number of saccharide units in the chain. The monosaccharides formed by glycosidases are transported across the intestinal mucosal cells into the interstitial fluid and subsequently enter the bloodstream. Undigested carbohydrates enter the colon, where they may be fermented by bacteria.

A. Salivary and Pancreatic -Amylase The digestion of starch (amylopectin and amylose) begins in the mouth, where chewing mixes the food with saliva. The salivary glands secrete approximately 1 liter of liquid per day into the mouth, containing salivary -amylase and other components. -Amylase is an endoglucosidase, which means that it hydrolyzes internal -1,4 bonds between glucosyl residues at random intervals in the polysaccharide chains (Fig. 27.3). The shortened polysaccharide chains that are formed are called -dextrins. Salivary -amylase may be largely inactivated by the acidity of the stomach contents, which contain HCl secreted by the peptic cells.

O

O O

O O

O O

O HO

O

O

O

O

O

O

Starch

O

O

O

O

O

O

O O

O

Salivary and pancreatic α – amylase H O O HO

O O

O

O OH

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

HO

OH

Isomaltose

Maltose

O

O O

O O

O HO

O O

O O

O OH

Trisaccharides (and larger oligosaccharides)

Fig. 27.3. Action of pancreatic and -amylase.

HO

O O

O O

α – Dextrins (oligosaccharides with α –1,6 branches)

OH

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

The acidic gastric juice enters the duodenum, the upper part of the small intestine, where digestion continues. Secretions from the exocrine pancreas (approximately 1.5 liters/day) flow down the pancreatic duct and also enter the duodenum. These secretions contain bicarbonate (HCO3), which neutralizes the acidic pH of stomach contents, and digestive enzymes, including pancreatic -amylase. Pancreatic -amylase continues to hydrolyze the starches and glycogen, forming the disaccharide maltose, the trisaccharide maltotriose, and oligosaccharides. These oligosaccharides, called limit dextrins, are usually four to nine glucosyl units long and contain one or more -1,6 branches. The two glucosyl residues that contain the -1,6 glycosidic bond will eventually become the disaccharide isomaltose, but -amylase does not cleave these branched oligosaccharides all the way down to isomaltose. -Amylase has no activity toward sugar containing polymers other than glucose linked by -1,4 bonds. -Amylase displays no activity toward the -1,6- bond at branchpoints and has little activity for the -1,4 bond at the nonreducing end of a chain.

497

Amylase activity in the gut is abundant and is not normally rate limiting for the process of digestion. Alcohol-induced pancreatitis or surgical removal of part of the pancreas can decrease pancreatic secretion. Pancreatic exocrine secretion into the intestine also can be decreased through cystic fibrosis, in which mucus blocks the pancreatic duct, which eventually degenerates. However, pancreatic exocrine secretion can be decreased to 10% of normal and still not affect the rate of starch digestion, because amylases are secreted in the saliva and pancreatic fluid in excessive amounts. In contrast, protein and fat digestion is more strongly affected in cystic fibrosis.

B. Disaccharidases of the Intestinal Brush-Border Membrane The dietary disaccharides lactose and sucrose, as well as the products of starch digestion, are converted to monosaccharides by glycosidases attached to the membrane in the brush-border of absorptive cells (Fig. 27.4). The different glycosidase activities are found in four glycoproteins: glucoamylase, the sucrase–maltase complex, the smaller glycoprotein trehalase, and lactase-glucosylceramidase (Table 27.1). These glycosidases are collectively called the small intestinal disaccharidases, although glucoamylase is really an oligosaccharidase.

CH2OH

CH2OH

O

O O

OH OH

1.

GLUCOAMYLASE

Glucoamylase and the sucrase–isomaltase complex have similar structures and exhibit a great deal of sequence homogeneity (Fig. 27.5). A membrane-spanning domain near the N-terminal attaches the protein to the luminal membrane. The long polypeptide chain forms two globular domains, each with a catalytic site. In glucoamylase, the two catalytic sites have similar activities, with only small differences in substrate specificity. The protein is heavily glycosylated with oligosaccharides that protect it from digestive proteases. Glucoamylase is an exoglucosidase that is specific for the –1,4 bonds between glucosyl residues (Fig. 27.6). It begins at the nonreducing end of a polysaccharide or limit dextrin, and sequentially hydrolyzes the bonds to release glucose monosaccharides. It will digest a limit dextrin down to isomaltose, the glucosyl disaccharide with an –1,6-branch, that is subsequently hydrolyzed principally by the isomaltase activity in the sucrase–isomaltase complex. 2.

O

OH OH

n

Can the glycosidic bonds of the structure shown above be hydrolyzed by -amylose?

Individuals with genetic deficiencies of the sucrase-isomaltase complex show symptoms of sucrose intolerance but are able to digest normal amounts of starch in a meal, without problems. The maltase activity in the glucoamylase complex, and residual activity in the sucrase-isomaltase complex (which is normally present in excess of need) is apparently sufficient to digest normal amounts of dietary starch.

SUCRASE–ISOMALTASE COMPLEX

The structure of the sucrase–isomaltase complex is very similar to that of glucoamylase, and these two proteins have a high degree of sequence homology. However, after the single polypeptide chain of sucrase–isomaltase is inserted through the membrane and the protein protrudes into the intestinal lumen, an intestinal protease clips it into two separate subunits that remain attached to each other. Each subunit has a catalytic site that differs in substrate specificity from the other through noncovalent interactions. The sucrase–maltase site accounts for approximately 100% of the intestine’s ability to hydrolyze sucrose in addition to maltase activity; the isomaltase–maltase site accounts for almost all of the intestine’s ability to hydrolyze -1,6-bonds (Fig. 27.7), in addition to maltase activity. Together, these sites account for approximately 80% of the maltase activity of the small intestine. The remainder of the maltase activity is found in the glucoamylase complex.

HO

1

O

O

O

2 O

O HO

O O

3

O

O O

O

4

5

HO

Which of the bonds in the structure above are hydrolyzed by the sucrase–isomaltase complex? Which by glucoamylase?

498

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Table 27.1. The Different Forms of the Brush Border Glycosidases

A

Complex

Villi

-Glucoamylase

Catalytic Sites

Principal Activities

-Glucosidase

Split -1,4 glycosidic bonds between glucosyl units, beginning sequentially with the residue at the tail end (nonreducing end) of the chain. This is an exoglycosidase. Substrates include amylase, amylopectin, glycogen and maltose.

-Glucosidase

Same as above, but with slightly different specificity and affinities for the substrates

Sucrase–maltase

Splits sucrose, maltose, and maltotriose

Isomaltase–maltase

Splits -1, 6 bonds in a number of limit dextrins, as well as the -1,4 bonds in maltose and maltotriose.

Glucosyl–ceramidase (Phlorizin hydrolase)

Splits -glycosidic bonds between glucose or galactose and hydrophobic residues, such as the glycolipids glucosylceramide and galactosylceramide

Lactase

Splits the -1,4 bond between glucose and galactose. To a lesser extent also splits the -1,4 bond between some cellulose disaccharides.

Trehalase

Splits bond in trehalose, which is 2 glucosyl units linked -1,1 through their anomeric carbons.

Mucosa Submucosa

B

Blood and lymph vessels Absorptive and goblet cells

Sucrase–Isomaltase

-Glycosidase

Trehalase

C

Nutrients Brush border (contains transport complexes) Absorptive cell Basement membrane Capillary

Fig. 27.4. Location of disaccharide complexes in intestinal villi.

No. This polysaccharide is cellulose, which contains -1,4 glycosidic bonds. Pancreatic and salivary -amylase cleave only -1,4 bonds between glucosyl units.

3.

Trehalase is only half as long as the other disaccharidases and has only one catalytic site. It hydrolyzes the glycosidic bond in trehalose, a disaccharide composed of two glucosyl units linked by an -bond between their anomeric carbons (Fig. 27.8). Trehalose, which is found in insects, algae, mushrooms, and other fungi, is not currently a major dietary component in the United States. However, unwitting consumption of trehalose can cause nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms of severe gastrointestinal distress if consumed by an individual deficient in the enzyme. Trehalase deficiency was discovered when a woman became very sick after eating mushrooms and was initially thought to have -amanitin poisoning. 4.

-GLYCOSIDASE COMPLEX (LACTASE-GLUCOSYLCERAMIDASE)

The -glycosidase complex is another large glycoprotein found in the brush border that has two catalytic sites extending in the lumen of the intestine. However, its primary structure is very different from the other enzymes, and it is attached to the membrane through its carboxyl end by a phosphatidylglycan anchor (see Fig.10.7). The lactase catalytic site hydrolyzes the -bond connecting glucose and galactose in lactose (a -galactosidase activity; Fig. 27.9). The major activity of the other catalytic site in humans is the -bond between glucose or galactose and ceramide in glycolipids (this catalytic site is sometimes called phlorizin hydrolase, named for its ability to hydrolyze an artificial substrate). 5.

Bonds (1) and (3) would first be hydrolyzed by glucoamylase. Bond (2) would require isomaltase. Bonds (4) and (5) could then be hydrolyzed by the sucrase–isomaltase complex, or by the glucoamylase complex, all of which can convert maltotriose and maltose to glucose.

TREHALASE

LOCATION WITHIN THE INTESTINE

The production of maltose, maltotriose, and limit dextrins by pancreatic -amylase occurs in the duodenum, the most proximal portion of the small intestine. Sucrase–isomaltase activity is highest in the jejunum, where the enzymes can hydrolyze sucrose and the products of starch digestion. -Glycosidase activity is also highest in the jejenum. Glucoamylase activity progressively increases along the length of the small intestine, and its activity is highest in the ileum. Thus, it

499

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

C

sucrase

Maltose

α – 1,4 bond N

C

O

O

HO

OH

O maltase activity

isomaltase

1

2 O

O HO Connecting segment (stalk)

Transmembrane segment N sucrase – isomaltase

Cytoplasmic domain

O

O

reducing end

O

Maltotriose

Fig. 27.6. Glucoamylase activity. Glucoamylase is an -1,4 exoglycosidase, which initiates cleavage at the nonreducing end of the sugar. Thus, for malotriose, the bond labeled 1 will be hydrolyzed first, which frees up the bond at position 2 to be the next one hydrolyzed.

Fig. 27.5. The major portion of the sucrase-isomaltase complex, containing the catalytic sites, protrudes from the absorptive cells into the lumen of the intestine. Other domains of the protein form a connecting segment (stalk), and an anchoring segment that extends through the membrane into the cell. The complex is synthesized as a single polypeptide chain that is split into its two enzyme subunits extracellularly. Each subunit is a domain with a catalytic site (sucrasemaltase) and isomaltase-maltase sites. In spite of their maltase activity, these catalytic sites are often called just sucrase and isomaltase.

HO

O

O α – 1,6 bond O HO OH

HO

isomaltase activity

O O

O

O

OH

O

HO

Fig. 27.7. Isomaltase activity. Arrows indicate the -1,6 bonds that are cleaved.

Trehalose 6

Lactose CH2OH O HO

β –1,4 bond O

OH OH Galactose

lactase

H 4

CH2OH O

HO OH

H

OH 3

H 2

2

H

OH 1

1

H OH

H

CH2OH O 5

O

OH

Glucose Trehalase activity

OH 3

H

6 4 HOH2C 5

H OH

O

H Glucose

OH Glucose

Fig. 27.9. Lactase activity. Lactase is a -galactosidase. It cleaves the -galactoside lactose, the major sugar in milk, forming galactose and glucose.

Fig. 27.8. Trehalose. This disaccharide contains two glucose moieties linked by an unusual bond that joins their anomeric carbons. It is cleaved by trehalase.

500

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

presents a final opportunity for digestion of starch oligomers that have escaped amylase and disaccharidase activities at the more proximal regions of the intestine.

C. Metabolism of Sugars by Colonic Bacteria Not all of the starch ingested as part of foods is normally digested in the small intestine (Fig. 27.10). Starches high in amylose, or less well hydrated (e.g., starch in dried beans), are resistant to digestion and enter the colon. Dietary fiber and undigested sugars also enter the colon. Here colonic bacteria rapidly metabolize the saccharides, forming gases, short-chain fatty acids, and lactate. The major short-chain fatty acids formed are acetic acid (two carbon), propionic acid (three carbon), and butyric acid (four carbon). The short-chain fatty acids are absorbed by the colonic mucosal cells and can provide a substantial source of energy for these cells. The major gases formed are hydrogen gas (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4). These gases are released through the colon, resulting in flatulence, or in the breath. Incomplete products of digestion in the intestines increase the retention of water in the colon, resulting in diarrhea. CH2OH

CH2OH

O O

OH

CH2OH

O

O O

OH

β (1 4) OH Cellulose

β –1,4 – linked glucose

O

OH

OH

OH

n

O COOH O

O

OH HOH2C

OH H

O

OH

HO OH

OH

α – L – Arabinose

β – D –Xylose

COCH3 O

HO

HO OH OH

CH2OH O HO OH

OH

OH

OH

OH

O

OH

N C CH3 OH H N – Acetyl – Methylated galactosamine galacturonic acid

Galacturonic acid

• Found in hemicelluloses, gums and mucilages • Components of pectin

Galactose CH2OH O HOO2SO

CH2OH O OH

OH

HO CH2OH

OH OH

Galactose–4 –SO4

O

CH CH

OH CH2OH O

CH2 O

• Component of carrageenan

O

HO OH

CH2OH OCH3

OH OH OH

OH Sucrose

Raffinose Fig. 27.10. Some indigestible carbohydrates. These compounds are components of dietary fiber.

Phenyl propane derivatives • Found in lignin

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CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

Nona Melos was given a hydrogen breath test, a test measuring the amount of hydrogen gas released after consuming a test dose of sugar. The association of Nona Melos’s symptoms with her ingestion of fruit juices suggests that she might have a problem resulting from a low sucrase activity or an inability to absorb fructose. Her ability to thrive and her adequate weight gain suggest that any deficiencies of the sucrase–isomaltase complex must be partial and do not result in a functionally important reduction in maltase activity (maltase activity is also present in the glucoamylase complex). Her urine tested negative for sugar, suggesting the problem is in digestion or absorption, because only sugars that are absorbed and enter the blood can be found in urine. The basis of the hydrogen breath test is that if a sugar is not absorbed, it is metabolized in the intestinal lumen by bacteria that produce various gases, including hydrogen. The test is often accompanied by measurements of the amount of sugar appearing in the blood or feces, and acidity of the feces.

Beans, peas, soybeans, and other leguminous plants contain oligosaccharides with (1,6)-linked galactose residues that cannot be hydrolyzed for absorption, including sucrose with 1, 2, or 3 galactose residues attached (see Fig. 27.10). What is the fate of these polysaccharides in the intestine?

D. Lactose Intolerance Lactose intolerance refers to a condition of pain, nausea, and flatulence after the ingestion of foods containing lactose, most notably dairy products. Although it is often caused by low levels of lactase, it also can be caused by intestinal injury (defined below). 1.

Lactasedeficient cells

NONPERSISTENT AND PERSISTANT LACTASE

Lactase activity increases in the human from about 6 to 8 weeks of gestation, and it rises during the late gestational period (27–32 weeks) through full term. It remains high for about 1 month after birth and then begins to decline. For most of the world’s population, lactase activity decreases to adult levels at approximately 5 to 7 years of age. Adult levels are less than 10% of that present in infants. These populations have adult hypolactasia (formerly called adult lactase deficiency) and exhibit the lactase nonpersistence phenotype. In people who are derived mainly from western Northern Europeans, and milk-dependent Nomadic tribes of Saharan Africa, the levels of lactase remain at, or only slightly below, infant levels throughout adulthood (lactase persistence phenotype). Thus, adult hypolactasia is the normal condition for most of the world’s population. (Table 27.2). 2.

Lactose (1 glass of milk, about 200 mL)

INTESTINAL INJURY

Intestinal diseases that injure the absorptive cells of the intestinal villi diminish lactase activity along the intestine, producing a condition known as secondary lactase deficiency. Kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition), colitis, gastroenteritis, tropical and Lactose intolerance can either be the result of a primary deficiency of lactase production in the small bowel (as is the case for Deria Voider) or it can be secondary to an injury to the intestinal mucosa, where lactase is normally produced. The lactose that is not absorbed is converted by colonic bacteria to lactic acid, methane gas (CH4), and H2 gas (see figure on left). The osmotic effect of the lactose and lactic acid in the bowel lumen is responsible for the diarrhea often seen as part of this syndrome. Similar symptoms can result from sensitivity to milk proteins (milk intolerance) or from the malabsorption of other dietary sugars. In adults suspected of having a lactase deficiency, the diagnosis is usually made inferentially when avoidance of all dairy products results in relief of symptoms and a rechallenge with these foods reproduces the characteristic syndrome. If the results of these measures are equivocal, however, the malabsorption of lactose can be more specifically determined by measuring the H2 content of the patient’s breath after a test dose of lactose has been consumed. Deria Voider’s symptoms did not appear if she took tablets containing lactase when she ate dairy products.

Intestinal lumen Gas

Bacterial fermentation Lactic acid Osmotic effect H2O

Fluid load (1000 mL) Distention of gut walls

Peristalsis

Malabsorption Fats, Proteins, Drugs

Watery diarrhea (1 liter extracellular liquid lost per 9 grams of lactose in 1 glass of milk)

502

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

These sugars are not digested well by the human intestine but form good sources of energy for the bacteria of the gut. These bacteria convert the sugars to H2, lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids. The amount of gas released after a meal containing beans is especially notorious.

Table 27.2. Prevalence of Late-Onset Lactase Deficiency Group

Prevalence (%)

U.S. population Asians

100

American Indians (Oklahoma)

95

Black Americans

81

Mexican Americans

56

White Americans

24

Other Populations Ibo, Yoruba (Nigeria)

89

Italians

71

Aborigines (Australia)

67

Greeks

53

Danes

3

Dutch

Reproduced with permission from Annu Rev Med 1990;41:145. © 1990 by Annual Reviews, Inc.

nontropical sprue, and excessive alcohol consumption fall into this category. These diseases also affect other disaccharidases, but sucrase, maltase, isomaltase, and glucoamylase activities are usually present at such excessive levels that there are no pathologic effects. Lactase is usually the first activity lost and the last to recover.

III. DIETARY FIBER Dietary fiber is the portion of the diet resistant to digestion by human digestive enzymes. It consists principally of plant materials that are polysaccharide derivatives and lignan (see Fig.27.10). The components of fiber are often divided into the categories of soluble and insoluble fiber, according to their ability to dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber consists of three major categories; cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignins. Soluble fiber categories include pectins, mucilages, and gums (Table 27.3). Although human enzymes cannot digest fiber, the bacterial flora in the normal human gut may metabolize the more soluble dietary fibers to gases and short-chain fatty acids, much as they do undigested starch and sugars. Some of these Table 27.3 Types of Fiber in the Diet Classical Nomenclature

Classes of compounds

Dietary Sources

Cellulose

Polysaccharide composed of glucosyl residues linked -1,4.

Whole wheat flour, unprocessed bran, cabbage, peas, green beans, wax beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cucumber with skin, green peppers, apples, carrots

Hemicelluloses

Polymers of arabinoxylans or galactomannans

Bran cereals, whole grains, brussel sprouts, mustard beans, beet root

Lignin

Noncarbohydrate, polymeric derivatives of phenylpropane

Bran cereals, unprocessed bran, strawberries, eggplant, peas, green beans, radishes

Pectic Substances

Galactouranans, arabinoglactans, -glucans, arabinoxylans

Squash, apples, citrus fruits

Gums

Galactomannans, arabinogalactans

Oatmeal, dried beans, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, carrots, dried peas, potatoes, strawberries

Mucilages

Wide range of branched and

Flax seed, psyllium, mustard seed

Insoluble Fiber

Water Soluble Fiber (or dispersable)

substituted galactans

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

fatty acids may be absorbed and used by the colonic epithelial cells of the gut, and some may travel to the liver through the hepatic portal vein. We may obtain as much as 10% of our total calories from compounds produced by bacterial digestion of substances in our digestive tract. In 2002, the Committee on Dietary Reference Intakes issued new guidelines for fiber ingestion; anywhere from 19 to 38 g/day, depending on age and sex of the individual. No distinction was made between soluble and insoluble fibers. Adult males between the ages of 14 and 50 years require 38 grams of fiber per day. Females from ages 4 to 8 years require 25 g/day; from ages 9 to 16 years, 26 g/day; and from ages 19 to 30, 25 g/day. These numbers are increased during pregnancy and lactation. One beneficial effect of fiber is seen in diverticular disease, in which sacs or pouches may develop in the colon because of a weakening of the muscle and submucosal structures. Fiber is thought to “soften” the stool, thereby reducing pressure on the colonic wall and enhancing expulsion of feces. Certain types of soluble fiber have been associated with disease prevention. For example, pectins may lower blood cholesterol levels by binding bile acids. -glucan (obtained from oats) has also been shown, in some studies, to reduce cholesterol levels through a reduction in bile acid resorption in the intestine (see Chapter 34). Pectins also may have a beneficial effect in the diet of individuals with diabetes mellitus by slowing the rate of absorption of simple sugars and preventing high blood glucose levels after meals. However, each of the beneficial effects which have been related to “fiber” are relatively specific for the type of fiber, and the physical form of food which contains the fiber. This factor, along with many others, has made it difficult to obtain conclusive results from studies of the effects of fiber on human health.

IV. ABSORPTION OF SUGARS Once the carbohydrates have been split into monosaccharides, the sugars are transported across the intestinal epithelial cells and into the blood for distribution to all tissues. Not all complex carbohydrates are digested at the same rate within the intestine, and some carbohydrate sources lead to a near-immediate rise in blood glucose levels after ingestion, whereas others slowly raise blood glucose levels over an extended period after ingestion. The glycemic index of a food is an indication of how rapidly blood glucose levels rise after consumption. Glucose and maltose have the highest glycemic indices (142, with white bread defined as an index of 100). Table 27.4 indicates the glycemic index for a variety of food types. Although there is no need to memorize this table, note that cornflakes and potatoes have high glycemic indices, whereas yogurt and skim milk have particularly low glycemic indices.

A. Absorption by the Intestinal Epithelium Glucose is transported through the absorptive cells of the intestine by facilitated diffusion and by Na-dependent facilitated transport. (See Chapter 10 for a description of transport mechanisms.) Glucose, therefore, enters the absorptive cells by binding The dietician explained to Ann Sulin the rationale for a person with diabetes to watch their diet. It is important for Ann to add a variety of fibers to her diet. The gel-forming, water-retaining pectins and gums delay gastric emptying and retard the rate of absorption of disaccharides and monosaccharides, thus reducing the rate at which blood glucose levels rise. The glycemic index of foods also needs to be considered for appropriate maintenance of blood glucose levels in diabetic patients. Consumption of a low glycemic index diet results in a lower rise in blood glucose levels after eating, which can be more easily controlled by exogenous insulin. For example, Ms. Sulin is advised to eat pasta and rice (glycemic index of 67 and 65, respectively) instead of potatoes (glycemic index of 80–120, depending on the method of preparation), and to incorporate breakfast cereals composed of wheat bran, barley, and oats into her morning routine.

503

Pectins are found in fruits, such as apples. Could this be the basis for the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Carrageenan is a type of fiber derived from seaweed. It is composed of sulfated galactose and galacturonic acid derivatives (see Fig. 27.10). The negatively charged sulfate groups form hydrogen bonds with water and convert the polysaccharide into a gel-like substance. It is added to many foods, such as ice cream and McDonald’s McLean burger.

The glycemic response to ingested foods depends not only on the glycemic index of the foods, but also on the fiber and fat content of the food, as well as its method of preparation. Highly glycemic carbohydrates can be consumed before and after exercise, as their metabolism results in a rapid entry of glucose into the blood, where it is then immediately available for muscle use. Low glycemic carbohydrates enter the circulation slowly and can be used to best advantage if consumed before exercise, such that as exercise progresses glucose is slowly being absorbed from the intestine into the circulation, where it can be used to maintain blood glucose levels during the exercise period.

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Table 27.4 Glycemic Index of Selected Foods, with Values Adjusted to White Bread of 100

CH2OH O

HO HO

OH

OH

O Cell membrane

I

Breads Whole wheat Pumpernickel (whole grain rye)

Legumes 100 88

Pasta Spaghetti, white, boiled

Baked beans (canned)

70

Butter beans

46

Garden peas (frozen)

85

67 Kidney beans (dried)

43

Kidney beans (canned)

74 15

CH2OH O

HO

O HO

OH

OH

I

Cereal grains Barley (pearled)

36

Peanuts

Rice (instant, boiled 1 min)

65

Fruit

Rice, polished (boiled 10–25 min)

81

Apple

52

Sweet corn

80

Apple juice

45

Breakfast cereals

O

All bran Cornflakes

CH2OH O

HO HO

OH

Muesli OH

I

Plain water crackers

CH2OH O

HO

= Ligand (glucose) HO

OH

Orange

59

Raisins

93

Sugars

96

Fructose

27

Glucose

142

78

Lactose

57

100

Sucrose

83

Root vegetables Potatoes (instant)

I

121

Cookies Oatmeal

O

74

Dairy Products 120

Ice cream

69

Potato (new,white, boiled)

80

Whole milk

44

Potato chips

77

Skim milk

46

Yam

74

Yogurt

52

OH

Fig. 27.11. Facilitative transport. Transport of glucose occurs without rotation of the glucose molecule. Multiple groups on the protein bind the hydroxyl groups of glucose and close behind it as it is released into the cell (i.e., the transporter acts like a “gated pore”). O = outside; I = inside. The glucose molecule is extremely polar and cannot diffuse through the hydrophobic phospholipid bilayer of the cell membrane. Each hydroxyl group of the glucose molecule forms at least two hydrogen bonds with water molecules, and random movement would require energy to dislodge the polar hydroxyl groups from their hydrogen bonds and to disrupt the Van der Waals’ forces between the hydrocarbon tails of the fatty acids in the membrane phospholipid. The epithelial cells of the kidney, which reabsorb glucose into the blood, have Na-dependent glucose transporters similar to those of intestinal epithelial cells. They are thus also able to transport glucose against its concentration gradient. Other types of cells use mainly facilitative glucose transporters that carry glucose down its concentration gradient.

to transport proteins, membrane-spanning proteins that bind the glucose molecule on one side of the membrane and release it on the opposite side (Fig. 27.11). Two types of glucose transport proteins are present in the intestinal absorptive cells: the Nadependent glucose transporters and the facilitative glucose transporters (Fig. 27.12). 1.

NA-DEPENDENT TRANSPORTERS

Na-dependent glucose transporters, which are located on the luminal side of the absorptive cells, enable these cells to concentrate glucose from the intestinal lumen. A low intracellular Na concentration is maintained by a Na,K-ATPase on the serosal (blood) side of the cell that uses the energy from ATP cleavage to pump Na out of the cell into the blood. Thus, the transport of glucose from a low concentration in the lumen to a high concentration in the cell is promoted by the cotransport of Na from a high concentration in the lumen to a low concentration in the cell (secondary active transport). 2.

FACILITATIVE GLUCOSE TRANSPORTERS

Facilitative glucose transporters, which do not bind Na, are located on the serosal side of the cells. Glucose moves via the facilitative transporters from the high concentration inside the cell to the lower concentration in the blood without the expenditure of energy. In addition to the Na-dependent glucose transporters, facilitative transporters for glucose also exist on the luminal side of the absorptive cells. The various types of facilitative glucose transporters found in the plasma membranes of cells (referred to as GLUT 1 to GLUT 5), are described in Table 27.5. One common structural theme to these proteins is that they all contain 12 membrane-spanning domains. Note that the sodium-linked transporter on the luminal side of the intestinal epithelial cell is not a member of the GLUT family.

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

Lumen Na+ Fructose

Glucose

Galactose

Mucosal side

Brush border

Intestinal epithelium

ATP Fructose Glucose

Na+

Galactose

Serosal side

= Na+- glucose cotransporters

3Na+ 2K+

3Na+ ADP + Pi

2K+

to capillaries

= Facilitated glucose transporters

= Na+ ,K+- ATPase

Fig. 27.12. Na-dependent and facilitative transporters in the intestinal epithelial cells. Both glucose and fructose are transported by the facilitated glucose transporters on the luminal and serosal sides of the absorptive cells. Glucose and galactose are transported by the Na-glucose cotransporters on the luminal (mucosal) side of the absorptive cells.

Table 27.5. Properties of the GLUT 1-GLUT 5 Isoforms of the Glucose Transport Proteins Tissue Distribution

Comments

GLUT 1

Transporter

Human erythrocyte Blood-brain barrier Blood-retinal barrier Blood-placental barrier Blood-testis barrier

Expressed in cell types with barrier functions; a high-affinity glucose transport system

GLUT 2

Liver Kidney Pancreatic -cell Serosal surface of Intestinal mucosa cells

A high capacity, low affinity transporter. May be used as the glucose sensor in the pancreas.

GLUT 3

Brain (neurons)

Major transporter in the central nervous system. A high-affinity system.

GLUT 4

Adipose tissue Skeletal muscle Heart muscle

Insulin-sensitive transporter. In the presence of insulin the number of GLUT 4 transporters increases on the cell surface. A high-affinity system

GLUT 5

Intestinal epithelium Spermatozoa

This is actually a fructose transporter.

Genetic techniques have identified additional GLUT transporters (GLUT 7-12), but the role of these transporters has not yet been fully described.

505

506

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

3.

GALACTOSE AND FRUCTOSE ABSORPTION THROUGH GLUCOSE TRANSPORTERS

Galactose is absorbed through the same mechanisms as glucose. It enters the absorptive cells on the luminal side via the Na-dependent glucose transporters and facilitative glucose transporters and is transported through the serosal side on the facilitative glucose transporters. Fructose both enters and leaves absorptive epithelial cells by facilitated diffusion, apparently via transport proteins that are part of the GLUT family. The transporter on the luminal side has been identified as GLUT 5. Although this transporter can transport glucose, it has a much higher activity with fructose (see Fig. 27.12). Other fructose transport proteins also may be present. For reasons as yet unknown, fructose is absorbed at a much more rapid rate when it is ingested as sucrose than when it is ingested as a monosaccharide.

B. Transport of Monosaccharides into Tissues The erythrocyte (red blood cell) is an example of a tissue in which glucose transport is not rate-limiting. Although the glucose transporter (GLUT 1) has a Km of 1 to 7 mM, it is present in extremely high concentrations, constituting approximately 5% of all membrane proteins. Consequently, as the blood glucose levels fall from a postprandial level of 140 mg/dL (7.5 mM) to the normal fasting level of 80 mg/dL (4.5 mM), or even the hypoglycemic level of 40 mg/dL (2.2 mM), the supply of glucose is still adequate for the rates at which glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway operate.

The properties of the GLUT transport proteins differ between tissues, reflecting the function of glucose metabolism in each tissue. In most cell types, the rate of glucose transport across the cell membrane is not rate-limiting for glucose metabolism. This is because the isoform of transporter present in these cell types has a relatively low Km for glucose (that is, a low concentration of glucose will result in half the maximal rate of glucose transport) or is present in relatively high concentration in the cell membrane so that the intracellular glucose concentration reflects that in the blood. Because the hexokinase isozyme present in these cells has an even lower Km for glucose (0.05–0.10 mM), variations in blood glucose levels do not affect the intracellular rate of glucose phosphorylation. However, in several tissues, the rate of transport becomes rate limiting when the serum level of glucose is low or when low levels of insulin signal the absence of dietary glucose. In the liver, the Km for the glucose transporter (GLUT 2) is relatively high compared with that of other tissues, probably 15 mM or above. This is in keeping with the liver’s role as the organ that maintains blood glucose levels. As such, the liver will only convert glucose into other energy storage molecules when the blood glucose levels are high, such as the time immediately after ingestion of a meal. In muscle and adipose tissue, the transport of glucose is greatly stimulated by insulin. The mechanism involves the recruitment of glucose transporters (specifically, GLUT 4) from intracellular vesicles into the plasma membrane (Fig. 27.13). In adipose tissue, the stimulation of glucose transport across the plasma membrane by insulin increases its availability for the synthesis of fatty acids and glycerol from the glycolytic pathway. In skeletal muscle, the stimulation of glucose transport by insulin increases its availability for glycolysis and glycogen synthesis.

V. GLUCOSE TRANSPORT THROUGH THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER AND INTO NEURONS A hypoglycemic response is elicited by a decrease of blood glucose concentration to some point between 18 and 54 mg/dL (1 and 3 mM). The hypoglycemic response is a result of a decreased supply of glucose to the brain and starts with light-headedness and dizziness and may progress to coma. The slow rate of transport of glucose through the blood-brain barrier (from the blood into the cerebrospinal fluid) at low levels of glucose is thought to be responsible for this neuroglycopenic response. Glucose transport from the cerebrospinal fluid across the plasma membranes of neurons is rapid and is not rate limiting for ATP generation from glycolysis.

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

Neural

3

Non-neural

G

Inside of capillary

5

Endothelial cells

2

Cell membrane

G

5

3

1

507

Glucose transporter

2

Insulin

1

Receptor

4 +

Cerebrospinal fluid

Interstitial fluid

1

Tight junctions between endothelial cells

1

No tight junctions

2

Narrow intercellular space

2

Sometimes wide intercellular gaps

3

Lack of pinocytosis

3

Pinocytosis

4

Continuous basement membrane

4

Discontinuous basement membrane

5

Glucose transporters in both membranes

5

Glucose can diffuse between cells and into interstitial fluid

Fig. 27.14. Glucose transport through the capillary endothelium in neural and nonneural tissues. Characteristics of transport in each type of tissue are listed by numbers that refer to the numbers in the drawing. G = glucose.

G

G

G

G

G

G

G

In the brain, the endothelial cells of the capillaries have extremely tight junctions, and glucose must pass from the blood into the extracellular cerebrospinal fluid by GLUT 1 transporters in the endothelial cell membranes (Fig. 27.14), and then through the basement membrane. Measurements of the overall process of glucose transport from the blood into the brain (mediated by GLUT 3 on neural cells) show a Km,app of 7 to 11 mM, and a maximal velocity not much greater than the rate of glucose utilization by the brain. Thus, decreases of blood glucose below the fasting level of 80 to 90 mg/dL (approximately 5 mM) are likely to significantly affect the rate of glucose metabolism in the brain, because of reduced glucose transport into the brain.

CLINICAL COMMENTS One of five Americans experiences some form of gastrointestinal discomfort from 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingesting lactose-rich foods. Most become symptomatic when they consume more than 25 g lactose at one time (e.g., 1 pint of milk or its equivalent). Deria Voider’s symptoms were caused by her “new” diet in this country, which included a glass of milk in addition to the milk she used on her cereal with breakfast each morning. Management of lactose intolerance includes a reduction or avoidance of lactosecontaining foods depending on the severity of the deficiency of intestinal lactase. Hard cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Jarlsberg) are low in lactose and may be tolerated by patients with only moderate lactase deficiency. Yogurt with “live and active cultures” printed on the package contain bacteria that release free lactases when the bacteria are lysed by gastric acid and proteolytic enzymes. The free lactases then digest the

= Glucose

= Glucose transporters (GLUT4)

Fig. 27.13. Stimulation by insulin of glucose transport into muscle and adipose cells. Binding of insulin to its cell membrane receptor causes vesicles containing glucose transport proteins to move from inside the cell to the cell membrane.

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

lactose. Commercially available milk products that have been hydrolyzed with a lactase enzyme provide a 70% reduction in total lactose content, which may be adequate to prevent digestive symptoms in mildly affected patients. Tablets and capsules containing lactase are also available and should be taken one-half hour before meals. Many adults who have a lactase deficiency develop the ability to ingest small amounts of lactose in dairy products without experiencing symptoms. This adaptation probably involves an increase in the population of colonic bacteria that can cleave lactose and not a recovery or induction of human lactase synthesis. For many individuals, dairy products are the major dietary source of calcium, and their complete elimination from the diet can lead to osteoporosis. Lactose, however, is used as a “filler” or carrying agent in more than 1,000 prescription and over-the-counter drugs in this country. People with lactose intolerance often unwittingly ingest lactose with their medications. Poorly controlled diabetic patients such as Ann Sulin frequently have elevations in serum glucose levels (hyperglycemia). This is often attributable to a lack of circulating, active insulin, which will stimulate glucose uptake (through the recruitment of GLUT 4 transporters from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane) by the peripheral tissues (heart, muscle, and adipose tissue). Without uptake by these tissues, glucose tends to accumulate within the bloodstream, leading to hyperglycemia. The large amount of H2 produced on fructose ingestion suggested that Nona Melos’s problem was one of a deficiency in fructose transport into the absorptive cells of the intestinal villi. If fructose were being absorbed properly, the fructose would not have traveled to the colonic bacteria, which metabolized the fructose to generate the hydrogen gas. To confirm the diagnosis, a jejunal biopsy was taken; lactase, sucrase, maltase, and trehalase activities were normal in the jejunal cells. The tissue was also tested for the enzymes of fructose metabolism; these were in the normal range as well. Although Nona had no sugar in her urine, malabsorption of disaccharides can result in their appearance in the urine if damage to the intestinal mucosal cells allows their passage into the interstitial fluid. When Nona was placed on a diet free of fruit juices and other foods containing fructose, she did well and could tolerate small amounts of pure sucrose. More than 50% of the adult population are estimated to be unable to absorb fructose in high doses (50 g), and more than 10% cannot completely absorb 25 g fructose. These individuals, like those with other disorders of fructose metabolism, must avoid fruits and other foods containing high concentrations of fructose.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Cholera is an acute watery diarrheal disorder caused by the water-borne, Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It is a disease of antiquity; descriptions of epidemics of the disease date to before 500 BC. During epidemics, the infection is spread by large numbers of vibrio that enter water sources from the voluminous liquid stools and contaminate the environment, particularly in areas of extreme poverty where plumbing and modern waste-disposal systems are primitive or nonexistent. After being ingested, the V. cholerae organisms attach to the brush border of the intestinal epithelium and secrete an exotoxin that binds irreversibly to a specific chemical receptor (GM1 ganglioside) on the cell surface. This exotoxin catalyzes an ADP-ribosylation reaction that increases adenylate cyclase activity and thus cAMP levels in the enterocyte. As a result, the normal absorption of sodium, anions, and water from the gut lumen into the intestinal cell is markedly diminished. The exotoxin also stimulates the crypt cells to secrete chloride, accompanied by cations

CHAPTER 27 / DIGESTION, ABSORPTION, AND TRANSPORT OF CARBOHYDRATES

509

and water, from the bloodstream into the lumen of the gut. The resulting loss of solute-rich diarrheal fluid may, in severe cases, exceed 1 liter/hour, leading to rapid dehydration and even death. The therapeutic approach to cholera takes advantage of the fact that the Nadependent transporters for glucose and amino acids are not affected by the cholera exotoxin. As a result, coadministration of glucose and Na by mouth results in the uptake of glucose and Na, accompanied by chloride and water, thereby partially correcting the ion deficits and fluid loss. Amino acids and small peptides are also adsorbed by Na-dependent cotransport involving transport proteins distinct from the Na-dependent glucose transporters. Therefore, addition of protein to the glucose–sodium replacement solution enhances its effectiveness and markedly decreases the severity of the diarrhea. Adjunctive antibiotic therapy also shortens the diarrheal phase of cholera but does not decrease the need for the oral replacement therapy outlined earlier.

Suggested Readings Bell GJ, Burant CF, Takeda J, Gould GW. Structure and function of mammalian facilitative sugar transporters. J Biol Chem 1993;278:19161–19164. Brown GK. Glucose transporters: structure, function and consequences of deficiency. J Inherit Metab Dis 2000;23:237–246. Buller HA, Grand RJ. Lactose intolerance. Annu Rev Med 1990;41:141–148. Linder MC, ed. Nutrition and metabolism of carbohydrates. In: Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism with Clinical Applications, 2nd Ed. New York: Elsevier, 1991:21–50. Semenza G, Auricchio S, Mantei, N. Small-intestinal disaccharidases. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The metabolic and molecular bases of inherited disease, 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:1623–1650.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 27 1.

The facilitative transporter most responsible for transporting fructose from the blood into cells is which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

An alcoholic patient developed a pancreatitis that affected his exocrine pancreatic function. He exhibited discomfort after eating a high-carbohydrate meal. The patient most likely had a reduced ability to digest which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

GLUT 1 GLUT 2 GLUT 3 GLUT 4 GLUT 5

Starch Lactose Fiber Sucrose Maltose

A type I diabetic neglects to take his insulin injections while on a weekend vacation. Cells of which tissue would be most greatly affected by this mistake? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Brain Liver Muscle Red blood cells Pancreas

510

4.

