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

De novo synthesis of purine nucleotides in human peripheral blood leukocytes. Excessive activity of the pathway in hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase deficiency.

Human peripheral blood leukocytes were studied for the presence and the regulatory properties of the pathway of de novo synthesis of purine nucleotides. The cells were found to incorporate the labeled precursors formate and glycine into purines. The rate of [14C]-formate incorporation was decreased by several compounds known to inhibit purine synthesis by affecting the activity by glutamine phosphoribosylpyrophosphate ( PRPP) amidotransferase, the first committed enzyme in the pathway, either through decreasing the availability of PRPP, a substrate for this enzyme, or through exerting inhibition on this enzyme. PRPP availability in the leukocyte was found to be limiting for purine synthesis. Increased PRPP availability resulting from activation of PRPP synthetase by increasing inorganic phosphate (Pi) concentration caused acceleration of purine synthesis. On the other hand, no clear-cut evidence was obtained for the availability of ribose-5-phosphate in the leukocyte being rate limiting at physiological extracellular Pi concentration for PRPP generation, and thus for purine synthesis. However, the addition of methylene blue, which accelerates the oxidative pentose shunt that produces ribose-5-phosphate, resulted in acceleration of PRPP generation and of purine synthesis only when PRPP synthetase was largely activated at high Pi concentration. These results may be taken to suggest that ribose-5-phosphate availability is indeed not limiting for PRPP generation under physiological conditions. Purine synthesis de novo was accelerated more than 13-fold in the leukocytes of two gouty patients affected with partial deficiency of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase, but was normal in the leukocytes of an obligate heterozygote for this enzyme abnormality. The results domonstrate in peripheral human leukocytes the presence of the complete pathway of de novo synthesis of purine nucleotides and the manifestation in these cells of the biochemical consequences of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase deficiency, i.e., increased availability of PRPP and acceleration of purine synthesis de novo. The results indicate the usefulness of leukocytes as a model tissue for the study of purine metabolism in man.[1]


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