Expression of four glutamine synthetase genes in the ...

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Title Expression of four glutamine synthetase genes in the early stages of development of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in relationship to nitrogen excretion
Author(s) P. Essex-Fraser, S. L. Steele, N. J. Bernier, B. W. Murray, E. D. Stevens, P. A. Wright
Journal Journal of Biological Chemistry
Date 2005
Volume 280
Issue 21
Start page 20268
End page 20273
Abstract The incorporation of ammonia into glutamine, catalyzed by glutamine synthetase, is thought to be important in the detoxification of ammonia in animals. During early fish development, ammonia is continuously formed as yolk proteins and amino acids are catabolized. We followed the changes in ammonia and urea-nitrogen content, ammonia and urea-nitrogen excretion, glutamine synthetase activity, and mRNA expression of four genes coding for glutamine synthetase (Onmy-GS01-GS04) over 3-80 days post fertilization and in adult liver and skeletal muscle of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Both ammonia and urea-nitrogen accumulate before hatching, although the rate of ammonia excretion is considerably higher relative to urea-nitrogen excretion. All four genes were expressed during early development, but only Onmy-GS01 and -GS02 were expressed at appreciable levels in adult liver, and expression was very low in muscle tissue. The high level of expression of Onmy-GS01 and -GS03 prior to hatching corresponded to a linear increase in glutamine synthetase activity. We propose that the induction of glutamine synthetase genes early in development and the subsequent formation of the active protein are preparatory for the increased capacity of the embryo to convert the toxic nitrogen end product, ammonia, into glutamine, which may then be utilized in the ornithine-urea cycle or other pathways.

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