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

After digestion of a piece of cake that contains flour, milk, and sucrose as its primary ingredients, the major carbohydrate products entering the blood are which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

Glucose Fructose and galactose Galactose and glucose Fructose and glucose Glucose, galactose and fructose

A patient has a genetic defect that causes intestinal epithelial cells to produce disaccharidases of much lower activity than normal. Compared with a normal person, after eating a bowl of milk and oatmeal sweetened with table sugar, this patient will exhibit higher levels of which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

Maltose, sucrose, and lactose in the stool Starch in the stool Galactose and fructose in the blood Glycogen in the muscles Insulin in the blood

28

Formation and Degradation of Glycogen

Glycogen is the storage form of glucose found in most types of cells. It is composed of glucosyl units linked by -1,4 glycosidic bonds, with -1,6 branches occurring roughly every 8 to 10 glucosyl units (Fig. 28.1). The liver and skeletal muscle contain the largest glycogen stores. The formation of glycogen from glucose is an energy-requiring pathway that begins, like most of glucose metabolism, with the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose 6-phosphate. Glycogen synthesis from glucose 6-phosphate involves the formation of uridine diphosphate glucose (UDP-glucose) and the transfer of glucosyl units from UDP-glucose to the ends of the glycogen chains by the enzyme glycogen synthase. Once the chains reach approximately 11 glucosyl units, a branching enzyme moves six to eight units to form an (1,6) branch. Glycogenolysis, the pathway for glycogen degradation, is not the reverse of the biosynthetic pathway. The degradative enzyme glycogen phosphorylase removes glucosyl units one at a time from the ends of the glycogen chains, converting them to glucose 1-phosphate without resynthesizing UDP-glucose or UTP. A debranching enzyme removes the glucosyl residues near each branchpoint. Liver glycogen serves as a source of blood glucose. To generate glucose, the glucose 1-phosphate produced from glycogen degradation is converted to

Glycogen degradation is a phosphorolysis reaction (breaking of a bond using a phosphate ion as a nucleophile). Enzymes that catalyze phosphorolysis reactions are named phosphorylase. Because more than one type of phosphorylase exists, the substrate usually is included in the name of the enzyme, such as glycogen phosphorylase or purine nucleoside phosphorylase.

CH

2 OH

O

O

OH

CH

2 OH

O OH

OH

OH O

bonds CH2OH O OH

Glucose residue linked α –1,6

CH2OH O

CH2 O O

OH Glucose residue linked α –1,4

α – 1,6 – Glycosidic bond

α – 1,4 – Glycosidic

O

O

OH

O OH

OH OH

Reducing end attached to glycogenin Nonreducing ends

Fig. 28.1. Glycogen structure. Glycogen is composed of glucosyl units linked by -1,4-glycosidic bonds and -1,6-glycosidic bonds. The branches occur more frequently in the center of the molecule, and less frequently in the periphery. The anomeric carbon that is not attached to another glucosyl residue (the reducing end) is attached to the protein glycogenin by a glycosidic bond. 511

512

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

glucose 6-phosphate. Glucose 6-phosphatase, an enzyme found only in liver and kidney, converts glucose 6-phosphate to free glucose, which then enters the blood. Glycogen synthesis and degradation are regulated in liver by hormonal changes that signal the need for blood glucose (see Chapter 26). The body maintains fasting blood glucose levels at approximately 80 mg/dL to ensure that the brain and other tissues that are dependent on glucose for the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have a continuous supply. The lack of dietary glucose, signaled by a decrease of the insulin/glucagon ratio, activates liver glycogenolysis and inhibits glycogen synthesis. Epinephrine, which signals an increased utilization of blood glucose and other fuels for exercise or emergency situations, also activates liver glycogenolysis. The hormones that regulate liver glycogen metabolism work principally through changes in the phosphorylation state of glycogen synthase in the biosynthetic pathway and glycogen phosphorylase in the degradative pathway. In skeletal muscle, glycogen supplies glucose 6-phosphate for ATP synthesis in the glycolytic pathway. Muscle glycogen phosphorylase is stimulated during exercise by the increase of adenosine monophosphate (AMP), an allosteric activator of the enzyme, and also by phosphorylation. The phosphorylation is stimulated by calcium released during contraction, and by the “fight-or-flight” hormone epinephrine. Glycogen synthesis is activated in resting muscles by the elevation of insulin after carbohydrate ingestion. The neonate must rapidly adapt to an intermittent fuel supply after birth. Once the umbilical cord is clamped, the supply of glucose from the maternal circulation is interrupted. The combined effect of epinephrine and glucagon on the liver glycogen stores of the neonate rapidly restore glucose levels to normal.

THE

The Apgar score is an objective estimate of the overall condition of the newborn, determined at both 1 and 5 minutes after birth. The best score is 10 (normal in all respects).

WAITING

ROOM

A newborn baby girl, Getta Carbo, was born after a 38-week gestation. Her mother, a 36-year-old woman, had moderate hypertension during the last trimester of pregnancy related to a recurrent urinary tract infection that resulted in a severe loss of appetite and recurrent vomiting in the month preceding delivery. Fetal bradycardia (slower than normal fetal heart rate) was detected with each uterine contraction of labor, a sign of possible fetal distress. At birth Getta was cyanotic (a bluish discoloration caused by a lack of adequate oxygenation of tissues) and limp. She responded to several minutes of assisted ventilation. Her Apgar score of 3 was low at 1 minute after birth, but improved to a score of 7 at 5 minutes. Physical examination in the nursery at 10 minutes showed a thin, malnourished female newborn. Her body temperature was slightly low, her heart rate was rapid, and her respiratory rate of 35 breaths/minute was elevated. Getta’s birth weight was only 2,100 g, compared with a normal value of 3,300 g. Her length was 47 cm, and her head circumference was 33 cm (low normal). The laboratory reported that Getta’s serum glucose level when she was unresponsive was 14 mg/dL. A glucose value below 40 mg/dL (2.5 mM) is considered to be abnormal in newborn infants. At 5 hours of age, she was apneic (not breathing) and unresponsive. Ventilatory resuscitation was initiated and a cannula placed in the umbilical vein. Blood for a glucose level was drawn through this cannula, and 5 mL of a 20% glucose solution was injected. Getta slowly responded to this therapy.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

Jim Bodie, a 19-year-old body builder, was rushed to the hospital emergency room in a coma. One-half hour earlier, his mother had heard a loud crashing sound in the basement where Jim had been lifting weights and completing his daily workout on the treadmill. She found her son on the floor having severe jerking movements of all muscles (a grand mal seizure). In the emergency room, the doctors learned that despite the objections of his family and friends, Jim regularly used androgens and other anabolic steroids in an effort to bulk up his muscle mass. On initial physical examination, he was comatose with occasional involuntary jerking movements of his extremities. Foamy saliva dripped from his mouth. He had bitten his tongue and had lost bowel and bladder control at the height of the seizure. The laboratory reported a serum glucose level of 18 mg/dL (extremely low). The intravenous infusion of 5% glucose (5 g of glucose per 100 mL of solution), which had been started earlier, was increased to 10%. In addition, 50 g glucose was given over 30 seconds through the intravenous tubing.

I.

Jim Bodie’s treadmill exercise and most other types of moderate exercise involving whole body movement (running, skiing, dancing, tennis) increase the utilization of blood glucose and other fuels by skeletal muscles. The blood glucose is normally supplied by the stimulation of liver glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

STRUCTURE OF GLYCOGEN

Glycogen, the storage form of glucose, is a branched glucose polysaccharide composed of chains of glucosyl units linked by -1,4 bonds with -1,6 branches every 8 to 10 residues (see Fig. 28.1). In a molecule of this highly branched structure, only one glucosyl residue has an anomeric carbon that is not linked to another glucose residue. This anomeric carbon at the beginning of the chain is attached to the protein glycogenin. The other ends of the chains are called nonreducing ends (see Chapter 5). The branched structure permits rapid degradation and rapid synthesis of glycogen because enzymes can work on several chains simultaneously from the multiple nonreducing ends. Glycogen is present in tissues as polymers of very high molecular weight (107–108) collected together in glycogen particles. The enzymes involved in glycogen synthesis and degradation, and some of the regulatory enzymes, are bound to the surface of the glycogen particles.

513

Muscle Glycogen Glucose–1– P

Glucose– 6 – P Glycolysis ATP

Lactate CO2

II. FUNCTION OF GLYCOGEN IN SKELETAL MUSCLE AND LIVER Glycogen is found in most cell types, where it serves as a reservoir of glucosyl units for ATP generation from glycolysis. Glycogen is degraded mainly to glucose 1-phosphate, which is converted to glucose 6-phosphate. In skeletal muscle and other cell types, the glucose 6-phosphate enters the glycolytic pathway (Fig. 28.2). Glycogen is an extremely important fuel source for skeletal muscle when ATP demands are high and when glucose 6-phosphate is used rapidly in anaerobic glycolysis. In many other cell types, the small glycogen reservoir serves a similar purpose; it is an emergency fuel source that supplies glucose for the generation of ATP in the absence of oxygen or during restricted blood flow. In general, glycogenolysis and glycolysis are activated together in these cells. Glycogen serves a very different purpose in liver than in skeletal muscle and other tissues (see Fig. 28.2). Liver glycogen is the first and immediate source of glucose for the maintenance of blood glucose levels. In the liver, the glucose 6-phosphate that is generated from glycogen degradation is hydrolyzed to glucose by glucose 6-phosphatase, an enzyme present only in the liver and kidneys. Glycogen degradation thus provides a readily mobilized source of blood glucose as dietary glucose decreases, or as exercise increases the utilization of blood glucose by muscles.

Glycogen

Liver

Glucose–1– P Glucose– 6 – P glucose 6 –phosphatase

Gluconeo genesis

Glucose

Blood Glucose Fig. 28.2. Glycogenolysis in skeletal muscle and liver. Glycogen stores serve different functions in muscle cells and liver. In the muscle and most other cell types, glycogen stores serve as a fuel source for the generation of ATP. In the liver, glycogen stores serve as a source of blood glucose.

514

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Regulation of glycogen synthesis serves to prevent futile cycling and waste of ATP. Futile cycling refers to a situation in which a substrate is converted to a product through one pathway, and the product converted back to the substrate through another pathway. Because the biosynthetic pathway is energy-requiring, futile cycling results in a waste of highenergy phosphate bonds. Thus, glycogen synthesis is activated when glycogen degradation is inhibited, and vice versa.

The pathways of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in the liver both supply blood glucose, and, consequently, these two pathways are activated together by glucagon. Gluconeogenesis, the synthesis of glucose from amino acids and other gluconeogenic precursors (discussed in detail in Chapter 31), also forms glucose 6-phosphate, so that glucose 6-phosphatase serves as a “gateway” to the blood for both pathways (see Fig. 28.2).

III. SYNTHESIS AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN Glycogen synthesis, like almost all the pathways of glucose metabolism, begins with the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose 6-phosphate by hexokinase or, in the liver, glucokinase (Fig. 28.3). Glucose 6-phosphate is the precursor of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and of pathways for the synthesis of other sugars. In the pathway for glycogen synthesis, glucose 6-phosphate is converted to glucose 1-phosphate by phosphoglucomutase, a reversible reaction. Glycogen is both formed from and degraded to glucose 1-phosphate, but the biosynthetic and degradative pathways are separate and involve different enzymes (see Fig. 28.3). The biosynthetic pathway is an energy-requiring pathway; highenergy phosphate from UTP is used to activate the glucosyl residues to UDPglucose (Fig. 28.4). In the degradative pathway, the glycosidic bonds between the glucosy1 residues in glycogen are simply cleaved by the addition of phosphate to produce glucose 1-phosphate (or water to produce free glucose), and UDP-glucose is not resynthesized. The existence of separate pathways for the formation and degradation of important compounds is a common theme in metabolism. Because

Glycogen degradation

Glycogen

Glycogen synthesis glycogen synthase 4:6 transferase (branching enzyme)

debrancher enzyme

D1

S3

Glycogen primer

Glucose (small amount)

UDP– G

Other pathways

UDP –glucose pyrophosphorylase

glycogen phosphorylase

UTP

S2 Glucose–1– P phosphoglucomutase

D2

Glucose– 6 – P

glucose 6 – phosphatase (liver only)

Pi

hexokinase glucokinase (liver)

Glucose

ATP

Glycolysis Pentose– P pathway Other pathways

S1

Cell membrane Glucose

Fig. 28.3. Scheme of glycogen synthesis and degradation. S1. Glucose 6-phosphate is formed from glucose by hexokinase in most cells, and glucokinase in the liver. It is a metabolic branchpoint for the pathways of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and glycogen synthesis. S2. UDP-Glucose (UDP-G) is synthesized from glucose 1-phosphate. UDP-Glucose is the branchpoint for glycogen synthesis and other pathways requiring the addition of carbohydrate units. S3. Glycogen synthesis is catalyzed by glycogen synthase and the branching enzyme. D1. Glycogen degradation is catalyzed by glycogen phosphorylase and a debrancher enzyme. D2. Glucose 6-phosphatase in the liver generates free glucose from glucose 6-phosphate.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

515

O HOCH2

HOCH2 O

H H

H

HO OH

H O P

H

C

O

OH

O O–

O–

+

UTP

HN

H H

H

HO OH

H O P

H

OH

O

O O

O–

P

O C O CH2

O– H H

Glucose 1 – phosphate

CH

HO

N

CH

O H

+

PPI

H

OH

Uridine diphosphate glucose (UDP – Glucose)

Fig. 28.4. Formation of UDP-glucose. The high-energy phosphate bond of UTP provides the energy for the formation of a high-energy bond in UDP-glucose. Pyrophosphate (PPi), released by the reaction, is cleaved to 2 Pi.

the synthesis and degradation pathways use different enzymes, one can be activated while the other is inhibited.

Glucose residue linked α –1,4

Glucose residue linked α –1,6

A. Glycogen Synthesis Glycogen synthesis requires the formation of -1,4-glycosidic bonds to link glucosy1 residues in long chains and the formation of an -1,6 branch every 8 to 10 residues (Fig. 28.5). Most of glycogen synthesis occurs through the lengthening of the polysaccharide chains of a preexisting glycogen molecule (a glycogen primer) in which the reducing end of the glycogen is attached to the protein glycogenin. To lengthen the glycogen chains, glucosyl residues are added from UDP-glucose to the nonreducing ends of the chain by glycogen synthase. The anomeric carbon of each glucosyl residue is attached in an -1,4 bond to the hydroxyl on carbon 4 of the terminal glucosyl residue. When the chain reaches 11 residues in length, a 6- to 8-residue piece is cleaved by amylo-4:6transferase and reattached to a glucosyl unit by an -1,6 bond. Both chains continue to lengthen until they are long enough to produce two new branches. This process continues, producing highly branched molecules. Glycogen synthase, the enzyme that attaches the glucosyl residues in 1,4-bonds, is the regulated step in the pathway. The synthesis of new glycogen primer molecules also occurs. Glycogenin, the protein to which glycogen is attached, glycosylates itself (autoglycosylation) by attaching the glucosyl residue of UDP-glucose to the hydroxyl side chain of a serine residue in the protein. The protein then extends the carbohydrate chain (using UDP-glucose as the substrate) until the glucosyl chain is long enough to serve as a substrate for glycogen synthase.

B. Degradation of Glycogen Glycogen is degraded by two enzymes, glycogen phosphorylase and the debrancher enzyme (Fig. 28.6). The enzyme glycogen phosphorylase starts at the end of a chain and successively cleaves glucosyl residues by adding phosphate to the terminal glycosidic bond, thereby releasing glucose 1-phosphate. However, glycogen phosphorylase cannot act on the glycosidic bonds of the four glucosyl residues closest to a branchpoint because the branching chain sterically hinders a proper fit into the catalytic site of the enzyme. The debrancher enzyme, which catalyzes the removal of the four residues closest to the branchpoint, has two catalytic activities: it acts as a transferase and as an 1,6-glucosidase. As a transferase, the debrancher first removes a unit containing three glucose residues, and adds it to the end of a longer chain by an -1,4 bond. The one glucosyl residue remaining at the 1,6-branch is hydrolyzed by the amylo-1,6-glucosidase activity of the debrancher, resulting in the release of free glucose. Thus, one glucose and approximately 7 to 9 glucose 1-phosphate residues are released for every branchpoint.

Glycogen core UDP– Glucose UDP

glycogen synthase

Glycogen core 6 UDP – Glucose 6 UDP

glycogen synthase

Glycogen core 4:6 transferase (branching enzyme)

Glycogen core UDP– Glucose

glycogen synthase

Continue with glycogen synthesis at all non-reducing ends

Fig. 28.5. Glycogen synthesis. See text for details. Branching of glycogen serves two major roles; increased sites for synthesis and degradation, and enhancing the solubility of the molecule.

516

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A genetic defect of lysosomal glucosidase, called type II glycogen storage disease, leads to the accumulation of glycogen particles in large, membrane-enclosed residual bodies, which disrupt the function of liver and muscle cells. Children with this disease usually die of heart failure at a few months of age. Glucose residue linked α –1,4

Glucose residue linked α –1,6

Some degradation of glycogen also occurs within lysosomes when glycogen particles become surrounded by membranes that then fuse with the lysosomal membranes. A lysosomal glucosidase hydrolyzes this glycogen to glucose.

IV. REGULATION OF GLYCOGEN SYNTHESIS AND DEGRADATION The regulation of glycogen synthesis in different tissues matches the function of glycogen in each tissue. Liver glycogen serves principally for the support of blood glucose during fasting or during extreme need (e.g., exercise), and the degradative and biosynthetic pathways are regulated principally by changes in Table 28.1. Glycogen Storage Diseases

Glycogen core 8 Pi glycogen phosphorylase

8 Glucose–1– P ( )

Enzyme Affected

Primary Organ Involved

Manifestationsa

O

Glycogen synthase

Liver

Ic

Glucose 6-phosphatase (Von Gierke’s disease)

Liver

II

Lysosomal glucosidase

All organs with lysosomes

III

Amylo-1,6-glucosidase (debrancher)

Liver, skeletal muscle, heart

IV

Amylo-4,6-glucosidase (branching enzyme)

Liver

V

Muscle glycogen phosphorylase (McArdle’s disease)

Skeletal muscle

VI

Liver glycogen phosphorylase

Liver

VII

Phosphofructokinase-I

Muscle, red blood cells

IXd X

Phosphorylase kinase cAMP-dependant Protein kinase A

Liver Liver

Hypoglycemia, hyperketonemia, FTTb early death Enlarged liver and kidney, growth failure, fasting hypoglycemia, acidosis, lipemia, thrombocyte dysfunction. Hypoglycemia is the most severe. Infantile form: early-onset progressive muscle hypotonia, cardiac failure,death before 2 years; juvenile form: later-onset myopathy with variable cardiac involvement, adultform: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy-like features.Glycogen deposits accumulate in lysosomes. Fasting hypoglycemia; hepatomegaly in infancy in some. myopathic features. Glycogen deposits have short outer branches. Hepatosplenomegaly; symptoms may arise from a hepatic reaction to the presence of a foreign body (glycogen with long outer branches). Usually fatal. Exercise-induced muscular pain, cramps, and progressive weakness, sometimes with myoglobinuria Hepatomegaly, mild hypoglycemia, good prognosis As in type V, in addition, enzymopathic hemolysis As in VI. Hepatomegaly. Hepatomegaly.

Type

4:4 transferase

Glycogen core α–1,6 –glucosidase 1 Glucose ( ) Glycogen core glycogen phosphorylase

Degradation continues

Fig. 28.6. Glycogen degradation. See text for details.

A series of inborn errors of metabolism, the glycogen storage diseases, result from deficiencies in the enzymes of glycogenolysis (see Table 28.1). Muscle glycogen phosphorylase, the key regulatory enzyme of glycogen degradation, is genetically different from liver glycogen phosphorylase, and thus a person may have a defect in one and not the other. Why do you think that a genetic deficiency in muscle glycogen phosphorylase (McArdle’s disease) is a mere inconvenience, whereas a deficiency of liver glycogen phosphorylase (Hers’ disease) can be lethal?

Reproduced with permission, from Annu Rev Nutr 1993; 13:85. © 1993 by Annual Reviews, Inc. a All of these diseases but type O are characterized by increased glycogen deposits. b FTT = failure to thrive c Glucose 6-phosphatase is composed of several subunits that also transport glucose, glucose 6-phosphate, phosphate, and pyrophosphate across the endoplasmic reticulum membranes. Therefore, there are several subtypes of this disease, corresponding to defects in the different subunits. d There are several subtypes of this disease, corresponding to different mutations and patterns of inheritance.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

State Fasting Carbohydrate meal

Exercise and stress

Fasting (rest) Carbohydrate meal (rest) Exercise

Regulators Liver Blood: Glucagon c Insulin T Tissue: cAMP c Blood: Glucagon T Insulin c Glucose c Tissue: cAMP T Glucose c Blood: Epinephrine c Tissue: cAMP c Ca2 -calmodulin c Muscle Blood: Insulin T Blood: Insulin c Blood: Epinephrine c Tissue: AMP c Ca2 -calmodulin c cAMP c

Response of Tissue Glycogen degradation c Glycogen synthesis T Glycogen degradation T Glycogen synthesis c

Glycogen degradation c Glycogen synthesis T

Glycogen synthesis T Glucose transport T Glycogen synthesis c Glucose transport c Glycogen synthesis T Glycogen degradation c Glycolysis c

c increased compared with other physiologic states; T decreased compared with other physiologic states.

a

the insulin/glucagon ratio and by blood glucose levels, which reflect the availability of dietary glucose (Table 28.2). Degradation of liver glycogen is also activated by epinephrine, which is released in response to exercise, hypoglycemia, or other stress situations in which there is an immediate demand for blood glucose. In contrast, in skeletal muscles, glycogen is a reservoir of glucosyl units for the generation of ATP from glycolysis and glucose oxidation. As a consequence, muscle glycogenolysis is regulated principally by AMP, which signals a lack of ATP, and by Ca2 released during contraction. Epinephrine, which is released in response to exercise and other stress situations, also activates skeletal muscle glycogenolysis. The glycogen stores of resting muscle decrease very little during fasting.

A. Regulation of Glycogen Metabolism in Liver Liver glycogen is synthesized after a carbohydrate meal when blood glucose levels are elevated, and degraded as blood glucose levels decrease. When an individual eats a carbohydrate-containing meal, blood glucose levels immediately increase, insulin levels increase, and glucagon levels decrease (see Fig. 26.8). The increase of blood glucose levels and the rise of the insulin/glucagon ratio inhibit glycogen degradation and stimulate glycogen synthesis. The immediate increased transport of glucose into peripheral tissues, and storage of blood glucose as glycogen, helps to bring circulating blood glucose levels back to the normal 80- to 100-mg/dL range of the fasted state. As the length of time after a carbohydrate-containing meal increases, insulin levels decrease, and glucagon levels increase. The fall of the insulin/glucagon ratio results in inhibition of the biosynthetic pathway and Muscle glycogen is used within the muscle to support exercise. Thus, an individual with McArdle’s disease (type V glycogen storage disease) experiences no other symptoms but unusual fatigue and muscle cramps during exercise. These symptoms may be accompanied by myoglobinuria and release of muscle creatine kinase into the blood. Liver glycogen is the first reservoir for the support of blood glucose levels, and a deficiency in glycogen phosphorylase or any of the other enzymes of liver glycogen degradation can result in fasting hypoglycemia. The hypoglycemia is usually mild because patients can still synthesize glucose from gluconeogenesis (see Table 28.1).

Maternal blood glucose readily crosses the placenta to enter the fetal circulation. During the last 9 or 10 weeks of gestation, glycogen formed from maternal glucose is deposited in the fetal liver under the influence of the insulin-dominated hormonal milieu of that period. At birth, maternal glucose supplies cease, causing a temporary physiologic drop in glucose levels in the newborn’s blood, even in normal healthy infants. This drop serves as one of the signals for glucagon release from the newborn’s pancreas, which, in turn, stimulates glycogenolysis. As a result, the glucose levels in the newborn return to normal. Healthy full-term babies have adequate stores of liver glycogen to survive short (12 hours) periods of caloric deprivation provided other aspects of fuel metabolism are normal. Because Getta Carbo’s mother was markedly anorexic during the critical period when the fetal liver is normally synthesizing glycogen from glucose supplied in the maternal blood, Getta’s liver glycogen stores were below normal. Thus, because fetal glycogen is the major source of fuel for the newborn in the early hours of life, Getta became profoundly hypoglycemic within 5 hours of birth because of her low levels of stored carbohydrate.

10 Plasma glucose (mmol / L)

Table 28.2. Regulation of Liver and Muscle Glycogen Storesa

517

3.3

Normal range 2.2 mmol/L

1.5

Hypoglycemia 1

2

3

Hour after birth Plasma glucose levels in the neonate. The normal range of blood glucose levels in the neonate lies between the two black lines. The stippled blue area represents the range of hypoglycemia in the neonate that should be treated. Treatment of neonates with blood glucose levels that fall within the dashed blue box, the zone of clinical uncertainty, is controversial. The units of plasma glucose are given in millimoles/L. Both milligrams/dL (milligrams/100 mL) and millimoles/L are used clinically for the values of blood glucose: 80 mg/dL glucose is equivalent to 5 mmol/L (5 mM). From Mehta A. Arch Dis Child 1994;70:F54.

518

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A patient was diagnosed as an infant with type III glycogen storage disease, a deficiency of debrancher enzyme (see Table 28.1). The patient had hepatomegaly (an enlarged liver) and experienced bouts of mild hypoglycemia. To diagnose the disease, glycogen was obtained from the patient’s liver by biopsy after the patient had fasted overnight and compared with normal glycogen. The glycogen samples were treated with a preparation of commercial glycogen phosphorylase and commerical debrancher enzyme. The amounts of glucose 1-phosphate and glucose produced in the assay were then measured. The ratio of glucose 1-phosphate to glucose for the normal glycogen sample was 9:1, and the ratio for the patient was 3:1. Can you explain these results?

Table 28.3. Effect of Fasting on Liver Glycogen Content in the Human Length of Fast (hours) 0 2 4 24 64

Glycogen Content (mol/g liver)

Rate of Glycogenolysis (mol/kg-min)

300 260 216 42 16

— 4.3 4.3 1.7 0.3

activation of the degradative pathway. As a result, liver glycogen is rapidly degraded to glucose, which is released into the blood. Although glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis are activated together by the same regulatory mechanisms, glycogenolysis responds more rapidly, with a greater outpouring of glucose. A substantial proportion of liver glycogen is degraded within the first few hours after eating (Table 28.3). The rate of glycogenolysis is fairly constant for the first 22 hours, but in a prolonged fast the rate decreases significantly as the liver glycogen supplies dwindle. Liver glycogen stores are, therefore, a rapidly rebuilt and degraded store of glucose, ever responsive to small and rapid changes of blood glucose levels. 1.

NOMENCLATURE CONCERNS WITH ENZYMES METABOLIZING GLYCOGEN

Both glycogen phosphorylase and glycogen synthase will be covalently modified to regulate their activity (Fig. 28.7). When activated by covalent modification, glycogen phosphorylase is referred to as glycogen phosphorylase a (remember a for active); when the covalent modification is removed, and the enzyme is inactive, it is referred to as glycogen phosphorylase b. Glycogen synthase, when not covalently modified is active, and can be designated glycogen synthase a or glycogen synthase I (the I stands for independent of modifiers for activity). When glycogen synthase is covalently modified, it is inactive, in the form of glycogen synthase b or glycogen synthase D (for dependent on a modifier for activity). 2.

REGULATION OF LIVER GLYCOGEN METABOLISM BY INSULIN AND GLUCAGON

Insulin and glucagon regulate liver glycogen metabolism by changing the phosphorylation state of glycogen phosphorylase in the degradative pathway and glycogen synthase in the biosynthetic pathway. An increase of glucagon and decrease of insulin during the fasting state initiates a cAMP-directed phosphorylation cascade, which results in the phosphorylation of glycogen phosphorylase to an active enzyme, and the

A

ATP P

Glycogen phosphorylase b (inactive)

B

Glycogen phosphorylase a (active) ATP P

Glycogen synthase I (or a) (active)

Glycogen synthase D (or b) (inactive)

Fig. 28.7. The conversion of active and inactive forms of glycogen phosphorylase (A) and glycogen synthase (B). Note how the nomenclature changes depending on the phosphorylation and activity state of the enzyme.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

With a deficiency of debrancher enzyme, but normal levels of glycogen phosphorylase, the glycogen chains of the patient could be degraded in vivo only to within 4 residues of the branchpoint. When the glycogen samples were treated with the commercial preparation containing normal enzymes, one glucose residue was released for each -1,6 branch. However, in the patient’s glycogen sample, with the short outer branches, three glucose 1-phosphates and one glucose residue were obtained for each -1,6 branch. Normal glycogen has 8-10 glucosyl residues per branch, and thus gives a ratio of approximately 9 moles of glucose 1-phosphate to 1 mole of glucose.

phosphorylation of glycogen synthase to an inactive enzyme (Fig. 28.8). As a consequence, glycogen degradation is stimulated, and glycogen synthesis is inhibited. 3.

GLUCAGON ACTIVATES A PHOSPHORYLATION CASCADE THAT CONVERTS GLYCOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE b TO GLYCOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE a

Glucagon regulates glycogen metabolism through its intracellular second messenger cAMP and protein kinase A (see Chapter 26). Glucagon, by binding to its cell membrane receptor, transmits a signal through G proteins that activates adenylate cyclase, causing cAMP levels to increase (see Fig. 28.8). cAMP binds to the regulatory subunits of protein kinase A, which dissociate from the catalytic subunits. The catalytic subunits of protein kinase A are activated by the dissociation and phosphorylate the enzyme phosphorylase kinase, activating it. Phosphorylase kinase is the protein kinase that converts the inactive liver glycogen phosphorylase b conformer to the active glycogen phosphorylase a conformer by transferring a phosphate from ATP to a specific serine residue on the Glucagon (liver only)

Epinephrine

+

+

Glucose

Cell membrane Cytoplasm

519

adenylate cyclase

G protein

GTP +

phosphodiesterase

1 ATP

AMP

Glucose

cAMP protein kinase A (inactive) Pi protein phosphatase

phosphorylase kinase (inactive)

active protein kinase A

glycogen phosphorylase b (inactive)

Pi

ADP

glycogen synthase– P (inactive)

ADP

glycogen phosphorylase a (active) P

ATP glycogen synthase (active)

Glycogen Pi

Pi

UDP– Glucose

6 Glucose–1– P

protein phosphatase

Glucose–1– P protein phosphatase

5

ADP

4 ATP

Glucose– 6 – P

regulatory subunit – cAMP

ATP

3 phosphorylase kinase – P (active)

2

glucokinase

Glucose – 6 – P 6– Liver glucose phosphatase

Blood glucose

Fig. 28.8. Regulation of glycogen synthesis and degradation in the liver. 1. Glucagon binding to the glucagon receptor or epinephrine binding to a receptor in the liver activates adenylate cyclase, via G proteins, which synthesizes cAMP from ATP. 2. cAMP binds to protein kinase A (cAMP-dependent protein kinase), thereby activating the catalytic subunits. 3. Protein kinase A activates phosphorylase kinase by phosphorylation. 4. Phosphorylase kinase adds a phosphate to specific serine residues on glycogen phosphorylase b, thereby converting it to the active glycogen phosphorylase a. 5. Protein kinase A also phosphorylates glycogen synthase, thereby decreasing its activity. 6. As a result of the inhibition of glycogen synthase and the activation of glycogen phosphorylase, glycogen is degraded to glucose 1-phosphate. The blue dashed lines denote reactions that are decreased in the livers of fasting individuals.

520

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

To remember whether a particular enzyme has been activated or inhibited by cAMP-dependent phosphorylation, consider whether it makes sense for the enzyme to be active or inhibited under fasting conditions (In a PHast, PHosphorylate).

Most of the enzymes that are regulated by phosphorylation have multiple phosphorylation sites. Glycogen phosphorylase, which has only one serine per subunit, and can be phosphorylated only by phosphorylase kinase, is the exception. For some enzymes, the phosphorylation sites are antagonistic, and phosphorylation initiated by one hormone counteracts the effects of other hormones. For other enzymes, the phosphorylation sites are synergistic, and phosphorylation at one site stimulated by one hormone can act synergistically with phosphorylation at another site.

Most of the enzymes that are regulated by phosphorylation also can be converted to the active conformation by allosteric effectors. Glycogen synthase b, the less active form of glycogen synthase, can be activated by the accumulation of glucose 6-phosphate above physiologic levels. The activation of glycogen synthase by glucose 6-phosphate may be important in individuals with glucose 6-phosphatase deficiency, a disorder known as type I or von Gierke’s glycogen storage disease. When glucose 6-phosphate produced from gluconeogenesis accumulates in the liver, it activates glycogen synthesis even though the individual may be hypoglycemic and have low insulin levels. Glucose 1-phosphate is also elevated, resulting in the inhibition of glycogen phosphorylase. As a consequence, large glycogen deposits accumulate, and hepatomegaly occurs.

phosphorylase subunits. As a result of the activation of glycogen phosphorylase, glycogenolysis is stimulated. 4.

INHIBITION OF GLYCOGEN SYNTHASE BY GLUCAGON-DIRECTED PHOSPHORYLATION

When glycogen degradation is activated by the cAMP-stimulated phosphorylation cascade, glycogen synthesis is simultaneously inhibited. The enzyme glycogen synthase is also phosphorylated by protein kinase A, but this phosphorylation results in a less active form, glycogen synthase b. The phosphorylation of glycogen synthase is far more complex than glycogen phosphorylase. Glycogen synthase has multiple phosphorylation sites and is acted on by up to 10 different protein kinases. Phosphorylation by protein kinase A does not, by itself, inactivate glycogen synthase. Instead, phosphorylation by protein kinase A facilitates the subsequent addition of phosphate groups by other kinases, and these inactivate the enzyme. A term that has been applied to changes of activity resulting from multiple phosphorylation is hierarchical or synergistic phosphorylation-the phosphorylation of one site makes another site more reactive and easier to phosphorylate by a different protein kinase 5.

REGULATION OF PROTEIN PHOSPHATASES

At the same time that protein kinase A and phosphorylase kinase are adding phosphate groups to enzymes, the protein phosphatases that remove this phosphate are inhibited. Protein phosphatases remove the phosphate groups, bound to serine or other residues of enzymes, by hydrolysis. Hepatic protein phosphatase1 (hepatic PP-1), one of the major protein phosphatases involved in glycogen metabolism, removes phosphate groups from phosphorylase kinase, glycogen phosphorylase, and glycogen synthase. During fasting, hepatic PP-1 is inactivated by a number of mechanisms. One is dissociation from the glycogen particle, such that the substrates are no longer available to the phosphatase. A second is the binding of inhibitor proteins, such as the protein called inhibitor-1, which, when phosphorylated by a glucagon (or epinephrine)-directed mechanism, binds to and inhibits phosphatase action. Insulin indirectly activates hepatic PP-1 through its own signal transduction cascade initiated at the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase.

6.

INSULIN IN LIVER GLYCOGEN METABOLISM

Insulin is antagonistic to glucagon in the degradation and synthesis of glycogen. The glucose level in the blood is the signal controlling the secretion of insulin and glucagon. Glucose stimulates insulin release and suppresses glucagon release; one increases while the other decreases after a high carbohydrate meal. However, insulin levels in the blood change to a greater degree with the fasting-feeding cycle than the glucagon levels, and thus insulin is considered the principal regulator of glycogen synthesis and degradation. The role of insulin in glycogen metabolism is often overlooked because the mechanisms by which insulin reverses all of the effects of glucagon on individual metabolic enzymes is still under investigation. In addition to the activation of hepatic PP-1 through the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase phosphorylation cascade, insulin may activate the phosphodiesterase that converts cAMP to AMP, thereby decreasing cAMP levels and inactivating protein kinase A. Regardless of the mechanisms involved, insulin is able to reverse all of the effects of glucagon and is the most important hormonal regulator of blood glucose levels.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

7.

BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS AND GLYCOGEN SYNTHESIS AND DEGRADATION

When an individual eats a high-carbohydrate meal, glycogen degradation immediately stops. Although the changes in insulin and glucagon levels are relatively rapid (10–15 minutes), the direct inhibitory effect of rising glucose levels on glycogen degradation is even more rapid. Glucose, as an allosteric effector, inhibits liver glycogen phosphorylase a by stimulating dephosphorylation of this enzyme. As insulin levels rise and glucagon levels fall, cAMP levels decrease and protein kinase A reassociates with its inhibitory subunits and becomes inactive. The protein phosphatases are activated, and phosphorylase a and glycogen synthase b are dephosphorylated. The collective result of these effects is rapid inhibition of glycogen degradation, and rapid activation of glycogen synthesis. 8.

EPINEPHRINE AND CALCIUM IN THE REGULATION OF LIVER GLYCOGEN

Epinephrine, the “fight-or-flight” hormone, is released from the adrenal medulla in response to neural signals reflecting an increased demand for glucose. To flee from a dangerous situation, skeletal muscles use increased amounts of blood glucose to generate ATP. As a result, liver glycogenolysis must be stimulated. In the liver, epinephrine stimulates glycogenolysis through two different types of receptors, the - and -agonist receptors. a. EPINEPHRINE ACTING AT THE -RECEPTORS

Epinephrine, acting at the -receptors, transmits a signal through G proteins to adenylate cyclase, which increases cAMP and activates protein kinase A. Hence, regulation of glycogen degradation and synthesis in liver by epinephrine and glucagon are similar (see Fig. 28.8). b. EPINEPHRINE ACTING AT -RECEPTORS

Epinephrine also binds to -receptors in the liver. This binding activates glycogenolysis and inhibits glycogen synthesis principally by increasing the Ca2 levels in the liver. The effects of epinephrine at the -agonist receptor are mediated by the phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2)-Ca2 signal transduction system, one of the principal intracellular second messenger systems employed by many hormones (Fig. 28.9) (see Chapter 11). In the PIP2-Ca2 signal transduction system, the signal is transferred from the epinephrine receptor to membrane-bound phospholipase C by G proteins. Phospholipase C hydrolyzes PIP2 to form diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol trisphosphate (IP3). IP3 stimulates the release of Ca2 from the endoplasmic reticulum. Ca2 and DAG activate protein kinase C. The amount of calcium bound to one of the calcium-binding proteins, calmodulin, is also increased. Calcium/calmodulin associates as a subunit with a number of enzymes and modifies their activities. It binds to inactive phosphorylase kinase, thereby partially activating this enzyme. (The fully activated enzyme is both bound to the calcium/calmodulin subunit and phosphorylated.) Phosphorylase kinase then phosphorylates glycogen phosphorylase b, thereby activating glycogen degradation. Calcium/calmodulin is also a modifier protein that activates one of the glycogen synthase kinases (calcium/calmodulin synthase kinase). Protein kinase C, calcium/calmodulin synthase kinase, and phosphorylase kinase all phosphorylate glycogen synthase at different serine residues on the enzyme, thereby inhibiting glycogen synthase and thus glycogen synthesis.

521

An inability of liver and muscle to store glucose as glycogen contributes to the hyperglycemia in patients, such as Di Abietes, with type 1 diabetes mellitus and in patients, such as Ann Sulin, with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The absence of insulin in type 1 diabetes mellitus patients and the high levels of glucagon result in decreased activity of glycogen synthase. Glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscles of type 1 patients is also limited by the lack of insulinstimulated glucose transport. Insulin resistance in type 2 patients has the same effect. An injection of insulin suppresses glucagon release and alters the insulin/glucagon ratio. The result is rapid uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle and rapid conversion of glucose to glycogen in skeletal muscle and liver.

In the neonate, the release of epinephrine during labor and birth normally contributes to restoring blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, Getta Carbo did not have adequate liver glycogen stores to support a rise in her blood glucose levels.

