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Regulation of the spatiotemporal pattern of expression of the glutamine synthetase gene.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Embryology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Glutamine synthetase, the enzyme that catalyzes the ATP-dependent conversion of glutamate and ammonia into glutamine, is expressed in a tissue-specific and developmentally controlled manner. The first part of this review focuses on its spatiotemporal pattern of expression, the factors that regulate its levels under (patho)physiological conditions, and its role in glutamine, glutamate, and ammonia metabolism in mammals. Glutamine synthetase protein stability is more than 10-fold reduced by its product glutamine and by covalent modifications. During late fetal development, translational efficiency increases more than 10-fold. Glutamine synthetase mRNA stability is negatively affected by cAMP, whereas glucocorticoids, growth hormone, insulin (all positive), and cAMP (negative) regulate its rate of transcription. The signal transduction pathways by which these factors may regulate the expression of glutamine synthetase are briefly discussed. The second part of the review focuses on the evolution, structure, and transcriptional regulation of the glutamine synthetase gene in rat and chicken. Two enhancers (at -6.5 and -2.5 kb) were identified in the upstream region and two enhancers (between +156 and +857 bp) in the first intron of the rat glutamine synthetase gene. In addition, sequence analysis suggests a regulatory role for regions in the 3' untranslated region of the gene. The immediate-upstream region of the chicken glutamine synthetase gene is responsible for its cell-specific expression, whereas the glucocorticoid-induced developmental appearance in the neural retina is governed by its far-upstream region.

PMID:
9752723
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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