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J Biol Chem. 1997 Oct 17;272(42):26125-31.

A 13C mass isotopomer study of anaplerotic pyruvate carboxylation in perfused rat hearts.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.


Anaplerotic pyruvate carboxylation was examined in hearts perfused with physiological concentrations of glucose, [U-13C3]lactate, and [U-13C3]pyruvate. Also, a fatty acid, [1-13C]octanoate, or ketone bodies were added at concentrations providing acetyl-CoA at a rate resulting in either low or substantial pyruvate decarboxylation. Relative contributions of pyruvate and fatty acids to citrate synthesis were determined from the 13C labeling pattern of effluent citrate by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (see companion article, Comte, B., Vincent, G., Bouchard, B., and Des Rosiers, C. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 26117-26124). Precision on flux measurements of anaplerotic pyruvate carboxylation depended on the mix of substrates supplied to the heart. Anaplerotic fluxes were precisely determined under conditions where acetyl-CoA was predominantly supplied by beta-oxidation, as it occurred with 0.2 or 1 mM octanoate. Then, anaplerotic pyruvate carboxylation provided 3-8% of the OAA moiety of citrate and was modulated by concentrations of lactate and pyruvate in the physiological range. Also, the contribution of pyruvate to citrate formation through carboxylation was equal to or greater than through decarboxylation. Furthermore, 13C labeling data on tissue citric acid cycle intermediates and pyruvate suggest that (i) anaplerosis occurs also at succinate and (ii) cataplerotic malate decarboxylation is low. Rather, the presence of citrate in the effluent perfusate of hearts perfused with physiological concentrations of glucose, lactate, and pyruvate and concentrations of octanoate leading to maximal oxidative rates suggests a cataplerotic citrate efflux from mitochondria to cytosol. Taken altogether, our data raise the possibility of a link between pyruvate carboxylation and mitochondrial citrate efflux. In view of the proposed feedback regulation of glycolysis by cytosolic citrate, such a link would support a role of anaplerosis and cataplerosis in metabolic signal transmission between mitochondria and cytosol in the normoxic heart.

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