522

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

α –agonist receptor

Epinephrine phospholipase C

1

protein kinase C

Cytosol

+

Cell membrane

+

G GDP

PIP2

DAG

Cytoplasm

+

2 IP3 +

Endoplasmic reticulum

+

Ca2+

calmodulindependent protein kinase

4

glycogen synthase (inactive)

P P P

glycogen synthase (active)

Ca2+– calmodulin

5 3 +

phosphorylase kinase

glycogen phosphorylase a (active)

P

glycogen phosphorylase b (inactive)

Fig. 28.9. Regulation of glycogen synthesis and degradation by epinephrine and Ca2 . 1. The effect of epinephrine binding to -agonist receptors in liver transmits a signal via G proteins to phospholipase C, which hydrolyzes PIP2 to DAG and IP3. 2. IP3 stimulates the release of Ca2 from the endoplasmic reticulum. 3. Ca2 binds to the modifier protein calmodulin, which activates calmodulin-dependent protein kinase and phosphorylase kinase. Both Ca2 and DAG activate protein kinase C. 4. These three kinases phosphorylate glycogen synthase at different sites and decrease its activity. 5. Phosphorylase kinase phosphorylates glycogen phosphorylase b to the active form. It therefore activates glycogenolysis as well as inhibiting glycogen synthesis.

The effect of epinephrine in the liver, therefore, enhances or is synergistic with the effects of glucagon. Epinephrine release during bouts of hypoglycemia or during exercise can stimulate hepatic glycogenolysis and inhibit glycogen synthesis very rapidly.

B. Regulation of Glycogen Synthesis and Degradation in Skeletal Muscle The regulation of glycogenolysis in skeletal muscle is related to the availability of ATP for muscular contraction. Skeletal muscle glycogen produces glucose Jim Bodie gradually regained consciousness with continued infusions of highconcentration glucose titrated to keep his serum glucose level between 120 and 160 mg/dL. Although he remained somnolent and moderately confused over the next 12 hours, he was eventually able to tell his physicians that he had self-injected approximately 80 units of regular (short-acting) insulin every 6 hours while eating a highcarbohydrate diet for the last 2 days preceding his seizure. Normal subjects under basal conditions secrete an average of 40 units of insulin daily. He had last injected insulin just before exercising. An article in a body-building magazine that he had recently read cited the anabolic effects of insulin on increasing muscle mass. He had purchased the insulin and necessary syringes from the same underground drug source from whom he regularly bought his anabolic steroids. Normally, muscle glycogenolysis supplies the glucose required for the kinds of highintensity exercise that require anaerobic glycolysis, such as weight-lifting. Jim’s treadmill exercise also uses blood glucose, which is supplied by liver glycogenolysis. The high serum insulin levels, resulting from the injection he gave himself just before his workout, activated both glucose transport into skeletal muscle and glycogen synthesis, while inhibiting glycogen degradation. His exercise, which would continue to use blood glucose, could normally be supported by breakdown of liver glycogen. However, glycogen synthesis in his liver was activated, and glycogen degradation was inhibited by the insulin injection.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

1-phosphate and a small amount of free glucose. Glucose 1-phosphate is converted to glucose 6-phosphate, which is committed to the glycolytic pathway; the absence of glucose 6-phosphatase in skeletal muscle prevents conversion of the glucosyl units from glycogen to blood glucose. Skeletal muscle glycogen is therefore degraded only when the demand for ATP generation from glycolysis is high. The highest demands occur during anaerobic glycolysis, which requires more moles of glucose for each ATP produced than oxidation of glucose to CO2 (see Chapter 22). Anaerobic glycolysis occurs in tissues that have fewer mitochondria, a higher content of glycolytic enzymes, and higher levels of glycogen, or fast-twitch glycolytic fibers. It occurs most frequently at the onset of exercise–before vasodilation occurs to bring in blood-borne fuels. The regulation of skeletal muscle glycogen degradation therefore must respond very rapidly to the need for ATP, indicated by the increase in AMP. The regulation of skeletal muscle glycogen synthesis and degradation differs from that in liver in several important respects: (a) glucagon has no effect on muscle, and thus glycogen levels in muscle do not vary with the fasting/feeding state; (b) AMP is an allosteric activator of the muscle isozyme of glycogen phosphorylase, but not liver glycogen phosphorylase (Fig. 28.10); (c) the effects of Ca2 in muscle result principally from the release of Ca2 from the sarcoplasmic reticulum after neural stimulation, and not from epinephrine-stimulated uptake; (d) glucose is not a physiologic inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase a in muscle; (e) glycogen is a stronger feedback inhibitor of muscle glycogen synthase than of liver glycogen synthase, resulting in a smaller amount of stored glycogen per gram weight of muscle tissue. However, the effects of epinephrine-stimulated phosphorylation by protein kinase A on skeletal muscle glycogen degradation and glycogen synthesis are similar to those occurring in liver (see Fig. 28.8). Muscle glycogen phosphorylase is a genetically distinct isoenzyme of liver glycogen phosphorylase and contains an amino acid sequence that has a purine nucleotide

Epinephrine Nerve impulse Sarcoplasmic Ca2+ reticulum

cAMP

3

2

Ca2+

protein kinase A +

ATP myosin ATPase

Ca2+–calmodulin

ADP Muscle contraction

phosphorylase kinase

adenylate kinase

P

AMP +

1

P

+

glycogen phosphorylase b

glycogen phosphorylase a

Pi

Fig. 28.10. Activation of muscle glycogen phosphorylase during exercise. Glycogenolysis in skeletal muscle is initiated by muscle contraction, neural impulses, and epinephrine. 1. AMP produced from the degradation of ATP during muscular contraction allosterically activates glycogen phosphorylase b. 2. The neural impulses that initiate contraction release Ca2 from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The Ca2 binds to calmodulin, which is a modifier protein that activates phosphorylase kinase. 3. Phosphorylase kinase is also activated through phosphorylation by protein kinase A. The formation of cAMP and the resultant activation of protein kinase A are initiated by the binding of epinephrine to plasma membrane receptors.

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

binding site. When AMP binds to this site, it changes the conformation at the catalytic site to a structure very similar to that in the phosphorylated enzyme (see Fig. 9.9). Thus, hydrolysis of ATP to ADP and the consequent increase of AMP generated by adenylate kinase during muscular contraction can directly stimulate glycogenolysis to provide fuel for the glycolytic pathway. AMP also stimulates glycolysis by activating phosphofructokinase-1, so this one effector activates both glycogenolysis and glycolysis. The activation of the calcium/calmodulin subunit of phosphorylase kinase by the Ca2 released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum during muscle contraction also provides a direct and rapid means of stimulating glycogen degradation.

CLINICAL COMMENTS Getta Carbo’s hypoglycemia illustrates the importance of glycogen stores in the neonate. At birth, the fetus must make two major adjustments in the way fuels are used: it must adapt to using a greater variety of fuels than were available in utero, and it must adjust to intermittent feeding. In utero, the fetus receives a relatively constant supply of glucose from the maternal circulation through the placenta, producing a level of glucose in the fetus that approximates 75% of maternal blood levels. With regard to the hormonal regulation of fuel utilization in utero, fetal tissues function in an environment dominated by insulin, which promotes growth. During the last 10 weeks of gestation, this hormonal milieu leads to glycogen formation and storage. At birth, the infant’s diet changes to one containing greater amounts of fat and lactose (galactose and glucose in equal ratio), presented at intervals rather than in a constant fashion. At the same time, the neonate’s need for glucose will be relatively larger than that of the adult because the newborn’s ratio of brain to liver weight is greater. Thus, the infant has even greater difficulty in maintaining glucose homeostasis than the adult. At the moment that the umbilical cord is clamped, the normal neonate is faced with a metabolic problem: the high insulin levels of late fetal existence must be quickly reversed to prevent hypoglycemia. This reversal is accomplished through the secretion of the counterregulatory hormones epinephrine and glucagon. Glucagon release is triggered by the normal decline of blood glucose after birth. The neural response that stimulates the release of both glucagon and epinephrine is activated by the anoxia, cord clamping, and tactile stimulation that are part of a normal delivery. These responses have been referred to as the “normal sensor function” of the neonate. Within 3 to 4 hours of birth, these counterregulatory hormones reestablish normal serum glucose levels in the newborn’s blood through their glycogenolytic and gluconeogenic actions. The failure of Getta’s normal “sensor function” was partly the result of maternal malnutrition, which resulted in an inadequate deposition of glycogen in Getta’s liver before birth. The consequence was a serious degree of postnatal hypoglycemia. The ability to maintain glucose homeostasis during the first few days of life also depends on the activation of gluconeogenesis and the mobilization of fatty acids. Fatty acid oxidation in the liver not only promotes gluconeogenesis (see Chapter 31) but generates ketone bodies. The neonatal brain has an enhanced capacity to use ketone bodies relative to that of infants (fourfold) and adults (40-fold). This ability is consistent with the relatively high fat content of breast milk. Jim Bodie attempted to build up his muscle mass with androgens and with insulin. The anabolic (nitrogen-retaining) effects of androgens on skeletal muscle cells enhance muscle mass by increasing amino acid flux into muscle and by stimulating protein synthesis. Exogenous insulin has the potential to increase muscle mass by similar actions and also by increasing the content of muscle glycogen.

CHAPTER 28 / FORMATION AND DEGRADATION OF GLYCOGEN

The most serious side effect of exogenous insulin administration is the development of severe hypoglycemia, such as occurred in Jim Bodie. The immediate adverse effect relates to an inadequate flow of fuel (glucose) to the metabolizing brain. When hypoglycemia is extreme, the patient may suffer a seizure and, if the hypoglycemia worsens, may lapse into a coma and die. If untreated, irreversible brain damage occurs in those who survive.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS The regulatory effect of insulin is frequently described as one of activating protein phosphatases. The effects of insulin on the regulation of hepatic and skeletal PP-1 are complex and not yet fully understood. PP-1 is targeted to glycogen particles by four tissue-specific targeting factors: GM is found in striated muscle; GL is found in liver; PTG (protein targeting to glycogen) is found in almost all tissues; and R6 is also found in most tissues. The targeting factors bind to PP-1 and glycogen and localize the PP-1 to the glycogen particles, where the enzyme will be physically close to the regulated enzymes of glycogen metabolism, phosphorylase kinase, glycogen phosphorylase, and glycogen synthase. Regulation of the phosphatase will involve complex interactions between the target enzymes, the targeting subunit, the phosphatase, and protein inhibitor I. The interactions are also tissue specific in the case of GM and GL. A simplistic view of hepatic PP-1 regulation is as follows. PP-1 is bound to GL and the glycogen particle. Glycogen phosphorylase a binds to the complex, and in so doing alters the conformation of PP-1, rendering it inactive. When glucose levels rise in the blood (for example, after eating a meal), the glucose is transported into the liver cells via GLUT 2 transporters, and the intracellular glucose level increases. Glucose can bind to glycogen phosphorylase a, which relieves the inhibition of PP-1, and glycogen phosphorylase a will be converted to glycogen phosphorylase b by active PP-1. Additionally, as the intracellular glucose is converted to glucose 6-phosphate by glucokinase, the increase in glucose-6-P levels activates PP-1 to dephosphorylate glycogen synthase, thereby activating the glycogen synthesizing enzyme. The complicated view of hepatic PP-1 regulation also must take into account the PTG-PP-1 interactions (PTG is also expressed in the liver) and the kinases that are activated by either insulin or glucagon/epinephrine, which lead to alterations in glycogen metabolizing enzyme activities. In contrast to hepatic regulation, muscle regulation of PP-1 activity via GM is directly responsive to phosphorylation by kinases. A phosphorylation event that appears to be critical is that of ser-67 in GM. Phosphorylation of ser-67 by the cAMPdependent protein kinase leads to a dissociation of PP-1 from GM, and, therefore, the phosphatase is removed from its substrates and cannot reverse the phosphorylation of the target enzymes. If ser-67 is altered to a threonine, the phosphorylation at that site is blocked, and PP-1 does not dissociate from GM. This indicates the importance of the phosphorylation event in regulating PP-1 action in the muscle. Future work will be needed before a complete understanding of how insulin reverses glucagon/epinephrine stimulation of glycogenolysis is obtained.

Suggested Readings Chen YT. Glycogen storage diseases. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al., eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, vol I, 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:1521–1551. Parker PH, Ballew M, Greene HL. Nutritional management of glycogen storage disease. Annu Rev Nutr 1993;13:83–109. Roach, P. Glycogen and its metabolism. Current Mol Med 2002;2:101–120.

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Skurat AV, Roach PJ. Regulation of glycogen synthesis. In: LeRoith D, Taylor SI, Olefsky JM, eds. Diabetes Mellitus: A Fundamental and Clinical Text, 2nd Ed. New York: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000:251–264.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 28 1.

The degradation of glycogen normally produces which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

A patient has large deposits of liver glycogen, which, after an overnight fast, had shorter than normal branches. This abnormality could be caused by a defective form of which of the following proteins or activities? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

Exercise for a longer time without fatigue Have increased glucose levels in blood drawn from her forearm Have decreased lactate levels in blood drawn from her forearm Have lower levels of glycogen in biopsy specimens from her forearm muscle Hyperglycemia

In a glucose tolerance test, an individual in the basal metabolic state ingests a large amount of glucose. If the individual is normal, this ingestion should result in which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

Glycogen phosphorylase Glucagon receptor Glycogenin Amylo 1,6 glucosidase Amylo 4,6 transferase

An adolescent patient with a deficiency of muscle phosphorylase was examined while exercising her forearm by squeezing a rubber ball. Compared with a normal person performing the same exercise, this patient would exhibit which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

More glucose than glucose 1-phosphate More glucose 1-phosphate than glucose Equal amounts of glucose and glucose 1-phosphate Neither glucose or glucose 1-phosphate Only glucose 1-phosphate

An enhanced glycogen synthase activity in the liver An increased ratio of glycogen phosphorylase a to glycogen phosphorylase b in the liver An increased rate of lactate formation by red blood cells An inhibition of protein phosphatase I activity in the liver An increase of cAMP levels in the liver

Consider a type 1 diabetic who has neglected to take insulin for the past 72 hours and has not eaten much as well. Which of the following best describes the activity level of hepatic enzymes involved in glycogen metabolism under these conditions? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F)

Glycogen Synthase Active Active Active Inactive Inactive Inactive

Phosphorylase Kinase Active Active Inactive Inactive Active Active

Glycogen Phosphorylase Active Inactive Inactive Inactive Inactive Active

29

Dietary sucrose Glucose Polyol pathway

Dietary fructose

1 CH OH 2 2

HO H H

3 4 5 6

C

O

C

H

C

OH

C

OH

CH2OH

Intermediates of glycolysis

Fig. 29.1. Fructose. The sugar fructose is found in the diet as the free sugar in foods such as honey or as a component of the disaccharide sucrose in fruits and sweets. It also can be synthesized from glucose via the polyol pathway. In the lens of the eye, the polyol pathway contributes to the formation of cataracts. Fructose is metabolized by conversion to intermediates of glycolysis. Enzymes can generally use either NADPH or NADH, but not both. Reactions requiring the input of electrons as hydride ions are usually catalyzed by enzymes specific for NADPH.

Pathways of Sugar Metabolism: Pentose Phosphate Pathway, Fructose, and Galactose Metabolism

Glucose is at the center of carbohydrate metabolism and is the major dietary sugar. Other sugars in the diet are converted to intermediates of glucose metabolism, and their fates parallel that of glucose. When carbohydrates other than glucose are required for the synthesis of diverse compounds such as lactose, glycoproteins, or glycolipids, they are synthesized from glucose. Fructose, the second most common sugar in the adult diet, is ingested principally as the monosaccharide or as part of sucrose (Fig. 29.1). It is metabolized principally in the liver (and to a lesser extent in the small intestine and kidney) by phosphorylation at the 1-position to form fructose 1-P, followed by conversion to intermediates of the glycolytic pathway. The major products of its metabolism in liver are, therefore, the same as glucose (including lactate, blood glucose, and glycogen). Essential fructosuria (fructokinase deficiency) and hereditary fructose intolerance (a deficiency of the fructose 1-phosphate cleavage by aldolase B) are inherited disorders of fructose metabolism. Fructose synthesis from glucose in the polyol pathway occurs in seminal vesicles and other tissues. Aldose reductase converts glucose to the sugar alcohol sorbitol (a polyol), which is then oxidized to fructose. In the lens of the eye, elevated levels of sorbitol in diabetes mellitus may contribute to cataract formation. Galactose is ingested principally as lactose, which is converted to galactose and glucose in the intestine. Galactose is converted to glucose principally in the liver. It is phosphorylated to galactose 1-phosphate by galactokinase and activated to a UDP-sugar by galactosyl uridylyltransferase. The metabolic pathway subsequently generates glucose 1-phosphate. Classical galactosemia, a deficiency of galactosyl uridylyltransferase, results in the accumulation of galactose 1-phosphate in the liver and the inhibition of hepatic glycogen metabolism and other pathways that require UDP sugars. Cataracts can occur from accumulation of galactose in the blood, which is converted to galactitol (the sugar alcohol of galactose) in the lens of the eye. The pentose phosphate pathway consists of both oxidative and nonoxidative components (Fig. 29.2). In the oxidative pathway, glucose 6-phosphate is oxidized to ribulose 5-phosphate, CO2, and NADPH. Ribulose 5-phosphate, a pentose, can be converted to ribose 5-phosphate for nucleotide biosynthesis. The NADPH is used for reductive pathways, such as fatty acid biosynthesis, detoxification of drugs by monooxygenases, and the glutathione defense system against injury by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the nonoxidative phase of the pathway, ribulose 5-phosphate is converted to ribose 5-phosphate and to intermediates of the glycolytic pathway. This portion of

527

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Fatty acid synthesis

Glucose 2

NADP+

Glutathione reduction

2 NADPH

Other reactions Glucose 6 – phosphate

Oxidative

CO2

Ribulose 5 – phosphate Xyulose 5 – phosphate

Fructose 6 – phosphate Non - oxidative

Ribose 5 – phosphate

Glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate NADH

Nucleotide biosynthesis

ATP

Pyruvate Glycolysis

The pentose phosphate pathway

Fig. 29.2. Overview of the pentose phosphate pathway. The pentose phosphate pathway generates NADPH for reactions requiring reducing equivalents (electrons) or ribose 5-phosphate for nucleotide biosynthesis. Glucose 6-phosphate is a substrate for both the pentose phosphate pathway and glycolysis. The 5-carbon sugar intermediates of the pentose phosphate pathway are reversibly interconverted to intermediates of glycolysis. The portion of glycolysis that is not part of the pentose phosphate pathway is shown in blue.

The pentose phosphate pathway is also called the hexose monophosphate shunt (HMP shunt). It shunts hexoses from glycolysis, forming pentoses, which may be reconverted to glycolytic intermediates.

the pathway is reversible; therefore, ribose 5-phosphate can also be formed from intermediates of glycolysis. One of the enzymes involved in these sugar interconversions, transketolase, uses thiamine pyrophosphate as a coenzyme. The sugars produced by the pentose phosphate pathway enter glycolysis as fructose 6-phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, and their further metabolism in the glycolytic pathway generates NADH, adenosine triphsphate (ATP), and pyruvate. The overall equation for the conversion of glucose 6-phosphate to fructose 6-phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate through both the oxidative and nonoxidative reactions of the pentose phosphate pathway is: 3 glucose-6-P 6 NADP S 3 CO2 6 NADPH 6 H 2 fructose-6-P glyceraldehyde-3-P.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Candice Sucher is an 18-year-old girl who presented to her physician for a precollege physical examination. While taking her medical history, the doctor learned that she carefully avoided eating all fruits and any foods that contained table sugar. She related that, from a very early age, she had learned that these foods caused severe weakness and symptoms suggestive of low blood sugar, such as tremulousness and sweating. Her medical history also indicated that her mother had described her as having been a very irritable baby who often cried incessantly, especially after meals, and vomited frequently. At these times, Candice’s

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

529

abdomen had become distended, and she became drowsy and apathetic. Her mother had intuitively eliminated certain foods from Candice’s diet, after which the severity and frequency of these symptoms diminished. Erin Galway is a 3-week-old female infant who began vomiting 3 days after birth, usually within 30 minutes after breastfeeding. Her abdomen became distended at these times, and she became irritable and cried frequently. When her mother noted that the whites of Erin’s eyes were yellow, she took her to a pediatrician. The doctor agreed that Erin was slightly jaundiced. He also noted an enlargement of her liver and questioned the possibility of early cataract formation in the lenses of Erin’s eyes. He ordered liver and kidney function tests and did two separate dipstick urine tests in his office, one designed to measure only glucose in the urine and the other capable of detecting any of the reducing sugars. Al Martini developed a fever of 101.5°F on the second day of his hospitalization for acute alcoholism. He had a cough productive of gray sputum. A chest x-ray showed right lower lobe pneumonia. A stain of his sputum showed many small pleomorphic Gram-negative bacilli. Sputum was sent for culture and a determination of which antibiotics would be effective in treating the causative organism (sensitivity testing). Because his landlady stated that he had an allergy to penicillin, he was started on a course of the antibiotic combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (TMP/sulfa). To his landlady’s knowledge, he had never been treated with a sulfa drug previously. On the third day of therapy with TMP/sulfa for his pneumonia, Al Martini was slightly jaundiced. His hemoglobin level had fallen by 3.5 g/dL from the value on admission, and his urine was red-brown because of the presence of free hemoglobin. Mr. Martini had apparently suffered acute hemolysis (lysis or destruction of some of his red blood cells) induced by his infection and exposure to the sulfa drug.

I.

FRUCTOSE

Fructose is found in the diet as a component of sucrose in fruit, as a free sugar in honey, and in high-fructose corn syrup (see Fig. 29.1). Fructose enters epithelial cells and other types of cells by facilitated diffusion on the GLUT V transporter. It is metabolized to intermediates of glycolysis. Problems with fructose absorption and metabolism are relatively more common than with other sugars.

A. Fructose Metabolism Fructose is metabolized by conversion to glyceraldehyde-3-P and dihydroxyacetone phosphate, which are intermediates of glycolysis (Fig. 29.3). The steps parallel those of glycolysis. The first step in the metabolism of fructose, as with glucose, is phosphorylation. Fructokinase, the major kinase involved, phosphorylates fructose in the 1-position. Fructokinase has a high Vmax, and rapidly phosphorylates fructose as it enters the cell. The fructose 1-phosphate formed is not an intermediate of glycolysis but rather is cleaved by aldolase B to dihydroxyacetone phosphate (an intermediate of glycolysis) and glyceraldehyde. Glyceraldehyde is then phosphorylated to glyceraldehyde-3-P by triose kinase. Dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate are intermediates of the glycolytic pathway and can proceed through it to pyruvate, the TCA cycle, and fatty acid synthesis. Alternately, these intermediates can also be converted to glucose by gluconeogenesis. In other words, the fate of fructose parallels that of glucose.

When individuals with defects of aldolase B ingest fructose, the extremely high levels of fructose 1phosphate that accumulate in the liver and kidney cause a number of adverse effects. Hypoglycemia results from inhibition of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. Glycogen phosphorylase (and possibly phosphoglucomutase and other enzymes of glycogen metabolism) are inhibited by the accumulated fructose 1-phosphate. Aldolase B is required for glucose synthesis from glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate, and its low activity in aldolase B–deficient individuals is further decreased by the accumulated fructose 1-phosphate. The inhibition of gluconeogenesis results in lactic acidosis. The accumulation of fructose 1-phosphate also substantially depletes the phosphate pools. The fructokinase reaction uses ATP at a rapid rate such that the mitochondria regenerate ATP rapidly, which leads to a drop in free phosphate levels. The low levels of phosphate release inhibition of AMP deaminase, which converts AMP to inosine monophosphate (IMP). The nitrogenous base of IMP (hypoxanthine) is degraded to uric acid. The lack of phosphate and depletion of adenine nucleotides lead to a loss of ATP, further contributing to the inhibition of biosynthetic pathways, including gluconeogenesis.

530

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Fructose

O H

C

H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

ATP fructokinase

CH2OH D –Glucose

ADP

hexokinase

ADP

Fructose–1– P

Glucose– 6 – P

Dihydroxyacetone– P Glyceraldehyde

Fructose– 6 – P Fructose–1,6 – P

ATP

aldolase B (liver) aldolase A (muscle)

ADP aldose reductase

NADP+

Glucose–1– P

aldolase B

triose kinase

NADPH + H+

Glycogen

Glucose

ATP

Glyceraldehyde– 3 – P

Dihydroxy acetone– P

Glyceraldehyde– 3– P

CH2OH H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

Lactate

Pyruvate Fatty acids TCA cycle

CH2OH Sorbitol (polyol) NAD+

Fig. 29.3. Fructose metabolism. The pathway for the conversion of fructose to dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate is shown in blue. These two compounds are intermediates of glycolysis and are converted in the liver principally to glucose, glycogen, or fatty acids. In the liver, aldolase B cleaves both fructose 1-phosphate in the pathway for fructose metabolism, and fructose 1,6-bisphosphate in the pathway for glycolysis.

sorbitol dehydrogenase

NADH + H+ CH2OH C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

C

OH

H

CH2OH D –Fructose

Fig. 29.4. The polyol pathway converts glucose to fructose.

Essential fructosuria is a rare and benign genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme fructokinase. Why is this disease benign, when a deficiency of aldolase B (hereditary fructose intolerance) can be fatal? Could Candice Sucher have essential fructosuria?

The metabolism of fructose occurs principally in the liver and to a lesser extent in the small intestinal mucosa and proximal epithelium of the renal tubule, because these tissues have both fructokinase and aldolase B. Aldolase exists as several isoforms: aldolases A, B, C, and fetal aldolase. Although all of these aldolase isoforms can cleave fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, the intermediate of glycolysis, only aldolase B can also cleave fructose 1-phosphate. Aldolase A, present in muscle and most other tissues, and aldolase C, present in brain, have almost no ability to cleave fructose 1-phosphate. Fetal aldolase, present in the liver before birth, is similar to aldolase C. Aldolase B is the rate-limiting enzyme of fructose metabolism, although it is not a rate-limiting enzyme of glycolysis. It has a much lower affinity for fructose l-phosphate than fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (although the kcat is the same) and is very slow at physiologic levels of fructose 1-phosphate. As a consequence, after ingesting a high dose of fructose, normal individuals accumulate fructose 1-phosphate in the liver while it is slowly converted to glycolytic intermediates. Individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance (a deficiency of aldolase B) accumulate much higher amounts of fructose 1-phosphate in their livers. Other tissues also have the capacity to metabolize fructose but do so much more slowly. The hexokinase isoforms present in muscle, adipose tissue, and other tissues can convert fructose to fructose 6-phosphate, but react so much more efficiently with glucose. As a result, fructose phosphorylation is very slow in the presence of physiologic levels of intracellular glucose and glucose 6-phosphate.

B. Synthesis of Fructose in the Polyol Pathway Fructose can be synthesized from glucose in the polyol pathway. The polyol pathway is named for the first step of the pathway in which sugars are reduced to the sugar alcohol by the enzyme aldose reductase (Fig. 29.4) Glucose is reduced to the sugar alcohol sorbitol, and sorbitol is then oxidized to fructose.

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

This pathway is present in seminal vesicles, which synthesize fructose for the seminal fluid. Spermatozoa use fructose as a major fuel source while in the seminal fluid and then switch to glucose once in the female reproductive tract. Utilization of fructose is thought to prevent acrosomal breakdown of the plasma membrane (and consequent activation) while the spermatozoa are still in the seminal fluid. The polyol pathway is present in many tissues, but its function in all tissues is not understood. Aldose reductase is relatively nonspecific, and its major function may be the metabolism of an aldehyde sugar other than glucose. The activity of this enzyme can lead to major problems in the lens of the eye, where it is responsible for the production of sorbitol from glucose and galactitol from galactose. When the concentration of glucose or galactose is elevated in the blood, their respective sugar alcohols are synthesized in the lens more rapidly than they are removed, resulting in increased osmotic pressure within the lens.

II. GALACTOSE METABOLISM—METABOLISM TO GLUCOSE-1-P Dietary galactose is metabolized principally by phosphorylation to galactose 1-phosphate, and then conversion to UDP-galactose and glucose 1-phosphate (Fig. 29.5). The phosphorylation of galactose, again an important first step in the pathway, is carried out by a specific kinase, galactokinase. The formation of UDP-galactose is accomplished by attack of the phosphate oxygen on galactose 1-phosphate on the phosphate of UDP-glucose, releasing glucose 1-phosphate while forming UDP-galactose. The enzyme that catalyzes this reaction is galactose l-phosphate uridylyltransferase. The UDP-galactose is then converted to UDP-glucose by the reversible UDP-glucose epimerase (the configuration of the hydroxyl group on carbon four is reversed in this reaction). The net result of this sequence of reactions is that galactose is converted to glucose 1-phosphate, at the expense of 1 high-energy bond of ATP. The sum of these reactions is indicated in the equations that follow:

Galactose ATP

Non - classical galactosemia Classical galactosemia

galactokinase

ADP Galactose–1–P UDP– Glucose epimerase

galactose –1– P uridylyltransferase

Glucose–1–P

UDP– Galactose Glucose– 6 – P (Liver)

Glycolysis (other tissues)

Glucose

Fig. 29.5. Metabolism of galactose. Galactose is phosphorylated to galactose 1-phosphate by galactokinase. Galactose 1-phosphate reacts with UDP-glucose to release glucose 1-phosphate. Galactose thus can be converted to blood glucose, enter glycolysis, or enter any of the metabolic routes of glucose. In classical galactosemia, a deficiency of galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (shown in grey) results in the accumulation of galactose 1-phosphate in tissues and the appearance of galactose in the blood and urine. In nonclassical galactosemia, a deficiency of galactokinase results in the accumulation of galactose.

531

The accumulation of sorbitol in muscle and nerve tissues may contribute to the peripheral neuropathy characteristic of patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. This is one of the reasons it is so important for Di Abietes (who has type 1 diabetes mellitus) and Ann Sulin (who has type 2 diabetes mellitus) to achieve good glycemic control.

The accumulation of sugars and sugar alcohols in the lens of patients with hyperglycemia (e.g., diabetes mellitus) results in the formation of cataracts. Glucose levels are elevated and increase the synthesis of sorbitol and fructose. As a consequence, a high osmotic pressure is created in the lens. The high glucose and fructose levels also result in nonenzymatic glycosylation of lens proteins. The result of the increased osmotic pressure and the glycosylation of the lens protein is an opaque cloudiness of the lens known as a cataract. Erin Galway seemed to have an early cataract, probably caused by the accumulation of galactose and its sugar alcohol galactitol.

In essential fructosuria, fructose cannot be converted to fructose 1phosphate. This condition is benign because no toxic metabolites of fructose accumulate in the liver, and the patient remains nearly asymptomatic. Some of the ingested fructose is slowly phosphorylated by hexokinase in nonhepatic tissues and metabolized by glycolysis, and some appears in the urine. There is no renal threshold for fructose; the appearance of fructose in the urine (fructosuria) does not require a high fructose concentration in the blood. Hereditary fructose intolerance, conversely, results in the accumulation of fructose 1-phosphate and fructose. By inhibiting glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, the high levels of fructose 1-phosphate caused the hypoglycemia that Candice Sucher experienced as an infant when she became apathetic and drowsy, and as an adult when she experienced sweating and tremulousness.

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SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Erin Galway’s urine was negative for glucose when measured with the glucose oxidase strip but was positive for the presence of a reducing sugar. The reducing sugar was identified as galactose. Her liver function tests showed an increase in serum bilirubin and in several liver enzymes. Albumin was present in her urine. These findings and the clinical history increased her physician’s suspicion that Erin had classical galactosemia. Classical galactosemia is caused by a deficiency of galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase. In this disease, galactose 1-phosphate accumulates in tissues, and galactose is elevated in the blood and urine. This condition differs from the rarer deficiency of galactokinase (nonclassical galactosemia), in which galactosemia and galactosuria occur but galactose 1-phosphate is not formed. Both enzyme defects result in cataracts from galactitol formation by aldose reductase in the polyol pathway. Aldose reductase has a relatively high Km for galactose, approximately 12 to 20 mM, so that galactitol is formed only in galactosemic patients who have eaten galactose. Galactitol is not further metabolized and diffuses out of the lens very slowly. Thus, hypergalactosemia is even more likely to cause cataracts than hyperglycemia. Erin Galway, although only 3 weeks old, appeared to have early cataracts forming in the lens of her eyes. One of the most serious problems of classical galactosemia is an irreversible mental retardation. Realizing this problem, Erin Galway’s physician wanted to begin immediate dietary therapy. A test that measures galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase in erythrocytes was ordered. The enzyme activity was virtually absent, confirming the diagnosis of classical galactosemia.

(1) Galactose ATP

galactokinase

(2) Galactose-1-P UDP-glucose

(3) UDP-galactose

Galactose-1-P ADP galactose-1-P uridylyltransferase

UDP-glucose epimerase

Net Equation: GalactoseATP

UDP-galactoseglucose-1-P

UDP-glucose

Glucose-1-P ADP

The enzymes for galactose conversion to glucose 1-phosphate are present in many tissues, including the adult erythrocyte, fibroblasts, and fetal tissues. The liver has a high activity of these enzymes, and can convert dietary galactose to blood glucose and glycogen. The fate of dietary galactose, like that of fructose, therefore, parallels that of glucose. The ability to metabolize galactose is even higher in infants than in adults. Newborn infants ingest up to 1 g galactose per kg per feeding (as lactose). Yet the rate of metabolism is so high that the blood level in the systemic circulation is less than 3 mg/dL, and none of the galactose is lost in the urine.

III. THE PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY The pentose phosphate pathway is essentially a scenic bypass route around the first stage of glycolysis that generates NADPH and ribose-5-P (as well as other pentose sugars). Glucose 6-phosphate is the common precursor for both pathways. The oxidative first stage of the pentose phosphate pathway generates two moles of NADPH per glucose 6-phosphate oxidized. The second stage of the pentose phosphate pathway generates ribose-5-P and converts unused intermediates to fructose-6-P and glyceraldehyde-3-P in the glycolytic pathway (see Fig. 29.2). All cells require NADPH for reductive detoxification, and most cells require ribose-5-P for nucleotide synthesis. Consequently, the pathway is present in all cells. The enzymes reside in the cytosol, as do the enzymes of glycolysis.

A. Oxidative Phase of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway 1.

NADPH PRODUCTION

In the oxidative first phase of the pentose phosphate pathway, glucose 6-phosphate is oxidatively decarboxylated to a pentose sugar, ribulose 5-phosphate (Fig. 29.6). The first enzyme of this pathway, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, oxidizes the aldehyde at C1 and reduces NADP to NADPH. The gluconolactone that is formed is rapidly hydrolyzed to 6-phosphogluconate, a sugar acid with a carboxylic acid group at C1. The next oxidation step releases this carboxyl group as CO2, with the electrons being transferred to NADP . This reaction is mechanistically very similar to the one catalyzed by isocitrate dehydrogenase in the TCA cycle. Thus, two moles of NADPH per mole of glucose 6-phosphate are formed from this portion of the pathway.

NADPH, rather than NADH, is generally used in the cell for pathways that require the input of electrons for reductive reactions because the ratio of NADPH/NADP is much greater than the NADH/NAD ratio. The NADH generated from fuel oxidation is rapidly oxidized back to NAD by NADH dehydrogenase in the electron transport chain, so the level of NADH is very low in the cell. NADPH can be generated from a number of reactions in the liver and other tissues, but not the red blood cell. For example, in tissues with mitochondria, an energy-requiring transhydrogenase located near the complexes of the electron transport chain can transfer reducing equivalents from NADH to NADP to generate NADPH. NADPH, however, cannot be directly oxidized by the electron transport chain, and the ratio of NADPH to NADP in cells is greater than one. The reduction potential of NADPH therefore can contribute to the energy needed for biosynthetic processes and provide a constant source of reducing power for detoxification reactions.

533

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

2.

RIBOSE 5-PHOSPHATE FROM THE OXIDATIVE ARM OF THE PATHWAY

To generate ribose 5-phosphate from the oxidative pathway, the ribulose 5-phosphate formed from the action of the two oxidative steps is isomerized to produce ribose 5-phosphate (a ketose-to-aldose conversion, similar to fructose 6-phosphate being isomerized to glucose 6-phosphate; see section III.B.1 below). The ribose 5-phosphate can then enter the pathway for nucleotide synthesis, if needed, or can be converted to glycolytic intermediates, as described below for the nonoxidative phase of the pentose phosphate pathway. The pathway through which the ribose 5-phosphate travels is determined by the needs of the cell at the time of its synthesis.

B. The Nonoxidative Phase of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway The nonoxidative reactions of this pathway are reversible reactions that allow intermediates of glycolysis (specifically glyceraldehyde-3-P and fructose-6-P) to be converted to five-carbon sugars (such as ribose-5-P), and vice versa. The needs of the cell will determine in which direction this pathway proceeds. If the cell has produced ribose-5-P, but does not need to synthesize nucleotides, then the ribose-5-P will be converted to glycolytic intermediates. If the cell still requires NADPH, the ribose-5-P will be converted back into glucose-6-P using nonoxidative reactions (see below). And finally, if the cell already has a high level of NADPH, but needs to produce nucleotides, the oxidative reactions of the pentose phosphate pathway will be inhibited, and the glycolytic intermediates fructose-6-P and glyceraldehyde3-P will be used to produce the five carbon sugars using exclusively the nonoxidative phase of the pentose phosphate pathway.

H O C H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32 – Glucose 6– phosphate NADP+

glucose 6 –phosphate dehydrogenase

NADPH + H+

O C H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C CH2OPO32 –

6 – Phosphoglucono– δ – lactone H2O

gluconolactonase

1.

H+

THE CONVERSION OF RIBOSE 5-PHOSPHATE TO GLYCOLYTIC INTERMEDIATES

The nonoxidative portion of the pentose phosphate pathway consists of a series of rearrangement and transfer reactions that first convert ribulose 5-phosphate to ribose 5-phosphate and xylulose 5-phosphate, and then the ribose 5-phosphate and xyulose 5-phosphate are converted to intermediates of the glycolytic pathway. The enzymes involved are an epimerase, an isomerase, transketolase, and transaldolase. The epimerase and isomerase convert ribulose 5-phosphate to two other 5-carbon sugars (Fig. 29.7). The isomerase converts ribulose 5-phosphate to ribose 5-phosphate. The epimerase changes the stereochemical position of one hydroxyl group (at carbon 3), converting ribulose 5-phosphate to xylulose 5-phosphate. Transketolase transfers 2-carbon fragments of keto sugars (sugars with a keto group at C2) to other sugars. Transketolase picks up a 2-carbon fragment from xylulose 5-phosphate by cleaving the carbon–carbon bond between the keto group and the adjacent carbon, thereby releasing glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (Fig. 29.8). The 2-carbon fragment is covalently bound to thiamine pyrophosphate, which transfers

O C

O–

H

C

OH

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32 – 6 – Phosphogluconate NADP+ 6– phosphogluconate dehydrogenase

NADPH + H+ CO2

CH2OH C

Xyulose 5-phosphate has recently been identified as an activator of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). PP2A removes phosphates from PFK-2 and from a transcription factor that binds to carbohydrate response elements in promoters of genes such as pyruvate kinase. The hydrolysis of the phosphates activates both proteins, such that xyulose 5-phosphate can regulate pathways relating to both carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

O

O

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32 – Ribulose 5– phosphate

Fig. 29.6. Oxidative portion of the pentose phosphate pathway. Carbon 1 of glucose 6-phosphate is oxidized to an acid and then released as CO2 in an oxidative decarboxylation reaction. Each oxidation step generates an NADPH.

534

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Doctors suspected that the underlying factor in the destruction of Al Martini’s red blood cells was an X-linked defect in the gene that codes for glucose 6phosphate dehydrogenase. The red blood cell is dependent on this enzyme for a source of NADPH to maintain reduced levels of glutathione, one of its major defenses against oxidative stress (see Chapter 24). Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is the most common known enzymopathy, and affects approximately 7% of the world’s population and about 2% of the U.S. population. Most glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase–deficient individuals are asymptomatic but can undergo an episode of hemolytic anemia if exposed to certain drugs, to certain types of infections, or if they ingest fava beans. When questioned, Al Martini replied that he did not know what a fava bean was and had no idea whether he was sensitive to them. CH2OH C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Xylulose 5–phosphate

+ H O

it to the aldehyde carbon of another sugar, forming a new ketose. The role of thiamine-pyrophosphate here is thus very similar to its role in the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate and -ketoglutarate (see Chapter 20, section I.B). Two reactions in the pentose phosphate pathway use transketolase; in the first, the 2-carbon keto fragment from xylulose 5-phosphate is transferred to ribose 5-phosphate to form sedoheptulose 7-phosphate, and in the other, a 2-carbon keto fragment (usually derived from xyulose 5-phosphate) is transferred to erythrose 4-phosphate to form fructose 6-phosphate.

