Presence of glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase for glucosamine-6-phosphate synthesis in endothelial cells: effects of hyperglycaemia and glutamine. Academic Article uri icon


  • AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Recent studies show that glucosamine infusion impairs endothelium-dependent blood flow in normoglycaemic rats. The pathophysiological relevance of this finding, however, depends on whether de novo glucosamine synthesis occurs in endothelial cells. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis of whether glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (the first and key regulatory enzyme in hexosamine synthesis) is present for endothelial glucosamine synthesis. METHODS: Bovine venular, bovine aortic, human microvascular, human umbilical vein, and rat coronary microvascular endothelial cells were used to measure glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase activity. To determine glucosamine-6-phosphate synthesis in intact cells, they were incubated for 1 h in Krebs bicarbonate buffer containing 5, 15 or 30 mmol/l [U-14C]glucose and 0.5, 2 or 4 mmol/l glutamine. The [14C]Glucosamine-6-phosphate and its end products ([14C]UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and [14C]UDP-Nacetylgalactosamine) were separated by HPLC. RESULTS: There were high glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase activities in all endothelial cells studied. Exposure of cells to 15 to 30 mmol/l glucose or 2 to 4 mmol/l glutamine increased enzyme activity. Glucosamine-6-phosphate, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine syntheses increased with increasing extracellular concentrations of glucose from 5 to 30 mmol/l or of glutamine from 0.5 to 4 mmol/l. CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: Our results show the presence of glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase for de novo glucosamine synthesis in endothelial cells and the modulation of this pathway by hyperglycaemia and glutamine. As glucosamine inhibits endothelial nitric oxide synthesis, these findings could have important implications for impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation and vascular dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.

published proceedings

  • Diabetologia

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, G., Haynes, T. E., Yan, W., & Meininger, C. J.

citation count

  • 47

complete list of authors

  • Wu, G||Haynes, TE||Yan, W||Meininger, CJ

publication date

  • February 2001