Inactivation of glutamine synthetases by an NAD:arginine ADP-ribosyltransferase

J. Moss, P. A. Watkins, S. J. Stanley, M. R. Purnell, W. R. Kidwell

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23 Scopus citations


Glutamine synthetase from ovine brain has a critical arginine residue at the catalytic site (Powers, S.G., and Riordan, J.F. (1975) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S. A. 72, 2616-2620). This enzyme is now shown to be a substrate for a purified NAD:arginine ADP-ribosyltransferase from turkey erythrocyte cytosol that catalyzes the transfer of ADP-ribose from NAD to arginine and purified proteins. The transferase catalyzed the inactivation of the synthetase in an NAD-dependent reaction; ADP-ribose and nicotinamide did not substitute for NAD. Agmatine, an alternate ADP-ribose acceptor in the transferase-catalyzed reaction, prevented inactivation of glutamine synthetase. MgATP, a substrate for the synthetase which was previously shown to protect that enzyme from chemical inactivation, also decreased the rate of inactivation in the presence of NAD and ADP-ribosyltransferase. Using [32P]NAD, it was observed that approximately 90% inactivation occurred following the transfer of 0.89 mol of [32P]ADP-ribose/mol of synthetase. The erythrocyte transferase also catalyzed the NAD-dependent inactivation of glutamine synthetase purified from chicken heart; 0.60 mol of ADP-ribose was transferred per mol of enzyme, resulting in a 95% inactivation. As noted with the ovine brain enzyme, agmatine and MgATP protected the chicken synthetase from inactivation and decreased the extent of [32P]ADP-ribosylation of the synthetase. These observations are consistent with the conclusion that the NAD:arginine ADP-ribosyltransferase modifies specifically an arginine residue involved in the catalytic site of glutamine synthetase. Although the transferase can use numerous proteins as ADP-ribose acceptors, some characteristics of this particular arginine, perhaps the same characteristics that are involved in its function in the catalytic site, make it a favored ADP-ribose acceptor site for the transferase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5100-5104
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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