C H

C

OH

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

H O C

CH2OPO32–

H

C

OH

Ribose 5–phosphate

H

C

OH

C

OH

H

thiamine pyrophosphate

transketolase

CH2OPO32– Ribose 5– phosphate

H O C H

C

isomerase

OH

CH2OPO32–

CH2OH

Glyceraldehyde 3–phosphate

+ CH2OH C

O

HO

C

OH

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

C

O

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Ribulose 5– phosphate epimerase

CH2OH

CH2OPO32– Sedoheptulose 7– phosphate

Fig. 29.8. Two-carbon unit transferred by transketolase. Transketolase cleaves the bond next to the keto group and transfers the 2-carbon keto fragment to an aldehyde. Thiamine pyrophosphate carries the 2-carbon fragment, forming a covalent bond with the carbon of the keto group.

C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Xylulose 5– phosphate

Fig. 29.7. Ribulose 5-phosphate is epimerized (to xyulose 5-phosphate) and isomerized (to ribose 5-phosphate).

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

Transaldolase transfers a 3-carbon keto fragment from sedoheptulose 7-phosphate to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate to form erythrose 4-phosphate and fructose 6phosphate (Fig. 29.9). The aldol cleavage occurs between the two hydroxyl carbons adjacent to the keto group (on carbons 3 and 4 of the sugar). This reaction is similar to the aldolase reaction in glycolysis, and the enzyme uses an active amino group, from the side chain of lysine, to catalyze the reaction. The net result of the metabolism of 3 moles of ribulose 5-phosphate in the pentose phosphate pathway is the formation of 2 moles of fructose 6-phosphate and 1 mole of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, which then continue through the glycolytic pathway with the production of NADH, ATP, and pyruvate. Because the pentose phosphate pathway begins with glucose 6-phosphate, and feeds back into the

CH2OH C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Sedoheptulose 7– phosphate

+ H O C H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Glyceraldehyde 3–phosphate transaldolase

H O C H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Erythrose 4–phosphate

+ CH2OH C

O

HO

C

H

H

C

OH

H

C

OH

CH2OPO32– Fructose 6–phosphate

Fig. 29.9. Transaldolase transfers a 3-carbon fragment that contains an alcohol group next to a keto group.

535

The transketolase activity of red blood cells is used to measure thiamine nutritional status and diagnose the presence of thiamine deficiency. The activity of transketolase is measured in the presence and absence of added thiamine pyrophosphate. If the thiamine intake of a patient is adequate, the addition of thiamine pyrophosphate does not increase the activity of transketolase because it already contains bound thiamine pyrophosphate. If the patient is thiamine deficient, transketolase activity will be low, and adding thiamine pyrophosphate will greatly stimulate the reaction. Al Martini was diagnosed in Chapter 19 as having beriberi heart disease resulting from thiamine deficiency. The diagnosis was based on laboratory tests confirming the thiamine deficiency.

536

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Oxidative reactions 6 NADPH

3 CO2

3 Glucose–6 –P

3 Ribulose–5 –P epimerase

isomerase

Xylulose–5– P

epimerase

Ribose – 5 – P

transketolase

Glyceraldehyde–3 –P transaldolase

Fructose–6– P

Xylulose– 5– P

Nucleotide biosynthesis Non-oxidative reactions

Sedoheptulose–7 – P Erythrose– 4– P

transketolase

Fructose– 6– P

Glyceraldehyde–3 –P

Glycolysis

Fig. 29.10. A balanced sequence of reactions in the pentose phosphate pathway. The interconversion of sugars in the pentose phosphate pathway results in conversion of 3 glucose 6-phosphate to 6 NADPH, 3 CO2, 2 fructose 6-phosphate, and one glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate.

glycolytic pathway, it is sometimes called the hexose monophosphate shunt (a shunt or a pathway for glucose 6-phosphate). The reaction sequence starting from glucose-6-P, and involving both the oxidative and nonoxidative phases of the pathway, is shown in Figure 29.10.

2.

GENERATION OF RIBOSE 5-PHOSPHATE FROM INTERMEDIATES OF GLYCOLYSIS

The reactions catalyzed by the epimerase, isomerase, transketolase, and transaldolase are all reversible reactions under physiologic conditions. Thus, ribose 5-phosphate required for purine and pyrimidine synthesis can be generated from intermediates of the glycolytic pathway, as well as from the oxidative phase of the pentose phosphate pathway. The sequence of reactions that generate ribose 5-phosphate from intermediates of glycolysis is indicated below.

(1) Fructose-6-P glyceraldehyde-3-P

(2) Erythrose-4-P Fructose-6-P

Transaldolase

(3) Sedoheptulose-7-P Glyceraldehyde-3-P

(4) 2 Xyulose-5-P

(5) 2 Ribulose-5-P

Transketolase

Sedoheptulose-7-P Glyceraldehyde-3-P

Transketolase

Epimerase

Isomerase

Net Equation : 2 Fructose-6-P Glyceraldehyde-3-P

Erythrose-4-P Xyulose-5-P

Ribose-5-P Xyulose-5-P

2 Ribulose-5-P

2 Ribose-5-P

3 Ribose-5-P

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

537

C. Role of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway in the Generation of NADPH

Table 29.1. Pathways That Require NADPH

In general, the oxidative phase of the pentose phosphate pathway is the major source of NADPH in cells. NADPH provides the reducing equivalents for biosynthetic reactions and for oxidation–reduction reactions involved in protection against the toxicity of ROS (see Chapter 24). The glutathione-mediated defense against oxidative stress is common to all cell types (including the red blood cell), and the requirement for NADPH to maintain levels of reduced glutathione probably accounts for the universal distribution of the pentose phosphate pathway among different types of cells. Fig. 29.11 illustrates the importance of this pathway in maintaining the membrane integrity of the red blood cell. NADPH is also used for anabolic pathways, such as fatty acid synthesis, cholesterol synthesis, and fatty acid chain elongation (Table 29.1). It is the source of reducing equivalents for cytochrome P450 hydroxylation of aromatic compounds, steroids, alcohols, and drugs. The highest concentrations of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase are found in phagocytic cells, where NADPH oxidase uses NADPH to form superoxide from molecular oxygen. The superoxide then generates hydrogen peroxide, which kills the microorganisms taken up by the phagocytic cells (see Chapter 24). The entry of glucose 6-phosphate into the pentose phosphate pathway is controlled by the cellular concentration of NADPH. NADPH is a strong product inhibitor of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, the first enzyme of the pathway. As NADPH is oxidized in other pathways, the product inhibition of glucose 6phosphate dehydrogenase is relieved, and the rate of the enzyme is accelerated to produce more NADPH.

Detoxification • Reduction of oxidized glutathione • Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases Reductive synthesis • Fatty acid synthesis • Fatty acid chain elongation • Cholesterol synthesis • Neurotransmitter synthesis • Nucleotide synthesis • Superoxide synthesis

How does the net energy yield from the metabolism of 3 moles of glucose 6-phosphate through the pentose phosphate pathway to pyruvate compare with the yield of 3 moles of glucose 6-phosphate through glycolysis?

Glucose Glucose 6– phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

Glucose

Oxidant stress • Infections • Certain drugs • Fava beans

Glucose 6– phosphate

1

Erythrocyte

2

Hemolysis

4 Glucose 6– phosphate

Glucose 6– phosphate

NADP+

glucose 6 –phosphate dehydrogenase

Glycolysis 2 ATP

6–Phospho gluconate NADH

Pentose phosphate pathway

2 GSH

3 glutathione reductase

H2O2

5

(ROS)

glutathione peroxidase

GS – SG

NADPH + H+

Heinz bodies

HO •

2 H2O

met Hb

O2

oxy Hb

2 Lactate

Fig. 29.11. Hemolysis caused by reactive oxygen species. 1. Maintenance of the integrity of the erythrocyte membrane depends on its ability to generate ATP and NADH from glycolysis. 2. NADPH is generated by the pentose phosphate pathway. 3. NADPH is used for the reduction of oxidized glutathione to reduced glutathione. Glutathione is necessary for the removal of H2O2 and lipid peroxides generated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). 4. In the erythrocytes of healthy individuals, the continuous generation of superoxide ion from the nonenzymatic oxidation of hemoglobin provides a source of reactive oxygen species. The glutathione defense system is compromised by glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, infections, certain drugs, and the purine glycosides of fava beans. 5. As a consequence, Heinz bodies, aggregates of cross-linked hemoglobin, form on the cell membranes and subject the cell to mechanical stress as it tries to go through small capillaries. The action of the ROS on the cell membrane as well as mechanical stress from the lack of deformability result in hemolysis.

538

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

The net energy yield from 3 moles of glucose 6-phosphate metabolized through the pentose phosphate pathway and then the last portion of the glycolytic pathway is 6 moles of NADPH, 3 moles of CO2, 5 moles of NADH, 8 moles of ATP, and 5 moles of pyruvate. In contrast, the metabolism of 3 moles of glucose 6-phosphate through glycolysis is 6 moles of NADH, 9 moles of ATP, and 6 moles of pyruvate.

Table 29.2. Cellular Needs Dictate the Direction of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway Reactions Cellular Need

Direction of Pathway

NADPH only

Oxidative reactions produce NADPH; nonoxidative reactions convert ribulose-5-P to glucose-6-P to produce more NADPH

NADPH ribose-5-P

Oxidative reactions produce NADPH and ribulose-5-P; the isomerase converts ribulose-5-P to ribose-5-P.

Ribose-5-P only

Only the nonoxidative reactions. High NADPH inhibits glucose- 6-P dehydrogenase, so transketolase and transaldolase will be used to convert fructose-6-P and glyceraldehyde-3-P to ribose-5-P.

NADPH and pyruvate

Both the oxidative and nonoxidative reactions are used. The oxidative reactions generate NADPH and ribulose-5-P. The nonoxidative reactions convert the ribulose-5-P to fructose6-P and glyceraldehyde-3-P, and glycolysis will convert these intermediates to pyruvate.

In the liver, the synthesis of fatty acids from glucose is a major route of NADPH reoxidation. The synthesis of liver glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, like the key enzymes of glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis, is induced by the increased insulin/glucagon ratio after a high-carbohydrate meal. A summary of the possible routes glucose-6-P may follow using the pentose phosphate pathway is presented in Table 29.2.

CLINICAL COMMENTS Hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) is caused by a low level of fructose 1-phosphate aldolase activity in aldolase B, an isozyme of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase that is also capable of cleaving fructose 1-phosphate. In patients of European descent, the most common defect is a single missense mutation in exon 5 (G S C), resulting in an amino acid substitution (Ala S Pro). As a result of this substitution, a catalytically impaired aldolase B is synthesized in abundance. The exact prevalence of HFI in the United States is not established but is approximately 1 per 15,000 to 25,000 population. The disease is transmitted by an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. When affected patients such as Candice Sucher ingest fructose, fructose is converted to fructose 1-phosphate. Because of the deficiency of aldolase B, fructose 1phosphate cannot be further metabolized to dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde and accumulates in those tissues that have fructokinase (liver, kidney, and small intestine). Fructose is detected in the urine with the reducing sugar test (see Chapter 5). A DNA screening test (based on the generation of a new restriction site by the mutation) now provides a safe method to confirm a diagnosis of hereditary fructose intolerance. In the infant and small child, the major symptoms include poor feeding, vomiting, intestinal discomfort, and failure to thrive. The greater the ingestion of dietary fructose, the more severe the clinical reaction. The result of prolonged ingestion of fructose is ultrastructural changes in the liver and kidney resulting in hepatic and renal failure. Hereditary fructose intolerance is usually a disease of infancy, because adults with fructose intolerance who have survived avoid the ingestion of fruits, table sugar, and other sweets. Erin Galway has galactosemia, which is caused by a deficiency of galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase; it is one of the most common genetic diseases. Galactosemia is an autosomal recessive disorder of galactose metabolism that occurs in about 1 in 60,000 newborns. Approximately two

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

thirds of the states in the United States screen newborns for this disease because failure to begin immediate treatment results in mental retardation. Failure to thrive is the most common initial clinical symptom. Vomiting or diarrhea is found in most patients, usually starting within a few days of milk ingestion. Signs of deranged liver function, either jaundice or hepatomegaly, are present almost as frequently after the first week of life. The jaundice of intrinsic liver disease may be accentuated by the severe hemolysis in some patients. Cataracts have been observed within a few days of birth. Management of patients requires elimination of galactose from the diet. Failure to eliminate this sugar results in progressive liver failure and death. In infants, artificial milk made from casein or soybean hydrolysate is used. Al Martini’s sputum culture sent on the second day of his admission for acute alcoholism and pneumonia grew out Haemophilus influenzae. This organism is sensitive to a variety of antibiotics, including TMP/sulfa. Unfortunately, it appeared that Mr. Martini had suffered an acute hemolysis (lysis or destruction of some of his red blood cells), probably induced by exposure to the sulfa drug and his infection with H. influenzae. The hemoglobin that escaped from the lysed red blood cells was filtered by his kidneys and appeared in his urine. By mechanisms that are not fully delineated, certain drugs (such as sulfa drugs and antimalarials), a variety of infectious agents, and exposure to fava beans can cause red blood cell destruction in individuals with a genetic deficiency of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Presumably, these patients cannot generate enough reduced NADPH to defend against the ROS. Although erythrocytes lack most of the other enzymatic sources of NADPH for the glutathione antioxidant system, they do have the defense mechanisms provided by the antioxidant vitamins E and C and catalase. Thus, individuals who are not totally deficient in glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase remain asymptomatic unless an additional oxidative stress, such as an infection, generates additional oxygen radicals. Some drugs, such as the antimalarial primaquine and the sulfonamide which Al Martini is taking, affect the ability of red blood cells to defend against oxidative stress. Fava beans, which look like fat string beans and are sometimes called broad beans, contain the purine glycosides vicine and isouramil. These compounds react with glutathione. It has been suggested that cellular levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) decrease to such an extent that critical sulfhydryl groups in some key proteins cannot be maintained in reduced form. The highest prevalence rates for glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency are found in tropical Africa and Asia, in some areas of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and in Papua New Guinea. The geographic distribution of this deficiency is similar to that of sickle cell trait, and is probably also related to the relative resistance it confers against the malaria parasite. Because the individuals with this deficiency are asymptomatic unless exposed to an “oxidant challenge,” the clinical course of the hemolytic anemia is usually selflimited if the causative agent is removed. However, genetic polymorphism accounts for a substantial variability in the severity of the disease. Severely affected patients may have a chronic hemolytic anemia and other sequelae even without known exposure to drugs, infection, and other causative factors. In such patients, neonatal jaundice is also common and can be severe enough to cause death.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Before the metabolic toxicity of fructose was appreciated, substitution of fructose for glucose in intravenous solutions, and of fructose for sucrose in enteral tube feeding or diabetic diets, was frequently recommended.

539

540

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

(Enteral tube feeding refers to tubes placed into the gut; parenteral tube feeding refers to tubes placed into the vein, feeding intravenously.) Administration of intravenous fructose to patients with diabetes mellitus or other forms of insulin resistance avoided the hyperglycemia found with intravenous glucose, possibly because fructose metabolism in the liver bypasses the insulin-regulated step at phosphofructokinase-1. However, because of the unregulated flow of fructose through glycolysis, intravenous fructose feeding frequently resulted in lactic acidosis (see Fig. 29.3). In addition, the fructokinase reaction is very rapid, and tissues would become depleted of ATP and phosphate when large quantities of fructose were metabolized over a short period. This would lead to cell death. Fructose is less toxic in the diet or in enteral feeding because of the relatively slow rate of fructose absorption.

Suggested References Hasler J, Lee S. Acute hemolytic anemia after ingestion of fava beans [letter]. Am J Emerg Med 1993;11:560–561. Holton JB, Walter JH, Tyfield LA. Galactosemia. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al., eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:1553–1587. Luzatto L, Mehta A, Vuillamy T. Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:4517–4553. Sheetz MJ, King GL. Molecular understanding of hyperglycemic adverse effects for diabetic complications. JAMA 2002:2579–2588. Shibuya A, Hirono A, Ishii S, Fujii, Miwa S. Hemolytic crisis after excessive ingestion of fava beans in a male infant with G6PD Canton. Int J Hematol 1999:233–235. Steinman B, Gitzelmann R, Van den Berghe G. Disorders of fructose metabolism. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:1489–1520.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 29 1.

Hereditary fructose intolerance is a rare recessive genetic disease that is most commonly caused by a mutation in exon 5 of the aldolase B gene. The mutation fortuitously creates a new AhaII recognition sequence. To test for the mutation, DNA was extracted from a wife, husband, and their two children, Jack and Jill. The DNA for exon 5 of the aldolase B gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), treated with AhaII, subjected to electrophoresis on an agarose gel, and stained with a dye that binds to DNA.

306 bp

183 bp

123 bp

Wife

Husband

Jack

Jill

CHAPTER 29 / PATHWAYS OF SUGAR METABOLISM: PENTOSE PHOSPHATE PATHWAY, FRUCTOSE, AND GALACTOSE METABOLISM

541

Which of the following conclusions can be made from the data presented? (A) Both of the children have the disease. (B) Neither of the children has the disease. (C) Jill has the disease, Jack does not. (D) Jack has the disease, Jill does not. (E) There is not enough information to make a determination 2.

On examining the gel himself, the husband became concerned that he might not be the biologic father of one or both of the children. From the pattern on the gel, you can reasonably conclude which of the following? (A) He is probably not Jill’s father. (B) He is probably not Jack’s father. (C) He could be the father of both children. (D) He is probably not the father of either child. (E) There is not enough information to make a determination

3.

An alcoholic is brought to the Emergency Room for a hypoglycemic coma. Because alcoholics are frequently malnourished, which of the following enzymes can be used to test for a thiamine deficiency? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

Intravenous fructose feeding can lead to lactic acidosis caused by which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

Aldolase Transaldolase Transketolase Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase UDP-galactose epimerase

Bypassing the regulated pyruvate kinase step Bypassing the regulated PFK-1 step Allosterically activating aldolase B Allosterically activating lactate dehydrogenase Increasing the [ATP]/[ADP] ratio in liver

The polyol pathway of sorbitol production and the HMP shunt pathway are linked by which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

The HMP shunt produces 6-phosphogluconate, an intermediate in the polyol pathway. The HMP shunt produces NADPH, which is required for the polyol pathway. The HMP shunt produces ribitol, an intermediate of the polyol pathway. Both pathways use glucose as the starting material. Both pathways use fructose as the starting material.

30

Synthesis of Glycosides, Lactose, Glycoproteins and Glycolipids

Many of the pathways for interconversion of sugars or the formation of sugar derivatives use activated sugars attached to nucleotides. Both UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose are used for glycosyltransferase reactions in many systems. Lactose, for example, is synthesized from UDP-galactose and glucose in the mammary gland. UDP-glucose also can be oxidized to form UDP-glucuronate, which is used to form glucuronide derivatives of bilirubin and xenobiotic compounds. Glucuronide derivatives are generally more readily excreted in urine or bile than the parent compound. In addition to serving as fuel, carbohydrates are often found in glycoproteins (carbohydrate chains attached to proteins) and glycolipids (carbohydrate chains attached to lipids). Nucleotide sugars are used to donate sugar residues for the formation of the glycosidic bonds in both glycoproteins and glycolipids. These carbohydrate groups have many different types of functions. Glycoproteins contain short chains of carbohydrates (oligosaccharides) that are usually branched. These oligosaccharides are generally composed of glucose, galactose, and their amino derivatives. In addition, mannose, L-fucose, and N-acetylneuraminic acid (NANA) are frequently present. The carbohydrate chains grow by the sequential addition of sugars to a serine or threonine residue of the protein. Nucleotide-sugars are the precursors. Branched carbohydrate chains also may be attached to the amide nitrogen of asparagine in the protein. In this case, the chains are synthesized on dolichol phosphate and subsequently transferred to the protein. Glycoproteins are found in mucus, in the blood, in compartments within the cell (such as lysosomes), in the extracellular matrix, and embedded in the cell membrane with the carbohydrate portion extending into the extracellular space. Glycolipids belong to the class of sphingolipids. They are synthesized from nuceotide-sugars that add monosaccharides sequentially to the hydroxymethyl group of the lipid ceramide (related to sphingosine). They often contain branches of N-acetylneuraminic acid produced from CMP-NANA. They are found in the cell membrane with the carbohydrate portion extruding from the cell surface. These carbohydrates, as well as some of the carbohydrates of glycoproteins, serve as cell recognition factors.

THE

WAITING

ROOM

To help support herself through medical school, Erna Nemdy works evenings in a hospital blood bank. She is responsible for assuring that compatible donor blood is available to patients needing blood transfusions. 542

543

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

Glucose

Glucose –6–P

Glycogen

Proteoglycans, Glycoproteins, Glycolipids

Glucose –1– P

UDP – Glucose

UDP – Glucuronate

UDP – Galactose Lactose Glucose

Fig. 30.1. Metabolism of UDP-glucose. The activated glucose moiety of UDP-glucose can be attached by a glycosidic bond to other sugars, as in glycogen or the sugar oligosaccharide and polysaccharide side chains of proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycolipids. UDP-glucose also can be oxidized to UDP-glucuronate, or epimerized to UDP-galactose, a precursor of lactose.

As part of her training, Erna has learned that the external surfaces of all blood cells contain large numbers of antigenic determinants. These determinants are often glycoproteins or glycolipids that differ from one individual to another. As a result, all blood transfusions expose the recipient to many foreign immunogens. Most of these, fortunately, do not induce antibodies, or they induce antibodies that elicit little or no immunologic response. For routine blood transfusions, therefore, tests are performed only for the presence of antigens that determine whether the patient’s blood type is A, B, AB, or O. Jay Sakz’s psychomotor development has become progressively more abnormal. At 2 years of age, he is obviously mentally retarded and nearly blind. His muscle weakness has progressed to the point that he cannot sit up or even crawl. As the result of a weak cough reflex, he is unable to clear his normal respiratory secretions and has had recurrent respiratory infections.

UDP– Glucose Protein– OH

I.

glycosyltransferase

INTERCONVERSIONS INVOLVING NUCLEOTIDE-SUGARS

Activated sugars attached to nucleotides are converted to other sugars, oxidized to sugar acids, and joined to proteins, lipids, or other sugars through glycosidic bonds.

A. Reactions of UDP-Glucose UDP-glucose is an activated sugar nucleotide that is a precursor of glycogen and lactose, UDP-glucuronate and glucuronides, and the carbohydrate chains in proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycolipids (Fig. 30.1). Both proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans are discussed further in Chapter 49. In the synthesis of many of the carbohydrate portions of these compounds, a sugar is transferred from the nucleotide sugar to an alcohol or other nucleophilic group to form a glycosidic bond (Fig. 30.2). The use of UDP as a leaving group in this reaction provides the energy for formation of the new bond. The enzymes that form glycosidic bonds are sugar transferases (for example, glycogen synthase is a glucosyltransferase). Transferases are also involved in the formation of the glycosidic bonds in bilirubin glucuronides, proteoglycans, and lactose.

UDP CH2OH O

C

O NH

HO

OH

O OH

CH2

CH C

O

Glycosylated protein

Fig. 30.2. Glycosyltransferases. These enzymes transfer sugars from nucleotide sugars to nucleophilic amino acid residues on proteins, such as the hydroxyl group of serine or the amide group of asparagine. Other transferases transfer specific sugars from a nucleotide sugar to a hydroxyl group of other sugars. The bond formed between the anomeric carbon of the sugar and the nucleophilic group of another compound is a glycosidic bond.

544

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

How does glucuronic acid differ from gluconic acid?

Bilirubin diglucuronide UDP– Glucose

CH2OH O HO

OH

O

UDP

UDP–Glucose 2 NAD+ UDP –glucose dehydrogenase

C

HO

O – O O

OH

O

UDP

OH UDP–Glucuronate UDP – glucuronate transferase (microsomal)

C

HO

ROH (xenobiotics, drugs or other OH)

O O– O

OH

Bilirubin

UDP– Glucuronate

OH

2 NADH + 2 H+

Glucuronides

O

Iduronate

OH

UDP –Xylose

Fig. 30.3. Metabolic routes of UDP-glucuronate. UDP-glucuronate is formed from UDPglucose (shown in black). Glucuronate from UDP-glucuronate is incorporated into glycosaminoglycans, where certain of the glucuronate residues are converted to iduronate (see Chapter 49). UDP-glucuronate is a precursor of UDP-xylose, another sugar residue incorporated into glycosaminoglycans. Glucuronate is also transferred to the carboxyl groups of bilirubin or the alcohol groups of steroids, drugs, and xenobiotics to form glucuronides. The “ide” in the name glucuronide denotes that these compounds are glycosides. Xenobiotics are pharmacologically, endocrinologically, or toxicologically active substances not endogenously produced and therefore foreign to an organism. Drugs are an example of a xenobiotic.

B. UDP-Glucuronate: A Source of Negative Charges One of the major routes of UDP-glucose metabolism is the formation of UDPglucuronate, which serves as a precursor of other sugars and of glucuronides (Fig. 30.3). Glucuronate is formed by the oxidation of the alcohol on C6 of glucose to an acid (through two oxidation states) by an NAD -dependent dehydrogenase (Fig. 30.4). Glucuronate is also present in the diet and can be formed from the degradation of inositol (the sugar alcohol that forms inositol trisphosphate (IP3), an intracellular second messenger for many hormones).

R + UDP

H

Proteoglycans, Glycoproteins

Steroids Drugs Xenobiotics

OH Glucuronide Bile or urine

Fig. 30.4. Formation of glucuronate and glucuronides. A glycosidic bond is formed between the anomeric hydroxyl of glucuronate and the hydroxyl group of a nonpolar compound. The negatively charged carboxyl group of the glucuronate increases the water solubility and allows otherwise nonpolar compounds to be excreted in the urine or bile. High concentrations of galactose 1phosphate inhibit phosphoglucomutase, the enzyme that converts glucose 6-phosphate to glucose 1-phosphate. How can this inhibition account for the hypoglycemia and jaundice that accompany galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase deficiency?

C. Formation of Glucuronides The function of glucuronate in the excretion of bilirubin, drugs, xenobiotics, and other compounds containing a hydroxyl group is to add negative charges and increase their solubility. Bilirubin is a degradation product of heme that is formed in the reticuloendothelial system and is only slightly soluble in plasma. It is transported to the liver bound to albumin. In the liver, glucuronate residues are transferred from UDP-glucuronate to two carboxyl groups on bilirubin, sequentially forming bilirubin monoglucuronide and bilirubin diglucuronide, the “conjugated” forms of bilirubin (Fig. 30.5). The more soluble bilirubin diglucuronide (as compared with unconjugated bilirubin) is then actively transported into the bile for excretion. Many xenobiotics, drugs, steroids, and other compounds with hydroxyl groups and a low solubility in water are converted to glucuronides in a similar fashion by glucuronyltransferases present in the endoplasmic reticulum and cytoplasm of the liver and kidney (Table 30.1). This is one of the major conjugation pathways for excretion of these compounds. A failure of the liver to transport, store, or conjugate bilirubin results in the accumulation of unconjugated bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice, the yellowish tinge to the skin and the whites of the eyes (sclera) experienced by Erin Galway, occurs when plasma becomes supersaturated with bilirubin (2–2.5 mg/dL), and the excess diffuses into tissues.

When bilirubin levels are measured in the blood, one can measure either indirect bilirubin (this is the nonconjugated form of bilirubin, which is bound to albumin), direct bilirubin (the conjugated, water-soluble form), or total bilirubin (the sum of the direct and indirect levels). If total bilirubin levels are high, then a determination of direct and indirect bilirubin is needed to appropriately determine a cause for the elevation of total bilirubin.

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

Glucuronate, once formed, can reenter the pathways of glucose metabolism through reactions that eventually convert it to D-xylulose 5-phosphate, an intermediate of the pentose phosphate pathway. In most mammals other than humans, an intermediate of this pathway is the precursor of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Humans, however, are deficient in this pathway and cannot synthesize vitamin C.

D. Synthesis of UDP-Galactose and Lactose from Glucose Lactose is synthesized from UDP-galactose and glucose (Fig. 30.6). However, galactose is not required in the diet for lactose synthesis because galactose can be synthesized from glucose. 1.

CONVERSION OF GLUCOSE TO GALACTOSE

Galactose and glucose are epimers; they differ only in the stereochemical position of one hydroxyl group. Thus, the formation of UDP-galactose from UDP-glucose is an epimerization (Fig. 30.7). The epimerase does not actually transfer the hydroxyl group; it oxidizes the hydroxyl to a ketone by transferring electrons to NAD , and then donates electrons back to re-form the alcohol group on the other side of the carbon. 2.

545

Table 30.1. Some Compounds Degraded and Excreted as Urinary Glucuronides Estrogen (female sex hormone) Progesterone (steroid hormone) Triiodothyronine (thyroid hormone) Acetylaminofluorene (xenobiotic carcinogen) Meprobamate (drug for sleep) Morphine (painkiller)

6-Phosphogluconate is produced by the first oxidative reaction in the pentose phosphate pathway, in which carbon 1 of glucose is oxidized to a carboxylate. In contrast, glucuronic acid is oxidized at carbon 6 to the carboxylate form.

LACTOSE SYNTHESIS

Lactose is unique in that it is synthesized only in the mammary gland of the adult for short periods during lactation. Lactose synthase, an enzyme present in the endoplasmic reticulum of the lactating mammary gland, catalyzes the last step in lactose biosynthesis, the transfer of galactose from UDP-galactose to glucose (see Fig. 30.6). Lactose synthase has two protein subunits, a galactosyltransferase and -lactalbumin. -Lactalbumin is a modifier protein synthesized after parturition (childbirth) in response to the hormone prolactin. This enzyme subunit lowers the Km of the galactosyltransferase for glucose from 1,200 to 1 mM, thereby increasing the rate of lactose synthesis. In the absence of -lactalbumin, galactosyltransferase transfers galactosyl units to glycoproteins.

Many (60%) full-term newborns develop jaundice, termed neonatal jaundice. This is usually caused by an increased destruction of red blood cells after birth (the fetus has an unusually large number of red blood cells) and an immature bilirubin conjugating system in the liver. This leads to elevated levels of nonconjugated bilirubin, which is deposited in hydrophobic (fat) environments. If bilirubin levels reach a certain threshold at the age of 48 hours, the newborn is a candidate for phototherapy, in which the child is placed under lamps that emit light between the wavelengths of 425 and 475 nm. Bilirubin absorbs this light, undergoes chemical changes, and becomes more water soluble. Usually, within a week of birth, the newborn’s liver can handle the load generated from red blood cell turnover. The inhibition of phosphoglucomutase results in hypoglycemia by interfering with both the formation of UDP-glucose (the glycogen precursor) and the degradation of glycogen back to glucose 6-phosphate. Ninety percent of glycogen degradation leads to glucose 1-phosphate, which can only be converted to glucose 6-phosphate by phosphoglucomutase. When phosphoglucomutase activity is inhibited, less glucose-6-P production occurs, and hence, less glucose is available for export. Thus, the stored glycogen is only approximately 10% efficient in raising blood glucose levels, and hypoglycemia results. UDP-glucose levels are reduced because glucose-1-P is required to synthesize UDP-glucose, and in the absence of phosphoglucomutase activity glucose-6-P cannot be converted to glucose-1-P. This prevents the formation of UDPglucuronate, which is necessary to convert bilirubin to the diglucuronide form for transport into the bile. Bilirubin accumulates in tissues, giving them a yellow color (jaundice).

A pregnant woman who was extremely lactose intolerant asked her physician if she would still be able to breastfeed her infant since she could not drink milk or dairy products. What advice should she be given? COO– O HO

OH CH3

O O

C

CH2

CH

OH

CH3

CH2 COO– O

O O

CH2

CH2

NH CH

CH3

Glucuronates

CH2

CH3

C

OH OH

NH

CH2

OH

HO

N

CH

CH2

CH

N OH

Bilirubin

Fig. 30.5. Formation of bilirubin diglucuronide. A glycosidic bond is formed between the anomeric hydroxyl of glucuronate and the carboxylate groups of bilirubin. The addition of the hydrophilic carbohydrate group, and the negatively charged carboxyl group of the glucuronate, increases the water solubility of the conjugated bilirubin and allows the otherwise insoluble bilirubin to be excreted in the urine or bile.

546

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

CH2OH O

Glucose–1–P UTP PPi

HO

OH

UDP –Glucose

UDP

OH UDP– Glucose

epimerase

UDP–Galactose D –Glucose lactose synthase (acceptor) (galactosyltransferase + α – lactalbumin) UDP

Lactose CH2OH O HO

OH

UDP – glucose 4– epimerase (NAD+)

CH2OH O HO OH

CH2OH O OH O

OH

O

O

UDP

OH UDP– Galactose

OH OH

Fig. 30.6. Lactose synthesis. Lactose is a disaccharide composed of galactose and glucose. UDP-galactose for the synthesis of lactose in the mammary gland is usually formed from the epimerization of UDP-glucose. Lactose synthase attaches the anomeric carbon of the galactose to the C4 alcohol group of glucose to form a glycosidic bond. Lactose synthase is composed of a galactosyltransferase and lactalbumin, which is a regulatory subunit.

Table 30.2. Some Sugar Nucleotides That Are Precursors for Transferase Reactions UDP-glucose UDP-galactose UDP-glucuronic acid UDP-xylose UDP-N-acetylglucosamine UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid GDP-fucose GDP-mannose

Although the lactose in dairy products is a major source of galactose, the ingestion of lactose is not required for lactation. UDP-galactose in the mammary gland is derived principally from the epimerization of glucose. Dairy products are, however, a major dietary source of Ca2, so breastfeeding mothers need increased Ca2 from another source.

Fig. 30.7. Epimerization of UDP-glucose to UDP-galactose. The epimerization of glucose to galactose occurs on UDP-sugars. The epimerase uses NAD to oxidize the alcohol to a ketone, and then reduce the ketone back to an alcohol. The reaction is reversible; glucose being converted to galactose forms galactose for lactose synthesis, and galactose being converted to glucose is part of the pathway for the metabolism of dietary galactose.

E. Formation of Sugars for Glycolipid and Glycoprotein Synthesis The transferases that produce the oligosaccharide and polysaccharide side chains of glycolipids and attach sugar residues to proteins are specific for the sugar moiety and for the donating nucleotide (e.g., UDP, CMP, or GDP). Some of the sugarnucleotides used for glycoprotein, proteoglycan (see Chapter 49) and glycolipid formation are listed in Table 30.2. They include the derivatives of glucose and galactose that we have already discussed, as well as acetylated amino sugars and derivatives of mannose. The reason for the large variety of sugars attached to proteins and lipids is that they have relatively specific and different functions, such as targeting a protein toward a membrane, providing recognition sites on the cell surface for other cells, hormones, or viruses, or acting as lubricants or molecular sieves (see Chapter 42). The pathways for utilization and formation of many of these sugars are summarized in Figure 30.8. Note that many of the steps are reversible, so that glucose and other dietary sugars enter a common pool from which the diverse sugars can be formed. The amino sugars are all derived from glucosamine 6-phosphate. To synthesize glucosamine 6-phosphate, an amino group is transferred from the amide of glutamine to fructose 6-phosphate (Fig. 30.9). Amino sugars, such as glucosamine, can then be N-acetylated by an acetyltransferase. Mannose is found in the diet in small amounts. Like galactose, it is an epimer of glucose, and mannose and glucose are interconverted by epimerization reactions. The interconversion can take place either at the level of fructose 6-phosphate to mannose 6-phosphate, or at the level of the derivatized sugars (see Fig. 30.8). N-Acetyltransferases are present in the endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol and provide another means of chemically modifying sugars, metabolites, drugs, and xenobiotic compounds. Individuals may vary greatly in their capacity for acetylation reactions.

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

547

Glucose UDP– Glucuronic acid Glucose 6– phosphate

Glucose 1–phosphate

Iduronic acid Glycosaminoglycans

UDP – Glucose UDP–Xylose UDP– Galactose

Mannose

Fructose 6– phosphate

UDP – glucose

Mannose 6 – phosphate

Galactose 1– phosphate

Glutamine

Glutamate

Galactose Mannose 1 –phosphate

GDP– Mannose

Glycoproteins (Asn - linked)

Glycolipids Glycoproteins

GDP– 4 – Keto – 6 deoxymannose

GDP –Fucose

UTP Glucosamine 6 –phosphate

Glucosamine–1 – P

Fucose 1– phosphate

Glycosaminoglycans (e.g., heparin)

Acetyl CoA

N –Acetylglucosamine 6–phosphate

UDP– Glucosamine

N – Acetyl glucosamine

Fucose

N –Acetylglucosamine 1–phosphate

Glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronic acid), glycoproteins

UDP– N –Acetyl glucosamine

N – Acetyl mannosamine

N –Acetylmannosamine 6 – phosphate Phosphoenolpyruvate

Glycosaminoglycans (chondroitins), glycoproteins

UDP– N –Acetyl galactosamine

N –Acetylneuraminic acid 9 – phosphate

N –Acetylgalactosamine 1 –phosphate

N – Acetylneuraminic acid (Sialic acid)

Galactosamine

CMP– N – Acetyl neuraminic acid

Gangliosides, glycoproteins

Fig. 30.8. Pathways for the interconversion of sugars. All of the different sugars found in glycosaminoglycans, gangliosides, and other compounds in the body can be synthesized from glucose. Dietary glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose, and other sugars enter a common pool from which other sugars are derived. The activated sugar is transferred from the nucleotide sugar, shown in blue boxes, to form a glycosidic bond with another sugar or amino acid residue. The box next to each nucleotide sugar lists some of the compounds that contain the sugar. Iduronic acid, in the upper right corner of the diagram, is formed only after glucuronic acid is incorporated into a glycosaminoglycan (which is discussed in more detail in Chapter 49).

548

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Fructose–6 –P Glutamine O ( C NH2 )

NANA

NANA

Gal

Gal

GlcNAc

GlcNAc

Glutamate O ( C O– )

Man Man

Glucosamine–6 –P

GlcNAc

N –acetyltransferase CoASH

Asn CH2O P O

H

O C

N-Acetylmannosamine is the precursor of N-acetylneuraminic acid (NANA, a sialic acid) and GDP-mannose is the precursor of GDP-fucose (see Fig. 30.8). The negative charge on NANA is obtained by the addition of a 3-carbon carboxyl moiety from phosphoenolpyruvate.

CH3

N – Acetylglucosamine– 6–P

Fig. 30.9. The formation of N-acetylglucosamine 6-phosphate. The amino sugar is formed by a transfer of the amino group from the amide of glutamine to a carbon of the sugar. The amino group is acetylated by the transfer of an acetyl group from acetyl CoA.

H –

H –

H

H

O

H

H – –

H

O

Salivary mucin –

Protein chain

Fig. 30.10. An example of a branched glycoprotein. NANA N-acetylneuraminic acid; Gal galactose; GlcNAc N-acetylglucosamine; Man mannose; Fuc fucose.

N

H

O

Fuc

OH

HO

H

GlcNAc

GlcNAc

Acetyl CoA

O

Man

= Sialic acid = N –Acetylglucosamine

Fig. 30.11. Structure of salivary mucin. The sugars form hydrogen bonds with water. Sialic acid provides a negatively charged carboxylate group. The protein is extremely large, and the negatively charged sialic acids extend the carbohydrate chains so the molecules occupy a large space. All of the salivary glycoproteins are O-linked. NANA is a sialic acid.

II. GLYCOPROTEINS A. Structure and Function Glycoproteins contain short carbohydrate chains covalently linked to either serine/threonine or asparagine residues in the protein. These oligosaccharide chains are often branched, and they do not contain repeating disaccharides (Fig. 30.10). Most proteins in the blood are glycoproteins. They serve as hormones, antibodies, enzymes (including those of the blood clotting cascade), and as structural components of the extracellular matrix. Collagen contains galactosyl units and disaccharides composed of galactosyl-glucose attached to hydroxylysine residues (see Chapter 49). The secretions of mucus-producing cells, such as salivary mucin, are glycoproteins (Fig. 30.11). Although most glycoproteins are secreted from cells, some are segregated in lysosomes, where they serve as the lysosomal enzymes that degrade various types of cellular and extracellular material. Other glycoproteins are produced like secretory proteins, but hydrophobic regions of the protein remain attached to the cell membrane, and the carbohydrate portion extends into the extracellular space (Fig. 30.12)(also see Chapter 15, section I). These glycoproteins serve as receptors for compounds such as hormones, as transport proteins, and as cell attachment and cell–cell recognition sites. Bacteria and viruses also bind to these sites.

