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Semin Oncol. 1999 Apr;26(2 Suppl 6):33-7.

Glutamyl hydrolase: properties and pharmacologic impact.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Medicine, Wadsworth Center, New York Department of Health, Albany 12201-0509, USA.


Glutamyl hydrolase cleaves the poly-gamma-glutamate chain folate and antifolate poly-gamma-glutamates. Its cellular location is lysosomal with large amounts of the enzyme constitutively secreted. The highest levels of glutamyl hydrolase mRNA in humans is found in the liver and kidney. Baculovirus-expressed human enzyme has been used to evaluate the method of hydrolysis of methotrexate-gamma-glu4 and MTA-gamma-glu4. In both cases, the substrates are hydrolyzed by removal of the outer two gamma-glutamate linkages, yielding glu and gamma-glu2 as the glutamate products. Cell lines resistant to 5,10-dideazatetrahydrofolate (lometrexol) have sevenfold higher activities of glutamyl hydrolase. These cultures have a 60% to 90% reduced amount of antifolate polygamma-glutamates and 30% reduced folyl poly-gamma-glutamates. These results suggest the possibility of using glutamyl hydrolase to favorably modulate the activity of antifolate therapy.

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