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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enzyme-induced asparagine and glutamine depletion and immune system function.

Depletion of nonessential amino acids and its effect on the immune system can be studied by the administration of bacterial enzymes. Escherichia coli asparaginase hydrolyzes both asparagine and glutamine: administration of this enzyme to mice is rapidly immunosuppressive. Vibrio succinogenes asparaginase hydrolyzes only asparagine and has no apparent effect on immune system function. When the enzymes are rendered nonantigenic and nonimmunogenic by covalent attachment of polyethylene glycol, the effects on immune system function remain the same as described above with the native (nonmodified) enzymes. We believe the data reviewed justify the conclusion that glutamine deficiency is specifically immunosuppressive whereas asparagine deficiency is not. We further believe that enzymatic depletion of nonessential amino acids can be a useful tool for nutritional investigations.[1]


  1. Enzyme-induced asparagine and glutamine depletion and immune system function. Kafkewitz, D., Bendich, A. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (1983) [Pubmed]
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