B. Synthesis The protein portion of glycoproteins is synthesized on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The carbohydrate chains are attached to the protein in the lumen of the ER and the Golgi complex. In some cases, the initial sugar is added to a serine or a threonine residue in the protein, and the carbohydrate chain is extended by the sequential addition of sugar residues to the nonreducing end. As seen previously in Table 2, UDP-sugars are the precursors for the addition of four of the seven sugars that are usually found in glycoproteins—glucose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylgalactosamine. GDP-sugars are the precursors for the addition of mannose and L-fucose, and CMP-NANA is the precursor for NANA.

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

Protein

Membrane protein

549

Carbohydrate

Secreted protein Secretory vesicle

Lysosomal enzyme Secretory vesicle

Lysosome

Mannose– P Golgi complex

Mannose– P receptor

Fig. 30.12. Route from the Golgi complex to the final destination for lysosomal enzymes, cell membrane proteins, and secreted proteins, which include glycoproteins and proteoglycans.

The enzyme that is deficient in I-cell disease is a phosphotransferase located in the Golgi apparatus.

O-Mannose O O

O

P O

H

O –

O

P O

CH2

CH2

C

CH3 CH2

CH3

CH2

CH

C

CH2

CH2

CH

CH3

UDP-NAcGlc

C

phosphotransferase (defective in I cell disease)

CH3

UMP n

Fig. 30.13. Structure of dolichol phosphate. In humans, the isoprene unit (in brackets) is repeated approximately 17 times (n = ~17).

O-Mannose-6-P-1-NAcGlc H2O N-Acetylglucosaminidase

N-AcGlc

Dolichol phosphate (Fig. 30.13) (which is synthesized from isoprene units, as discussed in Chapter 34) is involved in transferring branched sugar chains to the amide nitrogen of asparagine residues. Sugars are removed and added as the glycoprotein moves from the ER through the Golgi complex (Fig. 30.14). As discussed in Chapter 10, the carbohydrate chain is used as a targeting marker for lysosomal enzymes. I-cell (inclusion cell) disease is a rare condition in which lysosomal enzymes lack the mannosephosphate marker that targets them to lysosomes. Consequently, lysosomal enzymes are secreted from the cells. Because lysosomes lack their normal complement of enzymes, undegraded molecules accumulate within membranes inside these cells, forming inclusion bodies.

III. GLYCOLIPIDS A. Function and Structure Glycolipids are derivatives of the lipid sphingosine. These sphingolipids include the cerebrosides and the gangliosides (Fig. 30.15; see also Fig. 5.22). They contain ceramide, with carbohydrate moieties attached to its hydroxymethyl group. Glycolipids are involved in intercellular communication. Oligosaccharides of identical composition are present in both the glycolipids and glycoproteins associated with the cell membrane, where they serve as cell recognition factors. For example, carbohydrate residues in these oligosaccharides are the antigens of the ABO blood group substances (Fig. 30.16).

O-Mannose-6-P

The phosphotransferase has the unique ability to recognize lysosomal proteins because of their three-dimensional structure, such that they can all be appropriately tagged for transport to the lysosomes.

By identifying the nature of antigenic determinants on the surface of the donor’s red blood cells, Erna Nemdy is able to classify the donor’s blood as belonging to certain specific blood groups. These antigenic determinants are located in the oligosaccharides of the glycoproteins and glycolipids of the cell membranes. The most important blood group in humans is the ABO group, which comprises two antigens, A and B. Individuals with the A antigen on their cells belong to blood group A. Those with B belong to group B, and those with both A and B belong to group AB. The absence of both the A and the B antigen results in blood type O (see Fig. 30.16).

550

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A

= Dolichol = N –Acetylglucosamine = Mannose = Glucose P = Phosphate

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

UDP

GDP

GDP

UDP

UMP

UDP

GDP

GDP

UDP

UDP

B Rough endoplasmic reticulum

1

2

3

4

P P

Galactose

Ceramide

Galactocerebroside

Dolichol Golgi complex

cis

Glc

Ceramide

5

Gal

GalNAc NANA

Ganglioside

medial

6

7

8

UDP

UDP

9

CH2 OH

GDP

NH

H C H C Exit

trans

10

11

UDP

CMP

OH

C

O

CH

(CH2)n

CH

CH3

(CH2)12 CH3

Fig. 30.14. Action of dolichol phosphate in transferring carbohydrate groups to proteins (A) and processing of these carbohydrate groups (B). Transfer of the branched oligosaccharide from dolichol phosphate to a protein in the lumen of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) (step 1) and processing of the oligosaccharide (steps 2–11). Steps 1 through 4 occur in the RER. The glycoprotein is transferred in vesicles to the Golgi complex, where further modifications of the oligosaccharides occur (steps 5–11). B modified with permission from Kornfeld R, Kornfeld S. Annu Rev Biochem 1985;54:640. © 1985 by Annual Reviews, Inc. P phosphate.

Ceramide

Fig. 30.15. Structures of cerebrosides and gangliosides. In these glycolipids, sugars are attached to ceramide (shown below the glycolipids). The boxed portion of ceramide is sphingosine, from which the name sphingolipids is derived.

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

551

Blood Type O Type O

Gal O

O

O GalNAc

Gal O

R

H substance

O O

O

O

Fuc

Type A

O GlcNAc

O

O GlcNAc

O

R

O

O GlcNAc

O

R

O

Fuc

O Type B

Gal

O O

Gal O

O

Fuc

Fig. 30.16. Structures of the blood group substances. Note that these structures are the same except that type A has N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) at the nonreducing end, type B has galactose (Gal), and type O has neither. R is either a protein or the lipid ceramide. Each antigenic determinant is boxed. Fuc fucose; GlcNAc N-acetylglucosamine; Gal galactose. The blood group substances are oligosaccharide components of glycolipids and glycoproteins found in most cell membranes. Those located on red blood cells have been studied extensively. A single genetic locus with two alleles determines an individual’s blood type. These genes encode glycosyltransferases involved in the synthesis of the oligosaccharides of the blood group substances. Most individuals can synthesize the H substance, an oligosaccharide that contains a fucose linked to a galactose at the nonreducing end of the blood group substance (see Fig. 30.16). Type A individuals produce an N-acetylgalactosamine transferase (encoded by the A gene) that attaches N-acetylgalactosamine to the galactose residue of the H substance. Type B individuals produce a galactosyltransferase (encoded by the B gene) that links galactose to the galactose residue of the H substance. Type AB individuals have both alleles and produce both transferases. Thus, some of the oligosaccharides of their blood group substances contain N-acetylgalactosamine and some contain galactose. Type O individuals produce a defective transferase, and, therefore, they do not attach either N-acetylgalactosamine or galactose to the H substance. Thus, individuals of blood type O have only the H substance.

B. Synthesis Cerebrosides are synthesized from ceramide and UDP-glucose or UDP-galactose. They contain a single sugar (a monosaccharide). Gangliosides contain oligosaccharides produced from UDP-sugars and CMP-NANA, which is the precursor for the N-acetylneuraminic acid residues that branch from the linear chain. The synthesis of the sphingolipids is described in more detail in Chapter 33. Sphingolipids are produced in the Golgi complex. Their lipid component becomes part of the membrane of the secretory vesicle that buds from the trans face of the Golgi. After the vesicle membrane fuses with the cell membrane, the lipid component of the glycolipid remains in the outer layer of the cell membrane, and the carbohydrate component extends into the extracellular space.

Cholera toxin binds to the carbohydrate portion of the GM1 ganglioside to allow its catalytic subunit to enter the cell.

Erna Nemdy determined that a patient’s blood type was AB. The new surgical resident was eager to give this patient a blood transfusion and, because AB blood is rare and an adequate amount was not available in the blood bank, he requested type A blood. Should Erna give him type A blood for his patient?

552

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Jay Sakz has Tay-Sachs disease, which belongs to a group of gangliosidoses that include Fabry’s and Gaucher’s diseases. They mainly affect the brain, the skin, and the reticuloendothelial system (e.g., liver and spleen). In these diseases, complex lipids accumulate. Each of these lipids contains a ceramide as part of its structure (Table 30.3). The rate at which the lipid is synthesized is normal. However, the lysosomal enzyme required to degrade it is not very active, either because it is made in deficient quantities because of a mutation in a gene that specifically codes for the enzyme or because a critical protein required to activate the enzyme is deficient. Because the lipid cannot be degraded, it accumulates and causes degeneration of the affected tissues with progressive malfunction, such as the psychomotor deficits that occur as a result of the central nervous system involvement seen in most of these storage diseases.

Table 30.3. Defective Enzymes in the Gangliosidoses Enzyme Deficiency

Accumulated Lipid

Fucosidosis

Disease

-Fucosidase

Cer–Glc–Gal–GalNAc–Gal:Fuc H-isoantigen

Generalized gangliosidosis

GM1--galactosidase

Cer–Glc–Gal(NeuAc)–GalNAc:Gal GM1 ganglioside

Tay-Sachs disease

Hexosaminidase A

Cer–Glc–Gal(NeuAc):GalNAc GM2 ganglioside

Tay-Sachs variant or Sandhoff disease

Hexosaminidase A and B

Cer–Glc–Gal–Gal:GalNAc Globoside plus GM2ganglioside

Fabry’s disease

-Galactosidase

Cer–Glc–Gal:Gal Globotriaosylceramide

Ceramide lactoside lipidosis

Ceramide lactosidase (-galactosidase)

Cer–Glc:Gal Ceramide lactoside

Metachromatic leukodystrophy

Arylsulfatase A

Cer–Gal:OSO3 3-Sulfogalactosylceramide

Krabbe’s disease

-Galactosidase

Cer:Gal Galactosylceramide

Gaucher’s disease

-Glucosidase

Cer:Glc Glucosylceramide

Niemann-Pick disease

Sphingomyelinase

Cer:P–choline Sphingomyelin

Farber’s disease

Ceramidase

Acyl:sphingosine Ceramide

NeuAc, N-acetylneuraminic acid; Cer, ceramide: Glc, glucose; Gal, galactose; Fuc, fucose : site of deficient enzyme reaction.

CLINICAL COMMENTS During her stint in the hospital blood bank, Erna Nemdy learned that the importance of the ABO blood group system in transfusion therapy is based on two principles (Table 30.4). (a) Antibodies to A and to B antigens occur naturally in the blood serum of persons whose red blood cell surfaces lack the corresponding antigen (i.e., individuals with A antigens on their red blood cells have B antibodies in their serum and vice versa). These antibodies may arise as a result of previous exposure to cross-reacting antigens in bacteria and foods or to blood transfusions. (b) Antibodies to A and B are usually present in high titers and are capable of activating the entire complement system. As a result, these antibodies may cause intravascular destruction of a large number of incompatible red blood cells given during a blood transfusion. Individuals with type AB blood have both A and B antigens and do not produce antibodies to either. Hence, they are “universal” recipients. They can safely receive red blood cells from individuals of A, B, AB, or O blood type. (However, they cannot safely receive serum from these individuals because it contains antibodies to A or B antigens.) Those with type O blood do not have either antigen. They are “universal” donors; i.e., their red cells can safely be infused into type A, B, O, or AB individuals. (However, their serum contains antibodies to both A and B antigens and cannot safely be used.) The patient could safely receive type A blood cells from another person because he has both A and B antigens on his own cells and does not have antibodies in his serum to either type A or B cells. However, he should not be given type A serum (or type A whole blood) because type A serum contains antibodies to type B antigens, which are present on his cells.

Table 30.4. Characteristics of the ABO Blood Groups Red cell type Possible genotypes Antibodies in serum Frequency (in Caucasians) Can accept blood types

O OO Anti-A and B 45% O

A AA or AO Anti-B 40% A, O

B BB or BO Anti-A 10% B, O

AB AB None 5% A, B, AB, O

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

The second important red blood cell group is the Rh group. It is important because one of its antigenic determinants, the D antigen, is a very potent immunogen, stimulating the production of a large number of antibodies. The unique carbohydrate composition of the glycoproteins that constitute the antigenic determinants on red blood cells in part contributes to the relative immunogenicity of the A, B, and Rh (D) red blood cell groups in human blood. Tay-Sachs disease, the problem afflicting Jay Sakz, is an autosomal recessive disorder that is rare in the general population (1 in 300,000 births), but its prevalence in Jews of Eastern European extraction (who make up 90% of the Jewish population in the United States) is much higher (1 in 3,600 births). One in 28 Ashkenazi Jews carries this defective gene. Its presence can be discovered by measuring the tissue level of the protein produced by the gene (hexosaminidase A) or by recombinant DNA techniques. Skin fibroblasts of concerned couples planning a family are frequently used for these tests. Carriers of the affected gene have a reduced but functional level of this enzyme that normally hydrolyzes a specific bond between an N-acetyl-D-galactosamine and a D-galactose residue in the polar head of the ganglioside. No effective therapy is available. Enzyme replacement has met with little success because of the difficulties in getting the enzyme across the blood-brain barrier. BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Hexosaminidase A, the enzyme defective in Tay-Sachs disease, is actually composed of two subunits, an and a chain. The exact stoichiometry of the active enzyme is unknown, but it may be 22. The subunit is coded for by the HexA gene, whereas the subunit is coded for by the HexB gene. In TaySachs disease, the subunit is defective, and hexosaminidase A activity is lost. However, the subunit can form active tetramers in the absence of the subunit, and this activity, named hexosaminidase B, which cleaves the glycolipid globoside, retains activity in children with Tay-Sachs disease. Thus, children with Tay-Sachs disease accumulate the ganglioside GM2, but not globoside (Fig. 30.17). Mutation of the HexB gene, and production of a defective subunit, leads to inactivation of both hexosaminidase A and B activity. Such a mutation leads to Sandhoff disease. Both activities are lost because both activities require a functional subunit. The clinical course of this disease is similar to Tay-Sachs but with an accelerated timetable because of the initial accumulation of both GM2 and globoside in the lysosomes. Sandhoff activator protein +

hexosaminidase A (α2β2)

Block in Sandhoff disease Block in Tay-Sachs disease GM2

ceramide

glc

gal

NAcGal

Sialic acid hexosaminidase A or B (β4)

Block in Sandhoff disease Globoside

ceramide glc gal gal

NAcGal

Fig. 30.17. Substrate specificities of hexosaminidase A, B, and the function of the activator protein. Glc glucose; gal galactose; NAcGal N-acetylgalactosamine.

553

554

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A third type of mutation also can lead to disease symptoms similar to those of Tay-Sachs disease. Children were identified with Tay-Sachs symptoms, but when both hexosaminidase A and B activities were measured in a test tube, they were normal. This disease, ultimately named Sandhoff activator disease, is caused by a mutation in a protein that is needed to activate hexosaminidase A activity. In the absence of the activator, hexosaminidase A activity is minimal, and GM2 initially accumulates in lysosomes. This mutation has no effect on hexosaminidase B activity. When a glycolipid cannot be degraded because of an enzymatic mutation, it accumulates in residual bodies (vacuoles that contain material that lysosomal enzymes cannot digest). Normal cells contain a small number of residual bodies, but in diseases of lysosomal enzymes, large numbers of residual bodies accumulate within the cell, eventually interfering with normal cell function. In 70% of the cases of Tay-Sachs disease in persons of Ashkenazai Jewish background, exon 11 of the gene for the chain of hexosaminidase A contains a mutation. The normal gene sequence encodes a protein with the amino acids arg-ile-sertyr-gly-pro-asp in this region, as shown below: •

10

20

5' CGTATATCCTATGGCCCTGAC arg ile ser tyr gly pro asp

The mutant DNA sequence for this area is shown below: •

10

20

5' CGTATATCTATCCTATGGCCCTGAC arg ile ser ile leu leu trp pro

A four-base insertion (underlined) occurs in the mutated gene, which alters the reading frame of the protein, and also introduces a premature stop codon further down the protein, such that no functional subunit can be produced.

Suggested References Gravel RA, Kaback MM, Proia RL, Sandhoff K, et al. The GM2 gangliosidoses. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:3827–3876. Kornfeld S, Sly WS. I-cell disease and pseudohurler polydystrophy: disorders of lysosomal enzyme phosphorylation and localization. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al., eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:3469–3482. Lloyd KO. The chemistry and immunochemistry of blood group A, B, H and Lewis antigens: past, present and future. Glycoconjugate J 2000:531–541.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 30 1.

Which of the following best describes a mother with galactosemia caused by a deficiency of galactose 1-phosphate uridylyl transferase? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

She can convert galactose to UDP-galactose for lactose synthesis during lactation. She can form galactose 1-phosphate from galactose. She can use galactose as a precursor to glucose production. She can use galactose to produce glycogen. She will have lower than normal levels of serum galactose after drinking milk.

CHAPTER 30 / SYNTHESIS OF GLYCOSIDES, LACTOSE, GLYCOPROTEINS AND GLYCOLIPIDS

2.

The immediate carbohydrate precursors for glycolipid and glycoprotein synthesis are which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

Glucose Gluconate Glucuronate Galactose Galactitol

The nitrogen donor for the formation of amino sugars is which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

Sugar phosphates Sugar acids Sugar alcohols Nucleotide sugars Acyl-sugars

A newborn is diagnosed with neonatal jaundice. In this patient, the bilirubin produced lacks which of the following carbohydrates? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

555

Ammonia Asparagine Glutamine Adenine Dolichol

Which of the following glycolipids would accumulate in a patient with Sandhoff’s disease? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

GM1 Lactosyl-ceramide Globoside Glucocerebroside GM3

31

Gluconeogenesis and Maintenance of Blood Glucose Levels

During fasting, many of the reactions of glycolysis are reversed as the liver produces glucose to maintain blood glucose levels. This process of glucose production is called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis, which occurs primarily in the liver, is the pathway for the synthesis of glucose from compounds other than carbohydrates. In humans, the major precursors of glucose are lactate, glycerol, and amino acids, particularly alanine.Except for three key sequences, the reactions of gluconeogenesis are reversals of the steps of glycolysis (Fig. 31.1). The sequences of gluconeogenesis that do not use enzymes of glycolysis involve the irreversible, regulated steps of glycolysis. These three steps are the conversion of (a) pyruvate to phosphoenolpyruvate, (b) fructose 1,6-bisphosphate to fructose 6-phosphate, and (c) glucose 6-phosphate to glucose. Some tissues of the body, such as the brain and red blood cells, cannot synthesize glucose on their own, yet depend on glucose for energy. On a long-term basis, most tissues also require glucose for other functions such as the synthesis of the ribose moiety of nucleotides or the carbohydrate portion of glycoproteins and glycolipids. Therefore, to survive, humans must have mechanisms for maintaining blood glucose levels. After a meal containing carbohydrates, blood glucose levels rise (Fig. 31.2). Some of the glucose from the diet is stored in the liver as glycogen. After 2 or 3 hours of fasting, this glycogen begins to be degraded by the process of glycogenolysis, and glucose is released into the blood. As glycogen stores decrease, adipose triacylglycerols are also degraded, providing fatty acids as an alternative fuel and glycerol for the synthesis of glucose by gluconeogenesis. Amino acids are also released from the muscle to serve as gluconeogenic precursors. During an overnight fast, blood glucose levels are maintained by both glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. However, after approximately 30 hours of fasting, liver glycogen stores are mostly depleted. Subsequently, gluconeogenesis is the only source of blood glucose. Changes in the metabolism of glucose that occur during the switch from the fed to the fasting state are regulated by the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin is elevated in the fed state, and glucagon is elevated during fasting. Insulin stimulates the transport of glucose into certain cells such as those in muscle and adipose tissue. Insulin also alters the activity of key enzymes that regulate metabolism, stimulating the storage of fuels. Glucagon counters the effects of insulin, stimulating the release of stored fuels and the conversion of lactate, amino acids, and glycerol to glucose.

556

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

Glycolysis

Gluconeogenesis

Glucose

Glucose

ATP

Pi

glucose 6– phosphatase

glucokinase

ADP Glucose–6–P

Glucose – 6 – P

Fructose–6–P

Fructose – 6 – P

ATP phosphofructo– kinase–1

ADP

Fructose – 1, 6–P

Glyceraldehyde–3–P

Pi

fructose bisphosphatase

Fructose – 1, 6 – P

DHAP

DHAP

Glyceraldehyde – 3 – P

NAD+

NADH

NAD+

NADH

NAD+

NADH

1,3–Bisphosphoglycerate

Glycerol – 3 – P

ADP

ADP

ATP

ATP

3–Phosphoglycerate

Glycerol

2–Phosphoglycerate

Phosphoenolpyruvate ADP

Phosphoenolpyruvate PEP carboxykinase

pyruvate kinase

ATP

GTP OAA

Pyruvate NADH

GDP

pyruvate dehydrogenase

Acetyl CoA TCA cycle

NAD+

Fatty acids

Pyruvate

pyruvate carboxylase

OAA TCA cycle

Lactate Alanine, Amino acids

Amino acids Lactate

ATP

Fig. 31.1. Glycolysis and gluconeogenesis in the liver. The gluconeogenic pathway is almost the reverse of the glycolytic pathway, except for three reaction sequences. At these three steps, the reactions are catalyzed by different enzymes. The energy requirements of these reactions differ, and one pathway can be activated while the other is inhibited.

557

558

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Fed

Blood glucose levels are maintained not only during fasting, but also during exercise, when muscle cells take up glucose from the blood and oxidize it for energy. During exercise, the liver supplies glucose to the blood by the processes of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

Dietary carbohydrate

Glucose

Gut

Fasting Glycogen

Brain

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Glycerol Amino acids

RBC

Lactate Glucose

Liver

Other tissues

Starved Glucose

Brain

Glycerol Amino acids

Liver

RBC Lactate Glucose

Other tissues

Fig. 31.2. Sources of blood glucose in the fed, fasting, and starved states. RBC red blood cells.

What clinical signs and symptoms help to distinguish a coma caused by an excess of blood glucose and ketone bodies due to a deficiency of insulin (diabetic ketoacidosis [DKA]) from a coma caused by a sudden lowering of blood glucose (hypoglycemic coma) induced by the inadvertent injection of excessive insulin—the current problem experienced by Di Abietes?

Al Martini, a known alcoholic, was brought to the emergency room by his landlady, who stated that he had been drinking heavily for the past week. During this time his appetite had gradually diminished, and he had not eaten any food for the past 3 days. He was confused, combative, tremulous, and sweating profusely. His speech was slurred. His heart rate was rapid (110 beats per minute). As his blood pressure was being determined, he had a grand mal seizure. His blood glucose, drawn just before the onset of the seizure, was 28 mg/dL or 1.6 mM (reference range for overnight fasting blood glucose 80–100 mg/dL or 4.4–5.6 mM). His blood ethanol level drawn at the same time was 295 mg/dL (intoxication level, i.e., “confused” stage 150–300 mg/dL). Emma Wheezer presented to the emergency room 3 days after discharge from the hospital following a 10-day admission for severe refractory bronchial asthma. She required high-dose intravenous dexamethasone (an anti-inflammatory synthetic glucocorticoid) for the first 8 days of her stay. After 2 additional days receiving oral dexamethasone, she was discharged on substantial pharmacologic doses of this steroid and instructed to return to her physician’s office in 5 days. She presented now with marked polyuria (increased urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and muscle weakness. Her blood glucose was 275 mg/dL or 15 mM (reference range 80–100 mg/dL or 4.4–5.6 mM). Di Abietes could not remember whether she had taken her 6:00 PM insulin dose, when, in fact, she had done so. Unfortunately, she decided to give herself the evening dose (for the second time). When she did not respond to her alarm clock at 6:00 AM the following morning, her roommate tried unsuccessfully to awaken her. The roommate called an ambulance, and Di was rushed to the hospital emergency room in a coma. Her pulse and blood pressure at admission were normal. Her skin was flushed and slightly moist. Her respirations were slightly slow. Ann O’Rexia continues to resist efforts on the part of her psychiatrist and family physician to convince her to increase her caloric intake. Her body weight varies between 97 and 99 lb, far below the desirable weight for a woman who is 5 feet 7 inches tall. In spite of her severe diet, her fasting blood glucose levels range from 55 to 70 mg/dL. She denies having any hypoglycemic symptoms. Otto Shape has complied with his calorie-restricted diet and aerobic exercise program. He has lost another 7 lb and is closing in on his goal of weighing 154 lb. He notes increasing energy during the day, and remains alert during lectures and assimilates the lecture material noticeably better than he did before starting his weight loss and exercise program. He jogs for 45 minutes each morning before breakfast.

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

I.

GLUCOSE METABOLISM IN THE LIVER

Glucose serves as a fuel for most tissues of the body. It is the major fuel for certain tissues such as the brain and red blood cells. After a meal, food is the source of blood glucose. The liver oxidizes glucose and stores the excess as glycogen. The liver also uses the pathway of glycolysis to convert glucose to pyruvate, which provides carbon for the synthesis of fatty acids. Glycerol 3-phosphate, produced from glycolytic intermediates, combines with fatty acids to form triacylglycerols, which are secreted into the blood in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL; further explained in Chapter 32). During fasting, the liver releases glucose into the blood, so that glucose-dependent tissues do not suffer from a lack of energy. Two mechanisms are involved in this process: glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. Hormones, particularly insulin and glucagon, dictate whether glucose flows through glycolysis or whether the reactions are reversed and glucose is produced via gluconeogenesis.

II. GLUCONEOGENESIS Gluconeogenesis, the process by which glucose is synthesized from noncarbohydrate precursors, occurs mainly in the liver under fasting conditions. Under the more extreme conditions of starvation, the kidney cortex also may produce glucose. For the most part, the glucose produced by the kidney cortex is used by the kidney medulla, but some may enter the bloodstream. Starting with pyruvate, most of the steps of gluconeogenesis are simply reversals of those of glycolysis (Fig. 31.3). In fact, these pathways differ at only three points. Enzymes involved in catalyzing these steps are regulated so that either glycolysis or gluconeogenesis predominates, depending on physiologic conditions.

mg/dL Loss of glucose 225 in urine 200

12.0 Blood glucose (mM)

Diabetes mellitus (DM) should be suspected if a venous plasma glucose level drawn irrespective of when food was last eaten (a “random” sample of blood glucose) is “unequivocally elevated” (i.e., 200 mg/dL), particularly in a patient who manifests the classic signs and symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia (polydipsia, polyuria, blurred vision, headaches, rapid weight loss, sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting). To confirm the diagnosis, the patient should fast overnight (1016 hours), and the blood glucose measurement should be repeated. Values of less than 110 mg/dL are considered normal. Values greater than 140 mg/dL are indicative of DM. Glycosylated hemoglobin should be measured to determine the extent of hyperglycemia over the past 4 to 8 weeks. Values of fasting blood glucose between 111 and 140 mg/dL are designated impaired fasting glucose tolerance (IGT), and further testing should be performed to determine whether these individuals will eventually develop overt diabetes mellitus. Although the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is contraindicated for patients who clearly have diabetes mellitus, it is used for patients with fasting blood glucose in the IGT range (between 115 and 140 mg/dL). In the OGTT, a nonpregnant patient who has fasted overnight drinks 75 g glucose in an aqueous solution. Blood samples are drawn before the oral glucose load and at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes thereafter. If any one of the 30-, 60-, and 90-minute samples and the 120-minute sample are greater than 200 mg/dL, overt DM is indicated. The diagnosis of IGT and the more severe form of glucose intolerance (DM) is based on blood glucose levels because no more specific characteristic for the disorder exists. The distinction between IGT and DM is clouded by the fact that a patient’s blood glucose level may vary significantly with serial testing over time under the same conditions of diet and activity. The renal tubular transport maximum in the average healthy subject is such that glucose will not appear in the urine until the blood glucose level exceeds 180 mg/dL. As a result, reagent tapes (Tes-Tape or Dextrostix) designed to detect the presence of glucose in the urine are not sensitive enough to establish a diagnosis of early DM.

559

10.0

175 150 Uncontrolled diabetes 125

8.0 6.0

100 Normal

4.0

75 50

2.0

25 0

1

2

3

Time after oral glucose load (hours)

Comatose patients in diabetic ketoacidosis have the smell of acetone (a derivative of the ketone body acetoacetate) on their breath. In addition, DKA patients have deep, relatively rapid respirations typical of acidotic patients (Kussmaul respirations). These respirations result from an acidosis-induced stimulation of the respiratory center in the brain. More CO2 is exhaled in an attempt to reduce the amount of acid in the body: H HCO3S H2CO3 S H2O CO2 (exhaled). The severe hyperglycemia of DKA also causes an osmotic diuresis (i.e., glucose entering the urine carries water with it), which, in turn, causes a contraction of blood volume. Volume depletion may be aggravated by vomiting, which is common in patients with DKA. DKA may cause dehydration (dry skin), a low blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat. These respiratory and hemodynamic alterations are not seen in patients with hypoglycemic coma. The flushed, wet skin of hypoglycemic coma is in contrast to the dry skin observed in DKA.

Glucocorticoids are naturally occurring steroid hormones. In humans, the major glucocorticoid is cortisol. Glucocorticoids are produced in the adrenal cortex in response to various types of stress (see Chapter 43). One of their actions is to stimulate the degradation of muscle protein. Thus, increased amounts of amino acids become available as substrates for gluconeogenesis. Emma Wheezer noted muscle weakness, a result of the muscledegrading action of the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone, which she was taking for its anti-inflammatory effects.

560

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Glucose Pi glucose 6 –phosphatase

Glucose 6– phosphate

Fructose 6– phosphate Pi fructose 1,6 – bisphosphatase

Fructose 1, 6– bisphosphate

Dihydroxyacetone– P

Glycerol

Glyceraldehyde– 3– P

Glycerol– 3 – P

Phosphoenolpyruvate phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase

Amino acids

TCA cycle

Oxaloacetate

Amino acids Alanine

pyruvate carboxylase

Pyruvate Lactate

Fig. 31.3. Key reactions of gluconeogenesis. The precursors are amino acids (particularly alanine), lactate, and glycerol. Heavy arrows indicate steps that differ from those of glycolysis.

Because ethanol metabolism only gives rise to acetyl-CoA, the carbons of ethanol cannot be used for gluconeogenesis.

Most of the steps of gluconeogenesis use the same enzymes that catalyze the process of glycolysis. The flow of carbon, of course, is in the reverse direction. Three reaction sequences of gluconeogenesis differ from the corresponding steps of glycolysis. They involve the conversion of pyruvate to phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and the reactions that remove phosphate from fructose 1,6-bisphosphate to form fructose 6-phosphate and from glucose 6-phosphate to form glucose (see Fig. 31.3). The conversion of pyruvate to PEP is catalyzed during gluconeogenesis by a series of enzymes instead of the single enzyme used for glycolysis. The reactions that remove phosphate from fructose 1,6-bisphosphate and from glucose 6-phosphate each use single enzymes that differ from the corresponding enzymes of glycolysis. Although phosphate is added during glycolysis by kinases, which use adenosine triphosphate (ATP), it is removed during gluconeogenesis by phosphatases that release Pi via hydrolysis reactions.

A. Precursors for Gluconeogenesis The three major carbon sources for gluconeogenesis in humans are lactate, glycerol, and amino acids, particularly alanine. Lactate is produced by anaerobic glycolysis in tissues such as exercising muscle or red blood cells, as well as by adipocytes during the fed state. Glycerol is released from adipose stores of

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

561

triacylglycerol, and amino acids come mainly from amino acid pools in muscle, where they may be obtained by degradation of muscle protein. Alanine, the major gluconeogenic amino acid, is produced in the muscle from other amino acids and from glucose (see Chapter 38).

B. Formation of Gluconeogenic Intermediates from Carbon Sources The carbon sources for gluconeogenesis form pyruvate, intermediates of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, or intermediates common both to glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. 1.

LACTATE, AMINO ACIDS, AND GLYCEROL

Pyruvate is produced in the liver from the gluconeogenic precursors lactate and alanine. Lactate dehydrogenase oxidizes lactate to pyruvate, generating NADH (Fig. 31.4A), and alanine aminotransferase converts alanine to pyruvate (see Fig. 31.4B). Although alanine is the major gluconeogenic amino acid, other amino acids, such as serine, serve as carbon sources for the synthesis of glucose because they also form pyruvate, the substrate for the initial step in the process. Some amino acids form intermediates of the TCA cycle (see Chapter 20), which can enter the gluconeogenic pathway. The carbons of glycerol are gluconeogenic because they form dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP), a glycolytic intermediate (see Fig. 31.4C) 2.

PROPIONATE

Fatty acids with an odd number of carbon atoms, which are obtained mainly from vegetables in the diet, produce propionyl CoA from the three carbons at the -end of the chain (see Chapter 23). These carbons are relatively minor precursors of glucose in humans. Propionyl CoA is converted to methylmalonyl CoA, which is rearranged to form succinyl CoA, a 4-carbon intermediate of the TCA cycle that can be used for gluconeogenesis. The remaining carbons of an odd-chain fatty acid form acetyl CoA, from which no net synthesis of glucose occurs. -Oxidation of fatty acids produces acetyl CoA. Because the pyruvate dehydrogenase reaction is thermodynamically and kinetically irreversible, acetyl CoA does not form pyruvate for gluconeogenesis. Therefore, if acetyl CoA is to produce glucose, it must enter the TCA cycle and be converted to malate. For every two carbons of acetyl CoA that are converted to malate, two carbons are released as CO2: one in the reaction catalyzed by isocitrate dehydrogenase and the other in the reaction catalyzed by -ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Therefore, there is no net synthesis of glucose from acetyl CoA.

In a fatty acid with 19 carbons, how many carbons (and which ones) form glucose?

Excessive ethanol metabolism will block the production of gluconeogenic precursors. Cells have limited amounts of NAD, which exist either as NAD or as NADH. As the levels of NADH rise, those of NAD fall, and the ratio of the concentrations of NADH and NAD ([NADH]/[NAD]) increases. In the presence of ethanol, which is very rapidly oxidized in the liver, the [NADH]/[NAD] ratio is much higher than it is in the normal fasting liver. High levels of NADH drive the lactate dehydrogenase reaction toward lactate. Therefore, lactate cannot enter the gluconeogenic pathway, and pyruvate that is generated from alanine is converted to lactate. Because glycerol is oxidized by NAD during its conversion to DHAP, the conversion of glycerol to glucose is also inhibited when NADH levels are elevated. Consequently, the major precursors lactate, alanine, and glycerol are not used for gluconeogenesis under conditions in which alcohol metabolism is high. CH3

CH2

OH

Ethanol NAD+

NADH

+ H+

O CH3

CH

Acetaldehyde NAD+

NADH In some species, propionate is a major source of carbon for gluconeogenesis. Ruminants can produce massive amounts of glucose from propionate. In cows, the cellulose in grass is converted to propionate by bacteria in the rumen. This substrate is then used to generate more than 5 lb glucose each day by the process of gluconeogenesis.

O CH3

C OH

Acetate

+ H+

562

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A CH3 H

C

CH3

lactate dehydrogenase

OH –

COO

NAD+

C

NADH+ + H+

Lactate

B

C

alanine aminotransferase

+ NH3 –

CH3 C

O

COO–

COO Alanine

C

COO– Pyruvate

CH3

H

O

Pyruvate CH2OH

CH2OH CH2OH

HO

C

ATP

ADP

HO

H

CH2

H

CH2OH

C

O

P

NAD+ NADH + H+ –

C CH2

O

O–

glycerol kinase

Glycerol

O

glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase

Glycerol 3 – phosphate

O

O O

P

O–

O– Dihydroxyacetone phosphate

Fig. 31.4. Metabolism of gluconeogenic precursors. A. Conversion of lactate to pyruvate. B. Conversion of alanine to pyruvate. In this reaction, alanine aminotransferase transfers the amino group of alanine to -ketoglutarate to form glutamate. The coenzyme for this reaction, pyridoxal phosphate, accepts and donates the amino group. C. Conversion of glycerol to dihydroxyacetone phosphate.

Amino acids that form intermediates of the TCA cycle are converted to malate, which enters the cytosol and is converted to oxaloacetate, which proceeds through gluconeogenesis to form glucose. When excessive amounts of ethanol are ingested, elevated NADH levels inhibit the conversion of malate to oxaloacetate in the cytosol. Therefore, carbons from amino acids that form intermediates of the TCA cycle cannot be converted to glucose as readily.

Only the three carbons at the end of an odd chain fatty acid that form propionyl CoA are converted to glucose. The remaining 16 carbons of a fatty acid with 19 carbons form acetyl CoA, which does not form any net glucose.

C. Pathway of Gluconeogenesis Gluconeogenesis occurs by a pathway that reverses many, but not all, of the steps of glycolysis. 1.

CONVERSION OF PYRUVATE TO PHOSPHOENOLPYRUVATE

In glycolysis, PEP is converted to pyruvate by pyruvate kinase. In gluconeogenesis, a series of steps are required to accomplish the reversal of this reaction (Fig. 31.5). Pyruvate is carboxylated by pyruvate carboxylase to form oxaloacetate. This enzyme, which requires biotin, is the catalyst of an anaplerotic (refilling) reaction of the TCA cycle (see Chapter 20). In gluconeogenesis, this reaction replenishes the oxaloacetate that is used for the synthesis of glucose (Fig. 31.6). The CO2 that was added to pyruvate to form oxaloacetate is released in the reaction catalyzed by phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), which generates PEP (Fig. 31.7A). For this reaction, GTP provides a source of energy as well as the phosphate group of PEP. Pyruvate carboxylase is found in mitochondria. In various species, PEPCK is located either in the cytosol or in mitochondria, or it is distributed between these two compartments. In humans, the enzyme is distributed about equally in each compartment. Oxaloacetate, generated from pyruvate by pyruvate carboxylase or from amino acids that form intermediates of the TCA cycle, does not readily cross the mitochondrial membrane. It is either decarboxylated to form PEP by the mitochondrial PEPCK or it is converted to malate or aspartate (see Figs. 31.7B and 31.7C). The conversion of oxaloacetate to malate requires NADH. PEP, malate, and aspartate can be transported into the cytosol. After malate or aspartate traverse the mitochondrial membrane (acting as carriers of oxaloacetate) and enter the cytosol, they are reconverted to oxaloacetate by reversal of the reactions given above (see Figs. 31.7B and C). The conversion of malate to oxaloacetate generates NADH. Whether oxaloacetate is transported

563

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

Glucose PEP Cytosol

4

CO2 GDP

+

Glucagon via cAMP

pyruvate kinase (PK)

ADP

phosphoenol – pyruvate carboxykinase

GTP

inactive PK – P

ATP

Alanine

OAA

Pyruvate

1

NADH +

NAD

Lactate NADH

+

NAD

Asp

Malate 3

Adipose TG

Pyruvate 2 pyruvate carboxylase

CO2

+

Biotin ATP

Asp

OAA 1

FA –

ADP Pi NADH

2

Glucagon via cAMP

NADH pyruvate dehydrogenase

FA

+

NAD + Activated by

– Inhibited by

Inducible enzyme

Malate

Mitochondrion

Inactive enzyme

Acetyl CoA

Ketone bodies

OAA exits from the mitochondrion either as 1 aspartate or 2 malate

Fig. 31.5. Conversion of pyruvate to phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). Follow the shaded circled numbers on the diagram, starting with the precursors alanine and lactate. The first step is the conversion of alanine and lactate to pyruvate. Pyruvate then enters the mitochondria and is converted to OAA (circle 2) by pyruvate carboxylase. Pyruvate dehydrogenase has been inactivated by both the NADH and acetyl-CoA generated from fatty acid oxidation, which allows oxaloacetate production for gluconeogenesis. The oxaloacetate formed in the mitochondria is converted to either malate or aspartate to enter the cytoplasm via the malate/aspartate shuttle. Once in the cytoplasm the malate or aspartate is converted back into oxaloacetate (circle 3), and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase will convert it to PEP (circle 4). The white circled numbers are alternate routes for exit of carbon from the mitochondrion using the malate/aspartate shuttle. OAA oxaloacetate; FA fatty acid; TG triacylglycerol.

across the mitochondrial membrane as malate or aspartate depends on the need for reducing equivalents in the cytosol. NADH is required to reduce 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate during gluconeogenesis. Oxaloacetate, produced from malate or aspartate in the cytosol, is converted to PEP by the cytosolic PEPCK (see Fig. 31.7A). 2.

