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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2000 Apr 1;376(1):91-100.

Enzymes of adenylate metabolism and their role in hibernation of the white-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys leucurus.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6, Canada.


AMP deaminase (AMPD) and adenylate kinase (AK) were purified from skeletal muscle of the white-tailed prairie dog, Cynomus leucurus, and enzyme properties were assayed at temperatures characteristic of euthermia (37 degrees C) and hibernation (5 degrees C) to analyze their role in adenylate metabolism during hibernation. Total adenylates decreased in muscle of torpid individuals from 6.97 +/- 0. 31 to 4.66 +/- 0.58 micromol/g of wet weight due to a significant drop in ATP but ADP, AMP, IMP, and energy charge were unchanged. The affinity of prairie dog AMPD for AMP was not affected by temperature and did not differ from that of rabbit muscle AMPD, used for comparison. However, both prairie dog and rabbit AMPD showed much stronger inhibition by ions and GTP at 5 degrees C, versus 37 degrees C, and inhibition by inorganic phosphate, NH(4)Cl, and (NH(4))(2)SO(4) was much stronger at 5 degrees C for the prairie dog enzyme. Furthermore, ATP and ADP, which activated AMPD at 37 degrees C, were strong inhibitors of prairie dog AMPD at 5 degrees C, with I(50) values of 1 and 14 microM, respectively. ATP also inhibited rabbit AMPD at 5 degrees C (I(50) = 103 microM). Strong inhibition of AMPD at 5 degrees C by several effectors suggests that enzyme function is specifically suppressed in muscle of hibernating animals. By contrast, AK showed properties that would maintain or even enhance its function at low temperature. K(m) values for substrates (ATP, ADP, AMP) decreased with decreasing temperature, the change in K(m) ATP paralleling the decrease in muscle ATP concentration. AK inhibition by ions was also reduced at 5 degrees C. The data suggest that adenylate degradation via AMPD is blocked during hibernation but that AK maintains its function in stabilizing energy charge.

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