[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L-Carnitine is a critical metabolite indispensable for the metabolism of lipids as it facilitates fatty acid transport into the mitochondrion where β-oxidation occurs. Human astrocytes (CCF-STTG1 cells) and hepatocytes (HepG2 cells) exposed to aluminum (Al) and hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂), were characterized with lower levels of L-carnitine, diminished β-oxidation, and increased lipid accumulation compared to the controls. γ-Butyrobetainealdehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) and butyrobetaine dioxygenase (BBDOX), two key enzymes mediating the biogenesis of L-carnitine, were sharply reduced during Al and H₂O₂ challenge. Exposure of the Al and H₂O₂-treated cells to α-ketoglutarate (KG), led to the recovery of L-carnitine production with the concomitant reduction in ROS levels. It appears that the channeling of KG to combat oxidative stress results in decreased L-carnitine synthesis, an event that contributes to the dyslipidemia observed during Al and H₂O₂ insults in these mammalian cells. Hence, KG may help alleviate pathological conditions induced by oxidative stress.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) has been shown to play a pivotal role in modulating a plethora of cellular processes. In this study, we report on a blue native (BN) PAGE technique which allows the facile assessment of NDPK activity and expression. The in-gel detection of NDPK relies on the precipitation of formazan at the site of immobilized enzyme activity. This is achieved by coupling the formation of ATP, as a consequence of γ-phosphate transfer from NTP to ADP, to hexokinase (HK), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), phenazine methosulfate (PMS), and iodonitrotetrazolium chloride (INT). 2-D denaturing gel analysis confirmed that the activity bands corresponded to NDPK as indicated by subunit composition. Furthermore, the sensitivity and specificity of this readily accessible procedure was assessed by monitoring the in-gel activity of NDPK using different concentrations of GTP and CTP as well as deoxynucleoside triphosphates. This electrophoretic technique allows the quick and easy detection of NDPK, a housekeeping enzyme crucial to cell survival.