CONVERSION OF PHOSPHOENOLPYRUVATE TO FRUCTOSE 1,6-BISPHOSPHATE

The remaining steps of gluconeogenesis occur in the cytosol (Fig. 31.8). Starting with PEP as a substrate, the steps of glycolysis are reversed to form glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. For every two molecules of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate that are formed, one is converted to dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP). These two triose

COO– CH3 C

CO2 O –

COO

Pyruvate

ATP

ADP + Pi

Biotin pyruvate carboxylase

CH2 C

O

COO– Oxaloacetate

Fig. 31.6. Conversion of pyruvate to oxaloacetate.

564

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

A

COO– GTP

CH2 C

O

GDP

CO2

CH2 C

phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase

COO

Oxaloacetate

O O

COO–

P

O–

O–

Phosphoenolpyruvate

B

NAD+ Malate

NADH + H+

malate dehydrogenase

C

Oxaloacetate

Aspartate

α – Ketoglutarate

Oxaloacetate

Glutamate

Fig. 31.7. The generation of PEP from gluconeogenic precursors. A. Conversion of oxaloacetate to phosphoenolpyruvate, using PEP carboxykinase. B. Interconversion of oxaloacetate and malate. C. Transamination of aspartate to form oxaloacetate. Note that the cytosolic reaction is the reverse of the mitochondrial reaction as shown in Figure 31.5.

phosphates, DHAP and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, condense to form fructose 1,6bisphosphate by a reversal of the aldolase reaction. Because glycerol forms DHAP, it enters the gluconeogenic pathway at this level. 3.

CONVERSION OF FRUCTOSE 1,6-BISPHOSPHATE TO FRUCTOSE 6-PHOSPHATE

The enzyme fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase releases inorganic phosphate from fructose 1,6-bisphosphate to form fructose 6-phosphate. This is not a reversal of the PFK-1 reaction; ATP is not produced when the phosphate is removed from the 1 position of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, because that is a low-energy phosphate bond. Rather, inorganic phosphate is released in this hydrolysis reaction. In the next reaction of gluconeogenesis, fructose 6-phosphate is converted to glucose 6-phosphate by the same isomerase used in glycolysis (phosphoglucoisomerase). 4.

Al Martini had not eaten for 3 days, so he had no dietary source of glucose, and his liver glycogen stores were essentially depleted. He was solely dependent on gluconeogenesis to maintain his blood glucose levels. One of the consequences of ethanol ingestion and the subsequent rise in NADH levels is that the major carbon sources for gluconeogenesis cannot readily be converted to glucose. After his alcoholic binges, Mr. Martini became hypoglycemic. His blood glucose was 28 mg/dL.

CONVERSION OF GLUCOSE 6-PHOSPHATE TO GLUCOSE

Glucose 6-phosphatase hydrolyzes Pi from glucose 6-phosphate, and free glucose is released into the blood. As with fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase, this is not a reversal of the glucokinase reaction, because the phosphate bond in glucose 6-phosphate is a low-energy bond, and ATP is not generated at this step. Glucose 6-phosphatase is located in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. It is used not only in gluconeogenesis, but also to produce blood glucose from the breakdown of liver glycogen.

D. Regulation of Gluconeogenesis Although gluconeogenesis occurs during fasting, it is also stimulated during prolonged exercise, by a high-protein diet, and under conditions of stress. The factors that promote the overall flow of carbon from pyruvate to glucose include the availability of substrate and changes in the activity or amount of certain key enzymes of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis.

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

Glucose

Pi

ATP

glucose 6 –phosphatase ➞

glucokinase

ADP Glucose 6–phosphate

Fructose 6– phosphate phosphofructokinase 1

ATP low AMP and F–2,6 –P

(Endoplasmic reticulum)

Pi

ATP fructose 1,6–bisphosphatase ➞

ADP

Fructose 1,6–bisphosphate

Dihydroxyacetone phosphate

Glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate Pi NAD+

NADH NADH NAD+ glycerol kinase

Glycerol ATP ADP

Cytosol

1,3– Bisphosphoglycerate ADP

Glycerol 3–phosphate

ATP 3– Phosphoglycerate

2– Phosphoglycerate ➞

– Inhibited by

H2O

Inducible enzyme Inactive enzyme

Phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP)

Fig. 31.8. Conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate and glycerol to glucose.

1.

AVAILABILITY OF SUBSTRATE

Gluconeogenesis is stimulated by the flow of its major substrates from peripheral tissues to the liver. Glycerol is released from adipose tissue whenever the levels of insulin are low and the levels of glucagon or the “stress” hormones, epinephrine and cortisol (a glucocorticoid), are elevated in the blood (see Chapter 26). Lactate is produced by muscle during exercise and by red blood cells. Amino acids are released from muscle whenever insulin is low or when cortisol is elevated. Amino acids are also available for gluconeogenesis when the dietary intake of protein is high and intake of carbohydrate is low. 2.

ACTIVITY OR AMOUNT OF KEY ENZYMES

Three sequences in the pathway of gluconeogenesis are regulated: 1. pyruvate S phosphoenolpyruvate 2. fructose 1,6-bisphosphate S fructose 6-phosphate 3. glucose 6-phosphate S glucose.

565

566

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Glycolysis

Gluconeogenesis Glucose

glucokinase (high K m )

glucose 6 –phosphatase

Glucose 6– phosphate

Fructose 6– phosphate F– 2,6–P +

fructose 1,6 – bisphosphatase ➞

phosphofructokinase –1

Fructose 1,6– bisphosphate

Dihydroxyacetone phosphate

Glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate

Phosphoenolpyruvate cAMP

phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase ➞

+

pyruvate kinase – P (inactive)

pyruvate kinase (active)

Pi

Oxaloacetate

Pyruvate

pyruvate carboxylase + Acetyl CoA

Fig. 31.9. Enzymes involved in regulating the substrate cycles of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis. Heavy arrows indicate the three substrate cycles. F-2,6-P, fructose 2,6-bisphosphate; , activated by; -, inhibited by; circled c, inducible enzyme.

PEPCK is an example of an inducible enzyme. The gene for the cytosolic form of the enzyme contains regulatory sequences in its 5 -flanking region. cAMP, which is produced as a result of the binding of hormones such as glucagon or epinephrine to receptors on the cell surface, causes one of these sequences to be activated. Glucocorticoids affect a different regulatory sequence. cAMP or glucocorticoids independently cause increased transcription of the PEPCK gene. The mRNA produced during transcription travels to the cytosol combines with ribosomes and is translated, producing increased amounts of the enzyme PEPCK.

These steps correspond to those in glycolysis that are catalyzed by regulatory enzymes. The enzymes involved in these steps of gluconeogenesis differ from those that catalyze the reverse reactions in glycolysis. The net flow of carbon, whether from glucose to pyruvate (glycolysis) or from pyruvate to glucose (gluconeogenesis), depends on the relative activity or amount of these glycolytic or gluconeogenic enzymes (Fig. 31.9 and Table 31.1). 3.

CONVERSION OF PYRUVATE TO PHOSPHOENOLPYRUVATE

Pyruvate, a key substrate for gluconeogenesis, is derived from lactate and amino acids, particularly alanine. Pyruvate is not converted to acetyl CoA under conditions favoring gluconeogenesis because pyruvate dehydrogenase is relatively inactive. Instead, pyruvate is converted to oxaloacetate by pyruvate carboxylase. Subsequently, oxaloacetate is converted to PEP by PEPCK. Because of the activity state of the enzymes discussed in subsequent sections, PEP reverses the steps of glycolysis, ultimately forming glucose. Pyruvate dehydrogenase is inactive. Under conditions of fasting, insulin levels are low, and glucagon levels are elevated. Consequently, fatty acids and glycerol are

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

567

Table 31.1. Regulation of Enzymes of Glycolysis and Gluconeogenesis in Liver A. Glycolytic Enzymes Pyruvate kinase

Phosphofructokinase-1 Glucokinase B. Gluconeogenic Enzymes Pyruvate carboxylase Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase Glucose 6-phosphatase

Mechanism Activated by F-1, 6-P Inhibited by ATP, alanine Inhibited by phosphorylation (glucagon and epinephrine lead to an increase in cAMP levels, which activates protein kinase A) Activated by F-2,6-P, AMP Inhibited by ATP, citrate High Km for glucose Induced by insulin Mechanism Activated by acetyl CoA Induced by glucagon, epinephrine, glucocorticoids Repressed by insulin Inhibited by F-2,6-P, AMP Induced during fasting Induced during fasting

released from the triacylglycerol stores of adipose tissue. Fatty acids travel to the liver, where they undergo -oxidation, producing acetyl CoA, NADH, and ATP. As a consequence, the concentration of ADP decreases. These changes result in the phosphorylation of pyruvate dehydrogenase to the inactive form. Therefore, pyruvate is not converted to acetyl CoA. Pyruvate carboxylase is active. Acetyl CoA, which is produced by oxidation of fatty acids, activates pyruvate carboxylase. Therefore, pyruvate, derived from lactate or alanine, is converted to oxaloacetate. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase is induced. Oxaloacetate produces PEP in a reaction catalyzed by PEPCK. Cytosolic PEPCK is an inducible enzyme, which means that the quantity of the enzyme in the cell increases because of increased transcription of its gene and increased translation of its mRNA. The major inducer is cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which is increased by hormones that activate adenylate cyclase. Adenylate cyclase produces cAMP from ATP. Glucagon is the hormone that causes cAMP to rise during fasting, whereas epinephrine acts during exercise or stress. cAMP activates protein kinase A, which phosphorylates a set of specific transcription factors (CREB) that stimulate transcription of the PEPCK gene (see Chapter 16 and Fig. 16.18). Increased synthesis of mRNA for PEPCK results in increased synthesis of the enzyme. Cortisol, the major human glucocorticoid, also induces PEPCK. Pyruvate kinase is inactive. When glucagon is elevated, pyruvate kinase is phosphorylated and inactivated by a mechanism involving cAMP and protein kinase A. Therefore, PEP is not reconverted to pyruvate. Rather, it continues along the pathway of gluconeogenesis. If PEP were reconverted to pyruvate, these substrates would simply cycle, causing a net loss of energy with no net generation of useful products. The inactivation of pyruvate kinase prevents such futile cycling and promotes the net synthesis of glucose. 4.

CONVERSION OF FRUCTOSE 1,6-BISPHOSPHATE TO FRUCTOSE 6-PHOSPHATE

The carbons of PEP reverse the steps of glycolysis, forming fructose 1,6-bisphosphate. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase acts on this bisphosphate to release inorganic phosphate and produce fructose 6-phosphate. A futile substrate cycle is prevented at

The mechanism of action of steroid hormones on glucose homeostasis differs from that of glucagon or epinephrine (see Chapters 16 and 26). Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that stimulate gluconeogenesis, in part because they induce the synthesis of PEPCK. Emma Wheezer had elevated levels of blood glucose because she was being treated with large pharmacologic doses of dexamethasone, a potent synthetic glucocorticoid.

568

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Glycogenolysis

Blood

this step because, under conditions that favor gluconeogenesis, the concentrations of the compounds that activate the glycolytic enzyme PFK-1 are low. These same compounds, fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (whose levels are regulated by insulin and glucagon) and AMP, are allosteric inhibitors of fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase. When the concentrations of these allosteric effectors are low, PFK-1 is less active, fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase is more active, and the net flow of carbon is toward fructose 6phosphate and, thus, toward glucose. The synthesis of fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase is also induced during fasting.

Glucose

5.

Gluconeo genesis G–1– P

G– 6–P

G –6– P

Glucose

+

Glucose

Pi ER

Pi Liver cell

Transport proteins glucose 6 – phosphatase

Fig. 31.10. Location and function of glucose 6-phosphatase. Glucose 6-phosphate travels on a transporter (shaded oval) into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it is hydrolyzed by glucose 6-phosphatase (black oval) to glucose and Pi. These products travel back to the cytosol on transporters (shaded ovals).

Glucose 6-phosphatase is used in both glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

CONVERSION OF GLUCOSE 6-PHOSPHATE TO GLUCOSE

Glucose 6-phosphatase catalyzes the conversion of glucose 6-phosphate to glucose, which is released from the liver cell (Fig. 31.10). The glycolytic enzyme glucokinase, which catalyzes the reverse reaction, is relatively inactive during gluconeogenesis. Glucokinase, which has a high S0.5 (Km) for glucose (see Fig. 9.3), is not very active during fasting because the blood glucose level is lower (approximately 5 mM) than the S0.5 of the enzyme. Glucokinase is also an inducible enzyme. The concentration of the enzyme increases in the fed state, when blood glucose and insulin levels are elevated, and decreases in the fasting state, when glucose and insulin are low.

E. Energy Is Required for the Synthesis of Glucose During the gluconeogenic reactions, 6 moles of high-energy phosphate bonds are cleaved. Two moles of pyruvate are required for the synthesis of 1 mole of glucose. As 2 moles of pyruvate are carboxylated by pyruvate carboxylase, 2 moles of ATP are hydrolyzed. PEPCK requires 2 moles of GTP (the equivalent of 2 moles of ATP) to convert 2 moles of oxaloacetate to 2 moles of PEP. An additional 2 moles of ATP are used when 2 moles of 3-phosphoglycerate are phosphorylated, forming 2 moles of 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate. Energy in the form of reducing equivalents (NADH) is also required for the conversion of 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde 3phosphate. Under fasting conditions, the energy required for gluconeogenesis is obtained from -oxidation of fatty acids.

III. CHANGES IN BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS AFTER A MEAL mg/dL 225

12.0 Blood glucose (mM)

200 10.0

175 150

8.0

125 6.0

100 75

4.0

50 2.0 0 0

25 1

2

Time (hours)

Fig. 31.11. Blood glucose concentrations at various times after a meal.

The metabolic transitions that occur as a person eats a meal and progresses through the various stages of fasting have been described in detail in the previous chapters. This chapter summarizes the concepts presented in these previous chapters. Because a thorough understanding of these concepts is so critical to medicine, a summary is not only warranted but essential. After a high-carbohydrate meal, blood glucose rises from a fasting level of approximately 80 to 100 mg/dL (~5 mM) to a level of approximately 120 to 140 mg/dL (8 mM) within a period of 30 minutes to 1 hour (Fig. 31.11). The concentration of glucose in the blood then begins to decrease, returning to the fasting range by approximately 2 hours after the meal (see also Chapter 26). Blood glucose levels increase as dietary glucose is digested and absorbed. The values go no higher than approximately 140 mg/dL in a normal, healthy person because tissues take up glucose from the blood, storing it for subsequent use and oxidizing it for energy. After the meal is digested and absorbed, blood glucose levels decline because cells continue to metabolize glucose. If blood glucose levels continued to rise after a meal, the high concentration of glucose would cause the release of water from tissues as a result of the osmotic effect of glucose. Tissues would become dehydrated, and their function would be affected. A hyperosmolar coma could result from dehydration of the brain.

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

Conversely, if blood glucose levels continued to drop after a meal, tissues that depend on glucose would suffer from a lack of energy. If blood glucose levels dropped abruptly, the brain would not be able to produce an adequate amount of ATP. Light-headedness and dizziness would result, followed by drowsiness and, eventually, coma. Red blood cells would not be able to produce enough ATP to maintain the integrity of their membranes. Hemolysis of these cells would decrease the transport of oxygen to the tissues of the body. Eventually, all tissues that rely on oxygen for energy production would fail to perform their normal functions. If the problem were severe enough, death could result. Devastating consequences of glucose excess or insufficiency are normally avoided because the body is able to regulate its blood glucose levels. As the concentration of blood glucose approaches the normal fasting range of 80 to 100 mg/dL roughly 2 hours after a meal, the process of glycogenolysis is activated in the liver. Liver glycogen is the primary source of blood glucose during the first few hours of fasting. Subsequently, gluconeogenesis begins to play a role as an additional source of blood glucose. The carbon for gluconeogenesis, a process that occurs in the liver, is supplied by other tissues. Exercising muscle and red blood cells provide lactate through glycolysis; muscle also provides amino acids by degradation of protein; and glycerol is released from adipose tissue as triacylglycerol stores are mobilized. Even during a prolonged fast, blood glucose levels do not decrease dramatically. After 5 to 6 weeks of starvation, blood glucose levels decrease to only approximately 65 mg/dL (Table 31.2).

569

Table 31.2. Blood Glucose Levels at Various Stages of Fasting Glucose (mg/dL) Glucose, 700 g/day IV Fasting, 12 hr Starvation, 3 days Starvation, 5–6 weeks

100 80 70 65

Source of data: Ruderman NB, Aoki TT, Cahill GF Jr. Gluconeogenesis and its disorders in man. In: Hanson RW, Mehlman MA, eds. Gluconeogenesis: Its Regulation in Mammalian Species. New York, John Wiley. 1976:517.

A. Blood Glucose Levels in the Fed State The major factors involved in regulating blood glucose levels are the blood glucose concentration itself and hormones, particularly insulin and glucagon. As blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the increased glucose concentration stimulates the cells of the pancreas to release insulin (Fig. 31.12). Certain amino acids, particularly arginine and leucine, also stimulate insulin release from the pancreas. Blood levels of glucagon, which is secreted by the cells of the pancreas, may increase or decrease, depending on the content of the meal. Glucagon levels decrease in response to a high-carbohydrate meal, but they increase in response to a high-protein meal. After a typical mixed meal containing carbohydrate, protein, and fat, glucagon levels remain relatively constant, whereas insulin levels increase (Fig. 31.13). When Di Abietes inadvertently injected an excessive amount of insulin, she caused an acute reduction in her blood glucose levels 4 to 5 hours later while she was asleep. Had she been awake, she would have first experienced symptoms caused by a hypoglycemia-induced hyperactivity of her sympathetic nervous system (e.g., sweating, tremulousness, palpitations). Eventually, as her hypoglycemia became more profound, she would have experienced symptoms of “neuroglycopenia” (inadequate glucose supply to the brain), such as confusion, speech disturbances, emotional instability, possible seizure activity, and, finally, coma. While sleeping, she had reached this neuroglycopenic stage of hypoglycemia and could not be aroused at 6:00 AM. Ann O’ Rexia, whose intake of glucose and of glucose precursors has been severely restricted, has not developed any of these manifestations. Her lack of hypoglycemic symptoms can be explained by the very gradual reduction of her blood glucose levels as a consequence of near starvation and her ability to maintain blood glucose levels within an acceptable fasting range through hepatic gluconeogenesis. In addition, lipolysis of adipose triacylglycerols produces fatty acids, which are used as fuel and converted to ketone bodies by the liver. The oxidation of fatty acids and ketone bodies by the brain and muscle reduces the need for blood glucose. In Di Abiete’s case, the excessive dose of insulin inhibited lipolysis and ketone body synthesis, so these alternative fuels were not available to spare blood glucose. The rapidity with which hypoglycemia was induced could not be compensated for quickly enough by hepatic gluconeogenesis, which was inhibited by the insulin, and hypoglycemia ensued. A stat finger stick revealed that Di’s capillary blood glucose level was less than 20 mg/dL. An intravenous infusion of a 50% solution of glucose was started, and her blood glucose level was determined frequently. When Di regained consciousness, the intravenous solution was eventually changed to 10% glucose. After 6 hours, her blood glucose levels stayed in the upper normal range, and she was able to tolerate oral feedings. She was transferred to the metabolic unit for overnight monitoring. By the next morning, her previous diabetes treatment regimen was reestablished. The reasons that she had developed hypoglycemic coma were explained to Di, and she was discharged to the care of her family doctor.

570

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

1.

Insulin

Glucagon pg / mL

µU / mL

Glucose mg/dL

Glucose meal

After a meal, the liver oxidizes glucose to meet its immediate energy needs. Any excess glucose is converted to stored fuels. Glycogen is synthesized and stored in the liver, and glucose is converted to fatty acids and to the glycerol moiety that reacts with the fatty acids to produce triacylglycerols. These triacylglycerols are packaged in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and transported to adipose tissue, where the fatty acids are stored in adipose triacylglycerols. Regulatory mechanisms control the conversion of glucose to stored fuels. As the concentration of glucose increases in the hepatic portal vein, the concentration of glucose in the liver may increase from the fasting level of 80 to 100 mg/dL (~5 mM) to a concentration of 180 to 360 mg/dL (10–20 mM). Consequently, the velocity of the glucokinase reaction increases because this enzyme has a high S0.5 (Km) for glucose (Fig. 31.14). Glucokinase is also induced by a high-carbohydrate diet; the quantity of the enzyme increases in response to elevated insulin levels. Insulin promotes the storage of glucose as glycogen by countering the effects of glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation. The response to insulin activates the phosphatases that dephosphorylate glycogen synthase (which leads to glycogen synthase activation) and glycogen phosphorylase (which leads to inhibition of the enzyme) (Fig. 31.15A). Insulin also promotes the synthesis of the triacylglycerols that are released from the liver into the blood as VLDL. The regulatory mechanisms for this process are described in Chapter 33.

200 100

100 50

70 50 30 0

1

2

3

Hours

Insulin

µU / mL

Glucose mg/dL

Protein meal

Glucagon pg / mL

FATE OF DIETARY GLUCOSE IN THE LIVER

200 100

2.

FATE OF DIETARY GLUCOSE IN PERIPHERAL TISSUES

Almost every cell in the body oxidizes glucose for energy. Certain critical tissues, particularly the brain, other nervous tissue, and red blood cells, especially depend on glucose for their energy supply. The brain requires approximately 150 g glucose per day. In addition, approximately 40 g/day glucose is required by other glucosedependent tissues. Furthermore, all tissues require glucose for the pentose phosphate pathway, and many tissues use glucose for synthesis of glycoproteins and other carbohydrate-containing compounds.

20 10

Meal

Meal

Meal

120

150 100 50 0

1

2

3

Plasma glucose mg/ dL

Hours

Fig. 31.12. Blood glucose, insulin, and glucagon levels after a high-carbohydrate and a high-protein meal.

100 80

Plasma 200 glucagon 0 pg/ mL 40 Plasma insulin µU/ mL

30 20 10 0

8 am

2 pm

8 pm

2 am

8 am

Time

Fig. 31.13. Blood glucose, insulin, and glucagon levels over a 24-hour period in a normal person eating mixed meals. Reprinted with permission from Tasaka Y, Sekine M, Wakatsuki M, et al. Horm Metab Res 1975;7:206. Copyright © Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

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CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

1.0 hexokinase I

vi V max

glucokinase

0.5

A Km 0

S 0.5

Glucose

Glycerol FA TG

+

5

10 15 [Glucose] mM

20 –

+

VLDL

Glycogen

VLDL

Fig. 31.14. Velocity of the glucokinase reaction. Liver

Insulin stimulates the transport of glucose into adipose and muscle cells by promoting the recruitment of glucose transporters to the cell membrane (see Fig. 31.15C). Other tissues, such as the liver, brain, and red blood cells, have a different type of glucose transporter that is not as significantly affected by insulin. In muscle, glycogen is synthesized after a meal by a mechanism similar to that in the liver (see Fig. 31.15B). Metabolic differences exist between these tissues (see Chapter 28), but, in essence, insulin stimulates glycogen synthesis in resting muscle as it does in the liver. A key difference between muscle and liver is that insulin greatly stimulates the transport of glucose into muscle cells but only slightly stimulates its transport into liver cells. 3.

B Glucose +

Glucose +

Glycogen

Muscle

RETURN OF BLOOD GLUCOSE TO FASTING LEVELS

After a meal has been digested and absorbed, blood glucose levels reach a peak and then begin to decline. The uptake of dietary glucose by cells, particularly those in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue, lowers blood glucose levels. By 2 hours after a meal, blood glucose levels return to the normal fasting level of less than 140 mg/dL.

C

1.

CHANGES IN INSULIN AND GLUCAGON LEVELS

During fasting, as blood glucose levels decrease, insulin levels decrease, and glucagon levels rise. These hormonal changes cause the liver to degrade glycogen by the process of glycogenolysis and to produce glucose by the process of gluconeogenesis so that blood glucose levels are maintained. 2.

STIMULATION OF GLYCOGENOLYSIS

Within a few hours after a high-carbohydrate meal, glucagon levels begin to rise. Glucagon binds to cell surface receptors and activates adenylate cyclase, causing cAMP levels in liver cells to rise (Fig. 31.16). cAMP activates protein kinase A, which phosphorylates and inactivates glycogen synthase. Therefore, glycogen synthesis decreases. At the same time, protein kinase A stimulates glycogen degradation by a twostep mechanism. Protein kinase A phosphorylates and activates phosphorylase kinase. This enzyme, in turn, phosphorylates and activates glycogen phosphorylase.

+

+

FA Glucose +

B. Blood Glucose Levels in the Fasting State

VLDL

Glucose

DHAP

Glycerol– 3 –P

Pyruvate +

FA

CO2 + H2O

Triacylglycerol

Adipose cell

Fig. 31.15. Glucose metabolism in various tissues. A. Effect of insulin on glycogen synthesis and degradation and on VLDL synthesis in the liver. B. Glucose metabolism in resting muscle in the fed state. The transport of glucose into cells and the synthesis of glycogen are stimulated by insulin. C. Glucose metabolism in adipose tissue in the fed state. FA fatty acids; DHAP dihydroxyacetone phosphate. FA fatty acids; TG triacylglycerols; stimulated by insulin; inhibited by insulin.

572

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Glucagon +

adenylate cyclase

Cell membrane

1 ATP

cAMP

protein kinase A (inactive)

2

regulatory subunit– cAMP ADP

phosphorylase kinase (inactive)

4

ATP active protein kinase A

3

Glycogen

5 phosphorylase b (inactive)

ATP

ATP glycogen synthase (active)

ADP phosphorylase kinase – P (active)

glycogen synthase – P (inactive)

Pi ADP

phosphorylase a (active) P

6 Glucose–1 – P

Glucose–6 – P Liver Blood glucose

Fig. 31.16. Regulation of glycogenolysis in the liver by glucagon. 1. Glucagon binding to its receptor leads to the activation of adenylate cyclase, which leads to an increase in cAMP levels. 2. cAMP binds to the regulatory subunits of protein kinase A, thereby activating the catalytic subunit. 3. Active protein kinase A phosphorylates and activates phosphorylase kinase, while simultaneously inactivating glycogen synthase (4). 5. Active phosphorylase kinase converts glycogen phosphorylase b to glycogen phosphorylase a. 6. Phosphorylase a degrades glycogen, producing glucose 1-phosphate, which is converted to glucose 6-phosphate, then glucose, for export into the blood.

The pathophysiology leading to an elevation of blood glucose after a meal differs between patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Di Abietes, who has type 1 disease, cannot secrete insulin adequately in response to a meal because of a defect in the cells of her pancreas. Ann Sulin, however, has type 2 disease. In this form of the disorder, the cause of glucose intolerance is more complex, involving at least a delay in the release of relatively appropriate amounts of insulin after a meal combined with a degree of resistance to the actions of insulin in skeletal muscle and adipocytes. Excessive hepatic gluconeogenesis occurs even though blood glucose levels are elevated.

Glycogen phosphorylase catalyzes the phosphorolysis of glycogen, producing glucose 1-phosphate, which is converted to glucose 6-phosphate. Dephosphorylation of glucose 6-phosphate by glucose 6-phosphatase produces free glucose, which then enters the blood. 3.

STIMULATION OF GLUCONEOGENESIS

By 4 hours after a meal, the liver is supplying glucose to the blood not only by the process of glycogenolysis but also by the process of gluconeogenesis. Hormonal changes cause peripheral tissues to release precursors that provide carbon for gluconeogenesis, specifically lactate, amino acids, and glycerol. Regulatory mechanisms promote the conversion of gluconeogenic precursors to glucose (Fig. 31.17). These mechanisms prevent the occurrence of potential futile cycles, which would continuously convert substrates to products while consuming energy but producing no useful result.

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CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

These regulatory mechanisms inactivate the glycolytic enzymes pyruvate kinase, phosphofructokinase-1 (PFK-1), and glucokinase during fasting and promote the flow of carbon to glucose via gluconeogenesis. These mechanisms operate at the three steps where glycolysis and gluconeogenesis differ: 1. Pyruvate (derived from lactate and alanine) is converted by the gluconeogenic pathway to phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). PEP is not reconverted to pyruvate (a potential futile cycle) because glucagon-stimulated phosphorylation inactivates pyruvate kinase. Therefore, PEP reverses the steps of glycolysis and forms fructose 1,6-bisphosphate. 2. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate is converted to fructose 6-phosphate by a bisphosphatase. Because the glycolytic enzyme PFK-1 is relatively inactive mainly as a result of low fructose 2,6-bisphosphate levels, fructose 6-phosphate is not converted back to fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, and a second potential futile cycle is avoided. The low fructose 2,6-bisphosphate levels are attributable in part to the phosphorylation of phosphofructokinase-2 by protein kinase A, which has been activated in response to glucagon. Fructose 6-phosphate is converted to glucose 6-phosphate. 3. Glucose 6-phosphate is dephosphorylated by glucose 6-phosphatase, forming free glucose. Because glucokinase has a high S0.5 (Km) for glucose, and glucose concentrations are relatively low in liver cells during fasting, glucose is released into the blood. Therefore, the third potential futile cycle does not occur. Enzymes that participate in gluconeogenesis, but not in glycolysis, are active under fasting conditions. Pyruvate carboxylase is activated by acetyl CoA, derived from oxidation of fatty acids. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase, and glucose 6-phosphatase are induced; that is, the quantity of the enzymes increases. Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase is also active because levels of fructose 2,6-bisphosphate, an inhibitor of the enzyme, are low. 4.

STIMULATION OF LIPOLYSIS

The hormonal changes that occur during fasting stimulate the breakdown of adipose triacylglycerols (see Chapters 3, 33, and 43). Consequently, fatty acids and glycerol are released into the blood (Fig. 31.18). Glycerol serves as a source of carbon for gluconeogenesis. Fatty acids become the major fuel of the body and are oxidized to CO2 and H2O by various tissues, which enables these tissues to decrease their utilization of glucose. Fatty acids are also oxidized to acetyl CoA in the liver to provide energy for gluconeogenesis. In a prolonged fast, acetyl CoA is converted to ketone bodies, which enter the blood and serve as an additional fuel source for the muscle and the brain.

C. Blood Glucose Levels during Prolonged Fasting (Starvation) During prolonged fasting, a number of changes in fuel utilization occur. These changes cause tissues to use less glucose than they use during a brief fast and to use predominantly fuels derived from adipose triacylglycerols (i.e., fatty acids and their derivatives, the ketone bodies). Therefore, blood glucose levels do not decrease drastically. In fact, even after 5 to 6 weeks of starvation, blood glucose levels are still in the range of 65 mg/dL (Fig. 31.19, see Table 31.2). The major change that occurs in starvation is a dramatic elevation of blood ketone body levels after 3 to 5 days of fasting (see Fig. 31.19). At these levels, the brain and other nervous tissues begin to use ketone bodies and, consequently, they oxidize less glucose, requiring roughly one third as much glucose (approximately 40 g/day) as under normal dietary conditions. As a result of reduced glucose utilization, the rate of gluconeogenesis in the liver decreases, as does the production of urea (see Fig. 31.19). Because in this stage of starvation amino acids, obtained

Plasma Glucose

Transporter

Glucose G–6– Pase

GK

Glucose– 6 – P

Fructose– 6 – P kinase / pase

F–1,6– Pase –

F– 2, 6 –P

PFK –1 +

F– 1, 6 –P

Triose phosphates

PEP PEPCK OAA

PK

Pyruvate

Lactate

+

cAMP

PK– P (inactive)

Alanine

Fig. 31.17. Regulation of gluconeogenesis in the liver. GK glucokinase; G-6-Pase glucose 6phosphatase; PK pyruvate kinase; OAA oxaloacetate; PEPCK phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase; F-1,6-Pase fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase; F-2,6-P fructose 2,6-bisphosphate; PFK-1 phosphofructokinase-1.

574

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Blood

Glycogen

Glucose

1

Insulin

Acetyl CoA

3

2

Liver

Glucose

Brain TCA

Glucose

Glucagon

12

CO2

[ATP] FA

Acetyl CoA

11

7

Glycerol

KB Lactate

[ATP]

4 RBC Lactate

Urea

10 Adipose

9

KB

5 TG

AA

Kidney

FA

8 6

AA Acetyl CoA

Protein Urine

TCA

Muscle

CO2

[ATP]

Fig. 31.18. Tissue interrelationships during fasting. 1. Blood glucose levels drop, decreasing insulin and raising blood glucagon levels. 2. Glycogenolysis is induced in the liver to raise blood glucose levels. 3. The brain uses the glucose released by the liver, as do the red blood cells (4). 5. Adipose tissues are induced to release free fatty acids and glycerol from stored triglycerides. 6. The muscle and liver use fatty acids for energy. 7. The liver converts fatty acid derived acetyl-CoA to ketone bodies for export, which the muscles (8) and brain can use for energy. 9. Protein turnover is induced in muscle, and amino acids leave the muscle and travel to the liver for use as gluconeogenic precursors. 10. The high rate of amino acid metabolism in the liver generates urea, which travels to the kidney for excretion. 11. Red blood cells produce lactate, which returns to the liver as a substriate for gluconeogenesis. 12. The glycenol released from adipose tissue is used by the liver set gluconeogenesis. KB ketone bodies; FA fatty acids; AA amino acids; TG triacylglycerols.

from the degradation of existing proteins, are the major gluconeogenic precursor, reducing glucose requirements in tissues reduces the rate of protein degradation, and, hence, the rate of urea formation. Protein from muscle and other tissues is therefore spared, because there is less need for amino acids for gluconeogenesis. Body protein, particularly muscle protein, is not primarily a storage form of fuel in the same sense as glycogen or triacylglycerol; proteins have many functions beside fuel storage. For example, proteins function as enzymes, as structural proteins, and in muscle contraction. If tissue protein is degraded to too great an extent, body function can be severely compromised. If starvation continues and no other problems, such as infections, occur, a starving individual usually dies because of severe protein loss that causes malfunction of major organs, such as the heart. Therefore, the increase in ketone body levels that results in the sparing of body protein allows individuals to survive for extended periods without ingesting food.

D. Summary of Sources of Blood Glucose Immediately after a meal, dietary carbohydrates serve as the major source of blood glucose (Fig. 31.20). As blood glucose levels return to the fasting range

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

575

β –Hydroxybutyrate and Acetoacetate

Blood glucose and ketone concentration (mM)

7.0

6.0

5.0

NH4+ Glucose

4.0

4.0

3.0

Total urinary nitrogen (g / day) 20

3.0 Urinary ammonia

2.0

2.0

10

Free fatty acids 1.0

1.0 Total urinary nitrogen

10

20

30

40

Days of fasting

within 2 hours after a meal, glycogenolysis is stimulated and begins to supply glucose to the blood. Subsequently, glucose is also produced by gluconeogenesis. During a 12-hour fast, glycogenolysis is the major source of blood glucose. Thus, it is the major pathway by which glucose is produced in the basal state (after a 12-hour fast). However, by approximately 16 hours of fasting, glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis contribute equally to the maintenance of blood glucose. By 30 hours after a meal, liver glycogen stores are substantially depleted. Subsequently, gluconeogenesis is the primary source of blood glucose. The mechanisms that cause fats to be used as the major fuel and that allow blood glucose levels to be maintained during periods of food deprivation result in the conservation of body protein and, consequently, permit survival during prolonged fasting for periods often exceeding 1 or more months.

E. Blood Glucose Levels during Exercise During exercise, mechanisms very similar to those that are used during fasting operate to maintain blood glucose levels. The liver maintains blood glucose levels through both glucagon- and epinephrine-induced glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. The use of fuels by muscle during exercise, including the uptake and use of blood glucose, is discussed in Chapter 47. Otto Shape is able to jog for 45 minutes before eating breakfast without developing symptoms of hypoglycemia in spite of enhanced glucose utilization by skeletal muscle during exercise. He maintains his blood glucose level in an adequate range through hepatic glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

Glucose oxidized (g / hr)

Fig. 31.19. Changes in blood fuels during fasting. The units for fatty acids, glucose, and ketone bodies are millimolar (on left) and for urinary nitrogen and ammonia are grams/day (on right). Modified from Linder MC. Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism, 2nd Ed. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange, 1991:103. © 1991 Appleton & Lange.

40

Ingested glucose

20 Glycogenolysis

Fed

Gluconeogenesis

8 16 24

2 8 16 24 32 40

Hours

Days

Fasting

Starved

Fig. 31.20. Sources of blood glucose in fed, fasting, and starved states. Note that the scale changes from hours to days. From Ruderman NB, et al. In: Hanson RW, Mehlman MA, eds. Gluconeogenesis: Its Regulation in Mammalian Species. 1976:518. © 1976 John Wiley & Sons. Remember that muscle glycogen is not used to maintain blood glucose levels; muscle cells lack glucose 6phosphatase, so glucose cannot be produced from glucose 6-phosphate for export.

576

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Epidemiologic studies have correlated the results of the OGTT with the current and subsequent development of the microvascular complications of DM in the eye (diabetic retinopathy) and in the kidney (diabetic nephropathy). Their development is usually limited to those patients whose fasting blood glucose level exceeds 140 mg/dL (7.8 mM) or whose 2hour postprandial blood glucose level exceeds 200 mg/dL (11.1 mM). As a consequence, the success of therapy with diet alone or with diet plus oral hypoglycemic agents is often determined by measuring blood glucose levels during fasting, before breakfast, and 2 hours after a meal. For patients taking an intermediateacting insulin, blood glucose also may be measured at other times, such as when insulin action is expected to peak after its injection (e.g., around 5:00 PM, when intermediate-acting insulin has been given at 7:00 AM the same day).

CLINICAL COMMENTS The chronic excessive ingestion of ethanol concurrent with a recent reduction in nutrient intake caused Al Martini’s blood glucose level to decrease to 28 mg/dL. This degree of hypoglycemia caused the release of a number of “counterregulatory” hormones into the blood, including glucagon, growth hormone, cortisol, and epinephrine (adrenaline). Some of the patient’s signs and symptoms are primarily the result of an increase in adrenergic nervous system activity after a rapid decrease in blood glucose. The subsequent increase in epinephrine levels in the blood leads to tremulousness, excessive sweating, and rapid heart rate. Other manifestations arise when the brain has insufficient glucose, hence the term “neuroglycopenic symptoms.” Mr. Martini was confused, combative, had slurred speech, and eventually had a grand mal seizure. If not treated quickly by intravenous glucose administration, Mr. Martini may have lapsed into a coma. Permanent neurologic deficits and even death may result if severe hypoglycemia is not corrected in 6 to 10 hours. The elevation in blood glucose that occurred in Emma Wheezer’s case was primarily a consequence of the large pharmacologic doses of a glucocorticoid that she received in an effort to reduce the intrabronchial inflammatory reaction characteristic of asthmatic bronchospasm. Although the development of hyperglycemia in this case could be classified as a “secondary” form of diabetes mellitus, most patients treated with glucocorticoids do not develop glucose intolerance. Ms. Wheezer, therefore, may have a predisposition to the eventual development of “primary” diabetes mellitus. In hyperglycemia, increased amounts of glucose enter the urine, causing large amounts of water to be excreted. This “osmotic diuresis” is responsible for the increased volume of urine (polyuria) noted by the patient. Because of increased urinary water loss, the effective circulating blood volume is reduced. Therefore, less blood reaches volume-sensitive receptors in the central nervous system, which then trigger the sensation of thirst, causing increased drinking activity (polydipsia). A diabetic diet and the tapering of her steroid dose over a period of several weeks gradually returned Ms. Wheezer’s blood glucose level into the normal range. Chronically elevated levels of glucose in the blood may contribute to the development of the microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus, such as diabetic retinal damage, kidney damage, and nerve damage, as well as macrovascular complications such as cerebrovascular, peripheral vascular, and coronary vascular insufficiency. The precise mechanism by which long-term hyperglycemia induces these vascular changes is not fully established. One postulated mechanism proposes that nonenzymatic glycation (glycosylation) of proteins in vascular tissue alters the structure and functions of these proteins. A protein exposed to chronically increased levels of glucose will covalently bind glucose, a process called glycation or glycosylation. This process is not regulated by enzymes (see Chapter 9). These nonenzymatically glycated proteins slowly form cross-linked protein adducts (often called advanced glycosylation products) within the microvasculature and macrovasculature. By cross-linking vascular matrix proteins and plasma proteins, chronic hyperglycemia may cause narrowing of the luminal diameter of the microvessels in the retina (causing diabetic retinopathy), the renal glomeruli (causing diabetic nephropathy), and the microvessels supplying peripheral and autonomic nerve fibers (causing diabetic neuropathy). The same process has been postulated to accelerate atherosclerotic change in the macrovasculature, particularly in the brain

CHAPTER 31 / GLUCONEOGENESIS AND MAINTENANCE OF BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

(causing strokes), the coronary arteries (causing heart attacks), and the peripheral arteries (causing peripheral arterial insufficiency and gangrene). The abnormal lipid metabolism associated with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus also may contribute to the accelerated atherosclerosis associated with this metabolic disorder (see Chapters 33 and 34). Until recently, it was argued that meticulous control of blood glucose levels in a diabetic patient would not necessarily prevent or even slow these complications of chronic hyperglycemia. The publication of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, however, suggests that maintaining long-term euglycemia (normal blood glucose levels) in diabetic patients slows the progress of unregulated glycation of proteins as well as corrects their dyslipidemia. In this way, careful control may favorably affect the course of the microvascular and macrovascular complications of diabetes mellitus in patients such as Di Abietes and Ann Sulin.

