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Mini Rev Med Chem. 2004 Oct;4(8):833-8.

Regulation of the cellular and physiological effects of glutamine.

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  • 1Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, 11100 Euclid Avenue, RBC 122, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-6015, USA.


Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in humans and possesses many functions in the body. It is the major transporter of amino-nitrogen between cells and an important fuel source for rapidly dividing cells such as cells of the immune and gastrointestinal systems. It is important in the synthesis of nucleic acids, glutathione, citrulline, arginine, gamma aminobutyric acid, and glucose. It is important for growth, gastrointestinal integrity, acid-base homeostasis, and optimal immune function. The regulation of glutamine levels in cells via glutaminase and glutamine synthetase is discussed. The cellular and physiologic effects of glutamine upon the central nervous system, gastrointestinal function, during metabolic support, and following tissue injury and critical illness is also discussed.

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