A

577

Glucose Plants

Animals CO2

B

Glucose

Amino acids

C

Lipids

Other sugars

Glucose

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS Glycogen

Plants are the ultimate source of the earth’s supply of glucose. Plants produce glucose from atmospheric CO2 by the process of photosynthesis (Fig. 31.21A). In contrast to plants, humans cannot synthesize glucose by the fixation of CO2. Although we have a process called gluconeogenesis, the term may really be a misnomer. Glucose is not generated anew by gluconeogenesis; compounds produced from glucose are simply recycled to glucose. We obtain glucose from the plants, including bacteria, that we eat and, to some extent, from animals in our food supply. We use this glucose both as a fuel and as a source of carbon for the synthesis of fatty acids, amino acids, and other sugars (see Fig. 31.21B). We store glucose as glycogen, which, along with gluconeogenesis, provides glucose when needed for energy (see Fig. 31.21C). Lactate, one of the carbon sources for gluconeogenesis, is actually produced from glucose by tissues that obtain energy by oxidizing glucose to pyruvate through glycolysis. The pyruvate is then reduced to lactate, released into the bloodstream, and reconverted to glucose by the process of gluconeogenesis in the liver. This process is known as the Cori cycle (Fig. 31.21D). Carbons of alanine, another carbon source for gluconeogenesis, may be produced from glucose. In muscle, glucose is converted via glycolysis to pyruvate and transaminated to alanine. Alanine from muscle is recycled to glucose in the liver. This process is known as the glucose–alanine cycle (Fig. 31.21E). Glucose also may be used to produce nonessential amino acids other than alanine, which are subsequently reconverted to glucose in the liver by gluconeogenesis. Even the essential amino acids that we obtain from dietary proteins are synthesized in plants and bacteria using glucose as the major source of carbon. Therefore, all amino acids that are converted to glucose in humans, including the essential amino acids, were originally synthesized from glucose. The production of glucose from glycerol, the third major source of carbon for gluconeogenesis, is also a recycling process. Glycerol is derived from glucose via the dihydroxyacetone phosphate intermediate of glycolysis. Fatty acids are then esterified to the glycerol and stored as triacylglycerol. When these fatty acids are released from the triacylglycerol, the glycerol moiety can travel to the liver and be reconverted to glucose (see Fig. 31.21F).

Suggested References Dimitriadis GD, Raptis SA, Newsholme EA. Integration of some biochemical and physiologic effects of insulin that may play a role in the control of blood glucose concentration. In LeRoith D, Taylor SI,

D

Glucose Pyruvate Lactate

E

Glucose Pyruvate Alanine

F

Glucose

Glycerol Fatty acids

Dihydroxyacetone phosphate Glycerol

Triacylglycerol

Fig. 31.21. Recycling of glucose.

Fatty acids

578

SECTION FIVE / CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM

Olefsky JM, eds. Diabetes Mellitus: A Fundamental and Clinical Text. 2nd Ed. New York: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2000:161–176. Granner D, Pilkis S. The genes of hepatic glucose metabolism. J Biol Chem 1990;265:10173–10176. Gurney AL, Park EA, Liu J, et al. Metabolic regulation of gene transcription. J Nutr 1994;124:15335–15395. Pilkis S, Granner D. Molecular physiology of the regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycolysis. Annu Rev Physiol 1992;54:885–909. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1993;329:977–986.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 31 1. A common intermediate in the conversion of glycerol and lactate to glucose is which of the following? (A) Pyruvate (B) Oxaloacetate (C) Malate (D) Glucose 6-phosphate (E) Phosphoenolpyruvate 2. A patient presented with a bacterial infection that produced an endotoxin that inhibits phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. In this patient, then, under these conditions, glucose production from which of the following precursors would be inhibited? (A) Alanine (B) Glycerol (C) Even-chain-number fatty acids (D) Phosphoenolpyruvate (E) Galactose 3.

Which of the following statements best describes glucagon? (A) It acts as an anabolic hormone. (B) It acts on skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue. (C) It acts primarily on the liver and adipose tissue. (D) Its concentration in the blood increases after a high-carbohydrate meal. (E) Its concentration increases in the blood when insulin levels increase.

4.

Which of the following is most likely to occur in a normal individual after ingesting a high-carbohydrate meal? (A) Only insulin levels decrease. (B) Only insulin levels increase. (C) Only glucagon levels increase. (D) Both insulin and glucagon levels decrease. (E) Both insulin and glucagon levels increase.

5.

A patient arrives at the hospital in an ambulance. She is currently in a coma. Before lapsing into the coma, her symptoms included vomiting, dehydration, low blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat. She also had relatively rapid respirations, resulting in more carbon dioxide exhaled. These symptoms are consistent with which of the following conditions? (A) The patient lacks a pancreas. (B) Ketoalkolosis (C) Hypoglycemic coma (D) Diabetic ketoacidosis (E) Insulin shock in a diabetic patient

SECTION SIX

Lipid Metabolism ost of the lipids found in the body fall into the categories of fatty acids and triacylglycerols; glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids; eicosanoids; cholesterol, bile salts, and steroid hormones; and fat-soluble vitamins. These lipids have very diverse chemical structures and functions. However, they are related by a common property: their relative insolublity in water. Fatty acids, which are stored as triacylglycerols, serve as fuels, providing the body with its major source of energy (Fig. VI.1). Glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids, which contain esterified fatty acids, are found in membranes and in blood lipoproteins at the interfaces between the lipid components of these structures and the surrounding water. These membrane lipids form hydrophobic barriers between subcellular compartments and between cellular constituents and the extracellular milieu. Polyunsaturated fatty acids containing 20 carbons form the eicosanoids, which regulate many cellular processes (Fig. VI.2). Cholesterol adds stability to the phospholipid bilayer of membranes. It serves as the precursor of the bile salts, detergent-like compounds that function in the process of lipid digestion and absorption (Fig. VI.3). Cholesterol also serves as the precursor of the steroid hormones, which have many actions, including the regulation of metabolism, growth, and reproduction. The fat-soluble vitamins are lipids that are involved in such varied functions as vision, growth, and differentiation (vitamin A), blood clotting (vitamin K), prevention of oxidative damage to cells (vitamin E), and calcium metabolism (vitamin D). Triacylglycerols, the major dietary lipids, are digested in the lumen of the intestine (Fig. VI.4). The initial digestive products, free fatty acids and 2-monoacylglycerol, are reconverted to triacylglycerols in intestinal epithelial cells, packaged in lipoproteins known as chylomicrons (so they can safely enter the circulation), and secreted into the lymph. Ultimately, chylomicrons enter the blood, serving as one of the major blood lipoproteins. Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) is produced in the liver, mainly from dietary carbohydrate. Lipogenesis is an insulin-stimulated process through which glucose is converted to fatty acids, which are subsequently esterified to glycerol to form the triacylglycerols that are packaged in VLDL and secreted from the liver. Thus, chylomicrons primarily transport dietary lipids, and VLDL transports endogenously synthesized lipids. The triacylglycerols of chylomicrons and VLDL are digested by lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an enzyme found attached to capillary endothelial cells (see Fig. VI.4). The fatty acids that are released are taken up by muscle and many other tissues and oxidized to CO2 and water to produce energy (see Chapter 23). After a meal, these fatty acids are taken up by adipose tissue and stored as triacylglycerols. LPL converts chylomicrons to chylomicron remnants and VLDL to intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL). These products, which have a relatively low triacylglycerol content, are taken up by the liver by the process of endocytosis and degraded by lysosomal action. IDL may also be converted to low density lipoprotein (LDL) by further digestion of triacylglycerol. Endocytosis of LDL occurs in peripheral tissues as well as the liver (Table VI.1), and is the major means of cholesterol transport and delivery to peripheral tissues.

M

Glucose

Fatty acids Oxidation CO2 + H2O

Phospholipids and sphingolipids

Triacylglycerol (adipose tissue stores)

Fig. VI.1. Summary of fatty acid metabolism.

Arachidonic acid (or EPA)

Leukotrienes

Thromboxanes Prostaglandins

Fig. VI.2. Summary of eicosanoid synthesis. EPA eicosapentenoic acid.

Acetyl CoA

Cholesterol

Membranes

Steroid hormones Bile salts

Fig. VI.3. Summary of cholesterol metabolism.

579

Blood

Glucose

Lipid (TG)

Glycerol – 3 – P Chylomicrons

TG

Lymph

FA CoA

VLDL

Liver TG Chylomicrons 2 – MG + FA

L TG P L

TG

Muscle CO2 + H2 O

FA Peripheral tissues TG

Adipose Small intestine

Fed state

Capillary wall

Fig. VI.4. Overview of triacylglycerol metabolism in the fed state. TG = triacylglycerol; 2-MG = 2-monoacylglycerol; FA = fatty acid; circled TG = triacylglycerols of VLDL and chylomicrons; LPL = lipoprotein lipase.

The principal function of high density lipoprotein (HDL) is to transport excess cholesterol obtained from peripheral tissues to the liver and to exchange proteins and lipids with chylomicrons and VLDL. The protein exchange converts "nascent" particles to "mature" particles. During fasting, fatty acids and glycerol are released from adipose triacylglycerol stores (Fig. VI.5). The glycerol travels to the liver and is used for gluconeogenesis. Only the liver contains glycerol kinase, which is required for glycerol metabolism.

Table VI.1. Blood Lipoproteins Chylomicrons • produced in intestinal epithelial cells from dietary fat • carries triacylglycerol in blood VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) • produced in liver mainly from dietary carbohydrate • carries triacylglycerol in blood IDL (intermediate density lipoprotein) • produced in blood (remnant of VLDL after triacylglycerol digestion) • endocytosed by liver or converted to LDL LDL (low density lipoprotein) • produced in blood (remnant of IDL after triacylglycerol digestion; endproduct of VLDL) • contains high concentration of cholesterol and cholesterol esters • endocytosed by liver and peripheral tissues HDL (high density lipoprotein) • produced in liver and intestine • exchanges proteins and lipids with other lipoproteins • functions in the return of cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver

580

Blood Glucose

Glucose

Liver Glycerol Ketone bodies Triacylglycerols

Adipose

Ketone bodies

Fatty acids

Fasting Acetyl CoA CO2 + H2 O

Muscle Fig. VI.5. Overview of triacylglycerol metabolism during fasting.

The fatty acids form complexes with albumin in the blood and are taken up by muscle, kidney, and other tissues, where ATP is generated by their oxidation to CO2 and water. Liver also converts some of the carbon to ketone bodies, which are released into the blood. Ketone bodies are oxidized for energy in muscle, kidney, and other tissues during fasting, and in the brain during prolonged starvation (see Chapter 23).

581

32

Digestion and Transport of Dietary Lipids

Triacylglycerols are the major fat in the human diet, consisting of three fatty acids esterified to a glycerol backbone. Limited digestion of these lipids occurs in the mouth (lingual lipase) and stomach (gastric lipase) because of the low solubility of the substrate. In the intestine, however, the fats are emulsified by bile salts that are released from the gallbladder. This increases the available surface area of the lipids for pancreatic lipase and colipase to bind and to digest the triglycerides. Degradation products are free fatty acids and 2-monoacylglycerol. When partially digested food enters the intestine, the hormone cholecystokinin is secreted by the intestine, which signals the gallbladder to contract and release bile acids, and the pancreas to release digestive enzymes. In addition to triacylglycerols, phospholipids, cholesterol,, and cholesterol esters (cholesterol esterified to fatty acids) are present in the foods we eat. Phospholipids are hydrolyzed in the intestinal lumen by phospholipase A2, and cholesterol esters are hydrolyzed by cholesterol esterase. Both of these enzymes are secreted from the pancreas. The products of enzymatic digestion (free fatty acids, glycerol, lysophospholipids, cholesterol) form micelles with bile acids in the intestinal lumen. The micelles interact with the enterocyte membrane and allow diffusion of the lipid soluble components across the enterocyte membrane into the cell. The bile acids, however, do not enter the enterocyte at this time. They remain in the intestine, travel further down, and are then reabsorbed and sent back to the liver by the enterohepatic circulation. This allows the bile salts to be used multiple times in fat digestion. The intestinal epithelial cells will resynthesize triacylglycerol from free fatty acids and 2-monacylglycerol and will package them with a protein, apolipoprotein B-48, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters into a soluble lipoprotein particle known as a chylomicron. The chylomicrons are secreted into the lymph and eventually end up in the circulation, where they can distribute dietary lipids to all tissues of the body. Once in circulation, the newly released (“nascent”) chylomicrons interact with another lipoprotein particle, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and acquire two apoproteins from HDL, apoprotein CII and E. This converts the nascent chylomicron to a “mature” chylomicron. The apoCII on the mature chylomicron activates the enzyme lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which is located on the inner surface of the capillary endothelial cells of muscle and adipose tissue. The LPL digests the triglyceride in the chylomicron, producing free fatty acids and glycerol. The fatty acids enter the adjacent organs either for energy production (muscle) or fat storage (adipocyte). The glycerol that is released is metabolized in the liver. As the chylomicron loses triglyceride, its density increases and it becomes a chylomicron remnant, which is taken up by the liver by receptors that recognize apolipoprotein E. In the liver, the chylomicron remnant is degraded into its component parts for further disposition by the liver.

The lymph system is a network of vessels that surround interstitial cavities in the body. Cells secrete various compounds into the lymph, and the lymph vessels transport these fluids away from the interstitial spaces in the body tissues and into the bloodstream. In the case of the intestinal lymph system, the lymph enters the bloodstream through the thoracic duct. These vessels are designed such that under normal conditions the contents of the blood cannot enter the lymphatic system. The lymph fluid is similar in composition to that of the blood but lacks the cells found in blood.

583

584

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

THE

WAITING

ROOM

Will Sichel had several episodes of mild back and lower extremity pain over the last year, probably caused by minor sickle cell crises. He then developed severe right upper abdominal pain radiating to his lower right chest and his right flank 36 hours before admission to the emergency room. He states that the pain is not like his usual crisis pain. Intractable vomiting began 12 hours after the onset of these new symptoms. He reports that his urine is the color of iced tea and his stool now has a light clay color. On physical examination, his body temperature is slightly elevated, and his heart rate is rapid. The whites of his eyes (the sclerae) are obviously jaundiced (a yellow discoloration caused by the accumulation of bilirubin pigment). He is exquisitely tender to pressure over his right upper abdomen. The emergency room physician suspects that Michael is not in sickle cell crisis but instead has either acute cholecystitis (gallbladder inflammation) or a gallstone lodged in his common bile duct, causing cholestasis (the inability of the bile from the liver to reach his small intestine). His hemoglobin level was low at 7.6 mg/dL (reference range 12–16) but unchanged from his baseline 3 months earlier. His serum total bilirubin level was 3.2 mg/dL (reference range 0.2–1.0), and his direct (conjugated) bilirubin level was 0.9 mg/dL (reference range 0 –0.2). Intravenous fluids were started, he was not allowed to take anything by mouth, a nasogastric tube was passed and placed on constant suction, and symptomatic therapy was started for pain and nausea. When his condition had stabilized, Michael was sent for an ultrasonographic (ultrasound) study of his upper abdomen. Al Martini has continued to abuse alcohol and to eat poorly. After a particularly heavy intake of vodka, a steady severe pain began in his upper mid-abdomen. This pain spread to the left upper quadrant and eventually radiated to his mid-back. He began vomiting nonbloody material and was brought to the hospital emergency room with fever, a rapid heart beat, and a mild reduction in blood pressure. On physical examination, he was dehydrated and tender to pressure over the upper abdomen. His vomitus and stool were both negative for occult blood. Blood samples were sent to the laboratory for a variety of hematologic and chemical tests, including a measurement of serum amylase and lipase, digestive enzymes normally secreted from the exocrine pancreas through the pancreatic ducts into the lumen of the small intestine.

I. Currently, 38% of the calories (kcal) in the typical American diet come from fat. The content of fat in the diet increased from the early 1900s until the 1960s, and then decreased as we became aware of the unhealthy effects of a high-fat diet. According to current recommendations, fat should provide no more than 30% of the total calories of a healthy diet.

DIGESTION OF TRIACYLGLYCEROLS

Triacylglycerols are the major fat in the human diet because they are the major storage lipid in the plants and animals that constitute our food supply. Triacylglycerols contain a glycerol backbone to which three fatty acids are esterified (Fig. 32.1). The main route for digestion of triacylglycerols involves hydrolysis to fatty acids and 2monoacylglycerols in the lumen of the intestine. However, the route depends to some extent on the chain length of the fatty acids. Lingual and gastric lipases are produced by cells at the back of the tongue and in the stomach, respectively. These lipases preferentially hydrolyze short- and medium-chain fatty acids (containing 12 or fewer carbon atoms) from dietary triacylglycerols. Therefore, they are most active in

CHAPTER 32 / DIGESTION AND TRANSPORT OF DIETARY LIPIDS

O 1

O CH3

(CH2)7

CH

CH

(CH2)7

C

O

2 3

CH2

O

C

O

C

CH CH2

(CH2)14 CH3

O (CH2)16 CH3

Fig. 32.1. Structure of a triacylglycerol. The glycerol moiety is highlighted, and its carbons are numbered.

infants and young children, who drink relatively large quantities of cow’s milk, which contains triacylglycerols with a high percentage of short- and medium-chain fatty acids.

A. Action of Bile Salts Dietary fat leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine, where it is emulsified (suspended in small particles in the aqueous environment) by bile salts (Fig. 32.2). The bile salts are amphipathic compounds (containing both hydrophobic and hydrophilic components), synthesized in the liver (see Chapter 34 for the pathway) and secreted via the gallbladder into the intestinal lumen. The contraction of the gallbladder and secretion of pancreatic enzymes are stimulated by the gut hormone cholecystokinin, which is secreted by the intestinal cells when stomach contents enter the intestine. Bile salts act as detergents, binding to the globules of dietary fat as they are broken up by the peristaltic action of the intestinal muscle. This emulsified fat, which has an increased surface area as compared with unemulsified fat, is attacked by digestive enzymes from the pancreas (Fig. 32.3).

585

The mammary gland produces milk, which is the major source of nutrients for the breastfed human infant. The fatty acid composition of human milk varies, depending on the diet of the mother. However, long-chain fatty acids predominate, particularly palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids. Although the amount of fat contained in human milk and cow’s milk is similar, cow’s milk contains more short- and medium-chain fatty acids and does not contain the long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids found in human milk that are important in brain development. Although the concentrations of pancreatic lipase and bile salts are low in the intestinal lumen of the newborn infant, the fat of human milk is still readily absorbed. This is true because lingual and gastric lipases produced by the infant partially compensate for the lower levels of pancreatic lipase. The human mammary gland also produces lipases that enter the milk. One of these lipases, which requires lower levels of bile salts than pancreatic lipase, is not inactivated by stomach acid and functions in the intestine for a number of hours. O CO–

B. Action of Pancreatic Lipase The major enzyme that digests dietary triacylglycerols is a lipase produced in the pancreas. Pancreatic lipase is secreted along with another protein, colipase, along with bicarbonate, which neutralizes the acid that enters the intestine with partially digested food from the stomach. Bicarbonate raises the pH of the contents of the intestinal lumen into a range (pH ~ 6) that is optimal for the action of all of the digestive enzymes of the intestine. Bicarbonate secretion from the pancreas is stimulated by the hormone secretin, which is released from the intestine when acid enters the duodenum.

In patients such as Will Sichel who have severe and recurrent episodes of increased red blood cell destruction (hemolytic anemia), greater than normal amounts of the red cell pigment heme must be processed by the liver and spleen. In these organs, heme (derived from hemoglobin) is degraded to bilirubin, which is excreted by the liver in the bile. If large quantities of bilirubin are presented to the liver as a consequence of acute hemolysis, the capacity of the liver to conjugate it, that is, convert it to the water-soluble bilirubin diglucuronide, can be overwhelmed. As a result, a greater percentage of the bilirubin entering the hepatic biliary ducts in patients with hemolysis is in the less watersoluble forms. In the gallbladder, these relatively insoluble particles tend to precipitate as gallstones rich in calcium bilirubinate. In some patients, one or more stones may leave the gallbladder through the cystic duct and enter the common bile duct. Most pass harmlessly into the small intestine and are later excreted in the stool. Larger stones, however, may become entrapped in the lumen of the common bile duct, where they cause varying degrees of obstruction to bile flow (cholestasis) with associated ductal spasm, producing pain. If adequate amounts of bile salts do not enter the intestinal lumen, dietary fats cannot readily be emulsified and digested.

HO

CH3

CH3

HO

OH Cholate

Fig. 32.2. Structure of a bile salt. The bile salts are derived from cholesterol and retain the cholesterol ring structure. They differ from cholesterol in that the rings in bile salts contain more hydroxyl groups and a polar side chain and lack a 5-6 double bond. Al Martini’s serum levels of pancreatic amylase (which digests dietary starch) and pancreatic lipase were elevated, a finding consistent with a diagnosis of acute and possibly chronic pancreatitis. The elevated levels of these enzymes in the blood are the result of their escape from the inflamed exocrine cells of the pancreas into the surrounding pancreatic veins. The cause of this inflammatory pancreatic process in this case was related to the toxic effect of acute and chronic excessive alcohol ingestion.

586

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

R2C

O O

O OCR1 Triacylglycerol (TG)

O OCR3

Triacylglycerol

Gallbladder

H2O HCO3–

FA3

O R2C O

O OCR1

Bile salts (bs)

Pancreas

lipase colipase

bs Blood bs

OH bs

Diacylglycerol

Chylomicrons

bs

colipase lipase

H2O FA1 O R2 C O

bs TG

OH

OH

Small intestine

FA +

O R CO

Lymph OH

OH 2 – Monoacylglycerol (2 – MG) bs

Chylomicrons

2 –Monoacylglycerol

Fig. 32.4. Action of pancreatic lipase. Fatty acids (FA) are cleaved from positions 1 and 3 of the triacylglycerol, and a monoacylglycerol with a fatty acid at position 2 is produced.

bs Micelle

bs FA 2 – MG bs bs

Nascent chylomicrons FA 2 – MG

bs (Ileum)

apoB

PhosphoTG lipids

bs

Fig. 32.3. Digestion of triacylglycerols in the intestinal lumen. TG triacylglycerol; bs bile salts; FA fatty acid; 2-MG 2-monoacylglycerol. Bile salts inhibit pancreatic lipase activity by coating the substrate and not allowing the enzyme access to the substrate. The colipase relieves the bile salt inhibition, and allows the triglyceride to enter the active site of the lipase.

The exocrine pancreas secretes phospholipase A2 in an inactive zymogen form, prophospholipase A2. The enzyme is activated in the intestinal lumen by proteolytic cleavage by trypsin. Pancreatic lipase, however, is secreted in its active form, and only needs to bind colipase and substrate to be active. When he was finally able to tolerate a full diet, Al Martini’s stools became bulky, glistening, yellowbrown, and foul smelling. They floated on the surface of the toilet water. What caused this problem?

The colipase binds to the dietary fat and to the lipase, thereby increasing lipase activity. Pancreatic lipase hydrolyzes fatty acids of all chain lengths from positions 1 and 3 of the glycerol moiety of the triacylglycerol, producing free fatty acids and 2-monoacylglycerol, i.e., glycerol with a fatty acid esterified at position 2 (Fig. 32.4). The pancreas also produces esterases that remove fatty acids from compounds (such as cholesterol esters) and phospholipase A2 that digests phospholipids to a free fatty acid and a lysophospholipid (Fig. 32.5).

II. ABSORPTION OF DIETARY LIPIDS The fatty acids and 2-monoacylglycerols produced by digestion are packaged into micelles, tiny microdroplets emulsified by bile salts (see Fig. 32.3). Other dietary lipids, such as cholesterol, lysophospholipids, and fat-soluble vitamins, are also packaged in these micelles. The micelles travel through a layer of water (the unstirred water layer) to the microvilli on the surface of the intestinal epithelial cells, where the fatty acids, 2-monoacylglycerols, and other dietary lipids are absorbed, but the bile salts are left behind in the lumen of the gut. The bile salts are extensively resorbed when they reach the ileum. Greater than 95% of the bile salts are recirculated, traveling through the enterohepatic circulation

CHAPTER 32 / DIGESTION AND TRANSPORT OF DIETARY LIPIDS

Al Martini’s stool changes are characteristic of steatorrhea (fat-laden stools caused by malabsorption of dietary fats), in this case caused by a lack of pancreatic secretions, particularly pancreatic lipase, which normally digests dietary fat. Steatorrhea also may be caused by insufficient production or secretion of bile salts. Therefore, Michael Sichel might also develop this condition.

A

R

C

R

O O

R2

O O H2C O C O CH H2C

O

C

R2

R1

O P

O O–

cholesterol esterase

Cholesterol ester

B

C

O

C

phospholipase A2

X

HO Cholesterol

O O–

587

O H 2C

O

C

C

H

O

H2C

O

HO

O–

P

R1

O

X

O–

Phospholipid

Lysophospholipid

Fig. 32.5. Action of pancreatic esterases (A) and phospholipase A2 (B).

to the liver, which secretes them into the bile for storage in the gallbladder and ejection into the intestinal lumen during another digestive cycle (Fig. 32.6). Short- and medium-chain fatty acids (C4 to C12) do not require bile salts for their absorption. They are absorbed directly into intestinal epithelial cells. Because they do not need to be packaged to increase their solubility, they enter the portal blood (rather than the lymph) and are transported to the liver bound to serum albumin.

III. SYNTHESIS OF CHYLOMICRONS Within the intestinal epithelial cells, the fatty acids and 2-monoacylglycerols are condensed by enzymatic reactions in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum to form triacylglycerols. The fatty acids are activated to fatty acyl CoA by the same process

Liver

Bile salts

Pancreas

Stomach

Gallbladder Common bile duct Entero-hepatic circulation carrying bile salts Ileum 95%

5% Feces

Fig. 32.6. Recycling of bile salts. Bile salts are synthesized in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, secreted into the small intestine, resorbed in the ileum, and returned to the liver via the enterohepatic circulation. Five percent or less of luminal bile acids are excreted in the stool under normal circumstances.

For bile salt micelles to form, the concentration of bile salts in the contents of the intestinal lumen must reach 5–15 mol/mL. This critical concentration of bile salts is therefore required for optimal lipid absorption.

588

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

Activation of fatty acids ATP FA

CoASH FA–AMP

FACoA AMP

Triacylglycerol synthesis

R2C

O O

OH

FA1CoA R2C

OH

CoASH

2 –Monoacylglycerol

O O

O OCR1

FA3CoA R2C

OH

CoASH

Diacylglycerol

O O

O OCR1

Apoproteins

O OCR3

Other lipids

Chylomicrons

Triacylglycerol

Concentration of bile salt monomer or micelle

Fig. 32.7. Resynthesis of triacylglycerols in intestinal epithelial cells. Fatty acids (FA), produced by digestion, are activated in intestinal epithelial cells and then esterified to the 2-monoacylglycerol produced by digestion. The triacylglycerols are packaged in chylomicrons and secreted into the lymph.

Micelle Critical micelle concentration Bile salt monomer in solution Total bile salt concentration

Because the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are absorbed from micelles along with the long-chain fatty acids and 2-monoacylglycerols, prolonged obstruction of the duct that carries exocrine secretions from the pancreas and the gallbladder into the intestine (via the common duct) could lead to a deficiency of these metabolically important substances. If the obstruction of Michael Sichel’s common duct continues, he will eventually suffer from a fat-soluble vitamin deficiency. (Graph from Devlin T. Textbook of Biochemistry, 3rd Ed. 1992:1084. Copyright © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

used for activation of fatty acids before -oxidation (see Chapter 23). A fatty acyl CoA then reacts with a 2-monoacylglycerol to form a diacylglycerol, which reacts with another fatty acyl CoA to form a triacylglycerol (Fig. 32.7). The reactions for triacylglycerol synthesis in intestinal cells differ from those in liver and adipose cells in that 2-monoacylglycerol is an intermediate in triacylglycerol in intestinal cells, whereas phosphatidic acid is the necessary intermediate in other tissues. Triacylglycerols are transported in lipoprotein particles because they are insoluble in water. If triacylglycerols directly entered the blood, they would coalesce, impeding blood flow. Intestinal cells package triacylglycerols together with proteins and phospholipids in chylomicrons, which are lipoprotein particles that do not readily coalesce in aqueous solutions (Figs. 32.8 and 32.9). Chylomicrons also contain cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins. The protein constituents of the lipoproteins are known as apoproteins. The major apoprotein associated with chylomicrons as they leave the intestinal cells is B-48 (Fig. 32.10). The B-48 apoprotein is structurally and genetically Cholesterol

Phospholipid Cholesterol ester

Peripheral apoprotein

Cholesterol

Monolayer of mainly amphipathic lipids

Triacylglycerol Apoprotein B–100

Core of mainly nonpolar lipids

Fig. 32.8. Example of the structure of a blood lipoprotein. VLDL is depicted. Lipoproteins contain phospholipids and proteins on the surface, with their hydrophilic regions interacting with water. Hydrophobic molecules are in the interior of the lipoprotein. The hydroxyl group of cholesterol is near the surface. In cholesterol esters, the hydroxyl group is esterified to a fatty acid. Cholesterol esters are found in the interior of lipoproteins and are synthesized by reaction of cholesterol with an activated fatty acid (see Chapter 33).

589

CHAPTER 32 / DIGESTION AND TRANSPORT OF DIETARY LIPIDS

100

Intestinal lumen Percent of total weight

Brush border villae

RER (ApoB-48)

SER (TG)

TG

Chylomicrons

80 60 40 20 CE

Protein C

PL

Fig. 32.9. Composition of a typical chylomicron. Although the composition varies to some extent, the major component is triacylglycerol (TG). C cholesterol; CE cholesterol ester; PL phospholipid.

Golgi complex

Nucleus Chylomicrons

Lymph

Fig. 32.10. Formation and secretion of chylomicrons. The triacylglycerol is produced in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) of intestinal epithelial cells from the digestive products, fatty acids, and 2-monoacylglycerols. The protein is synthesized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER). The major apoprotein in chylomicrons is B-48. Assembly of the lipoproteins occurs in both the ER and the Golgi complex.

related to the B-100 apoprotein synthesized in the liver that serves as a major protein of another lipid carrier, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). These two apoproteins are encoded by the same gene. In the intestine, the primary transcript of this gene undergoes RNA editing (Fig. 32.11 and see Chapter 15). A stop codon is generated that causes a protein to be produced in the intestine that is 48% of the size of the protein produced in the liver; hence the designations B-48 and B-100. B– apoprotein gene C Liver

mRNA 5'

Transcription and RNA editing

C

3'

Intestine

A

5'

3'

Olestra is an artificial fat substitute designed to allow individuals to obtain the taste and food consistency of fat, without the calories from fat. The structure of Olestra is shown below and consists of a sucrose molecule to which fatty acids are esterified to the hydroxyl groups.

OR

OR OR

(Stop codon)

O

Translation C 4536 amino acids

OR O

RO ApoB–100 N

OR

C ApoB– 48

N 2152 amino acids

Fig. 32.11. B-apoprotein gene. The gene, located on chromosome 2, is transcribed and translated in liver to produce apoB-100, which is 4,536 amino acids in length (one of the longest single-polypeptide chains). In intestinal cells, RNA editing converts a cytosine (C) to an adenine (A), producing a stop codon. Consequently, the B-apoprotein of intestinal cells (apoB-48) contains only 2,152 amino acids. ApoB-48 is 48% of the size of apoB-100.

O RO

RO

Olestra = octa-acyl sucrose R = fatty acyl group

The fatty acids attached to sucrose are resistant to hydrolysis by pancreatic lipase, so Olestra passes through the intestine intact and is eliminated in the feces. As a result, no useful calories can be obtained through the metabolism of Olestra.

590

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

Because of their high triacylglycerol content, chylomicrons are the least dense of the blood lipoproteins. When blood is collected from patients with certain types of hyperlipoproteinemias (high concentrations of lipoproteins in the blood) in which chylomicron levels are elevated, and the blood is allowed to stand in the refrigerator overnight, the chylomicrons float to the top of the liquid and coalesce, forming a creamy layer. One manner in which individuals can lose weight is to inhibit the activity of pancreatic lipase. This would result in reduced fat digestion and absorption and a reduced caloric yield from the diet. The drug Orlistat is a chemically synthesized derivative of lipstatin, a natural lipase inhibitor found in certain bacteria. The drug works in the intestinal lumen and forms a covalent bond with the active site serine residue of both gastric and pancreatic lipase, thereby inhibiting their activities. Nondigested triglycerides are not absorbed by the intestine and are eliminated in the feces. Under normal use of the drug, approximately 30% of dietary fat absorption is inhibited. Because excessive nondigested fat in the intestines can lead to gastrointestinal distress related to excessive intestinal gas formation, individuals taking this drug need to follow a reduced daily intake of fat in their diet, which should be evenly distributed amongst the meals of the day. Blood HDL ApoCII ApoA ApoE

ApoB-48 Nascent chylomicron

HDL ApoB-48 ApoC II Mature chylomicron ApoE

Fig. 32.12. Transfer of proteins from HDL to chylomicrons. Newly synthesized chylomicrons (nascent chylomicrons) mature as they receive apoproteins CII and E from HDL. HDL functions in the transfer of these apoproteins and also in transfer of cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver (see Table 1 in the introduction to this section).

The protein component of the lipoproteins is synthesized on the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Lipids, which are synthesized in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, are complexed with the proteins to form the chylomicrons (see Fig. 32.10).

IV. TRANSPORT OF DIETARY LIPIDS IN THE BLOOD By the process of exocytosis, chylomicrons are secreted by the intestinal epithelial cells into the chyle of the lymphatic system and enter the blood through the thoracic duct. Chylomicrons begin to enter the blood within 1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal; as the meal is digested and absorbed, they continue to enter the blood for many hours. Initially, the particles are called nascent (newborn) chylomicrons. As they accept proteins from HDL within the lymph and the blood, they become “mature” chylomicrons. HDL transfers proteins to the nascent chylomicrons, particularly apoprotein E (apoE) and apoprotein CII (apoCII) (Fig. 32.12). ApoE is recognized by membrane receptors, particularly those on the surface of liver cells, allowing ApoE-bearing lipoproteins to enter these cells by endocytosis for subsequent digestion by lysosomes. ApoCII acts as an activator of LPL, the enzyme on capillary endothelial cells, primarily within muscle and adipose tissue, that digests the triacylglycerols of the chylomicrons and VLDL in the blood.

V. FATE OF CHYLOMICRONS The triacylglycerols of the chylomicrons are digested by LPL attached to the proteoglycans in the basement membranes of endothelial cells that line the capillary walls (Fig. 32.13). LPL is produced by adipose cells, muscle cells (particularly cardiac muscle), and cells of the lactating mammary gland. The isozyme synthesized in adipose cells has a higher Km than the isozyme synthesized in muscle cells. Therefore, adipose LPL is more active after a meal, when chylomicrons levels are elevated in the blood. Insulin stimulates the synthesis and secretion of adipose LPL, such that after a meal, when triglyceride levels increase in circulation, LPL has been upregulated (through insulin release) to facilitate the hydrolysis of fatty acids from the triglyceride. The fatty acids released from triacylglycerols by LPL are not very soluble in water. They become soluble in blood by forming complexes with the protein albumin. The major fate of the fatty acids is storage as triacylglycerol in adipose tissue. However, these fatty acids also may be oxidized for energy in muscle and other tissues (see Fig. 32.13). The LPL in the capillaries of muscle cells has a lower Km than adipose LPL. Thus, muscle cells can obtain fatty acids from blood lipoproteins whenever they are needed for energy, even if the concentration of the lipoproteins is low. The glycerol released from chylomicron triacylglycerols by LPL may be used for triacylglycerol synthesis in the liver in the fed state. The portion of a chylomicron that remains in the blood after LPL action is known as a chylomicron remnant. This remnant binds to receptors on hepatocytes (the major cells of the liver), which recognize apoprotein E, and is taken up by the process of endocytosis. Lysosomes fuse with the endocytic vesicles, and the Heparin is a complex polysaccharide that is a component of proteoglycans (see Chapter 49). Isolated heparin is frequently used as an anticoagulant, because it binds to antithrombin III (ATIII), and the activated ATIII then binds factors necessary for clotting and inhibits them from working. As LPL is bound to the capillary endothelium through binding to proteoglycans, heparin also can bind to LPL and dislodge it from the capillary wall. This leads to loss of LPL activity and an increase of triglyceride content in the blood.

CHAPTER 32 / DIGESTION AND TRANSPORT OF DIETARY LIPIDS

591

Lymph Chylomicrons

Capillary walls

Blood Chylomicrons

Chylomicrons

Intestinal epithelial cell

Lysosomes

Liver

Endocytic vesicle FA Cholesterol Amino acids Glycerol

Chylo - L micron P TG L C II

FA

CO2 + H2 O Muscle

Chylomicron remnants

FA + Glycerol

Receptors

FA

TG Stores

Adipose tissue

Fig. 32.13. Fate of chylomicrons. Chylomicrons are synthesized in intestinal epithelial cells, secreted into the lymph, pass into the blood, and become mature chylomicrons (see Fig. 32.11). On capillary walls in adipose tissue and muscle, lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activated by ApoCII digests the triacylglycerols (TG) of chylomicrons to fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids (FA) are oxidized in muscle or stored in adipose cells as triacylglycerols. The remnants of the chylomicrons are taken up by the liver by receptor-mediated endocytosis. Lysosomal enzymes within the hepatocyte digest the remnants, releasing the products into the cytosol.

chylomicron remnants are degraded by lysosomal enzymes. The products of lysosomal digestion (e.g., fatty acids, amino acids, glycerol, cholesterol, phosphate) can be reused by the cell.

CLINICAL COMMENTS The upper abdominal ultrasound study showed a large gallstone lodged in Will Sichel’s common duct with dilation of this duct proximal to the stone. Michael was scheduled for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). (An ERCP involves cannulation of the common bile duct—and, if necessary, the pancreatic duct—through a tube placed through the mouth and stomach and into the upper small intestine.) With this technique, a stone can be snared in the common duct and removed to relieve an obstruction. If common duct obstruction is severe enough, bilirubin flows back into the venous blood draining from the liver. As a consequence, serum bilirubin levels, particularly the indirect (unconjugated) fraction, increase. Tissues such as the sclerae of the eye take up this pigment, which causes them to become yellow (jaundiced). Will Sichel’s condition was severe enough to cause jaundice by this mechanism. Alcohol excess may produce proteinaceous plugs in the small pancreatic ducts, causing back pressure injury and autodigestion of the pancreatic acini drained by these obstructed channels. This process causes one form of acute pancreatitis. Al Martini had an episode of acute alcohol-induced pancreatitis superimposed on a more chronic alcohol-related inflammatory process in the pancreas—in other words, a chronic pancreatitis. As a result of decreased secretion of pancreatic lipase through the pancreatic ducts and into the lumen of the small intestine, dietary fat was not absorbed at a normal rate, and steatorrhea (fat-rich

592

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

stools) occurred. If abstinence from alcohol does not allow adequate recovery of the enzymatic secretory function of the pancreas, Mr. Martini will have to take a commercial preparation of pancreatic enzymes with meals that contain even minimal amounts of fat.

BIOCHEMICAL COMMENTS The assembly of chylomicrons within the endoplasmic reticulum of the enterocyte requires the activity of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). The protein is a dimer of two nonidentical subunits. The smaller subunit (57 kDa) is protein disulfide isomerase (PDI, see Chapter 7, section IX.A), whereas the larger subunit (97 kDa) contains the triglyceride transfer activity. MTP accelerates the transport of triglycerides, cholesterol esters, and phospholipids across membranes of subcellular organelles. The role of PDI in this complex is not known; the disulfide isomerase activity of this subunit is not needed for triglyceride transport to occur. The lack of triglyceride transfer activity leads to the disease abetalipoproteinemia. This disease affects both chylomicron assembly in the intestine and VLDL assembly in the liver. Both particles require a B apoprotein for their assembly (ApoB-48 for chylomicrons, ApoB-100 for VLDL), and MTP binds to the B apoproteins. For both chylomicron and VLDL assembly, a small ApoB–containing particle is first produced within the lumen of the ER. The appropriate apoB is made on the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and is inserted into the ER lumen during its synthesis (see Chapter 15, section IX). As the protein is being translated, lipid (a small amount of triglyceride) begins to associate with the protein, and the lipid association is catalyzed by MTP. This leads to the generation of small ApoB-containing particles; these particles are not formed in patients with abetalipoproteinemia. Thus, it appears as though MTP activity is necessary to transfer triacylglycerol formed within the ER to the ApoB protein. The second stage of particle assembly is the fusion of the initial ApoB particle with triacylglycerol droplets within the ER. MTP also may be required for the transfer of triacylglycerol from the cytoplasm to the lumen of the ER to form this lipid droplet. These steps are depicted in Fig. 32.14. The symptoms of abetalipoproteinemia include lipid malabsorption (and its accompanying symptoms, such as steatorrhea and vomiting), which can result in caloric deficiencies and weight loss. Because lipid-soluble vitamin distribution occurs through chylomicron circulation, signs and symptoms of deficiencies in the lipid-soluble vitamins may be seen in these patients.

ER Lumen ApoB-48

ApoB particle MTP LIPID

Ribosome

MTP

Larger ApoB particle

To Golgi for maturation and secretion

TG Cytoplasm

Fig. 32.14. A model of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) action. MTP is required to transfer lipid to apoB-48 as it is synthesized, and to transfer lipid from the cytoplasm to the ER lumen.

CHAPTER 32 / DIGESTION AND TRANSPORT OF DIETARY LIPIDS

593

Suggested References Berriot-Varoqueaux N, Aggerbeck LP, Samson-Bouma ME, Wetterau JR. The role of the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein in abetalipoproteinemia. Annu Rev Nutr 2000;20:663–697. Havel RJ, Kane JP. Introduction: structure and metabolism of plasm lipoproteins. In: Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Valle D, Sly WS, et al., eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, vol II, 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001:2705–2716. Knopp RH. Drug treatment of lipid disorders. N Engl J Med 1999;341:498–511. Linder MC, ed. Nutrition and metabolism of fats. In: Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism with Clinical Applications. New York: Elsevier, 1991:51–85. Zlotkin SH. Neonatal nutrition. In: Linder MC, ed. Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism with Clinical Applications. New York: Elsevier, 1991:357–360.

REVIEW QUESTIONS—CHAPTER 32 1.

The most abundant component of chylomicrons is which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

2.

The conversion of nascent chylomicrons to mature chylomicrons requires which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

3.

They are synthesized from the same gene. They are derived by alternative spicing of the same hnRNA. ApoB-48 is a proteolytic product of apoB-100. Both are found in mature chylomicrons. Both are found in very-low-density lipoproteins.

Bile salts must reach a particular concentration within the intestinal lumen before they are effective agents for lipid digestion. This is because of which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

5.

Bile salts 2-Monoacylglycerol Lipoprotein lipase High-density lipoprotein Lymphatic system

The apoproteins B-48 and B-100 are similar with respect to which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

4.

ApoB-48 Triglyceride Phospholipid Cholesterol Cholesterol ester

The bile salt concentration must be equal to the triglyceride concentration. The bile salt solubility in the lumen is a critical factor. The ability of bile salts to bind lipase is concentration dependant. The bile salts cannot be reabsorbed in the ileum until they reach a certain concentration. The bile salts do not activate lipase until they reach a particular concentration.

Type III hyperlipidemia is caused by a deficiency of apoprotein E. Analysis of the serum of patients with this disorder would exhibit which of the following? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E)

An absence of chylomicrons after eating Above-normal levels of VLDL after eating Normal triglyceride levels Elevated triglyceride levels Below-normal triglyceride levels

33

Synthesis of Fatty Acids, Triacylglycerols, and the Major Membrane Lipids

Fatty acids are synthesized mainly in the liver in humans, with dietary glucose serving as the major source of carbon. Glucose is converted through glycolysis to pyruvate, which enters the mitochondrion and forms both acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate (Fig. 33.1). These two compounds condense, forming citrate. Citrate is transported to the cytosol, where it is cleaved to form acetyl CoA, the source of carbon for the reactions that occur on the fatty acid synthase complex. The key regulatory enzyme for the process, acetyl CoA carboxylase, produces malonyl CoA from acetyl CoA. The growing fatty acid chain, attached to the fatty acid synthase complex in the cytosol, is elongated by the sequential addition of 2-carbon units provided by malonyl CoA. NADPH, produced by the pentose phosphate pathway and the malic enzyme, provides reducing equivalents. When the growing fatty acid chain is 16 carbons in length, it is released as palmitate. After activation to a CoA derivative, palmitate can be elongated and desaturated to produce a series of fatty acids. Glucose Liver TG Glycolysis

Glycerol-3-P DHAP

VLDL

fatty acid synthase

Blood

NADPH

Pyruvate

OAA

Apoproteins

Palmitate NADP+

Pyruvate

FACoA

Other lipids

Acetyl CoA

Citrate

Malonyl CoA acetyl CoA carboxylase

OAA

Acetyl CoA

Citrate

Fig. 33.1. Lipogenesis, the synthesis of triacylglycerols from glucose. In humans, the synthesis of fatty acids from glucose occurs mainly in the liver. Fatty acids (FA) are converted to triacylglycerols (TG), packaged in VLDL, and secreted into the blood. OAA oxaloacetate. 594

CHAPTER 33 / SYNTHESIS OF FATTY ACIDS, TRIACYLGLYCEROLS, AND THE MAJOR MEMBRANE LIPIDS

595

O Glucose

Glycerol

O VLDL

FACoA Glycerol–3 –P

VLDL– TG

Liver

L P L

O

FA TG

Adipose

Fig. 33.2. Fate of VLDL triacylglycerol (TG). The TG of VLDL, produced in the liver, is digested by lipoprotein lipase (LPL) present on the lining cells of the capillaries in adipose and skeletal muscle tissue. Fatty acids are released and either oxidized or stored in tissues as TG. Glycerol is used by the liver and other tissues that contain glycerol kinase. FA = fatty acid (or fatty acyl group).

Fatty acids, produced in cells or obtained from the diet, are used by various tissues for the synthesis of triacylglycerols (the major storage form of fuel) and the glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids (the major components of cell membranes). In the liver, triacylglycerols are produced from fatty acyl CoA and glycerol 3phosphate. Phosphatidic acid serves as an intermediate in this pathway. The triacylglycerols are not stored in the liver but rather packaged with apoproteins and other lipids in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and secreted into the blood (see Fig. 33.1). In the capillaries of various tissues (particularly adipose tissue, muscle, and the lactating mammary gland), lipoprotein lipase (LPL) digests the triacylglycerols of VLDL, forming fatty acids and glycerol (Fig. 33.2). The glycerol travels to the liver and other tissues where it is used. Some of the fatty acids are oxidized by muscle and other tissues. After a meal, however, most of the fatty acids are converted to triacylglycerols in adipose cells, where they are stored. These fatty acids are released during fasting and serve as the predominant fuel for the body. Glycerophospholipids are also synthesized from fatty acyl CoA, which forms esters with glycerol 3-phosphate, producing phosphatidic acid. Various head groups are added to carbon 3 of the glycerol 3-phosphate moiety of phosphatidic acid, generating amphipathic compounds such as phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, and cardiolipin (Fig. 33.3). In the formation of plasmalogens and platelet-activating factor (PAF), a long-chain fatty alcohol forms an ether with carbon 1, replacing the fatty acyl ester (Fig. 33.4). Cleavage of phospholipids is catalyzed by phospholipases found in cell membranes, lysosomes, and pancreatic juice. Sphingolipids, which are prevalent in membranes and the myelin sheath of the central nervous system, are built on serine rather than glycerol. In the synthesis of sphingolipids, serine and palmityl CoA condense, forming a compound that is related to sphingosine. Reduction of this compound, followed by addition of a second fatty acid in amide linkage, produces ceramide. Carbohydrate groups attach to ceramide, forming glycolipids such as the cerebrosides, globosides, and gangliosides (Fig. 33.5). The addition of phosphocholine to ceramide produces sphingomyelin. These sphingolipids are degraded by lysosomal enzymes.

O

Head group

O–

CO2 + H2 O

Muscle Glycerol

Fatty acid 2

O C

O P

Fig. 33.3. General structure of a glycerophospholipid. The fatty acids are joined by ester bonds to the glycerol moiety. Various combinations of fatty acids may be present. The fatty acid at carbon 2 of the glycerol is usually unsaturated. The head group is the group attached to the phosphate on position 3 of the glycerol moiety. The most common head group is choline, but ethanolamine, serine, inositol, or phosphatidylglycerol also may be present. The phosphate group is negatively charged, and the head group may carry a positive charge (choline and ethanolamine), or both a positive and a negative charge (serine). The inositol may be phosphorylated and, thus, negatively charged.

H

H

O C

C

Hydrocarbon tail

O Glycerol

TG

Fatty acid 1

O C

VLDL

Fatty acid

O C O O P

O

Head group

O–

Fig. 33.4. General structure of a plasmalogen. Carbon 1 of glycerol is joined to a long-chain fatty alcohol by an ether linkage. The fatty alcohol group has a double bond between carbons 1 and 2. The head group is usually ethanolamine or choline.

596

Sphingosine

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

O H N

Fatty acid

C

O P

O

Choline

O– Sphingomyelin

Sphingosine

THE

O

O H N

O

Fatty acid

C

Carbohydrate Glycolipid

Fig. 33.5. General structures of the sphingolipids. The “backbone” is sphingosine rather than glycerol. Ceramide is sphingosine with a fatty acid joined to its amino group by an amide linkage. Sphingomyelin contains phosphocholine, whereas glycolipids contain carbohydrate groups. The dietician did a careful analysis of Percy Veere’s diet, which was indeed low in fat, adequate in protein, but excessive in carbohydrates, especially in refined sugars. Percy’s total caloric intake averaged about 430 kilocalories (kcal) a day in excess of his isocaloric requirements. This excess carbohydrate was being converted to fats, accounting for Percy’s weight gain. A new diet with a total caloric content that would prevent further gain in weight was prescribed.

WAITING

ROOM

Percy Veere’s mental depression slowly responded to antidepressant medication, to the therapy sessions with his psychiatrist, and to frequent visits from an old high school sweetheart whose husband had died several years earlier. While hospitalized for malnutrition, Mr. Veere’s appetite returned. By the time of discharge, he had gained back 8 of the 22 lb he had lost and weighed 133 lb. During the next few months, Mr. Veere developed a craving for “sweet foods” such as the candy he bought and shared with his new friend. After 6 months of this high-carbohydrate courtship, Percy had gained another 22 lb and now weighed 155 lb, just 8 lb more than he weighed when his depression began. He became concerned about the possibility that he would soon be overweight and consulted his dietitian, explaining that he had faithfully followed his low-fat diet but had “gone overboard” with carbohydrates. He asked whether it was possible to become fat without eating fat. Cora Nari’s hypertension and heart failure have been well controlled on medication, and she has lost 10 lb since she had her recent heart attack. Her fasting serum lipid profile on discharge from the hospital indicated significantly elevated serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level of 175 mg/dL (recommended level for a patient with known coronary artery disease = 100 mg/dL or less), a serum triacylglycerol level of 280 mg/dL (reference range = 60–150), and a serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level of 34 mg/dL (reference range > 50 for healthy women). While still in the hospital, she was asked to obtain the most recent serum lipid profiles of her older brother and her younger sister, both of whom were experiencing chest pain. Her brother’s profile showed normal triacylglycerols, moderately elevated LDL cholesterol, and significantly suppressed HDL cholesterol levels. Her sister’s profile showed only hypertriglyceridemia (high blood triacylglycerols). Colleen Lakker was born 6 weeks prematurely. She appeared normal until about 30 minutes after delivery, when her respirations became rapid at 64 breaths/minute with audible respiratory grunting. The spaces between her ribs (intercostal spaces) retracted inward with each inspiration, and her lips and fingers became cyanotic from a lack of oxygen in her arterial blood. An arterial blood sample indicated a low partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and a slightly elevated partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2). The arterial pH was somewhat suppressed, in part from an accumulation of lactic acid secondary to the hypoxemia (a low level of oxygen in her blood). A chest x-ray showed a fine reticular granularity of the lung tissue, especially in the left lower lobe area. From these clinical data, a diagnosis of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), also known as hyaline membrane disease, was made. Colleen was immediately transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, where, with intensive respiration therapy, she slowly improved.

I.

FATTY ACID SYNTHESIS

Fatty acids are synthesized whenever an excess of calories is ingested. The major source of carbon for the synthesis of fatty acids is dietary carbohydrate. An excess of dietary protein also can result in an increase in fatty acid synthesis. In this case, the carbon source is amino acids that can be converted to acetyl CoA or tricarboxylic

597

CHAPTER 33 / SYNTHESIS OF FATTY ACIDS, TRIACYLGLYCEROLS, AND THE MAJOR MEMBRANE LIPIDS

acid (TCA) cycle intermediates (see Chapter 39). Fatty acid synthesis occurs mainly in the liver in humans, although the process also occurs in adipose tissue. When an excess of dietary carbohydrate is consumed, glucose is converted to acetyl CoA, which provides the 2-carbon units that condense in a series of reactions on the fatty acid synthase complex, producing palmitate (see Fig. 33.1). Palmitate is then converted to other fatty acids. The fatty acid synthase complex is located in the cytosol, and, therefore, it uses cytosolic acetyl CoA.

Glucose Glycolysis Pyruvate

Pyruvate pyruvate carboxylase

A. Conversion of Glucose to Cytosolic Acetyl CoA The pathway for the synthesis of cytosolic acetyl CoA from glucose begins with glycolysis, which converts glucose to pyruvate in the cytosol (Fig. 33.6). Pyruvate enters mitochondria, where it is converted to acetyl CoA by pyruvate dehydrogenase and to oxaloacetate by pyruvate carboxylase. The pathway pyruvate follows is dictated by the acetyl CoA levels in the mitochondria. When acetyl CoA levels are high, pyruvate dehydrogenase is inhibited, and pyruvate carboxylase activity is stimulated. As oxaloacetate levels increase because of the activity of pyruvate carboxylase, oxaloacetate condenses with acetyl CoA to form citrate. This condensation reduces the acetyl CoA levels, which leads to the activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase and inhibition of pyruvate carboxylase. Through such reciprocal regulation, citrate can be continuously synthesized and transported across the inner mitochondrial membrane. In the cytosol, citrate is cleaved by citrate lyase to re-form acetyl CoA and oxaloacetate. This circuitous route is required because pyruvate dehydrogenase, the enzyme that converts pyruvate to acetyl CoA, is found only in mitochondria and because acetyl CoA cannot directly cross the mitochondrial membrane. The NADPH required for fatty acid synthesis is generated by the pentose phosphate pathway (see Chapter 29) and from recycling of the oxaloacetate produced by citrate lyase (Fig. 33.7). Oxaloacetate is converted back to pyruvate in two steps: the reduction of oxaloacetate to malate by NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenase and the oxidative decarboxylation of malate to pyruvate by an NADP+-dependent malate dehydrogenase (malic enzyme) (Fig. 33.8). The pyruvate formed by malic enzyme is reconverted to citrate. The NADPH that is generated by malic enzyme, along with the NADPH generated by glucose 6-phosphate and gluconate 6-phosphate dehydrogenases in the pentose phosphate pathway, is used for the reduction reactions that occur on the fatty acid synthase complex (Fig. 33.9). The generation of cytosolic acetyl CoA from pyruvate is stimulated by elevation of the insulin/glucagon ratio after a carbohydrate meal. Insulin activates pyruvate dehydrogenase by stimulating the phosphatase that dephosphorylates the enzyme to

pyruvate dehydrogenase

OAA

OAA Acetyl CoA

Acetyl CoA

citrate lyase

Citrate

Citrate

Fig. 33.6. Conversion of glucose to cytosolic acetyl CoA. OAA oxaloacetate.

Glucose CO2

NADPH NADP+

Pyruvate

malic enzyme

Malate Pyruvate

OAA

cytosolic malate dehydrogenase

Acetyl CoA

Citrate

citrate lyase

COO–

NAD+ NADH

OAA

H Acetyl CoA

ADP + Pi

Citrate

NADP+ CO2 NADPH

CH2

ATP

Fig. 33.7. Fate of citrate in the cytosol. Citrate lyase is also called citrate cleavage enzyme. OAA oxaloacetate; circled c inducible enzyme.

C

OH –

COO Malate

malic enzyme

CH3 C

O –

COO

Pyruvate

Fig. 33.8. Reaction catalyzed by malic enzyme. This enzyme is also called the decarboxylating or NADP-dependent malate dehydrogenase.

598

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

Glucose G–6–P NADP+ Pentose– P Glycolysis pathway F–6–P

F – 1,6 – P NADPH Glyceraldehyde– 3 – P

DHAP

Pyruvate

NADP+ malic enzyme

Malate

Pyruvate

OAA

Acetyl CoA

OAA Acetyl CoA

O C ~ SCoA

CH3

Acetyl CoA CO2 acetyl CoA carboxylase

O O

C

Citrate

Fig. 33.9. Sources of NADPH for fatty acid synthesis. NADPH is produced by the pentose phosphate pathway and by malic enzyme. OAA oxaloacetate.

ATP

Biotin

Citrate

ADP + Pi

O CH2

C ~ SCoA

Malonyl CoA

Fig. 33.10. Reaction catalyzed by acetyl CoA carboxylase. CO2 is covalently attached to biotin, which is linked by an amide bond to the -amino group of a lysine residue of the enzyme. Hydrolysis of ATP is required for the attachment of CO2 to biotin.

AMP is a much more sensitive indicator of low energy levels because of the adenylate kinase reaction. The [AMP] to [ATP] ratio is proportional to the square of the [ADP] to [ATP] ratio, so a fivefold change in ADP levels corresponds to a 25-fold change in AMP levels.

an active form (see Chapter 20). The synthesis of malic enzyme, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and citrate lyase is induced by the high insulin/glucagon ratio. The ability of citrate to accumulate, and leave the mitochondrial matrix for the synthesis of fatty acids, is attributable to the allosteric inhibition of isocitrate dehydrogenase by high energy levels within the matrix under these conditions. The concerted regulation of glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis is described in Chapter 36.

B. Conversion of Acetyl CoA to Malonyl CoA Cytosolic acetyl CoA is converted to malonyl CoA, which serves as the immediate donor of the 2-carbon units that are added to the growing fatty acid chain on the fatty acid synthase complex. To synthesize malonyl CoA, acetyl CoA carboxylase adds a carboxyl group to acetyl CoA in a reaction requiring biotin and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (Fig. 33.10). Acetyl CoA carboxylase is the rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid synthesis. Its activity is regulated by phosphorylation, allosteric modification, and induction/ repression of its synthesis (Fig. 33.11). Citrate allosterically activates acetyl CoA carboxylase by causing the individual enzyme molecules (each composed of 4 subunits) to polymerize. Palmityl CoA, produced from palmitate (the endproduct of fatty acid synthase activity), inhibits acetyl CoA carboxylase. Phosphorylation by an AMP-dependent protein kinase inhibits the enzyme in the fasting state when energy levels are low. The enzyme is activated by dephosphorylation in the fed state when energy and insulin levels are high. A high insulin/glucagon ratio also results in induction of the synthesis of both acetyl CoA carboxylase and the next enzyme in the pathway, fatty acid synthase.

C. Fatty Acid Synthase Complex As an overview, fatty acid synthase sequentially adds 2-carbon units from malonyl CoA to the growing fatty acyl chain to form palmitate. After the addition of each 2-carbon unit, the growing chain undergoes two reduction reactions that require NADPH.

CHAPTER 33 / SYNTHESIS OF FATTY ACIDS, TRIACYLGLYCEROLS, AND THE MAJOR MEMBRANE LIPIDS

599

Glucose

Citrate Insulin +

phosphatase

Acetyl CoA

Pi +

acetyl CoA carboxylase – P (inactive)

acetyl CoA carboxylase –

ADP

ATP

AMP-activated protein kinase

Malonyl CoA

Palmitate

Palmitoyl CoA

Fig. 33.11. Regulation of acetyl CoA carboxylase. This enzyme is regulated allosterically, both positively and negatively, by phosphorylation (circled P) and dephosphorylation, and by diet-induced induction (circled c). It is active in the dephosphorylated state when citrate causes it to polymerize. Dephosphorylation is catalyzed by an insulin-stimulated phosphatase. Low energy levels, via activation of an AMP-dependent protein kinase, cause the enzyme to be phosphorylated and inactivated. The ultimate product of fatty acid synthesis, palmitate, is converted to its CoA derivative palmityl CoA, which inhibits the enzyme. A high-calorie diet increases the rate of transcription of the gene for acetyl CoA carboxylase, whereas a low-calorie diet reduces transcription of this gene.

ACP CH2 O –

O

P

O

O

Fatty acid synthase is a large enzyme composed of two identical dimers, which each have seven catalytic activities and an acyl carrier protein (ACP) segment in a continuous polypeptide chain. The ACP segment contains a phosphopantetheine residue that is derived from the cleavage of coenzyme A (Fig. 33.12). The two dimers associate in a head-to-tail arrangement, so that the phosphopantetheinyl sulfhydryl group on one subunit and a cysteinyl sulfhydryl group on another subunit are closely aligned. In the initial step of fatty acid synthesis, an acetyl moiety is transferred from acetyl CoA to the ACP phosphopantetheinyl sulfhydryl group of one subunit, and then to the cysteinyl sulfhydryl group of the other subunit. The malonyl moiety from malonyl CoA then attaches to the ACP phosphopantetheinyl sulfhydryl group of the first subunit. The acetyl and malonyl moieties condense, with the release of the malonyl carboxyl group as CO2. A 4-carbon -keto acyl chain is now attached to the ACP phosphopantetheinyl sulfhydryl group (Fig. 33.13). A series of three reactions reduces the 4-carbon keto group to an alcohol, removes water to form a double bond, and reduces the double bond (Fig. 33.14). NADPH provides the reducing equivalents for these reactions. The net result is that the original acetyl group is elongated by two carbons. The 4-carbon fatty acyl chain is then transferred to the cysteinyl sulfhydryl group and subsequently condenses with a malonyl group. This sequence of reactions is repeated until the chain is 16 carbons in length. At this point, hydrolysis occurs, and palmitate is released (Fig. 33.15). Palmitate is elongated and desaturated to produce a series of fatty acids. In the liver, palmitate and other newly synthesized fatty acids are converted to triacylglycerols that are packaged into VLDL for secretion.

CH2 CH3 C

CH3

CHOH Pantothenic acid

C

O

HN CH2 CH2 C

O

HN CH2 CH2 SH

Malonyl CoA

Fig. 33.12. Phosphopantetheinyl residue of the fatty acid synthase complex. The portion derived from the vitamin, pantothenic acid, is indicated. Phosphopantetheine is covalently linked to a serine residue of the acyl carrier protein (ACP) segment of the enzyme. The sulfhydryl group reacts with malonyl CoA to form a thioester.

600

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

FAS P

P S

S H

C

O

C

SH

S

O

3

COO–

O

Malonyl CoA

ω CH

3

NADPH + H+ NADP +

FAS

S

S O

S

SH

C

O

ω CH

CH2

P

Malonyl and acetyl groups attached to fatty acid synthase

P

C

C

O

C ω CH

CH2

CH2 C

SCoA

3

COO

O

CH2

FAS

HCOH

P

ω CH

S

3

S

C H2O

O

C

O

ω CH

CH2

3

Condensation produces a β-ketoacyl group

COO P S

CO2

SH

C

FAS

O

P

CH

S

CH

S H

C

ω CH

O

3

NADPH + H+ NADP +

CH2 O

C ω CH

3

P S

SH

C

O

Fig. 33.13. Addition of a 2-carbon unit to an acetyl group on fatty acid synthase. The malonyl group attaches to the phosphopantetheinyl residue (P) of the ACP of the fatty acid synthase. The acetyl group, which is attached to a cysteinyl sulfhydryl group, condenses with the malonyl group. CO2 is released, and a 3-ketoacyl group is formed. The carbon that eventually forms the -methyl group of palmitate is labeled .

CH2 CH2 ω CH

3

Fig. 33.14. Reduction of a -ketoacyl group on the fatty acid synthase complex. NADPH is the reducing agent.

Where does the methyl group of the first acetyl CoA that binds to fatty acid synthase appear in palmitate, the final product?

In the liver, the oxidation of newly synthesized fatty acids back to acetyl CoA via the mitochondrial -oxidation pathway is prevented by malonyl CoA. Carnitine:palmitoyltransferase I, the enzyme involved in the transport of long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria (see Chapter 23), is inhibited by malonyl CoA (Fig. 33.16). Malonyl CoA levels are elevated when acetyl CoA carboxylase is activated, and, thus, fatty acid oxidation is inhibited while fatty acid synthesis is proceeding. This inhibition prevents the occurrence of a futile cycle.

D. Elongation of Fatty Acids After synthesis on the fatty acid synthase complex, palmitate is activated, forming palmityl CoA. Palmityl CoA and other activated long-chain fatty acids can be

601

CHAPTER 33 / SYNTHESIS OF FATTY ACIDS, TRIACYLGLYCEROLS, AND THE MAJOR MEMBRANE LIPIDS

FA synthase

P

C

1

ys

SH

P

P S

SH

C

P

SH

SH

S

O

S O

C

ω CH

ω CH

3

3

C

CO2

S

C

O

C

O

ω CH

CH2

NADPH + H+

P S C

O

S H

NADP +

3

CH2

3

COO–

O CH3

2

O

C ω CH

P

3

SCoA

S

Acetyl CoA

ATP

CO2

O

ADP + Pi CH2

Biotin

C

O

C SCoA

CH2

COO–

acetyl CoA carboxylase

SH

HCOH

Malonyl CoA

ω CH

3

Palmitate (C16)

4 H2O

2 NADP + P

5

S

SH

C

O

CH2

2 NADPH

4 H2O

3

P

2

S

SH

C

O

CH2

CH2

C

CH2

CH2

CH2

CH2

ω CH

3

NADP + NADPH + H+

CO2

O

P

1

S C

S O

CH2

C

O

CH2 –

COO

P SH

CH2 ω CH

3

P S

5

S

C

O

CH2 CH2 ω CH

3

SH

C

O

CH2 CH2 ω CH

3

P S C

O

S H

CH CH ω CH

3

ω CH

3

Fig. 33.15. Synthesis of palmitate on the fatty acid synthase complex. Initially, acetyl CoA adds to the synthase. It provides the -methyl group of palmitate. Malonyl CoA provides the 2-carbon units that are added to the growing fatty acyl chain. The addition and reduction steps are repeated until palmitate is produced. 1. Transfer of the malonyl group to the phosphopantetheinyl residue. 2. Condensation of the malonyl and fatty acyl groups. 3. Reduction of the -ketoacyl group. 4. Dehydration. 5. Reduction of the double bond. P a phosphopantetheinyl group attached to the fatty acid synthase complex; Cys-SH a cysteinyl residue.

elongated, two carbons at a time, by a series of reactions that occur in the endoplasmic reticulum (Fig. 33.17). Malonyl CoA serves as the donor of the 2-carbon units, and NADPH provides the reducing equivalents. The series of elongation reactions resemble those of fatty acid synthesis except that the fatty acyl chain is attached to coenzyme A rather than to the phosphopantetheinyl residue of an ACP. The major elongation reaction that occurs in the body involves the conversion of palmityl CoA (C16) to stearyl CoA (C18). Very-long-chain fatty acids (C22 to C24) are also produced, particularly in the brain.

E. Desaturation of Fatty Acids Desaturation of fatty acids involves a process that requires molecular oxygen (O2), NADH, and cytochrome b5. The reaction, which occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum, results in the oxidation of both the fatty acid and NADH (Fig. 33.18). The most common desaturation reactions involve the placement of a double bond between carbons 9 and 10 in the conversion of palmitic acid to palmitoleic acid (16:1, 9) and the conversion of stearic acid to oleic acid (18:1, 9). Other positions that can be desaturated in humans include carbons 4, 5, and 6.

The methyl group of acetyl CoA becomes the -carbon (the terminal methyl group) of palmitate. Each new 2-carbon unit is added to the carboxyl end of the growing fatty acyl chain (see Fig. 33.13).

602

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

SCoA C

FACoA

O

CH2

Palmitate

COO– Malonyl CoA FA synthase

SCoA C

O

FACoA Carnitine

(CH2)14 CO2

ω CH

3

CoASH

Palmitoyl CoA

O FACoA

CH2 C

O

(CH2)14

Malonyl CoA

FA – carnitine CPT II

SCoA C

CPT I

Acetyl CoA

CoASH

β – Oxidation

ω CH

3

NADPH NADP+ SCoA C

O

CH2 H C OH (CH2)14 ω CH

3

H2O SCoA C

O

CH

Fig. 33.16. Inhibition of carnitine:palmitoyltransferase (CPTI, also called carnitine:acyltransferase I) by malonyl CoA. During fatty acid synthesis, malonyl CoA levels are high. This compound inhibits CPTI, which is involved in the transport of long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria for -oxidation. This mechanism prevents newly synthesized fatty acids from undergoing immediate oxidation.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids with double bonds three carbons from the methyl end (3 fatty acids) and six carbons from the methyl end (6 fatty acids) are required for the synthesis of eicosanoids (see Chapter 35). Because humans cannot synthesize these fatty acids de novo (i.e., from glucose via palmitate), they must be present in the diet or the diet must contain other fatty acids that can be converted to these fatty acids. We obtain 6 and 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids mainly from dietary plant oils that contain the 6 fatty acid linoleic acid (18:2, 9,12) and the 3 fatty acid -linolenic acid (18:3, 9,12,15). In the body, linoleic acid can be converted by elongation and desaturation reactions to arachidonic acid (20:4, 5,8,11,14), which is used for the synthesis of the major class of human prostaglandins and other eicosanoids (Fig. 33.19). Elongation and desaturation of -linolenic acid produces eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5, 5,8,11,14,17), which is the precursor of a different class of eicosanoids (see Chapter 35).

CH (CH2)14 ω CH

3

NADPH NADP+ SCoA C

O

CH2 CH2 (CH2)14 ω CH

3

Stearoyl CoA

Fig. 33.17. Elongation of long-chain fatty acids in the endoplasmic reticulum.

Plants are able to introduce double bonds into fatty acids in the region between C10 and the -end and therefore can synthesize 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fish oils also contain 3 and 6 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 3, 20:5, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 3,22:6, 4,7,10,13,16,19). The fish obtain these fatty acids by eating phytoplankton (plants that float in water). Arachidonic acid is listed in some textbooks as an essential fatty acid. Although it is an 6 fatty acid, it is not essential in the diet if linoleic acid is present because arachidonic acid can be synthesized from dietary linoleic acid (see Fig. 33.19). The essential fatty acid linoleic acid is required in the diet for at least three reasons: (a) It serves as a precursor of arachidonic acid from which eicosanoids are produced. (b) It covalently binds another fatty acid attached to cerebrosides in the skin, forming an unusual lipid (acylglucosylceramide) that helps to make the skin impermeable to water. This function of linoleic acid may help to explain the red, scaly dermatitis and other skin problems associated with a dietary deficiency of essential fatty acids. (c) It is the precursor of C22:63, an important neuronal fatty acid. The other essential fatty acid, -linolenic acid (18:3, 9, 12, 15), also forms eicosanoids.

CHAPTER 33 / SYNTHESIS OF FATTY ACIDS, TRIACYLGLYCEROLS, AND THE MAJOR MEMBRANE LIPIDS

603

O CH3

(CH2 )n

CH2

CH2

(CH2 )m

+ O2 + 2 H+

C SCoA

Saturated fatty acyl CoA fatty acyl CoA desaturase

O CH3

(CH2 )n

CH

CH

(CH2 )m

C

2 Cyt b5 (Fe2+ )

2 Cyt b5 reductase (FAD)

NADH + H+

2 Cyt b5 (Fe3+ )

2 Cyt b5 reductase (FADH2 )

NAD+

2 H2O SCoA

Monosaturated fatty acyl CoA

Fig. 33.18. Desaturation of fatty acids. The process occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum and uses molecular oxygen. Both the fatty acid and NADH are oxidized. Human desaturases cannot introduce double bonds between carbon 9 and the methyl end. Therefore, m is equal to or less than 7.

12

O

9

C ~ SCoA

18

Diet

Linoleoyl CoA (∆9,12 – octadecadienoyl CoA) O2 + NADH + H+

∆6 – desaturase

2H2O + NAD+ 12

9

6

18

C ~ SCoA O

γ –Linoleoyl CoA (∆6,9,12 – octadecatrienoyl CoA) Malonyl CoA elongation

14

11

8

20

C ~ SCoA O

Dihomo–γ –linolenoyl CoA (∆8,11,14 – eicosatrienoyl CoA) O2 + NADH + H+

∆5 – desaturase

2H2O + NAD+

O 14

11

20

8

5

C ~ SCoA

Arachidonyl CoA (∆5,8,11,14 – eicosatetraenoyl CoA)

Fig. 33.19. Conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid. Dietary linoleic acid (as linoleoyl CoA) is desaturated at carbon 6, elongated by 2 carbons, and then desaturated at carbon 5 to produce arachidonyl CoA.

II. SYNTHESIS OF TRIACYLGLYCEROLS AND VLDL PARTICLES In liver and adipose tissue, triacylglycerols are produced by a pathway containing a phosphatidic acid intermediate (Fig. 33.20). Phosphatidic acid is also the precursor of the glycerolipids found in cell membranes and the blood lipoproteins. The sources of glycerol 3-phosphate, which provides the glycerol moiety for triacylglycerol synthesis, differ in liver and adipose tissue. In liver, glycerol 3-phosphate

604

SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

Recent experiments have shown functional glycerol kinase activity in muscle cells. The significance of this finding is under investigation, but it may indicate that muscle has a greater capacity for fatty acid synthesis than previously believed.

is produced from the phosphorylation of glycerol by glycerol kinase or from the reduction of dihydroxyacetone phosphate derived from glycolysis. Adipose tissue lacks glycerol kinase and can produce glycerol 3-phosphate only from glucose via dihydroxyacetone phosphate. Thus, adipose tissue can store fatty acids only when glycolysis is activated, i.e., in the fed state. In both adipose tissue and liver, triacylglycerols are produced by a pathway in which glycerol 3-phosphate reacts with fatty acyl CoA to form phosphatidic acid. Dephosphorylation of phosphatidic acid produces diacylglycerol. Another fatty acyl CoA reacts with the diacylglycerol to form a triacylglycerol (see Fig. 33.20). Liver

Liver and adipose tissue

Glycerol

Glucose ATP DHAP

ADP

glycerol kinase

NADH NAD+ Glycerol– 3 – P FA1CoA

FA2CoA O

R2C

O O

O

CR1 O

O

P

O–

O– Phosphatidic acid

Pi O

R 2C

O O

OCR1

OH Diacylglycerol FA3CoA O

R 2C

O O

OCR1 O OCR3

Triacylglycerol Liver Blood VLDL

Adipose stores

Fig. 33.20. Synthesis of triacylglycerol in liver and adipose tissue. Glycerol 3-phosphate is produced from glucose in both tissues. It is also produced from glycerol in liver, but not in adipose tissue, which lacks glycerol kinase. The steps from glycerol 3-phosphate are the same in the two tissues. FA fatty acyl group.

CHAPTER 33 / SYNTHESIS OF FATTY ACIDS, TRIACYLGLYCEROLS, AND THE MAJOR MEMBRANE LIPIDS

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Adipose tissue also undergoes glyceroneogenesis, the process of synthesizing glycerol from gluconeogenic precursors in the blood, such as alanine, aspartate, and malate. Glyceroneogenesis occurs primarily in the fasting state and is dependent on the induction of cytoplasmic PEPCK in the adipocyte. The re-synthesis of triglycerides by adipose tissue during fasting modulates the release of fatty acids in the circulation. Mice that have been engineered to not express PEPCK in adipose tissue display reduced levels of triglyceride in their adipocytes; mice that overproduce adipocyte PEPCK were obese. Thus, although activation of hormone-sensitive lipase during fasting results in the release of fatty acids from adipocytes, the release is carefully modulated through glyceroneogenesis and re-synthesis of triglycerides. Adipocyte; fasting conditions DHAP PEP

Triglyceride Gly-3P

PEPCK Oxaloacetate

(60%)

Resynthesis

Pyruvate Gluconeogenic compounds

HSL Glycerol

Fatty acids (40%) Blood

The triacylglycerol, which is produced in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum of the liver, is packaged with cholesterol, phospholipids, and proteins (synthesized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum) to form VLDL (Fig. 33.21). The microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), which is required for chylomicron assembly, is also required for VLDL assembly. The major protein of VLDL is apoB-100. There is one long apoB-100 molecule wound through the surface of each VLDL particle. ApoB-100 is encoded by the same gene as the apoB-48 of chylomicrons, but is a longer protein (see Fig. 32.11). In intestinal cells, RNA editing produces a smaller mRNA and, thus, a shorter protein, apoB-48. VLDL is processed in the Golgi complex and secreted into the blood by the liver (Figs. 33.22 and 33.23). The fatty acid residues of the triacylglycerols ultimately are stored in the triacylglycerols of adipose cells. Note that, in comparison to chylomicrons (see Chapter 32), VLDL particles are more dense, as they contain a lower percentage of triglyceride than do the chylomicrons. Similar to chylomicrons, VLDL particles are first synthesized in a nascent form, and on entering the circulation they acquire apoproteins CII and E from HDL particles to become mature VLDL particles.

Abetalipoproteinemia, which is due to a lack of MTP (microsomal triglyceride transfer protein; see Chapter 32) activity, results in an inability to assemble both chylomicrons in the intestine and VLDL particles in the liver.

Why do some alcoholics have high VLDL levels?

The fact that a number of different abnormal lipoprotein profiles were found in Cora Nari and her siblings, and that each had evidence of coronary artery disease, suggests that Cora has familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCH). This diagnostic impression is further supported by the finding that Cora’s profile of lipid abnormalities appeared to change somewhat from one determination to the next, a characteristic of FCH. This hereditary disorder of lipid metabolism is believed to be quite common, with an estimated prevalence of about 1 per 100 population. The mechanisms for FCH are incompletely understood but may involve a genetically determined increase in the production of apoprotein B-100. As a result, packaging of VLDL is increased, and blood VLDL levels may be elevated. Depending on the efficiency of lipolysis of VLDL by LPL, VLDL levels may be normal and LDL levels may be elevated, or both VLDL and LDL levels may be high. In addition, the phenotypic expression of FCH in any given family member may be determined by the degree of associated obesity, the diet, the use of specific drugs, or other factors that change over time.

Percent of total weight

100

VLDL

80 60

TG

40 PL

20 Protein C

CE

Fig. 33.21. Composition of a typical VLDL particle. The major component is triacylglycerol (TG). C cholesterol; CE cholesterol ester; PL phospholipid.

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SECTION SIX / LIPID METABOLISM

Glucose

Glucose

Liver

NADP+ G–6–P Pentose– P Glycolysis pathway Glycerol– 3 – P F–6–P

TG FACoA

ApoB–100

Other lipids

F – 1,6 – P Palmitate Glyceraldehyde– 3 – P

DHAP

NADPH

Nucleus

1

Pyruvate

VLDL

fatty acid synthase

NADP+

Blood

Malate Malonyl CoA

RER

Pyruvate

2

OAA

Acetyl CoA

Citrate

3 Golgi complex

OAA

Acetyl CoA

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